Discover Our Alumni - Pat Donlan, Class of 2009
Life has many interesting twists and turns and Guerin Prep alum Pat Donlan ’09 would certainly agree. Pat, who is currently in his second year as a full time faculty member at Montini Catholic High School, encountered some bumps and curves along his college and career path, but was determined to find his way.
Pat got his B.S. in Psychology at Illinois State University, but before that his first major was financial accounting, at which point he vowed he would never pursue a Master’s degree. He then switched to a business administration major but it was not all that he had hoped it would be. Pat realized that he wanted to do something in education and was captivated by the idea of being a counselor and that led him to his psychology major.
“I had really great counselors at Guerin who helped me with everything from academics to college, and I wanted to be that for a student,” said Pat, who added that he is not just saying that for Guerin’s sake. “My counselors at Guerin were so amazing.”
Pat states that majoring in psychology was without a doubt the best experience he ever had because it taught him so many great lessons. Despite his earlier vow regarding graduate school, Pat went on to receive his Master of Arts in School Counseling from Concordia University in River Forest.
He was able to intern at Montini during his master’s program and went on to start his career there. With a caseload of 229 students, Pat is also the ACT Test Coordinator and one of the varsity cheerleading coaches. “My mother used to coach (cheerleading) at Holy Cross and led them to a state and national title – so I guess I’m keeping it in the family,” Pat said.
Pat credits Guerin teachers for pushing him towards honors and AP classes that helped prepare him for greater workloads. He added that by the time he got to college and had only 4 to 5 courses a semester it seemed like nothing compared to how many classes he had in high school.
When asked why a parent should send their son or daughter to Guerin, Pat believes because of the faculty. “It was pretty evident that they cared a lot about us and it sort of set a precedent for how I help and interact with my students now; they wanted to see us succeed and they still keep in touch with us now…that’s how you know they really care.” You make us proud, Pat Donlan!