Norton Patch VIP of the Week: Danielle Klingaman
Nourse Elementary principal to take job in North Attleboro.
It’s quickly evident when talking to L.G. Nourse Principal Danielle Klingaman how passionate she is about education. She says it will be “heartbreaking” to leave the school to become principal at a school in North Attleboro in July.
“It’s extremely difficult to leave,” Klingaman said. “I’ve grown to love the kids and their families. There’s a great sense of pride and community here.”
Klingaman has been the principal at the Nourse school for four years and worked as an assistant principal in East Bridgewater prior to coming to Norton. Klingaman lives in Attleboro and grew up in Blackstone where she was an outstanding athlete, playing field hockey, basketball, and track at Blackstone-Millville Regional High School. She was adept enough at field hockey to earn a full scholarship in the sport at Umass-Amherst, where she received a degree in psychology.
“I had never heard of field hockey when I was younger and a friend and I decided to go out for the team in the 7th grade,” she said. “I liked the idea of team sports.”
At Umass, Klingaman’s field hockey team made it to the Final Four in her sophomore year and was nationally ranked all four years she attended the school. In her senior year, the squad beat the number one and number two ranked teams.
After graduating, Klingaman worked at a residential program in Providence, R.I. for teenagers with mental health and behavioral issues. She also taught special education classes and worked her way up to become a supervisor.
“It was very challenging, but it made me want to work with children,” she said. “I always loved working with kids and a school is the best place to be, to see the kids’ smiling faces when they come off the bus.”
Klingaman attended Bridgewater State University (formerly Bridgewater State College) for her master’s degree in educational leadership and also received her special education certificate from Bridgewater State. She is currently working towards her doctorate at Northeastern University in education.
Her students and colleagues have made her last few weeks special.
“The kids are doing a spirit week,” she said. “It’s a different theme each day. One day they wore two different shoes and also wore sports gear in honor of me playing field hockey.”
Klingaman said that the education profession has taken on new forms to allow for better instruction for students.
“I think the state of education is exciting with the advances in technology,” she said. “I’m excited to be a part of it. The traditional model is slowly starting to fade. There will be new ways to teach.
“Down the road I’d like to stay close to kids. They keep me smiling all day.”