The Carthage Press
  • Danielson to take Pleasant Valley helm

  • Gary Danielson was impressed about what he learned about the Carthage R-9 School District from a distance during state-wide educational leadership meetings, so he decided he wanted to join the team.
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  • Gary Danielson was impressed about what he learned about the Carthage R-9 School District from a distance during state-wide educational leadership meetings, so he decided he wanted to join the team.
    The former principal at elementary schools in Springfield and Niangua begins his first year with the Carthage School District as principal at Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Brooklyn Heights this year.
    The Pleasant Valley job comes with a bonus title, coordinator of the Carthage Bright Futures Program, putting him in charge of the district-wide outreach program for less
    fortunate students.
    Danielson takes over for Scott Ragsdale who was named principal at the Carthage Middle School.
    "I'm excited to get going," Danielson said. “It's a new school district, but I've been to Carthage several times and I love Carthage. I've played in a golf tournament here for the last six or seven years."
    Danielson had been principal of York Elementary School in the Springfield School District until the 2012-2013 school year when he stepped down to continue teaching in Springfield this past year.
    Danielson received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, Neb., in 1984; a master’s degree in athletic administration from Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, in 1987; and a specialist degree in educational administration from Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, in 2012.
    Danielson has three years of teaching experience and was an elementary principal for 11 years. He served two of those 11 years in Niangua and nine years in the Springfield Public Schools.
    Athletic trainer
    Danielson said he started out working in athletic training, including working college sports and professional sports levels.
    "I still love athletic training and I plan on returning, after I'm able to retire from education, to some facet of sports medicine," Danielson said. "I still see kids, look at them and make suggestions. I worked at Boston University, I worked at Drury College, when it was called that, then I was the head football athletic trainer for West Virginia for four years, and I interned with the Buffalo Bills as an athletic trainer. When we came back (to Southwest Missouri) I took the coordinator of sports medicine at Cox, then decided I wanted to get involved with education and see if I could make an impact."
    Danielson said he got involved in education when his two boys entered school.
    "They were elementary age and I sort of migrated there and I really just liked it," Danielson said. "I like that age group, I like to feel like I'm a positive male role model in a lot of these kids' lives. In my background, the schools I was at, they didn't have a lot of male role models in their lives and I enjoy trying to be that person."
    Page 2 of 2 - Springfield to Carthage
    Danielson said his last school, York Elementary School in Springfield, was not a great deal larger than Pleasant Valley.
    He said Carthage School administrators were implementing some of the same programs that Springfield was implementing and he was impressed with Henningsen and the other Carthage staffers that he met while in the Focus School program.
    Carthage's Fairview Elementary School was also a Focus School last year, and Danielson said he met the Carthage administrators while attending state-wide meetings for that program.
    "I met Dr. H and his leadership team in a program called MoLEAD," Danielson said. "It was a program for leadership put on by DESE and York had been in the same qualifications as (Fairview School). I met his whole leadership team there and a lot of the things we were doing at York, they were already doing here in Carthage so we had great conversations about shifting kids. The opportunity came available and to come here and I was lucky enough, fortunate enough, to secure the position."
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