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Remembering Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey

Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey faithfully served families and students in her community for over 30 years

On Monday April 17, with heavy hearts, we said goodbye to a champion of Catholic education, and a dear friend, Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey. She was a tireless supporter of families and students in her community serving for over 30 years, representing the Kitchissippi and Bay area (Zone 9).

Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey was first elected to the Ottawa Roman Catholic Separate School Board in 1984, serving as trustee until 1994. During that time, she was Vice-Chairperson in 1990 and Chairperson for three years after that. She then served as trustee with the amalgamated Ottawa Catholic School Board from 2000 until 2017. She was Chairperson in 2004, and Vice-Chairperson in 2002, 2003, 2014 and 2015.

Betty-Ann possessed a wide range of knowledge on local and provincial education issues and was devoted to supporting the schools in her area, rarely missing a meeting or event. Warm and genuine, she will be missed by all.

Family and friends are invited to visit at the West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 150 Woodroffe Avenue (at Richmond Rd) on Sunday, April 23 from 2-4 & 7-9pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church, 153 Woodroffe Avenue on Monday at 11am with Reception to follow at the funeral home. For those wishing, donations to the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa would be appreciated by the family.

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OCSB artists shine at Artistic Fusion

On January 23rd, the Ottawa Catholic School Board hosted Artistic Fusion, a fun and inspiring evening dedicated to celebrating all the incredibly talented artists in the OCSB family. Organized by Katie Lewis-Prieur and Kristen Charles, the annual event showcases the beautiful art of OCSB employees, art teachers, and students.

Dozens of participants from all across the Board came out to proudly display their creations. Their work took many forms: sculptures, photographs, stained glass, water paintings, jewelry, acrylic on canvas, pottery, and much more. OCSB Director of Education Denise Andre and OCSB Chair Elaine McMahon were on hand to offer congratulations and enjoy the artwork.

The night also featured the annual gallery-style showcase of student art called Art Days. This year, Anishinabe elder Albert Dumont from Kitigan Zibi taught the young artists about the 13 moons of the Indigenous calendar. Using celebrated Métis dot painting artists Christi Belcourt, Leah Dorion, and Jaime Koebel's works as inspiration, students were tasked with making a painting based on one of the moons. The finished pieces were personal, powerful, and reflective.

All in all, it was a lovely evening and a chance for artists and admirers to gather and appreciate art in all its forms. Check out pictures and samples of the artwork from the event in our Facebook album, and join us next year!

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Deep Learning through a faith-filled lens

Over the last few years, we have been implementing Deep Learning practices in our classrooms so that our students can authentically connect their learning in the globally-connected world that we now live in. I see examples of Deep Learning in all of the schools I visit and follow on social media. In this blog post, I'd like to celebrate one school's initiative that highlights why this approach to learning can have such a transformative impact for all involved.

The inspiring story of St. Luke Nepean's "Little Free Pantry" shows how Deep Learning can come together to allow students to model the Catholic Graduate Expectations. This classroom with a big heart took a simple science project to the next level by creating an outdoor structure for their community to take what they need or give what they can.

St. Luke Nepean students put the finishing touches on their Little Free Pantry - a school project that will benefit their community for years to come.
The Pantry's logo incorporates this year's spiritual theme: Sent to be the Good News.

These students demonstrated the Global Competencies of Deep Learning. The students collaborated every step along the way, from creating blueprints to final construction. They communicated with each other to decide on what their project should be, the best way to go about it, and how to spread the word about it. They demonstrated citizenship, giving witness to Catholic social teaching, by choosing something that would benefit their entire community for many years to come. The students showed character, their God-given potential witnessed through hope and perseverance, as they saw their concept to completion. Their creativity shone through in the plans each student made, their ideas for raising money and gathering materials, and the creation of their pantry's logo. Critical thinking was evident in deciding which of their designs was best, planning the construction, and tackling any problems that came up along the way.

These inspiring young students and the staff who guided them are truly Sent to be the Good News – a fact that is evident by their pantry's logo, which incorporated the Board's spiritual theme. I am inspired by what so many of our students do every day - I see evidence that students can indeed be agents of change, helping humanity both near and far.

I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and Blessed New Year.

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What is your hope for 2016-2017?

