Notre Dame College Hosts National Education Summit of the Sisters of Notre Dame

Notre Dame College is the singular site this summer for access to the collective expertise of not just the local but also the national collective of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Vowed members and lay scholars of the Catholic Order, which has been educating and training teachers and leaders in its charism throughout the United States for nearly 100 years now, will make their insights available to professionals across the country during the nationwide 2018 Sisters of Notre Dame Education Summit June 20-22 at the College. Registration for the three-day professional conference, featuring multiple keynote addresses, panel discussions and breakout sessions and spiritual reflection, remains open through May 31.

A highlight of the three-day event is an evening presentation by a popular author and inspirational speaker who merges innovative technology and performing artistry that is open to the public. Kelly Croy, a Google-certified teacher, an Apple Distinguished Educator and a PBS Digital Innovator, will present “Moments of Surrender” at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, in the Performing Arts Center in the Administration Building on the Notre Dame campus. His presentation merging speed painting, computer animation and a musical score is included in conference registration or available separately for $10. Pre-registration is required online due to limited seating.

The Sisters of Notre Dame summit also features a Mass celebrated by Bishop Nelson J. Perez of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in Christ the King Chapel in the College Administration Building. The Eucharistic Liturgy is free and open to the public and those of all faith traditions.

Mirrors and Windows

According to Lisa Canterbury, program director of the Sisters of Notre Dame National Education Office, the 2018 symposium is based on the concept of “Mirrors and Windows,” looking back at the shared Sisters of Notre Dame heritage, values and experiences that support prophetic, faithful and transformative education and looking ahead where the view and possibilities are endless.

The four U.S. provinces of the Sisters of Notre Dame—in Chardon and Toledo, Ohio; in Covington, Ky.; and in Thousand Oaks, Calif.—will combine into a single national province this year. The congregation supports several elementary, middle and high schools and related educational institutions in the U.S., but Notre Dame in South Euclid is the only college sponsored by the Sisters.

Many professionals from across the country attending the conference to learn from the Sisters of Notre Dame and their lay ministers and educators will be in residence at the College for the three days, staying in the Notre Dame campus apartments. Numerous faculty and staff from the College also are expected to serve as volunteers in support of the Sisters administering the summit.

Keynotes and Speakers

In addition to the open Croy presentation, the Sisters of Notre Dame national education summit in 2018 features three keynote addresses for registered participants:

  • The opening summit session on Wednesday, June 20, at 4 p.m. in the campus Connelly Center, is “Claiming and Celebrating Our Shared Mission: We're the Only SND Educators Our Students will Ever Know” by Joe Waler, principal of Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin High School, coeducational, Catholic college-preparatory school in Chardon, Ohio, sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame province in Chardon. Mass with Cleveland’s new Bishop follows this keynote.
  • The conference on Thursday, June 21, starts with a keynote at 9 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Sr. Melannie Svoboda, SND, author of 13 books and previous provincial president of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Chardon, will discuss “Through the Looking Glass.” Svoboda, a former high school and college educator and novice director who even ministered in the Jesuit novitiate in Detroit for six years, is a national speaker and retreat director. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including America, Catholic Digest, National Catholic Reporter and Country Woman.
  • The closing presentation on Friday, June 22, the final day of the summit, at noon in the Performing Arts Center is “Education for Transformation: Looking Forward Through the Window,” led by Fr. Tom Elewaut, V.F., pastor at Mission San Buenaventura, in Ventura, Calif., which is the last mission founded by Saint Junipero Serra. Elewaut also is dean for the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Awards and Breakout Sessions

The summit also encompasses a recognition dinner on Wednesday, June 20, at 7:15 p.m. in the Connelly Center, during which three awards will be presented: the Fr. Bernard Overberg “Teacher of Teachers” Award for inspirational impact on the professional development of educators; the Sisters of Notre Dame Educator as a Gospel Witness Award for those who nurture Notre Dame charism, spirit and mission, especially among populations experiencing poverty; and the Transformative Leadership Award for an educator who is a catalyst of growth in relation to themselves, God, others and creation.

Information sessions on Thursday and Friday of the summit convey principles, hallmarks and standards of the Sisters of Notre Dame transformational education and leadership model. Training ranges from living charism in schools to reflective living in all occupations, from teaching students with learning differences to working with LGBTQ populations, from faculty development to social and employment issues. Topics covered include educational technology, social media, class discussion, student engagement, cooperative learning, performance assessment, emerging leaders, interfaith relations, service, maker spaces and even coaching like Overberg, among other subjects.

Registration and Additional Information

Details on the multitude of breakout sessions and additional details about the summit are available on the Sisters of Notre Dame National Education Office website.

All keynotes, sessions, materials and meals and snacks are included in the conference registration. Discounted group rates are available. Registration is online.

May 2018
Kimberly Krozser '17 contributed to this article

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or


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