Head of School Welcome

“To our students, our faculty, our alumni, and parents, Donoho is more than a school. It is a community where memories are made and shared for generations.”

Welcome to The Donoho School

At Donoho, academics are celebrated, imagination is embraced, and leadership is fostered. Through our mission and core values, Donoho students, teachers, and parents are encouraged to Live with honor, Engage their passion, Act with humility, and Delight in wisdom.  Our faculty and administration strive to promote these values in each child, providing a learning environment that is both challenging and caring, focused on supporting each child as he or she grows and matures as a student and as a citizen in the world.

While our curriculum provides a strong foundation in the traditional academic disciplines, our program also strives to provide opportunities in athletics, the arts, service, and leadership.  The Donoho student is a vibrant, active participant in his or her own education, developing a love of learning that will last a lifetime. To our students, our faculty, our alumni, and parents, Donoho is more than a school.  It is a community where memories are made and shared for generations.

As you catch a glimpse of Donoho from viewing our Website, imagine how much you will experience when you visit our campus. We invite you to spend some time with us to learn how we inspire our students and how we prepare them for active and productive lives in a global world.  No website can truly do justice to the spirit of learning and community we experience each day.

David J. Noone

Head of School

Greetings, Donoho Family!

This is the first of many letters that I want to share with you as your new Dean of Students, and before I go any further, I would like to thank Dr. Hutchins for giving me this opportunity to serve you in this capacity. Having been in the classroom for the past decade, as the spouse of a Donoho alum for the past fourteen years, and as the proud father of two Donoho students (Edwin, grade 7, and Estella, grade 3), I deeply understand and respect all that Donoho represents and feel blessed to be here. There is nowhere I would rather be, and I am excited to be a part of this new page in Donoho’s brilliant history.
Secondly, I appreciate the legacy that Ms. Hester has left and am humbled to be her replacement. From my first day on Donoho’s campus, she was a mentor to me, and her mantra, “Always do the right thing,” will continue to serve as my guide.
Now, as your new Dean of Students, student life is an area which I hope to enrich, and letters like these will serve to give you a deeper understanding of what we are trying to accomplish at Donoho. Although this initial letter is a bit lengthy, I am proud to share an exciting development! In case you haven’t heard, there is something BREWING on the Donoho campus…Donoho Joe! Donoho Joe is the name of the new student-run coffee shop that will be opening in the cafetorium with the start of this year! This concept is in many ways what represents the Donoho Difference.
It all began last year in my AP Language and Comp class. Each year after studying the strategies of rhetoric for the better part of a semester, I challenge the students to put into practice what they have learned with a writing assignment that asks them to consider a proposal that would benefit either the Donoho community or our local community as a whole. Oh, and you might be surprised how often school uniforms are proposed! Well, over the years I have been blown away by not only the ideas that these students envision but the execution (rhetorically-speaking) in their proposals. By the way, this is the same assignment that brought about The Pitch, Donoho’s student-driven and student-centered school broadcast, which was the brainchild of alumna Nisha Kashyap (’11).
Last year, among many wonderful proposals, Nina Bidikov put forth an idea that I just could not shake, a student-run coffee shop. In sharing her essay with the class, her peers and I agreed, a student-run coffee shop would truly represent a Donoho Difference. Thus, with the beginning of summer, I researched the idea and was pleased to learn that although this is unique to our area, the concept of a student-run coffee shop is one that has been embraced on campuses across the country, particularly at the college level. When Richard Bateman (’14) begins classes this fall at the University of Chicago, he will be able to enjoy a cup of joe at the Cobb Coffee Shop, Chicago’s student-run coffee shop!
With this knowledge in mind, I looked into bringing the idea to life on our campus, and with Dr. Hutchins’ full support, we were off! We have partnered with Bunn Beverage Company who has graciously supplied us with our equipment to get started! We have also partnered with local coffee roaster, Southern Girl Roasters, who has created a special “Donoho Joe” blend that is exclusive for us, is among the best coffee I’ve ever tasted, and can only be bought at Donoho Joe on Donoho’s campus! How cool is that? Donoho Joe can be bought by the pound (whole bean or ground) and by the cup! The shop will be open during tutorial (7:30-7:55) and during break, and we intend to sell hot chocolate, hot tea, and fresh fruit and pastries, in addition to our coffee, which can be ordered black or flavored! We will also have coffee for sale by the pound in the upper school office and intend to sell Donoho Joe through concessions at sporting events. One thing to consider, however, is that students will not be given coffee in a cup; rather, we will sell Donoho Joe travel thermoses out of the shop. It is imperative that students have a sealed mug in order to take their coffee to class (YES, we will allow students to take their coffee, hot tea, or hot chocolate to class, but no, NO Starbucks, McDonalds, etc., please…just DONOHO JOE)! They may bring their own mug from home or purchase one from the shop, but all students will need to buy or bring a mug in order to consume from Donoho Joe. Trust me, you will love this coffee, and we hope to see everyone with a Donoho Joe mug in his or her hand!
What excites me most about this venture is how deep into our community Donoho Joe reaches. Consider these points, which exemplify, to me, what makes our school unique. The idea was created by a Donoho student in response to a class assignment, which in turn was supported by the administration and brought to life. The Donoho Joe logo has been created by an alum, Elizabeth Smith (’11), who honed her skills as a graphic design artist while shadowing at Potts Marketing as a student during Intersession. The SGA will gain first-hand entrepreneurial experience as they will man all shifts. Donoho Joe supports a local business, Southern Girl Roasters, who in return will be supplying a delicious, proprietary blend of coffee that can’t be purchased anywhere else! Mr. Ford and his economics class will be able to use the shop as a working lab to analyze basic accounting and economic principals such as profit and loss, inventory control, and supply and demand. Mrs. Landrum will use the space as an art gallery to showcase the brilliant work her students create. Donoho parents like Brian Simmons and Lucy Smith have donated their gifts and talents (you will be amazed by the bistro tables that Brian has created for the shop) in decorating. Finally, Donoho Joe will be the perfect space for entertaining poetry readings and other intimate events (I’m talking to you, Jazz Band)!
So, what we have in Donoho Joe is something in which all students, parents, faculty, and staff can take pride. It exemplifies the Donoho Difference, and I can’t wait to have a cup of Donoho Joe with you. Here’s to a wonderful year together!
Russ Connell
Dean of Students