Longtime Lansing educator LaDonna Mask selected as PBS Digital Innovator All-Star


THURSDAY, May 7 — For Teacher’s Appreciation Week 2020, one Lansing School District educator got a heartwarming surprise.  

The PBS Digital Innovator All-Star program selected Kendon Elementary Principal LaDonna Mask as one of 19 educators from around the country who have made a positive impact on their communities. The award is for Pre-K to twelfth-grade educators only.

During the 2020-2021 school year, Mask and her fellow PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars have the opportunity to work with their local PBS station to further engage students, parents and the local community.  

Mask has been in and around the Lansing community for years. She graduated from MSU with a degree in Special Education. Since then, she has worked in the Lansing school district for over four decades as both a teacher and an administrator. Mask became principal of Kendon in 2002. 

During her tenure as principal of Kendon, Mask has kept a close working relationship with WKAR. Together, they have held family learning events, worked on teacher professional development and promoted the wide variety of digitals tools and resources that WKAR has available to students.

WKAR Director of Education Robin Pizzo said, “As a principal at Kendon Elementary School — an urban school district with many needs — she saw the value in WKAR and MSU's PBS Kids Playtime Pad Project and worked diligently to support WKAR efforts to provide this tool for over 3,600 kindergarten students over the span of three years."  

According to MSU’s website, the Playtime Pad Project was an effort to distribute the Playtime Pad tablet — loaded up with easy-to-use learning apps — to students, parents and teachers at school districts in need.  

During the coronavirus age, digital education tools like the Playtime Pad Project have already grown more prominent and more necessary. Mask was selected as an All-Star partially because of her ability to work through an overwhelming crisis.

Sara Schapiro, Vice President of Education at PBS, said, “We have been especially proud of the work they continue to do in these unprecedented times, establishing new and innovative teaching techniques through distance learning, further solidifying the reasons they were distinguished as PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars.”


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