Strong running for state House
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
Dr. Donna Strong, a Republican candidate for the Alabama House of Representatives for District 49 serving parts of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties, said she hopes to bring her 29 years of education experience to the political arena in Montgomery if she is elected to the seat during this year’s elections.
Strong has spent nearly three decades as a middle school, high school and college teacher. Strong is originally from Chelsea and currently resides in Alabaster with her husband Russell Strong, who is a history teacher and a retired chief from the United States Navy. They have three teenage children, Shelby, Sophie and James.
“I have always had a passion for learning so it seemed a natural fit for me to become a teacher and help others learn,” Strong said. “I grew up in Chelsea and was always an active member of the Shelby County 4-H Club. I really credit my 4-H experiences for helping me develop leadership skills and broad interests in a variety of subjects.”
After graduating from Chelsea, Strong went on to Auburn University where she majored in animal science and then obtained her master’s degree in secondary education. After teaching for a few years, Strong returned to college and received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Penn State University. She later became a student at the University of Alabama where she obtained a special certification for teaching gifted students.
“Many people want to think of education as removed from politics, but the legislature mandates and sets guidelines for everything about public education in Alabama from funding to curriculum, classroom sizes, standardized testing, and even the start date of the next school year,” she said. “Too much time and money are invested in test scores and school rankings. We are not putting the students as the top priority. Our students are struggling to find their way and too many are not achieving academic or emotional success.”
Strong said she wants an Alabama curriculum where students learn more about the real world and are encouraged to think critically, communicate clearly and solve problems in their lives, homes and communities. She also said she hopes to improve safety in Alabama schools, and is a proponent of ALICE training for all K–12 educators. Alice is a law-enforcement developed and endorsed training program to respond to active shooters and other similar emergencies.
Strong also said her goals include “environmental programs to encourage citizens to protect and respect the beauty and diversity of Alabama’s land and waterways, tougher penalties for persons who abuse children and animals, and fair tax laws to require those who profit from our state and its people to appropriately compensate our revenue base.”
To learn more about Strong and her campaign, visit VoteDrStrong.com.