A Message from the Head of School: A View from My NDA Office
Dear NDA Family,
Today is April 7th. As I sit at the desk in my NDA office, my windows are open and I enjoy the field hockey pre-game music and action on the field; Mia and Bianca are home, likely resting after our beautiful morning walk; I enjoy the bouquet of small pink roses which are beginning to open, and as I sip my afternoon cup of tea, I can’t believe that 4th quarter is upon us and planning for year-end activities is in full swing. It seems like just yesterday when we were just welcoming NDA students back on campus, reminding each to “remain in the bubble,” so uncertain about what this year would bring.
Though not over yet, this academic year has brought so much. Most of all, it has brought me great pride. The tenacity, adaptability, optimism, empathy, and care that each of our faculty, staff, and students have shown has been nothing short of amazing. Even as each individual has had to overcome obstacles in their personal lives, every person has also provided a tremendous amount of support and encouragement for others. Over the last few weeks, many teachers have had to take time off to obtain their vaccine. In some cases (like me!), the vaccine necessitated a little extra time out of the office to recuperate, and I was amazed at how quickly others would jump in to cover classes. I am so happy to report that almost all NDA staff who wanted the vaccine are completely vaccinated. Looking forward to the students having their opportunity next.
I am also very proud of the recent “Sport your Support” event hosted by NDA Student Council. In total they raised $1083.80, with the 9th graders donating $600. For this event, each grade chose a non- profit organization, and the proceeds were divided amongst each. The organizations that will be receiving donations include the Alzheimer's Association, National MS Society, National Breast Cancer Foundation, St. Jude’s Children Hospital for Childhood Cancer, ADAA, the ALS Association as well as the NDA Lenten Mission. Not only do we thank those who donated, but we give a big thank you to all teachers who agreed to get pied in the face. It was a big hit!
On March 31st, another big event happened on campus. With appropriate safety precautions and distancing in place, a few friends, family, and previous field hockey players of our beloved coach Patricia Provost came to witness her win her 600th field hockey game! As our field hockey coach, Miss Provost has had 600 victories, 159 losses, and 113 ties. She has won 4 state championships (1992, 2002, 2003, and 2005), 13 District Championships (92, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 02. 93, 04. 05, 06, 08), and has been a Central Mass Conference Champion for 23 consecutive years and 30 years total. Every athlete Patty has coached has memories to last a lifetime. Memories filled with a sense of belonging to a special family and feeling the confidence to do amazing things. Memories filled with rituals. Memories of her fur coat. Memories of her quotes and uplifting messages. Memories of lining up before a game and hearing her say "I wish you luck, I wish you a great game, and I wish you fun".
Patricia Provost embodies the spirit of a true NDA Rebel. As we look to reinvigorate and bring our NDA mascot, the Rebel, to life over the next few months, we will look at Patty for inspiration. On behalf of the entire NDA community, I would like to once again thank her for her passion for NDA, for loving our students, pushing our athletes, inspiring all of us - and reminding us all to always enjoy each and every moment. I promised her that when it is safe to invite every person whose life she has impacted to celebrate her incredible achievement with us, we will!
We also look forward to many upcoming Spring celebrations including our 8th grade promotion ceremony on June 3rd, our Junior/Senior Prom on May 14th, and Senior Graduation on May 30th. We are finalizing details for each event based on new guidance and will be sharing details shortly. However, I can share that graduation will occur on the traditional graduation lawn and each graduate will be able to invite 6 guests each. Although other schools may have to limit due to space constraints, because of our size, we can accommodate the maximum under the guidelines. We also hope to live stream for those who are not able to attend in person. I am very excited for all of the celebrations and hope that every community member continues to abide by the guidelines so we all stay healthy, and students can enjoy these traditional festivities.
The coronavirus pandemic has also unleashed an explosion of recent anti-Asian racism in the United States, ranging from derogatory slurs, to blaming the outbreak on people of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, to violent physical attacks. Recent events in our country remind us all that there is still so much work to be done. Silence or lack of acknowledgment in these events can contribute to the perpetuation of these incidents. As we all know - "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing." The fact is many children in the AAPI community live in fear that their parents or grandparents will be attacked when they simply go out for a walk or to perform a simple task like buying groceries. Notre Dame Academy publicly acknowledges the recent rise in anti-Asian crimes and denounces anti-Asian racism. Over the next few weeks, our social media will highlight how our students have been involved in these discussions both in the classrooms and in our Diversity Club.
Let us pray for the continued support and love to sustain the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, “women with hearts as wide as the world, make known God’s goodness and love with and among people living in poverty, through a Gospel way of life, community and prayer,” at Notre Dame Academy.
Wishing you springtime joy and continued good health,
Lisa Mancini ‘88 P‘18
Head of School
Notre Dame Academy