Guest Author: Donna Reid, Bonneville Elementary


Decision to Become an Educator

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” a question asked of me many times during my early and adolescent years.  While nurse, stewardess, and mom were considerations, my answer, when quizzed, was always, “I want to be a teacher.”  Even though I didn’t much like attending school, I never lost my desire to be a school teacher.  Ironic, I know!  There was never a question about whether the children in our family would go to college, so as the oldest of nine, I felt responsible to be a good role model and seek a degree.  As it turned out, endurance, hard work and determination helped me reach my goal of completing college and earning a teaching certificate.  I taught at Farnsworth Elementary for ten years. During that time, I experienced teaching third graders and fifth graders.  The school I worked in became one of the first year-round institutions in the state.  During my off track time I taught writing to every grade level.  I loved teaching.

One day I was invited into my principal’s office.  She and the assistant principal asked me if I had a master’s degree.  At that time, I was busy raising two children and had not considered going back to college to further my education, after all, teaching full time and a family monopolized my life. My administrators told me that they thought I would make a great principal and encouraged me to get my masters in educational administration.  Within six months I had followed through with their prompting and was accepted into a two year long cohort at the University of Utah.  Now, Jane, a close friend of mine, would tell you that I only went into administration to get out of recess duty, but I credit Rose Cosho and Claudia Seeley, who cared enough to inspire me to make new goals in my career.  During the two years of night school, I worked during the day as a Title I Reading and Math Specialist at Webster Elementary, which included me supervising fifteen paraprofessionals and teaching them strategies to work with students who needed extra instruction.  After earning my Masters of Educational Administration, I was assigned to be an assistant principal at Pleasant Green Elementary.  It was during that time that I was coached by the best, Sharon Prescott, the school administrator.  The following year, I became the principal at Woodstock Elementary.  After seven years I was reassigned to Hillsdale Elementary where I spent nine years.  I had accumulated enough years to retire but was too young and loved my work too much. I applied in Salt Lake City School District where I was hired to be the principal of Bonneville Elementary.  That was 10 years ago.

During my 40 years as an educator, I have had many experiences and engaged with many adults and children.   I’ve learned from them all. 

Written by Donna Reid,
Happy and proud to be a principal!

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