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NOTRE DAME PREP ALUM SELECTED FOR FULBRIGHT

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May 19, 2023

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, an independent, Catholic, International Baccalaureate school, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Alum Maria Lograsso NDP'10 earns a Fulbright award and will represent the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs this summer in Colombia. She says she's ever thankful for the deep and rich education and experience she received at Notre Dame Prep.


Maria Lograsso graduated from Notre Dame Preparatory School in 2010. Since then and after college, she's been working in the field of education, first as a music educator and now as a multilingual learner/Title III teacher and district-level coordinator in the Harper Woods School District in Harper Woods, Mich. 

Well accomplished in education on a global scale, Lograsso has prepared students for a Pueri Cantores program, which included singing for Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2015. She also was accepted and participated in the Orff-Afrique program in Dzodze, Ghana, near the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and was named the 2022 University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies Teacher Fellow, which involved traveling, researching and writing curriculum throughout India and Nepal.

As a result of her accomplishments in international education and academics, in August of 2022, Lograsso was awarded a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program award by U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The Fulbright is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the the United States and partner countries around the world. Fulbright alumni currently include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 40 who have served as a head of state or government.

Fulbright's Teachers for Global Classrooms initiative is a collaborative award between the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the U.S. Department of State to help increase the incorporation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and foster connection with cultures across the globe to K-12 classrooms in the United States.

Throughout this fellowship, Lograsso will be providing professional development to educators, guest lecturing at universities, and exposing students to global experiences through assemblies and school visits. Beginning this July, Lograsso will be representing the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Bogota, Colombia. 

"I am honored to have been chosen for the Fulbright and I'm grateful for the opportunity to grow as an educator and as a human being," she said. "I also want to thank Notre Dame Prep for the diverse and rigorous experiences provided to me by its influential educators. I received a quality education most in our world cannot even dream of and I'm so grateful to have received it."

We caught up with Lograsso recently to find out a little more about what she's been up to, including her position with Harper Woods schools and, of course, the Fulbright.

(Interview has been edited for clarity and length.)

What does your position with the Harper Woods School District involve?

I am the Title III Program Coordinator for all of Harper Woods Public Schools. This includes working with immigrant, refugee, and/or multilingual learning students. I also serve as an instructional coach for our staff, evaluate and service students, facilitate interpretation and translation, provide wraparound services for qualifying families, and develop budgets for state and federal funding. My students are all multilingual and represent speakers of Vietnamese, Spanish, Wolof, Albanian and the Hakha Chin language, which is spoken in Myanmar. My students and families are another incredible testament to how diversity is an asset and I'm proud to serve them each and every day.

What is the Pueri Cantores program?

Pueri Cantores is an international collective of Catholic children's choirs committed to teaching to read and sing traditional chant. They meet every couple of years in Rome. I had the wonderful opportunity to conduct the children's choir at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Warren in preparation for the conference in Rome.

Can you discuss your post-secondary education as well as the Fulbright in a little more detail?

I received my Masters of Arts in English Language Learning from Western Governors University in 2021. This allowed me to transition from a music educator into a multilingual learning educator and district leader. (Note: Lograsso also received a bachelor's degree in music performance, voice and music education from Wayne State University.)

Also, I am now in an education specialist program at Central Michigan University, specializing in central office educational leadership. Through that program, I recently finished an administrative internship in the Detroit Public Schools Community District's Office of Special Education.

Fulbright is a selective cultural exchange program supported by the various participating countries' departments of state. They have a number of fellowships within different areas of education, but the award I received, Teachers for Global Classrooms, focuses on integrating global education and international collaboration across content areas in the K-12 classroom. It began with a rigorous professional development course through the fall. Our cohort then met in person in Washington, DC, at the Fulbright Global Education Symposium. From there, we were split into four groups to travel abroad to Ghana, Morocco, Uruguay and, in my case, Colombia. The fellowship will conclude with the publishing of a capstone project that provides a global education guide for other K-12 teachers.

How about your Notre Dame Prep experience. What was that like for you during your four years on campus?

Since I've had the chance to experience different school districts and education models as a professional in the field, I have realized what a deep and rich experience I had at Notre Dame Prep. Academically, I was pushed to read, learn and collaborate within diverse and meaningful topics. As a citizen, I was exposed to cultures and given room to grow in empathy, sympathy and understanding. I am grateful for the consistent expectations and the accountability to reach high achievement goals and to be the best member of the community that I could be. In terms of faith, I think that adolescence is a time of exploration and development. At Notre Dame Prep, faith was presented as a consistent priority and a true center of our student life. I am a practicing Catholic and while I don't work for a parish anymore, I still consistently volunteer and sing at my home parish.

When you're not at your job in Harper Woods, what types of things keep you busy on a more personal level?

I currently live in Grosse Pointe Shores with my husband, Andy, who attended Notre Dame Harper Woods until its closure. Our son, Zedo, will be attending Our Lady Star of the Sea School Catholic School in Grosse Pointe Woods in the fall and he truly is my greatest accomplishment. Outside of work, I absolutely love being active in union organizing, volunteering as a trustee of the Grosse Pointe Shores Improvement Foundation and playing wallyball. Travel is also an important part of my life that I didn't think would be accessible to me until I started to travel for professional development or through fellowships. I've visited Italy, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Ghana, Nepal, India, Lebanon, Morocco, Mexico and Greece. Whew! Seems like a lot of travel when I list it out like that!

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, an independent, Catholic, International Baccalaureate school, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org

Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.

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. Notre Dame Preparatory 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'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 and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.