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Jordan Todd works in the Ottawa Catholic School Board's communications department. He graduated from Carleton University's journalism program in 2015 and creates content for the OCSB blog and other social media platforms.
May
24

St. Jerome takes part in Project North

As part of a school-wide inquiry into what it means to be Canadian, the Grade 2 students at St. Jerome School decided to get involved with Project North, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in Canada's northern communities. They decided to tie it to their Lenten project, and began raising money for needy northern students. They organized a number of fundraisers and ended up with over $1000 to send north.

In addition to raising money, the students also learned about Nunavut, their art, culture, geography, and more. They wrote letters to northern students and had them delivered by expedition members. They're now waiting to see if they have pen pals up north. Either way, this incredible initiative truly shows the citizenship and community spirit of the St. Jerome community.

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May
16

A heartfelt farewell to Uplands

As Uplands Catholic School winds down its final school year before closing its doors for good, staff and students are leaving on a positive note. At a recent mass, Principal Elaine Phinney reflected on some the life lessons she learned at Uplands. "I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn." At the same mass, they blessed a stained glass ornament of the Uplands logo that will hang at Holy Family School next year. Tania Gonsalvez, Principal of Holy Family School, was present to receive the ornament and welcome the students of Uplands into the Holy Family community.

The priest blessing the stained glass ornament of the Uplands logo that will hang at Holy Family School next year.
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May
15

OCSB schools among top Terry Fox Run fundraisers

Three OCSB high schools were among the top 20 fundraisers in Ontario for the 2016 Terry Fox School Run. Holy Trinity Catholic High School, St. Pius X High School, and Immaculata High School went above and beyond to raise over $70,000 combined for cancer research. All of our schools raised a combined $180,689 last year, and our running total is $2,466,902. The dedication, enthusiasm, and selflessness shown by our school communities to support such a worthy cause is an inspiration for the entire OCSB family.

Holy Trinity students at their 2016 Terry Fox Run.

Before their run, Holy Trinity held an assembly where two speakers shared how cancer had affected their lives. It brought the whole school community together, and reminded them of the stakes involved. The run itself is always one of the highlight of the Holy Trinity school year. Students wear school colours, there's food, music, dance numbers, lip synch battles, and much more. They raised the 3rd most money in Ontario, a total of $44,507.30.

St. Pius students getting into the spirit at a past Terry Fox Run.

St. Pius organizes a wide variety of events and fundraisers to get people in the spirit and encourage donations. They host a car wash, sell "Pius Potatoes" from the school garden, and have a day where students can pay a fee to miss part of their fourth period class to watch teachers play against students in a variety of sports. Their 2016 total was $16,223.53, earning 12th place in the province.

Immaculata celebrating their 2016 Terry Fox Run.

Immaculata has been taking part in the Terry Fox Run for 24 years. In that time, they've raised over $250,000 for cancer research. They incorporate homeroom challenges, staff initiatives, and give out prizes for top fundraisers. Primarily though, they just ask that each student donate $10, and it all adds up. Their run brought in $13,209.94, 19th most among Ontario high schools.

Over 4200 Ontario schools organized Terry Fox Runs last year, raising more than $6.7 million to fund cancer research. Almost 40 years after Terry took his first steps on a cross-country run that would captivate and inspire a nation, his legacy lives on at thousands of Canadian schools each year.

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May
15

St. Paul students get VIP treatment at Shopify

Earlier this month, 43 Computer Science and Business students from St. Paul High School were treated to a VIP tour of Shopify's Ottawa offices. They enjoyed their visit to the impressive facility, which included robotic go-karts, a slide, and many themed work spaces. Two St. Paul alumni who now work at Shopify prepared a motivational presentation for the visiting students. They also heard from Andrea Ross, who shared her extensive expertise regarding educational opportunities with our students.

One of the visiting students, Grade 12 Emma Orhun, was also awarded the prestigious Shopify Computer Science Internship. This paid internship is a partnership between Carleton University and Shopify, and will cover all of Emma's tuition for her full undergraduate degree, among other advantages and opportunities. Congratulations, Emma.

St. Paul High School students get the VIP treatment at Shopify.
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May
10

OCSB students to send another experiment to space

The St. Brother Andre PGL students hard at work on their experiment.

Students in the Program for Gifted Learners (PGL) at St. Brother Andre School recently earned the right to send one of their experiments into outer space by qualifying for the Cubes in Space program for the second year in a row.

Thousands of students aged 11 to 18 from around the world sent in scientific proposals, hoping to get their experiment a spot on either a NASA sounding rocket, or a high-altitude scientific balloon. Our hardworking students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board collaborated over several weeks to create an experiment that looks at the effects of radiation and weightlessness on teeth in space.

Thanks to their hard work, creativity, and critical thinking, their proposal was one of the 160 experiments chosen to participate in this special endeavour. Two of their experimental chompers will be taking to the sky: one on a sounding rocket and one on a high-altitude balloon. On top of all that, several of the students and their families will be traveling to the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia next month, where they will have the chance to present their research and watch the rocket that will be housing their experiment launch into space.

The St. Brother Andre PGL students jumping for joy at the fact that their experiment is heading to outer space.
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May
09

Governor General honours OCSB community members

On April 28th, three outstanding members of the OCSB family were among those awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country. OCSB Trustee John Curry, St. Jerome School teacher Tracey Nesrallah, and Sacred Heart High School student Tysen Lefebvre were all honoured at the special event at City Hall. Mayor Jim Watson, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, and many city councillors were on hand to congratulate the worthy volunteers.

Congratulations to all three award-winners, you inspire each and every one of us at the OCSB on a daily basis. See photos of the winners in our Facebook album.

From left to right: Mayor Jim Watson, OCSB Trustee John Curry, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, Councillor Scott Moffatt. Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG, 2017.
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May
05

2017 Catholic Education Week Choral Celebration

To close out this year's Catholic Education Week, choirs from several OCSB schools gathered to participate in our annual Choral Celebrations held at Notre Dame High School and St. Paul High School. The talented students gave a beautiful singing performance in front of their peers and parents. To end the celebration, the choirs got creative, putting all of their parents up on stage while the students performed for them from the seats. It was a moving scene, and a great way to end another successful Catholic Education Week.

The Divine Infant School choir performs at the OCSB's annual Choral Celebration.
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May
05

2017 #CathEdWeek Dance Showcase

Every year during Catholic Education Week, several schools from across the OCSB come together for a three-day event to celebrate their shared love of dance. This year's dance showcase theme was "Broadway Bound: Start Spreading the Good News." Students from both elementary and high schools performed brilliantly choreographed dance routines in a wide variety of styles and genres, including hip hop, fusion, salsa, jazz, tap, broadway, and many more. The lively and outstanding performances were a tribute to all the time and effort the dancers and coaches spent working on their routines. Check out our Facebook album for more photos of the talented dancers.

The talented dancers from St. Peter High School perform their fun and upbeat jazz routine.
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May
04

2017 Catholic Education Week Mass

Our annual Catholic Education Week Mass was held on Tuesday, May 2nd, hosted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in downtown Ottawa. The Ottawa Catholic School Board Chamber Choir performed and Monsignor Daniel Berniquez presided over the Celebration of the Eucharist.

Following the Mass was the presentation of the Director of Education Commendation Awards, presented to outstanding role models in the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

"Most of our recipients do not feel deserving of the recognition. They are just doing their jobs like anybody else. But their colleagues do not agree with this analysis of their contributions. They see true leaders. People who walk the talk, role up their sleeves, and pitch in to make their school communities better."

OCSB Chair Elaine McMahon

Congratulations and thank you to all of these employees who demonstrate devotion and service in Catholic Education. See pictures of all 35 award recipients in our Facebook album!

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May
01

Bob Santos honoured as Principal of the Year

The Catholic Principals' Council of Ontario (CPCO) has honoured St. Stephen School's Bob Santos as Principal of the Year. Bob started his career as a teacher in Northern Quebec, then moved to Calgary, before settling in the Ottawa area where he has worked for close to three decades. Bob exemplifies gospel values in his daily actions and personifies leadership by his commitment to self-improvement. He teaches classes, supervises students, and coaches within his school's extracurricular activities. He fosters a school environment that is caring and promotes student success. In 2003, Bob was awarded the Director of Education Commendation Award for his strong leadership qualities.


Bob has served on CPCO's Constitution Committee and was Co-Chair at CPCO's Conference in 2014. Bob and his wife Barb live just outside of Ottawa, where he enjoys gardening and spending time with family and friends. They have three children. Bob is also an active member of his town's Community Emergency Response Volunteers' team, and is often seen helping neighbours by mowing lawns and shoveling driveways. On behalf of the entire OCSB family: congratulations, Bob.

Heartfelt congratulations are extended to Bob for being recognized as CPCO Principal of the Year. Bob's leadership has been invaluable to the Ottawa Catholic School Board, both within the school communities which he has led, as well as among his peers, as vice-president and president of the Catholic Principal's Council of Ottawa.  We are very proud of Bob and are grateful to him for his dedicated service to the students, staff and parents of the OCSB.

Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education
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Guest — LindaWare
Congratulations this doesn't surprise me in the least my boys had him as a teacher he was awesome then a true educator and wonderf... Read More
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 12:12 AM
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Apr
27

OCSB students collaborate to Keep the Promise

Students from across the Ottawa Catholic School Board recently gathered at the annual Keep the Promise Student Summit to work together to bring an end to child poverty in Canada. Over 65 OCSB students from Grade 5 to Grade 10 brainstormed ways they could make a difference in the lives of impoverished children.

This year's summit was all about student voice – what they think child poverty looks like in their communities and around Canada, and how they think they can make a difference. Students discussed in groups how their neighbourhoods and communities helped those in need, and were later treated to a human library, where they interacted with and asked questions of people who spend their lives helping fight poverty. It was a day filled with inspiration and with hope.

The origin of the summit comes from a promise made by Canadian political parties in 1989 to end child poverty by the year 2000. Today, 1 in 5 children in Ottawa live in poverty – that's about 32,000 kids. Keep the Promise is all about raising awareness, connecting to curriculum, empowering student voice, fostering leadership opportunities, and exploring solutions.

"When we all said 'We can Keep the Promise' together, it's kind of official, we all promised so we will remember!"

student quote
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Apr
27

OCSB visits Man of the Shroud Exhibit

Over 1500 OCSB students from 27 schools recently got to experience the Man of the Shroud exhibit held at St. Isidore Church in Kanata. The exhibit included a life-sized authentic recreation of the Shroud of Turin as well as more than 30 display panels outlining historic, scientific, and theological information about the shroud. The Shroud of Turin is widely believed to be the authentic burial cloth of Jesus. It was an inspirational and educational experience for all the students who attended.

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Apr
25

OCSB celebrates exceptional students

Ali Witol, a student at St. Anne School, was recently among the OCSB students recognized at the annual Celebrating Excellence event. This annual event celebrates and recognizes one exceptional student from each of our schools. Students are chosen by their peers for exemplifying one or more of the gospel values: faith, hope, love, community, justice, dignity of persons, excellence, and stewardship of creation.

Ali demonstrates the gospel value of excellence on a daily basis in her school community. She strives to do her best for herself and for others, not just academically, but also in the yard, in clubs, and in her social interactions. She always has a ready smile, even when a task is difficult. She demonstrates a strong ability to persevere through any challenge, and always does so in a positive manner. The St. Anne and OCSB communities are very proud of Ali and her many accomplishments this year. Congratulations, Ali!

Ali Witol with her father at the OCSB's Celebrating Excellence event.
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Apr
25

Elite basketball program wins national championship

Canada Topflight Academy (CTA), which operates out of Notre Dame High School, has won the inaugural National Preparatory Association (NPA) league tournament. The NPA is a new league for elite-level prep basketball teams from across the country. It currently includes nine teams.

CTA came into the event as the third seed, with a 10-5 record. After losing their first five games of the year, they were riding a 10-game winning streak going into the tournament. Eventually, they would reach the finals against the fifth seed London Basketball Academy, who had upset the tournament favourites, Central Tech. After a tough game, the first-year program from Ottawa came out on top.

Canada Topflight Academy celebrates after winning the national championship.

Their success this year would not have been possible without the support of everyone at Notre Dame High School. CTA looks forward to building on the first year momentum and will start recruiting for the 2017-18 season immediately.

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Apr
13

Simone Oliver honoured by OCSOA

Simone Oliver, OCSB Superintendent of Student Success (Elementary), was recently awarded the OCSOA-CASSA EXL Award at the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers' Association Annual General Meeting. The annual award is given to an administrator who is dedicated to improving children's educational experiences, increasing the scope and quality of school programs, and creating environments that foster positive attitudes towards learning. In her years as an OCSB Superintendent, Ms. Oliver has led collaborative teams that helped shape both the Special Education and Student Services Department, as well as the Student Success Department (Elementary). She was nominated for the award by the OCSB Executive Team.

The entire OCSB community is indebted to Superintendent Oliver for her tireless work as a champion of Catholic education. Congratulations, Simone.

Simone Oliver (centre) receives her award from OCSOA President Deb Crawford (left) and OCSOA Executive Director John Kostoff (right).
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Apr
12

St. Elizabeth School wins new instruments

St. Elizabeth School recently applied for and won the MusiCounts Band Aid Program grand prize of $10,000 to go towards musical instruments for their school. The school community provided MusiCounts with a wish list of instruments and the program purchased them. The instruments were unveiled at the announcement assembly by the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and Juno Award winning artist Ruth B. There were also special performances at the assembly by Ruth B, and the school band. Check out the video & photos from the event.

Juno-award-winning artist Ruth B and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau at the MusiCounts assembly at St. Elizabeth School.
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Apr
04

OCSB students take part in mass band performance

Students from 9 of our high schools - Sacred HeartHoly Trinity, St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. Pius X, St. Peter, Lester B. Pearson, St. Patrick's, and St. Francis Xavier - recently took part in a mass band performance conducted by Alexander Shelley of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Over 1300 kids took part, and more than 350 of them were from the OCSB. Watch the performance below.

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Mar
30

St. Peter teacher receives 2017 Mayor’s City Builder Award

LeeAnn Napiorkowski, St. Peter High School's High Needs Coordinator, has been awarded a 2017 Mayor's City Builder Award for her extraordinary commitment to making her community a better place for all. She uses her passion for coaching as a way to guide, support, and encourage her players on and off the field.

LeeAnn Napiorkowski (middle, red sweater) with educational assistants and the students from her Inclusion Room before receiving her award.

As the head coach of St. Peter High School's senior boy's rugby team, her leadership has translated into success for her students, both in sports and in life. Her teams have reached several city championships, but, more importantly, her players regularly take part in fundraisers and community charity events. Outside of her school, she also volunteers as a coach for the Ottawa Beavers-Banshees Rugby Football Club and other provincial and regional teams.

LeeAnn's tireless commitment to the principles of inclusion and respect have led her to establish an ambassador program to help connect the parent Beavers and Banshee Rugby clubs with junior players. LeeAnn raises money for financially challenged players who cannot afford registration and equipment, including one player who qualified for the Eastern Ontario Championship, and wouldn't have been able to go without LeeAnn's fundraising support.

On top of all that, LeeAnn's compassion led her to help the family of John Kelly, a St. Peter student who tragically passed away, establish a memorial award in their son's name. Thanks in part to LeeAnn's efforts, The John Kelly Memorial Award remains a living tribute to John's life, and helps other students pursue their rugby goals after graduation.

The Mayor's City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that has demonstrated a strong commitment to making our city a better place. LeeAnn more than qualifies. The OCSB family sends a big thank you to LeeAnn for everything she does, and for being an inspiration for us all.

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Mar
23

Sacred Heart grad named a Women of Worth

Everyone should have access to healthy, affordable food. It's this belief that's fuelled Eva von Jagow's mission to combat food insecurity in Canada over the past half decade. Through her tireless and inspiring work, she's truly making a difference. And now she's being recognized for it.

Eva, a recent Sacred Heart High School graduate, was selected as one of the 10 inaugural members of Canada's L'Oréal Women of Worth, a program that promotes and celebrates inspiring Canadian women who strive to improve the lives of people across Canada. Chosen from over 300 nominations, she is being honoured for her role with DueNORTH, a not-for-profit she founded that aims to fight food insecurity for children and youth in Canada's Far North.

Eva's journey began in 2012, when she was in Grade 11 at Sacred Heart. That's when she first learned about food insecurity, and how it impacts many Northern Canadian people every day. When she found out that many children don't have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food to live an active and healthy life, she knew she had to do something about it. So, she got to work founding the All That Glam Fundraiser, which sells used jewelry and handbags to support breakfast programs in Nunavut. To date, it's raised over $100,000 with corporate matching. That's a lot of full stomachs.

From there, Eva went on to found DueNORTH, with the goal of providing even more healthy breakfasts for children and youth in Northern Canada. Under the organization's four guiding principles of fundraising, engagement, awareness, and connection, DueNORTH strives for a Canada where everyone has access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally-appropriate food.

Eva is truly living out the Catholic Graduate Expectations by showing compassion, integrity, and initiative. She saw a problem, and became part of the solution. The OCSB is extremely proud of all of Eva's tremendous work, and we look forward to seeing the all the great things she'll do next.

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Mar
10

St. Peter shows solidarity with local mosque

A poster with messages from the St. Peter school community.

When members of our community are hurting, our faith calls for us to offer love and support. So, in the wake of the tragic shooting at a Quebec City mosque, the St. Peter High School community reached out to a local mosque to show them that the staff and students cared.

After speaking with Imam Mohammed Badat of Masjid Balil mosque, teachers Scott Searle and Linda Roe decided to show sympathy and compassion by making cards and posters for the members of the mosque. Linda brought the idea to her leadership class, and they leapt at the opportunity. People in their community were grieving, and the students wanted to help. The class got together after school and began making posters and writing kind messages. Word spread quickly, and, pretty soon, the whole school was taking part. The leadership class put their big poster in the chapel for other students to sign, and other classes took time to make their own cards and messages of support. The whole school came together to offer some love and kindness to those who needed it most.

Needless to say, the members of the mosque were touched by the heartwarming gesture. They invited the leadership class to visit the mosque to see their cards and posters on display, and to see the positive impact they were having. Imam Badat even told the students that he could use their kind and inspiring messages as inspiration for his weekly prayers for the rest of the year. The mosque even made cards of their own for the students, and presented the school with a commemorative plaque to show their gratitude.

"Our students were happy that they could do something to reach out to their friends and help them feel a little bit better, knowing that we all stand together as one human family."

Linda Roe

The entire St. Peter community has done a wonderful job of demonstrating the Catholic Graduate Expectations by spreading love, kindness, and compassion in their community. The OCSB family is extremely proud of St. Peter for going above and beyond to make a loving difference in their community. Take a look at some of the cards and posters in our Facebook album.

"All of us are proud to work in a faith-based environment that shows such love and solidarity with people of different religious backgrounds."

Scott Searle
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