My name is Ryan Daugherty and I am very excited to begin my first year at Merrill Middle School as an Associate Principal! The past eight years I have worked at Callanan Middle School as a School Improvement Leader and Associate Principal. I have worked for DMPS for fifteen years and truly enjoy working with middle school students and families. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family which includes my wife, two boys and our family dog. I am looking forward to the upcoming school year and meeting everyone!
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, 2022-2023, will be my 21st year in public education, my 7th year at Merrill, and my 5th 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 soccer, 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 Instructional Coaches here at Merrill. I am an Iowa State graduate (Go Cyclones!) and received my master’s degree in Administration from Viterbo University. The 2022-23 school year will be my 19th year in DMPS. I began my journey as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher for my first 11 years and have enjoyed my time partnering with teachers and students all across the building as a coach for the past 7 years. At Merrill, you will catch me in many of your classrooms, the halls and the lunchroom – be sure to say HI! I also lead our Best Buddies crew and love spending time with our group! I have an 8th grade son and two dogs at home who keep me busy! I enjoy watching my son play basketball, reading, hitting 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!!!