It is the Dawn of a New Era at HNA!

Please join Holy Names Academy in congratulating Kim Dawson as she begins her new role as Head of School and Principal. After 27 years under the Dome, Ms. Dawson is no stranger to HNA. Joining as an English teacher in 1996, Ms. Dawson has served for over 20 years as Vice Principal of Student Life

kim dawson

We invite you to learn more about Ms. Dawson by reading her letter shared below. 

Under her leadership, HNA will continue its important mission of inspiring young women of diverse beliefs and backgrounds to excel in life with confidence and courage, to think critically, act with purpose, advocate for justice, serve with compassion, and lead with integrity. 

kim dawson

Dear Holy Names Academy Community,

I am delighted to be a part of the Holy Names Academy community and to serve as the next Head of School and Principal. I have been at HNA for 27 years as an English and Theology teacher and Vice Principal of Student Life. I am deeply grateful that when I came to HNA to student teach in the spring of 1996, Liz Swift and Sr. Mary Annette interviewed me and gave me the opportunity to join this incredible community. I had a wonderful student teaching experience and was thrilled when Liz hired me as a teacher for the following school year. I could not believe my luck to be part of such an academically exceptional school with the most supportive colleagues and passionate students. It is my honor to now lead the school in continuing its holistic approach of providing academic excellence and beloved traditions along with a unique student experience that encourages them to find joy and belonging in their learning and being.

This holistic approach is student-centered, based in mission, and founded in the SNJM core values, which shape our school culture and are grounded in faith and action. To name a few, the core value of hospitality reminds us to be a kind and welcoming community, the core value of dedication to women and children is at the heart of our mission in educating young women, and the core value of dedication to justice frames our work with diversity, equity, and inclusion. The SNJM community and the Holy Names network of schools are all inspired by Blessed Marie Rose’s favorite quote from Luke 12:49: “I have come to cast fire on the earth. How I wish it were blazing already.” Just as Blessed Marie Rose was passionate about her calling, our students find their passion and blaze their trail with the support of a faith-filled and loving community. 

It continues to be my great pleasure to witness generations of Holy Names Academy students becoming who they are meant to be, including my own daughter, Ariana Dawson ’04, and my three nieces: Cara Priestley ’97, Candace Priestley ’01, and Alexis Ballard ’10. My sister-in-law, Deborah Dawson Brockway ’65, is also a proud graduate of HNA.

Stewardship of a school—especially one with such a prominent history as HNA—is a tremendous and faithful responsibility, which I welcome. I am grateful to Liz for her years of dedicated leadership and, on a personal note, for her friendship as I move into my new role at the Academy. My leadership will center on the collaborative values of service and community partnership. I look forward to building a relationship with each of you as we, together, ensure the successful future of our beloved Academy and students.

With deep gratitude,

Kim Dawson
Head of School & Principal

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