Smithfield educator will lead national principals’ association

Smithfield educator will lead national principals’ association

Kelley will serve as president of NASSP in ’17-’18

SMITHFIELD – Smithfield High School’s Daniel Kelley will have the opportunity to meet educational leaders across the country and even affect policy change, when he begins his new role as president of a national principals’ association in 2017.

Kelley, who has served as principal at SHS since 2006, was elected president-elect for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, NASSP, for the 2016-2017 year at an annual business meeting in Florida on Feb. 27.

He will begin his term as president-elect on July 1 and continue through June 30, 2017. Then, he will serve a one-year term as president of NASSP. Kelley will continue his role as principal for the first year, but will need to take a leave of absence the second year.

Kelley and Supt. Robert O’Brien both told The Valley Breeze & Observer that they are in the process of creating a plan for the high school and will present some options to the School Committee at a future date.

The association will pay Kelley’s salary during his term as president, O’Brien said, which might end up saving the district money that year.

NASSP provides a voice for middle and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders in the U.S. and 35 countries. It connects school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs, according to a press release.

“This is a great opportunity for me both personally and professionally. I am looking forward to the challenge,” Kelley said in a statement released by the Rhode Island Association of School Principals. “My commitment is to collaboration, advocacy, and technological innovation.”

He told The Observer Monday night that the role will give him the chance to meet principals from across the country and to hear their stories and challenges. He may even be able to “put pressure in the right areas,” such as state testing, he said.

As president-elect, Kelley said his responsibilities won’t be “intense,” adding that he will still be in the SHS building but may have to travel a few times that year. The following year, as president, Kelley will be on the road, attending state conferences, regional meetings, and working with legislators in Washington, D.C., he said.

Starting in July, he will serve under NASSP President Jayne Ellspermann, of Florida.

Along with Kelley, five other school leaders were elected to four-year terms and one to a one-year term on the 24-member NASSP Board of Directors. They come from South Carolina, Oregon, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, and Wisconsin, according to a press release from NASSP.

O’Brien told The Observer that Kelley’s role will have many benefits to the high school, district, and town.

“He will be able to use what he learns when he returns to the district,” he said. “He will also be an advocate for school leaders, teachers and students when he meets with local, state, and federal leaders across the country.”

One drawback, he noted, will be finding a replacement for Kelley for the 2017-2018 school year.

Nothing has been determined yet, but O’Brien said one option may be to have an assistant principal fill in as interim principal for the year. He added that he may ask a retired administrator to return to handle discipline issues.

Kelley is the first administrator in Smithfield to serve as president of NASSP, O’Brien said.

“I’m pretty proud of the leadership in our district,” O’Brien said, also mentioning Cumberland High School’s principal Alan Tenreiro, a former assistant principal at Smithfield High School who was named 2015’s best principal in the nation by NASSP.

In 2013, Kelley was elected to a four-year term on the NASSP Board of Directors for the New England area, where he chaired the NASSP Finance Committee.

Prior to his service on the board, Kelley was named the 2012 Rhode Island High School Principal of the Year by the Rhode Island Association of School Principals.

He has a bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree in education from Providence College, and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in educational leadership and management from Northeastern University. Before leading SHS, Kelley was assistant principal of Cranston High School East, beginning in 2003.

For more information about NASSP, visit www.nassp.org .