Teachers change lives every day

Lifetime influence

Author: Donna Gibbons
Teacher's name: Henry McDonald
Teacher's school: Dunne Academy

One of my favourite teachers during my school years was Henry McDonald. “Mr. McDonald” taught me Physical Education from grades 4-11 at Dunne Memorial Academy in St. Mary’s.

While being a great teacher, I was perhaps more influenced by Mr. McDonald because he was a great School Sports coach. Henry coached me Cross Country Running and Basketball. These are two sports I continue to participate in to this day and have coached in recent years.

Henry was a very dedicated coach. As many coaches do, he put a lot of time and effort into coaching his sports teams. Looking back, the greatest quality that Henry possessed as a coach besides being kind and fair, was that he had the ability to motivate without having to raise his voice. In addition, Henry instilled in me (and many others) the importance of working hard. There are many life lessons that one can learn through playing sports. I learned these lessons because of Henry’s positive influence.

I had the good sense to carry on the life lessons learned from playing high school sports; thus the life lessons I learned from Henry. Because of Henry’s positive influence, he is one of the main reasons why I am a Physical Education Teacher and Coach today.

As a Coach and Athletic Director, I wish to provide students/athletes with the same positive experiences in playing sports that Henry provided me with. This is something that I take pride in.

The attached photo is a quote that Henry wrote to me in a letter at the end of my last year of high school. I still have this letter 17 years later!

I am very fortunate to have been taught and coached by Henry McDonald. I am certain that many people in the St. Mary’s Bay area would agree.

Donna Gibbons
Physical Education Teacher
Waterford Valley High School

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