Monthly Archives: February 2015

Soph. Zoey Gast Takes 1st PLACE in Marshall County Young Writers Contest


Ms. Alexis George, English 10 instructor, and Zoey Gast

Congratulations to sophomore Zoey Gast who won the Marshall County Young Writers essay contest for grades 9 & 10.  You will find Zoey’s award winning story below.

“Are you ready yet?!” John yells from the living room. “Give me five minutes!” says Annie. It was Valentine’s Day, and John had made 8:00 reservations at Mélisse. The fanciest restaurant in town. Annie walks out wearing the dress John had picked out for her, although he still got butterflies while seeing her come down the hallway.

He felt himself get very warm, and hoped he wasn’t noticeably sweating. John was going to propose tonight. It was planned that after dinner, he would drive to the park they had their first play date at as kids, and propose there.

John and Annie have known each other since they were just little toddlers. Once they got to high school, Annie’s family moved a couple towns down, so Annie didn’t go to high school with John. It wasn’t until adulthood that they were reunited.

“Wow.” was all he could seem to get to escape his mouth after seeing her. Annie says with a smirk, “Pretty lucky guy, huh?” He awkwardly nodded his head. No way could he speak again with the way she looked. He held out his arm, she took hold on the inside of his elbow, and they went off to dinner.

They had a great time at dinner, laughing, reminiscing, and simply enjoying themselves, and the champagne of course. The further on that dinner went, the more and more nervous John felt. He tried his best not to show it, all the while the ring felt like one of those “oversized load” trucks that have the flashing lights, in his pocket. Annie had no clue what would happen that night.

Annie and John both had a wonderful meal, along with many glasses of champagne, and dessert. John wasn’t drunk, but anyone could’ve told you he was too buzzed to drive. Yet, being young and stupid, he drove anyways, and Annie let him. You’d think John would’ve been smarter.

            The excitement of getting closer to the park made him drive faster without realizing. The park was in the middle of town, but John drove on the back road that they would walk as kids. A narrow, winding road, without much light, and woods on both sides. Driving on this road was part of the plan to make it more romantic, although this amount of alcohol wasn’t in the plan. He silently rehearsed what he was going to say to Annie in his head as they drove.

John was suddenly disappointed in himself. He couldn’t imagine being too drunk to even remember one of the best nights of his life. He shook the idea out of his head. I’m not that drunk. I’m fine. He thought. Perfectly fine. He drove faster, minutes away from the park. Minutes away, from his whole life changing.

The Next Morning

John woke up feeling funny. He couldn’t remember much from last night, but he knew he proposed because he remembered them both crying. He rolled over, and noticed Annie’s finger wasn’t occupied by the ring. It must’ve not fit, or maybe with my nerves I put it on the wrong finger. While reassuring himself, Annie rolled over and smiled. She saw John’s perplexed look and questioned it.

“What’s wrong?” she asked. “Nothing, I just feel strange. It’s probably just a hangover. Do you remember anything from last night?” Annie laughed. “No, but I know it was a big night. I remember that much. Let’s get some coffee, maybe we’ll remember more.”

“Did you hear sirens last night?” John asked. “I had a dream of nothing but sirens. I didn’t know if maybe we saw a wreck on the way home, or maybe there was one nearby that we heard.” “Now that you mention it, yeah, I did.” Annie said. “Okay, glad I’m not going crazy.”  John said with relief.

With that, they began their morning ritual. Nothing much to it, just the average person’s morning. Get up, get coffee, cook and eat breakfast, read the newspaper. The type of morning you see couples have on television.

Both of them ran for the coffee maker. After John got his, he began making Annie’s favorite meal, breakfast casserole. Annie began to take a sip of her coffee, but it spilled down the front of her. John gave her a strange look. “Too hot,” she said. “That’s how it’s usually drank,” John said with a silly smile.

John chopped the peppers, cracked the eggs, browned the meat, prepared the many other ingredients, and put it all in the oven. They sat down across from each other and began reading the morning paper. John read the sports section, and Annie looked at the comics.

After reading the comics, Annie decided to turn on the news. She watched it for a while, mostly weather and big national stories. Then it moved on to the local news. A boy with Down syndrome playing in the band, a house fire, and then a car accident. John had gone to the kitchen to check the casserole, so Annie yelled to him.

“John! Looks like there was an accident nearby! You aren’t crazy after all!” yells Annie. “Turn it up!” John replies. Annie grabbed the remote and turned up the volume so John could hear it from the kitchen.

He could hear the news woman speaking. “Yesterday, February 14, around 10:30 pm, two people were in a car accident on Hank Street. One killed, one discharged early this morning after being checked in the hospital. We can’t give the name of who is deceased yet, but here are the victims. If you have any information on how this accident may have happened, please call 1- 800”- before she could finish the number, John heard a spine chilling scream from Annie. He sprinted into the living room, and there were the faces of the people in the accident. John, and Annie. They stared at each other, both with a question pounding in their heads. Which one of them was dead?

















