Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, California)

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Notre Dame High School
13645 Riverside Drive
Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks), California, (Los Angeles County), 91423
United States
Coordinates 34°9′30″N 118°25′50″W / 34.15833°N 118.43056°W / 34.15833; -118.43056Coordinates: 34°9′30″N 118°25′50″W / 34.15833°N 118.43056°W / 34.15833; -118.43056
Type Private, Coeducational
Motto "Educating Hearts and Minds"
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
Congregation of Holy Cross
Established 1947
CEEB Code 053370
President Brett A. Lowart
Principal Stephanie Connelly
Vice principal Rob Thomas
Richard Klee
Georgia Capell
Faculty 93
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,262 (as of 2014–15)
Color(s) Navy Blue and Gold         
Mascot Knight
Team name Notre Dame Knights
Rival Crespi Carmelite
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
Newspaper The Knight
Yearbook Arches
Tuition $13,450
Dean of Men Tom Dill
Dean of Women Ann McClung
Admissions Director Alec Moss
Athletic Director Kevin Rooney
Notre Dame High School Gymnasium

Notre Dame High School (NDHS) in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, is a co-ed Catholic college preparatory high school founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1947.

Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Notre Dame is known for an college-prep academic program, championship athletics, and fine arts program. NDHS has been honored by the United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program, and is known for its academic program, band, and football, baseball and cross country teams. Its newspaper is The Knight, a member of the High School National Ad Network.

Notre Dame was founded as an all-male school, and became a co-educational school in the 1982–1983 school year. The Class of 1986 is the first graduating class to include females. The Class of 1987 included the first full-term (4-year) female students.

Notre Dame High School was used as a backdrop in episode 27, "Log 15: Exactly One Hundred Yards", of the NBC police series Adam-12, which aired on September 20, 1969.

The Establishment of Notre Dame High School[edit]

After the establishment of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, a group of Holy Cross Brothers traveled to Southern California in the 1940s. In 1941, the Brothers were invited to staff St. Anthony’s Parish High School in Long Beach. Shortly thereafter, a demand arose for a new Catholic high school in the San Fernando Valley. In 1945, the land at the corner of Riverside and Woodman was purchased for $45,000. In 1947, Notre Dame High School opened as an all boys school with a freshman class of 125 and a faculty of five, four of which were Holy Cross Brothers.

The Start of Co-Education[edit]

In 1983-84, Notre Dame began a new era of co-education with the admission of the first female students (66 sophomores and 119 freshmen). This addition created many changes at Notre Dame: the facilities were adjusted to meet new needs, new faculty were hired and the athletic department was expanded to incorporate girls’ sports.

The Expansion of Notre Dame High School[edit]

Notre Dame’s campus has significantly grown since the Riverside Building was built in 1947. In May of 1951, the gymnasium we use today was completed. The Woodman Building followed in September of 1956. Buildings, such as the five classroom Annex, have come and gone. The Allegretti Building was opened in May of 1987 which provided an office complex and classrooms in the area between the Woodman and Riverside Buildings. Most recently, there have been two major classroom buildings built in the last ten years: the Fritz B. Burns Center for Arts and Technology in January of 2002 and the Hampton Science Center in January of 2007.


Notre Dame offers a college preparatory curriculum with honors and advanced placement courses in Art, English, Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Science, Computer Science, and Social Studies. The school also offers elective courses covering a wide range of topics. There are 93 faculty members and administration, with 64 holding master's degrees and 3 with doctoral degrees.[2] Advanced Placement courses are available to students in grades 10–12.

Graduation Requirements[edit]

As of 2014–2015,[2] the course requirements of each student are:

  • English 4 years
  • Religious Studies 4 years
  • Mathematics 3 years (4 years recommended)
  • Social Studies 3.5 years
  • Science (laboratory) 3 years (3.5 years to 4 years recommended)
  • Modern and Classical Languages 2 years (3 years recommended)
  • Visual and Performing Arts 1 year
  • Computer Science 1 semester
  • Physical Education 1 year

Each student is also required to perform service hours in order to graduate:

  • Freshmen: 20 hours of service within the family
  • Sophomores: 20 hours of service at the parish or the place of worship
  • Juniors: 30 hours of service either at Notre Dame High School or in the community outside of school
  • Seniors: 30 hours of service to the outside community

Extracurricular Activities[edit]


Notre Dame High School is considered one of California's Top 15 High School Football Dynasties and one of the most dominant football teams in the state based on wins and state titles. [3]

Irish Knight Band[edit]

Notre Dame is famous for its Irish Knight Marching Band. The band, led by director John Combes, has performed at over 500 consecutive football games and has won several awards at band reviews, performing in numerous band review competitions throughout Southern California. The band has not missed a varsity football game since the 1967 season. It has also been a part of the Notre Dame High School tradition since 1947, making it the oldest extracurricular activity on campus. For many years, the NDHS Irish Knight Band supported the University of Notre Dame by performing at football games when the Fighting Irish were in Los Angeles to play USC.

