LaVona Andrew is a life-long learner, interpreter and educator. As a native ASL user and sign language professional, she maintains a full interpreting schedule in addition to teaching university ASL courses and leading interpreting workshops. Her specialties include sign-to-voice, mental health, performing arts and post-secondary interpreting.
LaVona received degrees from Cottey College and Brigham Young University before completing an M.A. in Education- Curriculum and Instruction (Emphasis: Second Language Acquisition) at Boise State University. LaVona taught 9th grade World Studies and undergraduate teacher preparation and technology competency courses. Seeking a change of pace, she worked under the Department of the Interior as a Public Affairs Specialist, eventually moving to Washington, DC. Throughout college and other careers, she continued to work part-time as an interpreter. In 2005, LaVona accepted a full-time Interpreter Manager/Trainer position and moved back to Idaho.
LaVona served as Idaho RID Professional Development Chair, then as Idaho RID President for two terms. At the Regional level, she chaired the interpreting committee for the 2008 Region V Conference, co-chaired the same committee for the 2010 Conference and co-chaired the program committee for the 2012 Region V Conference. She also served two years as the Region V Representative for the Interpreters with Deaf Parents Member Section. She is a candidate for RID’s Specialized Legal Certification.
In addition to service within RID, LaVona has held leadership roles serving as one of the founding Directors of the Deaf Center of Idaho and helped establish an Idaho chapter of the American Sign Language Teachers Association. She served on the Idaho Interpreter Licensure Task Force and the Idaho Deaf Mental Health Task Force. For three years she served on the Educational Interpreter Inter-agency Consortium and lobbied successfully for passage of a minimum standard for K-12 interpreters in Idaho. She combines her passions and works as a co-coordinator for “Signing Shakespeare” which aims at making theater accessible. Since 2005, she has taught American Sign Language courses as Boise State University.
LaVona is passionate about providing development opportunities for interpreters while ensuring appropriately qualified and credentialed interpreters for the Deaf community. She lives in Boise, Idaho, with her daughter, Rowan.