Dr. Karen Trinkle is new assistant superintendent



Dr. Trinkle’s extended history in mental health and counseling displays her reliability as a promising assistant superintendent.

Evelyn Blower , Assistant Editor in Chief, Opinion and Features Editor

Communicating with and overseeing the community is what defines the role of assistant superintendent, on a level from the youngest child to the parents, and rest of the school district. Dr. Karen Trinkle, who has a broad career in counseling and educational areas, is the most recently hired assistant superintendent of Southern Lehigh School District. 

Dr. Trinkle comes with experience from Easton Area School District where she was the Director of Student and Community Services for five years, and was Assistant Principal for four years prior at Easton Area High School. She started as a school counselor in Easton and worked with children day in and day out. She wants to take this experience working so closely with kids and apply it to her current job, which she started in the first few weeks of 2022.

“My ultimate focus here is curriculum, instruction, and student support,” said Dr. Karen Trinkle, who started her career in mental health after earning a bachelors degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from Kutztown University. 

“Even though I loved working in the community, it wasn’t something I wanted to do,” she said. “I used my experience working in homes so that I could connect with kids.”

Dr. Trinkle returned to Kutztown University to earn her masters of education and went on to earn her doctorate of education from Capella University. She wants to focus on coordinating student mental health, SAP coordination, and guidance, and hopes to bring this to her role as assistant superintendent at Southern Lehigh

“As you learn, you set professional goals, and sometimes a change is needed to meet some of these goals,” said Trinkle. “[I wanted an] opportunity, and thought this is where I belong. I’m fortunate to have that turn out in my favor.”

Superintendent Dr. Michael Mahon heads the district administration team along with assistant superintendent Dr. Trinkle. The school district instated both candidates during the current school year, and they have been working on new projects already, from small to large. The assistant superintendent wears many hats, and Dr. Trinkle is ready for all aspects of her job.

“Operationally, [we work on] leaky roofs and other facilities,” Dr. Trinkle said, “but you sit back and think, ‘huh, I didn’t think I’d deal with that.’ I [also] learned quickly, you can’t be the all knowing thing everywhere.”

With Dr. Trinkle’s extensive mental health interest, she hopes to refine the social and emotional aspect of learning. She takes her roles from the various positions she has had and creates a more interdisciplinary environment to foster student growth in the environment they enjoy. 

Being an assistant superintendent is a stressful role. A lot of this stress, both Dr. Mahon and Dr. Trinkle agreed, is unquantifiable. Dealing with a large range of people, from kindergarteners, to teachers, to parents, there are a lot of people to make happy. Dr. Trinkle hopes to create and advance positive relationships with students and teachers in every school, and encourages students to reach out with feedback.

At home, Dr. Trinkle has twin boys and is a very big family person. She is an avid supporter of Philadelphia teams and Penn State sports, and like most people from the Northeast, she is a Dunkin Donuts supporter. Dr. Trinkle looks forward to spending more time with students and those in the community, and is in attendance at board meetings regularly.