Donalda A. McCarthy is a veteran educator of Theatre Arts and Humanities. Rhode Island is her birthplace and origin of that accent. She's one of the middle siblings of four. During their childhood, she could often be the one found on her belly in the middle of the living room with a Little House book while her brothers played catch over her. (And may the good Lord save them if they ever fumbled!) They were raised by a mom, a grandma, and aunties who taught incredibly important life-lessons such as the necessity to take a dance break in the middle of mopping the kitchen! She spent her Wednesdays, Thursdays, aaand Sundays in church participating in every activity she could... except Choir. Choir just never happened. #smh The outside-of-church time was very active in Girl Scouts and the dance studio.
Once her family moved to Florida in the early '80's after a killer Nor'easter. She grew up in Boca Raton, matriculating through Boca Middle & High. Go Bobcats! She enjoyed nerding out with the AV Club (yes, that was a Thing), yearbook, competition dance and twirl teams, drama club, Varsity cheerleading, and served as Student Council prez where she met her best friends to today. One was an immigrant from Central America who taught her to climb a tree with a knife in her teeth to enjoy the very best mangoes. The other was a Vietnam War adoptee who taught her that size has nothing to do with whether or not you stand up to bullies. Both girls, now women, are logophiles like Miss Donni. Words with Friends can get a little "messy."
While her in-school activities were listed above, winterguard and drum corps really need their own paragraph as this is what Donalda spent most of her schooling years taking part in and is quite sincerely, closest to what formed her Character:
Learning-by-doing is a proven pedagogy she brings into her classroom. She knows the value of listening to an enhanced and cooperative learning experience. It is extremely rare to see a multiple-choice type of assessment in Miss Donni's classrooms. Rather, it is more likely to observe her students displaying projects, researching writings, creating mixed media, crafting artwork, participating in Socratic seminars, and delivering presentations to show what they've learned.
Folllowing graduation, Donalda's Gap Year turned into eight! While her peers were getting their "freshmen fifteen" and juris doctorates, she was dancing on large stages such as Radio City Music Hall and the Sala Kongresowa. The tour through Europe began a mere three weeks following the graduation ceremony where she was a Featured Speaker. She considers Krakow, Poland and Copenhagen, Denmark her two favorite tour stops.
"The people are sincerely real here." ~ 18-year-old Donalda
A year later she was dancing at the Happiest Place on Earth for the parks and conventions. Her greatest memories are, of course, during the Christmas season and those intense 3am rehearsals on the Castle Stage that turned jubilant with the right "comedian" in the crew alongside a collective sense of Purpose. Alas, voluntEARing with Give Kids the World offered a sense of gravitas and perspective of self-worth as to her responsibility on this earth.
Once she finally got herself back into traditional learning, she earned her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Clark Atlanta University from the College of Mass Communication. Her Professional Educator Certification is from the State of Florida and the Hong Kong Education Bureau. Miss Donni was a Google for Education user before it was a Thing. As such, she's a Certifiied Trainer and a Technology Trailblazer in her District. She has computer industry certifications and is attaining her Master in Education for Instructional Design and Technology.
Donalda was nicknamed "Donni-Alda" by one of her dancers at Camp Louise. (Fun Fact: that dancer is now a Grammy Nominee.) Her students in Hong Kong found "Donni" incredibly easier to pronounce and, bonus, informed her that it translates to "darling" in Putonghua . So, of course, she kept THAT! The "Miss" was added as is the etiquette in the American South and in Black American cultures. As such, for 17 years of teaching, she's gone by Miss Donni*!
Welcome to learning with me!
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