March 8, 2019

The Academy of Notre Dame honors the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, our students, our alumnae, our faculty and staff and all of the other women of this world who advocate, in ways big and small, for women's rights. #IWD2019

During the 2018-19 school year we will observe two Hallmarks: 
Hallmark 4 - We commit ourselves to community service.
Hallmark 6 - We create community among those with whom we work and with those we serve.

Contents below include:



All School

Dear Academy Community,

As we begin a period of self reflection this Lenten season, I encourage you all to take time to consider ways in which you can strengthen your relationship with God, with your neighbors/colleagues, and with yourself.  This is an exercise from which we can all benefit and that appropriately honors the lessons from the Bible for the observance of Lent along with repentance of our sins and almsgiving. 

While our personal journeys through Lent conclude with the joyous celebration of the resurrection of Christ, we can also look forward to other harbingers of spring including a new athletics season, musical productions by both the Upper School Drama Guild and Lower School Academy Players, and opportunities to meet the financial needs of the Academy through participation in fun events such as the online auction and the annual golf tournament. Mark your calendars now for these upcoming events.

Blessings to you,

Re-Enroll for 2019-20 School Year

Families who have not yet re-enrolled for the 2019-20 school year are encouraged to do so as soon as possible by accessing your parent portal which will walk you through five steps including paying your re-enrollment deposit. For technical assistance, please contact Lori McDermott at Financial questions can be directed to the business office by contacting Joanne Gugliotti at

Ash Wednesday Services Begin Lenten Season

Lenten season began this week with two beautiful services on Ash Wednesday. The Upper School service was led by guidance counselor and former theology teacher Lauren Fish, who holds a Masters in Theology & Ministry from Boston College. Mrs. Fish reflected on how we tend to go "around and around, over and under, but not through" those things in our lives that would bring us closer to God. She encouraged and invited all of us to choose just one thing this Lenten Season that we've been putting off to "go through" so that we can delve deeper into our spiritual journey. At the service, all were invited to receive ashes on their forehead as a sign of repentance and a reminder that God made us from dust and to dust we shall return. Many thanks to Mrs. Fish, the readers, servers, and Glee Club for making this service so beautiful and poignant.

The Lower School Mass was conducted by Fr. Guillermo Ochoa from the St. Denis parish in Ashburnham who spoke about the meaning and purpose of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, the act of giving to others. The Mass was hosted by the students of grade 5 who processed in with paper crosses adorned with the fruits of the Holy Spirit: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. Thank you to Father, the students and Mrs. Hourihan and Mrs. Brazier, who were Eucharistic Ministers for helping to make the service so meaningful.

2019-2020 School Calendar Now Available

The 2019-2020 school calendar has been finalized and is now available on the website. We hope that this calendar will help families as they begin to plan and schedule for the upcoming school year.

View Calendar

Academy Beacon: 11 Elements for Independent Schools

This month's Academy Beacon blog post was written by John O'Brien, President of the Academy: 
Serving in the field of education as a teacher, administrator, and coach for more than three decades has been a continually inspiring as well as tremendously rewarding experience for me. My varied experiences with the independent school world have allowed me to grow significantly in both personal and professional ways and have also helped strengthen my commitment to the welfare of children and to independent school education. Through my experience working with both day and boarding schools, I have identified eleven elements that constitute a strong independent school...

Read More

Collection of Auction Items Begins

From Kristen Bowes Stella '02, Institutional Advancement Coordinator:
The Academy's first ever online auction will take place Monday, May 6 through Tuesday, May 14, 2019. This is an exciting opportunity for all NDA community members to get involved and bid on their favorite items. Proceeds from the event benefit the Academy's areas of greatest need including tuition assistance, technology enhancement, facility improvements and professional development.

We are currently seeking fabulous experiences, products and services, sports memorabilia, family fun packages, golf outings, vacation rentals, etc. If you or someone you know would like to donate to the auction, please contact Kristen Bowes Stella '02 at

Newsletter Dates Alter in April

From Cindy Boynton, Director of Marketing and Communications:
Please note that the publication dates for April will be altered due to school break. As indicated below, it will be published on the first and last Fridays of the month, April 5th and April 26th, before returning to an every-other-week schedule for the remainder of the year.

