Up Close & Personal with Mr. Pauly: Saying Good-Bye, Thank You


Hannah Dercks, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

As you all know, our beloved president for nearly five years, Mr. Robert Pauly, is leaving Notre Dame.  For some it is unclear why he is leaving us, but with some clarification, you will soon understand.

“I decided to leave NDA to be closer to my wife, children, and grandchild,” Mr. Pauly said.

The president says he wished for his wife and family to move to Green Bay with him.  That became a difficult thing to do, and his family did not make the move.

During the weekdays, Mr. Pauly would stay at his mother’s home in Allouez, and then he would travel back and forth to Milwaukee on the weekends.  After five years, he and his wife made the decision that it was time for him to come home.

As he looks back, Mr. Pauly sees many major accomplishments made during his time as president at Notre Dame.  He started different traditions such as Grandparents’ Day, and other important things such as the Guardian Angel Tuition Service, which in the past four years has given $264,000 to families in need of additional assistance.

“I pray that NDA has become a more loving Christian community during my time here…I hope that I have added a more heart-centeredness to the culture,” he said.  “I pray that I have helped create a more trusting relationship between the administration and the faculty and staff which was a bit strained when I arrived.”

Through the generosity of others, Mr. Pauly has been able to oversee the renovation of the fitness center, alumni gym, auditorium and more.  He also introduced the Homeroom Program to bring the students closer together and welcomed the Mandarin Program with the help of kind donors and the instruction of Dr. John Ravizza.

Since his arrival at Notre Dame, the enrollment has increased from 713 to 780 students.  He has enjoyed reaching out to the students at Notre Dame, giving them high fives, morning prayer, music at masses, greetings in the halls and singing “Lean On Me.”

Mr. Pauly’s future plans involve moving back to his family in Milwaukee and finding a way to share his love with God’s people.  He also hopes to spend more time making music with his bandmates down in Milwaukee.

“I will mostly miss my dear students and those adults who opened their hearts to me and allowed me to share my life and gifts with them.  I have met some extraordinary people during my time as president of NDA.  These people have impacted my life for the better, and I will always be grateful to God for them,” he said.

Mr. Pauly spoke highly of his successor, Mr. Kevin Shaw.  “Remember,” he said, “I will always be an alumnus of this school, just like all of you will be, as I graduated in 1975 from Premontre, so Mr. Kevin Shaw will be my president as well!”

Mr. Pauly thinks his successor will be a great president.  In fact, Mr. Shaw, now president of St. Mary’s Springs in      Fon du Lac, was the first candidate he considered for the position last August.

“He is kind, thoughtful and has a great sense of humor,”  he said. Mr. Pauly also tells us, the Notre Dame Academy student body, “I am sure you will make him feel right at home, in your home-away-from-home!  I love you, kids!”

Mr. Pauly will be at graduation with Mr. Shaw beginning his term here on June 1.

He quotes what St. Thomas Moore said to his daughter before his death, “Pray for me, as I will for thee, until we merrily meet in heaven.”

Even though it is sad Mr. Pauly is leaving us, we will be left in good hands.  Certainly, we can understand the family sacrifices Mr. Pauly has been making for us in these last years, and we can also appreciate the closer family ties he will be enjoying in the years to come, now that he will no longer be making the long weekly commute and having to spend the week nights away from his home and family.

We will always have the good memories we’ve made with Mr. Pauly, and we will continue to benefit from the programs he initiated for us.  Further, we will have the echoing memory—and we must not forget—to be the best people we can be, “Because you’re worth it!”  We thank you, Mr. Pauly, for your love and dedication to Notre Dame Academy, and for your inspiration to answer God’s calling in our personal and professional lives.  You will be missed.