Notre Dame Academy Beginnings

The Sisters of Notre Dame founded Notre Dame Academy in West Los Angeles in 1946. Today, Notre Dame Elementary School and Notre Dame Academy Girls High School make up a single institution that serves the diverse population of Los Angeles. Listen to alumnae Sister Antoinette Marie Moon and Sister Mary Joanne Whittenburg tell stories of Notre Dame Academy’s humble beginnings.

Special thanks to Sister Antoinette Marie Moon and Sister Mary Joanne Whittenburg.

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  • Mother Mary Vera
    Mother Mary Vera Niess, provincial superior at the time, arrived in Los Angeles in 1944 for her annual visit.
  • National and Overland
    National Boulevard and Overland Avenue formed the southern corner of Rancho La Lomita.
  • Looking North on Overland
    Looking north on Overland Avenue toward the rear of the house.
  • View of Notre Dame Convent
    View of the circular drive in front of Notre Dame Convent.
  • Car
    When the sisters first saw the property in 1944, all that remained of Rancho La Lomita was the house and a few acres surrounding it.
  • Chapel
    A view inside the chapel (in the former living room).
  • Rose Garden
    Almost immediately the sisters began construction of an elementary school where a garden used to be.
  • Construction 1
    Construction of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School.
  • Construction 2
    Construction of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School.
  • Construction 3
    Construction of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School.
  • Construction 4
    Construction of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School.
  • Gladys
    Sister Mary Gladys King's first grade class, 1946.
  • William
    Sister Mary William Gara with second and third graders in 1946.
  • Outdoor photo
    First grade class photo, 1946.
  • Bus
    Some children arrived by bus to school.
  • Mass
    The first mass held in the elementary school, 1947.
  • Flag
    Sister Mary Madelyn Ryan raises the flag over Notre Dame Academy in 1961.
  • Bernadette
    Sister Mary Bernadette Pendola with her students.
  • Julie
    Sister Julie Marie Arriaga during story time.
  • Amy
    Sister Mary Amy Huack directs class.
  • High School Construction
    Construction begins for Notre Dame Academy Girls High School.
  • HS Constructions
    Construction underway for Notre Dame Academy Girls High School.
  • Original High School Building
  • HS Construction
  • HS Construction
  • High School
  • Doorway of High School
    Sister Mary Deborah and Sister Mary Vernice in the doorway of the high school.
  • PE
    Sister Mary LaTier and Sister Mary Saint Ellen with members of the Girls’ Athletic Association.
  • Slide 29
    Sister Marie Paul Grech with her students.
  • Graduation 1
    Graduation ceremony at Saint Timothy Church.
  • Grad
    Notre Dame Academy today.
  • Grad2
    Notre Dame Academy today.
  • campus
    Notre Dame Academy today.
  • Slide 34
    Notre Dame Academy today.