Thankful for Ms. Tynes

Remembrance and Legacy of Ms. Tynes

Ms. Donna Tynes, beloved teacher. From

On October 28, 2019, Long High School announced that beloved teacher Donna Elise Tynes passed away unexpectedly of cardiovascular disease in her home. At the age of 54, Ms. Tynes taught home economics, fashion, and consumer science. She had taught at Long Reach for fifteen years and earned our respect and love throughout that time. Fellow cooking teacher Frank Valenza says, “she was one of my better work friends,” explaining his connection with Ms. Tynes. “We were like police officers, partners.” 

The Baltimore Sun reported that Ms. Tynes was born in Baltimore, but raised in Lochearn. She was the daughter of a retired human relations director at UMD and a social security administer, Donald Tynes Sr. and Caroline Barnes. Ms. Tynes was a high school graduate of Woodlawn Senior High in 1983, and then earned her  Bachelors Degree at Virginia State University and a Masters at Bowie State University.

 Yet even with her academic achievements throughout life, she always loved to cook and be around kids, and she often inspired her students. “She inspired me to want to become a teacher,” says Junior Jason Cliff.

Valenza added, “Students just flocked around her. They would be sitting with her while she was eating lunch, they would confide in her. She was like a sister to them.” 

“Ms. Tynes was a kind and loving woman, even though I didn’t really know her. Those that did always had a lot of good things to say about her and said she always had a positive attitude,” said Senior Nikolaus Kolander. 

“I was shocked to hear about her passing. It felt like the world dimmed when I heard the news,” said one Long Reach alumnus who was a previous student of Ms. Tynes. “She was beyond just a great person but a great teacher. She was so loving and inspirational. It’s hard to believe that she is really gone.” 

Junior Trinity Wayad says that her fellow peers who were close to Ms. Tynes were certainly affected: “Their whole attitude changed, and the atmosphere of the school was sad,” she acknowledges.

Long Reach alumna Savannah Owens commented that Ms. Tynes was a good teacher and cared for her students and their grades. “Her classroom environment varied. But it was always very funny–we could all joke around and get along, especially in fashion class. She made it so we all support[ed] each other,” says Owens. 

Owens also recalls, “She was always so welcoming, She’d walk in the room and always say ‘Good Morning Angels.’ She was a kind woman.”

 Describing how Ms. Tynes affected and interacted with students, Valenza says, “She was like their mom. She listened to them. She saw them and took them under her wing. She was the school parent.”

“I saw Ms. Tynes as a kind of parental figure to the students because of how she cared for each and every student,” says Kolander.

The Long Reach alumnus reflects, “She was the best in all of us. She could make you smile and laugh on your worst days, and still give you the best lesson in class.”

“If I could talk to her one more time, I would say ‘thank you so much for being my favorite teacher and inspiring me to become a teacher,’” said Cliff. 

“She changed Long Reach for the better, and I feel that without her that school may never feel the same. She made an impact on everyone, and I’m sad to see her go,” said Owens.

Ms. Tynes was an essential part of our Long Reach community and always found a way to encourage and support others. She will be remembered as a loving teacher and beloved member of the Long Reach community

Kelly, Jacques. “Donna E. Tynes, Long Reach High School Home Economics and Family and Consumer Science Teacher, Dies.”, Baltimore Sun, 5 Nov. 2019,