2017

Distinguished Educator

Colleen McDonnell

Colleen grew up in Hamburg with her parents and four sisters, one of whom is her twin. She attributes her love of math to her father who nightly checked over her homework and gave her extra problems “just for fun!” She loved school and decided to pursue a career in teaching. Colleen graduated from D’Youville College with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Mathematics. She married Jim and began their family. They moved to Notre Dame, then to Maine, back to South Bend and finally to Hamburg. During these years they added four children to their family and Colleen also began her Master’s Degree at Indiana University of South Bend, completing it at Buffalo State. She also taught 4 years in private schools before moving to Hamburg. Returning to Hamburg, Colleen was hired at Hamburg for the part-time Pre-Kindergarten program at Charlotte Avenue. Even though she enjoyed her time there, Colleen left for full time work in Second Grade as their oldest son was about to begin College. From Charlotte Avenue, Colleen moved to Union Pleasant for ten years where she taught mostly second grade. However, there was always a goal to teach Math, so her final move was to the Middle School where she taught 6th Grade math for ten years. Retired, Colleen enjoys reading, traveling, walking, bocce and water aerobics. She volunteers in the office of St. Vincent DePaul at her church and the Tutors for Kids program. Colleen is grateful for the many years she taught in Hamburg and holds those memories close to her heart.