Vice Principal of Student Services Donna Vandanberg runs around campus with Barbie in her back pocket. JSerra Blog sat down with Mrs. V to find out the real inside scope on this Harley Girl and all that pink.
I attended Bensalem High School in Bensalem, PA (outside Philadelphia) my freshman and sophomore years. We moved to Columbus, OH my junior year of high school where I graduated from Upper Arlington High School.
University of Southern California – B.S. in Business Administration (Marketing)
Post graduate degree:
M.A. in Educational Leadership and Human Development from George Washington University in Washington, DC
How many years have you been teaching?
I taught middle school English for 10 years. Prior to teaching, I spent 18 years working for Honda in the research and development of motorcycles and related products.
How many years have you been teaching at JSerra?
What’s your role at JSerra?
Vice-Principal of Student Services (Counseling Dept./Activities)
What is your favorite event during the school year?
This year, the senior events/activities were my favorites
Were you involved in any clubs in high school or college?
Yikes…I was a cheerleader in high school. I was also involved in NHS, French Club and Newspaper. I worked while in college.
What do you hope to accomplish before you retire?
Geez…I need to think about this one!
What was your first job?
My very first job was working for my dad’s company in the mailroom. My first “real” job was working at Friendly’s Ice Cream as a waitress.
What was your favorite high school memory?
Cheering at football and basketball games, spending time with my friends and going to motorcycle races on the weekend are some of my favorite memories.
What was your childhood dream job? (astronaut, firefighter, etc)
I want to own my own dance studio and teach dance, (ballet, tap, jazz, etc.). I studied dance for 10 years.
Who is your favorite author?
I love to read and don’t know that I have a favorite author. I read all kinds of books from a variety of authors. My favorite thing to do as a teacher is finding books my students will enjoy!
If you could live in any time period other than now, what would it be?
Medieval times…handsome knights and cool gowns…
Who is your celebrity crush?
Don’t have one…
Who or what was your inspiration that drove you to become a teacher?
Teaching was a second career, initially driven by the need to have a schedule similar to my kids. One of my son’s football coaches told me he thought I’d be a great teacher so I tried subbing for a while to see if I liked it. Now, I can’t imagine not teaching or being involved in education.
What was your favorite band growing up?
I listened to everything. The one song that most reminds me of high school is Knights in White Satin by the Moody Blues.
Food: Pizza – I could eat it every day!
TV Show: True Blood – I love vampires!
Animal: Don’t have one
Sports team: Philadelphia Eagles
Color: “Barbie” Pink
Vacation spot: Maui
I was the first female to reach a management level in Honda’s Research and Development Division. Other women managers worked in non-technical positions such as human resources or finance. I traveled extensively all over the country (and Japan) for Honda working on the research, design and development of street motorcycles, off-road motorcycles, and four-wheelers. I’ve had the great fortune to ride these vehicles all over the country. Both my boys also ride. I was also featured in an episode of “The Eddie Files” on PBS while I worked at Honda.
I am also an avid Barbie collector and have hundreds at home! (I know, scary!) I also published an article in Barbie Bazaar Magazine.