From News 12 WPRI – by: Sarah Doiron, Mike Montecalvo

Providence, RI – It’s the end of an era for La Salle Academy. Principal Donald Kavanagh, AFSC, is calling it a career after 22 years on the job. The 70-year-old received the surprise of a lifetime Tuesday afternoon, May 24, when he walked outside and saw nearly 1,500 students, faculty and staff holding signs and chanting his name.

“I was in shock,” Kavanagh recalled. “It was just a tremendous feeling.”

“It brought my whole career together in a lot of ways,” he continued. “All of those kids I’ve seen on the athletic field, or in shows, or in class, or in my office on occasion.”

It was a moment that Kavanagh will cherish for years to come. He started his career at La Salle in 1972 as an educator, and after two stints at Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket and Barrington High School, he returned in 2000 to serve as principal.

When asked what he’s going to miss most about his job, Kavanagh said “the activity.” His successor, Tim Welsh, officially takes over on July 1.

Don Kavanagh, AFSC, receives a key to the school and a farewell hug from Br. Dennis Malloy, FSC

“I’m going to be going 100 miles an hour until June 10,” he said. “It will all slow down a little bit between June 10 and June 30, but after that, it all goes down to zero … There’s no real planning for me after that.”

Kavanagh said he will also miss the students, who have made his career worthwhile.

“I’ve always considered the students as part of my family,” he said.

And for the vast majority of La Salle students, the feeling is mutual.

As Kavanagh walked down the front steps, one student flashed a sign that read “LSA Legend.”

Following the farewell celebration, Kavanagh was gifted the key to La Salle by Brother Dennis Malloy, who’s served as the school’s president since 2019.

For the full story and photos, visit the WPRI website >