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Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
June 2018
Female student in the driver seat on a heavy piece of equipment
Four female students standing under a car
Year of Service
This year, we asked our Student Senators to share what service means to their secondary schools as we celebrate the Year of Service. Each month, we will feature a new article written by students that highlight how our school communities are called to serve.
Year of Service - St. Mary Catholic Secondary School donates One Million Pounds to Canadian Food for Children
Congratulations to the students and staff at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School for reaching their goal of donating one million pounds of clothing, shoes, food, bikes, eye glasses and furniture to the Canadian Food for Clothing (CFFC). To celebrate this outstanding achievement, the founder of Canadian Food for Clothing, Dr. Simone spoke to students on May 23, 2018 during an assembly.

Dr. Simone started Canadian Food for Children in 1998 after meeting Mother Theresa. She inspired him to collect donations and have them shipped to over 21 countries around the world – helping the poorest people.

“It’s important for students to learn the spirit of giving,” said Michel Loudfoot, Teacher at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School and Durham Region organizer for the Canadian Food for Clothing Organization. “By helping others, we hope students will continue to volunteer and instill this kind of work throughout society and spread change.”

For Grade 12 students, Nicole Herdman and Michael Hill, the opportunity to give back and visit the warehouse has been life changing. “The process of visiting the warehouse and helping is extremely rewarding,” said Nicole. “You are involved in every step of the process from unloading the trucks, sorting through clothing or food, to loading the shipping containers and cleaning the warehouse.”

“I’ve been to the warehouse 17 times,” noted Michael. “It’s work that needs to be done and I’m happy to do it. You know that you are helping the poorest people in society.”

St. Mary CSS teacher and organizer, Jack Cecillion added, “The benefits to students who participate by donating items or going to the warehouse are endless. We see first-hand the spiritual wellness and mental health benefits for our students.”

A special thank you to the following people for their dedication and commitment:

  • Tomy Valookaran, Chaplain at St. Mary CSS;
  • Mike Loudfoot, Teacher at St. Mary CSS and Durham Rep. for CFFC;
  • Jack Cecillion, Teacher and Organizer at St. Mary CSS;
  • Andrew McLaughlin, Teacher and Organizer at St. Mary CSS;
  • Mike Dion and John Stanesic, Fundraising at St. Mary CSS;
  • Nicole Kelly, Community Organizer; and 
  • Rob Roberts, Teacher and Organizer at All Saints CSS.

Bravo for answering the call to service and helping others!
Students and adults holding clothing donations, a bike, shoes and a suit
Dr. Simone talking to students at an assembly
Male adult talking to students at an assembly
Two male adults smiling
Male and female students and staff holding letters that spell Spring Fling
Male student dancing with a senior female lady at the Spring Fling dance
Female student dancing with a senior male adult at the school dance
All Saints Catholic Secondary School hosts Spring Fling with Local Seniors
In celebration of Catholic Education Week and as part of the Year of Service, the students and staff involved in the Harmony Club at All Saints Catholic Secondary School hosted a Spring Fling seniors dance party. Over 80 students welcomed 62 seniors from the following local retirement homes - Village of Taunton Mills, Court at Pringle Creek, Fairview Lodge, Chartwell Colonial Retirement Residence and Amica at Whitby to the secondary school. The guests were given the red carpet treatment and escorted into the school by students.

While at All Saints Catholic Secondary School, the seniors enjoyed dancing, music, refreshments, live student performances and entertainment, and a visit by the therapy dogs. Students and guests enjoyed taking pictures together in the photo booth and sharing conversation.

The event was a huge success and a wonderful example of our faith at work helping others. Special thanks to Michael Smith, teacher and the All Saints Harmony Club for organizing this event.
Mental Health and Wellness
Cover of Teens Can be Resilient in High School document
Coping with Stress During School Transitions
Every transition brings with it mixed emotions, including excitement, as well as stress. There are many ways that adults can help children and teens cope with an upcoming school transition, including: talking about it in a positive way; arranging a visit to a new school; letting them talk about their feelings and concerns; and reassuring them that it’s natural to feel apprehensive. It can also be very helpful to talk to your child or teen about healthy ways to cope with stress such as deep breathing, getting enough sleep, staying active and trying to focus on the positive.

Entering high school can be a particularly challenging time for both teens and their parents/guardians. The teenage years are a time when many physical, emotional and social changes are occurring and teens will often experience a range of emotions as this transition approaches. As a parent, or as someone who is important in the life of a teen, your opinion and guidance can be a strong influence. While teens may not always appear to be listening, it’s important to remember that they do hear you, so don’t give up.

