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ND Spotlight
Congratulations to...
... Mr. Wajda and his wife, Stephanie, who are proud to announce the birth of their baby girl, Gianna Marie. Gianna was born on December 9, weighing 5 pounds 2 ounces and 18.5 inches long. Mom, dad, big brother and baby are all doing well.

Sophomore Travels to Kentucky to Help Those in Need
Christopher Polley '19 was one of 20 high school teens and 10 adults who traveled to Kentucky to deliver 1,000 stockings to families in need.  The weekend was full of prayer, worship and service aimed to help the teens understand and act on the call to be a missionary disciple. They saw much poverty and despair, however, they also saw abundant joy in the faces of the children and parents they met as they brought the love of Christ to them with a simple stocking, a canned ham, oranges and the gift of a smile, a hug, time spent together!   On Sunday  after the prayer service and taking time to write reflections in the Chapel of St. Thomas More Catholic College, the group spent two hours with children/teens from the DCCH Center where children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse live. They worked with parishioners from St. Gregory, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sacred Heart and St. William, the mayor of Barbourville, Kentucky and the Christian Appalachian Project.

ND Happenings
Christmas Vacation Schedule
Notre Dame's Christmas vacation begins at 11:30 am on Friday, December 16. The Main Office will be open on the following days from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm: December 19, 20 and 21 and December 27 and 28. Classes resume on Monday, January 2, 2017. We hope our entire ND family and friends have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. The next ND Update will be published on Friday, January 6.
Students Deliver Gifts Donated for The Giving Tree
On Wednesday , members of Campus Ministry delivered the gifts from our school's Giving Tree. Homemade original Christmas cards from Mrs. Balliet's art classes and boxes of puzzle books from ND parent Robin Goodwin's company were donated to Cambridge Manor to bring residents some Christmas cheer.  Gifts from the tree were donated to the birth to two classes from ABCD in Bridgeport, The Missionaries of Charity After School Program in Bridgeport, and St. Charles Parish and Urban Center also in Bridgeport.  

A huge thank you to everyone who generously donated and most especially parents who took an extra tag or helped last minute to ensure that every individual received their gift. The pile of presents to donate was quite impressive and there will be many happy faces on Christmas morning thanks to the ND Community.  A tremendous thank you to Mrs. Ezepchick and alumni parent Mrs. Kathy Stefanatos for helping to drive and deliver gifts along with campus ministry helpers Sydney Manzo, Kacy Adams, Tommy Kuryla, Nathan Stiles, Christina Biasetti, Amanda McGeehan, Sammy Mosel, and Sofia Gudiel.

Campus Ministry Sponsors Annual Christmas Party
Campus Ministry hosted their annual Children's Christmas Party last Friday with guest visitors from St. Andrew's second grade class in Bridgeport.  Students played games, danced with Mrs. Hong, decorated sugar cookies, made Christmas cards, had snacks, and were treated by a gift and visit from Santa Claus and his elves. Participants included Austin Allen, Margaux Atkins, Dasha Bazile, Nate Berardi, Maggie Buckley, Emily Carlson, Daviann Cisneros, Justin DaSilva, Andrew Fallon, Taylor Ferreira, Grace Gallagher, Annalee Gaudreau, Liv Keden, Mary Keden, Zuquila Mbachiantim, Patrick Milner, Erin O'Brien, Delaney O'Keefe, Marisa Panuczak, Linda Pham, Hannah Rich, Teresa Salamone, Ryan Schmidt, Jared Sullivan, Emma Sweeney, Kevin Vaca, and Landis Williams.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Fundraiser
Campus Ministry sponsored an Ugly Sweater Charity Dress Down Day  on Thursday to support the Save the Children Foundation.  Thank you to everyone who festively participated. 
Spanish Class Club Holds Annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta
The Spanish Club held their annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta. No party is complete without homemade guacamole, quesadillas, Spanish rice, tostadas with all the toppings, desserts and laughs. During the Santa's beard race, Senior Safeen Ahmad went up against sophomore Katelyn Pond and was defeated! This is Kate's second year on the winning team. Way to go team Kate! All members of the Spanish Club would like to wish everyone a ¬°¬°Feliz Navidad!!

