Ken Jennings named president of Notre Dame High School

Ken Jennings

The board of governors of Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, recently announced that Ken Jennings will assume the role as the school’s president effective July 1. Jennings will succeed Mary Liz Fitzpatrick Ivins, who will retire in June.

A New Jersey native, Jennings is currently principal of St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Alamdea, Calif. Prior to his three-year tenure at St. Joseph Notre Dame, he served as principal of DePaul Catholic High School, Wayne, for two years and for 10 years as principal of Benedictine Academy, Elizabeth.  Under his leadership as principal of St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Jennings has improved the school’s admission profile by expanding efforts into new markets such as resulting in a three-year increase in total enrollment and a waiting list for the first time in many years. He oversaw the creation of a new international student program and a new enrollment management plan with a focus on retention.

Jennings worked with the school’s advancement office to create a new strategic plan for advancement. He developed new marketing and communications strategies, which included a new school mobile app as well as increased friend and fundraising events. He has inspired efforts to expand the school’s academic offerings including a new engineering pathways program, increased AP electives and more diverse college preparatory classes.

Jennings holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Fordham University, New York; a master of divinity degree from Seton Hall University, South Orange, and a master of arts in educational administration from Caldwell College, Caldwell.

In addition to the announcement about Jennings, the board of governors confirmed that after serving as Notre Dame’s interim principal for the 2018-2019 school year, Joanna Barlow was recently affirmed by the Diocese of Trenton as the school’s principal. Before assuming the role as interim principal in 2018, Barlow had previously served as assistant principal for curriculum and instruction for seven years, during which time she chaired a successful AdvanceED Accreditation Team, led curriculum council and helped facilitate numerous technology advances for the school community.

Barlow earned a bachelor of arts degree in literature and language from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a master of arts degree in educational leadership from Seton Hall University. Prior to joining Notre Dame, she was the English department chairperson at Piscataway High School and a supervisor of student teachers for Georgian Court University, Lakewood. She began her teaching career as a high school English teacher in the Freehold Regional High School district.

Dick Smith, chairman of the board of governors at Notre Dame High school, said, “The board of governors wishes to express our excitement at the appointment of Ken Jennings as president and Joanna Barlow as principal. Notre Dame High School is poised for a bright future. These appointments will provide the leadership and innovation necessary to ensure that our school continues to offer its diverse community of more than 1,000 students a rigorous and engaging college-preparatory curriculum.”

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