The Durham Region Health Department has developed an excellent resource for parents, focused on ways to support teens to build resiliency and handle challenges with more independence. This an essential guide for all parents of teens to help them prepare for, and navigate some of the situations that they are likely to encounter as they transition to high school. The guide can be accessed online at this link: https://www.durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness/resources/Documents/MentalHealth/teenResParentGuide.pdf

Diane Mullane,
DCDSB Mental Health Leader
Experiential Learning
Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School preforms
Le Petit Prince
Grade 12 Extended French students at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School performed Le Petit Prince on Thursday, May 3, 2018. The play was part of a transition to high school day for all Grade 8 Extended French and French Immersion students who will be attending Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School in September.

The day is an opportunity for Grade 8 students to tour the high school and interact with their peers in Grades 9 to 12 through school activities and sports. The day highlights the many opportunities that are available to students at Austin, while capturing the benefits of studying French.
Bravo to the cast and crew of Le Petit Prince for an excellent performance!
Cast and crew of the play in costumes and makeup
Two female students on stage in costume acting out the French play
Male and female students wearing their Raven t-shirts with male and female teachers
Two male students and one female student standing in front of their coding project
Two male students standing beside a laptop and their coding project
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School's Coding Masters
On May 8, 2018 students from St. Kateri had the opportunity to showcase their innovative, creative thinking at UOIT. Students had the opportunity to present and network with other students from multiple school boards in Ontario. Students were given the chance to give an oral presentation to students and parents explaining how they created and coded their video game. 

The journey began with the Teacher-Librarian and three teachers working collaboratively with Teaching and Learning Consultants as well as Ian MacAskill from the Learning Partnership. Through Innovation Funding the team was able to establish lessons that would teach students to code their own video games using SCRATCH.

The Coding Quest is a program launched by the Learning Partnership for Junior students. The St. Kateri team were confident that students in grade 3, would be able to take on this challenge. The project started in January with building collaborative learning skills and working as teams of 3-4. As the students worked through the coding tasks together they incorporated and improved their critical thinking and problem solving skills. All groups benefited from each individual contributing their own skill set.

All students will have the chance to display their coding game at the school level Coding Arcade on June 4. The excitement and energy will be felt throughout St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School on that day.

B. Maclean (T-L)
M. Davidson (Grade 3 FI)
S. Powers (Grade 3/4)
N. Cooper (Grade 4)
Inspiring a Healthy Life
On Friday, May 25, 2018, Grade 5 students at St. Bernadette Catholic School participated in a full-day event focused on promoting a healthy life style. Students rotated through a variety of engaging learning stations connected to healthy living. Topics included:

  • healthy relationships;
  • healthy eating;
  • alcohol and substance abuse; and
  • healthy living from an indigenous perspective.

To end the day, students came together for Zumba in the gym!

Sign that reads Inspiring Healthy Living
Adults and students standing behind a smooth table
Students and staff enjoying a meal at a French restaurant
Students enjoying a meal in a French restaurant
Female student and male adult doing magic on a stage
Building French Language Skills at
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School
On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, twenty Core French and Extended French students in Grades 9 to 12 at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School travelled to the Nice Bistro in Whitby. The students enjoyed some traditional French food as well as French ambiance! It was a great opportunity for students to practice their French speaking skills in an authentic way with their gracious hosts!

The following day (May 24), French Magician, Marc Tardiff entertained Core French and Extended French students at St. Mary CSS, but also Grade 8 French Immersion students from St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School who were visiting the secondary school as part of their transition into Grade 9 in September 2018.

These two activities were incredibly beneficial for the students to see the advantages of using their French language skills. “These events help to build students’ confidence,” said Mlle Nicole Oster, Interim Curriculum Chair at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School. “It was our goal to eliminate the stigma that French Immersion is ‘better than’ Core French. These events allowed students in both levels to mingle and use their French.”

Students enjoy Hands on Learning at Habitat for Humanity’s CentreTowne Site
On Monday, May 28, 2018 students from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School braved the record high temperatures and blaring sun to help landscape yards at Habitat for Humanity’s Oshawa CentreTowne building site. This hands-on learning opportunity was a chance for students to give back to the local community, while learning valuable hands-on experience.

“It’s a rewarding experience,” said Brandon VanWinden, Grade 9 student at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. “I’ve done stuff around the house and have helped neighbours a little, but nothing like this – I would definitely do it again.”

“In class, we talked about building permits, pouring a foundation and the build - so now they get to take part in some of the finishing process, they’re actually putting in a hard effort and seeing the rewards of what they’re actually doing,” said Vince Carnovale, Teacher at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School.

