Hello and welcome back to the 2014-2015 school year. This is my first official message as the Superintendent of Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools. For many of you, this introduction is not needed as I have spent the last 7 years navigating teaching and learning alongside a dedicated and talented staff. However, I feel it is important to build trust and understanding during times of change, which will come as we all learn more about each other.
My name is Danielle Prohaska and I became the superintendent of schools effective August 1, 2014. On this journey to becoming superintendent of schools, I have had the good fortune to have studied and learned from three different but talented and experienced superintendents along the way. Each leader brought strengths and successes to the district which I will strive to capture as my tenure in the district grows. In addition to working with knowledgeable superintendents, I have grown alongside several administrators who have been instrumental in the success of our district. Additional partners include the Board of Education, PTO, Public Library, Battelle for Kids, BASA, and Madison Champaign County Curriculum Directors.
I began my educational career as a speech pathologist for Triad and Mechanicsburg Schools in 2001. From there I spent a brief time in Marysville as speech pathologist working with students with Autism before coming back to Mechanicsburg as the Director of Teaching and Learning. I have 3 wonderful children ages 10, 9 and 5 and a very kind husband. I enjoy watching and playing sports with my family, gardening, and running. I am blessed with a strong network of family and friends.
Since 2007, the district has been VERY busy refining instructional practices, managing finances, and responding to changes in state legislation. If I listed it all, you would never read another message from me again!! This year will be just as exciting, opening a “new” middle school, piloting one to one Chromebooks in 6th and 7th grade, staggering the student start date K-5th grade to better assist student transition and assessment, and taking online assessments to measure student growth.
Our efforts will continue to reinforce 4 critical questions we began asking ourselves five years ago:
- What do we want students to know and be able to do?
- How will we know they are learning?
- How will we respond when they don’t get it?
- What will we do for those who already get it?
As the year begins, I do not claim to have all the answers. However, I do promise to:
- Always put kids first
- Ask the right questions and search out the information that is needed
- Make decisions based on the most accurate and timely data that is available
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
- Listen first
- Be kind to myself and those around me as we learn and grow together
- Continue the excitement and passion for education that is the tradition at Mechanicsburg
Please understand that I have an open door policy and welcome your conversation and feedback. I look forward to seeing teaching and learning in action in the classroom and watching our students and community grow as a result. Follow me on Twitter @DanielleMProhas and my blog McBurg.org/SuperBlog for important updates and trends in local and state education and additional ways to connect with me. Also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in Education,