From the Editor:

The Bi-Weekly Newsletter is produced by the Communications and Marketing Department. Submissions should be emailed to Cindy Boynton at no later than noon on the Wednesday prior to the Friday publication date. All articles should include vital information, be kept brief and include photos whenever possible. Here is the schedule for the year:

Newsletter Dates and Deadlines 2018-2019

Article Deadlines

Noon, Wednesday, March 20
Noon, Wednesday, April 3
Noon, Wednesday, April 24
Noon, Wednesday, May 8
Noon, Wednesday, May 22
Noon, Wednesday, June 5

Newsletter Publish Date

Friday, March 22
Friday, April 5
Friday, April 26
Friday, May 10
Friday, May 24
Friday, June 7

Upper School

Induction Ceremony Honors 36 Students

From Marketing Student Lana Sukkar:
This past Thursday, students were inducted into four the honor societies. The National Honor Society is a prestigious service organization whose members meet grade point and character standards. Similarly, the Spanish National Honor Society and the French National Honor Society focus on academic excellence in each language. During the ceremony, Jasmin Sabah gave a reflection on how much languages mean to her. She was followed by Nora Leach who spoke about the impact linguistics has had on her life. New this year was the induction of students to the National Art Honor Society which recognizes students who have displayed the highest standards in art scholarship, character, and service. Congratulations to all the new inductees:

National Honor Society

Charli Rei Aldana Proulx
Katherine Aste
Molly Berard
Rachel Deshaies
Aleah DuBois
Jenna Ebeed
Olivia Elmstrom
Olivia Gavlak
Gwen Ha
Jecolener He
Cherry Jin
Nora Leach

Aimee Lewis
Martina Maximovich
Hannah McLeod
Brianna Monteiro
Ayana Nangle
Michelle Nguyen
Rhea Patel
Jasmin Sabah
Lana Sukkar
Danielle Wuerdeman
Aurelia Yan
Annie Zhang

French Honor

Rachel Deshaies
Mai Detzel
Jenna Ebeed
Olivia Elmstrom
Uyen Ha
Nora Leach
Aimée Lewis
Martina Maximovich
Michelle Nguyen
Rhea Patel
Ailis Peterson

Art Honor Society

Grace Yizhen Cai
Kathleen Curran
Jacqueline DeNisco
Annabelle Fandozzi
Annika Hanson
Cherry Yajie Jin
Taylor Martineau
Carrie Xinying Wang
Kathy YuQi Xie

Spanish Honor

Charli Rei Aldana Proulx
Molly Berard
Aleah Dubois
Olivia Gavlak
Erin Kunze
Hannah McLeod
Brianna Monteiro
Jasmin Sabah
Lana Sukkar
Danielle Wuerdeman

Doughty and Latsapanya Recognized for Service

Erin Doughty was honored as Student of the Month for January for her work with Mission & Ministry. As retreat coordinator, she helped plan and organize this year’s junior retreat and showed her dedication by becoming a Eucharistic Minister and offering support on a regular basis for liturgies and prayer services. Her faith and thoughtfulness shine through on many occasions as she demonstrates inclusivity and kindness to everyone around her. She is also a three season athlete who sings the national anthem at volleyball and basketball games. Many faculty members have been touched by her random acts of kindness.

The Distinguished Senior for January was awarded to Anoutsa Latsapanya for her exemplary volunteerism. Anoutsa kindly gives of her time and energy to organizations such as the humane society, Saint Patrick’s Church and Rosie’s Place. She is a National Honor Society (NHS) Student Ambassador to Catie’s Closet and organized the recent NHS trip to volunteer there. She also serves as an NHS tutor and is a member of the Glee and A Capella clubs as well as the Drama Guild.

