By Editor

Dec 18, 2017

President’s Christmas Message:

Dear Fellow Catholic School Trustees,

In his recent book, Bishop Robert Barron writes:

“Evangelization isn’t about a concept or an idea, but about a friendship with Christ that you have, and that you want someone else to have.”

Each day but in a special way during the blessed season of Advent we see in our Catholic Schools friendships with Christ being nurtured and made visible.  As we celebrate the birth of His Son we give thanks to God for the precious gift entrusted to us and for the goodness of all who lead, teach and serve in any way in Catholic Schools and Administrative centres.

I pray that you, your families and Catholic School Systems enjoy a happy and holy Christmas and all of God’s blessings in the new year.

Patrick Daly
OCSTA President

2018 Municipal and School Board Elections

The first day for nomination papers to be filed is May 1, 2018.

OCSTA will once again be working together with each of Ontario’s trustee associations to prepare resources and services for the 2018 school board elections. Among these resources are:

  • Making a Difference for Kids: Running for Election as a School Board Trustee
  • Your Guide to Hosting a School Board Trustee All Candidates Meeting
  • Public Awareness Videos and Public Education Resources
  • Centralized School Board elections Website
  • Good Governance Guide

More information on what will be required to support election resources like the centralized school board elections website and details on the timing of the roll out of election resources will be communicated to members in January.

Online Voting: Student Short-Video Contest

The annual OCSTA student short-video contest has concluded and we’re happy to announce that OCSTA received over 100 wonderful 2-minute videos from students describing how they are “Stewards of Creation.”

Many of you may have already received notice that this year the short-listed videos will be posted online so that the community can vote for their favourite videos as part of the final review process. Voting will take place until December 30.

We invite all Catholic education supporters to view the videos and cast their ballots for their favourite elementary and secondary panel Stewards of Creation video.

Vote now!

January 2018 Seminar: 

The annual OCSTA Catholic Trustees Seminar happens January 19-20 at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale Hotel (6750 Mississauga Rd., Mississauga). The theme of this year’s Seminar is “Advancing the Catholic Education Agenda” and the program includes topics and presentations designed to support Catholic trustees in their efforts to advance at the local level the priorities and goals of publicly funded Catholic education today. Sessions include:

  • Political Panel Discussion – “Ontario’s Education Priorities”  featuring: Minister of Education, The Hon. Mitzie Hunter; PC Education Critic, MPP Lorne Coe, and; NDP Education Critic, MPP Peggy Sattler.  Panel faciliated by OCSTA President, Patrick Daly.
  • “Examining Ontario’s Political Landscape” – presentation by Greg Lyle, Principal Innovative Research Group
  • Student Trustee Workshop – “Renewing the Promise – the Role of Catholic Education in Ontario Today” – presentation by Michael Way Skinner, Coordinator, Religion, Family Life and Equity, York Catholic District School Board
  • Trustee Panel – “Walking the Fine Line: Defining and Managing Catholic School Board and Constituency Responsibilities” featuring: Niagara CDSB Trustee, Kathy Burtnik; Sudbury CDSB Trustee, Michael Bellmore, and Toronto CDSB Trustee, Ann Andrachuk. Panel facilitated by OCSTA Vice President and Chair of the Bruce-Grey CDSB,  Beverley Eckensweiler.
  • Trustee Panel – “How the Home-School-Parish Triad contributes to Student Achievement in Catholic Schools” featuring: Peterborough VNC CDSB Chair, Michelle Griepsma; Halton CDSB Trustee, Arlene Iantomasi, and York CDSB Chair, Carol Cotton.  Panel facilitated by OCSTA Director and Chair of the Wellington CDSB, Marino Gazzola.
  • Mental Health Discussion Panel facilitated by Dr. Patrick Carney, Psychologist & Mental Health Lead, Simcoe Muskoka CDSB and featuring the following panelists:
    • Diane Mullane, Mental Health Lead, Durham CDSB
    • Stefani Burosch, Mental Health Lead, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland & Clarington CDSB
    • Patricia Marra-Stapleton, Mental Health Lead, Toronto CDSB

To register and view full program, please click here.


Catholic Education Week: Advance Kit

The OCSTA Catholic Education Week Advance Kit was issued early in December.  This kit is designed to help all Catholic educational partners engage in prayer and dialogue in preparation for Catholic Education Week 2018.

Unlike the Resource Kit that is designed for students, the Advance Kit is designed to help adult groups (trustees, school board staff, school staff groups, parent groups, parish groups, associations, etc.) reflect on the theme of Catholic Education Week with prayer services and reflection activities beginning in Advent and concluding in the month before Catholic Education Week.

Please visit to access this kit online.


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