NDA Summer Academy Sport Camps Beginning – Sign her up now!


SESSION 1 for girl entering 1st – 4th Grade Fall ’18
July 16 – 18 (Mon. – Wed.) 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

SESSION 2 for girl entering 5th – 8th Grade Fall ’18
July 16 – 18 (Mon. – Wed.) 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

for girl entering 4th – 9th Grade Fall ’18


July 17 – 19 (Tues. – Thurs.) 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


for girl entering 7th – 9th Grade Fall ’18
July 30 – August 3 (Mon. – Fri.) 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Docks, Downtown Toledo


SESSION 1 for girl entering 6th – 8th Grade Fall ’18
ELITE CAMP* July 9 – 12 (Mon. – Thurs.) 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Is for players who have SIGNIFICANT SOCCER experience and skill for their age.

SESSION 2 for girl entering 2nd – 5th Grade Fall ’18
GENERAL CAMP July 9 – 12 (Mon. – Thurs.) 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


for girl entering 6th – 8th Grade Fall ’18
June 19 – 21 (Tues. – Thurs.) 12 Noon – 2:00 p.m.


SESSION 1 for girl entering 5th – 8th Grade Fall ’18
GENERAL  July 9 – 12 (Mon. – Thurs.) 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

SESSION 2 for girl entering 5th & 6th Grade Fall ’18
ADVANCED* July 9 – 12 (Mon. – Thurs.) 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

SESSION 3 for girl entering 7th & 8th Grade Fall ’18
ADVANCED* July 23- 26 (Mon. – Thurs.) 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

SESSION 4 for girl entering 9th Grade Fall ’18
July 23 – 26 (Mon. – Thurs.) 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

*ADVANCED CAMP is for players who have SIGNIFICANT volleyball experience & skill for their age. Players should already be serving overhand consistently, know the three step approach, and understand rotations and free ball defensive positioning.

For questions, contact Summer Academy Director Lauren Boyles-Brewitt at lboyles@nda.org or call 419-724-1008 

FREE practice High School Placement Tests offered to rising 7th and 8th Graders

Practicing the HSPT (High School Placement Test) is a great way for students to get comfortable with the format before they take it in eighth grade. This is just a practice test, but taking this practice test may help your student earn a scholarship when she takes the actual test. Notre Dame Academy awards a renewable Honors Scholarship of up to $3,000 a year to eighth graders who score 80% or higher. There is no fee charged for the practice test.

Register today!

June, June 22    9am-12:30pm
Arrive at 8:45am,  Bring two #2 pencil and calculator, Register at  https://tinyurl.com/practiceHPST
Question? admissions@nda.org or 419.475.9359

Mary Gerhardinger Says, “AMEN” With Her Classmates in Valedictorian Speech

Good Evening!

In the last moments of her life, Harriet Tubman joined her family and friends in singing the spiritual “swing low, sweet chariot.” The Buddha spent the last few moments of his life exhorting us to “strive, with earnestness.”  Compared to this sentimentality, Sir Winston Churchill’s last utterance that he was “bored of it all” seems rather ineloquent and brusque. Some last words have been funny, some serious, and some emotional. Regardless of their tone, however, there seems to be a general human fascination with the words that someone speaks in their last moments. Perhaps it seems futile to sum up the events of a life in a few words; however, these final proclamations can provide a glimpse into someone’s self image.  They might even be able to help us live the life we want to live.

You might be wondering why I am talking about this morbid topic on such a joyous occasion. It’s because this is a valedictory, a goodbye speech, Vale coming from the Latin word meaning “goodbye.” Thus this speech represents the last words of a high schooler before graduation.

My position here is ironic.  For, despite my mild obsession with last words, I don’t think it’s right to fixate on endings. Or beginnings for that matter. Some dislike endings out of a distaste for excessive harboring of emotions, but I find fault with the shadow that beginnings and endings cast on all of the in between events – the middle. After all, who here remembers the 57th day of sophomore year?  The 7th detention served under Ms. Cousino?  How about the feeling of being halfway through a large project?