The Irish Knight Band (IKB) has performed in competitions across the country, and in 1979, participated in the Fiesta Flambeau parade in Texas, performed at Alamo Stadium, and marched through the streets of downtown San Antonio. That competition was marked by a sniper taking shots at other bands marching in the parade. The band has performed at:

  • The Tournament of Roses Parade
  • The Fiesta Bowl Parade
  • The Holiday Bowl Parade
  • The Calgary Stampede Parade
  • The Hollywood Christmas Parade

In 1980, in honor of Brother Eugenio Casano, CSC, the school created the "Brother Eugenio Casano Musicianship Award", which is presented at graduation ceremonies to the school's finest musician. Patrick J. D'Arcy ('80), became the first ever recipient of this award. John Merlino ('81) was the second recipient of the award and the first percussionist to win it; he is now the drummer for the Star Trek influenced rock band Warp 11.

Cross Country[edit]

Notre Dame Cross Country is coached by distance running legend Jon Sutherland. Notre Dame competes in one of the most competitive Cross Country leagues in California, the Mission League. The league consists of Notre Dame, Loyola, St. Francis, Harvard-Westlake, Crespi, Alemany and Chaminade for the boys. The league consists of Notre Dame, Louisville, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Harvard-Westlake, Alemany, and Chaminade for the girls. Both teams have been very competitive in past years, and both teams are still carrying on a tradition of success. They both compete in the CIF-Southern Section with many of the best teams in California. The boys won league championships in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1998, and have been to the CIF State Championships several times, placing 6th in 1997 and 1998, 10th in 2009, and 4th in 2010. A few individual runners have advanced to the state meet as well, including Mike Glaze (1987), Charles Maginnis (2007, 2008), and Matthew Bloch (2011). Notre Dame is proud to have two runners who have won CIF-Southern Section individual titles: Brian Russell in 1975, and Will Conway in 2010. During the 2010 season Notre Dame won the Division IV Sweepstakes Race at the Mt. SAC Invitational, running 3rd fastest team time in history. In Jon Sutherland's first year as coach, the boys and girls teams made the CIF Championships for the first time since 1998. The boys team has qualified for CIF-SS Championships in 5 of Sutherland's 7 years, and State 2 of 7 with someone going individually 3 of 7. So altogether, since the coaching of Jon Sutherland, someone from the boys has been to state 5 of his 7 years. Many of the boys cross country members went on to run with scholarships at Division 1 colleges such as Brown University, Nebraska, UC Santa Barbara, Boston College, and Occidental. The Girls are also very successful, and up and coming in recent years. They won the league championship in 2007, and for the first time ever made the CIF State Championships in 2012 finishing 8th. The girls have made the CIF Championships 7 of Sutherland's 7 years, and State for the first time this year. Coach Jon Sutherland brought this team to success in recent years, and there will be plenty more in years to come.


Notre Dame's debate team has gained recognitions throughout the nation and has received several achievements. ND debaters participate in tournaments on weekends competing against schools from throughout the United States. Debaters combine after school practices on speaking and argumentative strategy with individual research, all of which bolster a sense of personal achievement and team camaraderie. Students can get involved in many different levels of debate. All students start as novices and move to varsity in their 2nd year of debate.[4] To start on the debate team, it is strongly suggested that students enroll in the "Introduction to Debate" course. This basic argumentation course teaches students the basics of policy debate. Students then get hands-on opportunities to practice their public speaking and critical thinking skills, which is then put to the test at competitions. The Notre Dame debate team offers students the opportunity to learn about subjects ranging from current events to the environment. Hardworking debaters are given the opportunity to travel across the country to national level tournaments. The Notre Dame Debate Team has a distinguished history with the team winning many local, regional, and national awards. Most recently, the team has place eighth in the International Public Policy Forum competition in New York City. In 2011 the IPPF team placed 2nd in the world and placed 3rd in 2010. In 2009, the team also placed in the top sixteen in the country at the Tournament of Champions and has qualified to compete at the prestigious tournament several times since.[5]

Mock Trial[edit]

In 2014, Notre Dame High School's Mock Trial team finished as one of the top 17 teams in Los Angeles County. They defeated their opponents in the first two rounds, advancing to playoffs, where they earned a perfect team score of 10. Pre- trial attorney Brianna Tanusi earned perfect scores in both of her rounds. Trial attorneys Danielle Drake and Emma Fitzgerald gave standout performances with several perfect scores. Blake Wagner earned perfect scores as the bailiff in both rounds. Witnesses Gianna Emma and Joelle Ibrahim also earned perfect scores for their performances. Aubree Auginaga, Cara Brodbin, Diana Chavando, Nia Naval, Quinn Porter, Sophie Richardson and Davis Robinson were also members of the 2014 Mock Trial Team.[6] Brianna Tanusi and Diana Chavando competed at Duke University's Mock Trial competition in 2014.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]