Love Life Club Sponsors Candy Cane Grams
Love Life had a charity fundraiser for The Make A Wish Foundation by sponsoring a Candy Cane Gram sale.  Students and staff were able to purchase a Christmas tag and candy cane for $.50 that was delivered  on Thursday to help increase the Christmas Spirit in the ND Community. Thanks to everyone who supported the cause and to Liv Keden, Mary Keden, Vanessa Joseph, Grace Kuntz, Andrew Fallon, Sammy Mosel, Patrick Milner, Meghan Burke, Arianna Denitto, Liv Silva, Justin LaSella, Sierra O'Keefe, Mia Dunn, Kacy Adams, and Christina Biasetti for their help with sales, putting them together, and delivering them.


Members of Campus Ministry Make Gingerbread Houses with 6th Graders


On Tuesday , Campus Ministry members joined Assumption Elementary School in Fairfield's sixth grade class for a big brother and big sister activity making gingerbread houses to get in the holiday spirit.  ND mentors included Matt Carrara '19, Olivia Ceballos '18, Katherine Heffernan '19, Carly Humphrey '18, Diti Kapoor '18, Bob Karosy '18, Damion Medwinter '18, Andrea Quiles '18, Madie Ramirez '17, and Manjot Singh '19. A special thank you to Ms. Zembrzuski who generously donated all of the gingerbread houses.

Campus Ministry Members Go Caroling With St. James' Students
Last Wednesday, members of Campus Ministry joined the kindergarten class at St. James School in Stratford to go caroling at the Baldwin Senior Citizen Center in Stratford.  Students sang and delivered Christmas cards and then spent some time coloring Christmas pictures.  Participants included Clare Teskey '20, Meghan Burke '19, Amanda Wilkins '18, and Alejandro Sanchez '17.
 
ND Goes to the Yale Rep
On Tuesday  and  Thursday  of this week, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Cipriano, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Cipriano and Dr. Callaghan accompanied more than 100 sophomores, juniors and seniors to a production of August Wilson's  Seven Guitars  at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven.  A two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient for Drama, Wilson was once asked by his daughter,  "Daddy, why are you a writer?" He responded, "To tell the story."  We were all reminded again, in the words of the play's director, that what is so profoundly potent about Wilson's stories is that all of us--no matter our backgrounds or life influences--get to fully resonate with the very core challenges, resiliencies, celebrations and philosophies of being human.  When Wilson is performed authentically, it can have a profound healing and leveling impact.  Students and faculty agree that, indeed, we were lucky to be present for such a moving, thought-provoking, authentic performance.      
   
Spanish Classes Create Flags
Students in Miss Alberti's Spanish 1 classes made flags of different Spanish speaking countries. They couldn't use poster board or cardboard; instead they were required to use a type of cloth material.  Unique ideas were encouraged, creativity a must.  They  are presenting their flags to the class, explaining the significance behind each flag's composition.  What a great job they did!

French Classes Put Their Language Skills to the Test
AP-French IV students recently put their French reading, listening, and interpretative skills to the test as they worked on individual shoe box creations that explained, in detail, different sections of the book L'homme qui plantait des arbres. The shoe box creations are on display in room 302A.

Students include: Bertha Castellano '17, Nicholas Szczepura '17, Alejandro Sanchez-Ramade '17, Isaac Bjerklie '17, Patriney Alteus '17, Claudia Antoine '17, Guymara Manigat '17, and Madeleine Ramirez '17. Missing from photo is: Suzanne Alexopoulous '18.

Drama Club Sees Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof 
On November 30, the Drama Club took their annual trip to New York City to participate in a Broadway Classroom workshop and see the Broadway play Fiddler on the Roof. Escorted by Mrs. Hong, Mrs. Morales and parent-chaperone Mr. Vayda, 18 students were very excited to attend the Broadway Classroom workshop and learn the vocal arrangements to the opening song from Fiddler on the Roof by one of the supporting actors in the play, Nick Rehberger. After the show, students were able to meet and greet the performers at the backstage door for autographs. Many thanks to all who participated in the trip - it was a wonderful way to spend a rainy day in the city! 


Drama Club Students in attendance: Carmela Badolato, Emily Carlson, Yamilex Cobo, Jordan Crawford, Matheus DosSantos, Mary McGuire, Sean Mitchell, Rosemary O'Mahony, Leanne Onofrio, Deven Pierre, Nicole Posada, Hannah Rich, Sophia Rodrigues, Matthew Rohr, Jack Rohr, Caitlin Trutt, Anthony Vayda and Brendan Williams.