When did the last and first become so much more valuable than the middle? Is it not precisely the middle events that give the last and first their vitality and, moreover, their triumph?

Perhaps this is just a middle child annoyance.  Let’s call this phenomenon the Wednesday syndrome – the tendency to forget and under appreciate the middle.  Is there cure for this widespread disease?  I propose we could all use a healthy dose of mindfulness, the practice of being aware of each moment and our place in it.  If we don’t live each day along a journey as an important and valuable one, then very few moments of life are meaningful.  So, while this day as our high school graduation is important, what comes betwixt the first and the last days is equally important. Without the countless schedule one days, this last day would not be as special.

I am not proposing we brush off the beginnings and endings of things as unimportant or less valuable; on the contrary, I think we should celebrate them. However, that does not mean we should overlook the moments that went into making this celebration so worthwhile: every time we sat down in homeroom, stuffed our books in our tiny lockers, donned our blazers, cheered at sporting events, took a bow, and ignored having to sign our planner as a hall pass. We celebrate every single one of those moments today; each ought to be significant.  Endings, as with last words, are important only when they are a reflection of the events in the middle and the effort we have put in throughout our journey.

Would this diploma mean as much to you if it weren’t for the cringe-worthy awkwardness of freshman year, the tragically forgotten sophomore year, or the triumphs and stresses of junior and senior year?

A few years ago I decided I want my last word of life to be  “Amen.” Derived from the Aramaic root “-aman” which means “supported, confirmed, or upheld” this word is also closely associated with the word meaning “truth.” As I’ve come to understand it, Amen affirms what was just said or done as being innately truthful to yourself, something which resonates with what you hold to be true.

At the end of our lives, we will all ideally reflect back on everything we have said and done; by saying Amen I hope to affirm that my existence was true to myself and my desires.

To cure my own Wednesday syndrome, I also challenged myself to end each day by saying Amen – affirming my support of my actions throughout the day as well as recognizing how that day has been influential in the greater scheme of my life. In other words, I challenged myself to be mindful of each day and its value.  To me, part of that is recognizing how each day is a beginning, middle, or ending of some journey, and that each day has its place in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have failed more than I have succeeded at this task; however, I still think this is an important one: to be mindful, to live in each moment, then go beyond that mindfulness to appreciate each moment as important within a journey.  In other words, to stop wishing it was Saturday during Wednesday’s first period prayer intentions.

Today is certainly important, But tomorrow… tomorrow can be as important, and that is what I want to challenge us to think about.

Our personal growth journeys need not align themselves perfectly with the school calendar, beginning on August 15th and ending on May 16th with a break in the middle for Christmas and Easter. Rather, personal journeys occur on their own time frame, which means that tomorrow might be the beginning of the most formative journey of your life, or a middle step, or an end.  Maybe tomorrow you will open the first page of what will become your favorite book, begin a new health practice, or break a bad habit. But these are all beginning or ending events. More likely, tomorrow holds the promise of middle events – spending some time with your family, treating yourself to your 614th ice cream scoop, or renewing a spiritual journey you have already started. We might not remember all of the details of these in between moments, but they comprise most of our lives. The beauty of living in each moment is recognizing how every event compounds upon itself to form a life.

Today, I join my classmates in saying Amen to our high school careers. In this, we reflect on the middle moments that have brought us here and challenge each other not to wait until the end to value the middle.  We find Harriet Tubman’s final song of swing low sweet chariot meaningful because it is a mirror of what she stood for in life and how she lived her middle moments. Similarly, the Buddha’s last call to earnestness is powerful because it demonstrates his own dedication during his life’s middle moments. And Churchill’s witty proclamation of boredom portrays how he stayed afloat during stressful times of leadership. Regardless of what our last words are, for life, for today, or for any journey, I hope our regrets are few. And I challenge us to stop the epidemic that is Wednesday syndrome, and to value the middle moments as much as beginnings and endings.  To celebrate the beauty in this occasion, and then to recognize tomorrow’s importance as a place in the beginning, middle, or end of another journey.





