When school begins Wednesday, Evergreen High School students will be greeted by a new principal.
Dan Curtis, 36, has been appointed by the Board of Education to replace Josh Clark, who took a position with the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center in Archbold. An assistant principal at Napoleon High School in Henry County from 2012-18, Curtis said his first goal in the new position is to educate himself.
“My priority is trying to meet kids and staff, and trying to learn the dynamics of the community,” he said. “My predecessor put the district in an amazing situation. “
A Maumee High School graduate, Curtis earned a Bachelor’s of Education – Integrated Math Education degree and a Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Bowling Green State University. He first served at Life Skills Center, a Toledo charter school, from 2007-12.
He pursued his first position as a principal at Evergreen schools, knowing the district to be strong academically.
“I know there’s a ton of community support. They’re extremely proud of their students and their schools,” Curtis said. “I want to learn the Evergreen way.”
He said he found it appealing that the Evergreen school district has so much to offer. Recently, EHS was awarded a bronze medal from the Ohio House of Representatives as one of the best high schools in the state.
“I’ve really been kind of judging when would be a good time for me. I finally got to the point where I was comfortable to take the next step,” Curtis said.
His office will focus on graduation rates. “We want kids to have a path and a way to do well in college or do well in a career,” he said. “In many ways, Evergreen is doing very well. I think we have a good team here, staffwise. The kids I have met have been great, and the parents.”
Curtis said he also wants to challenge both students and teachers in the classroom. “Academically, relatively speaking, we have been extremely strong here.”
He’s also glad to announce a new high school resource officer, Deputy Alexa Schaffner of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
Curtis was lured to a career in education by his own teachers.
“Growing up, I had my own set of obstacles healthwise, and things weren’t always easy for me. Teachers encouraged and challenged me,” he said. “That has always resonated with me, how much a teacher can guide you and push you to be the best version of yourself.
“It’s just being able to be that champion for kids who need some guidance. I really enjoy helping kids find their way and their passion for life. I’ve always loved that about education. All of us are really guiding kids.”
Promising an open door policy, Curtis said he’ll also make himself visible and available at community functions.
Diane Tache was on a committee with teachers, administrators, and secretaries that interviewed 12 candidates for the position.
“Dan has a proven record leading the integration of technology as part of the school day for students and staff, handling student behavioral issues with respect and dignity. (He) is data driven, collaborative, and a problem solver,” she said.
Married for seven years to his wife, Erica, the new principal said, while he’s a bit nervous, he’s excited to start his new job. “Every day is different. I enjoy that,” he said.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.