Ms. Gorham has served as the county school system’s instructional supervisor for gifted education and fine arts since 2014.
She will receive the award during the national organization’s 67th annual convention, conducted virtually Nov. 12-17. The award recognizes coordinators and administrators who’ve had “a significant and positive impact on the gifted students in their districts.”
Ms. Gorham credits her staff: “They are innovative and open to new approaches to continually improve our gifted education services in Fauquier County. We are meeting the goals that we set, and we are always looking for our next goal. I consider myself very fortunate.”
In six years, Ms. Gorham has brought consistency to the gifted services across all 11 elementary schools with the hope of being able to increase gifted staffing in the future, according to Fauquier Deputy Superintendent Major Warner.
“Ladona is a tremendous leader amongst her peers, a fierce advocate for gifted education who is also a champion for figuring out how to serve more of our deserving underrepresented populations of students in our gifted programming,” Mr. Warner said.
“Her leadership around this issue has been instrumental in our making headway to ensuring that all students have access to advanced programs and services,” he added. “She is to be commended for her unwavering support and leadership.”
The Virginia Association for the Gifted this summer named Ms. Gorham the Virginia Gifted Leader of the Year. The criteria include excellence in identification policies and procedures, opportunities for all students to demonstrate diverse characteristics and behaviors associated with giftedness, developing and improving best practices, and strong leadership and advocacy.
“We still have work to do, but the gradual improvement we see each year is encouraging and makes us want to work even harder to meet our goals,” Ms. Gorham said.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from West Virginia University in 1991, a master’s in educational psychology from the University of Virginia in 2000 and a post master’s in educational administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007.