75th Anniversary


Over 400 trustees, board staff and guests gathered at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, from April 28-30, 2005, to celebrate and participate in the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association’s 75th Annual General Meeting and Conference.

The Simcoe Muskoka region was a uniquely fitting venue for this anniversary celebration, as one of the pivotal test cases for the full support of Catholic schools in Ontario arose from this region. The 1925 legal challenge, “Township of Tiny vs. The King,” pitted the Simcoe area Township against the Crown. Though the results were disappointing and government funding for Catholic schools was extended only to grade 10 (for the time being), the opinions and emotions stirred up by that case helped to form the rallying call to the community that would see this Association formed only a few years later.

The theme for this year’s event Celebrating our Past, Envisioning our Future is an acknowledgement of the faith-inspired leadership and passion of those trustees, educators and community leaders who came before us, and a clarion call to action as Catholic school leaders work towards ensuring a strong future for Catholic education in Ontario.

Our line up of speakers discussed topics that underscored our Conference focus. OCSTA president, Paul Whitehead, provided delegates with an overview of OCSTA’s current initiatives and priorities. He also examined the lessons learned from our past and discussed the future challenges and opportunities for Catholic school boards in Ontario. A copy of his presentation is available by clicking here. OCSTA will forward to all Catholic school boards an updated report of resolutions that were discussed during the Annual General Meeting.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Frank Peters, professor and educational policy specialist from the University of Albert, spoke to the particular calling of trustees in a post-modern society.

The Minister of Education, The Hon. Gerard Kennedy, spoke of his own Catholic education roots and emphasized the important, collaborative role of school boards, as key partners in education with the government.

Leading market researcher and best-selling author(Sex in the Snow: Canadian Social Values and the End of the Millennium), Michael Adams, examined the statistics supporting various social trends in Canada during his presentation “Social Change and the Future of Education.”

Catholic educator and former Assistant General for the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Fr. James Mulligan, examined changing social trends and the particular role and responsibilities of the Catholic educator.

This year’s workshops provided delegates with insight on a variety of topics that included the following:

“Called to be The Best in The World”- a special workshop for student trustees presented by Karen Connolly, Adult Faith Coordinator for the Simcoe Catholic District School Board

“Safe Schools/Peaceful Schools”- an engaging workshop sponsored by the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board and presented by Catherine McCullough, Superintendent of Schools and Darren Schmidt, Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools.

“Catholic Leadership”- a timely and inspiring workshop presented by James McCracken, Director of Education for the Ottawa Carleton Catholic District School Board.

“E-learning Strategy for Ontario”- a workshop highlighting the government’s new e-learning strategy, presented by Ron St. Louis from the Ministry of Education.

The Association appreciates the efforts of all who worked on the 2005 AGM & Conference, including Conference Committee Chair, Bob Schreader and his committee, OCSTA staff and our gracious host board, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board. Inspired by OCSTA’s 75th Anniversary symbol (“the boat”) the Simcoe Muskoka CDSB constructed a boat that measured 12 ft. x 4 ft. x 9 ft. Engraved on the side panels of this life size boat are the names of each Catholic school board and school authority in Ontario. This rich symbol of the Church, Catholic education and the leadership role of the Association and its membership served as a powerful and inspiring image for delegates throughout the Conference.

The spiritually moving procession, and final “presentation” of the boat during the opening liturgy heightened our appreciation for not only this anniversary, but also the strong community of Catholic school boards and the endearing gift of Catholic education. We encourage you to review the pictures from this event that our provided through links on this page.

OCSTA warmly acknowledges the commitment, vision and dedication of the Simcoe Muskoka CDSB’s trustees, staff and students. In particular, we would like to thank the following schools and individuals from the board’s planning and liturgical committees:

  • Jean Vanier High School, Collingwood
  • St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School, Bracebridge
  • Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School, Orillia
  • Pope John Paul II School, Barrie
  • St. Joan of Arc High School, Barrie
  • Maura Bolger
  • Jim Canning
  • Perry Cavarzan
  • Sherry Chapman
  • Karen Connolly
  • Mary Fairhead
  • Paul Frederick
  • Jim Hall
  • Kathleen Holden
  • Diane Legg
  • Stephanie Maher
  • Rick Maloney
  • Catherine McCullough
  • Mario Melchiorre
  • Michael O’Keefe
  • Gabrielle O’Reilly
  • Diana Riffert (Board Chair)
  • Darren Schmidt
  • Joe Timmins
  • Cathleen Vanderpost
  • Sarah Verwoerd
  • Nicole van Woudenberg
  • Brian Weishar

We would also like to acknowledge the spiritual guidance, support and participation of members of the Toronto and Peterborough Archdiocese:

Most Reverend Bishop John Boissonneau (OCCB Liaison for the OCSTA Board of Directors)

Reverend Patrick Fitzpatrick (OCSTA Chaplain)

Most Reverend Nicola DeAngelis (Bishop of Peterborough)

Reverend Brian McColl (Pastor of St. Mary of Assumption Parish, Huntsville)

Reverend William Moloney (Pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish, Bracebridge)

Reverend Tadeusz Walczyk (Pastor of St. Paul’s Parish, Alliston)

OCSTA’s History

  1. Download and save the Zip file containing the PowerPoint presentation to your hard drive.
  2. If you need decompression software, click here.
  3. Double-click the file you just downloaded to start the presentation.
    (Best viewed on Windows XP using PowerPoint 2002. )

Commemorative Programs

Click here to download the Conference Program.

Click here to download the Dinner Program.

75th AGM Election Results

Click here to download the Election Results.

AGM Presentations

Click here to download the President’s Address.

Click here to download Michael Adam’s presentation, Social Change and the Future of Education

Click here to download April 29 Homily – Bishop Nicola DeAngelis.

75th AGM Pictures

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