Durham Catholic District School Board 50th anniversary logo

Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
June 2019
Year of Joy
"Our Catholic schools help form joyful disciples as hearts and minds are opened to the transforming love of God and to the flame of faith in action. On a daily basis, Catholic schools demonstrate the joy of believing and witness the Good News to the communities they serve." (Renewing the Promise, page 13)

All Saints Catholic Secondary School Students Win Numerous Catholic Women’s League Awards

Every year, the Catholic Women’s League invites youth across Ontario to participate in its annual Mary Dobell Pro-Life Awareness Essay and Poetry Literacy writing contest. This year, we are thrilled to announce All Saints Catholic Secondary School had 71 submissions. Members of the Durham Region Catholic Women’s League presented awards to the following All Saints students who placed in the following categories:

  • Durham Regional Mary Mathews Public Speaking Winner - Charlize Dias, and Runner Up - Nathan Aunger;

  • Toronto Diocesan Mary Dobell Intermediate Essay First Place Winner - Emma Fischer for her essay entitled The Christian Ideal in Home and Family and second place winner, Austin Matthews for his Intermediate Essay entitled The Importance of Human Dignity;

  • Durham Regional Mary Dobell Intermediate Poetry Winner - Brian Xavier, and Runner up - Emily Elizabeth Hutchinson;

  • Durham Regional Mary Dobell Senior Essay Winner - Mattias Schreiner;

  • Durham Regional Mary Dobell Senior Poetry Winner - Deanne Pinto and Runner up - Janet Calubayan.
Congratulations on your achievements and commitments to living our Catholic faith. A special thank you to Chaplain Eileen McGowan and Teacher, Mr. Vince Accardi for their dedication and guidance throughout the years. 

Make a Joyful noise to the Lord all the earth
Female student holding certificate, cheque and plaque for her award winning essay
Male student holding certificate for his second place win for the essay winning contest
Female student holding certificate for her poem
Male student holding a certificate for his essay
Experiential Learning
Two female adults stand with male and female student around a multicultural poster
Three female students standing together eating
Female adult buying a ticket to the Multicultural luncheon
Male chaplain getting food from one of the multicultural stations
Msgr. Paul Dwyer Catholic High School Hosts Multicultural Luncheon
Nothing helps you experience different cultures more than fantastic food and music. On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School’s Diversity and Inclusion Club together with English as a Second Language (ESL) students hosted a multicultural luncheon to celebrate Asian Heritage month.

“This has been a wonderful experience for our English as a Second Language students,” said Nancy Fragomeni-Harvey, an ESL Teacher at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School. “Our ESL students got involved in all aspects of the planning and promotion of this event. They spoke on the announcements to help sell tickets and played different types of music to create interest and excitement. It was a great opportunity for ESL students to communicate in English.”

The students’ response was great. “It is really important for students to celebrate diversity and inclusion,” said Carlos, a Grade 11 student from Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School who came to Canada from the Philippines a few years ago. “Being able to share our culture, food, music and dress with our fellow Dwyer students creates a wonderful learning community.”

The students hope to make this an annual event at the school to promote inclusion and diversity.

Inspiring Future Engineers and Leaders at the Annual Future City Competition
For Grade 8 student, Mikayla Valladares, the Future Cities Competition has inspired her to consider a career in Engineering. The St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School student likes the idea that she can help people by building cities that provide renewal resources and cutting-edge technology to improve the lives of future generations. “I have always wanted to make things that help make life more efficient,” noted Mikayla.

The annual Future Cities competition was held on Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Ontario Tech University (formally known as UOIT). The event involved 18 Durham Catholic schools and featured 51 projects created by 221 students. Students presented their futuristic cities to judges from Engineers Canada. The projects take months to design, research and promote students’ thinking in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Students answered questions such as:
  • How does your city withstand a natural disaster?
  • What are your cities’ renewable resources?
  • What technology did you implement to sustain your city?
  • How does your city help its local residents?

The top five teams, then presented their projects to all the students and judges to determine the overall winner and People’s Choice winner. Congratulations to first place winners, Jocelyn, Marco, Eric and Mr. Cyr from St. John Bosco Catholic School for their winning design city named “Kootenay”. This future city addressed access to safe and clean drinking water for an Indigenous community in northern Ontario.

Congratulations also goes to Father Fenelon Catholic School’s second place winners with Sustainaville and third place winners St. Jospehine Bakhita Catholic School with Kekuatan. While the People’s Choice Award winner was St. Bridget Catholic School with their future city named Ryan. 

