The Premontre High School 1978 state championship football team has raised money to start a student mentorship program at Notre Dame Academy (NDA) and to place a touchscreen for communications in the NDA commons.
"Our alumni play a vital role in the success of our school, and this generous donation not only allows us to better communicate with our students and families, but it connects our students with our alumni and community," said Geno McKenna, director of events & alumni relations at NDA.
The mentorship program will connect NDA students with Premontre 1978 state championship football team members, graduates of 1979 and 1980, who are professionals in the community. Throughout the year, the mentors will act as academic and life coaches for students and help them with social issues, resume building, applying for college and jobs, and other topics that will help build a positive and successful future for the student.
The program will begin with two or three students, and the goal is to increase the number of participants as the years progress. "It is important for our students to witness successful alumni first-hand, especially within our community." said McKenna.
To be eligible, students must have attended a Catholic grade school, a strong family commitment, intent to hold a job during high school, financial need, and the willingness to be coached and mentored.
"Many of the members of the football team parlayed the lessons learned from our Premontre teachers, coaches, and mentors to build successful personal and professional lives," said David Weigman, Premontre 1979 graduate and liaison for the student mentorship program. "We look forward to working with the NDA staff to pass along some of our life lessons to the deserving young people selected for this special honor."
Further, the Premontre 1978 state championship football team has donated a touchscreen to be placed in the NDA commons, which will display school news and highlight the achievements within the Triton Academic & Athletic Hall of Fame. In August, NDA celebrated its inaugural Hall of Fame event, in which it inducted 18 individuals and two teams.
"Digital communication within our school has been on NDA's wish list for many years, and we are incredibly thankful for this generous donation made by the Premontre 1978 championship football team for helping us achieve a piece of our dream," said Kimberly Uelmen, admissions & marketing/communications coordinator at NDA.
Though the Premontre 1978 state championship football team has made its $30,000 donation to NDA, it is continuously raising funds to donate to NDA. "We don't want to stop at $30,000, and we challenge other classes, teams, and alumni to donate to NDA," said Jim Ritchay, Premontre 1979 graduate. "We learned so much during our high school career through academics, sports, and extracurriculars, and we want to ensure that each NDA student has a similar experience."
Premontre High School was one of three predecessor schools that combined to form NDA in 1990. In operation from 1955-1989, Premontre High School was an all boys school started by the Norbertine Order.
The Premontre 1978 state championship football team alumni held a gathering in the NDA commons prior to the football game on September 14. During halftime of the football game against Manitowoc, the championship football team was honored by NDA.