Title: Professional Educator
Company: Christian Brothers University
Location: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Dr. Zella McDonald, professional educator at Christian Brothers University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in educational services and leadership.
Dr. McDonald is a career educator with more than 35 years of experience working with learners of all ages. A natural leader with a passion for teaching and a commitment to helping others develop their strengths, she worked to put herself through college, earning a Bachelor of Science in elementary education at Lemoyne-Owen College in 1965. She became the first person in her family to earn a graduate degree when she completed a Master of Education in 1969, and would continue her professional studies throughout her career, earning a second Master’s degree in elementary education in 1981 and an Educational Specialist credential with an emphasis in curriculum development and adult education. She was awarded her Doctor of Education in educational leadership at the University of Mississippi in 1992.
She began her career in 1965 as an elementary educator for Memphis City Schools, where she would remain until her retirement in 1994. In addition to her work with students, Dr. McDonald served as grade chair and a professional mentor for new teachers throughout the district. Later in her career, she transitioned to educational leadership roles, becoming director of teacher education at Rhodes College before accepting her current role with Christian Brothers University.
Dr. McDonald is a member of the National Education Association, the Tennessee Education Association, and a former member of the Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. She has been an invited speaker and workshop instructor for organizations including the Neighborhood School and Our Children are our Future, as well as numerous professional development classes for licensed teachers. Dr. McDonald attributes her success to determination and a continued commitment to her students and her profession, and advises others entering the field to remain flexible, curious, and dedicated.
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