Darlene Dolan, Business Advisory Board Member. Ms. Dolan began her career in education in 1972 after raising her own three children. Always active in the community, she continued to serve a variety of children’s charity organizations in the Southern California area.
Following her 14 years in the classroom as a teacher and Reading Specialist, Ms. Dolan began her administrative career as a middle school assistant principal. In 1987, she moved to Moreno Valley where she was the principal of two elementary schools as well as Principal of the Year. During her time in Moreno Valley she chaired the United Way Board and served on the Moreno Valley City Redevelopment Committee, and later on the Moreno Valley School Board.
Ms. Dolan always wanted to live in the desert, so in 1997 she found her way to the Desert Sands Unified School District, where she served as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment under Superintendent Dr. Doris Wilson.
Passionate about quality education for all children, Ms. Dolan and her team of specialists worked to implement the President’s No Child Left Behind mandates. In 2004, she was invited to the Office of Education in Washington D.D. to present the work that Desert Sands had done to implement choice throughout the District. She was instrumental in securing three choice grants for the schools: the K-12 International Baccalaureate program in La Quinta, the K-12 science program in Palm Desert and, recently, the pre-medicine, Pre-law and Communication Arts program in Indio.
Ms. Dolan has always had a love for the arts, so with the support of the School Board and District staff she dedicated herself to ensuring that students had a strong arts program to enhance their academics. Programs started during her tenure were the restoration of the 4th-5th grade band program, implementation of a beginning string program, after-school dance, art, mariachis and steel drums for students throughout the District.
Following her retirement in June, 2004 she continued to serve the community in a variety of ways. She serves on the Board of the Women’s Leaders Forum, Valley Partnership and Tools for Tomorrow and is a member of the Coachella Valley Symphony, West Coast Opera, Rancho Mirage Republican Women, Indio Women’s Club and a Member Emeritus of the Association of California Administrators. Past president and current Board member of the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance, she has dedicated herself to a variety of student-centered activities as a volunteer. Most recently, she chaired the Coachella Valley Tournament of Roses Committee assisting the Desert Sands Unified School District steel drum band with their dream of performing in the 2005 Rose Parade where their float received an award for “Most Beautiful Non-Commercial Float.” She was also a volunteer with the Virginia Waring Piano Competition. When not involved with a community activity, Ms. Dolan enjoys visiting her children in Virginia and Washington State.