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Coatesville Area Senior High School’s new principal says family, community set Coatesville Area School District apart

Sep 7, 2023 | Coatesville

COATESVILLE — As the 2023-24 school year gets underway, Brian Chenger is thrilled to be assuming the role of Coatesville High School’s new principal in the same position his father, Paul Chenger, held from 1982 – 1996. Chenger, 48, was appointed to the position this summer after former principal Michele Snyder moved to the role of Director of Pupil Services in the district.

Chenger’s Past

Brian Chenger still remembers the smell of the office in the old Coatesville Area Senior High School where his father was principal for 14 years in the 1980s and 90s. The heart-pounding, breathless fun of racing through the hallways with his siblings and father for some exercise, after the school had emptied at the end of the day, still resonate in his childhood memories. “I grew up with this,” says Chenger, who has worked for the last 17 years as an administrator in the district. “It’s more than just a career. It’s a way of life.”

Chenger worked in Coatesville for the last three years as Director of Athletics, Activities, and Compliance. Before that, he spent eight years as Principal of Coatesville Area Intermediate High School, as an assistant principal, and as a dean of student affairs and activities. Prior to that, he worked as a Health and Physical Education teacher in the Downingtown Area School District.

“This school and this district provide an opportunity for our students to be better prepared for life after high school because of the experiences they have here,” Chenger said. “It’s such a diverse community, and that really is one of our strengths. That is something that you just can’t teach. These skills are ingrained in our students over the course of years of being in this district.”

What’s Changing?

The change in role was a natural fit for Chenger, says Superintendent Dr. Catherine Van Vooren. “Brian Chenger has such a wide range of leadership and student experience and is an active partner within our community,” Van Vooren said. “This is a school district where that community connection is vital, and we know that he will continue to build on that.”

Chenger says another strength of Coatesville Area Senior High School is its faculty and staff. “The teachers and staff here phenomenal, and I am so impressed with the level of talent, dedication, and care that is provided to our students.”

Chenger says that his plans and vision for the new school year include growing some of the school’s programs, focusing on climate and culture, and emphasizing the emotional connection between students, their school and their teachers.“Students will remember 20 or 30 years from now how a teacher made them feel,” he said. “That is really one of the positives about this community – the family feel that exists here.”

Chenger lives in the community where his two children attend district schools, and where he coaches some of his son’s athletic teams. His wife, Lauren Chenger, a Coatesville graduate, had worked as a first grade teacher in the district and now works as a substitute elementary school teacher. She’s also involved with the PTO. Her father, Rob Fisher, was Principal of the Senior High School from 2006 to 2016.

New Principal New Ideals

Chenger is excited by the revitalization occurring in Coatesville, and what it means for the school district and community. “As more and more businesses are coming in, I’m looking forward to increasing the partnerships with these companies and with our schools. It’s great to see the community growing and developing.”

Ultimately, Chenger says the best part of being a principal is the family feeling that permeates the school district. When he’s not at work, he spends time with his own family, enjoys trips to the beach, and is dedicated to exercising consistently.

“I’m most excited for the daily interaction with the students and faculty and being able to connect with them on a different level,” said Chenger. “My family and I are already so involved with our community, and I’m very much looking forward to taking it even further in this role.”

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Posted by Monica Ferguson

Monica is a senior at West Chester University studying Digital Marketing. She is excited about moving to Chester County and eventually starting her career there after graduation.

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