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Doors Open to 730 students for 'Extreme Makeover' year
Largest enrollment in eight years

When NDCL opened the doors to our "Extreme Makeover" year on Monday, 730 students from seven northeastern Ohio counties—our strongest enrollment in eight years—streamed into our corridors and classrooms, eager for another year of faith and learning on our picturesque campus of opportunity in Munson Township.

The biggest piece of our makeover will include the installation of $350,000 in contemporary, comfortable, and flexible furniture in nearly every classroom on our campus. New teacher desks, presentation lecterns, and cabinets will begin arriving this week. About 800 student tables and chairs will arrive in September.

"We purposely scheduled the arrival of the new student furniture for about a month after school resumed," said Principal Mr. Joseph A. Waler. This timing allowed our students and teachers to start the school year strongly by focusing on teaching and learning, not on moving and rearranging furniture, he added.

"Plus the first day of school tends to be like Christmas morning," Mr. Waler explained. "There are so many new things for students to 'unwrap' that the impact of each enhancement can easily get lost. It's better to wait a little for some of our blessings."


FIRST STEPS: Our 196 freshmen enjoyed a high-energy orientation program on August 16 facilitated by our certified peer educators, a group of professionally trained senior leaders.


MAKING MEMORIES: Seniors Jon Sharp and Julia Tripodo sign their names to the Senior Rock, a popular tradition during Welcome Back Week.

Among the "Extreme Makeover" blessings that greeted students on the first day:

  • Enthusiastic, caring, and professionally prepared teachers, including four new faculty members who are NDCL graduates
  • 180 speedy new laptops, bringing the total number of computers for students to more than 600
  • 14 College Credit Plus (CCP) courses, enabling 170 students to take 1,815 semester credit hours—and save their families more than $1 million in college tuition this year alone
  • Eight academic coaches to provide as-needed academic assistance to any student in almost every subject
  • Bright LED lights and new ceiling tiles installed on all second floor corridors, complementing work previously completed on the first floor
  • New tasty, nutritious, and fun food choices prepared by AVI, our new food service partner
  • Renovation of two science labs, thanks to a generous donation of equipment facilitated by Mr. Charlie Dottore, father of senior Octavya and sophomore Paolo.

These and other enhancements seek to create a vibrant learning environment that promotes the transformation of our students into the women and men God calls them to be—an environment that was evident everywhere on our campus during our opening days.

"If well begun is half done, then we're on our way to a really great year," Mr. Waler said. "And it's only the first week!"

THE FAITH AND FRIENDSHIP THAT WE SHARE: Weather forced our opening Mass to move from Lion Stadium to McGarry Gym, but the rain drops don't dampen the prayerful spirit of the Lions as Chaplain Father James Caddy leads us in prayer on Thursday's Feast of the Queenship of Mary.

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