When he finally retires this summer aged 63, everyone wants to give him "a huge pat on the back" for the "happiness and success" he has brought Sacred Heart - the most improved Catholic primary school in the country in 2005.
Three and a half years ago it was "spiralling downwards" and perilously close to special measures. Luckily for Sacred Heart, Mr McDonald, a former secondary head and a practising Catholic, agreed to come out of retirement.
In fact it was his second job as a primary head, having just spent two years turning round another Catholic primary in Southend, his home town.
Parent Kate Stent ,who sent the nomination and is a local teacher too, says simply:"He really has saved this school."
Tell us about the hero in your school. Contact Sarah Bayliss, Friday's editor. Flowers kindly supplied by Marks and Spencer