The Board of Directors is thrilled to introduce Ashley Rae Mathis as the new Head of School of Notre Dame San Jose, effective July 1.

Ashley Rae brings an impressive array of skills and strengths that will enhance Notre Dame’s position as the center for women’s leadership in Silicon Valley. We are delighted to welcome her to our community.

The board unanimously approved the appointment following an extensive nationwide search and a strong endorsement from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who described Ashley Rae as a leader with “an understanding of the purposes of Catholic education and a clear vision of the educational needs of the 21st century, especially for young women.” 

Ashley Rae is currently Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management at Ursuline Academy, a Catholic, college-preparatory all-girls high school in Dallas, Texas. She began her career teaching kindergarten and over the past 15 years gained experience in both the academic and corporate sectors – at Ursuline, the University of Southern California, Bain & Company, and Milken Community School. Ashley Rae is experienced in the formation and assessment of academic coursework, co-curricular programming, diversity initiatives, Catholic identity assessments, faculty development, fundraising, civic engagement and parent partnerships. 

“When I reflect on Notre Dame San Jose, the word ‘legacy’ comes to mind,” Ashley Rae said. “I consider ND’s inspiring mission, unique traditions and unwavering commitment to developing young women. It is a faith-focused community that honors the legacy upon which it was founded and inspires young women to forge an indelible legacy of their own. To that end, I am honored to serve as the next Head of School.”

Ashley Rae’s appointment marks a bittersweet moment in school history. She will succeed Mary Beth Riley, who is retiring after 37 years at Notre Dame. Mary Beth’s impact on this community is immeasurable, and we are grateful that her stewardship led us to this exciting new chapter. 

“When she came to campus, Ashley Rae’s warmth and connection to students, faculty and staff were immediate,” Mary Beth said. “I felt inspired as she spoke about our students and envisioned the future for them. I know that she will be a passionate, dedicated next leader for our school, and I could not be happier.”

The board is grateful for Mary Beth’s commitment to ensuring a smooth transition and for the committee that led this important and thorough search over the past six months. 

The board looks forward to welcoming Ashley Rae to the Notre Dame San Jose community. We are eager to see her passionate and prayerful leadership guide our school as we develop women of impact.


Board of Directors

  • Chris Arriola (Marina ’23)
  • Linda McMullen ’66 Bearie
  • Demerris Brooks-Immel ’87
  • Sr. Terry Davis, SNDdeN
  • Pani Dixon
  • Nancy Erba (Caroline ’18, Angelina ’25)
  • Mark Fernandes (Elizabeth ’20, Sarah ’24)
  • Kristy Gannon
  • Selina Garrison (Alana ’23)
  • Jen Hall (Madison ’20)
  • Greg Hanson (Kate ’22, Sarah ’26)
  • Jenny Hsia ’99
  • Rose Lue ’82 (Diane ’23, Amanda ’23)
  • Laura Murphy (Sarah ’20)
  • Alex Nguyen ’94
  • Dremeco Seifert
  • Barbara Simmons
  • Rose Pierro ’63 Simmons                                                                             
  • Eileen Tanghal
  • Melinda Thompson ’88
  • Jim Woods (Jordan ’14, Olivia ’15)