I recently watched an inspiring video on YouTube that I found fitting for the start of our school year at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. A school in the United States set up a chalkboard in front of the school asking students and staff what their "hope" was for the upcoming school year and the responses were both enlightening and challenging.

Whether you're a student, a parent, or staff in our OCSB family, there is great value in naming your "hope" for the 2016-2017 school year. Naming your "hope" just might give you something positive to look for, or work towards. Whether big or small, my hope is that your "hope" is something bright that not only comes to be a reality this year, but something that sparks hope all around you. Here's to a great 2016-2017 school year! Share your hope below in the comments, or on social media using #OCSBhope..

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Supporting our Catholic Education Foundation

Left to Right: Carol Anne Meehan (event emcee), myself, and CEFO Executive Director, Shelley Turner.

On Tuesday, April 19th, I had the pleasure of attending the 11th Annual Gala Dinner, Auction and Cabaret for the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa (CEFO). This year's event included a live & silent auction as well as musical performances. The event was emceed by Ottawa's own Carol Anne Meehan.

As President of the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa, I am proud of the work we do to reduce the impact of poverty on our schools. Last week's event helped increase awareness for such a great cause. Proceeds from the event help our students succeed not only in the classroom, but in life.

The final numbers are still being tabulated, but through the live & silent auctions and balloon raffle sales, we raised over $10,000 to help the foundation. I would like to take a moment to recognize the hard work of Shelley Turner, CEFO's Executive Director, and her team of volunteers who made the evening possible. I would also like to congratulate the staff and students involved in our Children's Theatre Workshop, who entertained us with delightful songs from the musical Oliver!

Guests of the gala were treated to a sneak preview performance of The Marvelous Wonderettes, a musical production that will run from May 11th to 14th at the Gladstone Theatre. All proceeds from the show will be donated to CEFO. I've got my ticket already, do you have yours?

See more photos from the Gala in our Facebook album.

Guests were treated to an exclusive preview performance of the upcoming production of the Marvelous Wonderettes at the Gladstone Theatre! All proceeds from this show will go to benefit the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa.
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Principal and Vice-Principal Assignments & Transfers

I am pleased to announce the appointments and transfers of OCSB Principals and Vice-Principals, effective September 6, 2016, as received by the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, April 12th. I know that you join me in congratulating our newly appointed administrators, and welcoming all of these leaders to their new communities. We are truly blessed with educators who are committed to leading vibrant and faith-filled education in the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Following is the list of Elementary and Secondary Principal and Vice-Principal new assignments and transfers for the 2016-2017 school year:

Elementary Assignments & Transfers for 2016-2017

​Catherine Byrne
​Principal, St. Michael (Ottawa) ​Principal, Our Lady of Wisdom
​Sean Crookshank
​​Principal, St. John Paul II
​​Principal, St. Brother André
​Elizabeth Dean
​​Principal, St. James
​​Principal, Monsignor Paul Baxter
​Tania Gonsalves
Vice-​​Principal, St. Bernard
​​Principal, Holy Family
​Jane Hill
​​Principal, St. Gabriel
​​Principal, St. James
​Mary-Ellen MacPhee
​​Principal (on leave)
​​Principal, St. Jerome
​Martine Mitton
​​Principal, Our Lady of Wisdom
​​Principal, St. Clare
​Steve McGarrity
​​Principal, St. Jerome
​​Principal, St. John the Apostle
​Shelley Montgomery​​Principal, Renfrew County Catholic DSB
​​Principal, St. Gabriel
​Barry Oliver​​Principal, Holy Family
​​Principal, St. Monica
​Deanna Perry​​Principal, Chapel Hill
​​Principal, St. Theresa
​Lise Powell​​Principal, St. Clare
​​Principal, Chapel Hill
​Victoria White​​Principal, St. John the Apostle
​​Principal, St. Michael (Ottawa)
​Margarita ZiroldoVice-​​Principal, Assumption
​​Principal, St. John Paul II
​Joanne Blackburn​Vice-​​Principal, St. Emily
​Vice-​​Principal, Assumption
​Catherine Gasper​Consultant, Special Education and Student Services
​Vice-​​Principal, St. Martin de Porres
​Tracey Jemmeson​Vice-​​Principal, St. Leonard
​Vice-​​Principal, St. Emily
​Julie Kerr​Teacher, St. Dominic​Vice-​​Principal, St. Bernard
Katherine OBrien​​Vice-​​Principal, St. Monica
​Vice-​​Principal, St. Leonard

