By ERIKA ANDERSON, Staff Writer | Published May 24, 2007
Many of them have been together since they were in grade school, and on May 19, 13 students from Monsignor Donovan High School graduated—the first class to do so from the school.
Donovan Principal Geoffray Estes said that he was “very proud” of the first graduating class and said it was especially poignant to have Msgr. Walter Donovan, the retired priest for whom the school is named, there to speak to the graduates.
“He was there when we first built the school and to have him there at the graduation really brought us full circle,” Estes said. “It was gratifying to see the whole process.”
At the graduation, valedictorian Annabelle Barbe and salutatorian Elizabeth Golembieski both spoke of the extreme closeness of their class.
“We’re like a big family here,” Estes said. “We all look out for each other.”
The night before, at the senior banquet, U.S. astronaut Shane Kimbrough spoke to the students and told them that like the astronauts, this first group of Donovan graduates are pioneers.
Donovan opened in 2003 with only its freshmen class. In 2005, school officials anticipated its closing due to a lack of financial resources, but community donations gave it a new lease on life.
“It took a lot of prayers, but we are very blessed to have a renewed life. I feel very good about where we are now, and I think that Donovan has a very bright future,” Estes said.