Donovan Catholic High School

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Donovan Catholic High School
711 Hooper Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates39°57′40″N 74°11′19″W / 39.96111°N 74.18861°W / 39.96111; -74.18861Coordinates: 39°57′40″N 74°11′19″W / 39.96111°N 74.18861°W / 39.96111; -74.18861
TypePrivate, Coeducational
Motto"It makes a difference"
Religious affiliation(s)Catholic Church
School districtDiocese of Trenton
DirectorRev. G. Scott Shaffer
PrincipalJillian Kelly
Vice principalPhil Mazzetta
Faculty61.5 FTEs[5]
Enrollment708 (as of 2017-18)[5]
Student to teacher ratio11.1:1[5]
Color(s)  Royal blue and
Athletics conferenceShore Conference[2]
Team nameGriffins[4]
Tuition$14,910 (2020-21)[1]
Dean of DisciplineKim Sandomierski
Student Activities DirectorSuzanne Oliver
Athletic DirectorJoseph Gomulka

Donovan Catholic High School, (formerly Monsignor Donovan High School) located in Toms River, is the only Roman Catholic high school in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States, and operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.[6] Located in the coastal community of Toms River Township, the school originally opened in 1962 as St. Joseph High School, but was renamed as Monsignor Donovan High School after its founder, Msgr. Lawrence Donovan in 1983, before adopting its current name in 2014.[7]

Donovan Catholic became an IB World School in January of 2017, offering students the IB Diploma Programme.[8] The school is accredited by AdvancED.[3]

As of the 2017-18 school year, the school had an enrollment of 708 students and 61.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.1:1. The school's student body was 85.6% White, 6.9% Asian, 3.1% Hispanic, 1.8% Black, 0.6% Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander, 0.4% American Indian / Alaska Native and 1.8% two or more races.[5]

The school mascot is the Griffin.[4] In the 1960s, the school (then St. Joseph High School) sponsored a contest to name the mascot. Finalists were chosen by the faculty from the submissions, and then the students voted on the finalists. The winning name was George.


Donovan Catholic has created an enhanced learning community though the educational vehicle known as block scheduling. This model, implemented in the fall of 1998, includes two eighteen-week (Fall and Spring) terms. Terms may be divided into quarters depending on curriculum needs. Students take four courses each term. Each course meets for approximately twice the standard instructional time than is offered under the traditional schedule. In order to graduate, students must complete four years of religious studies, have completed seventy hours of Christian Service, and have taken twenty credits of English, ten credits of United States History, five credits of World History, fifteen credits of Mathematics, fifteen credits of Science, ten credits of the same Foreign Language, three credits of Fine and Practical Arts, and ten credits of Physic and Health/Driver Education.

Monsignor Donovan offers a variety of Advanced Placement courses, including English Literature and Composition, United States History, World History, Psychology, Calculus AB & BC, Biology, Environmental Science, Chemistry, and Physics.

Students who excel at Donovan Catholic and who meet particular standards of academics, service, leadership, and character may apply for entry to the National Honor Society.

Dress code[edit]

Students are required to wear uniforms. Girls must wear navy knee socks or tights, and a navy plaid pleated skirt. They may also wear white dress shirts with a navy blue sweater in the winter or blue golf shirts in the fall and spring. The boys wear khaki pants, belt, black or tan Sperry top-siders, dress shirts with a tie and navy blue sweater for the winter, or the blue golf shirts in the fall and spring.


The Donovan Catholic High School Griffins[4] compete in Division B South of the Shore Conference, an athletic conference comprised of public and private high schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties along the Jersey Shore.[2][9] The league operates under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[10] With 540 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Non-Public A for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 381 to 1,454 students in that grade range (which is equivalent to Group II for public schools).[11] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Non-Public Group III for football for 2018–2020.[12]

The athletic teams compete in the following sports: football, soccer, powerlifting, baseball, hockey, basketball, swimming, gymnastics, cheerleading, softball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, wrestling, track and field, volleyball, sailing, bowling, and cross country running.[4]

The school participates with Red Bank Catholic High School in a joint ice hockey team in which St. Rose High School is the host school / lead agency. The co-op program operates under agreements scheduled to expire at the end of the 2023–24 school year.[13]

The girls spring track team was the Non-Public A state champion in 2004.[14]

