The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday appointed Sherene R. Donaldson of Alexandria, Va., to help develop, implement and manage policy for the National FFA Organization as the new FFA executive secretary.
In her leadership role, she will be primarily responsible for issuing charters to state FFA associations as directed by the organization's national board of directors, keep official membership records, track progress of the organization and oversee state FFA association reporting to the board.
In December, she joined the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education in Washington, D.C., as an education program specialist. The department administers and coordinates national programs related to adult education and literacy, career and technical education and community colleges.
Previously, Donaldson was curriculum and adult education director at Central Nine Career Center in Greenwood, Ind., responsible for leading career technical education and adult educational programming in nine Indiana school districts.
"I have a passion for educating children and adults that stems from my belief in the power of education and life-long learning," Donaldson said. "I believe that education is in need of transformative and compassionate leaders willing to challenge the status quo and prepare students with the college and career readiness skills they need for their future."
Donaldson earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Indiana University and a master's degree in education from Indiana Wesleyan University, where she completed the Principal Leadership program and an educational specialist degree. She is a licensed school superintendent in Indiana and a licensed teacher and building administrator for grades kindergarten through 12 in Indiana and Tennessee.
"Donaldson has a rich, professional background that will serve her well as the National FFA Organization's executive secretary," said U.S. Department of Education official and National FFA Advisor Dr. Steve A. Brown. "She believes in the FFA mission and is excited about opportunities to connect with FFA members and with local, state and national leaders engaged in school-based agricultural education."
Donaldson's professional career also includes roles as a middle and high school science, biology, chemistry and physics teacher, education director at a post-secondary college in Indianapolis and a race relations facilitator for the city of Indianapolis.