Donovan Catholic graduates noted for resilience, perseverance

June 17, 2024 at 12:07 p.m.
Class of 2024 grads of Donovan Catholic, Toms River, toss their caps in the air following graduation June 3.
Class of 2024 grads of Donovan Catholic, Toms River, toss their caps in the air following graduation June 3.

By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor

Donovan Catholic Principal Jillian Kelly said the Class of 2024 will hold a special place in her heart.

“We started Donovan Catholic together in September 2020,” during a time of uncertainty because of the pandemic, she said, telling the graduates “how amazing you all were as freshmen embarking on a four-year journey.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Donovan Catholic Baccalaureate

PHOTO GALLERY: Donovan Catholic Graduation

Graduation “is a time for you to look back as well as to look forward to things you have learned here and apply it to your next destination,” she said.

“During your tenure at Donovan Catholic, you have demonstrated resilience and perseverance. You have embraced our values and sense of community. Your studies at Donovan have opened doors for you to take action and make the world a better place.”

This year, the graduation celebration for the 146 seniors began June 2 with a Baccalaureate Mass celebrated in St. Joseph Church by Bishop

“We will continue to write new stories – ones of adventure, discovery, and possibility. Our futures are uniquely our own. So together as a class of 2024 let us carry the knowledge that we are the authors of our own future.

Let us embrace what comes before us, keep an open heart and open mind, and always keep God in our story.”

The following day, school officials presented diplomas during commencement exercises in the church and acknowledged students for their academic, athletic and artistic achievements, as well as their collective more than 4,000 hours of service to various organizations in the local community.

As 1997 graduates of Donovan Catholic High School, Glenn and Dorothea Jansen appreciate all that a Catholic education has to offer.

And now that their youngest child, Emily, just graduated from the Toms River high school, the couple feels affirmed in providing their three children with the same experience.

“We made the commitment to a Catholic education for Emily and her brothers because, as alumni, we recognize the importance of going to a school rooted in a community of faith and service,” Dorothea Jansen said, noting that the small classes at DCHS allow students to make lifelong friendships while also making meaningful connections with the teachers and administrators.

“The rich tradition within Donovan Catholic afforded our children the same unique experience we had, because they had many of the same teachers we did,” she said.

Though Emily Jansen had started her high school career at Toms River Intermediate North, she was happy to follow in her parents’and brothers’ footsteps at Donovan Catholic.

Reflecting on the school’s motto, “It makes a difference,” she said it became more meaningful for her through the examples set by staff members Christine Mooney, Christine Mattsson (sic), Patti Viscomi and Carla Parisi.

Of Mooney and Mattsson, Hansen said, “They taught me valuable lessons that I will carry with me beyond my time h

“Mrs. Viscomi, a guidance counselor, is a passionate advocate for students’well-being that enabled me to have a positive start in high school, and Mrs. Parisi, a guidance secretary, is a great listener and is always there to support the students,” Jansen said.

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.


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Donovan Catholic Principal Jillian Kelly said the Class of 2024 will hold a special place in her heart.

“We started Donovan Catholic together in September 2020,” during a time of uncertainty because of the pandemic, she said, telling the graduates “how amazing you all were as freshmen embarking on a four-year journey.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Donovan Catholic Baccalaureate

PHOTO GALLERY: Donovan Catholic Graduation

Graduation “is a time for you to look back as well as to look forward to things you have learned here and apply it to your next destination,” she said.

“During your tenure at Donovan Catholic, you have demonstrated resilience and perseverance. You have embraced our values and sense of community. Your studies at Donovan have opened doors for you to take action and make the world a better place.”

This year, the graduation celebration for the 146 seniors began June 2 with a Baccalaureate Mass celebrated in St. Joseph Church by Bishop

“We will continue to write new stories – ones of adventure, discovery, and possibility. Our futures are uniquely our own. So together as a class of 2024 let us carry the knowledge that we are the authors of our own future.

Let us embrace what comes before us, keep an open heart and open mind, and always keep God in our story.”

The following day, school officials presented diplomas during commencement exercises in the church and acknowledged students for their academic, athletic and artistic achievements, as well as their collective more than 4,000 hours of service to various organizations in the local community.

As 1997 graduates of Donovan Catholic High School, Glenn and Dorothea Jansen appreciate all that a Catholic education has to offer.

And now that their youngest child, Emily, just graduated from the Toms River high school, the couple feels affirmed in providing their three children with the same experience.

“We made the commitment to a Catholic education for Emily and her brothers because, as alumni, we recognize the importance of going to a school rooted in a community of faith and service,” Dorothea Jansen said, noting that the small classes at DCHS allow students to make lifelong friendships while also making meaningful connections with the teachers and administrators.

“The rich tradition within Donovan Catholic afforded our children the same unique experience we had, because they had many of the same teachers we did,” she said.

Though Emily Jansen had started her high school career at Toms River Intermediate North, she was happy to follow in her parents’and brothers’ footsteps at Donovan Catholic.

Reflecting on the school’s motto, “It makes a difference,” she said it became more meaningful for her through the examples set by staff members Christine Mooney, Christine Mattsson (sic), Patti Viscomi and Carla Parisi.

Of Mooney and Mattsson, Hansen said, “They taught me valuable lessons that I will carry with me beyond my time h

“Mrs. Viscomi, a guidance counselor, is a passionate advocate for students’well-being that enabled me to have a positive start in high school, and Mrs. Parisi, a guidance secretary, is a great listener and is always there to support the students,” Jansen said.

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

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