Education changed the life trajectory for Donald Fennoy. Even when he had to hide his academic gifts to take on a tough-guy image to fit in while growing up in rural South Carolina, education steered him back on the right path. In 1987, his father took him to see the Florida A&M University marching band at a South Carolina State game and instantly, Donald was hooked. From that point on, he excelled in music and received a partial scholarship to Florida A&M University.
Education again took hold of Donald’s journey when he was selected by the U.S. Department of Education to do his student teaching in Europe, which he notes as a life changing experience, earning a degree in elementary education from Florida A&M University. He began teaching in Orlando and soon after was asked to be a dean — then an assistant principal at just 26 years old. When he became a principal in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the school had been taken over by the state. But in a two-year period, through Donald’s leadership, his high school received the National School Change Award.
Since then, his journey in education has taken him to many places, including Palm Beach County — where he works to create education opportunities for students as superintendent of schools.
Hear from Donald about why he is committed to creating positive, life-changing outcomes for all students:
Lauren Ramos-Mendoza is The Broad Center’s associate director of communications.