LEXINGTON — Tiffany Denker is no stranger to Lexington Public Schools or the community. Having grown up in town and worked at Lexington Public Schools for nine years, she is now the new Bryan Elementary principal.
Denker, originally Roemmich, grew up in Lexington and attended school here, she graduated from Lexington High School in 2003.
She pursued higher education at Doane University. She said she went into college, “not knowing I was going to get into teaching.” Yet she has always enjoyed working with children, many summers spent working at the Lexington Aquatics center helped to show her that fact.
She received her degree in elementary and early childhood education in 2007. She taught kindergarten at Lincoln Public Schools for two years as she worked on finishing her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, which she completed in 2009.
Denker always knew she wanted to return to Lexington and after completing her first master’s degree, she did just that. She is currently working on a second master’s degree in educational leadership and is expected to graduate in 2020.
When asked why she wanted to return to Lexington, Denker said, “I loved growing up in Lexington, the experience of living here. I wanted to be able to give my kids the same.”
She began at LPS by teaching one year of kindergarten and then spent six years teaching the first grade. For the last three years she has been an instructional coach at Bryan Elementary.
“I had always wanted to be a teacher and loved being in the classroom,” Denker said, “Three years ago I was approached by a colleague that encouraged me to seek out the instructional coach’s position at Bryan. She told me that instead of only impacting a classroom, I could impact the entire school. Her encouraging words along with others in the district gave me the desire to further my education in leadership.”
Denker said she had a hard time moving out of the classroom but as an instructional coach she worked to impact the whole elementary.
When asked why she sought out the principal position when it came open, Denker said, “Growing up in Lexington I always knew I wanted to give back to the community which helped shape me into the person I am today.”
Entering this new position, Denker has over a decade of teaching and instructional experience. “I had a great experience as instructional coach, it has prepared me for this position,” she said.
When asked about her goals as principal, Denker said, “to continue the success that Bryan has seen the last few years. Mr. (Drew) Welch has done a great job with developing the dual language program at Bryan and I want to continue that success and maintain a high degree of fidelity with student success.”
She continued, “With my background in instructional coaching I also want to continue to build and support the teachers and their instructional practices.”
A challenge Denker sees for herself is finding a balance between her family life and the demands the principal job will place on her.
Denker was asked what she wanted people to know about her in her new role she said, “I am passionate about student success, that’s the bottom line, I want them to thrive inside and outside of school.”