TIA East Campus Principal
From Being Bullied in School to Being a School Principal
When you first meet Peter Meehan, the principal of TIA’s East Campus, one thing immediately stands out–he is a happy guy. He laughs easily and exudes an infectious love of life. But what you don’t know right away is that this happy-go-lucky guy was once the smallest kid in his class, mercilessly bullied in school by other students. It is his bright optimism, balanced with his deep empathy for the underdog, that sets Peter Meehan in a class of his own as a school principal.
Out of the Rat Race to Become a Desert Rat
Pete was born in April of 1959 in Meriden, Connecticut, the oldest of four children. His father was a journalist and his mom worked for the JC Penney store. Just after Pete graduated high school, the family moved to Tucson, AZ. This cross country move reflected an intentional choice by his parents to jump out of the rat race and slow their lives down some. Pete graduated from U of A with a degree in history with a political science minor.
The Beginning of His Teaching Career
Interestingly, Pete ended up working for the newspaper in Tucson just like his dad. After years in the newspaper business, however, Pete decided to pursue his dreams to become a teacher. He went back to school to obtain his teaching certificate and was soon hired as a 4th and 5th grade teacher at a Tucson charter school for gifted students. Pete was promoted to also be a principal along with his teaching duties. When the charter school closed after he had worked there for eleven years, Dr. Jennifer Herrera approached Mr. Meehan with an invitation to come work for TIA.
The Joy of Teaching
Mr. Meehan began teaching at TIA in 2012. Again, his abilities were immediately evident and he was quickly asked to add principal of the school to his teaching duties. Pete loves teaching. He now is teaching 4th and 5th graders again. He lights up as he describes the joy of seeing a struggling student finally grasp a concept. As a principal, Mr. Meehan embraces the opportunity to set the tone for a safe, non-threatening atmosphere for all the students at the school. After his bullied youth, Pete is keenly aware of the signs and symptoms of a student who may be struggling. In his own words, “Helping a student develop a strong sense of self confidence is often all it takes for that child to be successful.”