Johnathan Donnell

Johnathan Donnell’s love of building things and thirst for learning has guided him in his education. So much so that Donnell received Franklin Parish Elementary Student of the Year.

The 10-year-old star student at Crowville School is a whiz at LEGO sets and has a passion for reading which will help him in a possible future career in engineering like his father, Jarrod, and his uncle, Josh.

“In the future, I may be interested in pursuing a career in the field of engineering,” Donnell writes in his student of the year application. “I am most interested in mechanical engineering because of my passion for building. If I become a mechanical engineer, I would like to work for NASA as a space engineer.”

His love for his family shows in his student of the year essay. 

“My family is the best family I could ever ask for,” Donnell writes. “My dad, Jarrod, is a mechanical engineer and works for his father at Donnell’s Machine and Hydraulics. He is awesome because if any of my siblings’ and or my toys break, he can fix it. My mother, DeAnna, is a first grade teacher at Crowville Middle School. It’s neat that my mom works at my school because I love never having to ride the bus.”

Donnell is active in his church, Baskin Baptist, where he is involved in Sunday School, Kids Jam, mission work, vacation Bible school and Bible drill.

“I am a former Sunday school teacher and summer musical director for him,” said Tara Banks. “I have often seen Johnathan face many challenges and fears along his growing path. He did not give up but displayed a passion to overcome these obstacles.”

As a student, teachers describe Donnell as quiet, friendly and driven to excel in whatever he puts his mind to do. He has consistently made All-A’s through his academic career as well as being active in extra curricular activities.

Donnell is active in 4-H, basketball and has performed at the Princess Theatre. He also plays piano.

“Smart, caring, loving, friendly, grateful, thankful, passionate and considerate are just a few of the many qualities that this young man possesses,” said Kasey King. “Every once in a while a student comes along that just touches your heart through their words and their actions. Johnathan will forever have a special place in mine.”

Principal Sandra King agrees with her teachers that the fifth-grader is an exceptional student.

“Johnathan has an excellent academic record,” King said. “He has maintained a 4.0 grade point average for all his years in school. Johnathan is a very likable and respectful young man. He has a heart for those in need.”

Donnell excels in his academic life and relies on his faith to accomplish his future goals.

“I have learned in recent years that through God’s help I can do all things,” he said. “I use this daily in my life to overcome my fears of being on stage and public speaking as well as any new challenges that are presented before me. God has given me the strength to overcome these fears and persevere.”

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