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OCSB Students Appointed to Minister's Student Advisory Council

Benjamin McLellan-Campbell, Hon. Liz Sandals Minister of Education, Dylan Sova and Gigi Huang.

On June 2nd, three students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board were appointed to the Minister's Student Advisory Council (MSAC). The students in the MSAC share ideas and provide advice to the minister on topics regarding Ontario's education system.

Out of 450 applicants, 60 were chosen to represent Ontario's cultural, social and geographic diversity. This year, the three OCSB students were selected and recognized for their leadership and initiative: Gigi Huang, Benjamin McLellan-Campbell, and Dylan Sova.

Gigi Huang, a student at Mother Teresa High School, has various certificates and experiences from her high school career. She has participated in the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program, the Ontario Summer Company Program, Dual Credit Program, and a Co-op program at school.

Benjamin McLellan-Campbell, a student at St. Francis Xavier High School, currently serves as one of the two Student Trustees for the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Dylan Sova, a student at St. Mark High School, has various roles within his school and community. He is a leader at leadership camp, has acted in school plays, is a member of headstrong (mental health awareness club) at school, and is a member of the Youth of Manotick Association. 

Congratulations to these remarkable students and good luck in your future endeavours!

2016 -2017 Minister's Student Advisory Council

OCSB Students Excel in French Contests

OCSB students excel at this year's provincials

Year after year, students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board have been excelling in French contests, and this year was no exception! From national video contest to public speaking competitions, our students have been rising to the challenge and we're very happy to celebrate their accomplishments.


The provincial competition in French public speaking is always very tough in Ontario. The annual competition organized by Canadian Parents for French was held this May at York University's bilingual campus, Glendon College. This year, only two Ottawa students were able to crack the top 3 in their categories, and both of them happened to be from OCSB high schools! St. Patrick's High School's Charlyse Katako claimed second place in the grade 12 Francophone category and took home a $250 cash prize. Grade 10 St. Francis Xavier High School student Kelsey McHugh claimed first place and a $500 cash prize in the grade 10 Immersion category for her speech "Qui blâmer au campus universitaire."

​Charlyse Katako from St. Patrick's High School claimed second prize in the Francophone category at this year's Ontario French Public Speaking Competition.

Kelsey McHugh (holding plaque) from St. Francis Xavier High School took first place in the grade 10 French Immersion category at this year's Ontario French Public Speaking Competition.

"Overall, this was an amazing experience. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to express information regarding a topic I am passionate about: sexual assault on university campuses. My speech, entitled "Qui blâmer au campus universitaire" explored the rising trend in sexual assaults on Canadian university campuses, and the negative consequences that severely impact the victims and the campus community. It discussed the lack of defense policies present in these post secondary establishments, and how the media provokes various social stigmas to arise, concerning how assault victims are perceived and treated. I was inspired by an American documentary, named "The Hunting Ground", that pushed me to research the issue present on Canadian campuses. It baffles me that this issue is concealed, almost as if it did not exist at all. I hope to continue creating awareness about this heinous crime, especially to a teenage audience, for a campus will likely become our daily environment in the next coming years.
I would like to thank my French teacher for mentoring me throughout this process, and my parents for supporting me at the competitions. I hope to participate in the Concours next year, giving me the opportunity to engage myself further into the French language."

- Kelsey McHugh, grade 10 French Immersion student from St. Francis Xavier High School
Winner of Ontario French Public Speaking Contest
Four OCSB students win $4,000 scholarships through national French video contest


L'Association canadienne des professeurs d'immersion française held a contest for grade 9-12 students called "Immersion clip" and four of our students were recognized with $4,000 scholarship to be used at Ottawa, St. Paul, Sudbury or St. Anne universities. The challenge was to create a 30-90 second video on the topic of "social media and my virtual identity." Congratulations to the following winners:

Congratulations and "félicitations" to all of our students who represented the Ottawa Catholic School Board so well in various French competitions throughout this academic year.​


Vive Les Arts (Appreciation Event)

Kristen Charles and Katie Lewis-Prieur holding their portrait drawn by a caricaturist.

Ottawa Catholic School Board staff gathered together on May 30th to celebrate an arts appreciation event. The theme was Springtime in Paris, Vive Les Arts!

The event was held from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Catholic Education Centre and was organized by Katie Lewis-Prieur and Kristen Charles, Creative Arts Consultants at the OCSB. The main focus of the event was to celebrate and honour the hard work and countless volunteer hours of teachers within the board who support the arts.

