Daniel Westfahl

As principal of Brookfield Elementary, Dr. Daniel Westfahl has maintained his focus on social justice and increasing school-wide equity. Dr. Westfahl champions the effort to integrate all students into general education classrooms while maintaining appropriate supports and therapies for students with special educational needs. In his four years as principal, the achievement gap in math and reading between students with disabilities and students without disabilities has been eliminated. Dr. Westfahl’s passion for literacy includes the co-creation of a certified reading specialist program and an intensive literacy-related professional development program for Elmbrook teachers, along with the introduction of school-wide book clubs for students and their families. Elmbrook also utilizes detailed Personalized Learning Action Plans for each student with the aim of encouraging students’ ownership over their own learning. These programs have resulted in a rise in reading proficiency from 68.64 percent in 2014 to 75.4 percent in 2015. Dr. Westfahl reinvigorated the school’s existing PLC program by introducing data analysis into discussion, encouraging teachers to gather more information to help students excel. Data-driven yet highly personal, Dr. Westfahl has the “ability to create a genuine community amongst students and staff that creates hope and inspiration for all stakeholders,” in the words of Elmbrook School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Hansen. Dr. Westfahl holds a B.A. from Carroll College, an M.A. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University.