Friday, May 13, 2016

Assistant principal headed to new post at Little Miami Intermediate School

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer
Mason High School Assistant Principal Dan Distel hopes he will be remembered as an administrator who was always fair and supportive to students as leaves Mason to pursue a head principal position at Little Miami Intermediate School.
May 24, 2016 will mark Distel’s last day overseeing the halls of Mason High School. Distel has served as assistant principal for the past three years and was a teacher from 2004-2013. He taught freshman and seniors alike in AP U.S. History, American History, World History, and Contemporary Social Issues.
Principal Dave Hyatt said Mason High School will greatly miss having Distel on staff.
“Mr. Distel’s efforts here over the past 12 years as a former teacher, coach, and current administrator have greatly impacted student lives in the Mason community,” Hyatt said. “The things we’ll miss most about Mr. Distel include his approachability, his sense of humor, his ability to keep things in perspective, and most importantly, his passion to serve all students from all different backgrounds.  We wish nothing but the best for him as he continues his journey in educational leadership.”
Distel initially sought out a position at Mason after earning his bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio University. He earned his master’s degree in education administration from Xavier University. His journey at Mason began when he student taught here in 2001 and 2002.
“I went to Colerain High School, so I am a Cincinnati kid,” Distel said. “I worked as a volunteer wrestling coach at Mason and made some connections through that. I had a family member who went through the high school and that got me connected to get the student teacher gig.”
Although Distel said he didn’t initially plan to become a teacher or administrator, he ended up following in the footsteps of his parents, who both work in the education field.
“I grew up as most kids–I was very interested in being anything other than somebody who spent their whole life in a school,” Distel said. “My dad is an administrator and my mom is retired now, but she was an intervention specialist. I spent most of my life in schools. I didn’t think I was going to go into it, I actually started as a business major in Athens, but about two years in, I realized I had only taken courses in history and humanities. I realized I really enjoyed the subject matter and that was my introduction into teaching.”
Distel said he will rely on friends and family for support as he handles the stress of a bigger role.
“I always lean on others for help,” Distel said. “A part of being in education is being willing to ask for help and ask questions. I’ve wanted for a while now to have a building level responsibility beyond assistant principal. I’m comfortable going into this position because I know that there will be great mentors and those who would be willing to support me.”
Despite the differences between Little Miami and Mason, Distel said he feels confident about entering the district.
“Little Miami is a smaller school district,” Distel said. “There is a difference in terms of history of the district. Little Miami has gone through some serious financial issues that they’re on the back end and coming out of. They have always maintained a high degree of academic expectations.”
There are certain duties Distel said he won’t feel remorse about leaving, but what he will miss the most are the students and faculty he is departing from.
“I won’t miss parking,” Distel said. “I don’t think I will miss eating lunch with 900 of my closest friends for two hours a day. I will miss having such great conversations with students. I will miss the people. I come to work everyday with my friends. When it comes to the students, they’re capable of so much and perform at such a high level. Walking into this building everyday and seeing the things they do is humbling and makes me think about what I didn’t do in high school. It inspires me and others.”
Distel said he hopes he leaving a legacy as someone who truly cares.
“I hope students don’t think of me as the assistant principal who was out to get them, but enjoyed the school experience with them,” Distel said. “With teachers, I hope they think I supported them in educating kids. Overall, I just hope I connected with people. One of my beliefs in life, if you connect and form good relationships with people, you’ll find success. That’s always been my number one goal.”