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IU13 Community Education Blog

Staff Spotlight - Donna Dencler

Posted by Rebecca Loewenstein-Harting on Apr 29, 2020 2:46:39 PM

Donna has worked for the IU13 for almost 18 years. A graduate of Cedar Crest College, Donna has held many positions at the IU13 including English as a Second Language teacher, High School Equivalency teacher, Family Literacy teacher, Professional Development specialist, and Professional Development consultant for the statewide family literacy program. Her current role is Community Education Supervisor, which she has done for almost three years. Donna’s favorite part of working for the IU13 is the variety of teaching opportunities and the dedicated and passionate staff. Donna also notes that “the IU13 is a great organization to work for – they really have their values [and] your own values can align with the values of the organization.” Donna first got involved in community education in 1995 when she volunteered to teach English to a refugee family in Allentown. She continues to be passionate about refugee causes and currently volunteers her time with a refugee family through her church. In retirement, Donna looks forward to traveling, volunteering, and having more time to spend with her husband and nine grandchildren. 

"Donna is the rare leader who has the unusual ability to garner the respect and admiration of those she oversees while maintaining a calm, pleasant, and soft-spoken demeanor." 

-Deborah Davis

"Donna became my supervisor when I transitioned to Community Education in September 2019.  Donna is truly the most caring, compassionate, sincere, and genuinely kind supervisor one could ever hope to have.  She is uplifting and encouraging, understanding has a sense of humor, and is a reflection of wisdom and peace.  Working for her has been a complete blessing and joy. Even though she wasn’t my supervisor for very long, she has left a lasting impression on my heart.  I don’t think she will ever know the depth of how her kindness reaches into the souls of those around her and instills hope.  Thank you, Donna, for being a wonderful supervisor and person.  I will miss you very much!"  

-Keri Martinez 

"When I first started at the IU13, I couldn’t believe how Donna could do it all.  She was a family literacy teacher, an IHPDS and so much more.  As I started taking on more responsibilities for my position I always knew that Donna was someone that I could come to with a question or ask for guidance.  As we built ILA family nights, like the one pictured above, she always made sure that the fine details were covered and that everyone was set-up for success.  It has been a joy being able to work with and work for someone who cares so much about the students that she has touched and the co-workers that she leads.  Enjoy your well-earned retirement!"

-Amanda Ruth

"I truly appreciate Donna’s personality.  Upon hire, she immediately offered to take me out to lunch so that we could really begin to know each other on a one-on-one level. She is extremely approachable and always open to any and every concern I may have.  Despite her many hats, she never appears anxious or “stressed out”. Donna is what I would call a gentle giant, as I am certain her presence and commitment here will be missed."

-Alison Mesquitta

"Donna is one of the most positive and supportive people that I know!  She invests much effort and expertise into all of her responsibilities, and she prioritizes her Staff and Students! I appreciate her personal approach, humor, support, insight, and advice. We will miss her!"

-Ken Travis

"Donna is one of the most thoughtful, sensitive, and caring people I know.  Over the many years working together we have shared many laughs and many tears!

Two funny stories:

One was when Donna and I attended PAACE.  Her husband, Claude, had sent a bottle of wine with her for us.  We got together to imbibe, only to discover that the bottle had a cork in it.  Neither of us knew how to open it, so she called Claude, and then got the brilliant idea (she is a true problem solver) to google it.  We had so much fun just trying to figure out how to accomplish this.

Another time, when we got speakers for the smartboard, she offered to work with me to set them up.  We followed the instructions on how to plug everything incorrectly and couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t work.  Unfortunately, the instructions didn’t tell us to plug them into the outlet!"  

-Marilyn Lydic

"I’ve had the pleasure of working very closely with Donna over the past years with the Family Literacy program.  Her gentle, yet expert, guidance, and leadership is remarkable.  Donna’s personality and expectations were always positive and optimistic. But, she had realistic expectations.   Her dedication to providing the best possible outcomes in all that she does and helps her colleagues do will be greatly missed." 

-Laura Binkley

"Donna, you are such a gem!  Ever since I first met you, your gentle, but keen insightful words have helped me to grow and gain confidence.  You have such a way with people, and a great gift to booster people to be all they can be.  I loved hearing your stories on the way to State College, as I scared you with my driving.  I can surely tell you, my life has been enriched because I met you, and have had the privilege to work with you.  I hope and pray that you continue to rub off on me and others, as we will NEVER forget your example and how you do things.  You are SOOOOO apprEEEEEEEECiated and LOVED!"

-Nora Lubecki

"Although Donna has only been my supervisor for 7 months, I have very much enjoyed getting to know her and working with her during this time. She truly cares for all of her staff and makes sure we know that she appreciates us. I will certainly miss her cheerful presence in the building and I wish her much happiness in retirement!"

-Rebecca Loewenstein-Harting


Topics: Adult Education, Staff Spotlight