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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
Nov
18

St. Benedict's inspiring school opening ceremony

The newest OCSB school, St. Benedict School, held its official opening ceremony on November 17, 2016 in the Barrhaven community of Half Moon Bay. The special evening welcomed several special guests who spoke genuinely about the incredible new school and its impact on students and the greater community.

It was clear from the remarks of Director of Education, Denise Andre, that the Board is extremely proud of its latest addition. She pointed out the complexity involved with undertaking such a project, which included everyone from architects and engineers to lawyers and landscape developers. These contributors were in attendance and stood up during the ceremony to be acknowledged.

St. Benedict's Principal, Lynne Charette, thanked the incredible staff at the new school – teachers, early childhood educators, caretaking staff, and educational assistants – and expressed her gratitude for the work being done every day to make the school a comfortable place for students to learn. The gratitude for school staff, including Principal Charette, was evident from the cheers from parents and students in the audience.

The Most Reverend Archbishop Prendergast, S.J. was in attendance for the Liturgy and Blessing of the School, along with Parish Priest Father Frank Brewer. The Archbishop delivered a warm homily about his knowledge of the life of Benedict, the Saint, and pointed out meaningful connections between the Saint's journey and the symbolism included in the school's new logo.

Before unveiling the official school plaque and cutting the red ribbon, Chairperson of the Board, Elaine McMahon, offered a truly inspirational message to students about building community. "When you're walking past someone in the hallway, say hello. Everyone has the right to be acknowledged to be included, to be seen." The uplifting student choir's song "Who Is My Neighbour" resonated further with MPP Lisa MacLeod, who recalled just recently attending the opening ceremony for neighbouring OCSB school, St. Cecilia. She echoed the Chairperson's message of caring for each other in genuine ways.

The event was emceed, in both French and English, by students Diya Chakravarty and Matthew Buentiempo, who also introduced an inspiring student reflection by Katie Deiros Hernandez. Trustee Spencer Warren, Ministry of Education Officer, Glenda Stevenson, and a representative for MP Chandra Ayra also spoke during the ceremony, offering encouraging sentiments about the excitement ahead for this new school. Other special guests included St. Francis Xavier High School's Roy Ketcheson, who designed a breathtaking wall mural for the front entrance of the school, and the school council's co-chairs, Travis Loughery and Charlotte Nortthrope, along with numerous other Board Trustees, Superintendents, and Board staff who have been influential in the success of the new innovative school.

View more photos in our Facebook album.

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Nov
15

Syrian students from St. Matthew thank Prime Minister

On Thursday, November 3rd, a group of students from St. Matthew High School had the privilege of attending the Prime Minister of Canada's youth town hall in celebration of his government's one year anniversary in office. St. Matthew's cohort of students included members of their student council and grade 10 students currently studying Civics and Careers.

Teacher Tony Lamonica was grateful for the opportunity to bring his students to the town hall as they've been learning about what it means to be a good citizen. The students were introduced to many members of Prime Minister Trudeau's cabinet who encouraged and inspired students to get involved in the democratic process even before they can legally vote.

Two St. Matthew students, Jolien and Abdullah, who were refugees from Syria, were given a unique opportunity to not only ask the Prime Minister a question, but also thanked him and the rest of Canada for the warm welcome that was extended to them when they arrived. Before the event concluded a handful of students were fortunate enough to snap a selfie with the Prime Minister before he left the room. It was a truly remarkable moment for our students to be able to participate in this rich learning opportunity that brought the content they're learning in class to life.

Check out the video of Jolien and Abdullah thanking Prime Minister Trudeau, and see our Facebook album from the event!

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Nov
07

Christian Community Day 2016

Guest speaker Steve Pemberton inspired everyone at CC Day!

On October 7, the OCSB celebrated another inspiring Christian Community Day at a packed Shaw Centre! A major highlight of the day was the guest speaker, Steve Pemberton. His message truly brought the Board's spiritual theme to life by explaining how God brought special people into his life at various moments to be his "Good News." Despite the hardships he endured as a child, he was able to rise above the challenges and find success – and more importantly, people he could truly call family. Needless to say, everyone was deeply moved by his powerful presentation.

Another highlight was the beautiful mass presided over by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. Director of Education Denise Andre's presentation was thoughtful and exciting. She focused on the Board's accomplishments and helped employees see how everyone at the OCSB, including custodians, play a significant role in helping our students learn in meaningful ways. Associate Director of Education, Tom D'Amico, presented the 2016 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award to Bishop Christian Riesbeck who was unable to attend but sent his thoughts in a touching pre-recorded video.

The day was interspersed with the lovely music of the talented OCSB Choir filling everyone present with joy and wonder. All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to bring our whole community together. See the pictures from the event in our Facebook album and Storify!

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Oct
26

St. Anthony Celebrates Opening of Brand New School Yard

On October 14, St. Anthony School celebrated the opening of their brand new school yard. Their (much greener) new yard is thanks to their grassroots campaign that led to them winning the 2015 Asphalt to Oasis Aviva Community Fund of $100,000. In going from brown to green and from asphalt to oasis, St. Anthony's new school yard now features an outdoor amphitheatre/classroom and an abundance of trees. Mayor Jim Watson, OCSB Chair Elaine McMahon, OCSB Associate Director of Education Tom D'Amico, and OCSB Superintendent of Continuing and Community Education Peter Atkinson all attended the event, along with many others. It was truly an occasion for celebration - the new school yard will be a learning oasis for generations of students to come.

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Oct
18

In memory of a national hero

Decked out in school colours, Holy Trinity Grade 12 students show their school spirit through dance following the Terry Fox School Run.

Nowadays, we recognize the sobering fact that few of us have not been touched by cancer. However, many in our school community hope to change this statistic by proudly displaying their dedication and contribution to cancer research by following in the footsteps of our national hero, Terry Fox, during the annual Terry Fox Run events held across the city.

Take a look at how much we've raised!

Holy Trinity Catholic School

Terry Fox School Run held on September 30

Raised $45,000 and counting!

$500K+ raised in past 15 years

Consistently ranked in the top three Ontario fundraising schools!

The Terry Fox School Run at Holy Trinity is more than a fundraiser. It is a day where spirits are high in the knowledge that everyone is giving of themselves for a better cause.

Clad in Holy Trinity colours, participants walked the 10k trek, receiving lots of affirmation and encouragement from the many cars who honked their horns in solidarity with the cause. Upon arrival back at the school, a barbecue, live music, a dance number and a pep rally greeted one and all.

Once again, Holy Trinity has outdone itself as a generous and spirited community..

Frank Ryan students gather in the school yard as they prepare for their annual Turkey Trot event.

Frank Ryan Catholic Intermediate School

Turkey Trot held on October 6

Raised $31,000

Largest per student charity fundraiser in Ottawa!

Once again, the Frank Ryan community came together for a fantastic day of spirit, fun, and giving back to the community. The Turkey Trot of Hope is the perfect example of kids helping kids..

Many of our schools have Terry Fox Runs; here are a couple honourable mentions:

St. Clare School

Terry Fox event held on September 23

Raised over $2,900

Added to 17-year total of over $76,500!

This year, 40 volunteers joined the other students and staff on the 1.7 km course around the St. Clare community. Even the Kindergarten students got into the spirit by completing their own walk and then cheering on the older students!

Convent Glen Catholic School

Terry Fox event held on October 6

270 students raised over $640

Let us know what you think of the tremendous enthusiasm and spirit shown by our school community during the annual Terry Fox Run!

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