Hello! My name is Donna Laffitte and I am an educator with 29 years of experience. My first 20 years were in Miami teaching in inner city and the past 9 years have been in Denver, Colorado. After Hurricane Katrina, I moved ½ mile from the beach to 9000 feet above sea level in the mountains west of Denver. Learning is an integral part of my professional and personal goals. My undergraduate degree is from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana and was afforded this opportunity due to my athletic abilities. I was a fast-pitch softball player. While teaching first grade in Miami, Florida, I was able to achieve a Master’s Degree in Reading from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. This degree was also supported by coaching college athletes. I received an Educational Specialist Degree in Science Education from Florida State University at a satellite location in Miami, Florida. This degree was part of a National Science Foundation grant that promoted elementary teachers to be highly qualified in teaching science and/or math content. My focus was Physics and Earth Science. After receiving this degree, I pursued my National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Science. I recently recertified and am considering a second certification area. Recently, I earned another Master’s Degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University that has refined my personal and professional goals by supporting my present and future endeavors regarding education. I am able to serve my audience (teachers and students). Working with adults and students has fulfilled my passion as an educator. The opportunity to make positive change and contributing to the success of our school/district vision is what I have enjoyed about my jobs. When I moved to Denver, I hadn’t really thought about what my next steps were in the field of education. I was fortunate to work for my new district as a curriculum specialist, working with principals and teacher leaders. My work has always been driven by a need. When I came to Denver, there were only 5 National Board Certified teachers; so I met with the National Board regional director, wrote a college course to support teachers through this process. I recruited and facilitated this learning for the past 6 years and I supported more 180 educators in the state of Colorado achieved National Board Certification in their specific content area. The success rate was above the national average. Presently I am working as a Literacy Interventionist and address the needs of struggling readers. I have several hobbies and interest that fill up my spare time. I love to play golf and compete in tournaments when the snow has not covered the course. I collect primitive antiques, especially oil paintings and furniture and I love vintage purses and jewelry. I also enjoy hiking and making patchwork baby quilts. I also love traveling in my pop-up camper. I love to read historical fiction and collect any DVD regarding historical fiction and dramas. I have a hard time going to the movies; so I plan movie nights at my home. I have lived in Northern Louisiana for most of my life, but I ventured to Miami, Florida when I graduated from college and taught for 20 years. I moved to Colorado in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina. I have traveled to most National Parks, Greece, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America (San Blas Islands), the Caribbean and Alaska (frequent at least 3-4 times per year).