Service Trip to Costa Rica Planned for April

From Marketing Student Cherry Jin:
Costa Rica is the chosen destination for the 2019 NDA service mission trip. A delegation of students will leave for the Central American country on April 18th and return April 25th. The non-profit organization coordinating the trip is Led2Serve which mobilizes students, adults, and groups to provide service related projects, educational programs, and assistance in the local communities. NDA hopes to mobilize a group of about 20 students for the trip. The approximate total cost is $2,185 dollars. The cost covers lodging for seven nights, meals and transportation as well as many fun and interesting activities such a zipline adventure and the Mystico hanging bridges. Passports are required for all students. An information meeting was held Friday, March 8th while team meetings and training will be held in the weeks leading up to the trip.

Sophomore Class Unites at Retreat

From Marketing Student Chloe Liu:
Community and unity were the themes of this year's sophomore retreat that took place on March 1st at St. Catherine's in Westford. The class played games and listened to three reflections. Sheila Ospina spoke about community, Sreenisha Gana Murali Sai Hema reflected on "Unity in Diversity," and the duo of Ishani Patel and Isabelle Hallisey addressed the question, how do we grow as a community? “The main idea for this retreat was to bring our class together more and avoid the formation of groups and cliques as we go through high school," explained Isabelle. "Overall, everyone was really happy with the way the retreat turned out and it has definitely helped to bring our class closer together.”

Under the Stars Theme for Semi Formal

From Marketing Student Danielle Wuerdeman:
This Saturday, March 9th, the Freshmen and Sophomores will be dancing the night away at the annual Freshman/Sophomore Semi Formal dance at Vesper Country Club. The theme for this year’s dance is “Under the Stars,” and decorations and props will be displayed to bring this theme to life for the evening. Both classes are very excited to spend time with one another and have fun on their special night!

Lancer's Hi-Five

From Lisa Zappala, Athletic Director:
The Basketball team got through to the first round of the Division 4 Central sectional state tournament by beating Norfolk Agricultural School by just two points in a hard fought game last week that ended with a score of 34-32. Unfortunately, they lost to a very talented Blackstone Valley team in the quarter finals Saturday, March 2nd by a score of 55-21.

Senior Natalie Kelleher closed out the year with 249 points and 706 for her career.  She finished the last four out of six games this season scoring 19, 28, 22 and 20 points respectively. 

Natalie and fellow senior Jackie DeNisco were named CAC (Commonwealth Athletic Conference) Basketball All-stars; they will play in the league All-Star game on March 16th at Mystic Valley Charter School in Malden at 11:00 a.m.

Spring Sports: 

The Softball, Tennis, and Track & Field teams will begin their seasons on March 18th. Anyone interested in participating must pre-register and have a valid physical on file. Practice times for the first week will be posted on the athletic calendar in Veracross by the end of next week.

Any students interested in pre-season conditioning are welcome to meet with Coach Vail and Coach Pearce after school to run and work out in the weight room.

NDA Golf? Maybe...
The Upper School is looking into the possibility of starting a Golf team in the spring. If there is enough interest we would start this spring as a non-competitive program with the hope that by the spring of 2020 we would be able to sponsor a varsity level team. Students who are interested should contact Upper School Athletic Director Lisa Zappala at

Middle School

Student Council Sells Baked Goods for St. Jude

From Jillian Boudreau, Dean of Students:
The Lower School Student Council held a bake sale on Tuesday, March 5th to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The bake sale was open for students in grades Pre-K through Grade 12 before and during the lunch times. Families were very generous in their donations of both delicious treats and monetary donations. In total the bake sale raised $536 which will go directly to St. Jude’s. Thank you to the Student Council and Academy families for a successful day!

Sixth Grader Helps Team to Championship

Sixth Grader Samantha Pellerin and her teammates from the Basketball Development School (BDS) recently won the Zero Gravity Elite Circuit basketball championship. The BDS team competed against 7th and 8th grade teams throughout the New England region. The team finished 10-0 for the season and outscored a 7th grade team from Metro Boston 28-20 in the championship game. Samantha averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game helping her team to an undefeated season. Congratulations to Samantha!

Pinnamaneni Advances to Regional Spelling Bee

Sixth Grader Ananya Pinnamaneni, the Academy's spelling bee champion, qualified for the next round of the National Scripps Spelling Bee competition after performing well on the written test a week ago. She will now advance to the Regional Spelling Bee on March 13th at the Lynn City Hall Memorial Auditorium. Congratulations to Ananya and good luck next week! 

