Danielson Bookends Career at Hoover as Flesch Prepares to Retire

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Kathie Danielson, director of high schools at DMPS, will be the interim principal at Hoover High School during the 2017-18 school year.

Kathie Danielson, the director of high schools at Des Moines Public Schools, will end her career where it began: Hoover High School. Danielson takes over as interim principal at Hoover for veteran secondary administrator Cynthia Flesch, who retires later this spring.

Danielson began her first teaching job at Hoover in 1975, providing instruction in literature, speech and theatre. She also taught at Lincoln and East before returning to Hoover as Vice Principal in 2000. Since then, she has served as principal at Callanan Middle School and Roosevelt High School.

Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts from Iowa State University, and a Master of Education in Effective Teaching, Learning and Leadership from Drake University.  In 2014, Danielson made the transition to the district leadership team, where she has counseled and directed all DMPS high schools.

Next year will be Danielson’s last year with the district as she plans her own retirement, and the vacancy left by Flesch presented an opportunity.

“I get to bookend my career at a school I love,” Danielson said. “Hoover is a special place for me; I began my teaching career there, my first administrative position was there, and our three children graduated from Hoover.”

Flesch is also a life-long Des Moines Public Schools educator. This spring she puts a cap on a career more than three decades long. Flesch began as a business teacher and Dean of Students at Roosevelt High School, where she also coached track and volleyball. She joined the Huskies family for two years as Vice Principal, before serving for eight years as principal at Meredith Middle School. She returned to Hoover in 2014 to the position of high school principal.

Flesch said she’s formed many lifelong friendships at Des Moines Public Schools during her 34 years of service.

“I will be spending a lot of time camping, boating at the lake, reading and catching up with projects,” Flesch said.

Secondary Executive Director Timothy Schott said he’s sorry to be losing veteran Flesch, but excited to see what Danielson will bring to the role.

“She was immediately smitten with the idea and eagerly accepted the challenge,” Schott said. “As the interim principal, Kathie will be able to accomplish several things; bring the breadth of her expertise to the very role she has been developing in others, create a smooth leadership transition.

The district will begin the search for a permanent Hoover High School principal to begin in the fall of 2019.