Alumni Feature: LaDonna Spain

Leadership and education seem to be a combination that put LaDonna Spain on a successful career path.

Spain said she received numerous leadership awards as a high school student. Combined with her desire to succeed as a facilitator for learning, she continues to climb the education ladder.

Today, Spain is the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) program administrator for the Public School Accountability Division where she leads projects related to the Strategic Performance Management State Plan, supports division units, and completes special projects as needed.

Spain graduated from Henderson State University in 2015 with a Master’s degree in P-12 Educational Leadership, and will complete her Educational Specialist degree from Henderson this year. She hopes to soon apply for and complete an Ed.D. in School Leadership.

Spain said friends and colleagues recommended Henderson “as a university of choice” for her educational leadership studies.

“The online classes offered by Henderson and the individualized approach to student learning allowed me to keep working fulltime while acquiring a new degree,” she said.

“It was such a rewarding and unforgettable opportunity meeting all of my peers in education across the state and abroad,” Spain said. “Collaboration with peer to peer opportunities within the classrooms, specifically within the online courses at Henderson, are second to none.

“The professors at Henderson help students work through learning stages together and encourage the collaboration. Classmates develop a lifelong partnership and friendship over time for learning.”

In her current position at the ADE, Spain said she enjoys the ability to piece together the connections within all student educational systems.

“My interest in the application of the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) Standards expands into daily practices and supports to schools, districts, teachers and students, and stakeholders to ensure understanding and expectations for all,” she said. “Meeting and working with the districts and schools are unforgettable.”

• This alumni feature is part of an ongoing project featuring Henderson's outstanding undergraduate and graduate academic programs.