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Our schools are filled with inspiring students and staff that are making a positive impact on the world around them. These stories highlight some of the wonderful things that are happening in Ottawa Catholic schools every day. If you have a story you would like to share, Tweet the link to us @OttCatholicSB or send us an email at connect@ocsb.ca

A heartfelt farewell to Uplands

As Uplands Catholic School winds down its final school year before closing its doors for good, staff and students are leaving on a positive note. At a recent mass, Principal Elaine Phinney reflected on some the life lessons she learned at Uplands. "I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn." At the same mass, they blessed a stained glass ornament of the Uplands logo that will hang at Holy Family School next year. Tania Gonsalvez, Principal of Holy Family School, was present to receive the ornament and welcome the students of Uplands into the Holy Family community.

The priest blessing the stained glass ornament of the Uplands logo that will hang at Holy Family School next year.

Special Olympics swim meet lets students shine

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."Special Olympics Athletes Oath

Almost 400 students competed at the 16th annual OCSB Special Olympics Ontario Swim Meet on May 9th and 11th. Hosted by the OCSB Special Education and Student Services Department, this uplifting two-day event let our student athletes shine. Their spirit was evident in all areas of the pool. They demonstrated true grit and perseverance, from the assisted walk to the 50m races. The focus of the meet was friendly companionship and competition, and our athletes made us all proud on both counts. It was truly an inspirational day for everyone. See more on Storify.

"Mrs. G., this was the best day of my life!"

Good Shepherd School student

OCSB schools among top Terry Fox Run fundraisers

Three OCSB high schools were among the top 20 fundraisers in Ontario for the 2016 Terry Fox School Run. Holy Trinity Catholic High School, St. Pius X High School, and Immaculata High School went above and beyond to raise over $70,000 combined for cancer research. All of our schools raised a combined $180,689 last year, and our running total is $2,466,902. The dedication, enthusiasm, and selflessness shown by our school communities to support such a worthy cause is an inspiration for the entire OCSB family.

Holy Trinity students at their 2016 Terry Fox Run.

Before their run, Holy Trinity held an assembly where two speakers shared how cancer had affected their lives. It brought the whole school community together, and reminded them of the stakes involved. The run itself is always one of the highlight of the Holy Trinity school year. Students wear school colours, there's food, music, dance numbers, lip synch battles, and much more. They raised the 3rd most money in Ontario, a total of $44,507.30.

St. Pius students getting into the spirit at a past Terry Fox Run.

St. Pius organizes a wide variety of events and fundraisers to get people in the spirit and encourage donations. They host a car wash, sell "Pius Potatoes" from the school garden, and have a day where students can pay a fee to miss part of their fourth period class to watch teachers play against students in a variety of sports. Their 2016 total was $16,223.53, earning 12th place in the province.

Immaculata celebrating their 2016 Terry Fox Run.

Immaculata has been taking part in the Terry Fox Run for 24 years. In that time, they've raised over $250,000 for cancer research. They incorporate homeroom challenges, staff initiatives, and give out prizes for top fundraisers. Primarily though, they just ask that each student donate $10, and it all adds up. Their run brought in $13,209.94, 19th most among Ontario high schools.

Over 4200 Ontario schools organized Terry Fox Runs last year, raising more than $6.7 million to fund cancer research. Almost 40 years after Terry took his first steps on a cross-country run that would captivate and inspire a nation, his legacy lives on at thousands of Canadian schools each year.


St. Paul students get VIP treatment at Shopify

Earlier this month, 43 Computer Science and Business students from St. Paul High School were treated to a VIP tour of Shopify's Ottawa offices. They enjoyed their visit to the impressive facility, which included robotic go-karts, a slide, and many themed work spaces. Two St. Paul alumni who now work at Shopify prepared a motivational presentation for the visiting students. They also heard from Andrea Ross, who shared her extensive expertise regarding educational opportunities with our students.

One of the visiting students, Grade 12 Emma Orhun, was also awarded the prestigious Shopify Computer Science Internship. This paid internship is a partnership between Carleton University and Shopify, and will cover all of Emma's tuition for her full undergraduate degree, among other advantages and opportunities. Congratulations, Emma.

St. Paul High School students get the VIP treatment at Shopify.

OCSB students to send another experiment to space

The St. Brother Andre PGL students hard at work on their experiment.

Students in the Program for Gifted Learners (PGL) at St. Brother Andre School recently earned the right to send one of their experiments into outer space by qualifying for the Cubes in Space program for the second year in a row.

Thousands of students aged 11 to 18 from around the world sent in scientific proposals, hoping to get their experiment a spot on either a NASA sounding rocket, or a high-altitude scientific balloon. Our hardworking students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board collaborated over several weeks to create an experiment that looks at the effects of radiation and weightlessness on teeth in space.

Thanks to their hard work, creativity, and critical thinking, their proposal was one of the 160 experiments chosen to participate in this special endeavour. Two of their experimental chompers will be taking to the sky: one on a sounding rocket and one on a high-altitude balloon. On top of all that, several of the students and their families will be traveling to the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia next month, where they will have the chance to present their research and watch the rocket that will be housing their experiment launch into space.

The St. Brother Andre PGL students jumping for joy at the fact that their experiment is heading to outer space.
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