My name is Ryan Daugherty and I am excited to begin my second year at Merrill Middle School as one of the Associate Principals. Prior to coming to Merrill, I was at Callanan Middle School where I served as a School Improvement Leader and Associate Principal. I have worked for DMPS for sixteen years and truly enjoy working at the middle school level. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family, which includes my wife and our two boys as well as cheering on the K-State Wildcats! I am looking forward to the 2023-24 school year! Go Mustangs!
Martin (Marty) Luft
Kathryn (Kate) Panek
My name is Kathryn Panek, and I am honored to serve all of you as the principal of Merrill Middle School. This upcoming school year, 2023-2024, will be my 22nd year in public education, my 8th year at Merrill, and my 6th year as the principal at Merrill. I am so very pleased to be a part of Des Moines Public Schools serving our exceptional students and families. The highlight of my time at Merrill is watching students engage in our community – in the classroom, through clubs and activities, and beyond our Merrill campus. Outside of school I enjoy watching my teenagers participate in cross country and track and field, reading good books – primarily nonfiction, and being active outdoors. Don’t be a stranger. Please email, call, or stop in. I look forward to partnering with you. Go Mustangs!
Hello! My name is Danielle Taylor, and I am excited to be serving as one of the Associate Principals here at Merrill. I am an Iowa State graduate (Go Cyclones!) and received my master’s degree in Educational Administration from Viterbo University. The 2023-24 school year will be my 20th year in DMPS. I began my journey as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and also served as an Instructional coach for many years. At Merrill, you will catch me in many of your classrooms checking out what the teachers and students are up to, the halls and the lunchroom – be sure to say HI! At home, I have an 9th grade son and two dogs who keep me busy! I enjoy watching my son play basketball, reading, going to the gym, catching live music, biking, and traveling in my free time… the beach is my happy place 😊 I look forward to meeting you throughout the year, Go Mustangs!!!