Clair Donovan, 1998 Tucson Citizen Student Achievement Award winner
A wedding is in the near future for Clair Donovan, the Tucson Citizen’s Student Achievement Award winner 10 years ago.
And after that, she hopes, a few children.
But while she’ll want her children to always do their best, she isn’t going to push them to
• have perfect attendance in school
• never bring home anything less than an A on a report card, and
• be valedictorian of their high school class – just because she did all of those things.
“It would be nice if they had perfect attendance, but not if it comes at a stress cost. I’m not going to emphasize that it’s the most important thing,” said Donovan, general manager at a local Pizza Hut.
She started working there when she was 16 and a student at Catalina High Magnet School. It paid for her expenses through college. Then she stayed on in management.
The 28-year-old majored in English and double-minored in Spanish and psychology at the University of Arizona and said she eventually wants to go back to college to get some advanced degrees, and maybe go to law school.
She already has taken classes that prepare people for the LSATs.
She said community service is one of the reasons she stayed with Pizza Hut.
“It’s really involved with the community,” she said, adding she is United Way campaign manager there and has done volunteer activities through Pizza Hut with the March of Dimes, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network and the “Save our Sabino” group.
Donovan said she still has the sense of responsibility that was so ingrained in her throughout her school years.
And there’s still that perfect attendance mentality.
“I’ve got to be dead to call in sick,” she said. “One of my key phrases at work is “Suck it up and get through it.”
Ten years from now, Donovan wants to be deep into motherhood and probably also have a master’s in English or a degree in law. Her advice to this year’s Student Achievement Award winner, who will be announced Friday:
“Get some sleep. (She often didn’t get much more than three hours a night those early years.) And remember your college years. Make time to have fun. Grades are important, but get out there and meet people. They will be your lifelong friends. These will be the things that will be most valuable to you when you get out of school.”
PAST STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS
1957: Emma Gee, Tucson High
1958: Robert Kirk Young, Catalina
1959: Russell Sidney Nielsen, Sunnyside
1960: Margaret Ann King, Salpointe Catholic
1961: John Moffatt, Catalina
1962: James R. Davis, Catalina
1963: Joel M. Vavich, Tucson High
1964: Jon A. Hoffman, Catalina
1965: Diana Lee Baum, Flowing Wells
1966: David R. Coatsworth, Pueblo
1967: Jennie Tom, Flowing Wells
1968: Douglas Barry Wilson, Rincon
1969: James Wood, Salpointe Catholic
1970: May Gin, Flowing Wells
1971: Carol Gilman, Catalina
1972: David Galligan, Catalina
1973: David W. Quinto, Canyon del Oro
1974: Douglas R. Linkhart, Palo Verde
1975: Sari Horwitz, Tucson High
1976: Mark Barker, Amphitheater
1977: Thomas R. Harrell, Tucson High
1978: Wayne E. Yehling, Tucson High
1979: Bari Weick, Tucson High
1980: Julia Elise Moore, Amphitheater
1981: Heidi Van Voris, Sabino
1982: Lynn Marcus, Catalina
1983: Daryl Clarke Johnson, Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
1984: Eric J. Moore, Amphitheater
1985: Fong Sau Tom, Palo Verde
1986: Tinamarie Federico, Pueblo
1987: Flint Callaway, Sahuarita
1988: Thuy Ngoc Duong, Santa Rita
1989: Brad Alan Chvatal, Sahuaro
1990: Thu Mai Duong, Santa Rita
1991: Ross Crowley, Flowing Wells
1992: Shannon Clark, Catalina
1993: Wendelyn Julien, Amphitheater
1994: Francisco Manuel Hernandez, Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
1995: Julie Martin, Desert View
1996: Hong Anh Thai, Catalina
1997: Jessica Miller, Flowing Wells
1998: Clair Donovan, Catalina
1999: Heather Ayn Davis, Immaculate Heart
2000: John Konarski, Desert View, and Alia Gecobe Peera, Santa Rita
2001: Jennifer Musty, Salpointe Catholic
2002: Marcella Marie Acosta, Santa Rita
2003: Christopher Courneen, Pueblo High Magnet School and Katherine “Kata” Pettit, Tucson High Magnet
2004: Mariana Gramajo-Sherman, Catalina High Magnet School
2005: Annalyn Rose Censky, Salpointe Catholic High School and Kevin Joseph Lopez, Ha:Sañ Preparatory and Leadership School.
2006: Carina Groves, Desert Christian High School
2007: Amber Rose Horvath, St. Gregory College Preparatory School