Grade 11 and 12 students from All Saints Catholic Secondary School participated in the youth build on Thursday, May 31, 2018 and helped build stairs and a deck for the yard.

Male students wearing blue t-shirts and red hard hats standing outside in a sun shelter
Students leveling the dirt
Students laying sod down on the dirt
Male students and two adults standing outside with blue rain gear and orange hard hats on
Cover of AND Magazine
article in the AND magazine
Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School's 4th Edition of A.N.D. Magazine
Congratulations to the Visual Art and Design students at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School for another successful 4 th edition of the A.N.D magazine. The A.N.D Magazine is a student group project created and assembled by the information and consumer design class also known as the yearbook class.

The purpose of this full colour, high quality magazine is to showcase and promote art and designs created by Grade 12 students in their respective Art & Design courses during this school year. This publication is also meant to inform the community of their post-secondary schools and career plans. The A.N.D magazine also features future ND art students chosen from the Grade 7 and 8 classes of Notre Dame's feeder schools who wished to participate.

For many of these students, this is their first opportunity to be officially published in an art magazine which will certainly become a precious keepsake.
Students form a cross outside
Map showing the route that students walked - the shape of a cross.
Father Fénelon Catholic School Students Participate in the Walk for Hope
On May 9, 2018, the students at Father Fénelon Catholic School participated in the Walk for Hope, supporting the Durham Catholic’s Children’s Foundation.

This year, one of the Father Fénelon Catholic School families required extra assistance after suffering a devastating fire. They were able to access funds to buy new furniture and bedding and start rebuilding their lives.

The students said thank you by walking our faith and by raising approximately $500 for the Foundation.

Expanding Pathways
Durham Catholic Students attend Women in the Trades Event
On Monday, April 30, 2018 students in Grades 9 to 12 at Durham Catholic secondary schools gathered for a Skills Ontario Career Exploration event at Durham College – Whitby Campus. The day-long event offered students the opportunity to explore a career in the trades, while networking with female mentors who currently work in a variety of skilled trades.

Students worked together to build a tower, before breaking into smaller groups to visit hands-on centers such as a welding simulator, carpentry, and more.
Unfortunately, under 14% of registered apprentices are female according to a 2015 Statistics Canada survey. “Young women need to know that trades and technologies offer many opportunities that can lead to bright, stable and successful futures,” said Samantha Fisher, Young Women’s Initiatives Coordinator at Skills Ontario.

A career in the trades offers women high pay, good benefits, flexibility, variety, rewarding work and unlimited opportunities. One of the most compelling aspects of the skilled trades is the pleasure of seeing the results of your work. So consider a career in the trades and you could be the next great landscape designer, cake decorator, carpenter or electrician.
For more information about the Trades, talk to your Guidance Counsellor or visit https://www.dcdsb.ca/en/programs-services/Secondary-Education-and-Pathway-Programs.aspx
Female adult talking about career opportunities for females in the Trades
A table of female students working with a female mentor on how to build a free standing tower
Female students working together to build a free standing tower
Two female students working together to build a structure with the challenge of one hand behind their back
Strong Girls Strong World graphic
Students wearing white OYAP helmets
Strong Girls, Strong World Trade Day
On May 16, 2018, students in Grades 9 to 12 across the Durham Catholic District School Board travelled to Centennial College for the Strong Girls Strong World Trade Day. The event’s goal was to encourage students to consider a career path in the skilled trades.

“Today's event will introduce you to some of the trade programs available. I encourage you to consider the Cooperative Education, SHSM, Dual Credit, OYAP and Tech programs offered at your school that can further develop your skills and interests in the skilled trades,” said Claudine Longo, Pathways Coordinator at the Durham Catholic District School Board. “A career in the skilled trades has the potential to be rewarding, fulfilling, challenging and so much more.”

Emily Chung, an Automotive Technician and owner of AutoNiche in Markham was the keynote speaker. Emily shared her experience in the Trades and encouraged students to consider transportation trades as a career option.

Many opportunities exist in the Trades and if you are interested in construction, services or industrial trades, male or female …then you should explore the options. Not sure, what career path you want to explore? Then keep the door open to the endless possibilities available in the Trades. 
Earn Credits and Pay though the Basic Military Training Program
The Basic Military Training Program allows students the opportunity to earn secondary school credits while training with the Canadian Armed Forces. Students will participate in military training and experience military life toward their Basic Military Qualifications.

Students can earn up to 4 secondary school credits while being paid for the time they are training. Leadership training, fitness development, building self-confidence, respect, discipline and problem solving skills are just some of the benefits of participating in the program. For students who are accepted, summer employment is guaranteed for four years, along with $2000 toward post-secondary education for up to four years.

