Notable Alumni

Jared D. Taft

Jared D. Taft (2000)

Martin Road Elementary School
Elementary School Principal, Martin Road Elementary School, Lackawanna City School District

After graduating with a master of education and marrying Jessica Counihan, '98, MS.'99, we taught in New York City public schools. Shortly after starting a family, we made our way back to Western New York to pursue a career as a school adminsitrator in 2004.

Since graduating from Niagara, I am the proud father of four children. Professionally, I have fell in love with urban education. Teaching in NYC as well as being a school leader in Lackawanna City Schools has given me great gratifiction each day and challenges my interpersonal skills in working with very diverse families and students.

During my time as an educator, I have several experiences with students and families. I have worked with inner-city students, the NYC Police Department and NYC Department of Corrections in a Gang Violence Diversion program. I led a violence prevention program for the Brooklyn YMCA's after-school programand was an assistant football coach for Xavier High School in Manhattan.

Since being in Lackawanna City Schools, my proudest achievement was being part of the leadership team that has re-shaped the entire ESL program at my school to better serve our English language learners. While we are still gathering data and making adjustments to the program, our English language learners are continuing to show impressive growth on standardized exams on an annual basis.

Throughout all of my professional and personal experiences, I believe that my time at NU has anchored me to being a thoughtful and service minded person. Either through the NUCAP program and NUSGA, I always found myself working with others to benefit others. I fondly recall shoveling snow for a few winters at the Center for Joy in Niagara Falls and spending countless hours setting up and tearing down some of the great concerts NUSGA sponsored.

Regardless the memory or event, NU gave me the perspective of service to others that has stuck with me since leaving Monteagle Ridge.