Flashback to the Donnelly Age


Autumn Fatovich, News Editor

Ever wonder what your teacher did before they started teaching? Who they were or who they associated themselves with in high school? What their hobbies were and how they their young lives transformed them into who they are today?  Ms. Donnelly has allowed The Paper Cut a glimpse into the window of her past.

In Donnelly’s life, she has taken up archery, shooting, and hunting, activities that her ex – Mr. Donnelly, turned her on to. During archery, she only went target shooting due to “lack of skill” to use a bow during hunting season. “…but I am a great shot,” Ms. Donnelly added matter-of-factly. She took up shooting and went hunting for deer, elk, and turkey.

If you know Ms. Donnelly, then you know that a major part of her life was competing in weight lifting. She started heavy lifting in 1986 to build up her body and ten years later she competed in her first body-building competition. In 1996, she took second place in Miss Tucson and took Masters in her class. One thing she is very proud of was reaching 300-pounds dead-lifting. For her weight lifting competition, her diet was basically normal up until the big day. About two weeks before Donnelly’s competitions, she would cut all carbs and sugar and intake lots of protein and water. When asked what she was proud of she stated happily,”Body building helped me overcome my fear of being in public.” Now Donnelly goes on walks, sometimes with her friends, around her neighborhood. She also enjoys cooking and grilling ANYTHING in sight.

She attended Catalina High School from 1969 to 1973. During high school Donnelly described herself as “NOT the druggies”, she also didn’t consider herself a preppie either. She was smart and fell under the basic high-schooler. She dressed casual by wearing long jeans and in the summer only, she wore shorts and casual tees. Then she attended the University of Arizona to set out to be an oceanographer. Due to her mother not letting her out much, she switched to studying merchandising. She got her first degree in merchandising, but after finding out she did not want to be a buyer and not liking retail, she decided to become a teacher. After 2 more years at the U of A, a total of six years of schooling, she got her education degree. Donnelly has taught for 38 years. She started teaching at Palo Verde High School and stayed for 8 years then taught at Booth Fickett for one year, following Santa Rita for 12 years and has been at Sahuaro for 10 years so far.

In life she is proud of being able to shoot very well, along with hunting, being a good friend, keeping her confidence, and staying under the radar. Donnelly’s number one advice to females is to be independent so you can appreciate things in your life. Also never be afraid to seek help.