Catholic Education

TORONTO - A heritage building being restored to its former glory on the Senator O'Connor College School campus was ravaged by a two-alarm blaze Wednesday afternoon.

Two staff members inside the school's library spotted thick black smoke billowing from the roof of the O'Connor House just before 3 p.m. One phoned 911 while the other notified the school office.

"They alerted me they had called 911 and then I pulled the fire alarm for the school," said principal Susan Baker.

Defending Catholic education high on Marino Gazzola’s OCSTA agenda

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TORONTO - Marino Gazzola, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association’s (OCSTA) new president, said he will be working to defend and promote the Catholic school system during his two-year term.

Gazzola was chosen the trustees’ association president at its 82nd Annual General Meeting held in Kingston, Ont., April 26-28.

TCDSB launches new pastoral plan

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TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board's new three-year pastoral plan will focus on virtues of faith, hope and charity, one for each of the next three school years.

About 800 students, staff, parents and parish representatives from across the city were gathered inside the Montecassino Banquet Hall for the May 2 launch of Pastoral Plan: Faith, Hope and Charity. The plan aims to grow upon the areas of focus from the previous pastoral plan, word, worship and witness.

Pope tells U.S. colleges to strengthen Catholic identity

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI called on America's Catholic colleges and universities to reaffirm their Catholic identity by ensuring orthodoxy in theological studies and accepting the oversight of bishops.

The Pope made his remarks May 5 to U.S. bishops from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Wyoming, who were making their periodic "ad limina" visits to the Vatican.

York University honours former CFL coach Frank Cosentino

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TORONTO - Frank Cosentino, who parlayed his start in coaching with the Catholic Youth Organization to the Canadian university ranks, will be honoured by York University for being the most successful football coach in school history.

The Toronto university will be holding a dinner to honour Cosentino on May 11.

“I’m honoured and very pleased that a group of people got together and thought I contributed something to their lives,” said Cosentino, a 10-year Canadian Football League quarterback, from his Eganville, Ont., home.

Facelift for St. Mike’s hockey program

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TORONTO - Toronto’s St. Michael’s College School is revamping its Senior Division 1 hockey program with the aim of improving student grades while maintaining a competitive hockey program.

“The program we had, as it was, wasn’t working because the student athletes were asked to juggle too many commitments,” said Paul Forbes, the midtown Toronto private Catholic school’s athletic director, noting that many players were committed to the school team as well as their community team.

“The reality of it is that they don’t really have time to play for two competitive teams in this day and age.”

Scholarship honours Collins’ elevation to College of Cardinals

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TORONTO - Two university level student leaders, yet to be chosen, will soon be the first of many to benefit from the elevation of the Toronto’s archbishop to the College of Cardinals.

The University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto has created a scholarship fund in honour of Cardinal Thomas Collins, as well as to recognize “all the work he has already done to bring the Church and the faith closer together,” the school said in a statement. 

Ontario Catholic principals recognized

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TORONTO - Six of the province’s 21,000 principals were recognized April 27 by the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario for their contributions to the education community.

The 2012 Principal of the Year Award recipients are Nola Collins from the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board, Janet Demaiter from the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Andrea Iserhoff from the Northeastern Catholic District School Board, Romolo Villani from the York Catholic District School Board, and Odilia Pariselli and Maria Pereira from the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Selected by their respective principal associations, winners were honoured with a gala dinner and a spherical glass trophy.

Walker gets TCDSB student trustee nod on second go round

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TORONTO - If you can’t find Andrew Walker in choir practice, leadership meetings or studying to maintain his honour role status, try checking the Toronto Argonaut schedule — chances are, if there’s a game, he’s at it.

“I’m a big Argos fan,” Walker said. “I’m a season tickets holder. My dad and I go to every game.”

National team experience aids high school squad

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TORONTO - Two Toronto Catholic District School Board students and teammates with the Senator O’Connor Blues have made their debuts with Canada’s under-17 national rugby team.

“I’m honoured to be selected. It’s a real accomplishment for me,” said Lucas Rumball, 16, who scored his first international try against Belgium while touring the United Kingdom recently with Team Canada. “It was exhilarating. I pounded it in.”

Rumball shared his international glory during the first two weeks of April with Michael Douros, 17. The students now plan to apply their international experience to the Blues for the team’s season.

Respecting Difference high on the agenda at Dufferin-Peel equity conference

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BRAMPTON, ONT. - Staff from the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board came together April 21 to examine how to enhance equality, equity and inclusiveness in their school communities.

The Dufferin-Peel board’s 8th Annual (IN)Equity Conference was held at St. Marguerite d’Youville Secondary School in Brampton.

“As we look at all the changing demographics and the different population of students that come into our schools, we want to be able to be effective in how we educate,” said Les Storey, the board’s principal of equity, diversity and inclusive education.