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May 24, 2017
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A solid production at Monte Vista

  • Diana Klein "Ugly Duckling group sends a message of hope" Robert Grant

By: Irene Hilsendager
April 28, 2017

Diana Klein, an educator, for over 32 years,  has been teaching at the Monte Vista School for 28 years. The pride and joy of her years in the district have involved putting on a production called “The Ugly Duckling” She has been in the daycare side of teaching and also worked three years as a teacher’s aide.

Klein loves working with children and has two of her own who also attended Monte Vista. One daughter is a pediatrician and the other follows in the steps of her mother, an educator. She was born in the South Bay and kept moving north until she and her mother reached Santa Rosa. Her parents were always looking for something better in life and Diana said Sonoma County was the best.  

She graduated from Santa Rosa High and then went to school in San Jose, graduating early from San Jose State. 

Back in the day, while doing research on different schools, Monte Vista wanted a project based on theme and that was right up Diana’s alley. She plays piano. This would serve her well when putting on productions with her third grade class.

The Ugly Duckling would fit the bill perfectly. Since bullying and mean- spirited people are all over the globe, Diana felt this would be the perfect production to bring to the school and community.

If no one remembers, the Ugly Duckling is a story written by Hans Christian Andersen and was first published in 1844. The moral of the story was that it does not matter if you were born in a dusty barnyard or have lain in a swan’s egg. When six perfect ducklings were born and the seventh was homely and ugly , much verbal and physical abuse would happen. Andersen wrote in his story that if you keep running away from the abuse, it will continue to happen, regardless of where you settle down. When the ugly duckling finally grew up, he realized that it is better to be killed by beautiful birds then to live a life of ugliness and misery. Yes, at the end of the production he became a beautiful swan.That also can happen to each one of us.

Diana loves to put on productive musicals that integrates music, building sets and making sceneries. This is a huge endeavor taken on by the third grade class and it made Klein a better director with each new batch of kids to be able to give out a powerful message. 

Over the years things have gone very smoothly but now she said it is time to retire. Her heart is not where it was years ago when doing these things and rather than disappoint the children she would rather step away and spend time with her retired husband. Traveling plans are in her future. She said taking summer vacations are right at the top. She has been to Mexico 22 times and also took time off to go to Alaska and Ireland. She wants to travel in the off-season and has set her sights on South America, New Zealand and Australia.

Diana loves to garden on weekends along with being a voracious reader and doing complex sudoko which she plays for days. Then hiking is also right up there on top of the list. How she finds time for going to the gym, Zumba, yoga and enjoying her family is a mystery. She loves to foster friendships and by going on her travels she is positive this will all happen.