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New gifted/advanced studies and fine arts supervisor selected for county schools

Tuesday, Jul. 15 | By Fauquier Times Staff
The new gifted/advanced studies and fine arts supervisor, Ladona Gorham.
Courtesy Photo
Ladona Gorham has been selected as the new supervisor of gifted/talented/advanced studies and fine arts for Fauquier County Public Schools, effective August 1.

She has been the division coordinator for gifted education in Culpeper County Public Schools for the past eight years. In addition, for the last six years she has also served as the instruction specialist for social studies and foreign languages for the Culpeper school division. With more than two decades in education, Gorham has also worked for Stafford County Schools as a teacher recruiter, gifted resource teacher, and middle school teacher.

Many know her as director of the Summer Regional Governor’s School for the past eight years. She currently serves as the president of the Northern Virginia Council for Gifted/Talented Education. Gorham has a bachelor of science in education from West Virginia University, a master of educational psychology with a specialty in gifted education from the University of Virginia and a post master’s certificate in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Gorham, 44, said she always knew she wanted to teach.

“It really wasn’t a decision I made. I just always knew that was what I was going to do. I started teaching sixth grade in Stafford County in 1991,” she said.

She taught for seven years at A.G. Wright Middle School in Stafford followed by eight years as a gifted resource teacher at the same school. She also spent this time as a teacher recruiter/interviewer, traveling to colleges around the United States to recruit and interview teachers and to encourage college students to enter the education field. She left that position to become the GT program coordinator in Culpeper.

What drew her into the gifted education field?

“I really enjoyed teaching gifted students in my sixth-grade classroom and wanted to learn more about how to challenge them,” she said, “so I applied to UVA’s master’s program in gifted education and was accepted.”

She sought the position in Fauquier County, she noted, because “Fauquier County has a strong history of providing excellent educational opportunities for gifted students.” She said she hopes to continue that practice while also looking for places to make improvements where necessary.

“I want to spend time in the schools so I can see firsthand the great job the teachers are doing and also see where we may need some additional professional development support. As I become more familiar with gifted education in Fauquier County, I will work with the Gifted staff and school administration to develop goals for the future.”

Mrs. Gorham and her husband of 20 years, Jeff, live in Spotsylvania with their Pembroke Welsh Corgi Wyatt. She also has a horse named Isabella.
“I spend most of my free time riding Isabella out on the trails or in an arena,” she said.

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