School is a way for life for Donna Darby who began her first “official” day on July 1 as the principal at St. Mary’s Catholic School.

Darby brings with her a long list of impressive credentials and experience after being in the education field for 14 years. Her ties to St. Mary’s began with other family members who have attended St. Mary’s School. She also has two children of her own, Coy, 8, and five-year-old Clay who have also attended St. Mary’s School.

‘I am overwhelmed and thankful on how the community has welcomed me,” Darby said.

Darby began her career as a first grade teacher. But, decided to take her path a step further and went back to school to acquire a master’s degree in counseling. She became a Licensed Professional Counselor so she could work as a school counselor. But, she was not done yet and once again went to school where she received a masters degree in Administration.

Her career path took her to the Little Cypress-Mauriceville school district where she worked for one year before becoming the new principal at the St. Mary’s school.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be part of the Saint Mary School family., “Darby said. “ I pray that I provide the leadership, guidance, and knowledge to promote growth for this amazing school.”

The 1995 Orangefield High School graduate married Craig Darby and attended Lamar University in Beaumont to achieve her dreams by furthering her education.

Darby said she can see the added benefits of attending a private school versus a public school.

The curriculum and extra curricular activities such as the religion classes give the students a well rounded education. Also the parent involvement is much more which is a key to the success, she said.

She has set goals for the future of St. Mary’s school. As the new principal she plans to enhance academic growth, provide a conducive learning environment for all students, and increase enrollment.

“A strong belief that relationships and communication are significant factors in contributing to student success.” Darby said.  “Staff, parents, community members, and students working to ensure these factors will inspire and motivate students into lifelong learners.”

During her career she has saved a special place in her heart for the students. She also admits, following church service, it is sometimes difficult to get out on time since her students want to stop and chat with her. But, she makes herself available for them.

“I look forward to this school year and cannot wait to share my excitement, love, passion, and pride for Saint Mary School through my leadership position,” Darby said. “I encourage anyone interested in enrolling or have questions about the school to contact me at anytime.”

The school contact information is  409-883-8913 or or email Donna Darby at