Toronto—May 4, 2015—On the occasion of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association’s (OCSTA) 85th Anniversary, over 200 delegates gathered on May 1, for the Association’s Annual General Meeting in Toronto to elect regional representatives to the board and to acknowledge and honour the service and commitment of Catholic trustees.

“I’m inspired by the dedication of the men and women who step up to serve our Catholic schools and communities as trustees dedicated to doing all they can to create faith-filled, welcoming and enriching learning environments for youth across Ontario,” said Kathy Burtnik, OCSTA President.

Established 85 years ago to unify and advocate on behalf of Catholic families and all supporters of Catholic education, OCSTA continues to fulfill its mandate to promote and protect Catholic education. The foundation for that work is established at the Annual General Meeting.

OCSTA Regional Directors – Election Results:


Region 1 Colleen Landers, Northeastern CDSB
Region 2 Paul Landry, Kenora CDSB
Region 4 Beverley Eckensweiler, Bruce-Grey CDSB
Region 5 Linda Ward, St. Clair CDSB
Region 9 Michelle Griepsma, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland & Clarington CDSB
Region 10 Todd Lalonde, CDSB of Eastern Ontario
Region 11 Arlene Iantomasi, Halton CDSB
Patrick Daly, Hamilton-Wentworth CDSB


Region 3 (at large) Anne-Marie Fitzgerald, The Northwest CDSB

Trustee Award of Merit

Each year the Association selects a trustee who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to Catholic education to receive the OCSTA Trustee Award of Merit. This year’s award was presented posthumously to Wilf Garrah of the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board for his 29 years of active service as an advocate for strong local schools and a powerful and articulate provincial voice for Catholic education.

Special Award

OCSTA also acknowledges the commitment and contribution of individuals other than trustees who have provided outstanding leadership and support to strengthen Catholic education in this province. This year this “Special Award” was presented to Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick, a veteran educator with the Toronto Catholic and Dufferin-Peel District School Boards and OCSTA’s much revered and loved Chaplain.

25-Year Service Award

Many trustees dedicate a significant part of their lives to the service of their local schools and the goals of Catholic education in this province. To honour that contribution the Association awarded the following trustees with 25-year service awards:

Marino Gazzola, Wellington Catholic District School Board
Bob Schreader, Renfrew Catholic District School Board
Mario Pascucci, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
Anna Maria Abbruscato, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is the provincial voice for publicly funded Catholic education. Founded in 1930, OCSTA represents the interests of Catholic school boards that collectively educate more than 600,000 students in Ontario, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.

For more information, please contact:
Sharon McMillan, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
Tel: 416-932-9460, ext. 232, Fax: 416-932-9459 E-mail: