Principal Browne Completes First Year at NDA

Aeva Ver Boort, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

As the community of Notre Dame Academy heads into the second semester of the school year, Mr. Patrick Browne has completed his first full year as principal.  

During Browne’s year at Notre Dame, he has learned a lot about himself and the students. Browne believes that the school has a very strong history of success. He calls NDA students very hardworking and very invested in their future.  

“The students would not be at this point without the professional staff we have,” said Browne.

Before he started working at Notre Dame, he was on the school board of his village in the suburbs of Chicago,and he worked the last 17 years in the Archdiocese of Chicago as a principal at an elementary school.  

Notre Dame, he said, is just a bigger version of the elementary school.  

When asked why he wanted to become a principal, Browne said his dad was an administrator at a hospital, so he always had the administration part down, and  even though he and his wife do not have any children, he liked working with students.

“I liked having kids in my life,” he said.

There are good and bad parts of being a principal.  One of the good things, according to Browne, is all the activity, always a lot going on.  After school he has the opportunity to go to sporting events, and during school he stops in classes to observe and sometimes even learn.  He enjoys being a part of something.

In some ways that blessing is also his challenge as there are so many different things he needs to be  aware of and connected to in some way.

At the beginning of his first year here, the start of second semester in January 2018, he admitted it was a challenge for him to move to another city and get to know the community at Notre Dame Academy. The Green Bay area itself, however, was no stranger to Browne, who attended St. Norbert College.

Over this past year, Browne has learned that all he wants is the best for every student.  He has a lot of energy and excitement for the students’ education. At the end of this school year one of his goals is that 100% of the senior class graduates and most of them make it to college.

Staff members have noted his concern for the students.  “He seems very empathetic toward the students,” said sophomore English teacher Kayla Robbins, now in her second year at NDA.

In addition to all his obligations as a principal, Browne has been teaching a freshman theology class and often runs with the cross country team during practices.

Freshman runner Mary Popkey calls it “pretty cool having the principal run with us.”