The following is part of a 90th Anniversary series that features Catholic trustees from across Ontario sharing insight on the experience of Catholic education at their boards.
What singular experience as a trustee at your CDSB can you share that can serve to illustrate the positive impact of Catholic schools in the community?
One of the most exciting times as a Trustee at PVNCCDSB occurs during Catholic Education Week when we honour the winners of our Catholic Student Leadership Awards.
One student is selected from each elementary and secondary school and winners are presented with a special medallion during a ceremony in May attended by students, staff and parents.
As a Trustee, there is no better example to illustrate the positive impact of our Catholic schools than seeing all 36 students stand up to be honoured for service in their communities. Award recipients are nominated by principals, teachers and in some cases, fellow students. Each has demonstrated outstanding qualities in Catholic leadership, family commitment, involvement in school affairs, involvement in community activities and dedication to a difficult situation or task.
These award winners are true role models who embody the goals of our Catholic Graduate Expectations and Catholic Education Week affords us a perfect time to pay tribute to the student leaders in our schools and reflect on the importance of faith in our lives, and the role it plays in Catholic education.
And of course, a number of past winners have gone on to serve as Student Trustees, to take on the voice of students Board-wide and provincially.
What current Good News story about students/Catholic schools at your CDSB would you like to share?
In my position as Trustee, I have the honour of sitting on the Board’s Student Council Liaison Committee. Chaired by our two dedicated Student Trustees, this committee is represented by a junior and senior student from each of the Board’s secondary schools. The group works to facilitate student leadership initiatives at the secondary level.
Along with the Board’s Director of Education, I have the privilege of attending the monthly meetings and providing a Trustee’s perspective. I am amazed each year as this group plans the Board’s student leadership retreat.
In 2019, the Student Liaison Committee hosted its annual student leadership retreat under the theme “Voices that Grow” that was meant to inspire students to examine personal growth and communal growth in the context of environmental growth and our current climate crisis.
About 100 students from all six PVNC secondary schools attended to listen to keynote presentations and to take part in a range of breakout sessions and workshops meant to give professional development and inspiration for work they can do at their individual schools.
Vice-Chair, PVNC Catholic DSB