After becoming the first female to earn her Associate’s Degree in Agriculture from the then College of the Virgin Islands, Ms. Collingwood began her career as a Middle School Agriculture Teacher on St. Croix, at Arthur A. Richards Jr. High. This experience yielded a legion of trained Agriculture enthusiasts, who still advocate for the Agriculture industry territory wide.
Looking to explore more opportunities, Ms. Collingwood relocated to Hawaii and worked as an After-School Care Programs coordinator while studying Hawaiian cultures and communities. During that time, she cultivated a deep appreciation for the Horticultural and Environmental Sciences. The combined experiences in Hawaii and the Virgin Islands led Ms. Collingwood to the University of Florida where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agriculture & Extension Education followed by a Master’s of Arts Degree in Agriculture Education and Communications, with a minor in Educational Leadership and concentrations in Exceptional Student Education and Counseling.
Prior to her return to the Virgin Islands, Ms. Collingwood worked as the Miami-Dade County Public Schools District Instructional Supervisor and the Career and Technical Education Coordinator of secondary and adult school programs in Agriculture Science; Criminal Justice Operations; Legal Studies; E911 Dispatch; Culinary Arts; Early Childhood Education; K-12 Teaching; Fashion Design Services; and the Career Pathway Initiative in Florida. She recently retired from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system after 25 years, nineteen of which she spent in District Career and Technical Education & Adult Programs Administration, and an additional six as a lead teacher of the Vocational Department and Teacher/Manager of the 21-acre production land lab facility. While employed in her teaching role, Ms. Collingwood successfully implemented a shared community vision for an agriculture community at South Dade Senior High in the heart of the Homestead, Florida. This initiative resulted in federal funding to develop a S.T.E.A.M integrated plant tissue culture program that received national recognition.
To remain grounded in the Sustainable Agriculture arena she loves so much, Diana founded the Peoples’ Environmental & Agricultural Consulting Enterprises International (PEACE Int’l) in 2008. PEACE Int’l is the consulting vehicle Ms. Collingwood utilizes on her mission to “foster agricultural and environmental literacy and positive growth using education and communication initiatives, global entertainment activities, and leadership development strategies; to meet global, community and industry needs.” Since PEACE Int’l’s initiation, Diana has successfully conducted sustainable agriculture projects in Trinidad, Haiti, Ghana, The US Virgin Islands and most recently Nigeria.
Ms. Collingwood’s return home is the inception to her continued contributions for a community that is dear to her heart. She believes that her unique skill set combined with partnerships she has developed and working across career clusters, related industries and educational partners; her ability to identify and source funds to create model academies; and her approach to integrated problem solving are critically valuable to advance her passion and personal mission “to provide agricultural and environmental solutions to sustain us all.”