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Congratulations to the Class of 2018!


NDA Recognizes Outstanding Seniors


Pillar Award Recipients Reflect Portrait of an NDA Graduate


Where Are They Now?


Mrs. Vogler Retires After 48 Years of Service


Dr. Rostamian Named Director of Duddy Innovation Institute

EDITOR Kristin Callaghan PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN Raynelle Duronslet ‘98 ILLUSTRATION Aliyah Del Rosario ‘19 ON THE COVER Adriana Roach-Gonzalez ‘18

DEAR FRIENDS, At our Baccalaureate Mass in June, Fr. Jonathan Meyer encouraged each of us to “remember where we came from.” I’d like to further that by saying, “be grateful for where you came from.” Gratitude is an action, but it’s also a decision – a choice we make each day to focus on the positive, give others the benefit of the doubt, count our blessings, and pay those blessings forward. Kindness, which has been our community-wide focus this year, is simply gratitude in action. On these pages, you’ll find many examples of that kindness. In addition to their immense contribution to our school community, our senior class devoted nearly 20,000 hours of service to organizations throughout Los Angeles. Catherine Duddy Wood, Class of ‘74, has generously donated funds to develop the Duddy Innovation Institute, a unique opportunity for our students to cultivate the requisite skills to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship. The first cohort will begin in the fall under the mentorship of Dr. Farhad Rostamian. Lastly, this year we bid bonne retraite to Mrs. Meredeth Vogler, who has epitomized service in action here at NDA for 48 years. Her kind spirit and boundless energy have been a model for us all.

In each of these examples, you’ll see evidence of women transformed not only by the spirit of the Sisters of Notre Dame, but also by their experience here at NDA.

Lilliam Paetzold President / Head of School


Congratulations to the Class of 2018

Notre Dame Academy celebrated the graduation of the red class of 2018 on June 2 with a beautiful sunny ceremony in front of Rosa Mystica Hall. The long-awaited day was bittersweet for many as it represented the culmination of four years of growth from tween girls into confident young women poised to make a difference. “These young women have enriched our lives and our community,” said Brad Fuller, interim principal. “They exemplify the spirit of St. Julie and will further the legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame.” Each has contributed and cultivated her unique gifts, stretched to master new concepts, grown in faith and service, and forged forever friendships. Together they lifted each other up in the face of challenge and kept each other grounded, knitting themselves into a cohesive class imbued with the spirit of the Sisters. For Valedictorian Nikita Rahman, her time at NDA is highlighted by strong relationships. “NDA taught us how to be good sisters. I’m an only child, [but now] it feels as though I have 88 sisters,” she said. “Our small community also enabled me to develop a strong relationship with all of my teachers.” “I’m well prepared today because of the personal connections I have with all of my teachers,” said Monica Ramos, who earned the President’s Award. “They valued me not just as a student, but as a person as well.” While NDA’s more than 40 faculty and staff members shepherd students through the intricacies of derivatives or the complexities of Pride and Prejudice, they prioritize them as people first, young women negotiating the hard work of high school.

Clockwise from top: Valedictorian Nikita Rahman; graduates enjoy the ceremony; Maya Curls-Price, Archdiocese of LA Award recipient, pays tribute to Our Lady. 2


“As my teachers have encouraged me to invest in myself and my education, I realized I was learning so much more than math, for example,” said Phoebe Cook, Woman of Vision Pillar Award recipient. “I was learning about life.”

“They are committed to the development of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit,” added Salutatorian Erin Jackson. “They challenged me to work hard so that I could be the ‘smart girl,’ but I can also be so much more.” While fueling academic growth and providing myriad leadership opportunities, NDA guided each of these young women to deepen her faith, emphasize service, and recognize God’s likeness in others and – most importantly – in herself. “NDA has taught me what it means to be a Catholic – full of love, generous and selfless, and always willing to help others. A Catholic makes good decisions and has full faith in God,” said Nikita. “When I led Kairos this year, not only was I able to help other girls grow in their faith, but I also grew in my relationship with God.” “My relationship with God technically started 18 years ago, but my friendship with God is just beginning,” said Talin Tepper, Woman of Service Pillar Award recipient. “Leading Kairos was an experience [I will take] throughout the rest of my life, so I can continue… to make a positive difference in the world.” Making a difference in the world requires confidence, a trait all of these young women agree is a key benefit of their four years at NDA. “I’m fearless in class and beyond,” said Maya Nyquist, who earned the Principal’s Award. “I know I’m well prepared to take on new leadership roles because I’ve had that opportunity here.” “The greatest lesson I’ve learned at NDA is to not be afraid to take risks — to take my shot without hesitation,” added Alexandra Diaz, recipient of the Alma

Mater Award. “I’ve learned to be open to new experiences and approach everything with an open mind and heart.” “It’s going to be tough to say goodbye,” said Woman of Leadership Pillar Award winner Frances Barrera. “We’re all very lucky to have something so hard to let go of.”

