Longtime Educator Remembered for 35 Years of Dedication to Roosevelt Community
By Gail Pinsker
The Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) has announced that one of the district’s beloved teachers has passed. The press release states, “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Mary Catherine (Kitty) Donohoe, a cherished educator at Roosevelt Elementary who bravely fought a battle against cancer. Kitty dedicated her remarkable 35-year teaching career to Roosevelt, leaving an enduring impact on students, families, colleagues, and the entire Roosevelt community.
Kitty’s unwavering commitment to education led her to teach 2nd grade at Roosevelt Elementary in September 1988, where she continued to inspire young minds until her retirement in June 2023. Her retirement was celebrated at a school board meeting alongside other 2023 retirees, highlighting her exceptional contributions to education. A passage from the celebration reads:
“Mary Catherine, known as Kitty, was hired in September 1988 to teach 2nd grade at Roosevelt Elementary. Today, you will find her still at Roosevelt, currently teaching 2nd grade, retiring after 35 years with the District. She actually has been in SMMUSD even longer, as she did some of her student teaching at Franklin.
Kitty creates a positive and supportive community in her classroom. She is successful at reaching each student and fostering an environment where all students are comfortable taking risks. Kitty is especially skilled at teaching writing, and her writing lessons engage students in problem-solving and critical thinking. A life-long learner, she continually challenges herself.
She is also a gifted artist who brings a wide range of artistic talents to her classroom. Fun facts: Kitty recently had a children’s book published, “How to Ride a Dragonfly” – congratulations! Secondly, all those years ago, Kitty was offered, and almost accepted, a job with Culver City USD. She postponed responding just long enough to receive an offer from SMMUSD – and we are grateful that she did!”
Kitty’s passing leaves an irreplaceable void in the Roosevelt school community and SMMUSD, where her absence will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Our hearts go out to Kitty’s family, friends, and former students, whose lives she touched in profound ways. We mourn the loss of an extraordinary individual and offer our thoughts and prayers to her loved ones during this challenging time.
A memorial service to honor Kitty will take place on November 11, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. Monica’s Church, located at 725 California Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403. A reception will follow the service.
For those wishing to send cards or notes of condolence to her husband, Homi Hormasji, please use the following address: Homi Hormasji, 1909 Pelham Avenue Unit 106, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Kitty’s enduring message to her fellow educators shared on her social media, serves as an inspirational reminder of her dedication: “To all of my educator friends, I paraphrase Christa McCauliffe- ‘I teach; I touch the future.’ Thank you, Roosevelt families and friends! Thank you, teachers- you touch the future!”