Kevin Donahue
Kevin Donahue

Story by Christina Leslie, Correspondent

It was a matter of faith, morals and values.

After a dozen years of teaching and counseling in area public high schools, Kevin Donahue has once again embraced the call to Catholic education to become the new principal of St. Benedict School, Holmdel. 

Donahue earned a bachelor of arts degree in education and history from Rowan University, Glassboro, and a master of education degree in school counseling at the University of Maryland, College Park, Md. After serving as social studies teacher in Burlington City High School, he served as a school counselor and anti-bullying specialist in Lacey Township High School. Outside the classroom, Donahue also served terms as varsity and junior softball, baseball and volleyball coach at the two high schools

In 2014, Donahue, a member of the Christian Brothers Academy Class of 1997, returned to the Lincroft school as its director of admissions. There, he juggled responsibilities such as recruiting, marketing, advertising and consulting with its president, principal and associate principals; served as the school’s teacher of advanced placement and honors psychology and as freshman baseball head coach.

But a change in direction toward grammar school leadership was on the horizon.

“I was inspired to apply for the principal job for St. Benedict by Father Garry Koch,” Donahue said, noting he had known the pastor of the Holmdel parish from his days as a teacher at CBA. “I was impressed with the students and the staff, and thought it was a great opportunity.”

Donahue and his wife, Courtney, are members of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Haddon Heights, in the Diocese of Camden. They are parents to two young sons, the eldest of whom is entering kindergarten in Catholic school this year. His continuing love of sports leadership now manifests itself as tee-ball coach for his son’s team.

For his inaugural year in St. Benedict School, Donahue plans to “continue to build upon the traditions of the school” and noted the advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) equipment used at the Holmdel school.

“There is great technology already in place, like green screens and 3D printers,” he said. “There are some things perhaps the public doesn’t even know about,” such as a new science lab that holds robots, coding equipment and high-tech projectors.

But it’s more than just the quality of education or the latest electronic advances that attracts Donahue. It’s the bedrock of faith he experienced as a Catholic school student that still permeates the faith-based educational system today.

“It will continue to instill great character, morals and values, and enable [students] to become a valuable member of society,” Donahue said. “St. Benedict Catholic school students have a safe environment and a nurturing, loving staff, which instills the values of the Bible and what Christ taught: character, accountability and respect for others.”

“As a Catholic school student myself, I may forget how I learned to write in cursive in the fifth grade,” he said, “but I will never forget how to be kind to others.”