Working for Change in Public School During Tough Economic Times: Katy Kronenwetter '92 Succeeds!

Katy Kronenwetter '92

Kathleen Kronenwetter attended CU at Boulder and received both her BA (1990) and MA (1992) in Communication Disorders and Speech Sciences. Her new private practice website is http://www.openbooktherapy.com

Kathleen (Katy) Kronenwetter MA, CCC-SLP,has worked for the Cupertino Union School District in California (CUSD) for four years. Two years ago she began working very hard with the Cupertino Educator Association and the CUSD Board Members to get the speech language pathologists off the teacher’s pay scale and onto the psychologist's pay scale.

Katy is proud to report success with her endeavor. She writes, “This was successful and with increased pay, recent graduates are now applying for jobs within the CUSD”. Other school districts should take note of her endeavor which, according to Katy, “solved the shortage problem and the high cost of contract speech language pathologists.”

Katy didn’t stop there. As Director of Special Education for her teacher's union this past year she took steps to insure economic stability for special educators at Cupertino. She revealed that while the pay scale issue was in the works, “the school district administrators were asking the employees for ways to save money--to determine what programs could be cut. Our business accountant attended our Pupil Services meeting and asked that we talk to him if we had any ideas. The day after he spoke to all of the special education staff, I decided to walk in and read the four ideas I had written down. I was nervous, I was a bit shaky, but I kept moving forward.”(continued)

“The HR Administrator saw me enter the district office and escorted me into the accountant’s office. I introduced myself. He said I was the only person to respond to his request. I presented my ideas and he liked the one involving a tax measure. Several months later the Board came to one of our Cupertino Educator Association meetings. We came to an agreement to propose new funding, “Measure B’ which would be determined by mail-in ballots. Since it costs money to make money, (the mail-in ballot has to be printed, mailed out etc.), the Cupertino Educators Association the School district and the unclassified union members all brought $130,000 together to prepare the measure for voting. If supported by voters, this measure would fund academic achievement for local students, retain qualified teachers, maintain buildings, support art/music by a $125.00 parcel tax for 6 years no funds for administrator salaries, exemption for seniors over 65 and every dollar staying in the local schools. Last week we got the official news about the outcome. Well the good news is it passed! Four million dollars will help the CUSD students and teachers over the next 6 years! I know that economic times have changes since last spring but the voters did choose to support their schools. I'm proud of that!”

And well you should be Katy--Congratulations! Sometimes the responsibilities and good intensions of SLP’s range far beyond the therapy room. By increasing the status and pay of special educators, Katy has left an important legacy for CUSD.

Katy has since left CUSD and is in the process of establishing her own private practice, Open Book Therapy.

Katy is married to Alex Matthews who graduated from CU with a MS in Astrophysics (Class of 1993). Katy and Alex live with thier son in Sunnyvale, CA. Katy writes, "It is because of my family that I am able to branch off and start my own private practice and work toward obtaining new goals as an SLP."