Parkland School District Superintendent, Dr. Louise E. Donohue, announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2010-11 school year during the Parkland School Board meeting on Tuesday evening, December 21, 2010.
In her letter to the school board, Dr. Donohue wrote, “This position has been both the greatest challenge and the most esteemed privilege of my 35 years in public education. The years that I have served as Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent have been the highlight of my career. This school district is my home, and I will always cherish the time I have served as a member of this top-notch leadership team.”
Dr. Donohue decided to make the announcement now to give the school board ample time to find a replacement and ensure a smooth leadership transition. By the time she retires, Dr. Donohue will have served 14 years in Parkland. During her tenure, she is credited with:
- Overseeing two school construction projects including the renovation and addition at Springhouse Middle School and the new construction of the Fred J. Jaindl Elementary School as well as securing the land agreement and naming rights associated with that project.
- Organizing the redistricting effort when the Parkland High School was constructed and two middle schools were opened in 1999.
- Eliminating the reporting of class rank on student transcripts to fairly communicate a typical Parkland High School students’ achievements and abilities when applying to post secondary educational institutions
- Winning National Energy Star awards and the Delaware Valley’s Best School District award for energy conservation efforts in Parkland school buildings.
- Establishing the practice of inviting all support and professional staff to the annual opening day program at the start of the school year along with many other ways of working to ensure a positive climate and improved communication in the district.
- Serving the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute as Superintendent of Record.
Dr. Donohue serves as a Board member at the Western Lehigh Chamber of Commerce. She has been an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Program at Lehigh University since 1999 and in 2008 took on the added responsibility of chairing the Lehigh University School Study Council which offers professional development for Lehigh Valley school superintendents. She was awarded the 2008 University Council for Educational Administration’s Excellence in Educational Leadership Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the improvement of leadership preparation and support of future educational leaders
Dr. Donohue graduated from Immaculata College where she also studied at the University of Madrid. She earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Villanova University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University. She taught Spanish at Tredyffrin-Easttown School District before becoming a vice principal at Kennett High School in 1983. She also served as principal of Emmaus Junior High School and Director of Secondary Education/Curriculum & Instruction for East Penn School District before becoming the Assistant Superintendent at Parkland in 1997. She became Superintendent of Schools at Parkland in March of 2004.
Parkland ranks in the top 20 largest school districts in Pennsylvania out of 500 school districts. Since 1997, the total student population has grown from 7,290 to 9,366.