Freshman Isabella Lawton in NDP’s STEAM Lab, where she will take Introduction to Engineering next year.

Isabella Lawton always knew she wanted to go to Notre Dame Preparatory school. Years ago, she saw the school at a dance recital and felt a strong sense of community. When she met some of the students while she was a prospective student, she felt “a good, unique feeling about the school.” Isabella hoped she would get a chance to enjoy the close community she felt was in place at NDP.

Freshman Isabella Lawton playing volleyball for NDP at a game against Towson High School

And she wasn’t disappointed. She found that strong sense of community that she first sensed years ago. “Everyone wants to be here,” she explains. “I’ve really enjoyed making new friends especially since many of my friends also went to different middle schools.”

Victoria Newsome, along with other members of the NDP Dance Company, performed for the oldest living Radio City Rockette in Maryland.
Victoria Newsome, NDP Class of 2021

Victoria Newsome’s transition to high school was a bit more complicated. “I was worried that I was going to be alone, that I wouldn’t meet people since I’m not from the area or that everyone came up from the middle school,” she explains. For her, coming from Howard County means getting up at 5:30 a.m. in order to catch the NDP bus. “But I was surprised how easily I was able to make friends on the bus, even with some of the upperclassmen,” she says. “After a few weeks, I felt really comfortable.”

Anna Seal (second row far right) poses with her fellow Speech and Debate team members.

Anna Seal advises incoming freshmen to join one of the different clubs offered at the school to get to know other students with similar interests.

Anna Seal scores for NDP at a recent Speech and Debate Tournament.

“Do what you love and are passionate about,” she encourages. “You’ll meet different types of people but you’ll have that common interest.”

Notre Dame Preparatory (NDP) is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for girls in grades 6 through 12 whose mission is to inspire students to pursue academic excellence, spiritual growth and the practice of justice.

The Big Sister/Little Sister program also helps freshmen feel at home at NDP. All three girls have enjoyed getting to know their Big Sisters, who are juniors, by taking part together in service events like making bagged dinners for the homeless community, to social events such as bagel breakfasts.

Anna Seal walks through the Notre Dame Prep Gateway, a tradition all freshmen enjoy

Victoria feels like she’s been able to follow her passion at NDP. “I love my biology class, but I also came here for the technology program,” she adds. “I feel like I’ve been able to find my talent and build on it.” Anna agrees, as she’s been able to take AP Government her sophomore year in order to explore her interest in that area.

Victoria Newsome performs a solo in NDP’s Winter Dance Show

While these girls are only freshmen, NDP is already providing opportunities for them to pursue their interests through the school’s Women IN…(WIN) internship program. This summer, Anna has a paid internship in an area environmental science research project.

Isabella’s advice for incoming freshmen is to believe in yourself, as “when you do, it will open so many doors for opportunities than if you doubted yourself and never tried.” Anna agreed. “Don’t be afraid to be you,” she says. “Follow your path and it’s ok if your friends aren’t in the same clubs or classes as you will get to know even more people.”

Notre Dame Preparatory School is a Catholic, independent college prep school for girls, educating just over 830 girls in grades 6 through 12. For more information about NPD, please visit

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