Did you know that October was Thank A Principal month?
Canon-McMillan School District thought it would be a great idea to give the community brief backgrounds on who the principals are at each building. Principals do so much for their schools and deserve to be acknowledged for all of their hard work! They’re all very passionate about education and many of them have been with Canon-McMillan School District starting at different roles, in different buildings, for many years. Even though October is Thank a Principal month, you can thank your principals any time of year!
This week's featured principals are your principals at your Elementary Schools. Learn more about them below!
Mrs. Marella McConnell
Borland Manor Elementary
Mrs. Marella McConnell is a 1991 graduate of the Canon-McMillan School District. She is a graduate of Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia (1995) with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Specific Learning Disabilities. Mrs. McConnell received her M.A. in Special Education with an emphasis in Emotional/Behavior Disorders from West Virginia University in 1996.
Thereafter, she returned to her alma mater, the Canon-McMillan School District, in 1997 to work as a special education teacher. It was in 2002 that she earned an Administrative certificate: K-12 Principal from California University of Pennsylvania. After teaching in the district with the K-12 movement as a special education teacher, she received her first administrative assignment at First Street Elementary School in 2003. Through the years 2004-2010, she worked as an assistant principal at Canon-McMillan High School.
In 2010, she returned to the elementary program as the principal of Wylandville and Borland Manor Elementary Schools. In 2013, her administrative assignment was changed to full time principal status at Borland Manor Elementary School. This year, Mrs. McConnell is celebrating her twenty-fourth year in education with the Canon-McMillan School District.
Mrs. Shelly Brose
Mrs. Shelly Brose received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education, her Master’s in Instructional Technology and her Master’s of School Administration all from Duquesne University. She also received her Principal’s Certificate from Duquesne University as well.
This is her twenty-third year with Canon-McMillan School District. She got her start as a first grade teacher and was in that position for nine years. She then became the assistant principal for several elementary schools for five years after that. Nine years ago she became the Hills-Hendersonville Elementary principal and has been there ever since!
Mrs. Tula Dziak
Mrs. Tula Dziak received a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Duquesne University and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Duquesne University. She received her Principal Certification from California University. Mrs. Dziak has been with Canon-McMillan School District for 22 years, working at a number of different schools. She taught third grade at Wylandville Elementary and taught fifth grade at North Strabane Intermediate School. She was the Assistant Principal at Cecil Elementary, First Street Elementary, and the High School and the Principal at Cecil Elementary. Mrs. Dziak is currently a principal at Muse Elementary.
To quote Rita Pierson, "Every child deserves a champion- an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they can possibly be!" My goal is to be that person for my students.
Mr. Tom Theodore
Mr. Tom Theodore received a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Education and Principal Certification from the University of Pittsburgh as well. This is his 29th year in education, all but one year with Canon-McMillan. He taught one year of middle school in Prince George's County Maryland. Mr. Theodore taught third and fifth grade at Borland Manor Elementary School for seven years. He was also the Principal at the old Muse Elementary School, North Strabane Intermediate School, and Hills-Hendersonville Elementary School. He is currently a principal at Muse Elementary.
He likes working with children and loves seeing their excitement and enthusiasm. That's one of the main reasons he got into education. He enjoyed his time teaching in the classroom and working as an administrator. Mr. Theodore says it’s all incredibly important to him,
“I will always appreciate the impact that we, as educators, can have on a child's life. It's important for me to be a positive role model in a child's life.”
Mrs. Michelle Tomicek
South Central Elementary
Mrs. Michelle Sarrett Tomicek originally moved to Pennsylvania from West Virginia after graduating from WVU in 1992. Mrs. Tomicek began her career with Canon-McMillan in the fall of 1992, as an elementary guidance counselor for three of the schools. After her administrative certification was received from Youngstown State University she became the Principal of Wylandville Elementary, then the principal of Hill-Hendersonville Elementary before moving to San Antonio Texas for four years.
Upon her return to Pennsylvania and CM in 2005 she became the principal of South Central Elementary and has been ever since! She is also currently working on getting a Doctorate of Education from Robert Morris University. She enjoys traveling and other outdoor activities with her husband Rich and two children Andrew (age 22) and Allison (age 19).
Mrs. Shannon Balch
Mrs. Balch, principal of Wylandville Elementary School, has been part of the Canon-McMillan School District for eight school years now. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University holding a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education as well as completing her M.Ed from the University of Pittsburgh with a Reading Specialist Certification as well as Principal Certification through their Administration and Policy Studies program.
Mrs. Balch has thirteen years of classroom experience with most of her work in the area of Student Support Services before moving into administration for the last ten years. Prior to working in the Canon-McMillan School District she was the Assistant Elementary Principal in the Burgettstown Area School District. She held teaching positions in the Butler Area School District as well as the Mt. Lebanon School District before that. Mrs. Balch believes that every child has special gifts to offer and that it is the role of educators to find ways to help students showcase their strengths and shine.