Teacher moves up to administrator

Madeline Adams, Staff Writer

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Mrs. Kathy Donelan took on a new position.  Through a series of events, she was hired as the Assistant Principal.  Trying new things is not something new for Mrs. Donelan.  Before taking on this role, she was a sixth grade math teacher, bank teller, florist, and worked at her uncle’s farm as a kid in the tobacco fields.

Mrs. Donelan lives with her husband, Mr. Jeremy Donelan, Post Master for California, KY, and her four kids. Ada and Nora, are identical twins and Freshmen at HHS, James, is in second grade, and Lilly, is in first grade. Both go to Ruth Moyer Elementary. There is one more member of her family, their five-month-old beagle named Petunia, but they like to call her Petey.

Waking up before the sun at 5:30 A.M, Mrs. Donelan gets her usual, oatmeal and coffee. Then wakes up her kids, and takes Petey out for a walk. Arriving at the middle school at 7:35 A.M, she either opes the front doors or starts to make her walks about the building.

Mrs. Donelan said her favorite part of the day would have to be lunch and recess. She said, “I get to see students and see how their day is going.” The most challenging part of her day is completing all of her tasks. “Learning to get to the things that I need to complete when emergent needs arise,” she said.

During 4th period Mrs. Donelan is on lunch and recess duty with sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. During lunch, she monitors the students and makes sure that they are on their best behavior in the cafeteria. Mrs. Donelan also likes to communicate with students and makes them feel more comfortable at school. During recess, she monitors the students with Mr. Ron Rosel, Engineering, and Mrs. Julie Schlarman, Health/ P.E, for this quarter. They all make sure that students are acting appropriately. Once that is over, she might teach an anti-bullying lesson during focus period.

Her day is filled with emails and meetings, and every day is different.  Much depends on how the students are behaving on any given day.  She deals with all the discipline in the school.

Once the end of the school day hits, 2:45 P.M, Mrs. Donelan makes her way outside to see students run out the door. She said she takes a deep breath and organizes what she needs to do before she leaves work. Before leaving she may have a few remaining phone calls to make or she stops by to catch up with Mr. Howton about items she has worked on during the day.

Leaving the school usually by 4:30 P.M. and returning home around 5:00P.M., Mrs. Donelan likes to prepare dinner. “Sometimes a crockpot meal, and sometimes we have time to make a meal that evening.  Other times it’s leftover night or grab a sandwich night.  My kids love when we have a drive-thru night. Their favorite…anything!” she said. She tries to finish up working on projects relating to work from home or wrap up items that she couldn’t complete during the day, like preparing for a training session or completing observation documents.

For her kids, it’s sports, games, religion class, “Our evenings are busy,” she said. Her kids are involved in dance, football and cross country right now, so at night she’s taking them to their practices. At night, Mrs. Donelan likes to finish up the laundry, “This is never ending and there is always a load in either the washer or dryer,” she said.

Mrs. Donelan’s hobbies include working in the yard, flower beds and mow grass. “I know that last one wouldn’t be the favorite of others, and I hated it as a kid.  I had to mow grass all the time on our large farm, but now it’s relaxing.  I feel I do some of my best reflecting while mowing grass,” she said.  She also likes to read and do things like cross stitch/sewing, but she often doesn’t get much time for these activities these days. She also likes spending her free time watching Netflix.

It is a full day of balancing work and home.  Although this is Mrs. Donelan’s first year as an administrator, she made quite a positive impression.

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