Donna Hayward began her professional career as a high school mathematics teacher after earning her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Smith College. Inspired by her own high school principal, Donna completed her Sixth Year through UCONN and served as Assistant Principal/ Principal of Rocky Hill High School for a decade. During this time, she markedly increased Advanced Placement opportunities and standardized test scores and reduced discipline, leading to her presentation of effective strategies at the State’s annual data conference and the NASSP’s national conference. She was honored as Connecticut Assistant Principal of the Year in 2006.
Donna then served as Principal of Suffield High School for six years, during which time she opened a new Agriscience center and led her school to exceed prior academic performance in all areas. She now serves as Principal of Haddam Killingworth High School which earned the National Blue Ribbon in her fourth year. Donna was named the CT Principal of the Year in 2022 and is the NASSP’s National Principal of the Year for 2023.
From this platform, she has advocated for educators in Washington, DC, and across the country to elevate educators and public education, secure more mental health support for young people, protect teachers and administrators from defamation on social media, and support women in leadership.
- Building Familial Culture: Dive deep into the heart of Donna’s school community and its fervor for fostering a family-like environment.
- Mentorship & Networking: Donna reflects on the wisdom of her mentor, Mike Buckley, and the significance of networking for principals.
- The Art of Beginning Again: Donna emphasizes the essence of resilience and the constant evolution in education.
- Listening Deeply: Leaders, Donna believes, should be active listeners – understanding the driving factors behind words and actions.
- Courageous Inspection: A candid look at how schools and leaders can continually assess, grow, and celebrate successes.
- Shared Leadership Challenges: Donna’s experiences in Washington, D.C., and South Korea showcase the universality of challenges and the importance of collective advocacy.
- Final Words: Donna wraps up with a powerful message, “We have to be all in – recognizing our collective power for nurturing students.”
- Connect with Donna: www.donnahayward.com
Engage with Donna on her social media platforms to stay updated on her initiatives and insights!