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Notre Dame Academy and Servant Leadership

Notre Dame Academy is the only K through 12 Catholic school in Gwinnett County. Founded in 2005, ND Academy fulfills a longtime need for many families seeking a Catholic education in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.

With sponsorship from the Marist Order of Priests, Notre Dame Academy opened on August 14, 2005, with 151 students. This number grew to over 200 by the end of the first year, and ND Academy opened with 380 students in only its second year and has grown every year since!

President Ken Willers believes that Notre Dame is more than just an alternative choice for education, but a better choice for students. “We cannot succeed on knowledge alone. Notre Dame Academy believes in teaching children to identify problems, work cooperatively as a team, listen to others, take risks, and present their ideas. The academic program, combined with prayer and the teachings of the Catholic Church, provides students with a foundation that prepares them to excel in the global economy with awareness and sensitivity to the needs of others.”

Today, the school holds the honor of being named the first Catholic elementary school in the nation to receive authorization from the International Baccalaureate. Founded under the guiding principles of the Marist community, the goal of Notre Dame Academy is to integrate the teachings of the Gospel within the context of academic content. Students with faith have a desire to critically examine the world around them and not accept statements as truths. 

“We want our students to ask questions and really be the thought leaders in their own education. We have an environment where it’s okay to ask the instructor “why?” Why does something work or not work. That’s how we all really learn. The teacher is there as a servant leader to answer questions and teach, not just to distribute a curriculum,” President Willers shares. 

How does Notre Dame Academy live and advance her Mission? It would seem, by listening to the voices of those being served and inspiring them to own the process of change and growth.

To listen to a full talk with President Ken Willers on The Gwinnett Podcast as he speaks about His passion for education as a calling.  In this episode, Ken talks about the importance of servant leadership in our world today and what it means to build up a new generation of inspirational leaders!

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