Inside This Issue:

Ontario Catholic Student Leadership Conference

The Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario will be hosting the 2013 Catholic Student Leadership Conference, April 11-12, 2013.

Both boards explain that this conference will be spiritually uplifting. The boards are in the process of confirming inspiring keynote speakers designed to engage all participants and partners in Catholic education from throughout Ontario in rich dialogue on the essential importance, impact and future of publicly funded Catholic education in our society throughout Ontario, Canada and the world.

The location for inspiring event for youth and board staff is the beautiful Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa.

School Boards may send up to two student delegates from each Catholic high school along with appropriate staff to meet the per pupil chaperon guidelines.

For registration information please visit the Catholic Student Leadership Conference website.

FIOF_300x150_bFaith in Our Future

Many people in the Catholic community have asked for information and materials to help them share with others the value and benefit of Catholic education.

The Faith in Our Future campaign provides that kind of information and support and we encourage you to visit the website at www.faithinourfuture.ca to “grab” the posters, brochures and online banners that you can use on your board websites and on your own Twitter or Facebook pages. You can also print the material that is there and distribute in your parishes, at parent council meetings and in other gatherings in the community.

School Board Examples

Many boards have already begun to benefit from the momentum of this campaign by creating their own “Faith in Our Future” sections for their respective board websites.  Following are a few examples:

Ottawa Catholic FIOF Campaign Page
Kenora Catholic FIOF Campaign Page
Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic FIOF Campaign Page
Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario FIOF Campaign Page
Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic FIOF Branding (on home page)

Personal Stories and Experiences

Testimonials that reflect on actual experiences in Catholic schools are among the most powerful ways strengthen our Catholic school system through wider engagement and understanding.

We’re happy to share with you the newest article about the experience of a Catholic education as expressed by recent graduate, Doriana Homerski, of the St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in the Hamilton-Wentworth CDSB.

Alumni Profiles

Among the stories we feature on the Faith in our Future website are stories aboutCatholic school alumni. We hope you’ll enjoy reading about successes and achievements of students who have graduated from our system and we encourage you to share your own information about your Catholic school alma mater.

All information can be sent to: smcmillan@ocsta.on.ca.

YouTube Video Contest WINNERS!

We’d like to thank all those who entered the Faith in Our Future YouTube Video Contest.  All the submissions were wonderful, heartfelt and creative! After reviewing all submissions the following three were selected for their clear messaging, visual impact and overall presentation.

First Place: “Building People on Their Journey”, created by the St. Patrick’s Catholic School Media Group (London District Catholic School Board)
YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/mevLFPTiScQ  

Second Place: “Catholic Education Enhancing Our Faith”, created by Victoria McGuire-Rainone, Assumption College Catholic High School (Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board)

YouTube Link: :  http://youtu.be/-Lguu220K08 

Third Place: “We All Belong”, created by Zachary Girdler and students at Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Formosa (Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board).

YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/t6EVmiW9D2Y 

Campaign FYI:

This slogan “Faith in Our Future” has multiple  meanings: it reflects the central role that faith plays in our schools now and always, it underscores our belief in the success and potential of our future graduates, and it suggests our confidence in the future of Ontario’s Catholic education system.
The campaign has three objectives:

1.    To clarify the role of Catholic school boards;

2.    To remind Ontario’s political leaders of the societal value of Catholic education;

3.    To strengthen the broad support base for publicly funded Catholic schools in Ontario

Here’s what we NEED Catholic school supporters, advocates and champions to do to make this campaign a success:

  1. Identify speaking opportunities in your community: Face to face meetings are an ideal way to inform and engage others. Local speaking opportunities include parish groups like the Catholic Women’s League or local ratepayer meetings – both are great examples of ways to talk about the value of local Catholic schools with others in your community.  To assist you in these efforts, the campaign has prepared messaging in our brochures and in other documents to support the creation of the right presentation for your event.
  2. Lobby the Government: We are encouraging all members of the Catholic community to engage their local MPPs and other local politicians for the purpose of informing them about the value of the Catholic schools in their constituencies and encouraging them to publicly support Catholic schools. On our campaign website we have a “Take Action” page that provides an online tool for sending personal letters to MPPs – seehttp://www.faithinourfuture.ca/take-action/.
  3. Get active in Social Media: Every Catholic school supporter can be a key champion for Catholic education in social media forums. Please share the messages of this campaign on Facebook and Twitter. You can find us on Facebook at “Catholic Education In Ontario” and on Twitter – search @CatholicEdu to find us.
  4. Engage the Media with Facts – Send Letters to the Editor:  We are working with reporters and editors to obtain media coverage that profiles the success of Catholic schools, addresses misconceptions, and articulates why Ontario’s unique four-board school system works for Ontarians. Article templates have been shared with school boards to support media relations efforts. When you read about an issue in your newspaper that either celebrates a success in Catholic education or unfairly portrays Catholic education – SPEAK UP! Send a letter to the editor articulating your support or concern  as a strong Catholic school supporter!
  5. Promote with Marketing Materials in Your Community: Every campaign needs visual tools to inform and encourage intended audiences to take action. .  Our marketing materials include posters and brochures that need to be distributed and posted in every school and parish and at every Catholic group gathering in Ontario.  These posters can be downloaded directly from this website – see Media Centre –http://www.faithinourfuture.ca/media-centre/

Kenora Trustee Takes High School Hockey Team to New Mexico

Earlier this month Kenora Trustee, Mike Favreau, took local Kenora Catholic High School hockey team, the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints, to play six exhibition games against several of the best hockey teams in…New Mexico.  To read more about this Good News highlight click on the following link:

http://www.ocsta.on.ca/page103702650.aspx

OCSTA in the News

Windsor Star

YouTube Video Contest Earns Windsor Student Second Place in Contest

An Assumption College Catholic Secondary School student has placed second in a provincewide contest where she used a YouTube video to show the value of her Catholic education.Grade 11 student Victoria McGuire-Rainone was second in the contest that was part of the Faith in Our Future campaign by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association. The Association asked students from 29 Catholic district school boards in Ontario to create a one minute video.

“Without my Catholic education I wouldn’t be the person of great faith that I am today,” McGuire-Rainone said in her video.

Her principal Joseph Ibrahim said she will be receiving an award.

“We are extremely proud of what she put forward because it is of a personal nature and she shared this in a video,” Ibrahim said Friday.

First place went to St. Patrick’s Catholic school’s media group in London. Third place went to a student in the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board. The videos are posted at www.faithinourfuture.ca/short-video-contest-winners.