Summer Reading Announced

In Their Shoes…


“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”  Carl Jung


10 May 2018

Dear NDA Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors of next year:

Our school theme for the 2018-19 school year will be IN THEIR SHOES.  Throughout all of your classes next year, you will explore the idea of seeing the world from a perspective other than your own. Rather than requiring you to read a book as part of a community read, as we have done in the past, the English department has put together a list of nine novels that address different issues from different perspectives. You are required to choose one of those books and come to class on the first day of school ready to discuss your book and take a quiz on it. You will not be completing a project for this book over the summer. Instead, your English teacher for next year will decide on how you will process your reading experience.

You are responsible for getting your own book; all titles are readily available at local libraries and book stores.

The English department has worked diligently to compose a list of books of literary merit which explore a variety of issues from different perspectives. Some of these books contain some “hot topic” issues, like mental illness, conflicts in faith, bullying, race, etc.   Some have explicit language, references to sex, suicide and other uncomfortable topics. The English department believes that it is the discussion of these very human issues that gives literature the potential to broaden our perspective and enrich our lives.  As you read about these topics—topics we often try to brush aside for the sake of comfort—you may need to discuss some of the ideas with parents or other adults.  Please think about the issue in the context of the story, and consider what the author’s message might be, and compare that message with your own values. Bring your questions and insights to class for further exploration.


Here is a synopsis of each book. Enjoy walking around in someone else’s shoes this summer!

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (race/culture)

“Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all- white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot” (amazon.com).



  1. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates (bullying)

“Matt has a big mouth and Ursula is considered an ugly girl who’s strong, tall, and athletic. They’re not friends and don’t really have anything in common, but the two of them come together during a time of difficulty for Matt. Something he says gets taken out of context and threatens to ruin his life” (amazon.com).

  1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (ability)                                                                                                                                                                                                “Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
    Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally” (goodreads.com).
  2. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (poverty/mental health)

“The book recounts the unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing Walls and her siblings had at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents. The memoir spent a total of 261 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list” (Wikipedia).

  1. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (mental health)

It’s Kind of a Funny Story tells the story of Craig Gilner, a New York high school student who serves as the novel’s narrator. In the early stages of the story, Craig discusses his small circle of friends, his mostly typical childhood, and his problems with stress and depression” (gradesaver.com). The narrator spends the bulk of the book in a psychiatric hospital after struggling with suicidal thoughts.

  1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (immigration/age)

“Ove, an ill-tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife’s grave, has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors” (IMDB.com).

  1. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok (religion/culture)

“The book’s protagonist is Asher Lev, a Hasidic Jewish boy in New York City. Asher is a loner with artistic inclinations. His art, however, causes conflicts with his family and other members of his community. The book follows Asher’s maturity as both an artist and a Jew” (Wikipedia).

  1. Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper (ability)

“Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school – but no one knows it. Most people – her teachers and doctors included – don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows… but she can’t, because Melody can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind – that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice… but not everyone around her is ready to hear it” (bookbrowse.com).

  1. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (immigration/culture)

“A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region[in China] and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters (From the publisher.)



***Please contact Mrs. Laura Gallaher, department chair, with any questions you may have. (lgallaher@nda.org)

Juniors Commissioned as Eucharistic Ministers Will Receive Certification from Bishop Thomas

Sixteen juniors were trained by NDA’s theology department chair, Bonnie Shambarger, to become Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers. They will be commissioned on the first all school mass in August. Congratulations and God bless you; Katie Schoen, Mercy Torres, Annie DeClark, Maureen Connelly, Megan Sosko, Claire Pawlecki, August Miller, Paige Griffith, Ava George, Julia Loeb, Mallory Mishler, Jenna Reichert, Erin Bollin, Bridget Bishop, Kathryn Brennan, and Emily Spackey. Students attended four classes and one practicum class. Their names will be sent to the Diocese of Toledo and in turn will receive a certificate signed by Bishop Daniel E. Thomas!

NDA Announces Cast of “Hello Dolly!”

