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Leadership begins at Notre Dame Middle School!

One of the first things young professionals learn as they head out from college to the working world is that a firm handshake is essential for success. A firm handshake makes a good first impression. A firm handshake can open doors.

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Amazing Shake 2025 Overview

Originally created by the Ron Clark Academy, The Amazing Shake is a competition that places an emphasis on teaching students manners, discipline, respect, and professional conduct.

Prior to the competition, students learn the nuances of professional human interaction as they are taught skills such as how to give a proper handshake, how to network, how to give a successful interview, and how to remain composed under pressure.

This event prepares our students so that they are able to present themselves exceptionally well for opportunities today as well as those that will come in the future.” – Brandon Jezdimir, Notre Dame Middle School Principal

The two-day competition consists of 25 fast-paced creative and unique stations that transform the Grimaldi Athletic Center into a giant obstacle course designed to challenge students with different scenarios. Previous events included a White House press briefing, guest on “The Tonight Show,” and more.

During that time, judges grade students on qualities such as handshake firmness, eye contact, confidence, and presentation. Top performers advance to the next level of challenges until there is ultimately one overall Amazing Shake Notre Dame champion!

The school champion has the option to travel to Atlanta, GA. to compete in the national Amazing Shake competition at the Ron Clark Academy.

Amazing Shake Schedule

  • Thursday, Feb. 6, 2025 - Guantlets (6th & 7th Graders), 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 7, 2025 - Guantlets (7th & 8th Graders), 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2025 - Random Questions Round (final remaining 60 students)
  • Thursday, Feb. 13, 2025 - Thursday, February 18: Work the Room (final remaining 20 students) & Debate (final remaining 15 students)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2025 - Corporate Presentation (semi-finals, remaining five students)
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 2025 - Human Resources Interview (final, remaining three students)

Please email Brandon Jezdimir at for more information or to register as a volunteer.

What to Expect

The Amazing Shake is a competition that places an emphasis on teaching students leadership, manners, discipline, respect, and professional conduct. Information on each round follows: 

"The Gauntlet" - Volunteers will be assigned to one of 25 different scenarios that last for 60 seconds. You will give the instructions of that scenario to each student and will score their response on their scorecard. Scenarios will range from asking a student a simple question to playing the role of an actor within the scenario station.

Random Questions - The 60 students who are left will need to provide a one-minute descriptive response to a randomly chosen question.

Work The Room - Volunteers in this round will "network" with a group of 30 students and will score students based on the interaction with the student (i.e. how in depth their conversation was, their ability to insert themselves into conversation respectfully, how personable they are, etc.)

Debate- Three groups consisting of five students each will debate a question and will be judged on knowledge of the topic, how they listen to other participants, eye contact, and confidence in presentation.