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From the Director Blog

Denise Andre, Director of Education, is one of our most popular OCSB bloggers. Her thoughtful perspective speaks directly to parents, students and staff all at the same time.
Renewing the Promise – A Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education

Renewing the Promise – A Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education

The Catholic education community of Ottawa plays a significant role in the life of our Church. It is a community that accompanies, builds relationships, encourages engagement, instills hope and forms joyful disciples. Students, parents, teachers and education workers, support staff, principals and vice-principals, trustees, directors and supervisory officers are part of this community, as well as clergy and pastoral teams. Together we can all commit to Renewing the Promise of Catholic education for future generations and to work to build a strong foundation for joyful disciples.

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OCSB appoints Zone 9 Trustee – Regan Preszcator

Due to the unfortunate passing of Trustee Kathy Ablett, R.N. on May 12, 2018, the OCSB sought applications from individuals qualified to serve as a Board Trustee. The Board of Trustees appointed Regan Preszcator (photo: middle right) as the Trustee for Zone 9 (River/Capital) from June 18, 2018 to November 30, 2018. Justice of the Peace, Paulina Brecher officiated at the swearing-in ceremony. Trustee Prezcator has worked for an MP, now works in the Senate of Canada in communications, and is bilingual. Ms. Preszcator is a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Zone 9 (River/Capital). View the news release NR 18.07.

Trustees are members of the school board. They provide an important link between local communities and the school board, brining the issues and concerns of their constituents to Board discussions and decision making. “We look forward to Trustee Preszcator’s contributions as we go forward in our mission of Catholic education. We welcome her to our Board,” said Chairperson Elaine McMahon.

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Peace be with you

On May 16th and 17th, I attended our 24th annual Elementary School Peace Festival. Students from across our Board gathered to share their ideas and affirm their commitment to make the world a better place. As a Catholic community, we not only teach about our faith, our students and staff express their faith through their actions. We heard of projects including recycling initiatives, raising funds for medical research, donating hair, feeding and clothing the homeless, peer ambassadors, and many more. Leadership is evident from the very young to the older students in the school, and their ability to articulate this in front of hundreds of students is truly inspiring.

We celebrate the feast of Pentecost this weekend, concluding the Easter season in our Church. In Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus greets his disciples with the words “Peace be with you.” At the OCSB, we see daily the works of mercy and compassion, for justice and peace in our schools and for our world.

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John Curry honoured with OCSTA Trustee Award of Merit

This past Friday in Waterloo, I had the honour of witnessing our very own Trustee John Curry receive the 2018 Ontario Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) Trustee Award of Merit. This award recognizes one Catholic trustee in Ontario each year who has rendered exceptional service to Catholic education over the years.

Trustee Curry has served on several Board committees since becoming a Trustee in 2000. Through his membership on the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), Trustee Curry was a vocal supporter of programming for students with special needs, advocating for the inclusion model for all learners.

His advocacy for the availability of French language programming in rural and small schools resulted in French immersion pathway offerings in all 83 of our community schools. He supported the accelerated transition of all OCSB libraries to learning commons from a five year plan to completion in under three years. He is a strong advocate of arts education, resulting in additional funds being set aside to support elementary music curriculum delivery.

In an effort to amplify his commitment to Catholic education, Trustee Curry has used his professional career in journalism to champion his community and highlight the students within his jurisdiction — Zone 1, Stittsville and Kanata. Having owned and operated the Stittsville News community newspaper for 26 years, he possesses a deep understanding of the value of building community and celebrating excellence.

Trustee Curry is a true servant leader who walks humbly with God. On behalf of our entire OCSB community, I would like to congratulate Trustee Curry on this distinguished accomplishment, and thank him for his cooperative and gracious service in support of Catholic education.

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Easter Blessings from the Director of Education

Photo: St. Pius X High School students from the school’s Developmental Education (DE) class bless school staff with a thoughtful Easter gift of appreciation. @StPiusXOCSB #WeAllBelong #ocsbLent

When I think back to Easter as a young child, I remember with fondness Easter egg hunts, family gatherings, new Spring outfits (usually matching for me and my sisters), even little gifts like skipping ropes and marbles (no doubt to get us outside of the house for a while). It was the day that our Lenten observance came to an end, holy water reappeared in the font at the entrance to our church, the Alleluia was sung once again, and purple vestments and decor gave way to the white of Easter.

While we all have different memories of Easter, we remember what it means to be an Easter people. It’s more than Easter eggs and new Spring outfits, and goes beyond the symbols of our faith. We are called to care for one another, for those who are most in need, and for our planet. We do this daily in our schools. Let’s recommit ourselves, as we journey together in these last three months of the school year, to be God’s love and spirit at work in our world.

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Denise Andre

Denise Andre

Director of Education and Secretary-Treasurer

Phone: 613-224-4455 ext 2272 Fax: 613-228-4158 Email: Follow on Twitter @DeniseAndreOCSB


Denise Andre was appointed Director of Education and Secretary-Treasurer of the Ottawa Catholic School Board in July 2015. She has been with the Ottawa Catholic School Board for 39 years and has served as a teacher, department head, vice-principal, principal, superintendent, and deputy (associate) director. Denise has served on the Board of Directors for St. Mary’s Home and Outreach Centre and the Youth Services Bureau and is currently on the Board of Directors for St. Paul University, the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA), and the Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE). Denise is President of the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa (CEFO), and has also served as an instructor for the Supervisory Officer’s Qualifications Program, offered by the Eastern Ontario Staff Development Network (EOSDN). 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 to Bob Thomas for over 32 years. Bob is the OCSB's Educational Consultant for Physical & Health Education, as well as a professor at the University of Ottawa.
“As Director, I want to ensure that the OCSB continues to be an inclusionary learning environment, which is child-centred and grounded in faith. As a Board, we will continue to leverage technology to allow learning and collaboration to take place in many forms.” Denise Andre

OCSB Director of Education