North Fork native and 2002 Sierra High School graduate Daniel Ching, 30, has been named the new principal of Minarets High School.
Ching replaces Mike Niehoff who recently took a position with the Fresno County Office of Education.
“I feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity to serve my community as principal of Minarets High School.” Ching said after Monday night’s school board meeting. “I have been incredibly fortunate to work with an amazingly talented and ambitious staff as well as under the leadership of Mike Niehoff and Jon Corippo. I am a proud Chawanakee student who now has a chance to give back to a community that has done so much for me.”
Ching said Niehoff was an inspiration to him and that it will not be easy to fill his shoes.
“However, I will devote myself to stay committed as a leader to continuing the mission that our school board and community leaders so boldly began, building Minarets in 2008. I am determined to lead Minarets in a way that will keep us on the cutting edge of education, inspire teachers to achieve greatness in their classroom, and provide students with opportunities that will make them successful well beyond their time at Minarets.”
Ching said his priorities are to provide students with a hands on, meaningful, relevant, and rigorous education that will enable them to do great things now and in the future.
“We have only begun to scratch the surface of what we can accomplish here,” Ching said. “My mom and dad taught me as a young man to put others before myself, embrace the fruits of hard work, never stop learning and think creatively when faced with challenges.”
Ching said he is confident in the future success of the district and the high school under the direction of district Superintendent Bob Nelson and the Chawanakee school board.
“I am so thankful for their faith in me as a leader,” Ching said.
After working for the Crane Valley Hotshots and working his way through college at California State University, Fresno, Ching began his teaching career at Lemoore High School in 2009, where he was also an assistant varsity football coach.
In 2010, he became a U.S. and world history teacher at Minarets. He also taught Native American studies and coordinated the Veterans Day History Project.
In 2013, he became an Apple Distinguished Educator and has traveled nationwide presenting seminars on innovation in education.
Last year he was the Director of Charter at Minarets Charter High School. He has taken students to six different countries as well as to Washington, D.C.
“I grew up in North Fork and spent many hours working on my grandfather’s ranch in O’Neals long before Minarets High School was built,” Ching said.
He is married to Ceaenna (Ramirez), who is an auditor for a public accounting firm in Fresno. The couple are expecting their first child in January.