Longtime Northland principal ready for his next adventure

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NORTH KANSAS CITY -- If you graduated from the North Kansas City School District, you probably know Dr. Dan Kahler, and there's a good chance he was your principal.

After 50 years of living in the Northland, Dr. Kahler is moving to Florida to be close to his daughter. We sat down with him, and at 88 he still enjoys talking about his time at Oak Park High School, but mostly the students.

When it opened in 1965, he 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 said.

Art Pfaff and Bob Litle were his assistant principals for many years and saw 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.

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.

A teaching grant and service award are named in his honor, but his focus was always on the students.

He said his job was do what ever he could to help every student succeed. While he's leaving Kansas City, leaves behind a legacy of leadership and life lessons.

If you would like to send well wishes and a card to Dr. Kahler, send it to:





For more information you can also go to Susan Hiland's Facebook Page.

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  • Anjanette Maier ( Angie )

    Dr Kahler is an amazing principal. He does listen to the student and when you need him he is always there. Every situation that occurs he always see both side. I wish there are more principal out there like you that makes a difference to his student life that cares & respect his student .thank you for being one of my mentor because of you sir it made me a better person. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I live here in Hollywood Fl as. Private chef if you ever need. Chef I will be honored to cook for you ;)
    God blessed you Dr Khaler

  • Tina Whitham-Koval

    I went to Oak Park from 1984-1988 and in 1986DK announced his retirement I know alot of students were upset and a few of us were in tears. Alot of his students perfered to talk with him over our counselor’s. i did know him for four years before I went to Oak Park, he will be wellissed here in KC. Good Luck DK

  • belinda rooks

    He was my principal senior year at nkchs what a great man. Always showing us your never to old to play. From riding a tricycle at an assembly or joining in a game of hacky sack out front before school started. Ive had the plessure talking with dk as an adult and working for him feel very blessed to know him. Good luck with your new adventures!!

  • Susan Hornaday Patrick

    What a great principal he was. I believe he really cared for his students. He saw something in my brother when he was a troubled teen. He would not let him back into school after getting suspended, but he allowed him to come into his office and personally give him book reports to earn his diploma. My brother graduated in 1971 from OP and went on to earn a Masters Degree & have a very successful career before passing away from cancer at the age of 47. Thank you, Dr. Kahler.

  • Dale Mercer

    I never had Dr. K as a principal, hut he nd his wonderful wife touched my families and my lives deeply. He is truely a great man and I continue to aspire yo stand in even his shadow.

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