Donald later is accused of poisoning Eric, the Fletcher's pet dog, and Jessie, Nico Pappas)' (Nicholas Papademetriou) cow, but these deeds are later revealed to be those of Donald's superior, Walter Bertram (Owen Weingott), who had been running around in the guise of "The Nutter", following a brain tumour.
With Walter out of action, Donald is promoted to headmaster of Summer Bay High.
Donald begins dating local beautician Marilyn Chambers (Emily Symons), and they later become engaged despite Marilyn being 27 years old and him being 51. Shortly after the wedding, Donald's daughter Rebecca (Belinda Emmett) returns to the Bay full-time to teach at the school.
When Rebecca marries Travis Nash (Nic Testoni) on the beach in the 1997 season finale, Donald is present as celebrant.
Just when it seems father and son have patched things up, Alan dies of an aneurysm.