With the start of a new school year, Dobbins Elementary School welcomes new Principal Michael J. Daley. As students, teachers and parents get settled in, Daley said he hopes that students find Dobbins to be a place that they love to be.
"I want them to really love learning, love school, and I want them to have a great experience," Daley said.
It is Daley's first time as an administrator in the elementary school environment, but he is no stranger to Poland Schools or to educational administrative work.
Photo by Joanna Larson, Town Crier correspondent
Dobbins Elementary School's new principal Michael J. Daley, has been busy preparing for the start of the new school year.
After earning his bachelor's degree from Walsh University and his master of science in educational administration from Youngstown State University, Daley taught eighth- and ninth-grade students through the Mahoning County Educational Service Center in Boardman, and then moved on to teach English at Poland Seminary High School for eight years.
Most recently, for the past three years, Daley has served as assistant principal at PSHS. He has earned his principal licensure through YSU and is currently enrolled in an Ohio superintendent licensure program.
For Daley, it is all about inspiring a love of learning, listening, communicating and making students, teachers and parents feel safe.
"I don't want them to feel like they want to be anywhere else," Daley said after the recent kindergarten orientation where he met and talked with new students and parents.
Although, Daley is used to working with high school students thus far, he said there are a lot of similarities between the two age groups.
"I taught seniors for a long time and I always teased them by saying 'You're kindergarteners' because they're one step away from that next step that they're all so excited for, and yet all so afraid of it at the same time," Daley said.
Motioning to the "Team Bulldog" slogan on the bulletin board in his office, Daley said that he looks at education, across the grades, as a team effort.
"I look at education as a K-12 community. High school and elementary just being a family and being a team," Daley said.
As far as challenges, Daley said that "the nurture balance versus wanting them to become more independent," is something he aims to achieve.
Daley comes to Dobbins after former Principal Cheryl Borovitcky retired at the end of the 2012-2013 school year, with 35 years in education, mostly at Dobbins.
"We have historically had amazing school district," Daley said. "Dobbins is very successful itself."
Daley said he that wants to continue what has been built at Dobbins, while also bearing in mind the large amount of changes coming down from the state.
"Everything really has come down at once in the last two years and will continue over the next two years," Daley said.
As part of the transition, Daley said his goal is to be the best communicator that he can be for teachers and families so that everyone can understand the changes at hand.
"The state is changing a lot and there's a lot on that, but I'm here to help them," Daley said.
With a background in writing and literature, Daley said he is excited about the future at Dobbins.
"Reading and writing, those being my passion, coming down here, that's really what the state is pushing. So for me it's an exciting new challenge and a new experience to meet with those young kids for the first time, and get in there and help develop them," Daley said.
Dobbins Elementary School is a kindergarten through fourth grade school with about 200 students that sits just across the street from PSHS, where Daley has worked for the past 11 years. Daley said it is kind of bittersweet looking out the window of his office, across the street to the high school.
"Because of where my office is, I still get to look across," Daley said. "So on Aug. 1 when all the kids came back, I got to see the band out there, I got to see the football team out there. I'll miss that a lot and I loved what I did."
However, Daley said that he is very excited for the new challenge that lies ahead.
"We maintain, and then even push ourselves more to be the best school that we know how to be," Daley said.