Browne Brings Leadership Experience, Listening Ear to Principal Role

Molly Schneider, Staff Writer, Journalism I

The anticipated arrival of Notre Dame’s new principal, Mr. Patrick Browne, is imminent.

“We are very excited for Mr. Browne’s arrival this January,” said Mr. Paul Schneider, an NDA board member.

Mr. Browne and wife Vicki (of 30 years) “were interested in moving to Green Bay for a couple of years” and after hearing about the opportunity at Notre Dame through friend and Norbertine brother, Brother Steve Herro, “everything fell into place.”

Mr. Browne acknowledges that “any time you start something new in life there is a great deal of uncertainty.” However, he is confident about making the mid-semester switch to Notre Dame.

“I’ve visited Notre Dame on a number of days already and the friendliness of the students, faculty and staff are helping to ease the transition,” said Mr. Browne.

Realizing his job is a leadership role, the new principal gave his definition of leadership: “To be a leader is to serve others.”  Mr. Browne hopes to serve by “taking time to learn what people need help with” and then doing his best to help them.

He anticipates setting goals as he gradually understands the needs of the school.

“Any time you find yourself in a new job it’s important to take time to listen to people who have been there for a long time, analyze the available data and observe what is working and what might need improving,” said Mr. Browne.

“I’m very impressed with him,” said Mr. Evan Lin, chairman of the school board.

After growing up the youngest of five boys in a family of nine, Mr. Browne left Detroit, Michigan, to attend St. Norbert College.

He later attended graduate school at John Carroll University, earning a master’s degree in education and a post-graduate certification in administration.

Mr. Browne, in his 29 years as a professional educator, has had many titles, including coach, teacher, athletic director, assistant principal and principal.

Currently, he is preparing to leave Our Lady of Humility School (PreK-8th grade) in Illinois after 11 years as principal.

“Mr. Browne has a lot of leadership experience including administration of middle school students. Meaning, I think he’s going to be particularly good at working with the incoming freshmen,” said Mr. Schneider.

The new principal’s educational philosophy is based on a quote by St. Paul:  “We are Christ’s ambassadors.” He explains that it is the teacher’s responsibility to teach with kindness and patience, and it is the student’s responsibility to understand that education is a gift and respond with gratitude and efforts to achieve.

“Each of us has the responsibility of taking what we learn about Jesus Christ and bringing that knowledge into our words and actions every day,” said Mr. Browne. In addition, he appreciates the words of Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day.

“I think he is going to be really well received by the students, parents and faculty at Notre Dame. I think everyone will take to him really well because he’s a man of great faith and is really charismatic. I’m very excited for him,” said Mr. Lin.

As students, faculty and parents of Notre Dame look forward to the leadership of Mr. Browne, he is “looking forward to continuing the excellence that is a hallmark of Notre Dame Academy.”