’To be the best that I can be’


Junior finds the perfect fit in Notre Dame.

Junior Sonya Simmons said she feels very comfortable at Notre Dame Prep and absolutely loves going to school there.

Notre Dame junior Sonya Simmons thinks she’ll be more than ready for college when she graduates in 2019. In fact, she says she will be ready for just about anything life may throw her way because of where she attends high school.

“I know when I graduate from Notre Dame I will leave feeling prepared for college and ready to tackle any of the challenges I may face,” said Simmons, who came to Notre Dame from Great Lakes Academy in Pontiac. “When I got to Notre Dame, I quickly realized that teachers and staff go out of their way to make sure we are prepared for the real world and then to succeed in it.”

When Simmons was still in grade school and contemplating which high schools would be best for her, Notre Dame Prep kept coming up as being a good possibility.

“I decided on Notre Dame because I knew this would be the best school for the type of student I am,” she said. “I am very passionate about learning, and being at Notre Dame allows me to be surrounded by people who feel the same way. I also enjoy being challenged by my academics, and NDP gives me that luxury.”

Simmons also said that while she didn’t quite realize it at first, Notre Dame Prep had at all levels the most encouraging and supportive environment she could ever have imagined.

“The faculty and staff here only want the best for students,” she said. “They always take time out of their day to learn who you are and what interests you so that you feel comfortable enough to come to them whenever you have a problem.”

In late August, when school at Notre Dame begins again, Simmons will no doubt have a full load of curricular and extracurricular activities ahead of her, if last year was any indication. As a sophomore, she ably held together a challenging array of classes that included AP U.S. History, Honors Geometry, Honors Language/Literature, Science of Technology and Paschal Mystery, among others.

As a sophomore, Simmons ably held together a challenging array of classes that included AP U.S. History, Honors Geometry, Honors Language/Literature, Science of Technology and Paschal Mystery, among others.

“I think so far the most interesting class I’ve taken at Notre Dame is Earth Science,” she said. “Mr. [Brian] Little, our teacher, is very passionate and that makes me want to learn more about the subject. I love science in general, so obviously I love any class that revolves around it.”

Outside of the classroom during the last school year, Simmons also spent considerable time in the school’s drama club, pre-med club and the knitting club along with serving as one of NDP’s elite student ambassadors. It’s a heavy and busy load, to be sure, but she’s found ways to cope — with some help from others.

“I’m able to balance schoolwork, sports, clubs and activities at Notre Dame because of the support from my teachers, who always seem to understand our hectic schedules and the stress sometimes that goes with them. Also, learning how to manage my own time correctly, with the help of my counselor, and prioritizing my day make it so I do not try to tackle everything at once,” she said.

Simmons also said that Notre Dame has helped her become the best academic scholar she can be.

“With classes and electives that challenge me and spark my interest, the staff at Notre Dame never has put me in a class that I cannot handle. Their main goal is to help you get the most out of your education, and they really do a good job at it.”

All in all, Simmons believes her high school is a perfect fit for somebody like her.

“It has allowed me to be comfortable with who I am, and it always encourages me to be the best that I can be,” she said. “I feel comfortable at Notre Dame, and I absolutely love going to school here!”

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school’s upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation’s best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame’s middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate “World Schools.” NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.