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Jefferson City School District Announces Danielle Westmoreland as New Principal of Southwest Early Childhood Center

SWECC Principal Sarah Wilding retiring this year after 31 years serving JC Schools 

JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City School District today announced that Danielle Westmoreland has been hired as the principal of Southwest Early Childhood Center, succeeding Principal Sarah Wilding who is planning to retire at the end of the 2021-2022 school year (June 30, 2022). Wilding will retire after 39 years in education, 31 of which she served in JC Schools. She was hired as SWECC principal at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year after serving the school as its assistant principal. Westmoreland takes on the role of SWECC principal with a decade’s worth of experience in special education. 

“We are very excited to have Danielle Westmoreland lead Southwest Early Childhood Center,” said JC Schools Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Heather Beaulieu. “She has a strong background in special education, and she has made a positive impact at Pioneer Trail Elementary through her work as a behavior interventionist and assistant principal. Danielle will make a great addition to the elementary administrative team.”

“Southwest Early Childhood Center has a rich history in our community of lifting up our youngest learners and giving them a strong foundation for their education. I look forward to building upon that success as the school’s new principal,” said Danielle Westmoreland, assistant principal at Pioneer Trail Elementary and upcoming SWECC principal. “My professional experience of serving students with special needs, supporting fellow teachers and staff, building relationships with parents and families, and creating seamless transitions for students entering early childhood education has prepared me to take this exciting next step in my career.”

Westmoreland, a Jefferson City High school graduate, began her education career in 2011 as an early childhood paraprofessional, volleyball coach and substitute teacher at Cole R-1 Schools in Russellville, Missouri. The next school year, she advanced to the position of special education teacher within Cole R-1 Schools. In 2013, she went on to teach special education at the middle school level in the Mexico School District in Mexico, Missouri. She served in that role for four years before becoming the process coordinator for Fulton Public Schools.

As the process coordinator in Fulton, Westmoreland processed initial evaluations of children with special needs, facilitating the transition from the first step of receiving a referral for special education services to creating an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students. IEPs are designed to support the specific educational goals of students with special needs.

Westmoreland joined the JC Schools team in 2020 as the behavior interventionist at Pioneer Trail Elementary. She worked alongside the behavior leadership and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) teams to strengthen classroom management practices, student emotional regulation, and appropriate social skills among students. 

For the 2021-2022 school year, Westmoreland was promoted to the position of assistant principal at Pioneer Trail. In this administrative role, she enhanced her knowledge of administrative duties and expectations. Westmoreland was also a leader for Pioneer Trail in several areas, including PBIS teams, student support discussions, literature and math data teams, and data-driven decision making on curriculum in collaboration with the school’s instructional coach.  

Westmoreland received her bachelor of science in business administration from Lincoln University in 2012. The same year, she earned her teaching certification from the American Board of Certified Teaching Excellence. She went on to study at William Woods University, earning a masters degree in elementary administration and special education administration in 2014 and an educational specialist degree in curriculum and instruction in 2018.