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Dr. Caroline Clark O'Brien

Notre Dame School is pleased to announce the addition of the first president of the School, Dr. Caroline Clark O’Brien. A fourth generation Dallasite, Caroline has served in numerous professional and volunteer roles that have prepared her to take on this new challenge.  Her career in education spans over twenty-five years, most recently as Executive Director of Catch Up & Read, an agency that presents a very successful reading program in Dallas area schools.  Caroline has a master’s degree in Elementary Education and a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction.   She is passionate about education opening doors for children, no matter their ability level.

The Board of Directors has been planning for this transition for several years.  It was decided to move the school to the President/Principal model with the long-time Assistant Principal, Carmen Fernandez, moving up to the Principal role and assuming responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the educational programs.  The new role of President will have direct responsibility for community relations, development, finance, and facilities management while also having overall responsibility for continued successful operation and growth of the School.  The Board undertook a comprehensive search process, which began last spring with the help of Peña Search Consulting.

 “Caroline is a positive and energetic leader.  She will bring a fresh perspective in guiding our school into its next chapter,” said Notre Dame School Board Chair John Wellik. “Caroline has a proven track record in the non-profit sector and we look forward to seeing her thrive in this new role.  The Board is excited to work with Caroline as our new President and we are confident that Notre Dame School is well positioned to grow under her leadership in the years to come.”

About Notre Dame School of Dallas

Notre Dame School was founded in 1963 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.  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 School is a unique educational resource in our city and provides special education to 140 students ages 6 to 22.  Learn more at

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