The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

Substitute principals step in at DHS

With four of five of the new principals gone for a two-day Leadership Workshop, three substitute principals – Megan Mackay, Maretta Unruh and Shannon Demel – stepped up to ensure coverage and support in their absence on Wednesday and Thursday.

It might seem odd to have sub principals, but it was a necessary addition when Covid-19 hit. That’s when Derby Public Schools implemented the substitute principals due to mandatory quarantines. 

The district made the decision to keep those substitutes available for situations just like this week. 

“I am a retired educator, I taught for 16 years and I was a principal for 17 years and I retired from USD 260 but now I am substituting,” Unruh said. 

Unruh was not the only one coming back from a break. Substitute principal Shannon Demel formerly was a principal in Derby. 

“I left education to run my own side business and now that that’s kind of settled down a little bit, I am able to go into different schools and be a substitute principal so that principals can go to conferences or whatever they need to be gone from the buildings,” said Demel, who has two daughters at the high school.

After being a principal at Tanglewood Elementary School, Demel was more than happy to be able to come back to the district as a substitute principal.

“It’s really great to be in the school,” she said, “and I think the best part is being able to see former students that I had at Tanglewood and just staying involved with the district.”

Along with past teachers and principals stepping up, current Reality 101 teacher Megan MacKay was also a substitute principal. 

“I have my Master’s Degree in educational leadership, and I’ve taken whatever test it is to get my administrative license,” MacKay said. “I have a license to do K-12 admin, I’ve had it for… I don’t know, a long time at this point and I’ve just never used it.”

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