The Sisters of Notre Dame have dedicated themselves to education since 1850 when their congregation was first established. Today, an increasing number of lay people serve as faculty and staff in the schools that the sisters founded. To maintain the Notre Dame spirit in the classroom, the sisters have invited educators at SND schools around the country to the inaugural SND Education Summit in June. The three-day summit will take place in Dayton, O.H., and feature sessions including “Hiring And Evaluating With Mission At The Forefront” and “Interfaith Relations: Considered Conversations With Faculty, Staff, Students.”
The summit will, “provide resources for extending our shared educational vision and expression into today’s educational settings,” said SND National Education Office Director Sister Mary Frances Taymans.
The sisters have founded and administered dozens of schools in the U.S. Collectively, the summit attendees, which include sisters and lay educators, serve over 19,000 students from pre-k through college. The summit will help communicate the spirit of the sisters to a diverse group of educators.
Keynote speaker Sister Mary Joanne Keppler is Director of Professional Learning for Notre Dame Cathedral Latin and Notre Dame Elementary School in Chardon, O.H.
“A challenge we face in Catholic education today is to reach the heart and soul of young people to enable them to find their meaning in God at each step of their life’s journey.”
Reaching her students is very important to Sister Mary Rebekah Kennedy, dean of mission at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, C.A. She will attend the summit with several sisters from the California province.
“It is so necessary to hire faith-filled men and women who model Christian living in our schools today,” said Sister Mary Rebekah, “I believe that our call as Notre Dame educators is not to ‘indoctrinate’ but to teach the doctrine in such a way that we allow young people to discover the good God who already dwells in the deepest part of their hearts and souls.”