ShareThis Page

Meet Your Neighbors: Donna Burns is a lifelong resident

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Donna Burns has been working with Head Start for nearly 40 years in Jeannette.

Donna Davis Burns is a lifelong resident of the Jeannette community.

Her entire family remains in the Jeannette and Greensburg areas. She is a graduate of Jeannette High School and shortly after graduation she married her high school sweetheart, Willie “Tok” Burns, who is also a lifelong resident.

The couple has three children, all of whom reside in the City of Jeannette. Daughter Deonna Burns has one son, Willie “T.J.” Burns, 22, who attended Jeannette High School.

He and his girlfriend, Olivia Hayden, have one child, Danika Burns, who will turn 1 in May.

Daughter Jewel Burns has two boys, Shaw Sunder, 21, and Miles Sunder, 15.

Daughter Jessica Burns lives at home and is employed at Head Start.

Burns also has a stepson, Todd Lewis, who has two children who live in Jeannette, Todd Jr., and Ashante.

For the past 38 years, Burns has been employed at Westmoreland Community Action's Head Start Program located at First Baptist Church on Second Street.

Head Start is an early education intervention program that encourages parent involvement and focuses on learning, health and good nutrition.

Burns was a parent of Head Start children before becoming involved as an employee.

Burns works as a teacher, but started out as a food manager.

“I like the kids, and my co-workers are like family there,” said Burns, whose daughter works at the same site.

Her love of children also prompted Burns to apply at the JAYS Afterschool Middle School Program, a free afterschool enrichment program offered at Jeannette Middle School.

She has been at the JAYS Program for about seven years where she works as the coordinator's aide. “I like the kids.

“It would be nice if we had more kids (at JAYS). It's a nice program. It's fun and interesting.”

Burns likes to cook for her family and also likes to bake. Cookies are her specialty and she gets recipes off of the Internet in addition to sharing with friends and other people.

She is very active at Zion Hill Baptist Church where she has “been a member since I was a little girl.” At Zion Hill, she is on the usher board and the kitchen committee.

To learn more about working with children or cooking, get to know neighbor Donna Burns.

Editor's note: Meet Your Neighbors is a recurring feature in The Jeannette Spirit. If you know of a neighbor with an interesting life story to tell, someone who deserves some recognition for volunteer work, a resident with a special talent or an avid collector who would like to be featured, call the Spirit at 724-838-5154 or send an email to klinden@tribweb.com.

Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.