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For the 34th year, Notre Dame School proudly hosted "An Affair of the Heart - It's a Wonderful Life".  This year's theme was chosen by Notre Dame School parent and event chair, Karen Motes.  "Raising a child with special needs truly makes life wonderful!  We wanted to demonstrate to our guests that even  though parenting and teaching children with developmental disabilities can be daunting at times, these children love more deeply and unconditionally, making day-to-day life a true pleasure.  And having a partner like Notre Dame School in your corner makes a huge difference in the life of the child and their future."

Honorary Chairs of the event were the Walter S. Henrion family whom have supported Notre Dame School for many years.  The event was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Dallas Hotel.  Emcee of the evening was Colleen Coyle, meteorologist at WFAA, Channel 8. 

The evening began with a silent auction sponsored by retailer, Tuesday Morning.  As guests enjoyed cocktails, they had the opportunity to shop early for the holidays.  Over 50 students from Notre Dame School entertained guests with two songs, followed by a seated dinner.  Auctioneer Mike Jones led the live auction. Guests danced to the band, Captain & Camille, and the evening ended with a casino in the beautiful foyer of the Grand Ballroom.

Proceeds from An Affair of the Heart support the operating budget of the school.  Families of children with special needs have a lifetime financial burden.  These children do not become affluent alumni which give back to their alma mater, therefore Notre Dame School relies on the generosity of the Dallas community and generous donors to financially support the school.  Every student at Notre Dame School receives a discount on tuition, and one-third of the students receive additional financial aid. 

Notre Dame School educates students with developmental disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 150 students ages 8 to 21.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It is located in Uptown, just north of downtown Dallas.  www.notredameschool.org

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NDS Cheerleaders

Notre Dame School of Dallas welcomed students back after the summer break.  Floors are polished and bulletin boards are decorated with bright colors and positive messages to usher students into a new school year.  Students (and teachers!) have been adjusting to early morning routines as we welcomed 22 new students and 9 new staff members to our community.  

“I am so excited by the enthusiasm and talents that our new staff brings to the classroom and the eagerness for learning that I see reflected in the faces of our students, new and old alike. As I walked through the halls and greeted our students this morning I could not help but be thankful for the blessings that these students bring to their families, our school, and the communities in which they live.  I truly believe God sent them to make this world a kinder and gentler place and to teach us to live and love unconditionally,” remarked Theresa Francis, principal of Notre Dame School.

Notre Dame School educates students with intellectual disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 156 students ages 8 to 22.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It is located in Uptown, just north of downtown Dallas.

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Prom is a highlight of every student’s high school experience.  It’s a time of time of celebration, dancing, tuxedos and fancy dresses.  It’s a tradition at Notre Dame School as well!

On Friday around 2pm, a local florist arrived with numerous corsage and boutonniere orders.  Students flocked into the office, eagerly looking for their order.  The touch of ribbon giving a hint of the dress color that the young lady would be wearing on Saturday night. 

Saturday night finally comes and students begin to arrive at the Chase Tower Building downtown.  They take the elevator to the 40th floor and as soon as they exit the elevator, they are greeted by the setting sun and the beautiful Dallas skyline.  The view is unforgettable.  

Students pause for selfies in front of the windows before standing in line to get the professional photo with the backdrop adorned in flowers!  The theme for the night is Garden Party, and many of students celebrated this with floral dresses and ties.

The DJ (who doubles as a Notre Dame teacher during the week) spins all favorite tunes.  Every song is outdone by the next one.  There are numerous tables for sitting, but they are empty because all the students are dancing. Notre Dame students love to dance!

“Our students are afforded the same social opportunities as their peers in other schools.  They have prom, graduation, field trips and sports,” explains Carol Battalora, teacher for the Upper School program.   “But Prom is definitely the highlight of the year for our older students.  They love getting dressed up and they love to dance!”

It’s a night they will never forget.

