I’m both humbled and thankful to be the first NDA alumna tapped to lead Notre Dame Academy Schools of Los Angeles as president. Over the past seven years as principal of the elementary and four years as principal of the high school, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a dedicated and mission-oriented team of teachers, administrators and staff. Together we will face the challenge of meeting a new set of goals driven by an updated strategic plan.
Notre Dame Academy has been a second home and an important part of my family history since the 1960s. The Sisters of Notre Dame raised us all with their charism and traditions. Central to that charism is the Sisters’ emphasis on the human dignity of each person as the image of God. That principle continues to inform our community as we value every student and challenge each to develop her gifts and broaden his worldview. It also provides the foundation for our interaction among the faculty, parents, and administrators.
While our community has long been characterized as “nice,” this year we will challenge each other to above all, be kind. Kindness recognizes the right thing to do and acts on it. It is motivated not by what others think, but rather by selfless service. Instead of avoiding a tough conversation, kindness welcomes respectful, intelligent debate. Kindness never devolves into dismissive name-calling; it listens, suggests, and might agree to disagree. It values the diversity of all types, yet understands that diversity of thought is most essential.
By encouraging kindness, we are ultimately cultivating the confident, compassionate, committed leaders of tomorrow. And in the spirit of the Sisters of Notre Dame, we are nurturing responsible citizens who think strategically and lead by example.
An NDAE graduate is a well rounded, active Catholic leader who independently is a(n):
MORALLY RESPONSIBLE CATHOLIC
ACADEMICALLY PREPARED INDIVIDUAL
“Your Quest: Discover your Gifts and Change the World.”
Knights of ancient lore valued honor and virtue and went on quests hoping to find adventure and treasure. Today, our NDA Knights are not so different. During the 2017-2018 school year, the NDA Knights went on a quest to discover their gifts and change the world. Over the course of the year, we each discovered our many gifts and talents. NDA Knights are kind and compassionate. NDA Knights model the Habits of Mind and demonstrate a love of learning. NDA Knights are critical thinkers and problem solvers. NDA Knights are athletes who value good sportsmanship, hard work, and teamwork. NDA Knights are lifelong learners, effective communicators, academically prepared individuals, and morally responsible citizens who are leaders in our school and community.
We learned that our gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit and that each of us has been created special and unique in the eyes of God. As we discovered our own gifts, we also sought to discover the gifts of our friends, parents, teachers, and those in our community. NDA Knights value the gifts of others and understand that by working together, collaborating, and supporting one another we can achieve more than we ever could alone.
The famous Greek storyteller Aesop once wrote that, “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” This year our NDA Knights went on a quest to change the world through acts of kindness. We looked for opportunities to share, compliment, lift each other up, support our friends, mentor younger students, do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, laugh, smile, and make the world better by being kind. The NDA Knights even raised money and support for various service organizations around the world. With your help, we bought beds for students in Africa, found homes for lost puppies and kittens, sent students at other schools on field trips, and helped people get a second chance at a new life.
I am excited to come to work every day and I am blessed to be a part of such an amazing family of loving, supportive students, parents, faculty, and staff. You bring joy, laughter, learning, and love into my life every single day. Being on this quest with you has helped me to discover my own gifts and to discover new gifts in the students, parents, and teachers that I am so grateful to work with. At the 8thgrade graduation retreat, students reflect on their time at NDA and what the future holds for them. During the retreat, we read the book The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews. In the story, Andrew reminds us all that “Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world.”
By discovering our gifts and sharing them with others, we truly are changing the world and making it a better place. It has been a privilege to help lead you on your quest this year and I cannot wait to see where our quest takes us next year!