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From the Director Blog

Denise Andre, Director of Education, is one of our most popular OCSB bloggers. Her thoughtful perspective speaks directly to parents, students and staff all at the same time.
Renewing the Promise – A Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education

Renewing the Promise – A Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education

The Catholic education community of Ottawa plays a significant role in the life of our Church. It is a community that accompanies, builds relationships, encourages engagement, instills hope and forms joyful disciples. Students, parents, teachers and education workers, support staff, principals and vice-principals, trustees, directors and supervisory officers are part of this community, as well as clergy and pastoral teams. Together we can all commit to Renewing the Promise of Catholic education for future generations and to work to build a strong foundation for joyful disciples.

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An honour we can all share

On Tuesday evening, the Ottawa Catholic School Board was honoured at the annual Ottawa Philanthropy Awards ceremony with the Outstanding Philanthropic Group award for our longstanding partnership with the Shepherds of Good Hope. I am proud of our school board’s continued generosity and service to our community through our special partnership with the Shepherds of Good Hope.

Thomas D’Amico, Associate Director of Education, and Joanne MacEwan, Vice-Chair of our Board, were present at the celebration to accept this award on our behalf. The countless acts of mercy, kindness and generosity our staff and students have contributed to the Shepherds of Good Hope also provide people with the invaluable gifts of respect and dignity.

As a faith-filled OCSB family, we work together every day to share in this caring community we’ve created together. Thank you to every staff member and student whose contributions have touched the lives of our neighbours with love and kindness.

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Embarking on a year of Good News in 2017-2018

I hope you have all taken time to enjoy your family, spend time in the great outdoors, and catch some of the exciting #Canada150 events that took place in our beautiful city throughout this summer. As we prepare to start the 2017-2018 school year, I’m pleased to highlight that we are starting our second year of our Spiritual theme Sent to be the Good News. I look forward to seeing our staff and students continuing to learn and live this theme out on a deeper level, discovering how they can be Good News for their communities, families, peers, and the ever-changing world around them.

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#OCSBFirstDay 2017

At the beginning of each school year, I marvel at how our schools are so well prepared and welcoming for the return of our students. Each year, our Planning and Facilities Department coordinate hundreds of construction and renovation projects over the summer two month period, and our caretaking staff work diligently to ensure that our schools are sparkling clean.

This year, we faced an unexpected challenge at the beginning of the summer with the fire at St. Francis of Assisi School. It is such a strength of our Board and part of our strong community, that our team would look at such a devastating event, come together to problem-solve, and have the school open and ready to receive the students in less than two months.

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Wrapping up another successful Education Week

Last week marked another successful Catholic Education Week here at the OCSB. I had the pleasure of attending many great events throughout the city and was reminded once again why it’s such a privilege and honour to work in Catholic education. Catholic Education Week is about celebrating the great value and distinctiveness of each Catholic school in our community, and I would like to take a moment to congratulate and thank the staff and students in all of our schools who made last week possible.

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Denise Andre

Denise Andre

Director of Education and Secretary-Treasurer

Phone: 613-224-4455 ext 2272 Fax: 613-228-4158 Email: Follow on Twitter @DeniseAndreOCSB


Denise Andre was appointed Director of Education and Secretary-Treasurer of the Ottawa Catholic School Board in July 2015. She has been with the Ottawa Catholic School Board for 39 years and has served as a teacher, department head, vice-principal, principal, superintendent, and deputy (associate) director. Denise has served on the Board of Directors for St. Mary’s Home and Outreach Centre and the Youth Services Bureau and is currently on the Board of Directors for St. Paul University, the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA), and the Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE). Denise is President of the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa (CEFO), and has also served as an instructor for the Supervisory Officer’s Qualifications Program, offered by the Eastern Ontario Staff Development Network (EOSDN). Denise holds a Masters of Education and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University. Denise spent her early days in Cornwall, and has been married to Bob Thomas for over 32 years. Bob is the OCSB's Educational Consultant for Physical & Health Education, as well as a professor at the University of Ottawa.
“As Director, I want to ensure that the OCSB continues to be an inclusionary learning environment, which is child-centred and grounded in faith. As a Board, we will continue to leverage technology to allow learning and collaboration to take place in many forms.” Denise Andre

OCSB Director of Education