Inside This Issue:


Project1You Raise Me Up! Trustee Leadership Theme for 2013 AGM & Conference

The theme for the 2013 OCSTA AGM and Conference is “You Raise Me Up: Trustee Leadership & Ontario’s Catholic Schools.” The event will be held May 2-4, 2013 at the Doubletree by Hilton – Toronto Airport.

The program has been designed to inspire, educate and support trustees across the province who have answered the call to serve the Catholic education needs of our youth.

This year’s program includes:

  • Silken Laumann, Olympic Champion, Topic: Leadership that Inspires
  • Steve Paikin, Host of TV Ontario’s The Agenda, Topic: Leading Issues in Ontario Today
  • John Copabianco, Sr. VP, Fleishman-Hillard and Dr. Robert Murrary, OCSTA Director, Legislative and Political Affairs, Topic: Government Relations for Trustees
  • Isolina Varano, Co-ordinator, Conflict Resolution,Toronto Catholic DSB,Topic: Conflict Resolution – How To Be Effective Adjudicators
  • Sean McDade, IT Learning Co-ordinator and Lori Lynn Stapleton, Religious Education/Family Life Learning Co-ordinator, Huron-Perth CDSB, Topic: Leveraging Technology to Promote a Community of Prayer
  • Kirk Mark, Co-ordinator of Race and Ethnic Relations, Toronto Catholic DSB, Topic: Communicating Effectively with Diverse Cultures

For registration information please visit the AGM & Conference Registration page or contact Pam DeNobrega at pdenobrega[at]

2013 OCSTA Elections

Nominations are currently open for the position of OCSTA Regional Director in the following regions:

Region 1: Huron-Superior CDSB, Nipissing-Parry Sound CDSB, Northeastern CDSB and Sudbury CDSB.

Region 2: Kenora CDSB, Northwest CDSB, Superior North CDSB and Thunder Bay CDSB.

Region 3 (at large): Northern Regions 1 & 2.

Region 4: Brant Haldimand Norfolk CDSB, Bruce-Grey CDSB, Huron-Perth CDSB, Waterloo CDSB, Wellington CDSB.

Region 5: London DCSB, St. Clair CDSB, and Windsor-Essex CDSB.

Region 9: Durham CDSB, Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland & Clarington CDSB, and Simcoe Muskoka CDSB.

Region 10: Algonquin & Lakeshore CDSB, CDSB of Eastern Ontario, Renfrew County CDSB.

Region 11: Halton CDSB, Hamilton-Wentworth CDSB and Niagara CDSB.

Directors for each of these regions will be elected by delegates at this year’s Annual General Meeting on May 3, 2013.

Nomination forms have been sent to Board offices but can also be downloadedhere.

The Role and Responsibilities of OCSTA’s Regional Directors

Directors are to:

Be knowledgeable of:

  • the issues currently under discussion at OCSTA
  • the position of OCSTA on these issues
  • the position of boards (within your region) on these issues.

Know the full range of services that are available from OCSTA for trustees and administrators and encourage the maximum use of OCSTA services.

Engage and participate in meetings and Association events.

Seek input and views from your region and bring forward issues to the Board of Directors.

Enhance communication between the Board of Directors and OCSTA by:

  • Providing, on a regular basis to boards in your region, a report on OCSTA Board of Directors meetings
  • Encouraging boards to respond to OCSTA issues and discussion papers.

Help build member board commitmentto OCSTA through liaison activities and information sharing with other trustees and member boards.

Keep boards and trustees in the region aware of OCSTA issues and initiatives, sharing available reports and position papers.

Ensure that OCSTA is kept informed of important issues, events and needs of boards in your region.

Respect and protect the confidentiality of matters discussed at the OCSTA Board table, unless advised such matters can be shared with school boards.

Responsibilities for the OCSTA Board of Directors includes:

  • Approving amendments to the Constitution and By-Law which are then taken to the membership for approval at an AGM
  • Approving annual Association budget, establishing membership and service fees
  • Serving as the principal source of policy and political direction for the Association between Annual General Meetings
  • Establishing ad-hoc Work Groups, as required
  • Selecting OCSTA Special Award recipients
  • Other responsibilities as adopted by the Board of Directors

TCDSB Credit Courses in Poland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy

This summer the Toronto Catholic DSB is offering Grade 11 and 12 music and history credit-courses in Poland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy.

Courses will be held July 3 – 24th, 2013 in each respective country.

Cost: $3490 CAD + $465* tax (*subject to change).

Included in this package:

  • Return airfare to Poland
  • Accommodation based on double occupancy
  • 3 star hotels (European)
  • 2 meals per day
  • Transportation by private motor coach
  • All entrance fees
  • English speaking tour guide

Information Poster

Poland Itinerary 

Registration Form

Contact Information:

Dr. Andrzej Rozbicki, Program Director / (416) 567-1278

FIOF_300x150_bEnter the 2nd Faith in Our Future Short Video Contest!

Students in Catholic schools aged 13 – 19 years old are invited to enter the second Faith in Our Future Short Video Contest! This is an opportunity for students to explain to the world how their Catholic school experience in Ontario has made a positive difference in their life!

