As this is the month of February, this edition of the Alumni Corner will feature an alumni couple who met at Central Catholic.
Meet Donavan Yarnall and Rachel Powell-Yarnall! Both graduated from Central Catholic in 1994.
Rachel joined the CC community in 8th grade and almost immediately laid eyes on Donavan, whom she told a classmate she was going to marry. Rachel used to leave Hershey Kisses in Donavan’s locker. The couple started dating their senior year of high school and had their first kiss at the Senior Night dance.
After high school, Rachel and Donavan both attended Manchester College, IN and graduated in 1998 and 1999, respectively. Rachel’s undergraduate degree is in Communication Studies and Donavan’s is in All-Grade Physical Education. Upon graduation, the couple worked for Manchester College – Rachel as Admission Counselor and Donavan as a Residence Hall Director.
The couple married on July 22, 2000, in Lafayette. The wedding party included Pat O’Neil ’94 and Brad Yarnall ’95. Former St. Mary Cathedral pastor Fr. Dick Weisenberger co-celebrated the wedding.
After getting married, Donavan and Rachel moved to Bowling Green, Ohio for Rachel to complete a master’s degree in College Student Personnel while Donavan taught Physical Education at Toledo’s Regina Coeli School. While in Ohio, Donavan also coached high school baseball for Toledo Central Catholic.
In 2002, the couple moved to Macon, Georgia. Rachel took a position at Wesleyan College in administration and Donavan served as assistant principal and Physical Education teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. While in Macon, Donavan also coached high school baseball. In the summer of 2006 Donavan finished his graduate degree – Specialist in Educational Supervision from Georgia College and State University. This same summer, the couple welcomed their first child, Isaac.
In 2007, the young family moved to Athens, GA where Donavan was named Principal of St. Joseph Catholic School. While in Athens the couple welcomed their second son, Alexander. With two children in tow, the couple decided to return to the Midwest in 2010 when Donavan accepted the position of Principal at St. Simon the Apostle School in Indianapolis, Indiana.
After missing the sunny south, the family moved to Columbia, SC in 2014 where they currently reside. Donavan serves as Principal of St. Joseph Catholic School and baseball coach for their son’s travel and recreational baseball teams. Rachel works part-time for Cornerstone and serves as taxi driver for the boys.
How did your education at LCSS prepare you for college and your career?
Rachel and Donavan value the education they received from all the teachers at LCSS. The faculty and staff at LCSS had high expectations and this allowed the couple to establish strong work ethics.
“Mrs. Musselman’s senior composition class aided in all of the paper writing in college,” said Rachel. “And now I am passing some of those skills along to our boys.” “Being able to balance academic workload and extracurricular activities is an essential lifelong skill that we gained at LCSS.”
Donavan was a 3-sport athlete in high school while Rachel participated in swim team, cheerblock and co-editor of yearbook. With both school and extracurriculars, they had to find the work-play balance which continues in their lives today.
How did LCSS help to shape your faith?
As youth, Rachel and Donavan came from faith-filled homes while the education at LCSS enhanced their spirituality. “Being educated at LCSS created a solid foundation that helps us in our marriage and in our roles as parents,” said Donavan. “Spirituality was at the core of classes, sports and activities at LCSS.”
What did you like most about your experience at LCSS?
“We enjoyed the small class sizes, family environment and ability to get involved in sports and extracurricular activities. We also have fond memories of lock-ins where there was bonding with friends, spiritual development and always some type of drama – like when a fire extinguisher was set off! The school spirit surrounding many events is memorable – especially decorating our cars and caravanning to the basketball sectionals at Jeff. School dances were also popular.”
Describe one of your favorite memories of LCSS.
“One of my favorite memories was being part of the 1991 Baseball Sectional Championship and the many lessons Mr. Croussore taught on and off the wrestling mat,” said Donavan.
“I remember the inclusive nature of the school community along with the many night hours working to perfect the yearbook,” said Rachel.