ocsb tagline top banner
Text Size: A A A
Quick Access Menu ☰
Kelly McKibbin is the Board Website Administrator with the Ottawa Catholic School Board's Communications Department, and also currently serves as the OCSB's United Way Campaign Co-Chair. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and has been part of the OCSB community for 15 years.
Jan
31

Denise Gotell is one of “Canada’s Outstanding Principals”

Denise Gotell, Principal of St. Thomas More School

St. Thomas More's Denise Gotell has been named one of Canada's Outstanding Principals for 2017. Denise is among 40 exceptional educators, from every province and territory in Canada, who is being celebrated by The Learning Partnership (TLP) for demonstrating innovation, having an entrepreneurial spirit, and for employing creativity in finding solutions and opportunities. Denise will now become a member of the National Academy of Canada's Outstanding principals, which offers principals ongoing networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities in order to continually enhance their leadership skills. 

A profile of an outstanding principal

Denise's advocacy for special education and equity, and the belief that all students can learn, thrive and achieve, has led her to champion assistive technology. Denise is an innovator, promotes student voice and choice, and explores avenues, including social media, for collaboration and engagement. Denise mentors and coaches other leaders, builds community, keeps current with research, and is a positive agent for change. Denise's style of leadership creates a culture of trust where staff feel empowered, further supporting the school-wide effort to change the world, to "Dream Large and Be Awesome." 

"Every person here wants to be their best self. There are no barriers if you develop trusting relationships with staff, students, and parents." - Denise Gotell, Principal of St. Thomas More School 

Denise has a unique ability to engage the minds and hearts of the school community as they embark on new initiatives. Denise once wrote the word "yet…" on the walls throughout the school to pique the interest of staff and students, as they searched for its meaning. The entire community became engaged in the notion that if you add the word "yet" to any phrase, the brain switches from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. In the Fall of 2015, the OCSB was selected from among 35 boards across Canada to be recognized by the Canadian Education Association (CEA) for its exemplary and visionary practices in transforming its classrooms into 21st century environment that meet the needs of all learners. Denise's school served as a leader in implementing this vision. 

"Denise Gotell's leadership has brought her school to the forefront when it comes to innovative learning and helping students build global competencies. Denise ensures students are engaged in inclusive and welcoming community and establishes a culture of high expectations for all members of her school community." Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education 

"We are delighted to be celebrating these exceptional principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. Their dedication to building and leading teams of great teachers plays a vital role in positively impacting student achievement and success and we are elated to recognize these dynamic leaders in the Canadian public education system." Rod Thompson, Director of Executive Leadership Programs of The Learning Partnership

Denise began her career in education as a teacher in Nova Scotia 20 years ago. She joined the Ottawa Catholic School Board 18 years ago and has held a variety of leadership roles. She has acted as Principal for the past seven years. The entire Ottawa Catholic School Board community is proud to support Denise and this prestigious accomplishment.

For more information, visit The Learning Partnership's website

0 Comments
Nov
18

St. Benedict's inspiring school opening ceremony

The newest OCSB school, St. Benedict School, held its official opening ceremony on November 17, 2016 in the Barrhaven community of Half Moon Bay. The special evening welcomed several special guests who spoke genuinely about the incredible new school and its impact on students and the greater community.

It was clear from the remarks of Director of Education, Denise Andre, that the Board is extremely proud of its latest addition. She pointed out the complexity involved with undertaking such a project, which included everyone from architects and engineers to lawyers and landscape developers. These contributors were in attendance and stood up during the ceremony to be acknowledged.

St. Benedict's Principal, Lynne Charette, thanked the incredible staff at the new school – teachers, early childhood educators, caretaking staff, and educational assistants – and expressed her gratitude for the work being done every day to make the school a comfortable place for students to learn. The gratitude for school staff, including Principal Charette, was evident from the cheers from parents and students in the audience.

The Most Reverend Archbishop Prendergast, S.J. was in attendance for the Liturgy and Blessing of the School, along with Parish Priest Father Frank Brewer. The Archbishop delivered a warm homily about his knowledge of the life of Benedict, the Saint, and pointed out meaningful connections between the Saint's journey and the symbolism included in the school's new logo.

Before unveiling the official school plaque and cutting the red ribbon, Chairperson of the Board, Elaine McMahon, offered a truly inspirational message to students about building community. "When you're walking past someone in the hallway, say hello. Everyone has the right to be acknowledged to be included, to be seen." The uplifting student choir's song "Who Is My Neighbour" resonated further with MPP Lisa MacLeod, who recalled just recently attending the opening ceremony for neighbouring OCSB school, St. Cecilia. She echoed the Chairperson's message of caring for each other in genuine ways.

The event was emceed, in both French and English, by students Diya Chakravarty and Matthew Buentiempo, who also introduced an inspiring student reflection by Katie Deiros Hernandez. Trustee Spencer Warren, Ministry of Education Officer, Glenda Stevenson, and a representative for MP Chandra Ayra also spoke during the ceremony, offering encouraging sentiments about the excitement ahead for this new school. Other special guests included St. Francis Xavier High School's Roy Ketcheson, who designed a breathtaking wall mural for the front entrance of the school, and the school council's co-chairs, Travis Loughery and Charlotte Nortthrope, along with numerous other Board Trustees, Superintendents, and Board staff who have been influential in the success of the new innovative school.

View more photos in our Facebook album.

0 Comments
OCSB Blog Graphic