Brian Donato happy to be back where he started

Brian Donato (left) participated in the recent basketball game between the Watertown Middle School faculty and the eighth-graders.

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Brian Donato (left) participated in the recent basketball game between the Watertown Middle School faculty and the eighth-graders.

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Brian Donato is his name, but students at Watertown Middle School call him Mr. Donato.

“My favorite part about being a teacher is I love making connections with my students,” he said.

Mr. Donato grew up in Watertown and has stayed here ever since.

He enjoyed many summers at Camp Pequossette as a kid. He has a twin brother named Anthony, who went to Wake Forest and is a town councilor in Watertown. In 2007, he bought a house with Anthony. Mr. Donato has seven people in his family. Mr. Donato went to school at Cunniff Elementary and then went to BC High, a private Catholic all-boys high school in Dorchester. Afterward, he went to Boston College to be a kindergarten teacher.

My favorite part about being a teacher is I love making connections with my students.”

— BRIAN DONATO, Watertown Middle School teacher

Mr. Donato was a student teacher at the Cunniff. He works at the WMS as a special education teacher now, and has been a full-time teacher since 2006. He was teaching at the school he went to as a kid, with some of the teachers that had him as a student! Sullivan Park was named after Mr. Donato’s uncle, who died in the Vietnam War.

Some other interesting facts about Brian Donato are that his favorite number is 22 — because he and his brother were born are 22 minutes apart — he loves Cape Cod, he also loves photography, poetry, watching live hockey, and all types of music.

Mr. Donato answered some questions on what he would change about the Watertown Middle School, if he could. Air conditioning and heating were his first choices. He would keep the clusters, but have the teachers teach five classes, instead of four.

“The environment you learn in is as important than the teachers and the students you sit next to,” he said.

He said when he was a child, his favorite places to go were Friendly’s and Papa Gino’s. But Mr. Donato isn’t a fan of the “new” Watertown. He doesn’t like the new apartment complexes coming and is afraid of the population of Watertown becoming too much. He likes the homey feel of Watertown and loves the old-fashioned buildings and stores.

“I hate seriously hate all the development in Watertown because it’s changing so much,” he said.

But he loves the rule of no drive-thrus in Watertown, and loves the construction on the Arsenal Mall, like the movie theater and bowling alley.

Mr. Donato has two boys with his wife, Jess. Watertown is also where they met while he worked at summer camp. He used to buy her ice cream when she worked for the Recreation Department, but they never dated. Then, later in life, they met again and now they’re married.

Before he met her, he never thought of getting married or having kids, he said, “but once you get a kid, it changes your world.”

–Feb. 25, 2019–

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