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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
Dec
08

2016 United Way Campaign

This year's Ottawa Catholic School Board United Way campaign was another huge success – the Board raised $517,784.37, with $384,530.99 being directed to the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa. We also met our goal of 80% participation among staff – a new record for the OCSB. At the reveal event on Thursday, CEC staff heard speeches from OCSB Director of Education Denise Andre, President and CEO of United Way Ottawa Michael Allen, Co-Chairs of the OCSB Campaign Kelly McKibbin and Bill Walsh, and United Way Campaign Co-Chair Kathleen Kemp.

OCSB staff and distinguished guests from The United Way (UW) reveal the big number (from left to right): Sandra Falcomer, OCSB Campaign Reporting Coordinator; Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education; Bill Walsh and Kelly McKibbin, OCSB Campaign Co-Chairs; Michael Allen, President and CEO of United Way Ottawa; Kathleen Kemp, UW Co-Chair; Carole Gagnon, UW VP of Resource Development; and Bridget Burgess, UW Officer, Revenue Development Community Campaign.

Over the past 10 years, OCSB employees have raised over $5.5 million for The United Way Ottawa. For the sixth year in a row, the OCSB was one of the top workplace campaigns in the City of Ottawa. The campaign is just one of the ways the OCSB works to make our community a better place for everyone. Check out our Facebook album for more photos from the event.

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Dec
08

OCSB re-elects Chairperson and elects Vice-Chairperson

Elaine McMahon, OCSB Chairperson

The Ottawa Catholic School Board has re-elected Elaine McMahon as Chairperson and elected Trustee Joanne MacEwan as Vice-Chairperson at the Board's Annual General Meeting held Tuesday evening at the Catholic Education Centre.

Chairperson McMahon shared heartfelt remarks, expressing deep appreciation of the support she received in her first two years as Chair from outgoing Vice-Chairperson Betty-Ann Kealey. "Thank you, Betty-Ann, for being a mentor and a true friend to me and to Catholic education." Ms. McMahon thanked all OCSB staff for their service each and every day as they touch hearts and inspire young minds. "You are valued and appreciated."

His Grace, Archbishop Prendergast, presided over a Mass and joined Board Chaplain Father Peter Saunders and Father Geoff Kerslake at the meeting. The OCSB Children's Choir sang O Canada and charmed the audience with two selections.

Denise Andre, Director of Education, presented the 2016 Director's Annual Report. The report highlights the accomplishments of the Board over the past year. Focused on the Board's priorities, Multi Year Strategic Plan, and the Deep Learning Framework, the report illustrates how students are gaining global competencies through a faith-filled lens. Director Andre thanked the thousands of collaborative professionals at the OCSB for their dedicated service and praised the commitment of parent and student groups for their leadership.

Chairperson McMahon is the Trustee for Zone 6 – Knoxdale-Merivale/College. Ms. McMahon has served as a trustee since 2014 and was first elected Chairperson in December 2014. Vice-Chairperson Joanne MacEwan is the Trustee for Beacon Hill-Cyrville/Innes and was appointed trustee in 2012 and elected in 2014.

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Dec
07

St. Luke Nepean's "Little Free Pantry"

When the Grade 5 teachers at St. Luke School (Nepean) began brainstorming a science project for their students to cover the science curriculum "Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms" they had no idea that the project would turn into an opportunity for students to live out the OCSB's Spiritual Theme, Sent to be the Good News. But that's exactly what happened.

One of the teachers came across a video about the Little Free Pantry movement. The Little Free Pantry is a community tool where those who are able leave foodstuffs and other items, and those in need are free to take what's been left. Not only would this allow the students to build a stable structure, effectively covering the science curriculum, but it would also give them a chance to make a difference in their school community for many years to come. After discussing it with their students, they decided to move forward with the project.

