June 27, 2019 

Dear Notre Dame Community, 

The Superintendent’s office has joined us in extensive collaboration and discussion regarding the current governance model at Notre Dame Catholic School. Together, we recognize that every new beginning provides opportunities for excellence that can only be attained by taking innovative steps forward. We are pleased to announce that Notre Dame will boldly enter into a new era by instituting a new president-principal governance model. 

Furthermore, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Daniel Escobedo as Notre Dame’s first president and Mrs. Rachel Gutgsell as our school’s new principal. Both Mr. Escobedo and Mrs. Gutgsell enter into their new positions with enthusiasm for this model that accompanies their demonstrated commitment to Catholic education. 

Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Mr. Escobedo attended Notre Dame in grades 1-12, and he has played an active role in the alumni community. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Midwestern State University. In addition to managing two successful H&R Block businesses in Vernon and Iowa Park, Mr. Escobedo has dutifully served as the president of Notre Dame’s School Advisory Council and the chair of the Finance Committee. The positive relationships that Mr. Escobedo has forged with the school community will, no doubt, aid in his transition to president. 

The Air Force community brought Mrs. Gutgsell to Notre Dame in 2016. Having attended Catholic school during her elementary and secondary years, Mrs. Gutgsell felt called to return to Catholic education after teaching at public schools in Colorado and Texas. Mrs. Gutgsell received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado, and she holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Midwestern State University. Mrs. Gutgsell also holds a K-6 Colorado Teaching License and a Texas Principal Certification. During her time spent as a kindergarten teacher, lead teacher, and assistant principal at Notre Dame, Mrs. Gutgsell has demonstrated her commitment to improving the academic program at our school. 

Within this new leadership model, the president and principal will collaborate to further Notre Dame’s mission to form disciples in Christ since 1904. The president will oversee and promote the school in the areas of strategic planning, finance, marketing, and community relations. The principal will carry the responsibility of overseeing the academic program and daily operations of the school that involve students, teachers, and parents. Both the president and principal share the responsibility of ensuring a rich Catholic Identity is present at Notre Dame. 

We are confident that this new governance model will assure long-term growth of Notre Dame Catholic School, and we ask you to join us in congratulating Mr. Escobedo and Mrs. Gutgsell on their new leadership positions. We would also like to express our gratitude to the Superintendent’s office for their immense support throughout this process. 

We pray that the Holy Spirit continues to bless our school community throughout this period of transition so that Notre Dame Catholic School may grow in vibrancy. 

In Christ, 

Father Alexander Ambrose and Father Jonathan Demma