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Former Student is Grateful to Teach at Her Elementary School

Donna Halford and studentsWhen Donna Halford and her family moved back to Omaha, she not only returned to her hometown but to her former elementary school. Halford is now a teacher at Gilder Elementary, where she was a student from kindergarten through sixth grade. 

"I grew up in this area. I can relate to my students and families on a different level,” said Halford. “It’s been great reconnecting with my classmates back in the same classrooms we attended together.” 

Halford joined the Gilder Elementary team seven years ago, teaching third and fourth grade. Her students include children of former classmates. Some of her fellow teachers, like Ann Hand, taught Halford as a student, making a lasting impact.

“It’s nice to be one of the many teachers who led her in this direction because she’s really found her calling,” said Hand, who has taught fourth and fifth grade at Gilder Elementary for more than 26 years. “Donna is an excellent teacher, and her students really gravitate to her positivity.” 

Halford originally pursued a speech pathology major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She switched majors after volunteering in her aunt’s classroom at Gomez-Heritage Elementary.   

“I fell in love with being in the classroom,” said Halford. “Creating my own space and building relationships with the students was so exciting.”  

Years later, Halford is grateful to serve students in the Gilder Elementary community with the same excitement.