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Message from the President

Kathryn Jaenicke Headshot


Brave Beginnings is the title of the book we invite our students to read before they enter Notre Dame Academy. It is the inspiring story of the life and journey of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, pioneer, educator, mentor, leader, saint, friend and foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame (CND). 

Recently we celebrated the 400th birthday of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. Born on April 17, 1620, she lived to the age of 80 years old. Marguerite Bourgeoys was quite modern: she founded one of the first uncloistered religious communities of women in North America when she traveled from her village in Troyes, France to assist the settlers in New France, now Montreal. She helped families brave the harsh winters and educated their children as she went out to meet them where they were. Do you see a common theme that exists to this day at Notre Dame Academy?

I believe that the Notre Dame Academy campus beautifully reflects Marguerite’s spirit and surely she would be pleased with the school community the CNDs established here on Grymes Hill in Staten Island. This is our special campus, one that has been cared for, expanded and developed since 1903 as a place where each girl and young woman can experience a liberating education, an education where each student’s gifts are valued, nourished and cherished. 

The administrative leaders of Notre Dame Academy, president, and the director of mission advancement are all alumnae. As leaders of the schools we attended during our most formative years, we carry with us the profound influence of the CNDs on our own lives. We are very proud to carry on this rich, enduring tradition as we continue to build on the legacy of the CND.

Our teachers, staff, students, and families deeply love and appreciate this school. They amaze me with the incredible work they do and the meaningful contributions they make to society. It is a joy to work with every one of them here at Notre Dame Academy.

You can learn more about Marguerite Bourgeoys, the CNDs, and our school, Notre Dame Academy of Staten Island, as you visit and explore our website. Prospective families are invited to contact the Admissions Coordinator in the respective schools to inquire about Open House, Shadow Days and more. Our dedicated staff and enthusiastic students are the best ambassadors for Notre Dame Academy; once you meet them you will understand why we are so proud to be a part of this incredible community of transforming leadership for girls and young women.

Alumnae are encouraged to reconnect with your alma mater at Homecoming in the fall or one of our many events sponsored by the Alumnae Association. We are always delighted to hear your stories and to reconnect with you! 

As we begin our 120th year, we are celebrating liberating education in the tradition of the Congregation of Notre Dame.  I commit to continue the legacy far into the future so many more students can experience this unique education in a beautiful setting that we have been so blessed to have.

May St. Marguerite Bourgeoys continue to watch over us and may God continue to bless us abundantly.

Kathryn Jaenicke