The evening included remarks from Elaine McMahon, OCSB Chair and Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education. Along with Jazz music provided by Pierre Monfils, former teacher at St. Peter high school and Neil Bateman, teacher at Holy Trinity high school. The evening also included specially designed t-shirts by teacher Fadi El-Saikali, and a caricaturist drawing portraits of staff.

All in all, a wonderful evening dedicated to the hardworking and motivating art educators at the OCSB.

Congratulations to award recipients:

Susan Davis Award

  • Thomas Pakenham - St. Peter High School

Sharon Hiscott Award

  • Helen Featherston - St. John Paul II Elementary School
Specially designed t-shirts by Fadi El-Saikali

OCSB Banquet and Awards

Left to right - Chris Milburn, Immaculata High School; Bill Paynter and Mrs. Ann Sloan (award sponsors); Marc Belanger, St James School; Jennifer Idone, Dr. F.J. McDonald; Trustee Mark Mullan; Richard Starcevic, Frank Ryan Intermediate; Ghislaine Lafelche-Trepanier, Good Shepherd; Denise Andre, Director of Education; and Rene Riopel, St. Matthew HS.

On Thursday, May 26, 2016, the Elementary and Intermediate Athletic Association hosted a banquet and awards ceremony at the Centurion Center to celebrate and give awards to JK-Grade 8 educators who support inclusive athletics in our schools. The ceremony commenced with an awards reception and was followed by cocktails and dinner. The event concluded with a social/dance.

Congratulations to this year's award recipients:

Daniel Patrick Kelly Award

  • Marc Bélanger, St. James School
  • Ghislaine Laflèche-Trépanier, Good Shepherd School

Bill Paynter Award

  • Chris Milburn, Immaculata High School
  • René Riopel, St. Matthew High School

Delacy J. Sloan Award

  • Jennifer Idone, Dr. F.J. McDonald School
  • Richard Starcevic, Frank Ryan Intermediate School


2016 OCSB EduGala winners

11 outstanding educators from the Ottawa Catholic School Board were recently named finalists for Capital Educator Awards. On May 20th, two of our OCSB finalists Claudio Micomonaco (left) and Jane O'Regan (right), were honoured as winners at the 15th annual EduGala held at Algonquin College. Hosted by the Ottawa Network for Education, the annual event honours educators from around the Ottawa region who demonstrate teaching excellence and instil a passion for learning in their students. Congratulations!

To see biographies and pictures of all nominees, please check out the Facebook album.


Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights May 24, 2016

The Boardroom Spotlight provides a summary of what took place at each Board meeting. This issue covers the following topics:

  • STUDENT PROFILE: St. Mark Students Receive CHEO "Healthy Kids" Award
  • Official Naming of St. Benedict Catholic School
  • Top Performing Energy Management School Board in Ontario
  • Additional Principal and Vice-Principal Appointments​
  • High school International Excursions​
  • Preliminary Budget Information for 2016-2017​
  • Boardroom Briefs​
Continue reading

St. Patrick High School awarded for Exceptional and Collaborative Mathematics Teaching

The St. Patrick's Math Department won this year's Secondary School Department Award for Exceptional and Collaborative Mathematics Teaching. The award was given by Ontario Association for Mathematics Education (OAME). According to OAME, the department received the award for their, "Innovative and creative uses of modern technologies, to day-to-day professional learning and dialogue, to the strong support you have for each other as well as that afforded by all the stakeholders in your program."

Letters of support were provided by students who attest to the math departments remarkable efforts. Students said they are well prepared for post-secondary education and that they use what they learned in high school in their post-secondary courses and every-day life. Students expressed their gratitude and asserted that the St. Patrick's math department has helped them in more ways than they can count.

St. Patrick High School is very proud of the dedication and caring teachers demonstrate on a daily basis. They personify the three words in "professional learning community" as they challenge each other daily to understand and meet the learning needs of their students. 

St. Patrick High School Math Department L to R Isabel Petien, Caitlin Tomka, Phil Herby, Carrie Stewart (Department Head), Mike Brinkworth, Anne Marie Steneker and Carling Sinclair.


Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights May 10, 2016

The Boardroom Spotlight provides a summary of what took place at each Board meeting. This issue covers the following topics: 

  • Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP)  
  • Proposed Spiritual Theme for 2016-2018
  • Board Priorities 2016-2017
  • Standard & Poor's 2016 Rating Report​
  • Preliminary Budget Information for 2016-2017​
Continue reading

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!


