l.-r.: Minister of Education, the Hon. Laurel Broten; Kim Craitor, MPP – Niagara Falls; Catholic CDSB Chair, Kathy Burtnik, and; Director of Education, John Crocco.

From the Niagara Catholic District School Board:

Niagara Catholic was pleased to welcome the Hon. Laurel Broten, Ontario’s new Minister of Education, to Saint Paul Catholic High School in Niagara Falls on Thursday, November 10.

Minister Broten was joined by local elected officials, Niagara Catholic Board Chair Kathy Burtnik, Director of Education, John Crocco and members of Senior Staff for the visit. While at Saint Paul, she and other invited guests enjoyed a lunch prepared by students in Saint Paul’s Specialist High Skills Major Culinary Arts Program before the official program began.

During her visit, Minister Broten noted that when people feel welcome, included and treated with respect, they will succeed. She also said she makes a point of seeing “whose voice is not at that table,” at events, so she can determine whose voice is not being heard.

“That’s whose perspective I want to bring to the table,” she said.”

Niagara-SafeSch-Broten-cropMinister Broten’s visit took place just prior to the start of Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week, which runs November 13-19. During her visit, Minister Broten formally recognized Saint Paul Catholic High School and St. Philomena Catholic Elementary School for receiving a Premier’s Safe School Award.

Each school has a very strong Safe School Team, and strives to create innovative ways to promote a safe environment, welcoming atmosphere and feeling of inclusiveness to all who enter.

St. Philomena’s anti-bullying programs include a Peace Garden, Peaceful Playground Rules and the St. Philomena Peace Pledge, which is recited every morning, following the morning prayer.

Saint Paul Catholic High School’s anti-bullying initiatives during the 2010-2011 school year included the adoption of the “Love is Louder” campaign, and the creation of a song and video aimed at bullying prevention. The 2011 song and video was released during Minister Broten’s visit.

To view this video, please click here.