Recognizing Champions of Black Excellence

Black History Month is celebrated every February to shine a light on Black Excellence. As part of that celebration, the Ottawa Catholic School Board chose to highlight the efforts of employees who have championed Black Excellence over the years. These champions engaged students by nurturing their dreams, amplifying their voices and supporting them on their pathway. Together they acted as light beams on a path not easily traversed. We are proud of their dedication to our community and, more importantly, our students.

Who are our champions?

We honour all 19 OCSB employees who were nominated by students and staff board-wide. Thank you to you all!

Jodi Ashton

St. Elizabeth School

“Jodi preaches acceptance in all she does. She uplifts Black voices and perspectives year round, not just in February.”

Salome Atandi

St. Joseph Adult School

“Salome has championed and supported all students, especially Black adult newcomers to Canada learning English.”

Jennifer Bérubé

Holy Trinity Catholic High School

“Jennifer is passionate about social justice, anti-oppression, and anti-racism, in particular anti-Black racism.”

Abraham Boyo

St. Peter High School

“Abraham is devoted to helping Black students succeed academically, always making sure his students are aware of all opportunities.”

Katarina Cavar

Good Shepherd Catholic School

“Katarina is a strong ally with colleagues during Black History Month, and the whole school community benefits.”

Valérie Clément

Blessed Carlo Virtual School

“Valérie makes learning about Black excellence fun, and always makes sure everyone gets a fair chance in her class.”

Jessica Collins

St. Patrick’s High School

“Jessica stands out for her initiative towards helping Black students and other students of colour feel welcome in our school environment.”

Mario Deller

St. Matthew High School

“No other staff member has made as much of an impact on Black excellence at St. Matthew throughout the past 25 years than Mario.

Michelle Gallivan

St. Peter High School

“Michelle is committed to ensuring her students participate and engage with Black excellence initiatives.”

Barbara Giroux

Holy Family School

“Barbara has worked diligently with her class and the entire school community to be a voice for human rights.”

Patricia Holas

St. Patrick Adult School

“Wilma shows great respect for racialized persons, Black history, and Black excellence.”

Karen Kyle

Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School

“Karen works with Black students to foster excellence in their future goals and ambitions.”

Marcia Lynch

St. Luke, Ottawa School

“Marcia never misses an opportunity to encourage, listen, and kindly guide the students (and staff) in our school. She impersonates Black Excellence.”

Jennifer Martinez

Immaculata High School

“Jennifer creates a tempered, supportive, and constructive space for Black students to achieve co-constructed goals and establish a sense of community.”

Martine Mitton

St. Clare School

“Martine inspires the Black students in our school and takes the time to make meaningful connections with them.”

Kamar Simmonds

Chapel Hill Catholic School

“Kamar encourages his community to look beyond the conventional historical topics to bring about a new perspective.”

Ann Marie Vanneste

All Saints High School

“Ann Marie consistently leads, nurtures, and supports Black students within our community in being the best versions of themselves.”

Carlos Velasco

St. Elizabeth School

“Carlos’ motivational teaching shows his students that their voices are powerful tools that can help change the world.”

Nicola Whitehouse

St. Peter High School

“Nicola continuously promotes the voice of her Black students all year round, creating an equitable environment for all.”

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