Student Update
26 Acts of Kindness Campaign 
Notre Dame's annual 26 Acts of Kindness Campaign began on  Monday, December 5  and will run through  February 3 , culminating in our annual Community Service Day. Each school day has a different act of kindness associated with it, as we remember the 26 lives lost in the 2012 tragedy in Sandy Hook. All members of the ND community are invited to participate in our campaign. To view the full calendar of events, click here

Campaign will resume on January 2:
  • Monday - Read a Book Day  
  • Tuesday - Be Positive Day!  
  • Wednesday - Collection: Donate a gently used book for a local teen center/library 
  • Thursday - Let Someone Go In Front of You in Line Today  
  • Friday - Thank the ND Support Staff: Thank a secretary, cafe worker, coach, custodian 
Club Update

Campus Ministry
This week's mite box was for the Bridgeport Department of Children and Families.  The winning homeroom was Ms. Taccone's and they will have a dress down day when we come back from break.  The next mite box is on  Wednesday, January 11 for the American Red Cross.
Parent Update
Yearbooks On Sale
2017 Yearbook orders are now being taken. To purchase online, click here. Enter code 14196 and place your order. If you prefer, students can bring cash or check for $80 (payable to Notre Dame) to the Main Office as well.
Save the Date! - Convivio March 3 - 5
Every year in the Diocese of Bridgeport, over two-hundred teens take part in a weekend event named CONVIVIO, an international conference of Catholic youth. The program first came to the United States in 2010. Coming from different towns and regions, teens meet at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield to be challenged in their Faith and to encounter Christ. This year's event will be held from March 3 - 5, 2017. Click here for more information.
Advancement/Alumni Office Update
Earn Money for ND with Amazon Smile
Do you shop on Amazon? Now you can earn money for ND just by shopping. Go to  https://smile.amazon.com and log into your Amazon account. Search for Notre Dame Catholic High School and begin shopping.  Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to ND.  AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know, same products, same prices, same service.

60th Anniversary - Limited Edition T-Shirts
To celebrate Notre Dame's 60th anniversary, we are selling limited edition t-shirts for only $20.  This is a fun way to commemorate this special year and a great gift for the past, current or future Lancer in your life!   Orders can be placed by emailing  parentassociation@notredame.org .  Youth sizes available upon request.
Parent Association Update
Last Chance! - Christmas Boutique - December 20        
Shop the Christmas Boutique and get some last minute shopping done for your favorite Lancer! We will be selling Spirit Wear,  Lancer Gang shirts,  new ND mugs, keychains, car clings and Father Bill's BBQ sauce during the girls' basketball game on Tuesday, December 20 from 6:30pm - 8:00pm.
 
Parent Association Meeting - January 18 - 6:45pm
The next Parent Association meeting will be held in the library on Wednesday, January 18 at 6:45pm, immediately following the Athletic Association meeting.  All parents and guardians are welcome to attend!
                                                                               
Teacher & Faculty Appreciation Day - Tuesday, January 31
Heads up!  Teacher and Faculty Appreciation Day is scheduled for January 31, 2017.  Watch this space for future announcements!
Guidance Department Update
PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 Scores Are Coming Soon! 
In January, students in grades 9-11 should receive a copy of their PSAT Score Report taken in October at Notre Dame. Your child may log in or create a College Board account and receive personalized feedback. For information understanding the Student Score Report please visit www.collegeboard.org. If you have additional questions, please call the Guidance Office at  203-374-2618 o r call the student help line, 866-433-7728.
Juniors Parent College Meeting - Mark Your Calendars
The Guidance Department will be sponsoring a program for junior parents to discuss the SAT and college planning. The meeting has been scheduled for  January 9, 2017 . Please mark your calendars. This meeting will be held at Sacred Heart University in the Curtis Hall Building  at 7:00 p.m.
Scholarships for Seniors
Scholarships for seniors who will be attending college in the fall of 2017 have been posted on Naviance.  Look under scholarships and see what scholarships are out there.  If you have any questions, please stop by the Guidance Office. 

