WESTFIELD, NJ – The Westfield Board of Education unanimously appointed Dr. Derrick Nelson as the principal of Westfield High School Tuesday night after conducting what the board said was a thorough search.

Having served as the acting principal since August of 2016, Nelson stood apart from other candidates, according to the board president, Gretchan Ohlig.

“Time and time again we heard from your fellow administrators, teachers and students about how you listen, you are collaborative and you are strong,” Ohlig said. “You have earned the respect of everyone and, in my view, you are the perfect person to continue to move our school forward after this difficult period.”

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Nelson joined Westfield Public Schools in 2010 as the assistant principal of Roosevelt Intermediate school. Previously, he served in administrative roles in two schools in Orange, NJ, and originally began his teaching career in 2002 in Plainfield.

The sixth principal in Westfield High School’s history, Nelson served as an officer in the US Army Reserve for more than 20 years and earned his doctorate in education administration from Seton Hall University.

Nelson was among 40 applicants and received an official recommendation by the district’s search committee. 

“Every day, I watch administrators, teachers, students and staff give one hundred percent to what ever responsibility they have,” Nelson said. “I couldn’t be more proud to work with such an amazing staff.”