New Bloomfield Hills High School principal focuses on leadership

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 6, 2023


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Since school started in the fall, Daniel Hartley has been working as the new principal of Bloomfield Hills High School.

The process of selecting a candidate was extensive, including a five-round interview in one day. Prior to the interviews, surveys were sent out and meetings were held to gather insight into what the community was looking for in a principal.

“He is a phenomenal candidate,” said Keith McDonald, the assistant superintendent of human resources and labor relations, and the Title IX coordinator. “We are super excited to have him. He has been jumping right in, and I think we are going to see some great things coming out of BHHS.”

Hartley has worked for 21 years in public education.  He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, and specialist and doctoral degrees at Oakland University.

He started as a high school teacher in Goodrich, teaching government economics and Advanced Placement government.

After getting his master’s degree in administration, he returned to his hometown of Dearborn to be a middle school assistant principal for three years and then an elementary principal for three years. He then moved to Grosse Pointe and served as a middle school principal for seven years.

For the last two years, he has worked as a secondary director in Fraser schools and then in Grosse Pointe.

Hartley’s experience in different roles, schools and districts has given him a unique perspective and a background of experiences to draw from, the district said. During his time in public education, Hartley has worked in all three levels of education.

“Every student that comes through your door is unique and different, and some experiences and things that I learned as an elementary administrator are so applicable at the high school level,” Hartley said.

He said his experience working in a district’s central office has given him a big-picture view.

“I strongly believe that relationships are at the heart of everything that we do,” Hartley said.

Hartley said some of his values include building strong relationships with the entire school community, accessibility for a rigorous academic learning environment and leadership.

“I got my doctoral degree in leadership, so I really believe that leadership is important and that we need to be collaborative as building leaders and get more voices involved and more people in the room in order to make sure that everybody feels like they have a stake in the success of our students and in the success of our school,” Hartley said.

Hartley said he hopes to lead the staff in reconnecting to their four cornerstones of relationships: innovation, authentic learning, responsibility and ownership.

Hartley’s wife is a third grade teacher, and they have two boys together, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old.

He coaches soccer for both of his son’s teams, pulling experience from when he coached soccer in Goodrich.

While he spends most of his free time with his family these days, he loves participating in community theater productions and he sang a cappella in college and as an adult in a couple of groups.

“I enjoy watching Michigan athletics, Lions, Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings, and of course, Bloomfield Hills High School,” he said.