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Messages and updates from the Director of Education of the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

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
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