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Know your Neighbor: Jeremy Donaldson

March 26, 2021 - 00:00
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Lake Oconee Academy head baseball coach Jeremy Donaldson has been a member of the Greensboro community for nearly half a decade.

It was an easy decision for Donaldson to move to Greene County because his wife had gotten a job at the Ritz-Carlton on Lake Oconee.

“I was teaching at Baldwin High School,” Donaldson told to the Lake Oconee News. “I wanted to move up here so she could keep working at the Ritz and I was looking for another teaching job. I actually reached out to my old social studies teacher, which is Mrs. Lipscomb at the high school. Then she sent my resume in to Dr. Tucker and I got the job. So, I’ve been teaching social studies and coaching baseball ever since.”

Originally from Winder, Donaldson attended South Georgia College for two years where he played baseball before transferring to Georgia College in Milledgeville to finish up school. It was in Milledgeville where he met his wife, Whitney, who played softball for the Bobcats. During his final season at GCSU in 2012, Donaldson averaged a .319 batting average on 39 hits, including seven home runs.

Donaldson said the game of baseball was something he picked up at an early age.

“Dreaming of playing it my whole life, but there comes a point where you can’t play it anymore,” Donaldson said. “So, that’s when I started coaching it.”

His parents signed ACS EarlyBird Ad 2 2/19 him up for tee ball at the 5.19 X 5 appropriate age, and the game just stuck.

“My cousins and I would play baseball whiffle ball all the time,” he said. “That kind of was the driving factor. I think it really kind of made us better. My cousin was my neighbor, so we played every day together. He went on to play college baseball as well.”

At his “family compound,” Donaldson became accustomed to exercise and all types of athletics. He played baseball year-round by the time he attended Winder-Barrow High, but in his early days, he also played football and basketball. Now at the age of 30, Donaldson likes to spend as much time outdoors as he can.

“I am really into hunting and fishing,” Donaldson said. “Golf is also an activity that I have taken up.”

Besides being active, one of Donaldson’s hobbies is watching sports. Being from in-between Athens and Atlanta, he enjoys rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Braves. Donaldson said that it’s something he’s /18 7:29 PM Page 1 grown up doing and still continues his fandom into adulthood.

“I try to root for all Georgia teams,” he said. “I am a loose fan of the Falcons, but they will get my support.”

Outside of all that, Donaldson enjoys his job as a world history teacher at Lake Oconee Academy.

“Well, I guess as a social studies teacher, I always talked about going to Europe before COVID hit,” he said. “My wife and I definitely want to do that...Any kind of international travel for sure. Europe is on my bucket list. To take a few weeks out there to really get to know that place would be great, especially as a world history teacher. I feel like I am talking about these places all the time and I want to go see a few of them.”

In particular, Donaldson would like to visit Italy, Greece and Spain. He said that seeing the old historic sites and landmarks that he teaches about would give him a better perspective of the history behind it. Learning about the different cultures across the world fascinates him.

When Donaldson is not coaching, being active or teaching, he likes to spend his downtime catching up on shows.

“During the pandemic, we caught up on shows like Downton Abbey, Outlander, and I was a big Game of Thrones fan back when it was on there,” he said. “I try to watch an episode or two a night when all my work is done.”

Having been a resident of Greene County for over five years, Donaldson has come to appreciate the slower pace of life.

“I enjoy living here,” he said. “It’s a great place to get to know your neighbors.

“People out here are honest and hardworking. It definitely has its upsides, especially no traffic. My commute to school is super easy. All of that stuff makes for a good quality of life.”