NDA In The News

Notre Dame Academy Welcomes New Track Coach Celeste Maykel

Celeste Maykel is an alumna of Notre Dame Academy, class of 1988.  After graduating NDA she received a BS degree from Bryant University in 1992 then later went on to RI College and received another BS degree in Education. 

After several years Celeste made her way back to Worcester to help run her family business,  The Living Earth.  

Celeste has always had a passion for fitness and although she is a mother of 4, she's always found a way to carve out time to maintain her passion. Celeste was an avid runner, but when she needed more of a challenge she began doing more cross training and then ultimately found CrossFit Worcester. Celeste has become part of the CFW team as an administrative coordinator, and is currently preparing to expand her role to be part of the coaching team.  

"As an NDA classmate of Celete’s I can attest to her organizational skills and her drive," said Interim Head of School Lisa Mancini. "Personally, I am thrilled to be working with Celeste as part of the NDA staff and the Winter Track team is very lucky to have her as their trainer and Coach."

Celeste is excited to return to NDA and give back to the school that was the foundation of her success. NDA provided her with the drive to work hard, accept challenges and continually push forward.  Coaching is a dream to her and she can not wait to help her team achieve all the goals they set. 

Senior Ally Walker Talks About Her WPI Internship

Senior Ally Walker has had the opportunity to be an intern at WPI’s Bioengineering and Life Sciences laboratories. She recently shared with us everything that she has been working on in that incredible program. 

Senior Ally Walker has had the opportunity to be an intern at WPI’s Bioengineering and Life Sciences laboratories. She recently shared with us everything that she has been working on in that incredible program. 

"I have had the amazing opportunity of spending both my summer and school year participating in my own research project at WPI’s Bioengineering and Life Sciences laboratories as an intern. With heart disease as the leading cause of death in the US, scientists continue to explore what may be causing this devastating issue. My project focused on stretch-related apoptosis of cardiac cells, and their effect on heart disease. This experience has been one in a lifetime. I have spent countless months working alongside other researchers and learning so much. I have been able to use technology and conduct experiments that many students do not have the opportunity of doing until the later years of their undergraduate studies. I believe that my science education at NDA has been incredibly helpful in my preparations for this experience. The amount of knowledge I already had entering my internship helped me understand and acquire new knowledge throughout my internship. I hope to attend WPI this coming fall and begin my undergraduate studies as a biomedical engineering major. One day I would love to study cancer genetics, and I will always have NDA to thank for teaching me to always believe in my goals." 

Welcome New NDA Faculty!

We would like to introduce you to several new employees that are joining our team this Fall!.

Nicole Lian ‘92 will be joining the Notre Dame Academy Arts Department as the Theatre Arts Director. After receiving a scholarship to study in the International  Summer program at the University of Freiburg in Freiburg, Germany, Mrs. Lian graduated from The College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Arts. She went on to complete graduate studies in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. Mrs. Lian has worked for TAC Worldwide companies as a training coordinator, and was a Physician Recruiting Manager at Fallon Clinic in Worcester, MA. She was also a Provider Relations Representative for Fallon Community Health Plan in Worcester. Since 2015 Mrs. Lian has worked as the Drama teacher at Venerini Academy where she ran the Drama Club as well as directed the Christmas pageant and Stations of the Cross. She performs at numerous theaters throughout New England as is on the Board of Directors for Studio Theatre Worcester. Mrs. Lian will teach 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grade theatre arts and will direct our school productions.

Dr. Martha Fam attended Long Island University College of Pharmacy where she majored in Pharmacy, and went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy, where she also received her PharmD degree (doctor in Pharmacy). For the past 20 years Dr. Fam has worked on the frontline in the healthcare industry counseling patients about prescription and over the counter medications, and has also coordinated awareness clinics for patients and community members concerned about blood pressure and other diseases. With her knowledge of pharmaceuticals, she has conducted and presented research in Rene, France. For over thirty years Dr. Fam has also been a Sunday school teacher and she has also tutored in both Biology and Religion. “My philosophy is that we are required to help raise children up so that they can meet their highest potential. This is my true calling.” Dr. Fam will be teaching Biology 1, and one section of Biology 2.