Clockwise from top: Graduates Erin Jackson, Caroline Rothans, and Nailah Smith sing the National Anthem; Salutatorian Erin Jackson; Paula Vargas approaches for her diploma. 3

VALEDICTORIAN AND SALUTATORIAN The Valedictorian and Salutatorian have earned a high GPA and demonstrated growth in character, leadership, and spirituality. They are committed to the school’s mission and philosophy and are leaders in the NDA community.


The President’s Award honors a student who represents the Academy’s mission to empower young women to live their faith through word and deed. The recipient is a student who embraces her spirituality, leads by example, and values service and learning.

the tools to go into the world


confident I have the ability to

NDA has equipped me with

The Principal’s Award recipient demonstrates passion for knowledge and joy in learning. Her infectious spirit and enthusiasm for exploring the world have enriched the lives of others.

succeed in life and leave a


Alexandria Diaz, Alma Mater Award Recipient

The Alma Mater Award recognizes a student who has given generous service to NDA, shown outstanding school spirit and cooperation, and maintained strong academic effort throughout her years at NDA.

lasting mark.

PILLAR AWARDS The Pillar Awards honor students who exemplify NDA’s hopes for all members of the graduating class as expressed in the school’s Integral Student Outcomes.

ARCHDIOCESE OF LA AWARD The Archdiocese of Los Angeles Award recipient has distinguished herself through outstanding Christian Service projects in her school, community, and parish.



Clockwise from top left: Alexandria Diaz, Alma Mater Award; Maya Nyquist, Principal’s Award; Maya Curls-Price, Archdiocese of LA Award; Monica Ramos, President’s Award.


P I L L A R AWA R D RECIPIENTS NDA graduates are women of


JAMIE SMITH, Woman of Faith

“A Woman of Vision is an everyday leader, she works behind the scenes and executes tasks just as a person in a leadership position does, but without all of the glory. As an everyday leader, you can’t sit and wait for people to call on you, you have to take ahold of the reins yourself and create the changes you wish to see.” PHOEBE COOK, Woman of Vision



“Throughout my time at NDA, the teachers prioritized me not just as a student, but as a person, which gave me the space and support to grow in confidence and discover new strengths.” TALIN TEPPER, Woman of Service

“Now it’s our turn to give. My hope is that as we progress in our lives, we give back to those who have given so much to us. We can put the knowledge we’ve amassed in class to use; we can remember to call our parents while we’re at college; we can stay in touch with each other, and continue to act as support systems for one another. As a class, our kindness and willingness to help others has always burned bright, and I know it will continue to shine as we go out into the world.” ERIN JACKSON, salutatorian and Woman of Academic Excellence

“I’ve been inspired to work hard and stay humble because I’m supported by so many people who care. I’ve developed the confidence to be firm in my values and defend them effectively.” FRANCES BARRERA, Woman of Leadership





In the fall of 1970, during Meredeth Vogler’s very first year at NDA, she chaperoned the freshman retreat, accompanying more than 100 students to a peaceful neighborhood house for a day of prayer, reflection, and bonding. As a new French teacher, she thought nothing of the swimming pool at the facility, until a group of students tossed her in! Mrs. Vogler took the dunking – and every challenge in the 48 years since – in her easy, unflappable stride. “It might not have been a swimming pool, but there has always been some wonderful surprise awaiting me after I

MEREDETH VOGLER Retires after 48 Years of Service

There has always been some wonderful surprise awaiting me. Mrs. Meredeth Vogler

Mrs. Vogler in the classroom (above) and with student council members past and present (right) on Mary‘s Day.

crossed the threshold each morning,” said Mrs. Vogler. “No two days have ever been alike.” In addition to being one of the school’s first lay teachers, Mrs. Vogler has served NDA as dean of students, activities director, and most, recently, as associate principal. Although much has changed over Mrs. Vogler’s tenure – the music, the hairstyles, and the uniform – the school’s foundation remains firm. “We’ve always been a supportive community dedicated to faith, service, and learning, with the goal of understanding the world better and looking for ways to improve it,” Mrs. Vogler said. “Even as the teachers and staff change, we share the same dedication to the school and our students.” Known for her indefatigable energy, logical insights, inimitable creativity, and insatiable love of frosting (not so much the cake), Mrs. Vogler has set an example not only for hundreds of students, but for scores of adults as well.

“I have had the honor and privilege to work side by side with Meredeth for more than 25 years,” said Nancy Ehrmann, advancement director. “As a teacher, mentor, and administrator, she has touched the lives of more than 5,000 NDA students. And with her fearlessness, wisdom, and grace, Meredeth has helped NDA establish a roadmap for the future.” “Meredeth is an inspiration for us all,” said Lilliam Paetzold, president and head of school. “I often think, ‘What would Meredeth say? Or do? Or wear in this situation?’ She consistently models love in action and challenges us all to grow. And she does it all with a style that is unmatched.” “When I arrived at NDA, Meredeth had already been working here 30 years. The woman I met 19 years ago reminds me exactly of Meredeth today,” said Brad Fuller, interim principal. “As energetic as she was then, she remains now. As calm and logical as she was then, she

continues to be now.” Never one to sit still for very long, Mrs. Vogler already has a trip planned to San Miguel de Allende this summer and hopes to see “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York before it closes in October. She has a few thoughts, though, for the students who “graduate” with her – the Class of 2018. “These young women have grown up in a society faced with many challenges and while they have been touched by those problems, they remain optimistic and undaunted. They will be the women with the courage and creativity to solve those problems,” said Mrs. Vogler. “The world is lucky to have them as lights of joy and kindness. It gives me joy to know they will carry the spirit of NDA into the world.” The rose garden outside Rosa Mystica Hall will be dedicated to Mrs. Vogler. It has been refurbished over the summer for student use. 11

