Inside this Issue: A Historic Initiative for Ontario Catholic Board Council Province-Wide Mass for Catholic Education Week The first ever “Province-Wide” Mass for Catholic Education Week is being held on…

By Editor

Mar 25, 2014

Inside this Issue:

A Historic Initiative for Ontario

Catholic Board Council Province-Wide Mass for Catholic Education Week

The first ever “Province-Wide” Mass for Catholic Education Week is being held on May 7, 2014 as part of Ontario’s Catholic Education Week celebrations.  While Mass is always held by school boards during this annual week-long profile for Catholic education, this year every Catholic secondary school (and primary schools in those boards where there are no secondary schools) has been asked to provide opportunities for students in the board to celebrate Mass during the morning in solidarity with other participating Catholic secondary schools in the province.  This unique initiative is being led by the Catholic Board Council Executive team:  Student Trustee Madeline Ellepola – Windsor-Essex CDSB (President) and Student Trustee Michael Pallotto – York Catholic CDSB (Vice President).

An Invitation to Pope Francis

Pope Francis - OCSTA

Pope Francis. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

Another first…the Catholic Board Council (CBC) has extended a special invitation to His Holiness, Pope Francis. In that invitation is a request for the Holy Father to share a message with the students in Ontario’s Catholic schools on the occasion of this special “province-wide” Mass. A response has not yet been received, but the CBC is hopeful. With almost 600,000 students in Ontario’s Catholic schools, our system is likely one of the largest publicly funded Catholic school systems in the world.  A message from Pope Francis would create an inspiring moment for youth throughout our province and our country.

For updated information on this event please visit our Province-Wide Mass Web Page.

OASBO Presents to Standing Committee on Bill 69

The Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO), on behalf of all school boards in Ontario, presented to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills regarding Bill 69, Prompt Payment Act, 2013 on March 19, 2014.

Concern was expressed about impacts to school board construction projects: additional costs, payment for incomplete work and project delays.  To read the full submission click here.

OCSTA Elections – April 25, 2014

The OCSTA Board of Directors is the principal source of policy and political direction and the major decision-making body of the Association. The Board manages the affairs of the Association and consists of the following elected positions:

Past President
Member Board Directors

For the 2014 OCSTA AGM, the following positions are open for nomination:

  • President
    Role: to preside at all general meetings of the Association and at the Board of Directors; to generally supervise OCSTA’s affairs; to serve as an ex-officio member of all committees/work groups, and; to serve as the official spokesperson for OCSTA
  • Vice President
    Role: to preside at meetings of the Board of Directors in the absence of the President; to represent the Association in place of the President, as required, and; any other duties, as determined by the President
  • OCSTA Representative to the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association (CCSTA) Board of Directors
    Role: to represent the perspectives and priorities of OCSTA at CCSTA proceedings and to share information about CCSTA initiatives and priorities with OCSTA.

Nomination form for the position President

Nomination form for the position of Vice President

Nomination form for the position of OCSTA Representative to the CCSTA Board of Directors

The deadline for receipt of all nominations is 10:00 am. (EST) on April 4, 2014.  A list of all nominations received by that deadline at OCSTA will be distributed to all member boards no later than April 7, 2014.

For more information, please contact Jane Ponte at (416) 932-9460, ext. 223.

2014 Annual General Meeting & Conference in Niagara Falls


OCSTA’s Annual General Meeting & Conference will take place April 24-26, 2014 at the Hilton Hotel and Suites in Niagara Falls.  If you haven’t registered yet please register online now.

**New this year** – the OCSTA Event App. The OCSTA Event App will provide delegates with direct, “real-time” access to the program and other details like the attendee list DIRECTLY  from your computer or mobile device.  To access this tool immediately please click here.

This is our largest event of the year offering professional and faith development opportunities for Catholic trustees. The theme for the 2014 Conference is “Catholic Education in a Digital World” and the program planned will examine the influence of technology and our digital culture on the delivery and mission of Catholic education. The three-day conference offers a variety of sessions for discussion and education to support trustees in their roles as advocates, stewards and guardians of Catholic education.

