Donovan "Dunny" Mannion '19

Donovan "Dunny" Mannion '19

Football (Varsity, Captain)
Community Council (President)
Baseball (Varsity)
Peer Advisor
Lead Tour Guide
Project DEEP volunteer tutor (and former student)
Martin Richard Foundation Challenger Program volunteer

Hometown: Dorchester
Attending: United States Military Academy at West Point

How has Thayer influenced you both as a student and as a person?

As a student, I’ve learned to be more efficient with my time. With sports and activities, it’s common to be at school from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 at night, so you need to manage time effectively. That can mean taking advantage of free periods to visit teachers. As a person, I’ve become more responsible. Over my seven years at Thayer, I’ve tried to become involved in as many things as possible. It’s a smaller community, so you’re held accountable. 

What was your most challenging class?

This year’s AP Physics with Mr. Smith. It’s math-heavy with double-period labs. Mr. Smith has taught me to take good notes and to take pride in my notes, so that helps a great deal. He is also one of the most passionate teachers I have ever had.

Who is your favorite teacher at Thayer?

Can I pick two? Ms. Lukens, who has been my mentor on the Community Council since my freshman year, has taught me the importance of being positive. Anytime I have a problem, I go to her office. And I’ve had Mr. Burke for two classes and four years of football. He’s the most conscientious and prepared person I’ve ever met. 

What do you plan to study in college and why?

I plan to study economics because I’d like to do something in business later in my life. Of course, with West Point, there’s the service component first, so things might change. 

What will you miss most about Thayer Academy?

I’ll miss the community aspect of it. It’s great to be able to walk around campus and just say “hi” to everyone. I like just sitting on the teardrop and talking with friends. 

What’s an interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?

I’ve been looking to attend West Point since I was in the fifth grade. My Middle School yearbook lists “West Point Cadet” as my aspiration. I took the West Point trip as an eighth grader, and that just solidified it in my mind. It’s something I’ve always been looking forward to. 

What is your most memorable academic experience?

Freshman year, in Mr. Dunn’s World History, we completed a month-long, seven-page paper. It was pretty rewarding to know you could research enough for seven pages. Also, in AP Government, we did Mock Senate Trials where we were grilled by real attorneys on various topics. You had to really know your subject. 

Who inspires you the most?

Definitely my parents. I’m one of four, the oldest, and my parents are always working very hard to give us the best opportunities. They’re great role models with a tremendous work ethic. 

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

I’m a golfer, and I like Ben Hogan’s quote: “If you can’t outplay them, then outwork them.” It kind of reminds me of my parents. 

In what grade did you start Thayer, and what advice would you have given yourself on that first day?

I started at Thayer in the Middle School. I’d just say to take advantage of all the opportunities that Thayer has to offer. As a senior, looking back, I never thought I could involve myself in so many things.