Notre Dame High’s Barry E. Breen to retire

From Staff Reports

Barry Breen speaks at the 2018 Notre Dame High School graduation ceremony.

The board of governors in Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, recently announced the retirement of school president, Barry Edward Breen, effective June 30.

An educator for more than four decades, Breen has been the head of school for 34 of those years, spending 17 in service to Notre Dame High School. He came to Notre Dame as principal in 1992. As principal, he implemented block scheduling, introduced the Kairos Retreat model and strengthened the Office of Development. He resigned in 2001 to become the headmaster at Tasis, the American School in England. In 2004, he accepted a position to become the first president of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA. Breen returned to Notre Dame in 2010 when the school adopted the president/principal model of administration and the Diocese of Trenton appointed him president.

As president, Breen has worked closely with the school’s board of governors to create a robust strategic plan, to improve the school’s financial position through enhanced fundraising and marketing efforts, and to implement several significant upgrades to the facility infrastructure and technology.

In addition to the creation and management of the school’s extensive strategic plan, Breen was responsible for the development and ongoing execution of a $35 million master site plan designed to address the school’s physical plant, academic, art and athletic needs. Last summer, the school’s dining facility was upgraded and refurbished and now functions as a student center. In June of 2018 the school’s auditorium will undergo an extensive $2.2 million renovation. Future projects related to the master site plan call for the addition of a fine arts wing, a state-of-the-art athletic field house, and a two-story renovation of the library.

In a letter to the Notre Dame community, Breen said, “I truly am proud of what has been achieved over the years in this remarkable institution. I am proud of the Catholic values of social justice and service we infuse into everything we are and do, and I am proud of the remarkable achievements of our students in our classrooms, athletic fields and theatre stages.” Though he looks forward to retirement and spending more time with family, he emphasized that, “My years here (Notre Dame), first as Principal and now as President, have been the happiest of my professional career. It has been an honor, privilege and joy for me to work to advance the ND mission.”

The board of governors and the Diocese of Trenton are working toward naming Breen’s successor. A formal search will begin in the spring of 2018 for a president who will begin service in July 2019. Until then, Mary Liz Ivins, current Notre Dame principal, has been appointed interim president for the 2018-2019 school year.

Ivins, a graduate of Notre Dame, has been with the school since 1979. During that time, she has served ND as a religion teacher, department Chairperson, assistant principal and, for the past 17 years, as the school’s longest serving principal. She holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Rider University, Lawrenceville, a master’s in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia.

Notre Dame also announced that Joanna Barlow, the current assistant principal for curriculum and Instruction, has accepted the position of interim principal for the coming school year. Barlow has served in her current position for the past seven years, during which time she has chaired a successful AdvancED Accreditation Team, led curriculum council and helped facilitate numerous technology advances for the school community. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in literature and language from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and a master of arts in educational leadership from Seton Hall University, South Orange.

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