OCSTA Conference - Jesse Brown Digital Media Expert
Jesse Brown, Digital Media Expert

View the Conference program by clicking here.

Program Highlights:

  • “Digital Literacy and e-Learning,” presented by Jesse Brown, Digital Media Expert, Broadcast Journalist and Co-Founder of popular education and social media website
  • “Catholic Education in a Digital World,” presented by Professor Angela Ann Zukowski, MHSH, D.Min, Director of the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, University of Dayton.
  • Student Trustee Workshop:  This facilitated session will explore options for collaboration between OCSTA and the Catholic Board Council of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association for the purposes of enhancing the learning and networking opportunities available for all student trustees. ALL CDSB’s are encouraged to register their Student Trustees for this event.
  • The Hon. Liz Sandals, Minister of Education (Invited)
  • “How Catholic School Boards are Using Technology to enhance Education” – CDSB Panel: Rick Brassard, Chair, Northeastern CDSB; Lori Di Marco, Superintendent of Learning, Student Achievement and Well-Being, Toronto CDSB and; Catherine Montreuil, Director of Education, Bruce-Grey CDSB.
  • Labour Relations Workshop – Facilitated by OCSTA Co-ordinator, Labour Relations, Mike McPhee.
  • “From a Small Seed: The Blossoming of Elementary Chaplaincy” – Debra McCaffery, board Chaplaincy Leader, Niagara CDSB
  • “Aboriginal Education – Best Practices from Sudbury Catholic,” presented by Dawn-Marie Wemigwans, Principal with the Sudbury CDSB.
  • “Sharing Facilities” – presented by Trustee, Bernard Murrary, Huron-Perth CDSB and a representative from the Brant Haldimand Norfolk CDSB.

Former Minister of Education, Sean Conway Joins Faith in Our Future Campaign


OCSTA is pleased to announce that former Ontario Minister of Education, Sean Conway is the newest addition to the group of individuals featured in our Faith in our Future leadership video series.  As Minister of Education, Mr. Conway played a pivotal role in the implementation of Bill 30 – the 1985 legislation that extended full funding to grades 11, 12 and 13 in Ontario’s Catholic schools.  The new Faith in Our Future campaign “trailer” features some highlights from Mr. Conway’s interview, in particular his comments about the role of parents, and the parish in the enrichment of our Catholic schools.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the following participants in the Faith in Our Future Leadership Video Series:

  • Former Ontario Minister of Education, Sean Conway
  • Trustee, Ann Andrachuk, Toronto Catholic District School Board
  • Trustee Chair, Barbara Holland, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
  • Student Trustee, Madeline Ellapola, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
  • Secondary School Teacher, Nancy Bodsworth, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Catholic Women’s League – Ontario Council President, Betty Colaneri
  • Samantha Mok, Catholic School Alumna, Francis Libermann Catholic High School, Toronto Catholic District School Board

To date, thousands of people have viewed the videos launched in January as part of OCSTA’s Faith in our Future video campaign.  We encourage you to visit our OCSTA YouTube Video Channel at to access, view and share on social media platforms (like Twitter and Facebook) the variety of videos that celebrate Catholic education and our system’s distinctive focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

For information about the campaign and to access resources to support communications with MPPs and members of the community please visit the campaign website at

Former Minister of Education, Janet Ecker Headlines OCSTA Business Seminar


The 2014 OCSTA/OCSBOA Business Seminar is scheduled for April 24 from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm and will be held at the Hilton Hotel & Suites Niagara Falls, 6361 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls.

We’re pleased to announce that former Minister of Education, Janet Ecker will be the keynote speaker at this year’s seminar.  For more information about the program and to register please visit:

Other Events

  • Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health, April 3-4, 2014, Allstream Centre, Toronto.  For more information click here.
  • Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition Conference – “Coming Together: Supporting the Whole Child,” April 9-10, 2014, Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre, London.  For more information click here.
  • CCSTA AGM & Convention 2014 – June 5-7, 2014 in Kingston, Ontario.  Early Bird Deadline is April 1.  For more information click here.

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