Organized by: Donna Dwiggins
Educator and Visionary Leader
Dr. Donna Dwiggins, Ph.D., has spent the last 15 years working with school reform initiatives that have focused on improving educational services to at-risk students in failing school systems. For nine years, Dr. Dwiggins was the On-Island Project Coordinator for the Direct Instruction School-Wide Reform Model in the Guam Department of Education. As an international educational consultant, she is currently working with eight Australian Aboriginal schools in Queensland and the Northern Territories. Five of the schools are affiliated with Cape York Partnerships’ Good to Great Schools Australia Project, conducted under a joint agreement between the Northern Territories Education Department, Cape York Partnerships and the National Institute for Direct Instruction. The other three schools are affiliated with the Cape York Australian Aboriginal Academies, the Queensland Education Department and the National Institute for Direct Instruction.
Dr. Dwiggins holds an undergraduate degree in Studio Art and a Masters and Doctorate Degree in Special Education. She has more than 30 years of experience implementing the Direct Instruction Model, training educators both nationally and internationally. Her consulting work has encompassed hundreds of school across more than 20 states. Dr. Dwiggins taught for 10 years in public schools, five of which were spent teaching English as Second Language (ESL) on outer islands in Micronesia. She spent 13 years in higher education where she developed and implemented a Master’s Degree Program in Special Education offering Cross-Categorical and Behavior Disorders Teacher Certification, as well as counselor certification. The program achieved both North Carolina State and NCATE Accreditation. As a professor in North Carolina, Dr. Dwiggins served as both a Due Process Hearing Officer and a State Level Review Officer for the NC Department of Education. She served as a professor at Eastern Kentucky State University and Lenoir-Rhyne College, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, and instructor at the University of Oregon.
In addition, Dr. Dwiggins was instrumental in the development of three elementary schools and served as the Founding Head of School for each. The first was a private, non-profit, non-sectarian school, grades K-8. The second, a K-6 elementary, was among the first group of charter school