Dr. Donna Rafter, Associate Professor for the School of Education, is being honored at the second annual Philadelphia North Catholic Schools Hall of Fame Gala on Thursday, Oct. 26 at the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5.
Hosted by The Advisory Council for Catholic Elementary Education in Philadelphia North, Rafter will be inducted alongside Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, President of Citizens Bank and Richard Leonard, a teacher from Our Mother of Consolation School in Chestnut Hill.
“At first I was surprised and thought, ‘Me, really?’ Then I was humbled and honored to become a member of the Catholic Schools Hall of Fame for Philadelphia North. To be recognized for my outstanding contributions to Catholic Education means so much to me. I have devoted my life to Catholic education and St. Paul reminds us to shine like stars and so this honor makes this little light of mine shine bright for more to see. You don’t set out to be honored in this big way and then when others recognize it you are proud and grateful to God who has bestowed these gifts upon you.”
Dr. Rafter, who announced her retirement at the end of the 2016-17 academic year but continues to teach on a part-time basis, taught for 17 years in Holy Family University’s School of Education. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Holy Family University in elementary education, a master’s degree from Philadelphia University in computer technology, and a doctoral degree from Rutgers University in in early childhood education. Rafter taught for 13 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from first grade through sixth grade.
“My fondest memories are the people I have met along the way. As teachers, we don’t always realize the impact we make upon the people who we have had the privilege to teach. So lately I have been thinking about all those young learners who have crossed paths with me and I wonder how they look back on their experiences with me. I have grown so much as a teacher and I think that is the most exciting part of teaching—we continue to grow; we continue to learn. We are always under construction My hope is that when my students remember me they always remember the love that I have for each one of them.”