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The teaching career of Jolene Danca started in a middle school area learning center. 

More than 20 years later, she’s thrilled to return to an ALC — this time as its leader.

Danca recently was named the principal of the Winona Area Learning Center in an administrative reorganization that affects two Winona Area Public Schools buildings. She replaces Emily Cassellius, who will remain as the full-time principal at Goodview Elementary. 

“My mantra is ‘Whatever it takes,’ and I believe that wholeheartedly,” Danca said. “This is an incredibly important job in our district to guide and support our students in becoming successful, confident and self-sufficient young adults.”

Danca previously served as the assistant principal at Winona Middle School and Winona Senior High School. She has remained an advocate for alternative learning, and helped start the WMS ALC program — DEEDs (Discover, Explore, Engage, Develop).

“Together with our dedicated staff of the WALC, I will work with students, families and the greater Winona community to ensure we are addressing and meeting the diverse needs of our students,” Danca said. “I look forward to fostering relationships, respect and resilience to create a path to a productive future for every WALC student.”

In addition to serving as principal of the WALC, Danca will also serve as the principal of the new WAPS Online Academy and oversee the district’s targeted services programming. 

Jolene Danca

Jolene Danca

Winona Area Learning Center