What our Students & Parents Say

There's no better recommendation for the Academy than those that come directly from a student or a parent. Here is a sampling of what current students and parents have written:

I came to NDA in sixth grade because I wanted to have the experience of a larger school that had amazing academics.  I also had a friend who was a student here already, and she loved it.  I was blown away by the kind and welcoming treatment I received from the teachers and students.  I did not feel like a "new kid" whatsoever; I felt like I belonged.  I have definitely flourished at the Academy as I learned how to step up my work effort to get exceptional grades. I would recommend NDA to any student, as they will be respected and cared for throughout their school experience.  
Best Wishes,
Margaret Barker, 2019 8th Grade Graduate


Starting NDA nine years ago, I had not thought that this would become a second home to me. The small school environment where everyone knows each other has fostered a feeling of belongingness. Being a part of NDA has given me a variety of opportunities in academics and extracurricular activities making a great foundation for high school. Beyond Math, Science, History etc. I have learned values to become a better person and give back to the community. I am glad that I got the opportunity of being part of the NDA family. It plays a big part of who I am.
Aditya Prasad, 2019 8th Grade Graduate


I like NDA because of the small class size and the personal attention I receive from my teachers. I have been at NDA since 5th grade and have made many great friendships with students, faculty & coaches.
Mya Shanahan, 2019 8th Grade Graduate




NDA is a school where girls take center stage and I know that is where we belong. Simply put, NDA teaches girls that there lies tremendous potential and power in being a girl. By subtracting boys, an all-girls’ education adds opportunities. At NDA, a girl occupies every role: every part in the play and every position on every team.
Ailis Peterson, Class of 2019




Looking back after almost four years at the Academy, I realize that choosing NDA was one of the best decisions I have made in my life – and I’m really not exaggerating. Through this school, I have had the opportunity to really grow as a person and as a student. To begin with, academically the school is amazing. Everyone is given an equal opportunity to thrive and shine in the classroom. Participation is encouraged, teachers understand that everyone has their own learning style, and everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand if you find yourself struggling.  Outside the classroom, NDA is still awesome. The sense of community here at the Academy is unlike anything I’ve ever heard of or experienced at another school. Your classmates become your sisters, teachers become your mentors, and the school community really becomes your family. Over the past four years, I have seen this family in action – laughing and dancing at Fall Ball and Prom, praying in times of gratitude and hardship, and comforting each other in times of disappointment and loss. When I look back at my four years here at the Academy, I am happy. Not only am I prepared for college, but I am also prepared for life. I have found a support system, future bridesmaids and godmothers to children, lifelong friends, mentors, and a community I know I can turn to for the rest of my life. I am excited that you have a chance to share this same experience. Congratulations. I hope you decide to join our Academy family.

Gabby Llanos, Class of 2017

NDA is an great choice for high school. There are so many amazing things that make it the great school it is! The teachers are fabulous and are always willing to work with you to help you succeed. Our teachers also make classes fun! At the beginning of the year I was not a big fan of Spanish, but my teacher, Señora Collins, is so good that it has become one of my favorite classes! There are also so many clubs and committees you can get involved with here at NDA from Freshman Social Committee, which plans social events and activities for the freshman, to the Dance Club and newspaper! Last, but not least, the friends and memories you will make here are unforgettable. Your entire class will become one huge family of friends almost immediately. As a student at NDA, everyone from administration, faculty, and students are here to help bring out the best in you! The Academy truly is an amazing place for young women to achieve great things, and I hope to see you in the fall!
Danielle Wuerdeman, Class of 2020

I am so grateful that I decided to attend NDA because I feel prepared and ready for the future, I made friends I will always have, and I shared memorable moments that I will never forget.  There’s room here for all interests, whether it be sports, the arts, the sciences, community service, and more.  I hope that you consider NDA, as I know you will have just as positive an experience as I did.
Amaya Murguia, Class of 2017



I know that you will love NDA as much as I love it. You will be filled with joy and excitement, but you also might be nervous, just as I was. I promise you that this is an amazing school that has one of the most welcoming environments that I have ever seen. After the Freshmen Welcome, you will make more friends than you think. At times you may be stressed, but I promise that with the support of your friends and teachers, these four years of high school will be memorable and a joy to go through. Upperclassman are always there for you whenever you are in need. They are always available to answer questions about tests, school, or even provide support as a friend. NDA has so many opportunities for sports, clubs, and different events almost every month! The Academy is very focused on education and knows what every girl needs to succeed, and allows girls to be themselves and express who they really are. DLT is definitely the time where you can display your talents by going to the art room, play music, yoga, and many other options.
Jasmin Sabah, Class of 2020

Hello, I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend NDA.  Because it’s a small school, we all get to be part of a really tight-knit community.  Everyone knows everyone, and I feel comfortable striking up a conversation with anyone who happens to be around.  We are all fully supportive and accepting of each other’s identities.  There’s no judgment if you come into school in sweatpants and a messy bun, or with a full face of makeup.  The level of familiarity and comfort creates a space for everyone to grow.  I can say with certainty that everyone in my grade over the past four years has become more confident in themselves.  I have developed into the person I am today because I feel like I can be myself here, I have friends I know I can depend on, and I have teachers who care about me.  My favorite teachers are people I can have great conversations with inside and outside of class.  They challenge me to think differently and meet my potential, and they also make me laugh endlessly.  High school can be a stressful time, but NDA recognizes this and works to help.  Our guidance counselors and campus minister are available at all times to listen to your concerns.  There’s a free period at the end of everyday (except lab days) where you can get ahead on work or get extra help.  A great program NDA has is its Wellness Program, where students can participate in activities like yoga, music, and art during their free periods.  Overall NDA is a great place to spend four years with amazing people that prepare you for college and life beyond.
Carsyn Fisher, Class of 2017

Throughout my life I have been to eight schools and NDA is by far my favorite. At the academy, the opportunities are endless. I think NDA is the best choice for high school not only because of all the sports, clubs, and the rigorous curriculum, but also because of the sense of community. All the faculty and students are very welcoming and it is so easy to make friends here. I have benefited so much from NDA in just the short time I have been here and I hope that you can have that experience as well. At NDA, there are so many extracurricular activities and I was able to join volleyball and many clubs, all of which I have enjoyed.  My favorite class so far has been Physical Science with Mr. Walczak. We have done so much interactive work including many labs. If you decide to come to NDA, the first thing to look forward to is the Freshman Welcome. I also really enjoyed the Fall Ball. Besides all the fun events at NDA, you should look forward to joining our sisterhood. Good luck choosing your high school and I hope to see you in the fall.
Lana Sukkar, Class of 2020 

I can honestly say that coming here has been one of the best adventures of my life so far. I know that sounds like a total stretch, but let me explain.  High school is always going to be a staple of how you develop into an adult. It is the time to learn how to be more independent, more confident in your abilities, and more aware of yourself as a growing woman. For me, NDA has been a great environment for learning all of these. It has provided me challenging classes where my knowledge and beliefs could be tested.  I've been lucky enough to make some amazing friends (the kind who surprise me with my favorite coffee in the morning and will share quizlets with me before a test). NDA also has so many things to look forward to year round. My favorite has to be the Christmas Hallway Decorating Contest. Yes, we actually deck our halls at Christmastime. We also have something called “World Language Week” where we celebrate the diversity of the school. One night, there's a festival in the gym where students bring in all different foods from their various cultures. Believe me you won’t go hungry! The festival is an amazing experience and is such a great reflection of the unity of our school community. It is run by Senora Collins, one of our Spanish teachers. She is super kind and always happy to open our eyes to new perspectives and cultures. Her Spanish III class was one of the best classes I've ever taken! I am so glad that I have gotten to experience these things for the last few years, and I'm really hopeful that you will decide to attend so that you too will be able to share these experiences. 
Best wishes,
Jacky Bethea, Class of 2017

