Skip To Main Content








Landing Nav



Share this article with a friend.

March 18, 2024

For information on admission to Notre Dame Prep, please click here

Notre Dame Prep students and staff members lauded by the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce.

Notre Dame Prep senior Grace Simon, right, with upper school science teacher Jennifer Pakkala.

Three students from Notre Dame Prep, one from each division, were among others in the area recognized by the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce on March 18 during a special event highlighting their commitment to learning and for contributions to their school communities. 

Notre Dame Prep senior Grace Simon, eighth-grader Regina Carpanese and fifth-grader Grace Bommarito were honored at the 28th Annual "Excellence in Education Awards Program" sponsored by the Auburn Hills Chamber, which celebrated the students along with a mentor, teacher or counselor of their choosing. In partnership with the Detroit Pistons, the Chamber annually honors both students and mentors who have supported them along their educational journeys.

Simon chose NDP's science teacher Jennifer Pakkala; Carpanese picked Kelly Patterson, middle school vice principal and leadership teacher; and Bommarito honored second grade teacher Donna Stuk during this year's event.

"Mrs. Pakkala truly shows the mission of NDP, 'to be a good Christian person, upright citizen and academic scholar,'" said the Chamber's program. "As a science teacher, Mrs. Pakkala changes her students' preconceived opinions on the difficult subjects. By doing lab work and activities, she excites her students and shows them the laws of science before their own eyes."

Eighth-grader Regina Carpanese is with middle school vice principal and leadership teacher Kelly Patterson.

With Kelly Patterson, it was all about going above and beyond. 

"Mrs. Patterson teaches her students lessons that go beyond the subject they are learning in the classroom," said the program. "In teaching leadership, she encourages her students to find their individuality and how to discover what sets them apart from others." 

Second grade teacher Donna Stuk was noted during the evening program for how she truly cares for her students and that she "shows patience and understanding for all in the classroom.

"Teaching her students to never give up, Mrs. Stuk encourages them to try harder and she never makes a student feel less if they don't understand a lesson," the program read. "To her students, she is a role model and they know they can come to her with anything."

Fifth grader Grace Bommarito is with second grade teacher Donna Stuk.

About Grace Bommarito: Fifth-grader Grace lives up to the mission of the school: being a Christian person, upright citizen and academic scholar. She is friendly, enthusiastic and always strives to do her best. Outside the classroom, Grace is an altar server and participates on the basketball team, volleyball team, student council, drama club, environmental club, Habits of the Heart club and band. Grace has used her art and entrepreneurial skills to make glass bead bracelets and sell them to her peers at the school store.

About Regina Carpanese: Eighth grader Regina is a courageous leader who always participates in lessons, listens to others and keeps dialogue going among her peers. She is known to be reliable, kind, polite and thoughtful. Recently, Regina received the "Coach's Player Award" on the soccer team and the "CYO Scholar 
Athlete Award" on the volleyball team. Regina also volunteers in the community, is a band member in the Solo & Ensemble Program, and is in the National Junior Honors Society.

About Grace Simon: Senior Grace is a bright student who earns the highest academic honors, volunteers in service projects, and is a committed student leader. She is a member of the National Honor Society, NDP Jazz and Symphonic Bands, and is a Student Ambassador. Additionally, Grace is an avid swimmer, tennis player and basketball player. She is generous with her time, volunteering with Life Remodeled and tutoring younger NDP students. Grace is known as a thoughtful, conscientious and dedicated young woman.

For information on admission to Notre Dame Prep, please click here.

Comments or questions?

Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.

About Notre Dame Preparatory School 
Notre Dame Preparatory School is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School's upper school 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 Prep's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools 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 National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School, visit the school’s home page at