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First principal of Oak Park High School passes away in Florida

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dr. Dan Kahler, an educational icon in Kansas City's Northland passed away Tuesday morning in Florida.

Dr. Kahler moved there last year to be near his daughter. Kahler's was the principal at Oak Park High School when it opened in 1965 to 1986.

Watch the video in the player above for an interview with Dan Kahler from March 2014, when he was moving to Florida. He was 88-years old at the time.

After retiring from Oak Park in 1986, Dr. Kahler came out of retirement twice to serve as interim Principal at Winnetonka and North Kansas City High.

And when Staley High School opened in 2008 he was honorary Principal for a day, becoming the only person to be principal at all four high schools in the district.

When Oak Park opened in 1965, Kahler was the first principal and it was his mission 'not' be in office, but in the hallways talking to students.

"You learn a lot more about what's going on in student's lives talking in the halls than being in the office. And you can't help them unless you know what's going on in their lives," Dr. Kahler told FOX 4's Susan Hiland in 2014.

Dr. Dan Kahler

Dr. Dan Kahler

Kahler's assistant principals Art Pfaff and Bob Litle remembered how he connected with students on a daily basis, always knowing students on a first names basis, treating them like adults respecting them and expecting the same respect for himself and others.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Dr. Dan Kahler Teaching Grants Fund or the Oak Park Alumni Fund. Plans for a local memorial service is pending.