Capping off #CathEdWeek with dance & song!

Students from all over the Ottawa Catholic School Board displayed their talents on stage for #CathEdWeek 2016!

Last week's Catholic Education Week was jam-packed with activities and events at all of our schools throughout the city. Two board-wide events that featured the vibrant talent of our students include the dance showcase and our annual choral celebration.

The theme for this year's dance showcases was "Dance Around the World" and stretched over three days at three of our high schools. The showcases featured some phenomenal performances from OCSB dance enthusiasts of all ages. Have you had a chance to see the Star Wars dance clip by St. Cecilia we posted on our Facebook page?

To wrap the whole week up in song, we closed off #CathEdWeek in the Notre Dame High School auditorium with our annual choral celebration featuring beautiful singing presentations from our very talented school choirs. This year the choirs did something fun and switched things around! Instead of the parents sitting in the audience and the choirs singing on the stage for the big finale, all of the students stayed in their seats and the parents watched from the stage!

See more photos from these events in our Facebook album.


#CathEdWeek Mass and Awards Presentation

This year's recipients of Director of Education Commendation Awards and the Stephen H. Richardson Memorial Award pictured with Director of Education, Denise Andre and Archbishop Prendergast.

Our annual Catholic Education Week Mass was held on Tuesday, May 3rd, hosted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in downtown Ottawa. Most Reverend Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J. presided the Celebration of the Eucharist.

Following the Mass was the presentation of the Director of Education Commendation Awards, presented to outstanding role models in the Ottawa Catholic School Board. The Stephen H. Richardson Memorial Award was also presented, and this year Cathy Jeffrey was recognized for exemplifying the Board's Gospel values of Stewardship, Partnership and Excellence. This year was quite special in the fact that we celebrated 25 years of Director Commendation Awards and 15 years of the Stephen H. Richardson Award.

Congratulations and thank you to all of these employees who demonstrate devotion and service in Catholic Education! See pictures of all 31 award recipients in our Facebook album!


#CathEdWeek 2016 is here!

Students from St. Pius X High School gather for Mass in celebration of Catholic Education Week

This week is a very special week in our school communities– it's Catholic Education Week! On Monday, May 2nd, our high schools kicked off #CathEdWeek by participating in a province-wide Mass. Throughout the week, fun events and celebrations will take place at each and every one of our schools. It's a great opportunity to see faith-based education in action. Take a look at the events happening in your school community in our Catholic Education Week Activity Booklet.

The theme for this year's Catholic Education Week takes inspiration from the "Year of Mercy," as announced by Pope Francis as "a time of grace, peace, conversion and joy." If you aren't able to stop by one of the events in your school community, make sure to follow the action online by checking out the #CathEdWeek hashtag on Twitter, or seeing our posts on our Facebook page


Jump Rope for Heart at St. Anne School

St. Anne School kicked off their Jump Rope for Heart fundraising initiative on April 7th 2016. Students participated in a fun assembly complete with skipping demonstrations and a recap of prizes to be won. The students were also challenged to raise $11,000 before their Jump Day.

​Three weeks later, on April 28th 2016, the entire school went outside to participate in various heart-healthy activities. The activities ranged from the limbo, basketball shooting, and of course, skipping! When the event was over and funds were calculated, coordinators, Hollie Mahusky and Meaghan Lamothe, were delighted to find that St. Anne had raised more than $19,000 in their fundraising efforts and ended up being one of the top school fundraisers in Ontario! Expectations were exceeded and the OCSB along with St. Anne school couldn't be prouder of such a giving community of students, families and friends.


Art Achievements at St. Patrick High School

St. Patrick High School students' Lina Akkawi, Christina Collin and Tony Dinh have had tremendous success with their artwork submissions. Their captivating artwork has been selected to be displayed and distributed by various different galleries, art shows, and contests.

Lina Akkawi's art submission to be viewed with 3D glasses

St. Patrick's high school student Lina Akkawi's submission to the Young at Art Ottawa-wide juried competition has been selected for the 2016 exhibition. The total number of submissions to the competition this year was 379 citywide, with 133 of those coming from the East region. The East exhibition will display the chosen artworks at the Trinity Art Gallery in the Shenkman Arts Centre beginning on April 21st. 

