Donovan Catholic High School

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Donovan Catholic High School
711 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, NJ, (Ocean County) 08753
Coordinates 39°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
Type Private, Coeducational
Motto "It makes a difference"
Religious affiliation(s) Catholic Church
Established 1962
School district Diocese of Trenton
Director Rev. G. Scott Shaffer
Principal Edward Gere
Vice principal Kathleen D'Andrea
Asst. principal Eileen McCullion
Chaplain Father Gary
Faculty 61.5 FTEs[1]
Grades 912
Enrollment 685 (as of 2013-14)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 11.1:1[1]
Color(s)      Royal blue and
Athletics conference Shore Conference
Nickname MonDon
Team name Griffins[2]
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[3]
Dean of Discipline Kim Sandomierski
Student Activities Director Donna Milana
Athletic Director Joseph 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.[4] Located in the coastal community of Toms River Township, the school originally opened in 1962 as St. Joseph High, but was renamed as Monsignor Donovan High School after its founder, Msgr. Lawrence Donovan in 1983, before adopting its current name in 2014.[5] The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1977.[3]

As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 685 students and 61.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.1:1.[1]

The school mascot is the Griffin. 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.


Donovan Catholic has created an Enhanced Learning Community (ELC) 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[2] compete in the Shore Conference, an athletic conference made up of private and public high schools centered at the Northern Jersey Shore.[6] All schools in this conference are located within Monmouth County and Ocean County, and the league operates under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[7]

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.[2]

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

  • 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

The Donovan Catholic sailing team won the NJ State High School Sailing Championship in 2005, 2006 and 2007, they have also won the CT State High School Sailing Championship in 2005 and 2008. In a period of six years, the M.D.H.S. Sailing Team has qualified for the Inter-Scholastic Sailing National Championship four times.

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 all in a single season.[8]

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.[9]

In 2008, the men's track and field team won the State Championship.[10]

In February 2012, the men's bowling team won the Non-Public State Championship.[citation needed]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school's mock trial team won the Ocean County tournament in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.[11] The school has also sent teams to the National Championships of the National History Bee and Bowl since its inception in 2011.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Monsignor Donovan High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Donovan Catholic High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 4, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Monsignor Donovan High School Archived March 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  4. ^ School Listing: Donovan Catholic High School, Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  5. ^ 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."
  6. ^ Member Schools, Shore Conference. Accessed February 4, 2017.
  7. ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  8. ^ Sauer, Justin. "COACH JOE ROMANO, Monsignor Donovan, boys bowling", Asbury Park Press, March 24, 2007, accessed April 13, 2007
  9. ^ 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."
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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."
  12. ^ 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."
  13. ^ 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."
  14. ^ 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."
  15. ^ 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)"
  16. ^ Richani, Fred. "TSC Interviews: HDNet's Mike Straka",, 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."
  17. ^ Interview with Mike Straka. Accessed December 21, 2006.
  18. ^ Staff. Griffin Network Today, 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]