Catholic Education

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


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


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


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


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.

York Region art school to get proper facilities


MARKHAM, ONT. - A York Region school will soon have more reason to sing and dance as construction on a new arts building nears completion.  

St. Michael Catholic Academy in Markham, Ont., should be ready for a September opening. St. Michael’s is the only elementary school in York Region with a special focus on the arts: instrumental music, dance, drama and visual arts. Students in Grades 4 to 8 get special instruction on these subjects every day, in addition to the regular academic classes. When students return in September, they will be returning to a building with specialized facilities. Currently they are in a typical school building, without the facilities to cater to an advanced arts program.

The evolution of student leadership


TORONTO - Over the last two decades, student leadership has evolved and taken on new life, according to Greg Rogers.

“Twenty years ago, schools were just beginning to realize the power of student leadership,” said Rogers, co-ordinator of student leadership with the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Rogers has been on the frontline of this growth since the early 1990s, when as acting vice principal at Toronto’s Brebeuf College School, he asked to take the incoming Grade 9 class on a camp retreat to Olympia Sports Camp in Huntsville, Ont.

TCDSB looks to future with multi-year plan


Looking to restore public confidence in school trustees, the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) board has passed a multi-year plan that emphasizes trustee governance, mentoring and transparency.

“We are reducing the areas of ambiguity and providing more clarity,” said Ann Andrachuk, second-term chair of the board. “That will restore and improve public confience, not only for us but for Catholic education around the province. We’ve always been looked at as being leaders in Catholic education in the province and we’re heading in that direction again.”

St. Jude’s anti-drug murals to be showcased on TTC


On April 20 as thousands across North America protested anti-drug laws by smoking pot, Grade 8 students at St. Jude Catholic School picked up paintbrushes to promote a different drug message — say no.

“It’s sheer coincidence but, to a certain extent, what better day to work on a project like this than a day a large part of society is raising that level of acceptance,” said Nick Biagini, St. Jude’s principal. “It helps them to become aware of the dangers of drugs, even drugs that they feel are light. They can become gateways for other more addictive drugs.”

Mysterious ailment fells eight at St. Thomas More School


TORONTO - Spring cleaning became a high priority at St. Thomas More Catholic School on April 26 after at least six students and two teachers began feeling flu-like symptoms.

The rapid onset of the symptoms, which included fevers, lethargy and severe abdominal pains, raised enough concern that emergency crews were called to the school in Toronto's northeast end. Most who displayed signs of illness were assessed and released on site by Emergency Medical Services, who arrived around 2 p.m., with the exception of one student who was transported to hospital.

Toronto students to begin their day singing ‘O Canada’


TORONTO - Students in Toronto Catholic schools will now begin their school day by singing our national anthem each morning.

On April 19, the Toronto Catholic District School Board voted 7-3 to have students sing “O Canada” a cappella during opening exercises.

To lead by example, trustee Angela Kennedy, who spearheaded the vote, uploaded a video of herself on YouTube singing “O Canada” without any background music.