A Message from NDA Parent Matt Connors P'11 '18

Dear Parents:

Congratulations to your daughter on her recent acceptance to Notre Dame Academy. You should also be congratulated for ushering her to this wonderful academic achievement. Some may view that acceptance letter as expected or an obvious result of the application process. Please make no mistake that your daughter will see it as an invitation to join a community that truly wants her to join.

As the father of a current senior presently going through the college admissions drama, I am continually amazed how Kelsey gets so excited when she has received acceptance letters from schools I just assumed she would walk into. To her it is an acknowledgment of her dedication and hard work, and it simply feels great to be wanted. We all want to be part of a community that will appreciate us as individuals.

Long ago, my late wife Paula and I decided that we wanted our children to take part in a Catholic education path that would include rigorous academic challenges and a strong sense of community. All three of my children attended a local Catholic grammar school. When reviewing all of the excellent high school options in our region for our oldest daughter, we saw NDA as the perfect environment. We were particularly enamored with the historic reputation of the school as the preeminent all girls Catholic high school in the Boston area.

Sarah is a 2011 graduate of NDA and made NDA her choice because of the spirit and sense of community she discerned from graduates and parents of students in our town and while visiting the school. Now more than ever, she appreciates that her choice to attend NDA was a great one because she was well prepared to take on her next endeavors. Sarah has since graduated from the University of Notre Dame and insists that NDA was instrumental in setting the stage for her success.

Our family endured tragedy four years ago when Paula lost a short and valiant battle against leukemia. Kelsey was in eighth grade at the time and in the midst of starting the search for high schools. I distinctly remember her taking the private high school entrance exam one month after Paula's funeral. Needless to say, it did not go as well as planned.

My second look at NDA as a parent demanded different requirements. While still desiring a strong academic institution, I more desperately wanted a safe, nurturing, female environment for my daughter. After some discussion, we both agreed that NDA offered the combination of what we each wanted for her. I'm thrilled to report that Kelsey has academically, spiritually, and competitively thrived while at NDA. She's taken 7 AP courses over the last two years, has been captain of the dance team, and, most importantly, volunteers as a youth grief counselor. Kelsey is eagerly awaiting acceptance at two of the finest universities in the country. I can only hope that her next chosen community is as spectacular as this one has been.

Having been in this community now for over a decade, I can promise that if your daughter chooses NDA, she will be part of a community that accepts her for her unique talents and will allow her to challenge herself in all aspects of her life. She will blossom into a strong independent young woman who will be prepared to take on the demands the world beyond high school. I've seen the end product and it is extraordinary.

I invite you to contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns about your daughter's choice of NDA, and if you think my insight would be useful to you. Good luck and enjoy the journey with your daughter wherever her path leads.

Yours in Our Lady,

Matt Connors

Matt Connors P'11,'18