As a candidate for the Leon County School Board, Dr. Donna Hayes-Austin is the total package: educated, experienced, and committed.

The third of four children, Donna was raised by a single parent in Suakoko Villa Apartments (Holton Street projects) where the odds of success were not in her favor. However, her mother raised her with a stern hand of discipline and much love.

Unwavering in the face of obstacles, Donna graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology followed by a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling. While completing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Donna’s husband and mother lost their battles with cancer, leaving her and her two sons to carry on the legacy of tenacity and courage.

As a highly effective education professional, Dr. Donna Hayes-Austin has first-hand experience working with teams to successfully solve many of the same challenges our District 3 students and teachers face. Despite her professional accomplishments, when asked why she’s the best candidate to represent the Southside, she focuses on the personal connection and commitment she has to improving teaching and learning in District 3. “The knowledge I’ve gained, coupled with my life experiences – many of which I have in common with Southside residents – have prepared me to bring effective solutions to the Board,” she says. “I don’t just live on the
Southside, I am the Southside.”