Intermediate & Secondary Assignments & Transfers for 2016-2017

​Deborah Kealey ​Vice-​​Principal, St. Francis Xavier HS
Principal, St. Peter HS
​Norma McDonald​Principal, St. Peter HS
​Principal, Immaculata HS
​Marcy Cooper​Vice-​​Principal, Mother Teresa HS
​Vice-​​Principal, St. Francis Xavier HS
​Philippe Cossette​Teacher, St. Peter HSVice-​​Principal, ​St. Matthew HS
​Rita Lauricella​Teacher, Sacred Heart HS​Vice-​​Principal, St. Peter HS
​Julie Mathe​Vice-​​Principal, St. Francis Xavier HS
​Vice-​​Principal, St. Joseph HS
​Linda MeulenbroekVice-​​Principal, St. Peter HS​​Vice-​​Principal, St. Francis Xavier HS
​Jeannette Séguin​Vice-​​Principal, St. Joseph HS
​Vice-​​Principal, Notre Dame HS
​John Stewart​Vice-​​Principal, St. Paul HS
​Vice-​​Principal, Holy Trinity HS
​Alison Strucchelli​Vice-​​Principal, Holy Trinity HS
​Vice-​​Principal, St. Paul HS
​Leisa Villeneuve​Vice-​​Principal, Notre Dame HS
​Vice-​​Principal, Mother Teresa HS
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St. Thomas More School wins national contest

The St. Thomas More grade 1 teaching team (Left to Right): Linda Bouzanis, Shannon Riley, Tammy Doyle, Natalie MacDonald, and Principal, Denise Gotell.

It is with great pleasure that I announce St. Thomas More School was named one of three winners from across Canada in the 8th annual Classroom of the Future Challenge. The contest, run by MindShare Learning, challenged Canadian teachers to capture innovative teaching and learning practices and upload a digital portfolio that demonstrates the role technology plays in engaging and motivating students in their classroom. We had a total of five of our schools participate in this contest this year, demonstrating the breadth and depth of innovation present here at the OCSB.

The grade 1 teaching team from St. Thomas More claimed one of three Makerspace prize packages for their school valued at over $10,000. I am very proud of the the many passionate educators here at the Ottawa Catholic School Board who use innovative teaching and learning practices to inspire others on a daily basis. With their cutting edge integration of technology and digital tools to enhance learning, they truly make 21st Century Learning fun! 

Denise Gotell and the St. Thomas More team have truly embraced deep learning and will definitely put the prize package to good use. View their full submission.

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OCSB recognized as top employer for 2016

It brings me great pleasure to announce we've been named a Top Employer in the National Capital Region for 2016 for a second year in a row! To celebrate this honour of being named a top employer in Ottawa, I invite you all to participate in our #OCSBcelebrates social media campaign so we can take a moment to shine the spotlight on the people who really deserve to be recognized for this award– our employees.

One of the great blessings in my role as Director of Education is having the opportunity to meet and interact with the dedicated, caring and passionate employees who make this organization such a fantastic place to learn and work.

It only take a few moments to fill out the #OCSBcelebrates nomination form, and anyone in our community can submit a nomination whether you're a student, parent, staff, or someone connected to our board through one of our many partner organizations. Thank you in advance for your participation in this exciting activity, and congratulations to the employees of the Ottawa Catholic School Board for this outstanding accomplishment. Let's celebrate!

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Lynne Charette appointed principal for new school

Lynne Charette appointed principal for new school in Half Moon Bay

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Lynne Charette as principal of the new Half Moon Bay Elementary School which is scheduled to open September 2016. This will allow Lynne the opportunity to coordinate the tasks of organizing, purchasing, and staffing the new school for the upcoming fall opening. This appointment was received at the January 26th Board meeting.

Lynne is an excellent educator who will provide quality Catholic education for our students and dynamic leadership in her new role. She is currently the principal at St. Monica School with system responsibilities. 

Follow the building progress of this new school on our Facebook page.

Congratulations, Lynne and best of luck on this new adventure!