To view other scholarships  available, try visiting the following sites: Fastweb www.fastweb.com, College Board www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org, Scholarships.com www.scholarships.com
U.S. Department of Labor  www.careerinfonet.org/scholarshipsearch

Opportunities
Applications for Cambridge Immerse 2017 Are Open to Students!
Cambridge Immerse is a unique two-week residential educational experience that allows participants to gain an unrivaled insight into a chosen discipline, ranging from the arts to the sciences. Subjects offered include Computer Science, Medicine, Law, Economics, History and Engineering and many more. The academic program is designed and taught by tutors from Oxford and Cambridge University in England in an optimal learning environment that stimulates academic inquiry. And the carefully planned schedule ensures that the program not only meets the academic needs of the participants, but also provides a unique insight into the university city through an abundance of activities.

Students reside in Queen's College or Christ's College, prestigious and central colleges of Cambridge university. Within their historic walls, the program prides themselves on providing unique experiences of leadership and academic excellence through a program for participants that instills the confidence and passion for learning that are essential to success in higher education.

To find out more & to apply
Enrollment in the program is ongoing, and students aged 15 and above are welcome to apply at www.cambridgeimmerse.com. A PDF version of our prospectus is also available to view by clicking here

If you are interested in registering, please do so online through our website, or alternatively, if you require further information please don't hesitate to email enquiries@cambridgeimmerse.com.
Volunteer Opportunities at The Discovery Museum 
Volunteer and Community Service opportunities are available at The Discovery Museum! A range of options are available, giving students a great opportunity to get first-hand experience in a number of different departments. For more information click here. For an application, click here

Athletics Update
Lancer Week in Review
The girls' hockey team opened up their season with a tough 3-2 OT loss to Wilton/Norwalk/McMahon.   Desiree Sleath '20 and Laura Dennigan '19 (1 assist) each had a goal for ND while Emily Rowland '17 and Ashley Graichen '19 had assists.  Rebecca Paine '18 made 18 saves in the game.  The girls bounced back with a 8-1 win over Guilford  on Wednesday night.  Leading the way for the Lancers was Laura Dennigan '19 (2 goals), Bridget Magyar '19 (1 goal, 2 assists), and Emily Rowland '17 (1 goal, 3 assists),  Katelyn Pond '19 (1 goal, 1 assist).  Ashley Graichen '19, and Desiree Sleath '20 also scored for the Lancers while Delaney O'Keefe '17 had two assists.  Rebecca Paine '18 made nine saves in the win.  The team is now 1-1 and will be in action again  on Saturday vs. Daniel Hand High School at the Northford Ice Pavilion at  6:15 pm

The wrestling team opened their season  on Wednesday evening against the Barlow/Immaculate Co-op team.  The team was defeated by a score of 42-21, however, four ND wrestlers won their respective matches:   Dan Geriak '18, Klyde Auba '18, Jacob Castillo '18 and Jakari Walker '20 were victorious.  The wrestling team will be in action again  on Saturday in the Fairfield Ludlowe Invitational at Fairfield Ludlowe beginning at  9am.

The bowling team was in action this past week against Barlow High School. The Lancers prevailed 3-0 and top bowler for Notre Dame was Andrew Fallon '17.

The girls' basketball and boys' basketball teams begin their season this weekend, while the boys' hockey team starts on Tuesday.  The indoor track team opens their season over Christmas Break at Wilton on December 28.  Keep an eye on ciacsports.com or the link on the newsletter for ND teams in action over Christmas break.  
Congratulations to...
Congratulations to Taevian Jackson '20 who received league honors from the Southwest Conference during the fall season by being selected All Conference for Football.

Congratulations to the following students who were selected as  Fall All State Athletes: G irls' soccer -  Sam LaValle,  Brianna Kydes and  Erika Quinones;  Boys' Soccer -  Max Cano and  Marcelino Camata;   Football -  Mike Bevino and  Klyde Auba;  Volleyball -  Liv Silva


Congratulations to the following students who received  All New England Soccer honors -  Sam LaValle and  Marcelino Camata

Lancer Gang Shirts For Sale
Get your Lancer Gang shirts and attend all home basketball and hockey games for free! Shirts will be on sale at the Cookie Sale on December 9 from 2-7 pm and December 10 from 10-2 and at home basketball games starting on December 20. Click here for more information.

Program Advertising
Support ND Athletics by placing an ad in all boys' and girls' home game programs this winter sports season. Click here for more information and for an ad order form. Contact Mr. Bleggi with any questions.
Join the Athletic Association 
If you are interested in joining the ND Athletic Association for the 2016-17 school year, please click here to sign up on line. 
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