For Donna Pierce, her zest for life began in the early spring of 1934. With the influence of her family, childhood friends, and her love of the outdoors, especially the High Plains, she was inspired to experience all of the joys in life. Her major influences helped lead her to a number of opportunities beginning at an early age as a Girl Scout, to being involved in her high school’s Latin Club and Pampa Harvester Band to teaching high school juniors and seniors about astronomy. To this day she is the Director of Highland Park’s Planetarium, a commitment that’s spans more than 35 years! Over the years as a shining member of the Highland Park ISD, she’s earned numerous awards including their Award of Merit in 1988, 1989 and 1999, and the Howie Award for her dedication to the planetarium and for “opening up the world of astronomy” to students, parents, alumni and friends.
Her involvement in so many activities was eventually noticed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where they invited her to participate in the Voyager II Launch. Although she wasn’t selected for the Challenger’s Teacher-in-Space flight in 1986, Highland Park ISD made sure she got to see the shuttle’s liftoff that sadly ended in tragedy. However seeing this unfortunate, historic event unfold right in front of her didn’t stop Donna from being the person she was destined to be or the volunteer that many Girl Scout leaders know her as today.
Lynn Socolich, a close friend, first met Donna nearly ten years ago at her first troop meeting for a kindergarten Daisy troop that included her daughter.
“I have never met anyone as passionate about life as Donna Pierce,” said Lynn. “She is truly an inspiration to me.”
Like many eager girls in the early 1900s, Donna’s journey began as an Girl Scout Brownie. That same eagerness still rages on with more than decades dedicated to Girl Scouts’ mission as a troop leader (she led her daughters’ troops for ten years beginning in the late 60s) and service unit manager, among others! Her brother even created a scholarship in her name that gives opportunities to graduating Girl Scouts who have earned their Bronze Award! Although this is her last year as a service unit manager, Donna plans to stay close with her unit as their Treasurer.
When asked what makes Donna such a great volunteer, Lynn told us, “She is Girl Scouts’ biggest fan and supporter. She’ll take any opportunity to promote the organization to anyone who will listen.”
“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.”
– Erma Bombeck