Name: Leif Utler
School: Vice Principal at Edna Hill Middle School
The 900 students at Edna Hill Middle School in Brentwood have probably noticed a new face on their administrative team this school year — Leif Utler, the new vice principal.
Formerly an English teacher at Oakley’s Freedom High School and Antioch’s Black Diamond Middle School, Utler has adapted to his new role with ease.
“I have an incredible principal and vice principal that I’m working with, and they’ve made this job a lot more easy and straightforward,” said Utler. “I enjoy talking to the kids, seeing how they are doing and making sure they are safe.”
Utler chose teaching as a career because he hoped to make a difference in the lives of young people. He discovered his passion while teaching part-time in college, and he hasn’t looked back. When the opportunity to become an administrator presented itself, he decided to go for it.
“I thought maybe there would be a chance to make a bigger difference, to help more,” Utler explained. “So now, even though I’m not interacting with the students as much as I was as a teacher, I’m still able to support them from the sidelines — support the teachers who are helping them.”
In addition to playing his supportive role, Utler has been tasked with updating Edna Hill’s student safety plan.
“For all of the things we don’t want to think about, for all of the disasters we hope will never happen, we also want to be prepared,” Utler said. “So that’s been my project for the last couple weeks, and I’m almost finished with that.”
When he isn’t at work, Utler can be seen running errands around Brentwood. He enjoys Starbucks dates with his wife and taking his two children to sporting events. He said moving to Brentwood was a great choice for his family.
“My wife and I love Brentwood,” Utler said with a smile. “It’s such a close and supportive community. There are things to do, and we live in a neighborhood where we know our neighbors, and they are all good people.”