 
Notre Dame School educates students with developmental disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 158 students ages 8 to 21.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
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On April 1, Notre Dame School’s annual Spring Show paid tribute to music and entertainment of the 80s.  The event featured students and staff in over 20 skits that brought back the decade we all loved so well.

This year’s line-up included acts to the tunes of Flashdance, Jump, Just Eat It, Macarena, Walking on Sunshine, Mr. Roboto and many more! 

The Spring Show is an annual event held at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church that includes every student at Notre Dame School.  No auditions required!  Most of the skits are teacher-created and choreographed and hold a promise to entertain the audience. 

This year a special dance was created and choreographed by current NDS student, Shea McGinnis.  She taught and led her fellow students a contemporary ballet number to the song “Children of God”.

In addition to the entertainment, the Spring Show also serves as a fundraiser for Notre Dame School.  This year, raffle tickets sales made over $8,000!  A huge thanks to our many donors that supported this effort.  Major donors include:  The Omni Hotel, The Renaissance Hotel, Al Biernat’s, Le Meridien Hotel, The Mercury, Cafe Pacific, The Deary Family, Jim and Cindy Reynolds, and Trinity Groves.  Prime Lending was a second year underwriter for the spirit t-shirts for every Notre Dame Student.

Notre Dame School educates students with developmental disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 158 students ages 8 to 21.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

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The 5th Annual Quiz Night benefitting Notre Dame School had guests guessing over topics such as literature, sports, fashion and famous movie lines.   Over 60 supporters of Notre Dame School enjoyed tacos and trivia as they wowed their friends with an abundance of random trivia knowledge!  The fun event is also a fundraiser for Notre Dame School.  This year the event raised over $4,000.

Notre Dame School educates students with developmental disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 158 students ages 8 to 21.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

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On Wednesday, March 30, Notre Dame School of Dallas welcomed Bishop Edward Burns on one of his first tours of the 37 schools in his diocese.  Bishop Burns was installed in February as the eighth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. 

Bishop Burns greeted every student and staff member of Notre Dame School with a warm smile and extended hand.  As he toured and chatted with students, Principal Theresa Francis explained the mission of Notre Dame School which is to educate students with developmental disabilities and help them to become contributing members of society.  Francis also noted that while the school was founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, its population is only one-third Catholic. 

Bishop Burns responded with, “We serve them not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic.” 

Notre Dame School educates students with developmental disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 158 students ages 8 to 21.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame School of Dallas, located in Uptown, is the chosen beneficiary of a $25,900 gift from Portfolios with Purpose on behalf of Richard Porteous.

Founded in 2011 by Highland Park resident Stacey Asher, Portfolios with Purpose (“PwP”) is a platform for raising charitable dollars that are re-directed to support many impactful philanthropic causes. PwP hosts multiple web-based mock portfolio stock selection competitions through which participants make an entry fee donation and compete on behalf of their favorite charity. The competition itself determines which charities become beneficiaries of the contest donation pool based on the top performing portfolios. In 2016 alone, around three thousand PwP participants raised over $1 million with 100% of the dollars raised donated to deserving charities.

The 2016 PwP Novice Class winner was Austin, TX native Richard Porteous. Porteous topped over 400 participants to leverage a $100 entry fee into the $25,900 gift for the Notre Dame School. Porteous joins Bryan Rush, Highland Park High School Class of 2000, as past PwP contest winners supporting the Notre Dame School. Rush and Porteous now reside in New York. 

“I was introduced to the Notre Dame School by Bryan’s mother, Linda Rush, who has worked at the school for 16 years as the Technology Director. I have seen first-hand the value that technology plays with the special needs population by providing these children tools to communicate and learn. I am pleased to support the continued good work at Notre Dame School of Dallas.” stated Porteous.

Notre Dame School educates students with developmental disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 158 students ages 8 to 21.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. 

