Parent Testimonials


Before our daughter was able to speak, we were committed to the ideal of a Catholic Education. We were well aware that before she could walk, she would be going to Donovan Catholic. Prior to being registered to attend kindergarten, we knew she would be a Griffin.

 As a family of people involved in the education field, there was never a doubt as to the excellence in educational standards that are offered at Donovan Catholic. The rigorous and challenging classes would be the ultimate preparation for a college career. Now, as our oldest daughter is about to begin a new journey at her university, the legacy of a Donovan education is a part of her - not just a piece of her background. A solid educational resume is doubly powerful when combined with the concrete foundations enrobed in our beautiful and traditional Catholic faith and a rich dedication to Christian service in school, parish, and the local community at large.

 It was her Donovan experience that allowed our daughter to discover and sharpen her God-given gifts to become more well-rounded and garner greater exposure to the world. Through various clubs and activities, she broke free of the ordinary world and learned to soar as we never even dreamed for her. She performed on stage, volunteered to help those less fortunate, took college credit classes, took numerous leadership positions, and met lifelong friends who shared her moral compass.

 Dedicated and caring faculty members challenged her academically while showing great concern for her as an individual. Whether it was a teacher, advisor, secretary or other faculty/staff member, she was always made to feel as if she was part of something greater than herself.  Her instructors challenged her to become the best at everything she was asked to undertake. She didn't just attend Donovan Catholic, she WAS Donovan Catholic - an equally important gear in the machinery that makes Donovan a unique environment.

 Though a private school does require prayerful consideration due to newfound financial obligations, the academic merit scholarship that our daughter earned for her first-choice college far surpassed the tuition cost incurred for her Donovan education. The education at Donovan was an investment in her academic, personal and social growth.

 Our daughter would not be the person that she is today if she hadn't attended Donovan Catholic. Even now, as she begins to journey out towards her new educational challenges in college, we already know that our son will become a Griffin in just one year. He will also have the same advantages bestowed upon him. He too, must be allowed to flourish and grow in an environment so alive with potential and personal development opportunities.

 There is no questioning the positive impact that the Donovan community has caused in our lives. Truly, we wouldn't change a thing because we know that we gave our daughter the best possible learning environment that was available to her. We have one year until our son steps through those doors on his way to becoming a member of the class of 2022, but because our daughter was a member of the class of 2017, we know exactly what we are getting. A Donovan education certainly made a powerful impact on our daughter; it truly made a difference.



Ron and Jodi Heitmann
Parents of Alumni - Classes of 2017 & 2022 


As the first in my family to attend Donovan I was nervous to come to a brand new school knowing no one. I quickly realized that was nothing to worry about, I formed bonds with classmates and even with those above or behind me grade wise that will last a lifetime. Teachers became my mentors and coaches became my role models. The small environment allowed me to become more involved and get to know as many people as possible. By the time graduation day came along, it was bittersweet leaving the school I called my home and the people I called my family, but I was ready and prepared for my future endeavors. All thanks to Donovan Catholic. I now have a brother who is a member of the class of 2020 and was more than pleased with his first year and two more siblings behind him who couldn't be more excited to hopefully join the classes of 2022 and 2023. 
~Charlie Dowling  Class of 2017


"Donovan Catholic, it makes a difference for parents too!!  It’s a place where parents are informed and part of a team with faculty and staff!"  

~Nancy Donnelly


Monsignor Donovan was truly a wonderful experience for my husband and I during our high school years. When it came time for our children to start high school, the decision to enroll them at Donovan Catholic was easy. We knew they would get a fantastic faith filled education emphasizing our Catholic values and make friendships that will last a lifetime. Donovan Catholic is now our family tradition. It really does Make A Difference! 
~Dan and Peggy (Gavan) Rappoccio Class of 1989

"Donovan Catholic is truly an extraordinary place.  From the moment you enter the campus, feelings of warmth and acknowledgement are undeniable.  You are greeted with heartfelt smiles, verbal welcomes, and handshakes.We feel honored that our daughter has the opportunity to experience four years, in a place where Christian values are not simply taught, but lived."

~Teresa McMahon






As an adult I've begun to see the ways a Catholic secondary education has impacted and shaped my life as a person of integrity. Attending MDHS fostered my character and nurtured my identity. It taught me a love of learning, and how the secular and sacred are forever entwined and cannot be separated in daily life. MDHS was a supporting, caring community where students weren't allowed to "fall through the cracks" if they were having difficulty. People stereotype Catholic school because of the perceived rules and discipline. I'm thankful for it. Those parameters and standards of behavior we were held to at MDHS helped shape me into a person who respects the dignity of others, my workplace, my community, my world, myself. One of the best aspects of an MDHS education is that I could freely express and practice my faith. The values I learned at home were reinforced in school. I am proud to say I graduated from a Catholic high school and MDHS.

~Stephanie Shestakow Class of 1994

Donovan Catholic thoroughly prepares its students for their journey onto college by providing rigorous academic programs that require discipline and continued hard work.  Donovan Catholic challenges its students to be all that they can be and more --- that’s the Donovan Difference.    
~Parent of a 2013 Graduate 

"Donovan Catholic supports our children's Catholic upbringing and augments our family teaching. We are very pleased with how our girls have grown under the guidance of the Donovan family."
~Marge Bautista

What a lovely video!  I was able to share my daughter's first day of school with her!  I would not send my daughter to any other school.  Her brother and sister graduated from Monsignor Donovan High School years ago and the education they received was surpassed by no other! 
~Francesca Richie


Donovan Catholic has given our 3 sons a dynamic learning environment rooted in Catholic values and academic excellence. It’s an approach that has developed their whole person, spiritually and intellectually.  Through Donovan’s robust programs in the performing arts, leadership, athletics and Christian service our boys have been afforded exciting and well-rounded opportunities to grow as individuals and to grow as young men ready for action and prepared for their future.  
~ Mr. James Maguire



Contact Information

711 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, NJ 08753
Tel. 732.349.8801
Fax. 732.349.8956

Mission Statement

The high school community of Donovan Catholic educates its students to live their faith, respect and serve others in a global society, and pursue academic excellence in a college preparatory environment.

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