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 memorable events that celebrates Catholic education for me was the Durham Catholic District School Board’s 50th anniversary. During the 2018-2019 school year, students, staff, trustees, parents, community partners and clergy gathered to celebrate the year-long milestone.
In reflecting back, what resonates with me was the sense of community and joy experienced throughout the year. Events such as the 50th Day of school, the grand opening of a Regional Arts & Media program, our 50th Anniversary celebration, and our Community Picnic and Outdoor Mass which celebrated our students’ talents and gifts, while promoting the success and achievements of Catholic education.
Our board’s anniversary was a chance to reflect on the past and the accomplishments achieved in our journey and commitment to Catholic education. These events were opportunities to embrace our mission: We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ.
I invite everyone in Catholic education to answer the call to serve and continue to nurture the seeds of faith for years to come.
What current Good News story about students/Catholic schools at your CDSB would you like to share?
The Durham Catholic District School Board together with our Indigenous Education Advisory Circle is enhancing students’ knowledge of Indigenous history and culture. We have created a Student Indigenous Education Advisory Circle that includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous secondary students who planned the board’s inaugural Indigenous Education Student Summit. These student leaders are lending their voices to the importance of raising awareness of Indigenous education at their schools.
Recently, our Indigenous Education Advisory Circle invited renowned artist and Indigenous storyteller, Isaac Murdock to one of our elementary schools to share his knowledge of Indigenous culture and consider why we need to take care of the Earth for future generations. Students had an opportunity to paint a mural with Isaac that highlights climate change, while learning to live in balance with Mother Earth.
In June, we will celebrate National Indigenous History Month by asking students to reflect on what the Land Acknowledgement, read daily in our schools, means to them. I am excited as our board continues to Walk the Path Together – committed to reconciliation and deepening students’ understanding of Indigenous histories, culture and world views.
Chair, Durham Catholic DSB