Return to Headlines

Kirkwood School District Board of Education Approves Hire of New Principal of Westchester Elementary School

At the regularly scheduled Kirkwood School District Board of Education meeting on Monday, May 20, the board approved the recommendation for the hire of Julie Harris as the new principal for Westchester Elementary School effective July 1, 2024. Julie Harris comes to Westchester Elementary School from The Biome School, a K-5 charter-public elementary school, where she has served as principal since 2020. Under her leadership, The Biome adopted new curricular programs in reading and mathematics, both of which have contributed to schoolwide and individual academic gains. Additionally, The Biome demonstrated academic growth during and post-COVID.


Prior to her tenure at The Biome, she spent 25 years at John Burroughs School, where she worked in various capacities including as a math teacher, Chair of the Math Department and Principal of Grades 7 and 8. Four years into her time as  Principal of Grades 7 and 8, she took on an additional role as Assistant Head of School.


“We want to thank the staff, students and parents who assisted in our effort to find the next principal at Westchester,” said Dr. David Ulrich, Superintendent. “Through her experience and during the interview process, Julie Harris has shown herself to be an inspiring leader focused on student success with strong communication skills and solid experience.”


The selection of Harris was made based on feedback provided by staff, students, and parents, as well as the input of a committee of members of the school community who assisted with the interview process. Throughout the rigorous hiring process, the thoughts of the Westchester community guided decision making. 


Ms. Harris holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Washington University, a Master’s degree in education from Saint Louis University, an Educational Specialist degree from Lindenwood University, and this summer, she will earn a Doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri – Columbia.


Harris will succeed Dr.  Ricker, who served as principal of Westchester from 2016. He announced his resignation on April 19, 2024.