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Sept. 14, 2012
CONTACT: K. E. Schwab

SRU graduate earns ‘Principal of Year’ title; joins national list

Gregory Taranto, a 1995 Slippery Rock University exercise science graduate, has been named 2012 Pennsylvania Middle Level Principal of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary Principals.

Taranto serves as principal of the Canonsburg [Pa.] Middle School.

The award put him in the running for the MetLife/National Association of Secondary School Principals Principal of the Year Program.

Last year, Taranto’s school was named a Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn: School to Watch for its success in achieving academic excellence, based on the 37 criteria established by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. In 2011, he was a finalist for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Outstanding Young Educator Award.

Taranto began his career in a health-related field working for UPMC Shadyside as a cardiac rehabilitation therapist. He then switched to education and after completing his education in that field joined the Canon-McMillian school in 2000. His school has 750 students in seventh and eighth grades.

The award cited him for creating an innovative model for preparing new teachers entering the field through a new teacher induction program harnessing the power of Web 2.0 technology and connecting new teachers with experienced teachers, administrators and university professors to create a strong support system.

In addition to his SRU degree, Taranto earned master’s degrees from East Stroudsburg University and California University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate from Robert Morris University in instructional management and leadership. He earned his principal’s certification at California University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in its administrator program for principals.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.