Lynne Charette, current principal at St. Monica School interacting with students
Recent comment in this post
Guest — DaveCorbishley
Congratulations Lynne. Half Moon Bay is off to a good start!
Thursday, 28 January 2016 9:09 PM
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Message from the Director

It is hard to believe that two months of the school year have come and gone. October was a busy month in our Board. I will highlight one event, and that is our annual PD day where all our employees come together at our Christian Community Day. On October 9th, we heard testimonials from the perspective of staff, students and parents about how our Spiritual Theme "Restore One Another in a Spirit of Gentleness" has come to life in our community. The day ended with a beautiful mass presided over by Archbishop Prendergast. We are so blessed to work in caring communities that support the dignity of all persons, and to witness our faith in action each and every day.

As Veterans' Week approaches, let us remember all who have sacrificed their lives and all those who serve our country to promote peace and justice in the world. Our schools and main office always commemorate Remembrance Day in a special way. If you would like to join one of our ceremonies on November 11th, feel free to call your local school or our Board office to get more information. We welcome the members of our community who wish to join us during this solemn day of remembrance.

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New school in Kanata, addition for St. Francis Xavier High, reno for Holy Family

Director of Education Denise Andre (middle) with Minister of Education Liz Sandals (left) and MPP John Fraser (right).

Minister of Education Liz Sandals and MPP John Fraser recently announced that Ontario is investing in a number of new school building projects. This includes construction of Marchwood Lakeside Catholic Elementary School in Kanata, near the southwest corner of Second Line Road and Terry Fox Road. The new 507-pupil elementary school for Kindergarten to Grade 6 students will also include two new licensed child care rooms and 39 new child care spaces and likely open in 2018. 

St. Francis Xavier High School will be getting a 436-pupil place addition in Gloucester that will result in the replacement of temporary classrooms with a permanent addition and likely open in 2017. 

Holy Family School will be getting an extensive refurbishment to their existing school building, starting in 2016 and finishing in 2017. Holy Family will receive the students from Uplands Catholic School when the army base closes in 2017.

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Christian Community Day 2015

Director or Education Denise Andre addresses the crowd at Christian Community Day.

On October 9, the OCSB celebrated yet another inspiring Christian Community Day at a packed Shaw Centre. The highlight of the day was a beautiful mass presided over by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. Director of Education Denise Andre's presentation was warm, thoughtful and inclusive, focusing on the Board's accomplishments and directions as well as kicking off this year's United Way Campaign. Associate Director of Education Tom D'Amico presented the 2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award to Dr. David LeBrun.

The day was interspersed with the lovely music of the talented OCSB Choir under the direction of Theresa Clarke. Soloist Deanna MacDonald-Johns' voice soared throughout the room, filling everyone present with joy and wonder.

A number of inspiring witnesses also took the stage, reflecting on the day's themes: restoration, joy, mercy, and love. Nadine Logan shared her story of finding a place where people truly cared for and about her child at the OCSB. Jimmy Ruggerio, an EA at Sacred Heart High School, spoke about his spiritual journey and the power of prayer in the life of his son Luca, who now attends St. Luke School. Carl Nicholson from the Catholic Centre for Immigration told the crowd about all the incredible work they do there. The collections from the Mass went to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the Catholic Centre for Immigration.

All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to bring our whole community together. See the pictures from the event in our Facebook album!

Recent comment in this post
Guest — ChristianMagazine
This is good to celebrate community days and share positive thoughts top motivate people to achieve goal of life.
Monday, 04 January 2016 6:06 AM
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Sod-turning ceremony for new Half Moon Bay school

Chairperson Elaine McMahon (left) and Director of Education Denise Andre (right) pose with the new school sign.

On October 8, the OCSB held a sod-turning ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Catholic elementary school in Half Moon Bay in Barrhaven that's scheduled to open September 2016. Brenda Wilson, Superintendent of the St. Joseph Family of Schools which the new school will be a part of, welcomed everyone to the ceremony. That was followed by greetings from Chairperson Elaine McMahon, Trustee Spencer Warren and City Councillor Jan Harder. The assembled crowd then watched as students from St. Cecilia School and St. Joseph High School performed the blending of the soils - a tradition that involves taking soil from St. Cecilia and St. Joseph and mixing it in with soil from the new school site. Some students from St. Cecilia will be moving to the new school once it's complete, and students from the new school will be attending St. Joseph, so the act was symbolic of welcoming a new school community with open arms and hearts. After a heartwarming blessing from Fr. Frank Brewer, Director of Education Denise Andre gave her closing remarks. After the ceremony, attendees were invited back to St. Cecilia for a tour, along with snack and refreshments.