The girls cross country team won the Non-Public A state championship in 2004 and 2007.[15]

The Donovan Catholic sailing team won the New Jersey High School Sailing Championship in 2005, 2006 and 2007.[citation needed] They also won the CT State High School Sailing Championship in 2005 and 2008.[citation needed] In a period of six years, the M.D.H.S. Sailing Team has qualified for the Interscholastic Sailing Association National Championship four times.[citation needed]

The Donovan Catholic boys' bowling team succeeded in the winter of 2006-07, finishing with a 34-11 record and taking home the titles of divisional champions, Shore Conference tournament champions and South Jersey Group II state sectional champions.[16]

The boys track team won the spring track state championship in Non-Public A in 2008.[17]

The boys' and girls' varsity bowling teams both took 1st place in the Shore Conference in the 2009-10 season, and the Boys took 2nd place in the Sectionals Tournament, and in the States tournament, took 2nd place in their group

The Donovan Catholic girls' swimming team won the Ocean County Championship for the first time in school history during the 2007-08 season, a first for a non-public school, then repeated in 2008-09.[18]

In 2008, the men's track and field team won the state championship.[19]

The 2019 softball team defeated Mount Saint Dominic Academy by a score of 11-1 in the final of the tournament to win the Non-Public A state championship, the program's first state title.[20] The 2019 team went into the Tournament of Champions as the top-seeded team and finished the season with a 30-2 record after winning the overall title by a score of 10-0 in five innings under the mercy rule against runner-up Cedar Grove High School, the second-seeded team.[21][22] ranked Donovan Catholic as their number-one softball team in the state in 2019.[23]

The Donovan Catholic Cheerleading Competition team finished the 2011-2012 season with the best record in school history:[citation needed]

  • National Champions: First Place, Varsity Level 4, Cheersport National Championships, Atlanta, GA
  • Grand Champions and Spirit Award: Spirit Unlimited National Championships, Atlantic City, NJ
  • Grand Champions: Lindenboro Chargers Cheer Classic, Sicklerville, NJ
  • Grand Champions: Gotta Cheer Snow Globe Challenge, Chester, NJ
  • Grand Champions: Gotta Cheer Snowdown Showdown, Medford, NJ
  • 1st Place: Cheersport Regional Championship, Philadelphia, PA; Liberty Lion Championship, Jackson, NJ
  • 2nd Place: Cheer Tech Championships, Wildwood, NJ; Jaguar Competition, Jackson, NJ; States, Trenton, NJ

