Award-winning former Kiski Area principal fills new district technology role

The former director of the Kiska district, who was awarded, received a new position in the district.

Dan Smith has been appointed Director of Technology and Information, responsible for all levels at the six campuses.

Most recently, Smith served as assistant principal at Upper Elementary School Pussy, where he was recognized as an outstanding assistant principal of Pennsylvania in 2021, and later became one of 22 principals awarded the National Award for Outstanding Principal.

Superintendent Misty Slavik said the place was created because of the constant need to update professional development for technology-supported learning strategies.

“The pandemic has made it clear that education has changed: the role of cyber-education is not unique to cyber-schools,” Slavik said.

Smith took on a new role earlier this year. He said that his main responsibilities are working with distance learning programs at the district level, which includes helping families, students and staff.

“The goal is to make the Kisky district a major district in the Commonwealth and focus on relationships with staff and families as we continue to refine program proposals,” the 41-year-old Smith said.

Referring to the need for flexibility, Smith described the current state of education as ever-changing.

“Our district is committed to preparing students for all that their future holds,” Smith said, “and the challenge of updating our approach and curriculum will be vital to the county’s success.”

The district is updating the look of classrooms with new “smartphones”. Smith helped select devices and will provide support and training to district staff.

Smith is a graduate of Kiska High School who grew up in Alegen.

“I’m from a kindergarten in this area,” he said.

He began his career teaching social studies in 2004, and in 2016 was appointed head of technology and integration support.

After serving in this position for three years, he was hired as an Assistant Director at Kiski Area Upper Elementary.

“His experience as both a teacher and an administrator gives him a unique perspective and allows him to connect and facilitate collaboration at all levels of the class,” said KAUE Director Brian Schwarzlander.

Slavik said Smith’s work would pave the way for Pussy’s movement into the future.

“Education is offered in more areas than between the four walls,” she said.

Joyce Hanz is a full-time author of Tribune-Review. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725, or via Twitter .

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