Young at Art is a juried art exhibition that brings the work of young visual artists to local art galleries across the City of Ottawa. The exhibition, held annually since 1996, represents a tremendous opportunity for the public exhibition and recognition of the creative efforts of these young local artists. Creators of accepted works will have their pieces displayed in a community gallery – often near where they live – and are eligible for a number of prizes and awards contributed by the City of Ottawa and Young at Art Sponsors.

Wining art design by Christina Collin

St. Patrick's high school student,​ Christina Colin,​ has won the Kindness Ottawa Art Contest! ​As a result, Christina has won tickets to a Ottawa Fury game and her winning design will be sent on cards to local politicians and the mayor!  

Tony Dinh's submission for 2016 Brain and Mental Health Art Show

St. Patrick's high school student Tony Dinh, has had his artwork selected by the Society for Neuroscience Ottawa as part of its 2016 Brain and Mental Health Art Show. The art will be displayed at the Lansdowne Horticultural Building.

​Congratulations to Lina Akkawi, Christina Collin, and Tony Dinh for their achievements! The OCSB is very proud of your hard work and dedication.


Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights April 26, 2016

​​​​​The Boardroom Spotlight provides a summary of what took place at each Board meeting. This issue covers the following topics:

  • Shepherds of Good Hope
  • Multicultural Liaison Officers (MLO) 
  • School Profile: "Classroom of the Future" winners
  • Circulation of surplus properties
  • School trips
  • Transportation consortium update
  • Preliminary Budget Information for 2016-2017
Continue reading

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.

Special Needs Students Learning Life Skills

​"Involve me and I learn" is a Benjamin Franklin quote that also serves as the motto for a unique program at Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School. The program aims to prepare special needs students for life after high school. Giving these students invaluable learning experiences that empower them to live an independent life, confidently.

Lester B. Pearson has a large breakfast program the special needs students help out with by preparing food for approximately 140 students. Experiences such as riding the public transportation system, learning how to budget, creating a grocery list, buying the items at the grocery store, learning about nutrition and preparing food provide these young people with the experience they need to live independently and confidently. Although this is the first time many of them have held a knife or done the dishes, it has encouraged them to dream big.

Shopping for groceries at Costco

Celebrating Excellence at the OCSB

St. Paul High School played host to the annual OCSB event, Celebrating Excellence. This heartwarming event celebrates and recognizes the strengths, talents and contributions of some of the OCSB's most exceptional students. One student from each school who benefits from special education programs and services was recognized for their outstanding contribution to their school community. The students are chosen to receive the award because they exemplify one or more of the Gospel values: Faith, Hope, Love, Community, Justice, Dignity of Persons, Excellence and Stewardship of Creation.

Sky Keyes shows her bright, friendly, and infectious smile at the annual OCSB Celebrates Event
Drag to move block.
Luca Matricardi poses with his family right before accepting his award.

Sky Keyes, a Grade 3 student from St. Martin de Porres School was chosen as the recipient from her school this year. She is well known as one of the friendliest students in the school and was honoured for the Gospel value of Love. Her good nature and enthusiasm are infectious, and many find it hard not to smile when Sky is around.

The winner from St. Stephen School was Luca Matricardi, a bright young student selected for modelling the Gospel value of Faith. He is known and loved by staff and students alike and loves to share stories. He regularly offers support to his classmates when needed and enjoys helping younger students in the school.

Every OCSB school participates in the Celebrating Excellence event which has been taking place since before 2000. It's a great opportunity to celebrate the talents and contributions these outstanding students make to our school communities.


Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights April 12, 2016

​​​​The Boardroom Spotlight provides a summary of what took place at each Board meeting. This issue covers the following topics:

  • Re-engagement teachers
  • Social Emotional Learning update
  • Principals, Vice-principals appointed
  • Principals, Vice-principal reassignments and transfers
  • #OCSBcelebrates​
  • Appreciation for the service of Simone Oliver as OCSOA President​
  • Grants for Student Needs and the Budget Process 2016 - 2017​
Continue reading

OCSB Finalists for 2016 Capital Educator Awards

​The OCSB would like to congratulate our 11 outstanding educators that were selected as finalists for the 2016 Capital Educator Awards, organized by the Ottawa Network for Education. The awards are presented to the region's most innovative and respected educators, and will be handed out on May 19, 2016 at the 15th Annual Edugala, being held at Algonquin College. The annual event honours educators from around the Ottawa region who demonstrate teaching excellence and instil a passion for learning in their students. Congratulations to all the nominees!

To see biographies and pictures of all the nominees, check out our Facebook album!

OCSB Blog Graphic