The Little Free Pantry project started with each student using what they've learned to design their own pantry. The students then evaluated each design and voted on which one would be used. They then raised funds for the project by writing letters to companies requesting donations. Their letters helped them get a $50 donation from Home Depot and a custom metal roof from Premier Home Improvements. The students even explored the Gospel values associated with their Little Free Pantry project in religion class. Currently, they're even working on commercials, print ads, and radio announcements to further promote it.

The Little Free Pantry currently sits outside St. Luke School (Nepean) so those in need can readily access its contents anonymously. It's paired with their logo, which incorporates the Little Free Pantry's motto, "Take what you need, leave what you can," and the OCSB's Spiritual Theme, Sent to be the Good News.

At the Ottawa Catholic School Board, we've been implementing Deep Learning practices in our schools, encouraging students to explore, create, and use knowledge in a broader context that's connected to real-world purposes. The entire OCSB community is very proud of St. Luke Nepean for taking this curriculum-related project and turning it into an opportunity to be the Good News for others in their community.

See our Facebook album for more photos!

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Nov
29

St. Matthew Tigers Win OFSAA Metro Bowl

Image courtesy of Marie Brazeau, Vice-Principal St. Matthew High School

The St. Matthew High School varsity boys football team captured their first ever provincial bowl crown after downing the Matthew Power – St. Joseph's Trojans 28-7 to win the OFSAA Metro Bowl. Kian Williams was the MVP of the day, scoring 3 touchdowns on offense and grabbing 3 of the Tigers' 5 interceptions. The Tigers overcame a rough start after a lost fumble on their opening drive and a pair of costly penalties led to the Trojans taking an early 7-0 lead. Those would be the only points the Trojans would score.

The Tigers dominated the rest of the game, holding the Trojans to just 34 yards of total offence and forcing 7 turnovers. The final score would have been much more lopsided if not for the Tigers having 6 turnovers themselves.

Thanks to St. Matthew, the Redblacks aren't the only football champs in the city. Congratulations to St. Matthew and GO TIGERS!

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Nov
18

We Day helps students focus on serving others

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016, over 16,000 students packed the Canadian Tire Centre in celebration of We Day – an inspiring day where young people get to hear world-renowned speakers and award-winning performers. What's remarkable about this annual event is that you can't buy a ticket to attend. You earn your spot by performing one local and one global action that contributes to changing the world, for the better.

The night before We Day, two OCSB students were given awards for their outstanding contributions to their communities. Matthew Smart, a recent graduate from All Saints High School, was given the Governor General's Sovereign Medal for Volunteers, as was Warner Schaettgen of St. Michael Corkery.

There were countless inspiring stories shared throughout the day, each as unique and moving as the people telling the stories. It's no wonder people often describe We Day as being a life-changing event. Here are five of some of the most impactful messages from this year's We Day:

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise appearance and uplifted students by stating they're not leaders of tomorrow, they're leaders of today.
  • Margaret Trudeau helped break the stigma around mental health by encouraging young people suffering from mental illnesses to "get out there and ask for help."
  • A young girl who was a victim of bullying and stereotyping described how she chose to "rise above" bullying and challenged others to look at each other as so much more than a single label.
  • Mike Downie, brother of Gord Downie from Tragically Hip, held hands with Pearl and Daisy Wenjack, two women who survived living in an Indian Residential school, and said "there is no single solution to reconciliation" and invited listeners to take an active role in the restoration of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.
  • Hani Al Moulia, a photographer, teacher and actor who also happens to be legally blind, challenged our mindsets by inspiring us with his stories of overcoming obstacles.

It's hard to not be bothered every time we turn on the news and hear of the pain and brokenness that is happening throughout the world on a daily basis, but it is definitely encouraging to know there are young people in our city and around the globe who are determined to make a difference and improve our world. Although there may always be pain and suffering, these young leaders in our schools are living out our spiritual theme and being "Good News" in their communities on a regular basis and impacting the world with the love of Christ. That's pretty cool.

Check out our Facebook album from this inspirational day!

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