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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​
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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​
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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
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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.

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
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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!


Program for Gifted Learners

PGL students celebrating at St. Brother Andre
PGL students celebrating at St. Emily

​Students' from the Program for Gifted Learners (PGL) and their teachers, Lorraine O'Reilly from St. Emily School and Deborah Quail-Blier from St. Brother Andre School have a lot to be excited about.

Five of their science projects have won a flight into space as part of the global Cubes in Space contest developed by idoodlelearning, in partnership with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, with support from NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Sounding Rocket Program Offices.

The PGL students successfully competed against hundreds of students 11-18 years of age, from all continents to develop an experiment that fits inside a 4 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm plastic cube. In their proposals, our students justified why Cubes in Space should send their experiments into flight. The cubes will be launched via a sounding rocket at the end of June from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and one will also fly on a balloon in mid August with NASA's Balloon Program Office in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Students are excitedly waiting for the arrival of their cubes, where they will have the task of ballasting the loads to specific criteria before mailing them back for the space experimentation. Students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board who attend St. Emily and St. Brother Andre for PGL are the first in Canada to have their experiments go up into space as a part of the Global Cubes in Space contest!


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

Best Buddies Chapter Award

Best Buddies at St. Patrick High School
Best Buddies at St. Peter High School

Students and staff at St. Peter High School and St. Patrick High School were recognized for their achievement as exceptional Best Buddies chapters on March 31st. Best Buddies Canada is a national charity that helps to foster friendships between individuals with special needs with student volunteers in over 450 universities, colleges, high schools, and elementary schools across the country. 

Through Best Buddies, students with special needs are given the opportunities to enjoy the same experiences many of us take for granted- such as going to the mall, watching a movie, or simply enjoying the company of a friend. Best Buddies Canada has selected St. Peter High School and St. Patrick's High School as two of the Top 20 Best Buddies schools in the country. Selections were based on important factors, such as demonstrating commitment to inclusion and going beyond expectations of running the Best Buddies program. 

Principal Norma McDonald, Principal Brid McDonald and the entire Best Buddies Chapter teams at these two schools exceeded these criteria. "I hope our chapters will see how St. Peter High School and St. Patrick's High School have involved Best Buddies into their school" says Steven Pinnock, executive director of Best Buddies Canada. "Out of 450 schools, these two schools fall in the Top 20 in the country. It really shows that students and staff in these chapters are committed to promoting inclusion and friendship."


Opening Doors of Mercy at the OCSB

Last March, Pope Francis announced that a special Jubilee Year of Mercy would take place from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016. During this holy year, he encouraged parishes, schools and families to participate by learning about and demonstrating God's mercy to one another. After only a few months into the Year of Mercy, schools within the Ottawa Catholic School Board have eagerly responded to the challenge by actively embarking on a spiritual journey, opening "doors of mercy" throughout our community.

Every school in the OCSB was given a "passport" with information and resources to help them better understand what it means to be merciful and spark creativity so they could take action in their community by showing the mercy of God to others. Through scripture passages, prayers and examples of saints who've demonstrated profound mercy, our staff and students have come up with ideas of purposeful and random acts of mercy. Some of the other ways our school communities are engaging in the Year of Mercy include decorating or marking the frame of a prominent doorway in their school as a threshold into a place of mercy. Some grade 6 students preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation also went on a "pilgrimage" to their high school chapel to celebrate a Liturgy of Mercy.

With many months still to come, the result of this challenge has been nothing short of beautiful. Our school communities have found creative ways to "feed the hungry", "clothe the naked" and "comfort the afflicted." Many have gone above and beyond in demonstrating compassion to those who need it, and have learned more about the mercy and compassion God has for us in the process. To see more, we invite you to follow the hashtag #OCSBmercy on social media.
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