Outgoing La Salle principal receives shock of a lifetime

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s the top of an period for La Salle Academy.

Principal Donald Kavanagh is asking it a profession after 22 years on the job.

The 70-year-old obtained the shock of a lifetime Tuesday afternoon when he walked exterior and noticed almost 1,500 college students, college and employees holding indicators and chanting his identify.

“I was in shock,” Kavanagh recalled. “It was just a tremendous feeling.”

“It brought my whole career together in a lot of ways,” he continued. “All of those kids I’ve seen on the athletic field, or in shows, or in class, or in my office on occasion.”

It was a second that Kavanagh will cherish for years to return. He began his profession at La Salle in 1972 as an educator, and after two stints at Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket and Barrington High School, he returned in 2000 to function principal.

Kavanagh’s retirement isn’t going to be precisely as he’d imagined.

His spouse, Christine Kavanagh, handed away again in January. She was the longtime director of the performing arts program at St. Mary Academy – Bay View.

“She was always putting on a show,” he mentioned with a smile. “She was very creative.”

Kavanagh mentioned he nonetheless thinks about his spouse each single day, including that he deliberate on spending his retirement touring the world together with her.

“The house is very quiet,” he mentioned. “I’m not used to that.”

When requested what he’s going to overlook most about his job, Kavanagh mentioned “the activity.” His successor, Tim Welsh, formally takes over on July 1.

“I’m going to be going 100 miles an hour until June 10,” he mentioned. “It will all slow down a little bit between June 10 and June 30, but after that, it all goes down to zero … There’s no real planning for me after that.”

Kavanagh mentioned he can even miss the scholars, who’ve made his profession worthwhile.

“I’ve always considered the students as part of my family,” he mentioned.

And for the overwhelming majority of La Salle college students, the sensation is mutual.

As Kavanagh walked down the entrance steps, one scholar flashed an indication that learn “LSA Legend.”

When requested why he thinks college students think about him a legend, Kavanagh believes it’s as a result of he lives and breathes La Salle’s core values.

“I really believe in what we do at La Salle every day,” he mentioned. “One of the reasons I came back to La Salle was because I knew I had the opportunity to work in a place where I believed in the values, and I knew the community, in general, would buy into what we were trying to do … for me, it was a perfect match.”

Following the farewell celebration, Kavanagh was gifted the important thing to La Salle by Brother Dennis Malloy, who’s served as the college’s president since 2019.

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