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Living and Leading Our Story of

God’s Goodness Notre Dame Academy Welcomes New Principal

On July 1, 2015, the SND community welcomed Mr. Jack VonHandorf as Principal of Notre Dame Academy.

Dr. Laura Koehl and Mr. Jack VonHandorf

that prepare graduates to be outstanding female leaders serving our world.”

Mr. VonHandorf, a 27-year veteran of high school teaching and administration, will lead NDA with President Dr. Laura Koehl. The academy’s presidentprincipal model, one of the first in the state of Kentucky, promotes efficient daily operations on the part of the principal and focused, strategic planning under the president-all for the purpose of serving the institution’s mission and vision.

Mr. VonHandorf: “The president-principal model affords NDA the opportunity to proficiently promote community, commitment to the SND charism, and a focus on the mission of Jesus Christ. Dr. Koehl and I work closely in our planning to ensure a strong sense of community. We have made a conscious effort to bring the NDA community closer together and have already seen a marked increase in the fellowship and camaraderie of our faculty and staff.”

Sharing a Vision

Dr. Koehl: “The mission, vision, and values of NDA are derived from the Educational Philosophy and Principles of the Sisters of Notre Dame. These principles are central to fulfilling our mission at NDA. Furthermore, our expectations of students, faculty, and staff are based on these principles.

We asked Dr. Koehl and Mr. VonHandorf to discuss how the president-principal model fits in to creating a shared vision and promoting the SND charism, as well as how they characterize a Notre Dame Academy graduate.

Dr. Koehl: “Jack and I share in the vision for NDA recently affirmed through our strategic planning process: Notre Dame Academy, a premier Catholic high school, provides excellent academic and co-curricular programs

SND Charism

This school year, our theme of ‘Living Our Story of God’s Goodness’ was chosen in an effort to emphasize and bring to life the charism and first

educational principle of the Sisters of Notre Dame. We believe that the stories of so many of the sisters, alumnae, faculty, staff, students, and parents exemplify the ways in which God is good.”

Mr. VonHandorf: “We were deliberate in choosing a theme this year that would support the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Plus, the president-principal model allows us to concentrate on fulfilling Jesus’ mission at NDA. As principal, I am able to center my attention on day-to-day ways in which we do this. We are fortunate at NDA to also have a president who has a broader focus on making sure that we continue to fulfill our responsibility to show compassion as Christ did and to be His hands and feet in the world around us. While I am obviously not a graduate of NDA, I couldn’t be more indoctrinated with the mission of NDA and the Sisters of Notre Dame! I am blessed to be the son of an NDA alumna, as well as the brother, uncle, husband, and father of NDA alumnae. I was raised to believe that it was my duty to use the gifts God had given me to make a difference in the world.

The Pulse • Fall 2015

I am blessed to have seen countless examples of that from all the women in my life. Additonally, I spent 17 years teaching at the Summit Country Day School, which was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Their principles flowed directly from the teachings of St. Julie Billiart concentrating on educating the whole, individual person.”

The NDA Grad

Dr. Koehl: “I would characterize an NDA graduate as a faithful, loving, and intellectually competent woman, who is committed to using her God-given gifts to make a difference in the world. NDA provides an excellent environment for young women growing into adulthood and prepares its students for the demands and challenges they will face in the future.” Mr. VonHandorf: “The Notre Dame Academy graduate is prepared, confident, and ready for a life of service to others centered in the Catholic faith that guided her throughout her time at NDA. She is proud to be have been a Panda, and now to be a woman making a difference.”

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The Pulse | Fall 2015  
The Pulse | Fall 2015  

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