A newsmaker you should know: Hall, new Avonworth Middle School principal, sure to keep busy


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To say that Michael Hall is busy would be an understatement. The father of three children, ages 3 and younger, is the new principal at Avonworth Middle School in Ohio Township.

"I am really excited about this new opportunity," he said, "And it's hectic, but my wife and I are really blessed."

Mr. Hall comes to Avonworth with experience in the classroom and on the administrative side of education.

After graduating from Marietta College in Ohio, the Ellwood City native moved to the small town of Colonial Beach, Va. to begin his teaching career.

"I taught English to sixth- and seventh-graders in a small, but diverse community," he said. He loved the area, especially because it is where he met his wife, Dena, also a teacher.

"She taught kindergarten there," he said.

After the two married, as much as they loved the area, they wanted to move closer to their families. Mrs. Hall is from northern West Virginia, so the two were delighted when they both landed positions with Propel East, a charter school in Turtle Creek.

"It worked out really well for us. I was teaching fourth grade there and loved teaching the younger kids as well," he said, "It was a big change going to the elementary school level, but I loved it."

The couple moved to Boston, an Elizabeth Township neighborhood, which is close to Propel East, but then both managed to receive new positions the next year with the Canon McMillian School District in Washington County. There, Mr. Hall taught fourth grade at South Central Elementary School.

A year and a half ago, he moved into administration as assistant principal at Canon McMillan High School.

"It was such a great opportunity and I was ready for a change," he said. It also came at a good time for his family. He and his wife had moved to Somerset Township in Washington County to be closer to their jobs and had started a family.

When they found out they were having twins, they realized it was a good time for his wife to stay at home with the three little ones. Then came the Avonworth opportunity.

"The school district has a wonderful reputation and I am ready to move to the middle school level," he said.

In administration, Mr. Hall has missed working with the students and feels being at the middle school level and at a smaller school will allow him to interact more with the students.

"A lot of people are intimidated by middle school kids, but I always say kids are kids, they are just bigger kids," he said, laughing.

"And good teaching is good teaching, no matter what the age."

As the new school year approaches, Mr. Hall is looking forward to getting to know his "new working family" as he calls the faculty and staff at Avonworth Middle School.

And of course, he looks forward to meeting the students.

"The people in the Avonworth School District really value education and make it a priority -- I'm really looking forward to getting to know my students and their families."

While he will miss Canon McMillan, he is ready for yet another change in his busy life.

"I've been really fortunate to love all of my jobs and to be with really great school districts. This is another great opportunity," he said.

Mr. Hall replaces Thomas Ralston, who is superintendent at Avonworth.

education - neigh_north

Kathleen Ganster, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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