Meet Bernardo Heights Middle School principal Tim Biland
Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Bernardo Heights Middle School’s new principal, Tim Biland, has an extra two hours per day to spend with his family due to a shorter commute, he said.
The Fallbrook resident since 2005 has spent years commuting to Orange County, most recently Anaheim, each day — typically a 90- to 100-minute one-way drive, he said. In contrast, Biland’s one-way commute between his home and Rancho Bernardo takes about 30 minutes.
But a shorter commute is not the only reason Biland chose to leave Orange Unified School District, where he was principal at Imperial Elementary since 2008. Before that he was an assistant principal at a middle and K-8 magnet school in the district starting in 2004.
“I was looking for an opportunity for growth, change and challenge,” Biland said, adding, “Poway is better than anything I could have hoped for because it is a terrific district. … I am most excited to join such a successful school, staff and community.”
After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from California State University San Marcos, Biland earned a Master of Arts in educational administration from California State University San Bernardino and completed additional educational administration work at California State University Fullerton.
His first teaching assignment was as a middle school history and English teacher in the Lake Elsinore Unified School District. He later also taught English as a Second Language for the district’s adult school.
“I saw (teaching) as an opportunity to really help kids develop into good people,” Biland said about his career choice.
As for his preference for working with the pre-teen set, Biland said, “It has a nice balance. There is slightly more sophisticated academics … but is also the time I get to be around the kids when they are still young and developing their personalities and sense of humors.”
He added his recent work with elementary and middle school students also correlates to the ages of his three children — daughters Emma, 12, and Reid, 6; and son, Ed, 9. They along with Biland and his wife, Leslie, are involved with Scouting, youth soccer and Little League in Fallbrook. The family also enjoys going on vacations that involve snowboarding and skiing. After spending his childhood in the San Bernardino area, by his teenage years Biland said his family was living in the high desert area near Big Bear.
Biland said he opted to leave the classroom and become an administrator in part because of his wife, who pointed out that his site leadership work on English development projects was making him more involved with the administrative side.
“It seemed like a clear career path,” he said. “My wife was instrumental in pointing out where my passion and focus was.”
Biland said, “(My) big goal is to learn how to support (Bernardo Heights’) positive school climate and contribute by working (with the staff) as a team.” He also wants students to feel like there are in a “safe and welcoming” environment where they can express themselves — both their likes and their concerns, and explore their passions and curiosities in various subjects.
“We’re in a terrific position to continue offering kids opportunities for their future and self-worth, especially in a time when opportunities for their future is unknown,” he said.
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