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?
The one thing that comes to mind for me is the monthly school mass. The Second Vatican Council states that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life. Once a month, the students and staff along with community members and parishioners come together to celebrate as a school community. Students of all ages take part in the celebration by helping Father serve, read, and sing. Music is a key way to engage children and youth. The school mass is special in that we come together as brothers and sisters in Christ to worship God. The mass reminds us that we are not only a school community but a faith community. Students learn values and the importance of getting along with everyone in our community especially since our catholic schools have non-Catholic students, families and teachers. The mass should not make these people feel like they do not belong in our faith community but rather to invite them and show them the reason why our schools exist. That reason being the truth of Christ.
What current good news story students/Catholic schools at your CDSB would you like to share?
Beginning in the spring of 2018, our Holy Angels School in Schreiber had some major renovations on the outside of the building to replace the damaged brick. New siding, windows and doors were added with a new look to enhance our aging school.
Since the renovations happened during the school year, students were able to watch and learn what it takes to transform a school, it was great that the students could see the different jobs and processes of refacing our school. Once the outside was complete, there was further capital funding projects for the inside. Renovating the bathrooms to accommodate for wheelchair accessibility and bring up to code. Replacing old bathroom fixtures. Our gymnasium floor was resurfaced with a soft flooring during the March break and had some walls painted in the hallways, much needed facelift.
During this entire process, students were able to see the transformation and to learn about what it takes to improve our school. Everyone was very patient and accommodating and there is an increased sense of pride in our school, which is also seen in the achievement and well being of Holy Angels.
Trustee, Superior North Catholic DSB