Students must be at least 16 years of age, have 16 credits prior to the start of the program, be a Canadian Citizen, and parental consent if under the age of 18. This program is also open to adults who are working on their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Program Dates
Part I: October 2018 - March 2019, every Tuesday evening & two weekends each month (Friday evening - Sunday evening).

Part II: April 2019 - July 2019, every Tuesday evening and some weekend commitment.

Part III: July 2019 - August 2019, Monday - Friday (full day) 

Information Session
There will be two information sessions held in the month of July:

  • Thursday, July 5th
  • Thursday, July 26th

Time: 7:00 – 8:00 pm – Presentation, and 8:00 – 9:00 pm – Question and Answer

Location: R.S. McLaughlin Armoury
               53 Simcoe Street North,
Oshawa L1G 4R9

For more information, visit www.con-ed.ca or call Archbishop Anthony Meagher CCEC at 905-438-0570.
Students and adults in a board room, students and adults posing for a picture and walking in an auto shop
Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School Students and Staff Learn about Pathway Opportunities in the Automotive Sector at Ontario Motor Sales
On Friday May 11, 2018 Monsignor John Pereyma CSS students and staff travelled to Ontario Motor Sales for an industry tour and panel discussion surrounding pathways, Cooperative Education and Experiential Learning opportunities available at a GM dealership.
This “Afternoon of Discovery” graciously arranged by OMS Service Manager Jason Blake, provided the opportunity for students to join GM staff members in the board room to learn about GM’s Apprenticeship Program (ASEP), and about the various positions/tasks/skills/work habits necessary for success within this employment sector.
In addition to touring the shop, and observing Automotive Service Technicians fixing vehicles and troubleshooting using the latest technology, our group was also fortunate to spend some time in conversation with Marketing and Business Development Manager Dave Hicks. Mr. Hicks described what he does in his role as Marketing and Business Development Manager at the dealership, and also what he enjoys most about working in this industry. We learned about the skills and work habits needed to be successful in this role, and the importance of embracing new and innovative technologies to enhance customer experience.
Students learned valuable trade specific information, and also appreciated the opportunity to meet Pereyma Alumni Dave Belliveau who works in the Parts Department at Ontario Motor Sales. Students appreciated hearing about the importance of Customer Service Excellence, teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills that are required to be successful at a dealership. This was an extremely valuable trade specific information session that encouraged our Pereyma students to make informed decisions about choosing a pathway in the trades, and certainly opened our eyes to the opportunities available in the automotive sector with General Motors Canada. We left OMS feeling thankful for the kindness shown to us, and impressed by the knowledge and passion of those individuals that took time out to speak to us, and that we observed working.   
It was a pleasure planning this exciting opportunity with Service Manager Jason Blake. Pereyma students and staff really appreciated Mr. Blake’s enthusiasm and efforts in arranging this fabulous opportunity, and we look forward to working in partnership with Ontario Motor Sales and General Motors Canada in the near future.   
Article Submitted By: Janel Langstaff-Mullett
Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School Student shares His Experience at Princess Margaret Hospital
My name is Amelon Wureta and I'm a Grade 11 student at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. This semester I am participating in a virtual science research co-op held through the Foundation of Student Science and Technology. In Grade 10, I submitted an application and proposal that contained information on the topic of science I was interested in studying. After my application was accepted, Lauren Sykes, the Program Director, paired me with a mentor to help me throughout the semester. My mentor, Joseph Longo, is a researcher from the Department of Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto. Due to his background in Molecular Biology and Genetics, he is able to effectively teach me the necessary content for my research. My research involves the genetics behind pituitary adenomas, which is a form of brain tumour.

More specifically, I’m looking into how agenetic screening (CRISPR screen) can be used to identify the essential genes in the adenoma cells; which would then lead to better treatment options for the tumour. Through this co-op experience, I was given the opportunity to attend an event at the Princess Margaret Cancer Tower in Toronto, which is a part of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre hospital. This day consisted of many events, it started with introductions from Grad students from the Department of Medical Biophysics and then lab tours. One of the lab tours given to us included the Gordon Keller lab, this lab is focused on repairing heart tissue through the use of stem cells; part of this tour included a demonstration of beating heart stem cells. The second tour was of STTARR labs, in this area of the tower they have many imaging modalities that were extremely advanced. To conclude the day, there was a panel of Grad students that spoke to us about their experiences from high-school, to undergraduate studies. As well as, the research opportunities they had during their early studies.

