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Alumni Faculty and Staff Share Their ND Story

by Molly MacIsaac '22, Senior Communications Intern

Notre Dame has been blessed with an incredible faculty and staff who strive to see their students succeed. What makes our faculty and staff so special, however, is the number of alumni who decided to return to their alma mater to teach. Notre Dame’s faculty work very hard to enrich the minds of our students and help them achieve their full academic potential. Here is what some of our alumni teachers had to say about their time as a student and as a teacher here at Notre Dame and why Notre Dame is special to them.


Mary Mason ‘02 Ellsworth, Social Studies Teacher: “When I saw the listing for an opening in the Social Studies Department at Notre Dame I applied immediately. We talk often about the Notre Dame "family" and my experience as a student confirmed the power of the community. I left with life-long friends, one of whom I married, and also the tools to succeed in college. I was (and continue to be) excited to teach in that environment. Thankfully many of the teachers and staff who supported me as a student supported me as a teacher. I'm happy to be here for 14 years now.”

James Gibilisco ‘10, Social Studies Teacher: “As a student, I always felt that Notre Dame had a place where everyone belonged but also as a big group we would always come together. The biggest reason I enjoy teaching here is specifically for the Catholic identity. As a teacher, there is a sense of freedom in the fact that I can share my faith and my beliefs in the classroom. Lastly, I grew up here before high school and my family is still here and engrained in the performing arts community.” 

Mary Carlin ‘75 Komjathy, Mathematics Teacher: “My four years at Notre Dame High School as a student were so great and it was a time when my faith and relationship with God was deepened and strengthened. I was blessed with a 38-year teaching career in public school where I tried my best to model my faith in my classroom. During that time, I kept a close connection with Notre Dame and tutored many Notre Dame students. It was always my hope I would finish my teaching career at Notre Dame High School.  That dream became a reality in the fall of 2018. I am so happy teaching here at Notre Dame – I feel I have come full circle and have returned home.”

Nancy Pirone ‘80 Tamasi, Ceramics Teacher: “I walked into ND to observe the Art teacher, I asked if she wanted to start a Ceramic Program. Her eyes lit up like saucers, she said "Yes!!!!! It would be fabulous to have clay a part of our Art Curriculum. That September, ceramic history was made. I have been at ND for 27 years and I still love my job.”

Pamela Pirone ‘79 Verdi, Mathematics Teacher: “My best memories of my teenage years were the four years I spent at Notre Dame! It was a great place to be a teenager and, undoubtedly, I knew it would be a great place to be a teacher!”

Margaret Calamia ‘75 Wroblewski, Social Studies Teacher: “I returned to teaching because I realized I missed it...I missed not only teaching and interacting with the students but also learning from them every day. It is a joy watching a student's face when they finally understand a difficult concept. I decided to return to Notre Dame (and to stay for so many years) because we are a faith-based community that is dedicated to educating the whole person ....as well as being a family!”


Some of our administrators and staff are also alumni of Notre Dame. Here is what they had to say about their time at Notre Dame, both as a student and administrator/staff member, and what Notre Dame has meant to them.


Kristen Brauer ‘14, Enrollment Management Coordinator: “After finishing college, I got the sense that I wanted to spend some time at home. I found out that Notre Dame was the home I was looking to return to and it was here to greet me with open arms again!”

Janine Scimeca ‘80 Corgan, Director of Data and Information Management: “I would occasionally visit some of my high school mentors here at ND. When the Computer Science teacher resigned suddenly I was approached to help out. I couldn't say no. Notre Dame was family. I've stayed over 25 years being connected to the campus, people, and spirit that makes ND special.”

Joseph Drulis ‘75, Security: “Notre Dame High School had an opening for the Varsity Baseball Coach in 2001. The school had 5 different head coaches in 5 years so ND was looking for stability in this position. I am thankful to Barry Breen, past Principal, and Barb Major, past Athletic Director for taking a chance on me."