Those involved in the ceremony pose for a picture with the new school sign after the sod-turning.
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2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award

Dr. David LeBrun, recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award.

This year's winner of the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award is Dr. David LeBrun. Dr. LeBrun graduated from St. Pius X High School in 1978, where he was second in his class. He then went on to Queen's University to study biochemistry, and was accepted into their medical school after only two years. After completing his residency in Toronto, he lived in California from 1990 to 1993 while completing a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular oncology at Stanford University.

Highly sought after, Dr. LeBrun returned to Canada to be closer to his family and to embark on a career in cancer research. In 1994, he began an appointment in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's, where he is currently a full professor and consultant in lymph node pathology.

David's list of accomplishments is lengthy. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has published extensively, and his research has been supported by multiple agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC), the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, and the Cancer Research Society. He is a member of the Correlative Science Tumour Biology Committee and Chair of the grant review panel at the NCIC. He is also a co-director of the Queen's Laboratory for Molecular Pathology. While these achievements are impressive, David's sister Anne Marie Lebrun, who nominated him for the award, said "his purpose has always been to work with people in order to help people."

David's lifelong learning is not limited to science. He is a voracious reader of everything. He loves Tolstoy, but will quote the latest Trailer Park Boys or Simpsons episode in the next breath. He loves music, traveling, highly respects the environment, and enjoys canoeing, hiking, and skiing.

Family has always been of utmost importance to David. In 1988, he married Mary-Ellen O'Connor, a fellow St. Pius X graduate. Together they have raised three great kids: Madeleine, Joey, and Lucie. They are active members at St. Mary's Parish in Kingston, and all three children attended and graduated from Regiopolis-Notre Dame High School in Kingston. David's Catholic faith has never wavered, and his humility and acknowledgement of the limitations of science make it easy for him to believe in a higher power.

Dr. LeBrun has chosen St. Elizabeth School as the recipient of the $5000 that comes with the award.
Dr. David LeBrun, centre, recipient of the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Also pictured, members of Dr. LeBrun’s family with: Left to right – Elaine McMahon, Chairperson of OCSB (grey suit coat); Denise Andre, Director of Education (purple dress); and Tom D’Amico, Associate Director of Education (end, grey suit).
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"Innovation that Sticks" at the OCSB

The Canadian Education Association recently selected the Ottawa Catholic School Board as the winning district in their "Innovation that Sticks" case study program. Out of 35 school boards across Canada, the OCSB was selected to participate in their project. 

As we reflect on our Board's journey over the last five years, the transformation has been incredible. In 2010, the main form of technology in our classrooms was an overhead projector and we had minimal and limited interaction outside our schools.

-Denise Gotell, Principal at St. Thomas More School
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Recent Comments
Guest — KellyMcKibbinocsbca
So much great coverage of this honour. Read more about it!Ottawa Citizen: Catholic school board studied as a model digital ecosys... Read More
Thursday, 01 October 2015 4:04 PM
Guest — Kelly
More sharing! The Catholic Register: http://www.catholicregister.org/item/21098-students-guided-by-samaritan-s-hand
Monday, 19 October 2015 4:04 PM
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OCSB recognized for innovation in Canadian education

I am very pleased to share the great news that the OCSB has been chosen from districts across Canada to be the subject of the Canadian Education Association "Innovation that Sticks" Case Study. We are proud of what we have accomplished in innovation, and welcome the opportunity to share and learn through the research and connections presented by CEA. 

This acknowledgement is the result of collaboration across all of our system, with support from staff, parents, students, trustees, and community partners. The ceremony on September 24th at St. Thomas More School will have representatives from all of these contributors to this recognition.

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Welcome back! #OCSBfirstday

Welcome back to school from Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education

We are excited and happy to welcome our students back to their classrooms for the 2015-16 school year. Our staff has worked diligently to ready our schools for the arrival of close to 40,000 students across our system. We are looking forward to the new year, and all that it will bring in terms of forging strong friendships, learning, innovating and growing in faith. 

I also wanted to take a quick moment to let you know that I plan to use this blog throughout the year to provide you with updates on some of the inspiring things happening at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Stay tuned, and welcome back!

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