Overall, the information I learned throughout the Princess Margaret Cancer Tower was very beneficial; I learned lessons I will be able to apply in the future. It hasn’t been just this event, but also everything I have learned throughout my co-op that will help me in the future. I’ve developed my self-regulation skills and become much more responsible from being given so much independence. As well, I have become exposed to the world of cancer and it has shown me that it is a field of science I have a passion for. In addition, my co-op has given me the opportunity to network with many helpful people in science, and I will be able to use any advice they may give me in the future.

By: Amelon Wureta
Grade 11 Student at Father Leo J. Austin CSS
Male student wearing a blue lab coat standing with two female students in blue lab coats and female adult in white lab coat
Male student and female student looking at equipment running in a lab.
Student Achievement
Three male students wearing Dwyer t-shirts and standing on the outside running track
Male student crosses the finish line first
Three male students running on a track with students watching on the side lines and field
Three male students wearing Dwyer t-shirts with their medals
Secondary Students represent their local Durham Catholic High Schools at the Special Olympics Provincial School Championship
More than 1,000 secondary school athletes from schools across Ontario and the United States gathered at Trent University, in Peterborough from May 29 to 31, 2018 for the Special Olympics Provincial School Championship. Students competed in five sports: basketball, bocce, floor hockey, soccer and track and field.

Durham Catholic students from Archbishop Denis O’Connor, Father Leo J. Austin and Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High Schools represented their schools with pride as they took to their respected sports.
For Matthew Conforti, Michael Henderson and David Nkemka at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School the occasion was extra special as this was the first time any student from the secondary school had competed in the Special Olympics’ Provincial School Championship.

“We are extremely proud of our students,” said Gianna Tessarolo, Chair of Program Support, Library and ESL at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School. “This event gives our students with Special Needs an opportunity to compete and be successful, while participating in a new experience.”

Other Durham Catholic students who participated at the Ontario Championships representing Archbishop Denis O'Connor and Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary Schools were:
  • Javonte Burnett
  • Loreal Bonan-Walcott
  • Kevin Croteau
  • Dylan Gilmour
  • Matthew Heldsinger
  • Jerome Honrade
  • Mateo Lavati
  • Caleigh McMurchy
  • Sahana Nagendran
  • Alicia Perri
  • Megan Potts
  • Dana Thompson
  • Sarah Regier
  • Brooke Colangelo
  • Joseph Alfonsi
  • Crestin Francis
  • Quinton Hoshowsky-Linhares

Congratulations to Dwyer students, Matthew Conforti who won a gold medal for standing long jump in his age division. He also won silver for the 50 m in his age and division. David Nkemka won gold for running long jump and bronze for his age and division for 100 m. While, Michael Henderson won bronze for his age and division for the 200 m. 
St. John XXIII Catholic School Student named Oshawa’s Junior Fire Chief
Congratulations to Leila Hardy a Grade 5 student at St. John XXIII Catholic School for being named Oshawa’s newest Junior Fire Chief. Leila wrote an essay outlining the importance of fire safety, which she presented to a panel of judges in early May.

Leila received a variety of prizes from local businesses, a Junior Fire Chief helmet, firefighter’s coat, hoodie and certificate to Oshawa Fire Services’ Junior Fire Fighter summer camp. She will also participate in activities to promote Oshawa Fire Services throughout the year.

Following the presentation, Leila’s classmates joined her in a tour of the fire truck. Bravo!
Female student named Junior Fire Chief sitting in the front seat of the truck
Female student wearing fire coat and helmet holding certificate with two male adults
Two male and two female students standing with Parliament Hill in the background
Adults and students standing in the corner office of CEO of Engineers Canada
Winners of DCDSB's Future City Competition visit Ottawa
Congratulations to Hannah Stephan, Laura Luzio Ramos, Ethan D’Sa and Noel Lavina, students from St. John Bosco Catholic School who recently won the Durham Catholic District School Board’s Future City STEAM Competition for building a model city to scale 100 years in the future. The winning team received an all-expense paid trip to Ottawa where they were able to take in Ottawa's sites and museums. They also met Gerard McDonald, CEO of Engineers Canada at the head office.

Future City is an international program that involves Grade 7 and 8 students who research, plan and build a model city of the future. This year’s theme was “A City for an Aging Population”.

Sponsor, Engineers Canada provided engineers who judged the May 9, 2018 competition involving 14 Durham Catholic elementary schools at the Pope Francis Centre. Students designed 28 city models as part of the competition.

Congratulations to all the students who participated – all of your great design ideas impressed the judges. The winners were:
  • 1st - St. John Bosco Catholic School;
  • 2nd - St. Bridget Catholic School;
  • 3rd - St. John Paul II Catholic School;
  • 4th - St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School; and
  • 5th - St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School.
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca