Dr. Donna R. Austin

For over 25 years, Dr. Donna Austin has influenced the landscape of public-school education by enhancing the learning process for students; motivating them to achieve optimal academic and personal excellence. Currently, Donna is the CEO/Founder of Croire, Inc. Croire is an education consulting firm with a seasoned team of goal-oriented educators and strategists who identify non-traditional and culturally relevant ways to build sustainable relationships between families, schools, and the community—and, in the end, increase family engagement in education.

She has deep roots in her community. Dr. Austin is a strong believer in community activism. She has shared her time and expertise with numerous community organizations such as Florida Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force, the Board of the Tallahassee League of Women Voters, the National Black Child Development Institute, Moms Demand Action, Justice850, the Community Remembrance Project, and the NAACP.

Recently, Dr. Austin discovered a need for changing the narrative about Title I schools’ families’ interest in education. To participate in affecting this change, she joined the Florida Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force. She is a firm believer that exposing African American families to both African and African American history builds self-efficacy and helps build stronger bonds between families, their community, and the local educational system.

Possessing limitless energy and vitality, Dr. Austin is determined to increase the number of Florida school districts that successfully meet the African American History Task Force criteria for being identified as an Exemplary School District.

Dr. Austin has served in many roles during her career in education. Notably, she spent 23 years as a guidance counselor at multiple schools across the southeastern US, including one of the top-performing high schools in the state of Florida. She is known for her wisdom, humor, candor, and down-to-earth speaking style and is described as a dynamic professional with humility and passion for all persons.

Donna earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership, a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida A&M University. She is a widow, a mother of two sons, Na’m and Montrell, Sr., and the grandmother of Montrell, Jr.