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20 Questions - Posted January 26, 2018 9:19 a.m.
Photo by Shannon Richardson

20 Questions with… Dr. Dana R. West, Superintendent, Amarillo ISD

What is the best advice you received when you were beginning your career? Work hard, but be patient and listen.

How do you use social media to grow your network? I am on twitter @drdanawest. I love to highlight the work of others.

How do you maintain balance? Prayer.

What has been your wisest investment? Education – for myself and for our AmaISD scholars. Education is an investment in the future.

How has your past work experience shaped you into a leader? I have worked with awesome people who care as deeply about our profession as I do.

What is the best part about your job? It’s my honor to collaborate with the Amarillo community to make our city a better place through education.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and private life? Feedback is critical. Mentors will tell you the good, the bad and the ugly.

Which living person do you most admire and why? My husband, Randy. He supports me in all I do and I like to be involved, so I do a lot.

Which over-used word or phrase makes you cringe? I don’t know. I’m probably that person who over uses words and phrases.

What is your business philosophy? Work hard. Be nice. Live with an attitude of grace and mercy.

Which quality do you most value in an employee? I value the same thing as we value in our scholars. We all need to be thinkers, communicators, collaborators and contributors.

What personality trait has most helped you succeed? I’m a “can-do” girl. I stay positive.

Who is your favorite author? Hal Urban.

What did you learn from your best boss? To encourage thoughtful creativity. Your worst? That it is possible to micromanage the joy out of one’s work.

How can Amarillo improve its business environment? Let’s create more high-tech careers.

Most important tech tool: My cell phone. I can’t go anywhere without it!

Best time management tool: My calendar. I follow it relentlessly.

I can’t live without my: coffee in the morning.

My favorite thing about Amarillo is: This “can-do” girl loves the “can-do” spirit of Amarillo.

Most unusual job or task: I worked at McDonald’s when I was in high school. The owner reminded us often, “If you have time to lean, then you have time to clean.”

-- the AM Team

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