Principal Browne Resigns, Effective June 30, 2022


Joseph Giganti, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Effective June 30, 2022, Patrick Browne will no longer be the principal of Notre Dame Academy. 

The news came Monday in an NDA email newsletter, which contained Browne’s letter of resignation. 

Today, Browne came and spoke with the journalism class not only about his upcoming departure, but also about his takeaways from his time spent at NDA.

From Plymouth, Michigan, Browne has been associated with Catholic schooling throughout his entire life, going to a Catholic elementary and middle school, as well as going to St. Norbert College, and then John Carroll University for his graduate studies. Since then, he’s worked at schools for 33 years, most being private Catholic schools. 

He’s held various positions at these schools, including teacher, athletic director, technology coordinator, associate principal, elementary school principal and high school principal.

So why is Browne leaving? 

“Back in March, when all the COVID stuff started happening, my wife moved out of Green Bay, up to our cabin on the upper peninsula. Because of my job, and meeting with a bunch of people, at the time, it was thought you were likely to die from that, and we didn’t want to take the risk,” Browne explained. 

Since then, she’s been living there while Browne continues to be principal of NDA. He said it was a hard choice, but he didn’t want to leave the school during this period of time and decided he wouldn’t leave until it was over. 

“I thought, ‘the community will need me in this crisis to help guide them, I can’t leave them at a time like this.’ So I decided to stay down here while she lived up there,” Mr. Browne said.

He said that she still lives up there, and he has been awaiting the time that the pandemic is over so he can go up and live with her again. 

At the school mass a couple weeks ago, Browne realized that we have reached the end of the COVID pandemic. 

“We know we won’t die, some of it is inconvenient, but we won’t go virtual. Things are back to normal, and I can pass it to the next person,” Browne stated. 

So what will Browne do after he leaves?

His immediate plan is to move up to his cabin where his wife is living, but at the moment, he doesn’t have any jobs lined up. 

“This summer I was out berrypicking. And I was thinking about my future. And I thought, to just trust God – that he knows what’s next for me. So I’m not worried about it,” Browne said. 

He has said, however, that he’s interested in two things: being a cross country coach and helping kids learn how to read. 

On the latter, he says, “I’ve loved reading my whole life. It really expands your mind, helps you think of ideas you wouldn’t otherwise, understand people, things, and the world, as well as feel compassion towards other people. It’s a great joy in my life, and I’d love to teach it to children so they can have that joy as well.”

On the former, Browne states, “I don’t know what it is, but I always feel at my best when I’m moving.”

Browne is a daily runner, having walked and run to school for the four years he’s worked here. In addition, he runs every day, having a goal this year of running 2,000 miles, which works out to about five and a half a day. 

Browne explains that he does it for both his physical and mental health, saying, “If I’m at peace, I can be at peace with other people.”

Asked about what he’s enjoyed the most about NDA, he answered, “The people. It’s always the people, the people you’re surrounded with. But especially the students; you could pay me to just walk around as a lunch monitor, and talk with the students, joke around. It’s time with you guys is what it’s all about.”

Browne further went on to talk about role models, saying that “good teachers that develop a relationship with their students, inspire me,” as well as his mother and father. 

Lastly, he was asked about a memory from NDA that stood out to him in a happy or humorous way – and it’s not what you think: he found the “devious lick,” tiktok trend, where you damage or steal property from your school, to be funny whilst at the same time annoying.

“I didn’t like it, but… I did find it kinda funny. It was very clever… I like clever, and I find it funny. But obviously it was also irritating, so I had to figure out how to respond,” Browne said on the trend.