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PHOTO OPP – Media and Community Invited Media Contact: Lisa Morales, news@acnd.net

Curley Notre Dame, Still “Fighting Irish” 60 Years Later!

Miami, FL…August 12, 2013… Back-to-School on Monday, August 19th marks Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep’s 60th Anniversary – 1953/54 to 2013/14. A year’s worth of celebratory events begins with an Opening School Mass with Archbishop Thomas Wenski at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at the former home of Notre Dame Academy, Notre Dame D’Haiti Mission Church, 110 NE 62 Street, Miami, FL 33138. The Media and Community are welcome. Now known as ACND Prep, the 6 to 12 Catholic preparatory school located in Buena Vista, just north of Miami’s Design District, owes half of its name to Bishop Michael Joseph Curley. This fighting Irishman had confronted both the Jim Crow Laws and widespread anti-Catholicism. He was an outspoken critic of the gubernatorial candidate whose campaign promises included pledges to abolish the confessional and to appoint no Catholics to office. Notre Dame Academy, the girls’ school counterpart, was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine from 1953 to1959. The Sisters had first come to Florida in 1865 to minister to former slaves. In 1916, three Sisters of St. Joseph were arrested for violating the recently enacted state law which prohibited white women from teaching in "negro schools." Bishop Curley led a vocal public campaign on behalf of the sisters. Largely due to his efforts, the law was declared unconstitutional, and the sisters were acquitted. The Sister of Immaculate Heart of Mary would also serve at the school and continue after the merger in 1981. In 1960 Curley and Notre Dame admitted their first African American students – 10 years before MiamiDade County public schools that complied by federal court order. By 1981, the two schools had merged and since 1985 were administered by the Congregation of Christian Brothers. In 2012, ACND Prep welcomed its first lay principal. “Our fighting spirit has over the course of 60 years evolved to meet our changing community,” comments Douglas Romanik, Principal and 1984 alumnus. “With the continued admittance of students in need, such as those sent through Operation Pedro Pan and, most recently, displaced Haitian students following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, we have continued to grow and develop as a school committed to our mission --- to foster acceptance and appreciation of students of different cultural and economic backgrounds.” In 2001, ACND Prep was one of the first Catholic schools to adopt the school voucher program. The school has since offered the Step Up for Students Program and annually raises funds for additional tuition assistance through various school and alumni events. “Today we stand by this year’s motto: Faith, Family, Excellence,” concludes Romanik. “Since last year, we have ensured that all of our students receive an iPad and E-texts and have continued to implement programs that adopt 21st century pedagogical thinking. But, most importantly, our school is a place where alumni still call their ‘second home.’ Whether it’s for Career or Heritage Day, Food Truck Knights, our Annual Golf Tournament, or Hall of Fame Gala, we welcome back anyone to come visit this year and see what’s new!”


ACND Prep’s 60th Anniversary Events include: August 29, 2013 - Opening School Mass with Archbishop Wenski at 10:00 a.m. at Notre Dame d’Haiti Mission Church. September 14, 2013 – “Art Touches Lives” 2nd Annual Teaching Artist Exhibit: A showcase of artwork by neighboring Catholic and public school teaching artists with an Opening “Meet and Greet” Reception at 7:00 p.m. October 5, 2013 – Lisa Boccard ’80 presents “The Cure Package” during Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Photo Exhibit. Lisa Boccard was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer and in 2003 co-founded with her brother and sister-in-law, the Lisa Boccard/Coral Springs Breast Cancer Foundation. The exhibit is an essay of 13 photographs by Miami-based photographer Lynn Parks depicting Lisa’s battle with breast cancer. November 9, 2013 – Silvia Lizama ’75, Photo Exhibit – Lizama, Chair of the Department f Fine Arts and Professor of Photography at Barry University exhibits her work. Having exhibited her hand colored photographs since 1978, Lizama’s work has gained national and international attention. October 11 and 12, 2013 – “Welcome Home” – 60th Anniversary Reunion Weekend including the 23rd Annual Alumni Golf Tournament/Fundraiser at Miami Shores Country Club on October 11th and Homecoming Game at ACND on October 12th. February 5, 2014 – 5th Annual Heritage Day – A ‘Living History Lesson’ where alumni teach current students about their school’s heritage and offer advice about education and careers. Special guest is historian, Dr. Paul George ’60 (Miami Dade College) March 9, 2014 – Carl Juste ’81, Retrospective Photo Exhibit – Miami Herald photojournalist, Juste exhibits a retrospective of his work shown at the ACND Gallery and other galleries from the past 5 years. April, 12, 2014– 11th Annual Hall of Fame Gala/Fundraiser with Honorary Chairperson Swanee di Mare, NDA ’65 at La Gorce Country Club, Miami Beach. For updated information about ACND Prep’s 60th Anniversary events, visit http://www.acnd.net.

Photos by Request: ###


Acndprep60thanniversaryphotoopponlinereleaseaug122013