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Celebrating Our Dragonhood

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O’Dowd Pays Tribute to Founder Bishop James T. O’Dowd During Annual Founder’s Day Assembly

Bishop James T. O’Dowd was recognized as a visionary leader who positively impacted countless young men and women during the Annual Founder’s Day Assembly. Held during Catholic Schools Week, the assembly celebrated our Dragonhood and Catholic education.

During the assembly, Director of Activities Starr Gray ’98 and Assistant Director of Student Activities Marguerite Green shared personal reflections, students, faculty and staff engaged in a lively O’Dowd trivia game, and several faculty and staff talked about the joy they experience working at O’Dowd. A selection of alumni on staff reflected on their O’Dowd years, and students enjoyed a slideshow featuring the graduation photos of the more than 20 alumni who are current faculty/staff members.

“When James T. O’Dowd had an idea for a high school I wonder if he really knew the ripple effect he would have on so many lives,” Gray said in her remarks. “Unfortunately he died before he could see his vision come true, but his vision lives on in all of us Dragons as we continue to thrive and grow in our awesome community.”

The Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Bishop O’Dowd was in the process of drawing up plans for a new Catholic high school in the East Bay when he died suddenly in a car accident at the age of 42. He had already helped plan and establish nearly two dozen Catholic schools in the area, including Marin Catholic in San Rafael and Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco.

“James T. O’Dowd’s vision is the reason we are all here at this place today. Just think, if he didn’t have this vision of our school, who knows where all of us would be right now,” Gray said. “I can surely say my life would be very different today.”

Green spoke about the power of the vocation of teaching and the ability to change lives. “The teachers that you have, the teachers who you sometimes take for granted, are truly gifts from God,” she said. “They give a real darn – they care about you, your abilities to learn, the creativity that you might not have fully tapped into, your athleticism, your development of communication skills and your future.”

“Who knows – maybe one day you’ll be back here making a difference in someone else’s life,” Green added.

The number of alumni that have returned to O’Dowd as teachers, staff members and coaches is impressive, Gray said. “That says a lot about our community. And, like Mrs. Green, said you never know, you might end up working here as well. No matter what you do, or where you end up, I hope you know that O’Dowd will always be a home for you. We are a part of something very special here.”


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