Community Profile: IHS Principal Tierney Cahill
August 18, 2021 | Kathy Slocum
PRINCIPAL, Tierney Cahill, comes to the post with an inspiring backstory which sheds light on innovative techniques in education she’ll be bringing up the hill with her.
Back in 2000, challenged by the 6th grade class she taught at Sarah Winnemucca Elementary School in Reno, Cahill wound up running for Congress. She had her class run her campaign, offering a prime example of projectbased learning and winding up becoming the Democrat’s nominee in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District.
That experience caught media attention, including an NPR piece, Ms Cahill Goes To Washington and led to Cahill writing a book with Linden Gross. Ms. Cahill for Congress One Fearless Teacher, Her Sixth-Grade Class, and the Election That Changed Their Lives Forever (2008, Penguin/Random House) garnered national attention and a CSPAN interview by Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton in April 2009.
During her 31+ years as an educator, Cahill has had the opportunity to study at both the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is currently taking part in a program on school finance run by Georgetown University.
Of coming to Incline High, Cahill said that she is looking forward to the opportunity, as “there’s potential for innovation and creativity in a small school that is more difficult to create in a larger system.”
Cahill’s approach to education allows for students being involved in solving real world problems.
Her main focus this coming school year, though, will be to find ways to re-engage students back into school, past the pandemic and the havoc it has wreaked on education.
“I am concerned about the anxiety and mental health issues of young people. Isolation has not been kind to many children,” she said. “it’s going to be important to really be in tune with our students, build relationships and help them achieve their personal goals.”
Cahill added, “I think we just need to meet kids where they are and not stress them out. This was a worldwide pandemic. How about saying, great job getting through a horrible time. It’s going to get better, and we’re going to be by your side to help you.”