Wow! Here it is – the final month of the school year, and what a year it’s been! Looking back, there have been so many wonderful learning experiences and opportunities for our students and our staff. We’ve celebrated our successes together and have come together to support each other when we needed it. As we begin June, we look back at the year that was, but also look ahead at the learning still to be done, the milestones to be marked and yes, two glorious months ahead we hope are filled with long, relaxing sunny days with family and friends. Here’s what the month of June has to offer here at Niagara Catholic:
Our annual Staff and Family Mass and Picnic will take place at the Catholic Education Centre on June 3 (weather permitting).
On June 5, Niagara Catholic will host the world premiere of Jungle Jamboree at Saint Michael Catholic High School. For the past several weeks, 10 students living with autism have been working with staff to bring the story of friendship, acceptance and self-discovery to life. The play was then recorded and will be shown to family and friends. Congratulations to everyone involved in this very unique program that has given students with autism an opportunity many do not receive – the chance to participate in co-curriculars with friends.
Our Young Artists Gala will take place at Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines on June 6. The artwork will be on display throughout the month of June. Congratulations to the extremely talented young artists whose work has been selected to be displayed for the public to see.
June 8 is an Elementary Professional Activity Day. Enjoy the long weekend as teachers prepare final report cards.
Niagara Catholic’s annual Retirement and Service Recognition Celebration will take place on June 21. Congratulations to those who are on to new lives of leisure or filled with volunteering, looking after grandchildren or travel, and to those who are being recognized with 25 years of service to Catholic education in Niagara.
Semester Two exams will take place June 21-27 for our secondary school students. We wish all those writing exams – especially those writing their last set of high school exams – good luck. Study hard and we know you’ll do great!
Elementary graduation ceremonies will take place June 19 to 27, and secondary school graduations will take place June 26, 27 and 28. Congratulations to everyone who is moving on to a new adventure in life, whether it’s from Kindergarten to primary classes, into high school or from high school into an apprenticeship, college, university or the world of work.
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.
During the June 12 Committee of the Whole Meeting, trustees recommended six policies be sent to the upcoming Board Meeting for consideration.
Electronic Communications Systems (Students ) Policy (301.5), Employee Code of Conduct & Ethics Policy (201.17), Employee Hiring and Selection (Teachers) Policy (203.1), Environmental Stewardship Policy (400.6), Bottled Water Policy (701.5) and Voluntary and Confidential Self-Identification for First Nation, Metis and Inuit Students Policy (301.9) will be considered June 19.
Once approved, the updated Policies will be posted on the Board website.
Larkin Award Recipients Selected
The Larkin Estate Admission Awards are administered by the Board of Trustees of the Niagara Catholic District School Board. Funding for the Awards comes from the estate of Maria Eveleen and Aimee Theresa Larkin. The Awards have been administered annual since 1969 and are available to a graduating Niagara Catholic student enrolling in a nursing or social work program for the coming academic year.
This year’s recipients eight recipients, who each receive $225 toward their nursing studies, are: Bianca Caparello-Wanless (Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School); Adriana Erzar and Melissa Rea (Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School); Madison Grano and Amy Hannon (Denis Morris Catholic High School); and Jane Jarrett, Kate Raso and Sydney Silvestri (Notre Dame College School).
Another 11 students – nine nursing students and two enrolled in social work – will also receive $225 renewal Awards.
Hello and Goodbye
At the start of the Committee of the Whole Meeting, Director of Education John Crocco welcomed Niagara Catholic’s two incoming Student Trustees, Saint Paul Catholic High School student Jade Bilodeau, who will serve for two years, and Madison McKinney from Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School, who will serve for one year.
Director Crocco spoke about the students’ interests and their pride at being selected to represent students from across Niagara Catholic at the Board.
Chair MacNeil also extended a fond farewell to outgoing Student Trustees Nico Tripodi, who served two terms and will graduate from Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School later this month, and Hannah Tummillo, who is graduating from Lakeshore Catholic High School this year.
Hannah and Nico expressed their appreciation to the members of Senior Staff and the Board of Trustees for their support and kindness, and spoke glowingly of the friendship they forged with each other in the past year.
In their typical fashion, Nico and Hannah said their farewell with a song.
Congratulations to Jade and Madison! We are confident you will be wonderful student voice representatives at the Board. And congratulations and thanks to Hannah and Nico for your outstanding contributions to Niagara Catholic, and to Catholic education in Ontario. We wish you all the best in the future.
National and Provincial Medalists
Each year during June the Committee of the Whole Meeting, Niagara Catholic recognizes students who have achieved recognition at the provincial or national level. During the June 12 Committee of the Whole Meeting, the following students were recognized:
The following students were recognized (although not all attended) for their outstanding performance at the Skills Ontario and Skills Canada events earlier this year: From Saint Paul Catholic High School: Joseph Abbruscato (Gold in Culinary Arts at Skills Ontario and 6th at Skills Canada with teacher Vincenza Smith); From Denis Morris Catholic High School: Cody Crumb, Denis Morris Catholic High School, (Gold at Skills Ontario in Brick-Masonry) with teacher Dino Nardangeli and Yaman Abuibaid (Bronze at Skills Ontario in Web Design and Development) with teacher Carl Mazur; From Notre Dame College School: Carson Kompon, (Silver in Coding at Skills Ontario) and Tyler Rocheleau (Bronze at Skills Ontario in Architectural Technology and Design) with teacher Joe Sciarra; Dera Campbell (Bronze in Aesthetics at Skills Ontario) and Mikayla Walsh (Bronze at Skills Ontario in Hairstyling) with teacher Dee Laalo; From Lakeshore Catholic High School: Jayne Inouye (Bronze at Skills Ontario in Baking) with teacher Joe Fabiano.
Members of the Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School Vocal Jazz Ensemble, led by teacher Angela Maccaroni, which won Bronze at the MusicFest Nationals.
Members of the Notre Dame Jazz Band/Jazz Combo, which won Silver at the MusicFest Nationals.
Several sports teams and athletes were recognized during the Committee of the Whole Meeting, including:
Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School rower Lauren Kelly, who won Silver at the Stotesbury Cup in Pennsylvania in May, and in the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association’s event in St. Catharines in early June, with coach Kelley Mercuri.
Denis Morris Catholic High School wrestler Leela Benjamin, who won Bronze at OFSAA, with coach Diane de Moel, and the Denis Morris Special Olympics Bocce Team, coached by Rob Battista and Mary Hagar, which won a Bronze Medal in provincial competition and Principal Dan DiLorenzo.
Notre Dame College School’s Senior Boys’ Football Team, which won OFSAA Silver last fall, represented by Team Captain and MVP Brandon Graziani, and coach Chris Biggar.
Notre Dame College School’s Men’s Doubles Tennis Team of Nathan Souza and Evan Keernaghan, coached by Jonathan Lau, which won OFSAA Bronze.
Notre Dame College School’s Senior Girls Basketball Team, which won OFSAA Bronze.
Notre Dame College School’s Junior Girls’ Double Rowing Team of Gillian Jansen and Nicole Hare, coached by Dave Belette, which won Gold in the Mother’s Day Regatta, and Silver at the John Bennett Regatta in Buffalo, the Stotesbury Up and the CSSRA Rowing Championship.
Notre Dame College School’s Cheerleading Team, coached by Monique Mastroianni, Shannon Letwin, Carla Alfaro and Rachel Mencfield, which won Silver in the Game Day Division and Bronze in the Small All-Girl Non-Tumbling division at the Cheerleading Worlds in Florida.
The Saint Michael Catholic High School Senior Girls Soccer Team, which won Silver at OFSAA.
English as a Second Language Program and Supports
Trustees were presented with an information report regarding the Board’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program, and supports for ESL learners during the Committee of the Whole Meeting.
Niagara Catholic celebrates and supports the cultural diversity of our school communities. These differences help students and staff understand different perspectives, build important personal traits like empathy and compassion, and create a dynamic learning environment in our schools.
Administrator, educator, student, community and family engagement have been integral in supporting ESL learners at St. Alfred and Canadian Martyrs Catholic Elementary Schools in St. Catharines, which have English Language Learner populations.
Among the initiatives to promote a student/family friendly learning environment for newcomer students and families are:
- After-school ESL students
- An ESL Summer Learning Program
- Engaging newcomers to support 21st century learning
- Supporting ELL in a digital classroom
Trustees were presented with the 2017-2020 Capital Plan during the Committee of the Whole Meeting June 12.
The proposed Capital Plan outlines a number of projects to be undertaken by the Board in the next two years.
The report is available in section C3 of the June 12 Committee of the Whole Agenda.
If it’s been a while since you visited our Good News section of this website, be sure to check to see what you’ve missed! Check it out to see scenes from the blessing at the new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School, the Jungle Jamboree and our Celebrating Young Artists Gala.
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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.