We know high school can seem to be scary and maybe a bit overwhelming, but high school can also be the best four years of your life. Take it from us, freshman, who have been here less than a year and already feel ourselves growing. We chose NDA because of the kind community and academics, and we can honestly say it has built our confidence and strengthened our spirits. The Academy has  shaped us into the person we always wished to become, and we truly hope it can do the same for you.
We hope to see you in September,
Rhea Patel and Jenna Ebeed, Class of 2020

Congratulations on your daughter’s acceptance to the Academy of Notre Dame! I remember the excitement when both of my daughters received their letters of acceptance. Now in their Junior and Freshman years, my husband and I couldn’t be happier with our decision to enroll them in NDA, and I would like to tell you why.

Both of my daughters had attended the same school in Groton from pre-K through 8th grade, and I was anxious knowing that they were not only entering a new school, but also a new phase of life. NDA has been incredibly welcoming to my girls. The staff recognizes that the transition from elementary school to a new high school can be difficult, and so before the academic year begins, incoming students have at least one opportunity to meet other students and start new friendships. Every August, NDA runs a conditioning camp for girls who are interested in participating in Fall sports, and there’s also a Freshmen Welcome so that all the new girls get a chance to meet their entire class before school starts.

The girls really support one another, both in school and during extracurricular activities, and there is a real spirit to the school. I remember driving up to the school for the Freshman Welcome and feeling so happy and grateful to see the girls waving posters and running up to welcome each new student. There is a great sense of camaraderie and the friendships made at NDA extend beyond graduation.

Obviously, children go to school to learn, and academically, the faculty and staff are very committed to educating the girls in keeping with the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The students are challenged with a rigorous, well-rounded curriculum, in a positive, nurturing environment that prepares them well for college.

The growth in self-confidence of my girls has been remarkable. I am so thankful that they are happy, well-adjusted teenagers and I am convinced that this is in no small part due to their school environment. From my interactions with other students and parents, I have come to appreciate that my girls are not an exception to the rule and so I believe that NDA is also the right choice for your daughter to reach her full potential.

Finally, I feel NDAs all-girl environment helped my daughters avoid the distractions, cliques and peer pressure that plague many large co-ed high schools.

For all these reasons, NDA was the perfect choice for our girls.

Whatever your decision, I wish you well as your daughter embarks on the next phase of her education.

Kind regards,

Geraldine Leach

I wanted to take a moment to thank you and all the faculty and staff for the 4 amazing years Ana has enjoyed and benefited from there at NDA. We are so proud of her and grateful for the environment that NDA provided for her. 
Sincerest thanks,
Gary O. Stenstrom

First, let my say a sincere thank you for all NDA has contributed to Samantha's development over the last 4 years. We are amazed at her growth into a wonderful young lady. It is due to the dedication of the staff and administration that has made a life-long change for Sam. You all should be very proud of what you accomplish with the girls and, although I know that everyday may have challenges, you should take great pride in your commitment and the transformation you are responsible for. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Ray Phillips

As parents when looking for a place to send our daughter to high school, it was very simple. The Academy of Notre Dame checked all of our boxes. They have great academics, small class sizes, and some of the best teachers in the area. They really care about preparing the girls for college, and beyond. The facilities are great, along with the sports programs. The extracurricular activities are also fantastic, especially the drama guild which she is active member.
Russ Gavlak, Parent of Olivia, Class of 2020

Our daughter’s experience at the Academy of Notre Dame was instrumental in preparing her for the academic rigors of an engineering program in college. Not only is she successful academically, but she has also developed a confidence in herself that will serve her well throughout her life!
Rebecca and Andrew Piela, Parent of 2018 graduate

