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Meet the Staff

Founder and Director
Susan A. Kline, M.A.
Born in New York and raised in Connecticut, Ms. Kline graduated Magna Cum Laude from Plymouth State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.  She received her Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Eastern Michigan University.  Ms. Kline's post-graduate studies focused on differentiating learning for children with special needs.  She holds four State of California lifetime credentials:  the Learning Handicapped and Severely Handicapped Specialists, Multiple Subject Educator and the Administrative Services Certificate.  After teaching in both the public and private sectors, she founded Kline School in 1984.  kline@klineschool.com

Technology Coordinator
Sean T. Butler
Hailing from Norwalk, Connecticut, Mr. Butler has been part of the Kline School team since 1994.  He attended Western Connecticut State University, majoring in music education.  Since 1998, under his direction, Kline School's Showtimers, a musical group, has helped to raise funds for scholarship.  Mr. Butler is an avid history buff. He has pilgrimaged to many significant historical sites, restored very early antique cars, and lent his hand for the first ever successful flight of a reproduction Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, NC.  As the middle school history teacher, he enjoys introducing students to history's great minds and characters.  Mr. Butler's interest in today's technology has kept Kline School on the leading edge.  His remote learning video-conferencing program in 1997, setting-up a computer on every student's classroom desk in 1999, and middle school video editing projects since 2003, were all well ahead of their time.  Mr. Butler is an active member of GreySave, an organization dedicated to the rescue of ex-racing greyhounds.  butler@klineschool.com

Language Arts Coordinator
Shylda Alvarez Odell, M.F.A. 
Ms. Odell has served as the Language Arts Coordinator for the middle school for over fifteen years.  She holds a credential in language arts and has taught for various programs, ranging from adult  basic education to English for inner-city high school students to Poets-in-the-Schools for elementary school students.  Additionally, at Kline, she designs and leads the creative writing workshops for the school as a whole, and teaches Shakespeare during the summer program, culminating with a theatrical production.  Ms. Odell graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Long Beach State University, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine.  In addition to over 30 years of teaching experience, she has served as a writer and editor for various educational firms and publications.  

Mandarin Instructor
Xizhen "Vivian" Sun
Born and raised in northern China, Ms. Sun graduated from Hunan University of Technology in Zhuzhou. After graduating as a licensed teacher, she spent a decade as an English-Chinese Instructor at the University.  In addition to teaching and tutoring, Ms. Sun has also serves as an interpreter.  Ms. Sun completed her Associate Degree in Business Administration at Orange Coast College, followed by garnering a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from California State University-Fullerton. She lives in Costa Mesa with her husband.  sun@klineschool.com

Fine Arts Program
Leslie Cahill
Originally a Michigander, Ms. Cahill, graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Additionally, she completed MSU's Teaching Degree program.  After a short stint in the public schools, Ms. Cahill moved west.  She continued to teach for almost 15 years at a local private school before joining the Art Masters program.  Since 1993, Ms. Cahill has been bringing art enrichment to 10 area schools including Kline.  Ms. Cahill resides in Newport Beach with her husband of 34 years.  She has one adult son.

Distance Learning Specialist
K. Douglas Borcoman Mr. Borcoman has been an instructional designer, academic technologist, and Acting Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning working for California State University, Dominguez Hills, and the Orange County Department of Education. He currently teaches philosophy and psychology courses entirely online for the University of Alaska, CSUDH, and Coastline Community College. He has won several awards for innovation in educational technology. His hobbies include amateur radio and astronomy.  Mr. Borcoman is a former Kline School parent whose adult son, Brandon, is a published poet on scholarship completing his Master of Fine Arts at The New School in New York City. dborcoman@gmail.com

Adjunct Public Speaking and Debate Teacher
Hasnu Kwatra 
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hasnu Kwatra graduated from Chapman University in 2013. At Chapman, she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, with an emphasis on Gender Studies. Hasnu served on the Chapman Speech and Debate team for two years, placing Silver in Informative Speaking, Persuasive Speaking, and Communication Analysis. Ms. Kwatra is currently working at the Public Law Center, applying to law school, and living in Irvine. We welcome Ms. Kwatra to the Kline School team!

School Nurse
Diana Lithgow, PhD, RN, FNP
Dr. Lithgow oversees student health reports and immunization records, conducts periodic health classes, and offers an informational evening to eighth grade parents on contraceptive issues and human sexuality.  She is a full-time tenured Professor of Nursing at Western University of Health Sciences, as well as, Associate Dean and Director of the MSN/FNP Program at the College of Graduate Nursing.  Dr. Lithow is a Family Nurse Practitioner at theLaguna Beach Community Clinic and part-time Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Califonia, Irvine.  The Lithgow children, now adults, are stand-out graduates of Kline School.