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Denise Andre is the Director of Education and Secretary Treasurer of the Ottawa Catholic School Board. She has been with the Ottawa Catholic School Board for over 35 years serving as a teacher, department head, vice-principal, principal, superintendent, and deputy (associate) director. Denise holds a Masters of Education and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University. Denise spent her early days in Cornwall, and has been married for over 30 years.

Wrapping up another successful Education Week

Last week marked another successful Catholic Education Week here at the OCSB. I had the pleasure of attending many great events throughout the city and was reminded once again why it's such a privilege and honour to work in Catholic education.

Some of my highlights included our annual Catholic Education Mass, where 35 remarkable OCSB employees were recognized with Commendation Awards for their dedication and service to Catholic education. Our annual Dance Showcase and Choral Celebrations featured wonderful performances from dozens of our schools. We also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of St. Rose of Lima School, and held a farewell celebration for Uplands Catholic School who will be joining the Holy Family School community in the fall. The many open houses and special events in each school throughout the week showcased all of the wonderful learning opportunities and social justice initiatives anchored in our faith.

Catholic Education Week is about celebrating the great value and distinctiveness of each Catholic school in our community, and I would like to take a moment to congratulate and thank the staff and students in all of our schools who made last week possible.

See some highlights from social media on our #CathEdWeek Storify


OCSB is a top employer for third year in a row

With great joy, I'm happy to announce we've been named a Top Employer in the National Capital Region for 2017 for the third year in a row! As we have in years past, I invite our entire OCSB community to celebrate with us by participating in our #OCSBcelebrates social media campaign. This special campaign allows us to pause, observe, and recognize the outstanding employees that make our school board such a wonderful community.

Last year, we received over 2000 nominations from members of our OCSB community. This year, we're already over 1000 nominations! The first 500 nominated employees received a special prize in the mail from me, and at the end of our campaign we will draw the names of 50 nominated employees to receive a large prize pack!

It only takes a few minutes to fill out the #OCSBcelebrates nomination form, but the impact of recognizing someone can truly brighten up their day for weeks! Remember, 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!

Recent comment in this post
Guest — GabrielleLappa
Congratulations to you and your great team Denise!
Sunday, 30 April 2017 2:02 AM
1 Comment

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.


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.


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..


School anniversary celebrations during #CathEdWeek

Students from St. Marguerite d'Youville School planted daisies in their front garden following a beautiful 25th Anniversary Prayer Service
St. Michael, Corkery School celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a musical production of Peter Pan and school tours.
Holy Trinity Catholic High School celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a beautiful Mass on the last day of Catholic Education Week

During Catholic Education Week last week I had the pleasure of attending several anniversary celebrations hosted by OCSB schools. I wanted to take a moment to thank each of these schools for taking the extra time and care to make these events a huge success.

Our six schools celebrating commemorative anniversaries were:

I found it remarkable how all of the schools honoured the past while celebrating the present, and the future! I was reminded of how beautiful and welcoming our schools are by the way their celebrations involved church, community, past and present staff, and students to make everyone part of the celebration. Another thing that struck me was how caretaking staff and our facilities department take extra special care to make sure our buildings continue to look wonderful after 25 years, 50 years and 90 years!

May the remainder of this school year and the years ahead continue to be filled with many blessings for all of our school communities! See more photos from this year's commemorative anniversary celebrations in our Facebook album!


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.

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

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.


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!


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
1 Comment

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.


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.


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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