Cheltenham High School announces new principal
The Cheltenham School Board appointed Andrew Kuhn as the new principal of Cheltenham High School July 31.
Kuhn has been an educator and resident in Cheltenham since 2003. With 18 years of teaching experience on his resume, he is looking forward to coming “home” to Cheltenham High School, where his career as an educator in the district began.
Kuhn, who began teaching with Teach for America in the early ’90s, said the program gave him a well-rounded teaching experience that he enjoyed. Kuhn said he found a similar dynamic in the Cheltenham School District.
“Through Teach for America I really had a blend of urban and advanced placement teaching experiences,” Kuhn said. “I was looking for a school that was diverse and high achieving and that is what Cheltenham High School is.”
Kuhn taught social studies at Cheltenham before becoming chairman of the high school’s social studies department for five years. Following that, he became the principal of Myers Elementary School — the position he held for the last three years.
Kuhn said that he is looking forward to stepping into the role as principal of the high school, despite this reluctance about leaving Myers, which he said “is a great school.”
Kuhn stepped into his role as the principal of Cheltenham Aug. 13. He replaced Interim Principal Harry Gaffney, who had been the principal from December.
Kuhn said that he has great vision for Cheltenham High, a vision that will emphasize a positive school climate and culture and focus on academic excellence.
Kuhn said he wants to every student to have an area of academic concentration, like a major one would have in college, where course work, co-curricular activities and the graduation project will be incorporated in the concentration to make a more cohesive academic experience for each student.
“With a school of around 1,400 students, [some] students can get lost in the shuffle,” he said. “I want to create a smaller, focused learning program.”
Kuhn said he also wants to create a tone of civility and respect in the school and wants students to be focused and know that Cheltenham is a learning environment.
However, before creating a positive learning environment for students is completed, Kuhn said he wants administrators and faculty members to “be on the same page.”
“Once administrators are working cohesively then it’s about reaching out to faculty and students ... to help build a positive school culture,” he said.
With a busy year ahead of him, Kuhn said he is looking forward to being head of the faculty and building relationships with students.
“This is a big job and this is a tough school, but the tradition here is so strong we need to remind ourselves of how great Cheltenham is,” he said.