Dear Students, Parents, Alumnae and Friends of NDA,
As I prepare to begin my new role as Executive Director of the SND National Sponsorship and Network Office (NSNO) on September 1st, I wanted to send a note of gratitude to all of you. While my days at NDA are nearly over, this incredible experience has left an indelible mark on my heart. As I wrap up some key projects and pack boxes, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the last 15 years. I always knew I was blessed to be a student and graduate of Notre Dame Academy, but to have had the opportunity to also serve as a teacher, principal and president has certainly been the highlight of my professional life. Because of my experiences at NDA and the many rewarding opportunities I have shared with so many of you, my life has been made much richer and I feel well prepared for this next part of the journey.
NDA is also well prepared for the next phase of our school’s journey as we transition to new leadership. I am truly grateful to Mr. Jack VonHandorf for taking on the role of interim president while he also serves as principal. I know he is supported by our very dedicated and generous Board of Directors who have always served our school well in their strategic governance. In my work with Mr. VonHandorf, I know how much he values teamwork and this will continue as he leads our talented faculty and staff in collaboration, with our outstanding associate principal, Amber Grayson. Together they will continue to ensure the tradition of excellence that is NDA!
Our SND tradition remains at the core of this experience of excellence. As our founders, the Sisters of Notre Dame created a school that is always ready to make the most of the present even as we prepare for the challenges of the future. The SND USA leadership model is a perfect example of that as the SND sponsorship promotes and supports our success as a Catholic school dedicated to educating young women to make a difference in our world. NDA is not only blessed to be sponsored by the SNDs, we also enjoy membership in a network of SND ministries dedicated to serving others in response to the needs of God’s people. In my role with the NSNO, I look forward to working with these ministries to promote effective governance and mission integration – at the heart of SND sponsorship and key to sustainable futures. Our Board is hard at work on the search process for our new president. As you know, they have engaged a search firm and established a President Search Committee to assist them in finding a permanent president of NDA who will assume the position of president sometime prior to July 2022.
There are an overwhelming number of wonderful memories from these last 15 years and one of my favorites will always be our young women singing our school song – NDA We Honor Thee. The generations of women who have shared this song at school events and alumnae gatherings speaks to our rich legacy as a school sponsored by the SNDs. It has always been a joy to see these young women smile joyfully and sing proudly – forever NDA. That will always stay with me and as an NDA alumna I am ever grateful to always be a part of this beautiful and life-giving community.
God’s goodness is with us each and every day at Notre Dame Academy and may that also be true for you.
With love and gratitude,
Laura Koehl, Ed.D. Class of 1975 President