Niagara Catholic District School Board

November is shaping up to be a very busy month across Niagara Catholic! We hope you will enjoy reading about them on our Good News Blog and will join us for public events at our schools and in our communities. 



We begin November 2014 in prayer and reflection. All-Saints Day is November 1, and All-Souls Day is November 2.  Please pray for all of those who have gone before us.



Students learned about what their parents do here at the Catholic Education Centre during Take Our Kids to Work Day in 2013.

Students at the Catholic Education Centre during Take Our Kids to Work Day in 2013.

On November 5, our Grade 9 students will have the opportunity to explore future career pathways during Take Our Kids to Work Day. It’s an exciting time for these students, and we are grateful to the many community partners who make this such an insightful and safe event for our students.

While the Grade 9s are away, our Catholic secondary schools host Grade 8 Day. This annual event brings our senior Catholic elementary school students into their future Catholic secondary school. We invite all Grade 8s to participate in activities at their future Catholic high school. We also encourage you to share your experience on social media, using #NCSmartChoice to join the conversation.

Finally, members of the Special Education Advisory Committee will meet at the Catholic Education Centre on November 5.


Random Act of Kindness DayNovember 7 is Random Act of Kindness Day across Niagara. Last year, Niagara Catholic held a system-wide Oatmeal Day, in support of Mary’s Meals Canada. This event was incredibly successful, raising $30,000 to help fund a hot meal program for students in Malawi. Through the very generous support of students and staff, we were able to feed $3,000 students a hot meal at school every day for a full year.

In 2014, our schools have arranged their own Act of Kindness events, while staff at the Catholic Education Centre will hold a used clothing drive in partnership with the Canadian Diabetes Association.

A Canadian Diabetes Association Clothesline truck will be parked at the Catholic Education Centre on November 7, and you are invited to drop off gently used clothing during office hours (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.). The clothing will then be distributed to local Value Village stores for sale.

The events of the past few weeks have served as an especially poignant reminder of the importance of our Canadian military.

On November 11, our students and staff will observe Remembrance Day in a variety of ways, including prayer services, visits to local cenotaphs, and inviting veterans of Canada’s wartime and peacekeeping service to share their stories.

Please wear your poppy proudly through Remembrance Day.

StudentVoiceOn November 12, Niagara Catholic will hold its first Student Voice Conference of the year.

This event brings together elementary and secondary students from across the system to discuss this year’s topic, Lead Out Loud – Learning the Stories of Our Community. 

On November 13, Niagara Catholic will host its second annual Culture of Life Conference. This focuses on the Catholic Social Teaching of the Dignity of the Human Person.

Don’t forget: November 14 is a Professional Activity Day for our Elementary and Secondary schools.

Elementary progress reports and secondary mid-term report cards will be sent home with students the week of November 17.

Elementary parent-student-teacher interviews will take place the following week.

November will conclude with our second annual Kids Lit Quiz on November 26. This fun and educational event challenges elementary students’ knowledge about their favourite books.


The mission of the Diocese of St. Catharines is founded in the mission of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus states that He came down from heaven, "not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me." (Jn6:38) Jesus' mission is doing the will of his Father. This is the will of the Father, "that all who see the Son and believe in him will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day". (Jn 6:40)

The Diocese of St. Catharines' mission is rooted in doing the Father's will by proclaiming His son to the world so that all can know, love and serve Him. This mission is lived out on a daily basis in our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions. We find clergy, religious and laity committed to proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ by witnessing to His truth, justice, love and mercy. St. Catharines Diocese is where faith lives.


Table of Contents

 Board Room Highlights

Introducing Our 2014-2018 Board of Trustees

Niagara voters headed to the polls on Monday, October 27 in the Ontario municipal and school board elections.

Congratulations to Kathy Burtnik, Maurice Charbonneau, Frank Fera, Paul MacNeil, Ed Nieuwesteeg, Ted O’Leary, Dino Sicoli and Pat Vernal who will represent Catholic ratepayers for the next four years. Niagara Catholic’s Inaugural Board Meeting will take place at Denis Morris Catholic High School in St. Catharines on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 7 p.m. A Mass will be led by Bishop Bergie will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church beginning at 6 p.m.

Thank you to outgoing Merritton-Thorold Trustee and current Vice-Chair Rhianon Burkholder for her outstanding service to Niagara Catholic during her term of office.

Policy Update

Trustees have approved revisions to the Board’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Policy and Reimbursement of Travel Expenses Policy. Our Concussion Policy is currently being vetted. The community is invited to review this policy and to make comments to Jennifer Brailey, Manager of Corporate Services and Communications at by November 14, 2014.

Welcoming the World

Exchange studentsInternational students from France and Switzerland were welcomed to Niagara Catholic during the October 14 Committee of the Board meeting. They were joined by their exchange partners from five of our secondary schools. The international students will stay in Niagara through the fall, learning English and studying Canadian culture. Our students will travel to their selected destinations in February, 2015.

School Excellence at Notre Dame College School

NotreDameJosephNotre Dame College School in Welland’s School Excellence Presentation during the October 28th Board Meeting was a dynamic mix of arts and academics. Led by Principal Ralph DeFazio, the presentation focused on the history of Notre Dame and its long-standing commitment to the community. It also included an energetic performance from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the school musical produced last year.

What’s New?

Director’s Inspiration Award Celebration a Resounding Success

Inspiration-GroupNiagara Catholic’s Second Annual Director’s Inspiration Awards took place at St. Kevin Catholic Church in Welland on October 9, and it was an outstanding celebration of Catholic education. Congratulations to our 2014 recipients for their exemplary efforts in Catholic education.

Student Wins Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award

Kennedy_KielburgerCongratulations to Stephanie Kennedy, a Grade 8 student at Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School in St. Catharines. Stephanie plays a key role in several community oriented and global social justice initiatives at her school, and is an active member of her school’s Me to We Club. Stephanie received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award from Free the Children Founder Craig Kielburger during the We Day event in Toronto on October 2. Photo credit: 2014, Lyn Photography.



Saint Paul Catholic High School Senior 2014 Computer Recipient

Each year during the annual Niagara Foundation focomputer-donation-webr Catholic Education Golf Tournament, the names of approximately 2,000 graduating students from our eight Catholic high schools are entered into a draw for a new computer. Congratulations to Eric Pioli, a Grade 12 student at Saint Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, the 2014 recipient of a new computer, courtesy of Advanced Office Solutions in Grimsby. The winner’s name was a secret until Eric was presented with his computer during his Functions class on October 9, 2014.

Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence at Saint Michael Catholic High School

25th-STM-celebrationThe Saint Michael Catholic High School community celebrated 25 years of excellence in Catholic education with an anniversary reunion on October 11.

Current Principal Jim Whittard welcomed first Principal Bill Walter, Director of Education John Crocco (Saint Michael’s third Principal), Paul Barchesi (fourth Principal) and Mario Ciccarelli (fifth Principal) to the event. Former Vice-Principals (and current Superintendents of Education) Lee Ann Forsyth-Sells and Ted Farrell, Glenn Gifford (current Principal of Lakeshore Catholic High School) and Andrew Bartley (current Vice-Principal of Denis Morris Catholic High School) also attended.

View the photo gallery.

Don’t Miss It. Events and Activities in November 2014

November is shaping up to be a very busy month across Niagara Catholic. Don’t miss a thing – click here for our November events.





The Niagara Catholic District School Board, through the charisms of faith, social justice, support and leadership, nurtures an enriching Catholic learning community for all to reach their full potential and become living witnesses of Christ.