Class of 1961
Donna Manning was born in Newport, Oregon as Donna Gail Reed. Most of her early years were spent in Albany, Oregon. She graduated from Albany Union High School and had dreamed of attending a small Christian college. Lewis & Clark became a possibility when a great aunt and uncle invited her to come live with them, offering to pay her way through Lewis & Clark. Upon arrival in 1957, she was informed she had been assigned as a math major and given an advisor in that department. Her intent was to major in elementary education. She graduated with a bachelor of science in 1961 and was was hired by Portland Public Schools where she spent most of her career.
While a student, Donna belonged to the Christian Group on campus, sang in the chapel choir, joined the Alpha Gamma Sorority, started a Pep Club, and was elected Vice President of the class of ’61.
Donna completed her student teaching at Maplewood School and was then hired to teach second grade.The following year she was given a joint appointment by Portland Public Schools and Portland State University. She became an Assistant Professor of Education at PSU and supervised student teachers in the Portland School District. During this time she completed her M.A.T. at Lewis & Clark and her administrative degree at PSU.
In 1966, she married David Manning who was on active duty in the United States Air Force. She and her husband left Portland for Oxnard Air Force Base in California where she substitute taught before being asked to write a program for kindergarteners who were not ready for first grade. She taught the class and it was so successful that it was made a permanent program.
Donna and her husband returned to Portland in 1969 and she was hired by the Portland School District to work as a diagnostic teacher on a multidisciplinary team that served the inner city schools, working with teachers and children who were not making satisfactory school progress. She also served as a curriculum specialist for 1/3 of the district.
Five years later, she began her journey as an elementary school principal and served in that capacity for 21 years. She was Principal at Bridger K-5, Woodmere Alternative School 4-12, and K-5, Binnsmead Middle School, Lane Middle School, and James John K-5.
In 1997 Donna retired after 35 years in education. Her husband passed away in 1989. They have no children. After retiring, Donna took a position in the PSU Graduate Teacher Program, and then worked as an Administrative Assistant to a pastor at Sunset Presbyterian Church for seven years before retiring again!
A few years ago a fellow alumna of Lewis & Clark, Dolores Chenoweth ’60, tracked her down and invited her to visit the Albany Society Board of Directors meeting. Donna became a board member and is now serving as Board Chair.