- Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:20
- Published on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 07:17
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When Dashan Turner was a boy growing up in a small town in Mississippi, one of his teachers told him: “You will never amount to anything.”
That insensitive and derogatory remark stayed with him throughout his life and has helped make him the man he is today.
Turner, who has built a sterling career as an educator in the Westmoreland, Essex and Petersburg school systems, became the new principal of Washington & Lee High School this month.
“My goal is doing the right thing for the students,” he said. “That’s my purpose here.”
A former principal of Westmoreland County’s Washington District Elementary, Turner succeeds former W&L principal Andrea Roane who resigned in June. Turner comes to Westmoreland from Petersburg, where he was director of schools supervising the nine schools in the Petersburg system. Prior to Petersburg, Turner was the director of student services for the Essex County schools.
“I have put in a lot of work to be able to lead,” Turner said. “This school has a lot of hard working students. I want to be an advocate for each one.”
Turner said he was put on the right path by his single mother who raised him and his three siblings in Weir, Miss.
“We were low income, borderline poverty,” Turner said. “But my mother pushed me, and so did my coaches. They helped me understand how important it was to be a leader and a role model.”
Turner played football, basketball and baseball in high school. During his first teaching stint in Westmoreland County, he was a physical education teacher and coach at W&L. He also served as assistant principal of Montross Middle School before moving onto Washington District Elementary.
“I am truly excited to be back here,” said Turner, who with his wife Candace has four children including 16-month-old twins. “I’m a family first kind of guy,” Turner said, “I am a good listener and I care about the kids as a whole.”
“We have good students and great teachers at W&L,” Turner said. “Now we have to have goals to produce quality students, having quality students makes the school better.
My motto is: “Every student, every day, every minute.”
“If we work together we can improve the culture, improve the discipline and improve the instruction,” Turner said. We can serve the students and the community as we continue to make W&L a better school.”