Congratulations to the following students who have been cast in the NDA production of, “Hello Dolly!”

Cast in Alphabetical Order:  

Aniah Bell-Langster:  Ensemble

Maria Bier:  Ermengarde

Bridget Bishop:  Ensemble

Parker Boyd:  Ensemble

Elise Brown:  Ernestina

Abby Buerk: Ensemble     

Peyton Burnor: Mrs. Molloy

Emma Cannon:  Ensemble   Dahlia Daboul: Ensemble

Aadya Davis: Mrs. Carmicheal       

Annie DeClark: Mrs Schmidt

 Lauren Dionyssiou: 2nd Cook  

Gracie Dollarhide: Ensemble    

Diamond Doublin:  Judge

Alexis Dunbar:  Ensemble

Esperanza Duran: Ensemble    

 Christian Eid: Ambrose Kemper    

Maria Evola:  Cook’s Assistant

Katie Geldien: Dance Captain/Waiter Soloist

Ava George:  Sadie

Sammy Giordano:  Ensemble

Jack Haase:  Stanley

Sareena Harb:  Ensemble

TJ HAselman:  Cornelius Hackl             

Anna Haudrich: Minnie Fay

Mi’Neisha Henderson:  Ensemble

Lillian Hittler:  Ensemble

Gabriel Hunyor: Horace Vandergelder   

Aimee Jaggernauth: Ensemble

Laila Jarson:  Ensemble

Jamie Jenkins:  Ensemble

Bei Jiang: Ensemble

Aliyah Kayed:  Ensemble

Patrick Kerrigan:  Paper Hanger

Claire Kersten: Ensemble   

Chloe Knapp: Dolly Levi

Sarah Korducki:  Maizie

Evan LaBeau: Policeman

Brooke Leiner:  Clerk

Grace Levine:  Cook’s Assistant   

Mack Martindale: Coachman

Sabrina Martinez:  First Cook Renee Marting:  Ms. Schmidt

Molly McCracken:  Ensemble Sarah Mickens:  Ensemble

Madalyn Miller: Ensemble  Rachel Miller: Ensemble

Mallory Mishler:  Vocal Captain/Ensemble    

Kady Nicholson: Ensemble  

Ada Ogbonna:  Rudolph/Soloist        

Claire Pawlecki: Third Cook

Laney Poitinger:  Dance Captain/Waiter Soloist

 Bridget Quinlan:  Ensemble

Hannah Rattigan:  Ensemble

 Mia Rose:  Ensemble   

 Katie Schoen: Mary Schmidt Smith

 Brooke Seelenbinder:  Ensemble

Sylvia Shentu:  Ensemble

Meagan Sherman:  Dance Captain/Waiter        

Isabel Smith: Ensemble

Saja Stormer:  Ensemble      

Claire Summers: Ensemble    

Dakota Sutton:  Mrs. Rose  

 Kevin Terran: Ensemble

Joelle Thomas:  Ensemble      

Mercy Torres: Ensemble

Kaitie Tolson:  Vocal Captain/Ensemble         

Adishree Verma: Ensemble

Megan Vesoulis:  Ensemble

Barbara Hanzhang Wang:  Ensemble

 Jingsi Wang:  Ensemble   

Mitchell Wiley: Barnaby    

 Georgia Woodruff:  Ensemble

Sky Wu:  Ensemble


NDA’s Faculty and Staff Create Art Project That Represents their Commitment

Most every Wednesday morning, NDA faculty break out into Professional Learning Communities (PLC). As the school year comes to an end, faculty and staff gathered for a final PLC morning.  A collaborative art project was created to visually represent our Professional Learning Community values (Student Centered, Collaboration, Open Minded, Critical Thinking, Practical). Not only is it a colorful addition to the hallway outside of the NDA Resource Center, but a representation of each individual who brings unique knowledge, heart, and skills to the community. NDA’s faculty and staff believe that the most promising strategies for achieving the mission of the school is to function fully as a learning community in order to help all students at learn at higher levels. Each color represents a commitment. This project is so unique and a perfect way to round off the 2017-2018 school year!