Chel­tenham School District wel­comes new prin­ci­pal at My­ers Ele­men­tary

The Globe - - OBITUARIES - By Jar­reau Free­man

My­ers Ele­men­tary School Prin­ci­pal Daniel Ta­haney said he has a lot to be thank­ful for this hol­i­day sea­son.

Af­ter just a week of be­ing prin­ci­pal at My­ers in Chel­tenham School District, Ta­haney said he could not have en­tered a more phe­nom­e­nal district.

“It’s been awe­some,” he said dur­ing an in­ter­view. “The teach­ers are amaz­ing and their in­struc­tion is top­notch. I have never been in a school where teach­ers are teach­ing at such a high level all day, ev­ery day. They really col­lab­o­rate with each other.”

He also said he has been im­pressed by the chil­dren, the involvement of par­ents and the PTO, which he said, GoHs D PDgnL­ficHnW MoE oI think­ing about the stu­dents and their needs.

Ta­haney was unan­i­mously ap­pointed prin­ci­pal by the Chel­tenham School Board in early Oc­to­ber and started his fiUsW IuOO wHHk DW 0yHUs 1oY. 12. Ta­haney is re­plac­ing in­terim Prin­ci­pal Wil­liam Kiefer, who be­came prin­ci­pal in Au­gust to re­place My­ers’ former Prin­ci­pal An­drew Kuhn, who is now the prin­ci­pal at Chel­tenham High School — a po­si­tion he’s held since the be­gin­ning of the school year.

With 13 years in ele­men­tary ed­u­ca­tion, Ta­haney comes to Chel­tenham from the Philadel­phia School District, where he was prin­ci­pal of Hamil­ton Dis­ston Ele­men­tary School. Prior to that, he worked as a math teacher in the Bris­tol Town­ship School District. He holds a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Thomas Edi­son State Col­lege and a master’s from the rniver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia Grad­u­ate School of Ed­u­ca­tion.

He lives with his wife, Amelia, and 12-year-old son, Liam, in vard­ley, Pa.

“I al­ways heard that Chel­tenham was a good school district, and although I learned a lot in Philly, I never got com­fort­able in a large district,” he said. “The op­por­tu­nity to be in a small set­ting, where peo­ple would know my name was ap­peal­ing to me. This is a com­mu­nity I could see my­self liv­ing in.”

Be­fore Ta­haney be­gan his ca­reer as an ed­u­ca­tor he said he worked as a nurs­ing home ad­mis­sions di­rec­tor, be­fore de­cid­ing he wanted to ex­plore ed­u­ca­tion.

“There’s so much power wH KDYH Wo Ln­fluHncH HDUly achieve­ment,” he said. “[Chil­dren] learn more in kinder­garten through fourth grade than adults learn in 20 years.”

When asked what unique ideas he will bring to My­ers, he said for now he wants to fo­cus on get­ting to know the school and how it func­tions.

“Be­fore be­gin im­ple­ment­ing some­thing new, , wDnW Wo figuUH ouW wKDW works at My­ers and why,” he said. “Any [fu­ture] changes will be a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort.”

ITa­haney did not go into specLfics DEouW WKH SODns KH KDs for My­ers, but said there are things he’s mulling over.

“I don’t want to launch [into them] too soon,” he said.

One of the goals Ta­haney said he has for the school year is to get to know the stu­dents, teach­ers and com­mu­nity and al­low them to get to know him.

“I want to de­velop a shared vi­sion of im­prove­ment with fac­ulty and what we can do to close the achieve­ment gap,” he said. “Any lead­er­ship tran­si­tion is stress­ful. Build­ing WUusW Ls WKH fiUsW [sWHS@. , WKLnk it’s go­ing well.”

So what is Ta­haney’s ul­ti­mate vi­sion for the school? He said he wants My­ers to be the best school in the world.

“I think it could be,” he said. “To do it, I think it takes ev­ery­one’s help and I in­vite [open] com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia staff photo / JAR­REAU FREE­MAN

My­ers Ele­men­tary School Prin­ci­pal Daniel Ta­haney.

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