Due to the love and generosity of others, four of our Central Catholic 8th graders were able to attend CYO Camp for a week this summer. Alexandra Torres, Heidy Olivares, Cesar Garcia and Angel Ocampo had many first time experiences, like horseback riding, zip lining, canoeing, archery and sleeping beneath the stars. Heidy and Alexandra made new friends with the girls in their group. The girls talked about not knowing what time it was when they were camping out, and one of them got the giggles and the rest joined in until they were all awake, but it was only about 4 a.m. An early day for them all! The girls all made a pact to go to Adventure Camp together next summer. Cesar and Angel also made new friends. The boys said that they are happy they went because it was a great adventure. They all agree that it was “an experience of a lifetime.” Heidy, Alexandra, Cesar and Angel will “pay it forward” as they lead Central Catholic students this school year as we make “Time to…” seek, persist, excel, love and serve!
We welcome new additions to our Notre Dame ACE Academies' team this year:
Cara Swinefurth joins the leadership team as principal at Holy Cross Central after having served in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for the past 20 years. Mrs. Swinefurth led St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School as principal from 2012 through 2019 and led Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School from 2005 through 2012. She was also a teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes from 1999 through 2005. She brings a proven record of demonstrated academic growth, years of experience, and strong leadership skills to the Holy Cross community.
Carissa Maddox, an outstanding principal at St. Barnabas in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, accepted our invitation to become the second Regional Director for the NDAA Indianapolis partnership. As a Regional Director serving our NDAA principals and teachers in Indianapolis, Carissa will be part of the NDAA Teaching and Learning team. In addition to being principal at St. Barnabas the past three years, Carissa has served as a teacher and an assistant principal for over 10 years in the state of Indiana and recently completed the Oaks Academy Leadership Fellowship.
The Indianapolis Public Library featured book trailers created in iMovie by sixth through eighth-graders at St. Anthony. Using picture books, students shared their trailers with kindergarten and first-grade students to promote a love of reading and encourage students to seek opportunities to read over the summer. School Library Manager Kristen Williams and two of the students' trailers were shared in the quarterly newsletter, Friday Focus, shared with school librarians across Marion County. Click here to view the trailer.
Beginning Saturday April 13, students in first through fourth-grade of the Notre Dame ACE Academies gathered at Central Catholic School for the first season of “Little Kickers” intramural soccer program. The league is split into two age divisions, first- and second-grades and third- and fourth-grades, and more than 60 students are participating. The program was started in response to the interest of students and families to play soccer and as opportunity to engage students with athletic opportunities in the younger grades, as a hope of encouraging them to stay involved in athletics in the future. Little Kickers is followed by a successful pilot of intramural soccer for older students that was started in the fall. The efforts, led by NDAA board member Tom Dale, Peggy O’Connor-Campbell, school athletic directors, and other members of the sports committee, are greatly appreciated by the students and families. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering as a coach for the 2019-20 school year, please contact Peggy O’Connor Campbell at .
Students in pre-k and kindergarten were surprised with the delivery of tricycles and wagons from PNC Bank. In support of PNC’s “Grow Up Great” program, staff members at the downtown Indianapolis headquarters assembled and delivered tricycles and wagons across Indianapolis as part of National Volunteer Week. The tricycles donated to Holy Cross will be used in gym class over the coming weeks as pre-school and kindergarten students prepare for the annual “Little 500,” a trike and bike closed-course race that is a favorite event for the Holy Cross community. The race, in which all 60 pre-k and kindergarten students participate, will take place on Friday, May 17. Holy Cross and the Notre Dame ACE Academies wish to thank our friends at PNC Bank for generously supporting our pre-k programs throughout the year, and for the special gift of the wagons and tricycles!
To cap off college and career week, students in seventh and eighth-grades prepared resumes and participated in an interview day at St. Philip Neri on Friday, March 22. Volunteers representing different industries, schools, and community organizations shared their time with the school and asked students a series of questions they may see in a real interview in the future. Students were encouraged to share their strengths, areas for growth, how they live the school’s core values, and examples of how they show leadership in their lives. Resumes were filled with accomplishments like serving as an altar server at mass, participating in sports, helping with chores or babysitting at home, and working alongside family members. Eighth-grade student, Hecyeni, said she was nervous to speak with adults she did not know, but after talking to her dad and working with the school counselors on her resume, she realized she has strong leadership skills she could talk about. “I was really hoping to improve my eye contact and to not be as nervous during the actual interview,” she said. St. Philip Neri wishes to thank everyone who supported their college and career week activities, including the guest speakers and interview volunteers.