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school's mock trial team won the Ocean County tournament in 2008 and 2009.[24]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Tuition Information, Donovan Catholic High School. Accessed September 20, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Shore Conference Realignment for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, Shore Conference. Accessed November 15, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Donovan Catholic, AdvancEd. Accessed August 20, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e Donovan Catholic High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d School data for Monsignor Donovan High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed August 15, 2017.
  6. ^ School Listing: Donovan Catholic High School, Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  7. ^ Spahr, Rob. "Monsignor Donovan High School changes its name", The Star-Ledger, July 22, 2014. Accessed July 22, 2014. "Monsignor Donovan High School's Class of 2014 will be the last 'Mon Don' graduates.In a letter to the school community dated Tuesday, the Catholic high school's principal Edward Gere announced that the school would be 'refreshing' its name to Donovan Catholic."
  8. ^ Donovan Catholic High School, International Baccalaureate Organization. However, this opportunity was taken away from students in June of 2021, with no more students being allowed into the program. Accessed January 22, 2018.
  9. ^ Member Schools, Shore Conference. Accessed November 15, 2020.
  10. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021 Accessed September 30, 2020.
  11. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  12. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  13. ^ NJSIAA Winter Cooperative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  14. ^ NJSIAA Girls Spring Track Summary of Group Titles, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  15. ^ NJSIAA Girls Cross Country State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Sauer, Justin. "Coach Joe Romano, Monsignor Donovan, boys bowling", Asbury Park Press, March 24, 2007. Accessed April 13, 2007.
  17. ^ NJSIAA Spring Track Summary of Group Titles Boys, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  18. ^ Manley, Matt. "Formula for success", Asbury Park Press, January 19, 2008. Accessed June 22, 2011. "Donovan won two relays and scored key secondary points throughout the meet to capture its first Ocean County Championship, topping second-place Point Beach 316.5-295 and ending a 10-year title run by Toms River North."
  19. ^ Shanker, Jared. "NJSIAA TRACK AND FIELD: GROUPS III, NON-PUBLIC A, NON-PUBLIC B Bardhan gives Trojans third gold medal; Falcons' Schubiger claims pole vault", Courier News, May 31, 2008. Accessed April 15, 2010.
  20. ^ Evans, Bill. "Softball: Donovan Catholic scores 9 in first, rolls to first state title", NJ Advance Media for, June 1, 2019, updated August 22, 2019. "The Donovan Catholic High School softball team left no doubt in winning its first state softball title. The No. 2 Griffins scored nine runs in the bottom of the first inning to roll over No. 4 Mount St. Dominic, 11-1, in the NJSIAA Non-Public A state final Saturday night at Kean University."
  21. ^ Logiudice, Daniel. "NJ softball: Donovan Catholic caps historic season with TOC title", Asbury Park Press, June 8, 2019. Accessed January 7, 2021. "Using its typical potent mix of powerful bats and dominant pitching, top-seeded Donovan Catholic steamrolled through the Tournament of Champions and defeated second-seeded Cedar Grove 10-0 in five innings in the final to capture its first-ever TOC title in its first appearance in the three-year-old tournament. The victory occurred about one week after Donovan Catholic (30-2) captured its first-ever state title with an 11-1 five-inning victory against Mount St. Dominic in the Non-Public A final."
  22. ^ NJSIAA Softball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  23. ^ Evans, Bill. "Softball Top 50 profile: Donovan Catholic finally achieves its dreams", NJ Advance Media for, June 14, 2019, updated August 22, 2019. "Donovan Catholic (30-2)... Donovan Catholic followed up the South Jersey Non-Public A win with its first state title, scoring nine runs in the first inning and going on to an 11-1 win over Mount St. Dominic. It then beat Lodi Immaculate and Cedar Grove in the TOC."
  24. ^ Apruzzese, Andrea. "Monsignor Donovan H.S. wins county mock trial championship", Asbury Park Press, February 19, 2009. Accessed June 22, 2011. "For the second consecutive year the Monsignor Donovan High School Mock Trial Team has captured the Ocean County Championship."
  25. ^ Staff. "Monsignor Donovan High School Announces Hall of Fame Inductees" Archived March 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, The Toms River Times, July 30, 2008. Accessed July 17, 2011. "St. Joseph / Monsignor Donovan High School alumni being honored for their distinguished professional careers and community / public service include Jack Brogan, Raymond Marzarella Jr., Robert Taylor, Elisabeth Fontenelli and John Cudia."
  26. ^ Davies, Ross. Diamond Dallas Page, p. 20. The Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. ISBN 0-8239-3493-4. Accessed July 17, 2011. "By ninth grade, he was a starter at St. Joseph's High School in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. In tenth grade, he made the varsity team."
  27. ^ DiVeronica, Jeff. "Palguta back after MLS tryout", Democrat and Chronicle, April 12, 2007. Accessed July 17, 2011. "He also spent part of his offseason coaching high school basketball something he has missed since his three varsity seasons as a shooting guard for Monsignor Donovan High. Palguta coached the freshman squad and assisted with the varsity the past two years."
  28. ^ Scott Palguta, Rochester Rhinos, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 1, 2009. Accessed July 17, 2011. "Palguta earned a school-record 11 varsity letters at Monsignor Donovan HS (four in soccer and track, three in basketball)"
  29. ^ Richani, Fred. "TSC Interviews: HDNet's Mike Straka" Archived November 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine,, September 25, 2010. Accessed July 17, 2011. "Q. Where did you grow up? A. I grew up in Barnegat, New Jersey. Q. Did you have a good childhood? A. I had a great childhood. Dad was a UPS man. Mom was a nurse's aid. I went [to] Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River (home of UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar), where I wrestled."
  30. ^ Interview with Mike Straka Archived December 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed December 21, 2006.
  31. ^ Staff. Griffin Network Today Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Spring 2010, Volume 10: Issue 2, p. 15. Accessed July 18, 2011. "Glenn Taranto, an accomplished character actor, is now a successful screen writer. His film, Stolen, starring Josh Lucas and Jon Hamm is being released by IFC."

External links[edit]