Melissa Kenerson graduated Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Legal studies. While studying at UMass Lowell she also took advanced courses in Chemical and Environmental engineering. Since 1998 Mrs. Kenerson has been an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Regulatory Compliance Specialist in many locations and capacities including Technic Inc. in Woonsocket,RI,  Geologic Services Corp. in Hudson, MA, and most recently as the Senior Project Manager at GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. in Norwood, MA. Through these jobs Mrs. Kennerson would develop spill prevention plans for oil and hazardous materials storage facilities, design systems to clean up contamination sites, and prepare and present safety training for emergency preparedness and response teams. She has also been an Academic tutor for the past 3 years where she taught Physics, Chemistry, Precalculus/Trigonometry, Calculus, and Algebra 2 at the Academy Achievement Center in North Attleborough, MA. Mrs. Kenerson will be teaching Physics, Environmental Science, and 7th-8th integrated science.

Dr. Ning Zhang graduated with a B.A. in English and Literature from Renmin University, Beijing, P.R. China, and received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh, and then in 2019 received her Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Bethel University. She has taught online courses in Chinese Society and Cultures, Study Abroad Courses in Transformations and Transitions in China, and was an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bethel University where she taught Peoples and Cultures of China, Religion in East Asia, Anthropology of Tourism, and much more. “In teaching these courses on language and culture, I believe it is necessary and crucial to use the most current materials to relate to the reality and everyday life of students.” Dr. Zhang will be teaching Mandarin Studies.

Dominica Danzilio-Brown ‘05 graduated from Salve Regina University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and went on to receive her Masters of Art in Elementary Education. After teaching for several years Mrs. Brown explored a sales and event planning career in both Natick and Boston. She was the Event Sales Coordinator for Tavistock Restaurant Group,  Event Manager at the Hynes Convention Center for Levy Restaurants, a private events coordinator for Paint Nite, LLC, and most recently she was the Inside Sales representative for Toast POS,LLC. Min is excited to be back at Notre Dame Academy as the new Development and Enrollment Assistant with Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Lubelczyk.

Notre Dame Academy welcomes David A.M Christie and M. Anthony Jenkins

Notre Dame Academy is excited to welcome Mr. M. Anthony Jenkins and Mr. David A.M. Christie to our faculty. 

Mr. Jenkins received his Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut. He has worked in the field of education for the last five years, including teaching English to middle and high school students in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. Most recently, Mr. Jenkins worked for a supplemental secondary school in Central Massachusetts, assisting students in preparing for standardized tests, the college application, the college essay, as well as the overall admissions process. Additionally, he instructed students in building fundamental skills in both reading and writing.

Mr. Jenkins is also an experienced coach. He has been coaching basketball for the last 13 years and has worked at every level from recreation through the college ranks. Coach Jenkins, as he is known to the hundreds of players with which has had the privilege of working, currently serves as the Associate Head Coach at a Division III institution in the Boston area.

Mr. Jenkins said, “I aspire toward providing an added level of creativity, energy, organization, and leadership to the English Department, the school community and, most importantly, aid in the development and preparation of the students with whom I have the privilege of working on a daily basis.”

Mr. Jenkins will be teaching 2 sections of 9th Grade English, 1 section of 11th Grade English, 7th Grade Geography, and 2 sections of 9th Grade Seminar.

Mr. David A.M. Christie received his Bachelor’s degree in English and Theatre from The College of the Holy Cross, and a Master’s in English Literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, in Middlebury, VT, completing all of his coursework at Oxford University. For the past nine years, Mr. Christie taught at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline, Massachusetts. While at Dexter, Mr. Christie was the ninth grade English curriculum leader, tenth grade public speaking coordinator, classroom teacher, student advisor, and Varsity Cross Country and Girls Tennis Head Coach.

Before teaching at Dexter, Mr. Christie taught at  TASIS The American School in England in Thorpe, Surrey, England for 14 years, where he was head of the English Department. He also served as the English and Language Arts Committee Chair for the European Council of Independent Schools.

“In the classroom, I believe strongly in the power of literature to educate the character and feed the soul, as well as in the necessity of fostering the skill of communicating intelligently, sensitively, and correctly through written and spoken word,” said Mr. Christie. “I absolutely love teaching literature, critical thinking, writing, and grammar. I thrive on the daily opportunity to make texts come alive for young people as we explore the commonalities of the human experience across cultures and time."

Mr. Christie will be teaching 12th grade English, including AP Literature and Composition and Senior Projects, as well as 11th grade Communications.

Welcome Mr. Christie and Mr. Jenkins to the Notre Dame Academy family! 

NDA Athletics Announcements


Notre Dame Academy Promotes Joe Kusz to Head Varsity Basketball Coach

Worcester, MA- Monday, May 13 - Notre Dame Academy announces Joseph Kusz as the new Head Varsity Basketball coach. For the past 6 years Joe Kusz has served as the Assistant Varsity basketball coach and Junior varsity coach at Notre Dame Academy. Coach Peter Bogren stepped down in the winter leaving the varsity coach position open.