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On November 5, supporters of Notre Dame School gathered at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel for the annual auction and gala, “An Affair of the Heart”.  The theme of this year’s event was “A Starry Night”. 

Honorary Chairs of the event were Mike and Mary Terry, whom have been longtime donors and supporters of Notre Dame School.  Event Chairs were David and Kim Roosevelt, who spoke to the guests regarding the exceptional educational experience their daughter is receiving at Notre Dame School. 

“I love Notre Dame because it is providing [my daughter] with a world class education that is appropriate for her.  The teachers and administrators understand the intellectually disabled population and they know how to prepare them for success in the world.  [My daughter] is not only learning how to read, write and do math but she is also learning appropriate behavior, appropriate social skills and life skills,” stated Roosevelt.

The evening began with a silent auction of over 500 items donated by retailer and lead sponsor, Tuesday Morning.  As guests enjoyed cocktails, they had the opportunity to shop early for the holidays and bid on countless items, such as appliances, furniture, wall art and Christmas décor.  Guests enjoyed dinner followed by a mission-based live auction and ended with a casino in the beautiful foyer of the Grand Ballroom.

Proceeds from the event go directly to the operating budget of the school. 

Notre Dame School educates students with intellectual disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 150 students ages 8 to 21.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It is located in Uptown, just north of downtown Dallas.  www.notredameschool.org

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Mary Terry, Theresa Francis, Bishop Kevin Farrell

Notre Dame School welcomed the major donors of its $12 million capital campaign to tour the renovated building on Wednesday, April 20.  The capital campaign, “Hearts & Hammers”, was chaired by long-time volunteer and supporter of NDS, Mary Terry.  Bishop Kevin Farrell blessed the building and thanked the donors who support the mission of the school which serves students with intellectual disabilities. 

School principal, Theresa Francis, recognized The Rees-Jones Foundation for their leading gift of $2 million which helped bring additional donors to the campaign.  The Mike & Mary Terry Family Foundation contributed a generous $1,000,000 gift, as did former NDS parent, Charles Phipps.  Other major donors include Crystal Charity Ball, the Shannon and Jeff Estes Family, Hoblitzelle Foundation, Hillcrest Foundation, The Constantin Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Harold Simmons Foundation, Matejek Family Foundation and Jake L. and Nancy B. Hamon Foundation.

Renovations on the 60 year old facility began on May 31, 2015.  Designed by architecture firm Perkins+Will, the renovated school features additional classrooms and designated speech therapy room.  Joeris General Contractors oversaw the construction.  “Basically, the building was gutted and completely redesigned to accommodate our current and future needs.  Construction started the first day of summer, and we were able to welcome students back into their new school 99 days later.  It was an aggressive construction timeline to say the least!” explained Francis. 

Donors had the opportunity to tour the building, interact with the students and experience first-hand how their donations have impacted these students with special needs.  

Notre Dame School educates students with intellectual disabilities and facilitates their integration into society.  As the only school in Dallas exclusively serving this student population, Notre Dame is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 150 students ages 8 to 21.  Notre Dame School is a Catholic school and is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It is located in Uptown, just north of downtown Dallas.

To date, the campaign has raised $11 million.  For more information about Notre Dame School, please visit www.notredameschool.org.

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The Fifth Annual Quiz Night sponsored by “Friends of Notre Dame” (FOND) was held on Saturday, April 16 at the Notre Dame School of Dallas. FOND is a group of young professionals who are dedicated to the mission of Notre Dame School and provide leadership and support in FUNdraising efforts. In short, it’s for the hipsters in Dallas who have a heart for good!

Ruthie’s Rolling Café (can you say ooey-gooey grilled cheese) was on-site before the event, and cocktails were enjoyed in the school’s courtyard. The games began with the subject of “Girl Gab” – let’s talk about shoes, ladies.  Other categories included Spielberg facts, famous landmarks, Olympic trivia and music.

Proceeds from the 2016 event were over $3,500 which will help purchase e-readers for our students.