August 6, 2020
The Notre Dame High School Board of Directors is pleased to announce an interim presidential committee to act in lieu of the president during the 2020-21 school year. The carefully assembled committee, composed of Alice Brancale Cotti, Rick Ysasi and Richard Klee will serve as a three-person decision-making body, effective immediately. The trio will share in the responsibilities of providing spiritual leadership, personnel and institutional management, and creating and maintaining a vibrant Catholic culture as they prepare a new hybrid model of instruction to accommodate the current Covid-19 restrictions.
Justin Rawlins, current Chair of the Notre Dame Board of Directors, stated, "The board is thrilled to be able to continue to work with Alice, Rick, and Rich at the helm over the 2020-21 school year. With their direction over the past few months, the school has already increased financial aid to our students and families to a record high, while maintaining a robust enrollment with the largest entering freshman class in the school’s history. We believe a collaborative approach with our existing leadership will best position the school while we search for a new president. We are universally impressed with Alice, Rick, and Rich’s excellence and integrity. With them, we are well positioned to have a successful year that will build upon principles of continued academic excellence, positive school culture, and advancing the school’s mission of educating hearts and minds, best positioning our students for success."
Entering her 30th year in secondary education and her 5th year as Notre Dame’s principal, Alice Brancale Cotti has worked in several Catholic and K-12 independent schools throughout Southern California. She brings experience in all areas of school life including teaching, student support, counseling, college advising, and administration. Alice and her husband, Joe, are both products of local Catholic elementary and high schools. They have two sons, both of whom attended Catholic elementary school and the younger, Brendan, is an NDHS alumnus from the recent graduating class of 2020.
Rick Ysasi has proudly served NDHS for eight years. The Michigan native is the Vice President of Finance and oversees all of the financial and human resource operations at NDHS. Ysasi was a Catholic school student his entire life which helped to fuel his passion for the institution. Most notably, Ysasi attended renowned Catholic universities across the country. He obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and went on to complete graduate work in Catholic School Administration at Loyola Marymount University. Ysasi is a loving husband, dedicated father to three children, and devoted to NDHS.
As the Director of Advancement at Notre Dame High School, Richard Klee oversees community engagement and fundraising. He has been in Catholic education for over 30 years, including 26 years at Notre Dame, where his previous positions have included teaching, campus ministry, technology, admissions, and vice-principal. Richard and his wife Analee are the parents of two NDHS graduates and a current junior.
This committee will consistently report to a diverse five-person ND Executive Committee of the Board of Directors on a weekly basis. They will also be working simultaneously with the ND President Search Committee led by James A. Wagenbach, class of ‘83 and Committee Chairman, to find a replacement for the permanent presidential position. Using the services of executive search firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates, they will conduct a nationwide search for a candidate who possesses strong leadership abilities and can continue to facilitate the Board’s long-term plans and overall goals; our President will be vital in the implementation and representation of our Mission, Philosophy and shared Values.
Cotti shared the following sentiments, "I appreciate the commitment of the Board and its Executive Committee, and all those who will provide support during this transition in leadership. I have tremendous respect for my administrative team, department chairs, faculty and staff, and I am confident that, working together, we will continue to provide an excellent education for our students in hearts and minds."