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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Dan Guernsey Returning to Head Donahue Academy

guernsey-250Dan Guernsey, the popular founding headmaster of the Donahue Academy in Ave Maria, will be taking the reins once again after the Diocese of Venice completes its purchase of the Catholic k-12 school.

Pastor Fr. Cory Mayer announced Dr. Guernsey's return as principal Wednesday night at a meeting of parents in the Donahue gymnasium. The news was greeted by a sustained standing ovation.

Dr. Guernsey was the founding headmaster of Donahue when the school opened in 2007 and built it into a highly-regarded institution. He left in 2014 to move across the road to start up the education department at Ave Maria University.

Donahue had some struggles in his absence, with a different headmaster in each of the last three years and a decline in enrollment. It also has been dealing recently with a lawsuit filed by one of its former directors, Brian Lawe, alleging that Ave Maria University improperly controlled the Donahue Academy.

Now, Dr. Guernsey told the parents Wednesday night, he wants to focus on the future and asked for the community's help in making Donahue a great school.

Dr. Kristy Swol, the diocese's school superintendent, told the parents that the Donahue Academy's classical curriculum will continue and said that the diocese is not adopting the "common core" curriculum.

The diocese announced in early May that it was purchasing the Donahue Academy from Ave Maria University. The purchase is expected to close in June and it is also expected that the lawsuit will be dropped at that time.


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