Students are also more than welcome to submit a “Group Entry.” Encourage students in your board to get together with their friends to create 2-minute video that highlights the unique and distinctive way Catholic education has helped or inspired their educational journey.

Note that this time around we’re providing for slightly LONGER video submissions (2 minutes).

We want this to be easy for students to do and recommend they use their smart phones, digital cameras or any other device to create their video message, upload it to YouTube ( and then share the unique URL created by YouTube for their video with the Faith in Our Future Video Contest Review Committee by April 12, 2013. Read Video Contest Guidelines before downloadingVideo Contest Submission Form. For more information contact: Sharon McMillan, OCSTA, (416) 932-9460, ext. 232.

And One more thing – There are PRIZES!!

We want to reward the most creative and engaging video creators with the following prizes:

First place prize: $200 Best Buy Gift Certificate

Second place prize: $100 Best Buy Gift Certificate

Third place prize: $50 Indigo Gift Certificate

Please encourage students in your board to enter this spring! Presentations of awards will be made at the OCSTA 2013 AGM & Conference (May 2-4).

OCSTA in the News

Ottawa Citizen

Editorial is dismissive

January 26, 2013

Re: PCs provoke welcome debate, Jan. 25.

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is concerned that the Ottawa Citizen thought it prudent to use the Progressive Conservatives’ white paper as an excuse to publish an editorial that maligns a significant part of Ontario’s award-winning school system.

Catholic schools provide welcoming and inclusive environments for all students regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race, or cultural background. Catholic schools reflect the interests of parents who support parental choice in education. Throughout the province there are many publicly funded schools that serve the interests of parents who choose to have their children learn within particular environments that focus on areas they feel are critical to their child’s academic and social development.

We think it is important to recognize that we have a distinctive education system in Ontario that works. English, French and Catholic schools work collaboratively to achieve the highest efficiencies in the operation of our schools.

By calling Ontario’s Catholic schools anachronistic it would appear that the Citizen is dismissing the multicultural relevancy of the 600,000 students, 34,000 teachers and 2.1 million ratepayers who together represent and support Ontario’s Catholic schools.

Marino Gazzola, President, Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen


Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association Congratulates Premier-designate, Kathleen Wynne

TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2013 /CNW/ – The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) is pleased to congratulate Kathleen Wynne as the new leader of the Liberal Party and the next Premier of Ontario.

“As a former school trustee for the largest school board in Canada, Premier-designate Kathleen Wynne understands the challenges and opportunities that Ontario’s school boards face today. When Ms. Wynne was Minister of Education this Association appreciated her support and attention to the priorities and needs of Catholic schools,” said OCSTA president, Marino Gazzola.

“Education is a top priority for Ontario families and it requires the engagement of informed and collaborative provincial leaders. OCSTA looks forward to working with Premier-designate Wynne and her cabinet to address the issues affecting the quality of K-12 education today. We also hope to begin working towards new and inspiring goals that address 21st century learning opportunities and support the holistic development of every student in this province,” added Mr. Gazzola.

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

Catholic Register: Promoting the value of Catholic education

Written by Evan Boudreau, The Catholic Register Friday, 25 January 2013 17:17


Student trustees from across the province gather for a photo on Jan. 18 during a Catholic Trustees Professional Development Seminar where the Faith in Our Future Campaign was discussed.- Photo courtesy of Sharon McMillan

TORONTO – The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) has launched a public awareness campaign to promote and help ensure the preservation of publicly funded Catholic education.

Called Faith in Our Future, the campaign is intended to engage the Catholic community and foster appreciation for Catholic education, said Sharon McMillan, OCSTA communications co-ordinator. “The ultimate goal of this campaign is to increase parent and student engagement in the promotion and protection of Catholic schools.”

Discussions among the association’s board of directors last year regarding Catholic education led to the campaign.

It aims to supplement three of the key areas of focus for trustees: communicate successes of Catholic education, increase public confidence in publicly funded education, and strengthen the broad base of public support for Ontario’s Catholic schools.

While the province’s 29 Catholic school boards were introduced to the campaign back in November, McMillan said the real launch point of the initiative came with the announcement of a YouTube video contest earlier this month.

Students produced a short film, no longer than one minute in length, which expressed the value and impact of Catholic education on the lives of local community members.

In addition to the contest OCSTA has also created a web site for the campaign, Through the interactive site users can share their perspective on Catholic education, lobby the government using pre-written e-mail templates and promote engagement among Catholic school alumni.

Hosting the campaign primarily in the online world not only makes it contemporary for students, but also keeps the costs down.

“Costs are minimal for this campaign as there is no advertising involved and very little printing at the provincial level,” said McMillan. “Most of our promotions rely on the distributions of messaging and marketing material within our school boards, parishes and on social media platforms that are free.”

To cater to those who are less tech-savvy, the OCSTA will look to local trustees to promote the campaign.

“Trustees will be discussing the messages of the campaign at the local level,” said McMillan. “Their presentations will focus on getting parents, students, ratepayers and other school supporters engaged in the conversation locally and in social media about the benefits of a Catholic education and the necessity of Catholic schools.”

The campaign, the first of its kind for OCSTA, is expected to run through May.