Students Excel at B.D.H.S. Science Fair

The 2015 Bishop Donahue High School Science Fair was a huge success.  With 41 high school exhibits, and 18 middle school exhibits, this year’s fair was the largest in school history.  Students were required to take an in-depth, research-based approach to a topic that interested them.  Ultimately, all participants were required to research and test variables related to their topic of interest, then draw conclusions while offering a new idea that supported their initial hypothesis, results, or both.

To complete their project, students worked a combined total of 625 hours in the classroom.  This did not include time-on-task while at home, the library, or before/after school hours.  At the fair, students were judged by professionals in the community that provided each with feedback for future experimentation. Students who earned 80% or more of the available points, have been recommended for advancement to the regional competition where they will compete for a highly coveted spot at the West Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair.

Ranked among the top exhibits were 13 Bishop Donahue Students.  Freshmen, Riley DiLoretta and Cade Canestraro, earned honorable mention.  Freshmen, Sarah Riedel, Clinton Whitelatch, and Patrick Malloy, and Sophomore, Madyson Keller, received a rating of “excellent” from the judge’s panel.  Freshman, Madison Wiedebusch, placed 3rd overall with a “superior” rating from the judge’s panel.  Freshmen, Mackenzie Gillis, placed 2nd overall with a “superior” rating from the judge’s panel.  Also earning a “superior” rating from the judge’s panel were 7 students who tied for first place.  All seven of these students received a perfect score.  They were Freshmen, Brek Dimmick, Ulayna Hartley, Robert Chesonis, Isabel Reilly, Alyssa Ehni, Caroline Brannan, and Sophomore, Jennifer Richmond.

Special thanks to our judges who graciously volunteered their time and to B.D.H.S. staff member Mr. Jarett Kuhns, who organized the event.


West Virginia Northern to Host College Goal Sunday February 15th

College Goal Sunday is an opportunity for students and families to get FREE help with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

CGSundayFour colleges and universities from West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle are joining financial aid forces to give free help this month to students and their families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other financial aid forms during College Goal Sunday.

College Goal Sunday financial aid workshops will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, in the B&O Building (use main front door) on the Wheeling campus of West Virginia Northern Community College, 1704 Market St., and at 23 other locations throughout the state.

Participating at the WVNCC site will be financial aid experts from Northern, Wheeling Jesuit University, Bethany College and West Liberty University. Students who attend a College Goal Sunday workshop will be entered to win a Samsung Tablet.

“Completing the FAFSA is critical for anyone considering going to college,” Brian Weingart, senior director of financial aid at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, said. “Students must submit this form in order to be considered for a variety of financial aid programs including state and federal grants, scholarships and loans.”

Anyone who is planning to pursue some form of education and training beyond high school within the next year should complete the FAFSA. That includes high school seniors, current college students and adults thinking about earning a degree or skill certificate. College Goal Sunday workshops are open to students of any age or income level.

The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV), the West Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and several other college access programs including TRiO and GEAR UP work together to coordinate the event.

To participate in College Goal Sunday, pre-register at or simply arrive at WVNCC’s Wheeling campus on Feb. 15. To complete the FAFSA that day, participants will need to bring:

  • Driver’s license (if you have one)
  • Social Security number
  • Parents’ or guardians’ Social Security number (if you are a dependent)
  • Current tax records, including W2s and this year’s or last year’s filed returns, for you, your parents or guardians and/or your spouse.
  • Records of your current untaxed income, including child support, worker’s compensation, untaxed portions of pensions and any other untaxed income you may receive.

This information will be kept completely confidential, and those attending will work one-on-one with financial aid experts who will not share or save their information.

To find more information about College Goal Sunday or to pre-register, visit

Bishop Donahue High School Earns NCA CASI Accreditation

AE | NCA dip seal 4c 66%Principal Tom Wise announced today that Bishop Donahue High School has earned accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED.  This action was taken at the AdvancED Accreditation Commission meeting held in on January 22, 2015. The school accreditation is a part of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston school system accreditation. This means that the system and all of its schools are accredited, and recognized across the nation as a quality school system. The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston was one of the first 25 Dioceses in the nation to achieve this status.  The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston became the first Catholic school system in the United States to achieve this status using the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Secondary and Elementary Schools.

The accreditation process involves three ongoing components:  1) meeting high quality standards; 2) implementing a continuous process of improvement; and 3) engaging in quality assurance through internal and external review.  The system’s accreditation is for a five-year term with regular monitoring of progress and reporting occurring during the term.

NCA CASI provides nationally-recognized accreditation, the purpose of which is continuous school improvement focused on increasing student performance.  To earn accreditation, schools must meet NCA CASI’s high standards, be evaluated by a team of professionals from outside the school and implement a continuous process of school improvement.

“Accreditation demonstrates to our students, parents and community that we are focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation staffed by highly qualified educators,” stated Principal Wise.

Dr. Mark Elgart, President/CEO of AdvancED, the parent organization of NCA CASI, stated, “NCA CASI Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school on the primary goal of creating lifelong learners.  Bishop Donahue High School is to be commended for engaging in this process and demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement.”

Parents and interested community members can learn more about accreditation at

Why Bishop Donahue? Our Students’ Perspectives


B.D. students Logan Ingram, Cheyanne Reinbeau, Samantha Zimla, Brek Dimmick, Madison Wiedebusch and Megan Stout. Absent: Matt Vucelik and David Coleman.

This article will appear in a special supplement in the Wheeling papers on February 10, 2015.  The article was written to celebrate Catholic Schools Week.

Many, if not most high schools, offer a state driven curriculum, clubs, organizations, and athletics.  In a time where most students are now given the choice of school they wish to attend, why did they select Bishop Donahue?  We posed that question to eight of our students’; here is what they had to say about B.D.H.S. 

Senior Matt Vucelik, the Valedictorian of the Class of 2015 said, “I shadowed at many schools, but none gave such an impression of belonging that Donahue gave me. My three brothers had gone to public schools, just like the rest of my family.  I was supposed to follow their footsteps, however, I was given the choice of where I wanted to go.  After my first visit to Bishop I had made up my mind, nothing else could compare. Not only did I get a great education, but I joined a new family, not just my Donahue family, but the Catholic Church as well.  Prior to high school, I had struggled with my faith, but Bishop has helped me grow into who I am now. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I would not be the same person I am now if I hadn’t chosen Bishop Donahue.”

Senior Cheyanne Reinbeau focused on smaller classes and individual attention.  “All the teachers know our names and are willing to help us if we do not understand what they are teaching or fall behind in class. At Bishop there is a family atmosphere and there is not a division between upper and lower classmen. I feel like I am well prepared and ready for college. I have been given all the right opportunities for a bright future here at Bishop Donahue.”

Junior Samantha Zimla attended Our Lady of Peace. “I wanted to continue my education in a Catholic school. The teachers know all the students by name, unlike larger schools. You’re not just a number at Bishop, the faculty and staff know you.  You also get one on one attention in the classrooms from the teachers. I can’t even begin to explain the closeness and relationships I’ve gained from attending Bishop; it has been a great high school experience.”

Junior David Coleman was unsure of his high school plans when attending St. Michael’s grade school.  His parents had graduated from Wheeling high schools, but neither inspired David. “The deciding factor was the time I shadowed at Bishop. I really liked the teachers I met and the students all knew each other and got along well. I made my decision based on what I saw and haven’t regretted it since. I’m now in my third year attending Bishop Donahue, and everything that made my first year so memorable has only gotten better.”

Sophomores Megan Stout and Logan Ingram came to B.D.H.S. after attending public schools. Megan said, “One of the reasons I chose Bishop is because I like having a smaller class.” Logan also liked the small school environment, “I chose Bishop Donahue because it is a small school that feels like a family. Classes are small which makes teaching and learning much easier. We know all the other students and there aren’t any cliques like you find at larger schools. Both students also commented on the religious and service component of the school. Megan stated, “Not only do I get taught academics, but they teach everyone that we ‘Enter to Learn Christ and Exit to Serve Christ’, I think that is important.”  

Freshmen Brek Dimmick and Madison Wiedebusch are both happy they chose Donahue. Brek said, “The reason why I chose Bishop is because of the great education they offer. Madison had attended Catholic schools since kindergarten, but she had to make her own choice about where to attend high school.  “When it became time to choose a high school, my parents gave me the choice to enroll at any school that I wanted. I shadowed at a few other high schools and I found the one that I felt the most comfortable at was Bishop Donahue. Right away, the upperclassmen were friendly and welcoming and I knew that was the school I wanted to graduate from.  The teachers are always willing to help in any way possible. The small class sizes allow the teachers to give the students a lot of individual attention. Now that I’ve been at Bishop Donahue for a full semester, I’m even more convinced that I made the right choice.”

Our students’ comments reaffirm our belief that Bishop Donahue is a school where academic excellence, family values and a faith based environment exist side by side.  To learn more, join us for our annual OPEN HOUSE on February 11th at 7:00 p.m.  Registration begins February 17th from noon to 6:00 p.m.




B.D.’s Jesse Padlow Signs with West Liberty University

Jesse Padlow signs with WLU1

Jesse signs with father, Jake, left. and sister, Morgan, center. Back, BD Principal Tom Wise and coach John Durdines.

Senior quarterback Jesse Padlow signed a letter of intent with West Liberty University on February 5, 2015 to continue his football career.   During his senior year,  Jesse led the Bishops to a 9-3 record and into the second round of the state playoffs.  In the process, he became Bishop Donahue’s career record holder in touchdown passes, passing yards, passes completed, and passes attempted.  Congratulations Jesse!


Touchdown Passes – 61 Michael Angalich & Jordan Angalich tied with 48
Career Passing Yards – 6302 Michael Angalich -5069
Career Passes Completed – 400 Michael Angalich 368
Career Passes Attempted – 666 Michael Angalich – 588