Our family joined NDA in 2016, we chose NDA because we believed the school has the capacity to offer our daughters a world class education and the mission of the school aligned with our own values.  What I found to be especially appealing was that teachers at NDA really take the time to get to know each student. 
Teachers take note of each student’s strengths and they are aware of their individual weaknesses, this allows teachers to present opportunities for overachievement and also support when a student may be struggling to keep pace.  Teachers really want to partner with parents to bring the very best out in each student and we really value this effort. 
Since joining the school both of our daughters have absolutely blossomed!  
Both girls are taught on an individual level and with that they are gaining tremendous confidence in their abilities, they are excelling academically, they are developing a real love of learning and they are able to participate in a variety of activities outside of the classroom that is truly adding to their development and overall enjoyment of their school days.
We place a tremendous amount of trust in the school that educates our children and I am grateful we selected NDA.  What NDA is offering is more than a world class curriculum, they are offering each family the opportunity to raise their child within a community of caring, educated, competent, professionals that want to bring out the very best in each child.
Tracy Slocumb, Parent of Lower School students

We made the decision to enroll our daughter at NDA when she was entering the sixth grade.  We wanted her to be in a school that was large enough to offer her a variety of activities with which to become involved, as well as having a student body that was populous enough to allow for various friend groups but not so large that a quieter child could get lost.  We spoke to many people, and found ourselves taking a tour of NDA.  As we were being taken around the building, we were introduced to several teachers, one of whom was about to have lunch but instead had us pull up chairs and spent the next 20 minutes or so asking about our daughter and telling us about the school.  That was our first exposure to the caring community found at NDA, and that was the moment when we knew that we had found the right place for our daughter.  From her first weeks of school, she quickly made new friends and was absorbed into the school.  She has had many caring teachers who have encouraged her to set high goals and work hard to achieve them.  She has had the opportunity to participate on sports teams, and have a role in student government.  She felt so comfortable and so much a part of the community that, in the spring of the first year she was at NDA, she volunteered to give tours to prospective families during Open Houses.  Choosing a school for one’s child can be a daunting proposition, and is not a choice we made lightly.   With the benefit of hindsight, we are confident that in choosing NDA we have given our daughter the opportunity to challenge herself academically, to develop a strong moral character, and to be NDA prepared for a successful experience in high school, college and beyond.
Carole Barker, Middle School Parent

I look back on my time in high school as some of the best years of my life.  When I chose the Academy of Notre Dame, I was interested in sports, where my friends were attending high school, and earning a good education – in that order as many teenagers may also tend to assess their choices.  I did enjoy playing sports for the Academy but I gained so much more from my time there:  lifelong friends, confidence in my voice, insatiable curiosity, and a belief that I could achieve anything I decided to pursue.  My life is rich with blessings and I attribute what I have to the strong foundation I built at the Academy.
Fast forward 20+ years to the present, and I now have 4 children all of whom attend the Academy and have the same love for it that I developed many years ago.  I have seen a profound transformation in my older 2 daughters who have advanced to the Upper School.  They have grown in confidence due to the support and genuine affection they feel from faculty, staff, and the new friends they have found along the way.  They perceive the world through a lens of compassion and empathy that will be critical to their success in the world they will face when they graduate.  In the spirit of the mission of St. Julie Billiart, “Teach them what they need to know”, I am confident they will be prepared.
Jennifer McComas ’90, Parent

NDA was highly recommended by so many of my friends that I couldn’t help but to enroll my 2 boys (age 4 and age 5)  to the Academy. In the last 2 years, the school’s discipline, teaching method, material, motto and the community itself has impressed me a lot and I feel confident that my boys are getting well-groomed for their future endeavors. NDA strives to remain updated with the current technology and trends. Their STEAM initiative with introduction of mini makerspace and early introduction to computers has been quite impressive.  I would recommend NDA to anyone in a heartbeat.
Arti Desai, Parent

We chose NDA because of its unprecedented history of both academic and spiritual development.  Our children enjoy the positive learning environment and the opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas. They always head to school happy and ready to learn. NDA also teaches the importance of community commitment and creates an atmosphere of giving and helping others. We have witnessed the positive transformation from little girls to young teens. NDA offers the complete package and we would highly recommend this school to those seeking good academic education, spiritual growth and leadership development.
Marybeth Shanahan, parent