“Coach Kusz says he has had thoroughly fulfilling moments at the Junior varsity and assistant level and is looking forward to stepping into the head coach position,” said Patricia Provost, Notre Dame Academy Athletic Director. “As AD on the sidelines at numerous games I’ve always been quite impressed with his eager enthusiasm, teaching skills, diligence in the subject, and very personable manner that he brings to the Notre Dame basketball program.”

 “I look forward to sharing my passion for basketball and providing a strong foundation for NDA athletes. I will strive to inspire the team at all levels of competition,” Said Coach Kusz.

 Coach Kusz’s coaching talents have had a great impact on the academy’s basketball program. Under his coaching, Notre Dame Academy became a highly recognized program in the Central Mass area. He has exhibited excellent leadership, knowledge of the sport, and most importantly a love of the sport and coaching these young female athletes.

 “Coach Kusz understands and upholds the NDA sports philosophy of working and playing hard, pushing to be the best, and keeping an eye on continual improvement,” said Head of School Kathryn Woodson Barr. “He also understands our students and supports them as ‘whole people’ not simply as athletes.”


Welcome Back Meighan Guiney Allison ‘94- Assistant Athletic Director

Notre Dame Academy is excited to welcome Meighan Guiney Allison to NDA. Meighan, a 1994 graduate, will be working in our Athletics Department as Assistant Athletic Director and our Health and PE Teacher for our St. Julie Division. After graduating from NDA, Meighan attended the University of Rhode Island where she played field hockey, earning Rhode Island’s Team Senior Award in 1995. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences with a concentration in journalism, and in 2014 obtained her MBA in Sports Management. 

“I am truly thrilled to have Meighan back at Notre Dame Academy,” said Patricia Provost, Notre Dame Academy Athletic Director. “She graduated as one of our finest student athletes in 1994 and is a very special young lady to me. She’ll once again be an integral part of the NDA athletic program and will begin sharing her amazing talents at NDA with Physical education classes as well as athletics. She brings a special passion to our NDA family as well as loyalty, expertise, professionalism, commitment, and responsibility. We are ready to begin this next chapter together as a team again.”

Most recently Meighan was the Head Field Hockey coach at Becker College and is currently the Director of Shamrock Field Hockey. Through the Shamrock Field Hockey program Meighan has coached and taught hundreds of girls to play and love the game. She is the 1993 Irving A. Walsh Award recipient, the 1994 Notre Dame Academy Athletic Director’s award recipient and also a 2017 Notre Dame Academy Athletic Hall of Fame award winner. Meighan resides in Rutland with her husband and their three children. We are thrilled to have Meighan back on campus and working with our students and alongside Miss Provost.


Lindsay Degnan named Notre Dame Academy Head Varsity Soccer Coach

Notre Dame Academy announces Lindsay Degnan as the new Head Coach of the Varsity Soccer team. At the age of five, Miss Degnan began playing soccer competitively and later moved to play for the Liverpool Football Soccer Club, at the age of eight. She was named to the Varsity Girls soccer team as a freshman in high school and started every game through her senior year. Junior and senior year she was named Captain of the soccer team, a responsibility she took very seriously in becoming a leader that lead and continues to lead by both example and voice. During her sophomore year of high school, she was recruited to play soccer at the collegiate level, but unfortunately, suffered a major knee injury senior year during lacrosse and no longer pursued the opportunity. Miss Degnan did continue to play Club Soccer for four years at Union College, in Schenectady, NY where she received her Bachelor’s degree.

“I am excited to have Lindsay join our head coach ranks,” said Patricia Provost, Notre Dame Academy Athletic Director. “I am looking forward to her leading the NDA soccer program on a wonderful journey. She’ll continue to bring her youthful, knowledgeable, responsible, energetic, coaching style to our growing program.”

Miss Degnan is currently an English Teacher at Doherty Memorial High School, in Worcester, MA. She has been coaching soccer since she was 15, helping coach the Liverpool Soccer Club’s Girls U8 team during her high school fall soccer season. She was also Doherty Memorial High School’s JV Girls Soccer coach and the Assistant Coach for the varsity soccer team this past fall season. Last year, she was the JV and Assistant Varsity Lacrosse Coach for the St. Peter Marian Girls Lacrosse team. Currently, she is the Assistant Varsity Lacrosse Coach at Notre Dame Academy, coaching under Kristin Ford.