Judith A. Dwyer, Ph.D.
Head of School
Dr. Judith A. Dwyer is the Academy of Notre Dame's fourth head of school and chief executive officer. Dr. Dwyer is a distinguished academic leader and nationally respected educator who served most recently as chief academic officer at Bisk Education, Inc., and formerly as president of Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Prior to her university presidency, Dr. Dwyer served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at the University of St. Thomas (MN), as academic dean at St. John's University (NY), and as assistant academic dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University (PA).
From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Dwyer was chief academic officer at Bisk Education, Inc., a firm specializing in online education, where she served as senior academic liaison with multiple university partners, setting strategic policy for business development, faculty and course development, and student retention.
From 2003 through 2009, Dr. Dwyer was the president and chief executive officer at Saint Xavier University, Chicago's oldest Catholic university serving thousands of students. At Saint Xavier, Dr. Dwyer established new milestones in fundraising, oversaw strategic planning, added multiple new facilities to the campus, and introduced international service learning opportunities.
“The Academy of Notre Dame is committed to the pioneering legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur,” noted Dr. Dwyer. “Our graduates are recognized for their leadership, innovation, and service. I look forward to having Notre Dame students become even greater citizens of the international community, with the world as their classroom. I am honored to lead an institution so dedicated to excellence within the critical formative years of middle and high school students.”
Dr. Dwyer earned her doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of America, her master's degree from Duquesne University, and her undergraduate degree from Chestnut Hill College. She also earned a pontifical degree (STL) from Weston Jesuit School of Theology.
Dr. Dwyer's postdoctoral work includes study at Oxford and Harvard Universities and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. A Fulbright scholar, she is the author of numerous publications and has lectured internationally.
A native of the Chestnut Hill area, Dr. Dwyer began her administrative career at Villanova University as assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Prior to this work, she taught at all levels of education—elementary, secondary, and higher education—at Catholic institutions in the Philadelphia area.
Learn more about Notre Dame in these Q & A features in Main Line Today:
2019 Q & A
2018 Q & A
2017 Q & A
2016 Q & A
Director of Middle School
Mrs. Bridget Bonner holds a Master of Education degree from Cabrini College and a Bachelor of Elementary Education from Saint Joseph's University and joined the Academy in 2001. Mrs. Bonner worked as Notre Dame's Director of Admissions from 2015 until 2019, where she was responsible for recruitment events and oversight of the admissions process for all grades. Prior to that, Mrs. Bonner taught grades 6-12 in Notre Dame's Religion department. Additional responsibilities included Religion Department Chair and mentor to Student Council and student clubs. Mrs. Bonner brings to this role both a student-centered approach and a deep commitment to parent engagement.
Director of Upper School
Mrs. Kim Burke has served the Notre Dame community for fourteen years. During her tenure, she has taught many courses in the English Department and worked closely with Dr. David Califf to develop the Senior Research Project. Additionally, Mrs. Kim Burke acted as one of Notre Dame’s Student Council Moderators for thirteen years and worked with her fellow moderators to create events for the Middle and Upper Schools with an emphasis on fostering campus stewardship, community, and school spirit. Mrs. Burke also works with the creative team of Mrs. Devenney, Mrs. Miller, and Dr. Klause to bring Notre Dame’s many musicals and plays to the stage. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Education and Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature from the University of Scranton and is currently continuing her study of Curriculum Development with the University of Scranton.
Associate Head of School Appointed
Following a comprehensive, nationwide search led by Carney, Sandoe and Associates, a firm that specializes in independent school searches, the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Liz Willis as the Academy's Head of School, effective July 1, 2020. She currently serves as the Secondary School Academic Dean at Oakwood School, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Willis brings both stellar academic credentials and sustained independent school experience to the position of Associate Head of School.