St. Philip Neri seventh-grade student Marlon interviews with NDAA Board Member, Steve Gaylord.
When kindergarten teacher Cathy Miller proposed adding a chicken coop to grounds at Holy Angels, principal Justin Armitage enthusiastically responded, “let’s do it!” In March, thanks to donations from friends of Holy Angels and Mrs. Miller, three chickens and a beautiful coop arrived. The chickens, which produce eggs collected each afternoon by kindergarten scholars, have been warmly welcomed by the school community. A March-Madness-inspired school-wide bracket challenge took place the week before spring break to name the three hens, Midnite, Chick-fil-A, and Pickles. Mrs. Miller has plans to incorporate the eggs collected into a cooking lesson after spring break and an all-natural Easter basket, dying the eggs with foods like berries, boiled onion skins, and cooked greens instead of chemicals. “The excitement and wonderment, which has been obvious every day, is awesome! On Friday when we were done ‘farming’ one of my students hugged me and said, ‘Mrs. Miller, I love our chickens.’” The addition of the chicken coop fits nicely into the focus on sustainability and urban agriculture at Holy Angels. Students in grades three through six are working with tower gardens in their classroom thanks to Anthem Inc. and the GreenBronx Machine.
Holy Angels kindergarten students visit the chicken coop after school
How You Can Help
Share your time and talent
Notre Dame ACE Academies rely on volunteers to share their expertise in a variety of roles to support our school staffs.
Steps to Volunteer:
1. Fill out the form below
2. Complete the Safe and Sacred training through the Archdiocese of Indianapolis
3. Our staff will contact you about volunteer opportunities
Other Ways to Help:
Our Allies for NDAA group provides educational support, such as tutoring and mentoring, enhances the spirit of each school community, and celebrates the dedicated professionals who serve our youth. Allies for NDAA are usually working professionals, adult volunteers, or retirees who can support efforts at the schools during school hours. For more information about Allies for NDAA, please contact Kathy Laudick, .
Coaches needed! Coaches at all grade levels, 1st-8th, are needed for upcoming seasons. If you are interested in supporting any of the five schools as a coach or assistant coach, please contact Peggy O'Connor-Campbell at .
- Sports include: Soccer, basketball, volleyball, chess, cheerleading, football, kickball
High school students seeking volunteer hours are also in demand. We believe in the importance of our young scholars creating relationships with students who are older and can set a positive example in their lives. After-school tutors are needed in the after-care program and we are also seeking coaches. Hours for coaching varies on the school location and season.To learn more about volunteering as a high school student, please contact Rose Springman at .
Throughout the year we utilize our social network to collect needed items in the school. At this time, we are preparing a comprehensive wishlist of items needed to support our school supply drive in 2019-20. Please visit this website in the summer for more information. If you have new or gently used items you think the school could benefit from, please contact Rose Springman at . or the schools directly.
The Notre Dame ACE Academies are hiring teachers who want to work as a part of a team doing whatever it takes to put all students on the path to College and Heaven. We seek individuals who are committed to continuously improving curriculum and instruction while serving as a model in the Catholic faith.
ACE Academies teachers:
- Seek to improve through honest, constructive self-evaluation, supported by national Notre Dame ACE Academies staff, one-on-one professional coaching, monthly professional formation workshops, and faith formation opportunities.
- Persist in strengthening a strong, positive Catholic school culture through Christ-centered classroom environments.
- Excel in setting and striving towards ambitious, measurable, and realistic goals for students.
- Love and serve one another within a professional learning community to help all students meet goals.
Each school's current openings can be found in the links below:
- Central Catholic School
- Holy Angels Catholic School
- Holy Cross Central Catholic School
- St. Anthony Catholic School
- St. Philip Neri Catholic School
Please contact Regional Director Rachel Edelman with questions.