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New principal a familiar face to students

| Saturday, May 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Nanette Farmar poses for a portrait with Val Lutz' first grade class. Farmar is the new principal at Rowan Elementary School in Cranberry.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Nanette Farmar poses for a portrait outside of the main office at Rowan Elementary School in Cranberry. Farmar is the new principal at Rowan Elementary School.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Nanette Farmar reviews school based education iPad apps on a classroom iPad with Val Lutz' first graders Marin Dunaway, (left) 6, Camyn Meanor, 7, and Daniel Leech, 7, at Rowan Elementary School in Cranberry. Farmar is the new principal at the elementary school.

Nannette Farmar says one of the most gratifying parts of working in education is seeing old students.

“It makes you feel older to see your old students, but then you are happy about seeing them too,” said Farmar, who was just named principal of Rowan Elementary school in Cranberry.

Farmar, 41, had been the school's acting principal since December. Before that she was an assistant principal at Rowan and Connoquenessing elementary schools.

The Rowan position became vacant when John Giancola left the district for a position with Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

Rowan has 580 students in kindergarten through grade four.

“I work very hard to know all of their names,” she said of her school's students.

One of Farmar's tasks over the next 18 months is implementing Common Core Standards, which take effect during the 2014-15 school year.

“We have done lots of professional development work on Common Core. I am excited about it. I think the learning will be at a deeper level. It is gearing us more to problem-solving and analytical thinking,” she said.

The standards, developed by the National Governor's Association, seek to make U.S. students more competitive with increasingly proficient students from other countries by concentrating on in-depth math lessons and teaching English and language arts through classics, historical documents and technical manuals.

The specifics are at the discretion of states and school districts.

Farmar, a graduate of Upper St. Clair High School and Penn State University, started her teaching career in 1993 in the Talbot County Public School System on Maryland's rural Eastern Shore.

Before coming to Seneca Valley in 2006, she taught in the Kiski Area School District, where she was a reading specialist.

She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary and kindergarten education from Penn State University in 1993 and a master's degree in administrative and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001.

A mother of three children, ages 9, 4 and 19 months, Farmar lives in Pine.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at

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