Christine Campana ‘94 Hines, Faculty Assistant: “As a graduate of Notre Dame I always felt like I was part of the family. I had such a wonderful four years as a student and not only got a great education but also made lifelong friends. When we moved to Lawrenceville, driving by reminded me of those great memories. When it came time to make a decision to go back to work after being a stay-at-home mom, I decided to try Notre Dame! I have now been working at ND for three years and love it just like I did when I was a student. Now that my son is a freshman, I look forward to him making those same memories.”

Lisa Matar ‘96 Lenihan, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction: “From my exciting classes and caring teachers to the service learning program, my time at Notre Dame left a positive, indelible mark on me. When the opportunity to return to Notre Dame arose, I was thrilled to return to what was always and continues to be a special place to me.  Most importantly, I revel in the opportunity to pay forward to the next generation of Notre Dame graduates the incredible experience that I had as an ND student.”

Rebecca Bartuska ‘02 Magro, Director of College and School Counseling: “As a student, I loved the sense of community and family that I always felt within the halls of Notre Dame. When I was looking for a job and a career, I was eager to be able to pay it forward to future generations of Notre Dame students through my contributions as a School Counselor and now the Director of College and School Counseling.”

Brian Malloy ‘92, Director of Facilities: “I come from a legacy family. My father was in the first graduating class of ND and my sisters and I are graduates. My family has always had a strong Notre Dame connection. When considering taking the position at ND, I couldn’t help but think about my high school years and what great teachers I had and an overall wonderful experience. They made such a difference in my life. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to begin my career and give back to the school that gave so much to me. I was back home!”

Christian Olla ‘18, Technology: “At the time of my return to Notre Dame I was 19 with some experience in the business world. I honestly did not enjoy my time in corporations and felt that they were disconnected from the individual. When I got the offer to come to Notre Dame and help them with their technology program, I immediately took the offer. I knew what Notre Dame was about and I knew that it would be very different from a corporation in a good way. I knew that ND was geared more toward the individual personalities that help to push the school forward.”

Marcia Federico ‘74 Scarna, Faculty Assistant: “The reason I returned to NDHS after a career in nursing was to "return to my high school roots." My years at Notre Dame were very happy ones for me with the lifelong friendships made. I have a sense of pride being back in this building so many years later.”

Gregory Schafer ‘03, Faculty Assistant: “I decided to come back and work at Notre Dame because I wanted to have an impact on the lives of the current generation of students. As an alum, I feel a great sense of pride in relating my experiences as a student to the kids. ND has been such a huge part of my life and I wanted to let the school know just how much I appreciate everything that they have done for me and my family. Notre Dame is my second home and I look forward to serving the school community for years to come. I'm honored to say that I bleed Blue and White! Go Irish!” 

Rose Fitzpatrick ‘75 Stevenson, College and School Counselor: “When I began working I was a marketing manager at a financial institution. I resigned after 5 years to raise my children. After 12 years I was ready to return to work but wanted work that was more meaningful to me than my experience in marketing. I was hired at ND as an assistant in the Guidance Office. I enjoyed the school environment and two years later returned to school for a master’s in school counseling so I could work directly with teenagers.”


We are so grateful to have these amazing alumni who serve our student body and better Notre Dame as a community. Their stories are a testament to the impact Notre Dame has had on the students who currently attend or have already graduated. What a powerful message it sends to our community that they have chosen to dedicate their careers to their alma mater. Thank you for all that you do for our students!
 

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Alumni Faculty and Staff Share Their ND Story

Notre Dame has been blessed with an incredible faculty and staff who strive to see their students succeed. What makes our faculty and staff so special, however, is the number of alumni who decided to return to their alma mater to teach. Notre Dame’s faculty work very hard to enrich the minds of our students and help them achieve their full academic potential. Here is what some of our alumni teachers had to say about their time as a student and as a teacher here at Notre Dame and why Notre Dame is special to them.

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