LaDonna Thomas, Ph.D.

EL Specialist


About Me


"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically...Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education."

--from "The Purpose of Education" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


I graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an English concentration and minor. I earned a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Mississippi. I am endorsed to teach English as a Second Language grades K-12 and English grades 7-12.

I began my career as an educator teaching high school English. Upon receiving my M.A., I moved abroad and taught high school ESL courses. After gaining many valuable and unforgettable professional and life experiences, I moved back to the U.S. in 2014 and have been employed with the DeSoto County School District ever since. I came into DCS as an elementary EL teacher. In 2017, I assumed the role of EL Specialist serving our district's twenty-three elementary schools.


"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."--Helen Keller


DCS Teacher Meeting Request


About Our Team

Our team is comprised of teachers who pride themselves in (1) providing high-quality English language development instruction to English learners and (2) supporting ELs and their families in our elementary schools. Our teachers provide daily EL services to all English learners by creating language-specific lessons that are aligned to the MS English language proficiency standards and that are tailored to meet the various needs of individual learners across proficiency levels and content areas in the four domains of language.


Follow our Twitter to see what's happening in the world of EL in DCS! Follow these hashtags to see what's happening around our great district! #TeamDCS #RaiseTheBar

Meet Our Team!

Each week we will highlight one of our great team members!

Meet Our Team!


Meet Ms. Lauren Vernon!

Ms. Lauren Vernon serves 4th and 5th grade English learners at Center Hill Elementary School and Sacred Heart. She recently became a member of the DCS EL team in November 2022. Ms. Vernon has visited 10 countries and has lived in Japan.

Years of Teaching Experience: 1

Education: B.S. Theology (Liberty University)

Areas of Endorsement: English as a Second Language (ESL)



Announcements 2022-23

  • School will be closed March 13th - 17th for spring break.
  • School will be closed for students February 17th for staff development and February 20th to observe Presidents' Day.
  • School will be closed January, 16th to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  • School will be closed December 19th - January 4th for the winter break. Students will return January 5th.
  • School will be closed November 21st - 25th for Thanksgiving break.
  • School will be closed Monday, October 10th for Fall Break.
  • School will be closed Monday, September 5th for Labor Day.
  • August 4, 2023: Students' 1st day