LaDonne Dillard is proof that hard work has benefits.Dillard was born in Springfield, Mass., an only daughter with two brothers. After graduating from high school, she went to American International College and studied criminal justice, with an emphasis on youth.“I wanted to be a voice for children,” Dillard said.Dillard eventually followed her brother to Charlotte in 1999, and continued her studies at Wingate University. But Dillard’s goals had changed, and being a teacher was what she now felt called to do. “I went back to Wingate after graduation for administrative studies, enabling me to work in the office and/or teach,” Dillard said. The hardworking young woman also got her master’s degree in teaching kindergarten through sixth grade. Dillard is a teacher at Greer Academy in Northeast Charlotte. “I love it there,” she said. “The kids are great and so is the program.” Ever the student, Dillard returned to Wingate to get certified as a school principal. She also is taking curriculum and instruction classes. While teaching and taking classes, Dillard became a mother. “My pregnancy was challenging, and I had to be hospitalized for several weeks. I was actually diagnosed with lupus when pregnant,” she said. “My baby boy, Landon, was born prematurely, weighing only 1 pound and 15 ounces, and had to stay in the hospital for two and a half months. “The doctors warned me that my baby could have a variety of complications and problems as a result of his early birth and low weight, but my miracle baby only had a few issues that have since been corrected. He is amazing.” Landon, now 5, plays soccer and takes swim and piano lessons.Dillard participated recently in the Charlotte Hopebuilders 5K run/walk to benefit Levine Children’s Hospital. “I am so grateful to Levine’s Children’s Hospital for all they did for Landon.Dillard lives near Matthews and enjoys going shopping and to the beach. “Landon and I have a lot of fun together, and I’m so grateful to have him,” Dillard said. The busy mother will turn 40 next year and is looking forward to doing something special to celebrate.