Lancer's Round-Up

From Nate Froment, Lower School Athletic Director:

Boys Varsity Basketball:
The Boys Varsity Basketball team finished the regular season in 5th place with a 9-9 record. Their first playoff game is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13th at the Bartlett School.

Boys JV Basketball:
The Boys JV Basketball team is currently in 2nd place in the league with a 11-1 record. They will be playing their final regular season game this Saturday, March 9th when they play against Collegiate Charter School.

Girls Varsity Basketball:

The Girls Varsity Basketball team have won their last three games in a row and will be looking to keep the winning streak going as they play their final regular season game on Sunday, March 10th against Ste. Jeanne d'Arc at the Rogers School in Lowell.

Girls JV Basketball:
The Girls JV Basketball team are currently tied with St. Michael School for first place going into the final regular season game. If they defeat St. Michael School on Saturday, March 9th the team will finish the regular season in first place going into the playoffs.

Good luck to all teams as they head to the playoffs!

Lower School

Inspiring 27-Year-Old Speaks About Perseverance

From Elizabeth O'Connell, Principal:
Many thanks to the Parents’ Club as they were so generous in sponsoring a motivational speaker for students on Friday, March 8th. At just 27 years old, Kelsey Tainsh has been through more than most will endure in a lifetime. Instead of letting her challenges weigh her down, Kelsey passionately spreads the message of what persistence and perspective can achieve - despite all obstacles. 

After successfully overcoming a brain tumor at only five years old, Kelsey had a happy childhood. She was even a champion wakeboard athlete! However, when she was 15 her life suddenly changed. The tumor returned, followed by a crippling stroke which left the right half of her body paralyzed. Because of this, Kelsey felt paralyzed not only physically but mentally, with fear and self-doubt. Despite facing incredibly difficult physical challenges, Kelsey worked hard to pull herself up and charge back into life. She said that for many years after her stroke she hid her disabled hand/wrist in a pocket until she had a change of heart. "It was once I stopped trying so hard to appear normal and finally took my hand out my pocket that my life changed forever," exclaims Kelsey.  Recently she accomplished the goal of getting back up on a board. Though it was a snowboard and not a wakeboard, it was a powerful moment for her and one that she hopes to repeat again soon.

During her NDA visit, Kelsey told her story, spoke about bullying, answered questions and had lunch with Student Council members. As a full-time professional speaker Kelsey travels across America speaking to colleges, organizations and corporations. She is a sought-after speaker because of her genuine and humorous way of inspiring audiences through her life story. This remarkable young woman has become a champion for all of us!

For more information on Kelsey, click the button below or visit

More than $200 Raised through Box Top Collection

From Caitlin Dwyer, Grade 3 Teacher:
A Box Top competition was kicked off in February with the help of the Parents' Club to raise money for the Lower School. Box Tops are an excellent way to earn some extra money for schools to put toward educational supplies. Students had one month to collect as many Box Tops as they could for their class. The amount of participation from all grades was impressive! As a whole, we were able to collect 2,097 tops! That's $209.70! The winning class was Mrs. Walent's 4th grade with 288 tops. Mrs. Stangroom and Miss Crawford's second grade class were the runners up with 253. Thank you to all who participated! Box Top collection continues throughout the year, so please send them in with your child at any point.

Second Graders Use App for Dinosaur Reports

From Jennifer Holder, Steam Teacher:
In STEAM, second graders are doing a research project on dinosaurs. Using an application called Dinosaur Train that appears on, the students explored more than one hundred different kinds of dinosaurs with a field guide that lists basic facts such as its diet and size. Once they narrowed it down so that they could choose between two of their favorites, the students answered several questions for a report. They also did a simple drawing and added an interesting extra fact or two from additional reading. The final element for this project was to collaborate with sixth graders to create a model of their dinosaur with modeling clay.  

Beignet Anyone?