DR. FARHAD ROSTAMIAN Named Director of Duddy Innovation Institute



“Fail early. Fail often.” That’s not typical advice from a teacher, but that’s exactly the philosophy of Dr. Farhad Rostamian, the newly named director of NDA’s Duddy Innovation Institute. His guidance reflects his nearly 30 years of experience not only as an educator, but also as an inventor and entrepreneur in several high tech and consumer products companies. “You learn a lot more from failure than you do from just guessing,” said Dr. Rostamian. “Being unafraid of failure – even welcoming it – is essential to the lean start-up method. It enables you to cultivate the resilience and resourcefulness that are essential to innovation.” Dr. Rostamian speaks from firsthand experience. He has been instrumental in the development of renowned products, including the first web camera, the first smart phone camera, and the camera for the first iPhone. He also worked on the imaging component of the Pill Camera, which was pioneered by an Israeli company. This groundbreaking medical device sparked the creation of capsule endoscopy – a new GI diagnostic capability. Throughout his career, Dr. Rostamian has managed development and marketing for more than 25 consumer products. In addition to holding five patents, Dr. Rostamian earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in engineering as well as an MBA from UCLA. He currently teaches courses in entrepreneurship and product innovation at both UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and the Anderson School of Management. There he has contributed not only to the development of an entrepreneurship minor, but also to the creation of the accelerator program, an incubator for student-led products and companies. “Innovation is happening worldwide, but it doesn’t happen overnight,” said Dr. Rostamian. “You need to champion and develop the process so that over time, it expands, first within the community, and then beyond.” At NDA, Dr. Rostamian will teach Disruptive Innovation, the flagship

course of the new Duddy Innovation Institute, created through a generous donation from Ms. Catherine Duddy Wood, NDA Class of 74, and founder of ARK Investment Management. The institute will offer a unique challenge for young women eager to stretch beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom and will influence a new way of thinking and learning throughout campus. “Dr. Rostamian’s breadth of experience makes him uniquely poised to lead the institute and champion innovation at NDA,” said Ms. Wood. “With him as a mentor, I’m confident many young women will find the inspiration, knowledge, and perspective to apply innovation to change the world and make it a better place.” Social responsibility remains one of Dr. Rostamian’s – and the institute’s – primary drivers. “Our goal is to prepare fearless innovators as well as ethical leaders. Therefore, we must consider the impact of innovation on the greater good and on society as a whole,” said Dr. Rostamian. “Of course there will be failure. It’s the only way to ultimately change the world.”

Fa i l u r e i s the only way to change the world. Dr. Farhad Rostamian

Ms. Catherine Duddy Wood, NDA Class of ‘74 13

NDA graduates are currently studying at the following colleges and universities: Alabama A&M University American University Arizona State University Art Center College of Design Bard College Boston College Boston University Brown University Bryn Mawr College California Baptist University California Lutheran University CalPoly University, Pomona Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo California State University: all campuses Chaminade University of Honolulu Chapman University College of the Holy Cross Columbia College Chicago Columbia University Cornell University Creighton University Dartmouth College DePaul University Dominican University of California Duke University El Camino College Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Fordham University George Washington University Gonzaga University Grand Canyon University Hampton University Harvard University Hawaii Pacific University

High Point University Howard University Johns Hopkins University Johnson & Wales University Lake Forest College Lafayette College Lehigh University Lewis & Clark College Louisiana State University Loyola Marymount University Loyola University Chicago Loyola University New Orleans Marist College Marquette University Marymount California University Massachusetts Institute of Technology Met Film School Michigan State University Mount St. Mary’s University New York University Northeastern University Northwestern University Notre Dame de Namur University Otis College of Art and Design Pennsylvania State University Pepperdine University Portland State University Princeton University Providence College Sacred Heart University San Diego State University San Jose State University San Francisco State University Santa Clara University Santa Monica College


School of the Art Institute of Chicago Seattle University St. John’s University - Queen’s Campus Stanford University Texas Christian University Tuskegee University The Ohio State University The University of Alabama The University of Arizona (2) The University of British Columbia University of California: all campuses University of Chicago University of Connecticut University of Dayton University of Hawaii at Manoa University of Kansas University of Kentucky University of Massachusetts, Amherst University of Nebraska, Lincoln University of Notre Dame University of Oregon University of the Pacific University of Pennsylvania University of Portland University of San Diego University of San Francisco University of Southern California Villanova University Washington State University Wellesley College West LA College Whittier College Xavier University of Louisiana Yale University


Beyond The Academy #2  
Beyond The Academy #2