The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur is a Catholic, independent, college prepatory school for young women in grades 6 through 12.

A Catholic, Independent, College Preparatory School for Young Women, Grades 6 through 12

Academy of Notre Dame de Namur: Inspiring Young Women Since 1956

A Message from the Head of School and Chair of the Board

A Message from the Head of School and Chair of the Board

Message From Head of School, Dr. Judith A. Dwyer, to the Notre Dame Community, July 1, 2020

Dear Members of the Notre Dame Community,

As the 2014-2020 cycle of Strategic Planning and the Comprehensive Campaign that supported its goals conclude (Our Time to Inspire), I have announced to the Board of Trustees that I shall also conclude my service as Head of School on June 30, 2021. I have lived these years of Our Time to Inspire with you — and together, we have accomplished many goals, all deeply rooted in our Catholic mission and the pioneering legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

I had discussed this intent to transition with our Board Chair in February — and then came Covid-19 and the immediate priority of Notre Dame's safety. I am grateful that our March transition to a complete online teaching/learning environment was seamless and I commend our dedicated teachers and students for making this experience so successful.

This year brings its own leadership challenges as we continue to plan for the 2020-2021 academic year with Covid-19 still with us. In addition, there are multiple opportunities and new horizons before us, as we shape a more diverse and inclusive community and heal the racial divisions and painful experiences that have been shared this summer, especially by our Alumnae of color.

I am deeply grateful to the Board of Trustees and the entire Notre Dame community for all your support throughout these years. I have been very blessed to meet so many extraordinary and talented students and their families. I have been deeply impressed with our Alumnae and their accomplishments and I am grateful to work every day with faculty, staff and administrators who are truly dedicated to our mission of educating young women. It has been a genuine privilege to serve as Head of School since 2014 and I shall assist the Board with the transition to a new administration in every way possible.

Notre Dame's future is one of great promise and I look forward to these days and months ahead with abiding hope. God bless.


Judith A. Dwyer, Ph.D.
Head of School

Message from the Chair of the Board, Anne Vazquez '99, July 1, 2020

It is with both profound gratitude and a heavy heart that, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am announcing that Dr. Dwyer will be celebrating her last year as the Head of School at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur. In early 2020 Dr. Dwyer initiated discussions about concluding her tenure at the Academy and her decision not to renew her contract beyond June 2021.

When she transitions from her position, she will have given our beloved community seven amazing years of service and leadership. Dr. Dwyer's inspiring leadership, passion and commitment to Notre Dame will have a permanent imprint and lasting legacy in the school's honored history.

We want to thank her for her years of dedicated service in growing our mission. This involved many significant accomplishments, including:

  • Launching the Academy's Center for Global Leadership and establishing sister school relationships with private girls' schools from eight different countries around the world
  • Continuing to position Notre Dame as the premier independent Catholic academy for young women in North America
  • Leading the comprehensive "Our Time to Inspire" campaign, surpassing all fundraising records and putting the school on sound financial footing for the future
  • Spearheading the efforts to build the Riley Center for STEM Education and crafting a comprehensive academic curriculum to support the physical space
  • Aligning the school's infrastructure to its strategic goals and initiatives, including implementing the one-to-one laptop initiative
  • Recruiting and mentoring top administrators and teachers to continue to propel Notre Dame into the twenty-first century
  • Driving record enrollment

The Board of Trustees has appointed and authorized a Search Committee that will lead the efforts in concert with a nationally recognized recruiting firm to recruit a new Head of School to start in July 2021. This process will be a community effort. In the coming weeks and months, the Search Committee and the recruiting firm will be soliciting feedback across the community to gain alignment. We look forward to the participation and involvement of the community.

We cannot thank Dr. Dwyer enough for her dedication, passion, love and tireless work in service of the Academy educating young women and empowering them to be honorable compassionate leaders in a global world. We truly appreciate that she will partner with us this coming year to prepare for the next chapter of the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur.

Anne Vazquez '99
Chair, Board of Trustees