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Donna Alonzo-Vaughan passed peacefully Monday, June 3, 2013, at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
Donna was born to William Gadd and Vera Ames Gadd on September 9, 1960, in Killeen, TX. She received her B.S. degrees in Rural Sociology and Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, her M.A. degree in Psychology/Guidance at Texas A&I University, and her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from her beloved Texas A&M University.
She began her memorable teaching career in Texas, moving to California in 1985. A popular counselor and teacher at Carmel Middle School, she later served as teacher/principal/superintendent at Mission School in Soledad. She also served at the Monterey County Office of Education in teacher recruitment. Most recently Donna had been Superintendent of the Salinas City Elementary School District, where she was known for her friendly, open and honest management style.
Her professional interests and accomplishments include serving on the Region 10 Board of the Association California School Administrators, Past President-Salinas Valley Charter of the Association California School Administrators, Chair of the Education Administration Advisory Committee at San Jose State University, South Bay Team Master Plan Co-Chair for California Association of Bilingual Educators, Chair of Matsui Scholarship Foundation and Community Alliance for Safety and Peace
She was honored by the Alisal Betterment Association - Educator of the Year 2008, received a California Assembly Certificate of Recognition in 2008, Educator of the Year Excellence Award, Salinas Californian - Person of the Year 2007, Salinas City Council Commendation and Outstanding Contributions to Salinas Students and Residents 2007, ACSA Region 10 - Superintendent of the Year 2007 & 2010, and ACSA Golden Apple for School Innovation.
She was also active in the community with the American Red Cross (California Health & Safety Specialist, Monterey County Board Member, Instructor Trainer in CPR/First Aid and Professional Rescuer), California Rodeo (Cowboy Poetry Committee Chair & Centennial Committee), Carmel Valley Rancher's Days(Judge), Monterey College of Law- Lupe M. Alonzo Scholarship Committee, Daughters of the American Revolution (Santa Lucia Chapter), Arroyo Seco Citizens Association, Carmel Valley Community Youth Center (Past Board Member) and Carmel Youth Center (Past Board Member).
She was a brilliant leader whose impact will be remembered by all who were privileged to work with her. Her legacy as an active community member, leader, teacher, counselor, friend will live on in the memories of all whose lives were touched by Donna.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, and dear husband, Lupe M. Alonzo.
She is survived by her loving husband, William Vaughan; daughter, Melissa Hall; brother, Phillip (Lynn) Gadd; sister, Joyce (Gary) Humphries; sister and friend, Corie Alonzo-Hughes. She is also survived by a great number of nieces, nephews and other family, all of whom held her in the highest esteem.
A public Visitation will be held Sunday, June 9, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Soledad Mission (Fort Romie Road), Soledad.
Rosary service is scheduled for Monday, June 10, 2013 at 7:00 p.m., at Our Lady of Solitude Church (Main Street), Soledad.
Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at Our Lady of Solitude Church, (Main Street), Soledad.
Burial following Mass will be at the Soledad Community Cemetery (Metz Road), Soledad.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Salinas City Elementary Education Foundation, 840 S. Main St. Salinas, CA 93901 or YOSAL - Youth Orchestra Salinas, One Main St., Salinas, CA 93901.
Funeral arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home. Online condolences to www.struveandlaporte.com.
Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
41 West San Luis Salinas, CA 93901
Published in The Salinas Californian on June 6, 2013