From Shannon Walent, Grade 4 Teacher:
As part of the fourth grader's study of the southeast region, Mrs. A and Mrs. Walent created an opportunity for the students to experience a tasty southern treat. The “beignet” is a french inspired donut and is wildly popular in New Orleans, LA. Each child floured, rolled and cut a piece of dough. Mrs. A taught the children how to properly place the dough in the oil, and Mrs. Walent helped each student finish off their golden brown beignet with plenty of powdered sugar. The fourth graders were so appreciative of the experience, and we had a lot of fun making memories!

Early Years

Celebrating Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day!

From Melissa Janes, Director of Early Childhood Education:
Students in Pre-K through K2 all enjoyed celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday on “Read Across America Day” on Friday, March 1st! Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Seuss Geisel, was the author of more than 60 children’s books and is best known for his rhymes, made-up words, and whimsical characters. The repetition, rhythm, and rhyme in his books have been found to help children connect what they hear to oral language and in learning to process speech. The ability to play with and manipulate sound is also an extremely important step on the road to reading. Each of the Early Years classes enjoyed read-a-louds of some of his books, making “Cat in the Hat” hats, working on rhyming words, exploring Seuss themed STEAM centers, and brainstorming ideas on how they would get that mischievous cat to leave their house! Visit www, for a full list of books, games and activities your child can play at home. The Dr. Seuss museum is located in Springfield, Massachusetts (his birthplace). More information can be found at


Activities Abound as Winter Turns to Spring

From Jocelyn Saltzman, Director of EDP/Enrichment/Camp NDA:

Winter Vacation Camp:
The Winter Vacation Camp in February was a blast; thank you to all of our workers, volunteers, and campers for making it a huge success!

Extended Day Program:
This winter weather isn’t stopping our fun in EDP! Please remember to bring all of your winter gear; we go outside as much as possible with students who are winter-ready!

Summer Camp:
Are you looking for a summer full of adventures? Sign up for one, two, or all eight weeks at Camp NDA! This summer is filled with choices from Wilderness Camps to Science and Technology Camp to Adventure Camp; we have it all! Our Tiny Campers program is open for ages 3-5, and our Main Camps cater to the 6-12 crowd!
Register for Camp NDA by April 11th to receive the Early Bird Discount!

NEW THIS SUMMER: We are excited to announce our Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program, open to ages 13 and 14 (CITs pay at half-cost, with the exception of Adventure Camp)! In addition to gaining leadership skills, demonstrating activities and participating in all the fun, CITs can expect some quality bonding time with one another!

Explore more about Summer 2019 on our website!
Those interested in working at Summer Camp should email

Register for Camp NDA


Call for Nursing Scholarship Applications

Applications are being accepted for the Alice Kennedy Nursing Scholarship funded by the John J. and Edith L. Sacco Charitable Foundation from now through March 15th. This scholarship will be awarded to an alumna pursuing a four-year degree in nursing at an accredited college or university. Applicants who have completed two or more years of study and maintained a minimum 2.5 GPA in their major are eligible to apply.

If you wish to be considered for this award, please submit your resume, current college transcript and an essay that is no more than 300 words in length. In your essay, include why you believe you are an appropriate candidate for the scholarship. Please describe your educational and/or career goal(s). Include activities you have been involved in and contributions you have made to your community such as volunteer/service projects, work, etc.

Applications can be completed online here. All applications will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee. Recipients will be notified in the spring and the scholarship will be presented at the Annual Medallion Mass & Tea on Sunday, May 5, 2019.

Help Us Reconnect with 8th Grade Alumni

From Kristen Bowes Stella '02, Institutional Advancement Coordinator:
The Alumnae/i Office is looking to reconnect with NDA 8th grade graduates and needs your assistance! As we continue to build out our programming we would like to welcome back 8th grade graduates and invite them to connect with the school. If you know of any graduates that would like to reconnect with NDA and be informed about what is happening at the school, please pass along this short contact information form. It is our hope, that with your help we are able to start reengaging our 8th grade graduates at this year's Alumnae/i Celebration on Friday, May 31, 2019!

Academy of Notre Dame
180 Middlesex Road, Tyngsboro, MA 01879


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