Nelsonville-York Names Two New Principals

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Students of Nelsonville-York’s elementary and middle schools will have two new faces greeting them as their principals this coming school year, but they’re not unfamiliar faces.

Becky Dalton — who served as a third grade teacher at the school — stepped in as the new elementary principal, replacing Teresa Dearth. Thomas Taggart, Jr. replaces Joe Malesick as the middle school principal. Dearth and Malesick both retired at the end of last school year.

Nelsonville-York had eight district employees retire last year, the most for one year in recent times.

Dalton, 32, of Nelsonville, said she has known since the third grade she wanted to be a teacher, but becoming a principal has been a part of her plan all along.

“I had a 30-year plan,” Dalton had said. “I wanted to do 10 years of teaching, 10 years as a principal and 10 years as a superintendent.”

She’s a little ahead of schedule, but she said she couldn’t let the opportunity pass her by. Besides, she knew she was ready for the next challenge.

Supt. Mick McClelland said he’s confident she’s going to be an excellent administrator.

Taggart, 48, takes the helm as head administrator after 23 years of teaching.

Taggart, a 1983 graduate of the district, has spent his career at his alma mater, first teaching physical education and health. For the bulk of his teaching career, he’s taught middle school math. He’s also coached basketball, football, baseball and golf.

Based on Taggart’s long career with the district and his 13 years a head teacher, Supt. Mick McClelland said it’ll be an easy transition.

“He knows the system inside and out,” McClelland said.