Dino Sicoli

33 Michael Drive North
Port Colborne, ON
L3K 3C4
Res:  905.835.8177


Annual Organizational Meeting
of the Niagara Catholic District School Board
December 4, 2018

Your Excellency, trustee colleagues and guests: Welcome to the Inaugural Meeting of the Niagara Catholic District School Board, which officially marks the beginning of the 2019 School Board year.

Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to address you tonight as the Vice-Chair of The Niagara Catholic District School Board.

Let me extend thanks on behalf of our new Board to our outgoing Chair, Trustee Fr. Paul McNeil, Vice- Chair Pat Vernal. We thank them for their contributions and for the important work they have done for Catholic Education in Niagara.

I am proud to be a Catholic trustee and I am honoured to serve as the Vice-Chair of this Board. I accept this important role with humility. I thank my fellow trustees for allowing me the opportunity to serve in this privileged role. The trust and faith you have placed in me is very much valued and it gives me the confidence I will need to serve this Board.

As I have done in the past, I can only promise to continue to do the best job I can.  The rest we do and accomplish as a team. We are in the midst of a period of transition here at Niagara Catholic. We welcome five new trustees to the Board.  For many organizations this amount of change could signify significant challenges.  I choose to look at it as a time for opportunities – opportunities that will allow us to move forward in our quest to provide a quality Catholic education to our students. Opportunities to work with our dedicated staff, senior administration, parents, clergy and students in bringing a faith based, and Christ centered education to all who choose to attend our schools. This is our opportunity to let our constituents know that Catholic education in Niagara will be healthy, strong and a vital part of the publicly funded education system in this province.

Biblically speaking this is an opportunity to re-build a positive culture of hospitality, collegiality, one of integrity, honesty and respect –building of the Kingdom of God. This is indeed a great opportunity to make a difference…one step at a time.

A special thank you is extended to all of our teaching & support staff, our principals and vice-principals who everyday go above and beyond for our students. Your commitment is evident in the vibrancy of spirit that is experienced in our Catholic school communities and it is a testament to the exceptional quality of education offered in our classrooms.

Catholic education is a gift to treasure, to cherish, to promote and to protect.  Trustees, the responsibility to do that falls squarely on our shoulders. Our message needs to be about the value of Catholic education. As always, it is our students who give us purpose and hope. They are the reason we are here. We delight in seeing how engaged they are in their learning, how they give witness to their faith, and how they are making a positive impact on our world. I thank them for the inspiration they bring to us.

As we begin this new board year, I look forward with hope, with confidence, and with optimism, in working with all of the Educational partners.

In closing, I want to share with you a closing prayer from today’s Mass. “LORD, come and dwell in every part of our life. Make us into your glorious dwelling place.” This is a place where we bring peace, justice, truth to one another.

Thank you and God Bless all of you.