Donna McGuire

Place of birth: Bronx, New York.

What is your profession? I am a school administrator of a K-8 school, in the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), serving the Northern Manhattan community called Washington Heights, and loving every minute of it!

How do you celebrate your Irishness? I have been an active member of several Irish circles over the years. Since 2019, I have been the President of the NYCDOE Emerald Society and the Founding President of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) Irish Caucus. In addition, I have been serving as a Trustee on the Executive Board of the Grand Council of United Emeralds (GCUE), since 2019. When I am not celebrating my Irishness with various organizations around the New York area, I am celebrating it with friends and family, through tradition, stories, and gatherings. Reflecting on earlier times, celebrating Irish culture goes back to listening to Ceol na nGael after church, learning step dancing, and being the Irish Club President in high school.

Name a hero you admire and why? When I was a young child, I had an accident that required a visit to the local emergency room. Fortunately, Dr. Martha MacGuffie was the surgeon on call. She was kind and professional, and I was lucky to have her as my doctor that night. In my teens, I learned that Dr. MacGuffie was the first female surgeon to graduate from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Although she was a pioneer in her profession, her altruism, kindness, and passion for humanity ran deep. Dr. MacGuffie suffered the tragic loss of the death of two of her sons, who died by blood transfusions, at the onset of the AIDS epidemic. This loss inspired Dr. MacGuffie to advocate for others, and she made it her mission to help children in Africa affected by the AIDS epidemic. To this end, she founded SHARE, a non-profit, to build medical facilities, and provide education and basic needs for children. Dr. MacGuffie became a world-renowned activist and humanitarian, in the AIDS movement, and she left an incredible legacy.

Something people would be surprised to know about me... I am a unionist, who advocates for school leaders, their schools, and the students of New York City. I organize and host meetings for administrators and send newsletters and updates on the latest initiatives. I am a member of the School Administrators of New York State (SAANYS) Editorial Board and have written articles and presented at annual conferences. Additionally, I am the Moderator for the Assistant Principal Community of Practice, an offering for Assistant Principals, made possible by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). I stay connected with other school administrators and educational communities so that together we can support our students, staff, and families. I believe as leaders we must continue to work towards reaching our maximum potential and inspire others so that we will continue to forge ahead, and help our city, state, and country’s greatest asset – children.

Biography: Donna McGuire is a School Administrator in the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Donna advocates for children, funding, and resources in New York City. Donna is the Chair of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA), Manhattan’s District 6. In addition, she is the Chair of Northern Manhattan’s District 6 Leadership Team (DLT) and serves as the Council for School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) District 6 Political Liaison, working with elected officials to advocate for educational policy and practice.

2024 Heroes of Irish America Awards