Getting to Know Dr. Tormala: Our New Superintendent

Dr. Danielle Tormala will replace Dr. Curtis Cain as the new superintendent of the Wentzville School District effective July


Megan Geisler

Future Wentzville School District superintendent Dr. Danielle Tormala poses in in the main office after touring the school.

Megan Geisler, Reporter

Ever since she was a little girl, Dr. Danielle Tormala knew she wanted to work with kids. Growing up her family faced many hurdles, but one thing they always valued was education. 

Her mom was a very avid reader and would often read books to her. Thanks to the combined efforts of her family and some amazing teachers, Tormala was able to find her passion in helping young people. 

“They found in me the spark, they let me know what was possible and they were just strong encouragers,” Tormala said. 

Dr. Tormala has built an impressive career in public education and was recently announced as the next superintendent in the Wentzville School District, effective in July. 

Dr. Tormala will serve as the 19th superintendent of the Wentzville School District for the 2022-2023 school year following the departure of Dr. Curtis Cain, who took the superintendent position at the Rockwood School District. Dr. Tormala will also be the first female superintendent the WSD has ever had. She visited Liberty on Apri. 7.

“I am very honored. This is a great place to learn and to be a part of the community,” Tormala said.

I am very honored. This is a great place to learn and to be a part of the community.”

— Dr. Danielle Tormala

Dr. Tormala currently serves as the associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction at the City of St. Charles School District, where she has worked since 2006 and has served as second-in-command since 2008.

She has also held various administrative roles including the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at the City of St. Charles Schools, the assessment specialist at Francis Howell School District, and also served as the early childhood director at the City of St. Charles Schools for eight years in addition to her associate superintendent duties. She has also taught as an adjunct professor at Maryville University and Lindenwood University and was an elementary teacher at the Hazelwood School District.

“Dr. Tormala brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our District,” said Betsy Bates, WSD Board of Education president. “She has a proven history of driving student achievement in her current role, and we look forward to seeing her grow that vision on a larger scale.”

After she graduated high school, Dr. Tormala was the first of her family to attend college at Birmingham-Southern College where she was studying pre-med. It was there that she made the conscious decision that she wanted to be a teacher. So after moving home, she transferred to Saint Louis University where she got a teaching degree. 

“I knew wholeheartedly that I wanted to work with kids. It was the question of how I can make the biggest impact,” Tormala stated, when asked what changed her mind.

She later attended Maryville University and received a master’s in educational leadership and principal certification. A few years later she went back to school to get a doctorate in education administration from UMSL.

Dr. Tormala is married to Nathan Tormala who works for St. Charles County government. They have two elementary-aged daughters.

As a mother and as a woman, Dr. Tormala strives to teach her girls that nothing is out of reach and that if they put their minds to it, they can always achieve greatness. 

“I feel that it is always important for us to be able to see ourselves to know that we can dream it and we can be it,” Tormala explains.

I feel that it is always important for us to be able to see ourselves to know that we can dream it and we can be it.”

— Dr. Danielle Tormala

Dr. Tormala shared with us a special experience she had with her daughter where she was able to do just that. 

“One evening about a year and a half ago I was sitting in my room watching TV when my youngest daughter burst through the door yelling ‘Mommy what are you watching?’ I explained to her that I was watching the presidential acceptance speeches and Kamala Harris was about to go up and accept the role of vice president. She gave me a really confused look and to my surprise asked, ‘A woman can be vice president?’ This shocked me at first but I was able to compose myself and explain to her that yes a woman can be vice president and she can even be president too. In fact, a woman can do anything she wants to do. This rocked her little 6-year-old brain and she began jumping up and down and yelling and just had this look of pure joy on her face before she ran out to go tell her sister.”

This experience was so significant to Dr. Tormala because she was finally able to show her daughter that women can do and be anything. She doesn’t want this to stop with her daughter though. She wants to be there for everyone in the WSD as well. 

“To be an encouragement for other women and to help lift them up. That is what I am excited about,” Tormala explained. 

In fact, a sense of community is something Dr. Tormala has always strived for throughout her career and is one of her main focuses for the WSD.  “I want to connect all of our schools in our community together and have a sense of a Wentzville School District family,” Tormala said. 

“I want to tell every student in this district that you are loved, you are valued, you are seen and you are amazing just the way you are. The world that is out there waiting for you is going to be awesome, so finish this year strong. I know it’s been a rough couple of years, but finish this year strong. I can’t wait to work alongside each of you and bring your thoughts and your perspectives on the school district that you would like to help create with us.”