Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Notre Dame High School (New Jersey)

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Religious affiliation(s)
Roman Catholic

Diocese of Trenton

Mary Elizabeth Ivins


Barry Breen

Notre Dame High School (New Jersey)

Private, college preparatory, coeducational

Notre Dame High School is a coeducational, Roman Catholic, college preparatory school in the Lawrenceville section of Lawrence Township, in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. The school operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. The school is accredited by AdvancED.


As of the 2013-14 school year, Notre Dame had an enrollment of 1,341 students and 82.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 16.2:1.


Built in 1957, Notre Dame High School is located in Lawrenceville, near Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, The Lawrenceville School, and Hun School of Princeton. The Catholic Diocese of Trenton also neighbors the school. The main building itself is square in shape, housing classrooms on two floors. Its mascot is the "Irish", usually displayed on athletic wear as a shamrock affixed to "ND". The current president is Barry Breen, accompanied by principal Mary Elizabeth Ivins, senior vice president Maggie Kelly, vice president Donna Grabowski, assistant principals Joan D. Pilkington and Joanna Barlow, Chaplain Reverend H. Todd Carter and Director of Athletics Richard Roche.

The school uses a form of block scheduling for its students. In a typical semester, a student has three 80-minute block classes and two 40-minute blocks. One of the 40-minute periods is usually reserved for a lunch period while the other is reserved for physical education or an additional 40-minute class. There is an "activity period" between the four 80-minute blocks during the day in which students can study, take an additional lunch period or participate in various school activities (groups, clubs, community service).

The school features a theatre, gymnasium, cafeteria, several standard classrooms, offices, computer and science labs, school store (The Leprechaun Shop), a renovated track, wrestling room, cross country path, weight-room, turf field with stands, tennis courts, various outdoor playing fields, media center–library, chapel, campus ministry, guidance department, and courtyard.

Parallel to the school's student parking lot flows Shabakunk Creek, which was the location of a Revolutionary War skirmish between American rebels led by Colonel Edward Hand and the British military, delaying the British before the Second Battle of Trenton. A small commemorative sign marks the spot where the battle occurred.

Class of 2015 student data

The 2015 averages of the school's SAT scores were 536 Critical Reading, 536 Writing and 544 Math. Fourteen Advanced Placement Program courses were tested. Of 519 AP exams taken, 108 students had a score of 5; 151 had a score of 4; and 156 had a score of 3. The class had one student who was recognized as a semi-finalist and 11 students who were recognized as Commended Scholars by the National Merit Scholarship Program. 99% of students went on to college, with 87% going on to a four-year college, 12% to a two-year college, and 1% to employment or the military.

Performing arts

Notre Dame High School has an active performing arts department which presents three productions annually: a fall drama or comedy, a late-winter musical, and a late-spring comedy, drama, or musical. Past performances have included Show Boat, Kiss Me, Kate, Godspell, Man of La Mancha, Inherit the Wind, Grease, West Side Story, The Crucible, Beauty and the Beast, You Can't Take It with You, Scapino!, Les Misérables, The Pajama Game, Peter Pan, Footloose, Seussical, Hairspray and Anything Goes in March 2016. The musicals annually perform for audiences from 3,500-5,000.

Along with theatrical productions, a dance program entitled Fusion, based on contemporary dance styles, is rehearsed during the fall and performs later in the winter. The dance program, which is headed by Debby Rittler Gibilisco, has three separate levels. The Performing Arts Department, led by Lou Gibilisco, offers classes such as Digital Recording, Piano Technique, and Musical Theory, along with overseeing the various musical groups in the school: Concert Choir, String Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Madrigal Choir (the latter two requiring auditions). The Concert Band, Fusion dance, and Madrigal all travel to Disney World (alternating every year between the Concert Band and the Madrigal/Fusion) to participate in workshops, master classes, and performances.


The Notre Dame High School Irish participate in the Colonial Valley Conference, which includes high schools from Mercer and Burlington Counties, and the West Jersey Football League (WJFL). Both leagues operate under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.

In the 2012-13 season, Notre Dame won seven Colonial Valley Conference Championships (in girls' soccer, boys' basketball, girls' basketball, boys' swimming, ice hockey, baseball, and girls' lacrosse) and three Mercer County Titles (in boys' basketball, ice hockey and baseball). The boys' basketball and girls' lacrosse teams had their finest seasons in school history. The boys' basketball team boasted a record of 25-4 while the girls' lacrosse team went 17-4, losing in the Group III South State Final to national power Moorestown. The ice hockey team had a six-year 81-game winning streak in Colonial Valley Conference play, spanning from 2011 until a close loss to rival Princeton High School 4-3 on January 6th of 2017.

The school is historically known for its football team and track program, which have both earned numerous awards and acknowledgments. Notre Dame's Sabrina Alexander won the Non-Public A State Championship in the 100m hurdles in 2013. Vanessa Romulus won the Non-Public A State Championship in the high jump in 2012 and 2013. Nicole Kurtain won the Non-Public A individual cross country championship in 2001.

The Notre Dame girls' basketball team won the Non-Public A State Championships in 1994-95 vs. Immaculate Heart Academy and in 1995-96 vs. Paramus Catholic High School.

The boys' swim team capped their 2009-10 season undefeated and went on to win the Mercer County Tournament for the third straight year.

The softball team won the 2007 South A state sectional championship with a 2-1 win over Red Bank Catholic High School in the tournament final. The team then won the Non-Public Group A State Championship with a 1-0 win over Mount Saint Dominic Academy.

The tennis team won the 1999 South A state sectional championship with a 4-1 win over Monsignor Donovan High School in the tournament final at Veterans Park.

The Notre Dame golf team captured their first Mercer County Golf Championship in 2009, ending a 23-year drought with a total team score of 314, six shots better than the closest team.

In 2014, the girls' basketball team won the Mercer County Tournament championship for the eighth time, defeating Hopewell Valley Central High School by a score of 49-35 in the tournament final.

In the 2014-15 season, the athletic programs won three state regional championships.

The girls' soccer team won the Non-Public A South title over Holy Cross Academy on penalty kicks, with the score tied at 2-2 after two overtimes.

Notable alumni

  • David Bird (1959–2014), financial journalist who covered energy markets at The Wall Street Journal
  • Edward Bloor (born 1950, class of 1968), author of Crusader and Tangerine
  • Tom Guiry (born 1981), actor who played a lead role in The Sandlot
  • Rich Gunnell (born 1987), former wide receiver for Boston College Eagles football
  • Scott Horta (born 1988), capped member of the Puerto Rico national football team
  • Guy Hutchinson (born 1974), author, broadcaster, theme park historian and comedian
  • Star Jones (born 1962), television personality
  • Ed Moran (born 1981), professional track and road runner in distances from the 5000 meter to the marathon
  • E. J. Nemeth (born 1983), retired arena football quarterback
  • Chris Prynoski (born 1971), animator
  • Richard Schmierer (class of 1968), State Department Foreign Service Officer who served as United States Ambassador to Oman
  • Brian Siemann (born 1989), member of the 2012 United States Paralympic Team who won gold medals in the 100m and 200m
  • Tiquan Underwood (born 1987), wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers
  • References

    Notre Dame High School (New Jersey) Wikipedia