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Jefferson City School District Announces New Elementary and Secondary Principal Hires

JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City School District today announced the hiring of lead and assistant principals for Belair Elementary, Lewis & Clark Middle School, and Jefferson City High School. A new administrative intern for Pioneer Trail Elementary was also named. The professionals hired to these positions for the 2022-2023 school year are as follows: 

  • Todd Shalz, current principal at Callaway Hills Elementary, will be the new principal for Belair Elementary. Todd Shalz will succeed Elizabeth Milhollin, who will return to teaching as an elementary math interventionist at Thorpe Gordon Elementary;
  • Jaime Schulte, current assistant principal at Lewis & Clark Middle School, will be transitioning to an assistant principal at Jefferson City High School;
  • Rhonda Allen, current administrative intern at Lewis & Clark Middle School, will be transitioning to an assistant principal at LCMS, replacing Jaime Schulte;
  • Dr. McKenzie Bennett, currently an English teacher and the English department team lead at Capital City High School, will be the new administrative intern at Pioneer Trail Elementary. She is replacing Danielle Westmoreland, who will be the new principal at Southwest Early Childhood Center. 

“We are excited to announce these dynamic JC Schools leaders and welcome them to their new roles,” said incoming Deputy Superintendent Heather Beaulieu. “Each individual has proven to be successful in their current position, and we are confident they will continue to maintain a laser focus on growing their staff and increasing student success.” 

Todd Shalz (Belair Elementary)

Todd Shalz’s career in education began as a teacher for St. Joseph School District, where he taught first, third, fourth, and sixth grades. He later became an instructional coach and then an elementary curriculum coordinator. Since 2016, Shalz has served as the lead principal at Callaway Hills Elementary, where he prioritized building relationships with students, staff, and families while successfully improving academic achievement.

“I am tremendously proud of the accomplishments our team at Callaway Hills has made over the past six years,” Shalz said. “While I will dearly miss the relationships I have built at Callaway Hills, I am excited to begin a new journey working with the Belair school community.”

Shalz earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Missouri Western State University and his master’s degree in elementary leadership from Northwest Missouri State University.

Jaime Schulte (Jefferson City High School)

Jaime Schulte joined JC Schools in 2017 as an eighth grade math and algebra teacher at Lewis & Clark Middle School, where she later went on to become the administrative intern and then assistant principal. She previously taught math for fifth and sixth grades, and algebra for eighth grade at the Maries R-1 School District. 

“I have very much enjoyed the last five years at Lewis & Clark Middle School,” said Schulte. “Working as the assistant principal to pave the ‘Jay Way’ has provided a unique opportunity for me to build relationships with the same students and families I will now get to work with at Jefferson City High School.” 

Schulte earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Drury University and her master of education degree in elementary and secondary education from William Woods University. In 2015, she completed her education specialist degree in educational leadership and is currently a doctoral student at Saint Louis University.

Rhonda Allen (Lewis & Clark Middle School)

Rhonda Allen, the current administrative intern at Lewis & Clark Middle School, will be promoted to assistant principal at the middle school for the 2022-2023 school year. Allen joined the administrative team at LCMS at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year after working in JC Schools since 2002. Allen started her educational career at East Elementary teaching third grade. She went on to teach second and fourth grade at Thorpe Gordon Elementary between 2004 and 2018. Allen left the traditional classroom to become the school’s behavior interventionist in August 2018, a role she served in for three years before joining LCMS.  

“I look forward to building on my work at Lewis & Clark Middle School in a heightened role as assistant principal,” Allen said. “I have learned a lot in the transition from elementary to middle school, and I am excited to use my knowledge and experience to continue serving our middle school students.”

Allen earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master of education in guidance and counseling from Lincoln University. She also holds a master’s degree in school administration from Grand Canyon University. She was named the JC Schools Outstanding Educator in 2009 and the Teacher of the Year in 2017. This year, Zonta of Jefferson City is honoring Allen as a woman of achievement. 

Dr. McKenzie Bennett (Pioneer Trail Elementary)

Dr. McKenzie Bennett, a current English teacher at Capital City High School, will join Pioneer Trail Elementary as its administrative intern. She succeeds Danielle Westmoreland, who will be the principal of Southwest Early Childhood Center for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Before beginning her professional teaching career, Dr. Bennett was a student teacher at Jefferson City High School where she taught students in English and pre-AP literature classes. She became an English, speech, and drama teacher at Fatima High School in 2013. After working there for two years, she joined the staff at Clinton High School in Clinton, Missouri as an English teacher for ninth and 10th grades. 

Dr. Bennett returned to mid-Missouri in 2017 when she was hired as an English teacher for sixth through eighth grades at Blair Oaks Middle School. She joined Capital City High School at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, teaching sophomores English II. 

“My years of teaching experience, extensive education, and leadership roles within schools have prepared me to take on an administrative role at Pioneer Trail Elementary,” Dr. Bennett said. “I’m thankful for my time at CCHS and I’m excited to use my skills in this new role.”

Dr. Bennett earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in English and literature from Westminster College and a Master of Education from Columbia College. She went on to earn both a specialist degree and doctorate degree in educational leadership from William Woods University. 

Throughout her teaching career, Dr. Bennett has also held several leadership roles, including acting as the CCHS English Department lead and English II team lead. She has also been an active volleyball coach, most recently serving as an assistant volleyball coach for the CCHS varsity volleyball team.