Dr. West 2017 Photo

“I really enjoy the opportunity to visit campuses and talk to our scholars,” says Amarillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Dana West.  Since becoming superintendent in 2015, Dr. West has been intentional in her effort to regularly spend time at each of the district’s 55 campuses, talking to students and teachers.  “I remember what it was like to be a teacher.  I hope I can use this position to remove barriers and influence people to be better, because it’s all about our kids.” 

For Dr. West, it’s always been “all about our kids.”  Since becoming AISD Superintendent, Dr. West has already set the stage to build leadership capacity in staff and help student scholars graduate prepared for success.  She started the Superintendent’s Ambassadors student leadership program and also Key Communicators, a cadre of teachers who work with her to share the positive stories happening daily in AISD classrooms. 

Dr. West started her career as an elementary teacher in Plainview. She was a high school assistant principal, staff developer and junior high principal in Plainview before moving to Amarillo in 2008 to become principal at Travis Middle School.  Four years later, she was named principal at Caprock High School, where she worked with the school’s administrative team to make a positive impact on student and teacher culture. 

In 2013, Dr. West was named Executive Director of Student Performance for AISD’s Caprock Cluster.  In this position, she led 10 elementary, two middle and three high schools, working alongside the superintendent to implement district initiatives. Dr. West was instrumental in both Travis and Caprock becoming among the first secondary schools in AISD to join the No Excuses University network, a national program that helps schools create a culture in which education after high school is the norm and all students are academically prepared for the opportunity. 

After graduating magna cum laude from Wayland Baptist University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Dr. West went on to earn her master’s degree in administration from Wayland and received her doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Tech University in 2000. She holds mid-management administrator and superintendent certifications.

In 2016, Wayland Baptist selected Dr. West as Alumnus of the Year. She was named the Outstanding Principal for Region 17 in 2003 and again in 2006. Estacado Junior High in Plainview was named one of the “Best Public Schools in Texas” by Texas Monthly Magazine while Dr. West was principal. 

Dr. West has been an adjunct professor for Wayland since 1999, teaching online education courses at the college level. She serves on Amarillo’s No Limits No Excuses Executive Board and Community Engagement Committee, and is a member of the 2016-2017 Class of Leadership Amarillo. Dana and her husband Randy have two grown daughters, Amber and Amanda, and two grandchildren, Nova and Aria.

To learn more, view Dana's Digest blog.


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