Female and male students from St. John Bosco stand with adults from Engineering Canada
The People Choice award winners from St. Bridget Catholic School
Four female student with their future city model
Four male and four female students with their future city model
Male student putting finishing touches on team's future city model
Male and female students add top soil into wheelbarrels
Male student marking his cut with a hand saw, while female student sits on the board of wood
female and male students receiving instructions on how to cut a board of wood from a male adult
Team photo of male and female students with teacher carrying the raised vegetable bed.
Great Teamwork builds St. Francis de Sales Catholic School’s Garden
On Friday, May 10, 2019 the Social Justice club comprised of students in Grade 2 to 6, together with help from the Grade 6, 7, and 8 students created an outdoor garden and food forest at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School. The garden will be a source of fresh fruits and vegetables for the neighbouring community to access during the summer months.

The garden includes vegetables such as two types of tomatoes and peppers, onions, garlic, grapes and much more. While the food forest includes apple, pear and fruit cocktail trees. The fruit cocktail tree is a combination of fruit growing on one tree – everything from cherries to apricots and prunes.

Building the garden also gave students an opportunity to use their math and carpentry skills in order to build the raised garden beds. Students used skills such as measuring, cutting wood, hammering and learning how to square up a structure. This experiential learning opportunity provides students with confidence and hands-on skills that they can use on other projects. 
The garden and food forest is a great example of students and staff ‘Living as Joyful Disciples’ during Catholic Education Week. Bravo!

TedXStMary Inspires Students
On Thursday, May 2, 2019 over 800 Durham Catholic students in Grades 7 to 12 gathered for TedXStMary. The theme for this year’s event was Fearless Pursuits and included student talks by Charlene Rocha, Rachel Parent and Alexandra Calmeira. As well as student performances by Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School. Motivation speakers shared their passions with students and encouraged them to follow their dreams.

TedXStMary is an opportunity for student voice and sharing big ideas. “We are so honoured to be a part of something like this, and grateful to Mr. Zimmer and the whole TedXStMary team for their dedication to the club and students,” said Durham Catholic Student Trustee, Julia Cara.

The amazing TedTalks left student leaders and staff inspired to pursue their ideas and personal journeys. 
Five male students singing on stage
Female student talking on stage
Male adult talking to male and female students
Female adult talking to a group of male and female students
EcoSchools Summit
Elementary students in Grades 4 to 8 gathered at Camp Samac on Tuesday, May 7 for the Durham Catholic District School Board’s EcoSchool Summit. “The summit is an opportunity for students to learn more about the environment and initiatives that they can implement at school or at home to help our planet,” said Grant Vermeulen, Waste Recycling Specialist at the board. The theme for this year’s summit was Plastics in our Oceans and how we need to reduce or eliminate our use of plastics.

Students listened to presentations from the Region of Durham, Durham York Energy Centre and Pick Waste. They also participated on a nature walk and identified many different types of trees.

DCDSB's Showcase of the Arts Wows Audiences
Durham Catholic Kindergarten and secondary students shined during the Showcase of the Arts on Monday, May 6, 2019 at St. Bernadette Catholic School and Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at St. Joseph Oshawa Catholic School. The shows’ new format included performances by Kindergarten students at the two schools, plus performances by secondary students from Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School, Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School, All Saints Catholic Secondary School’s Regional Arts & Media Program and Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School.

“Highlighting students’ talents and how we live as ‘Joyful Disciples' was key to this year’s theme,” said Sarah Crockford, Teaching and Learning Consultant at the Durham Catholic District School Board.
The audience was amazed by the talent being showcased during Catholic Education Week.

Kindergarten students dancing on stage
Male and female kindergarten students dancing on stage
Male and female students playing table tennis in a school gym
Male and female students playing table tennis
Four male students playing table tennis in the gym
Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School's Table Tennis Club build an Inclusive Environment for Students
Table Tennis is always a great past time that students, once they get the bug, love to keep playing. At Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School, table tennis is part of the Physical Education classes. Occasionally, the school has guests in from The Whitby Senior Activity Centre who have formed a formidable table tennis club (some of whom are well into their 80’s). Dwyer has six tables and a Robo Pong Machine that one can play against (it’s really quite fun, challenging and tiring).

Several students showed promise and were interested in forming a club, including English as a Second Language students who recently joined the club to enjoy some exercise and improve their language skills. We booked some gym time put up a few posters around the school along with a few school announcements and so it began. Now, twenty or so, students meet and play every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:10 – 4:00 p.m.. Teachers and administration staff sometimes drop in to place their talents on display. The students get a real kick out of that.

The most attractive feature of the sport is its inclusiveness. All grades, all skill levels, all students of all genders. Each a winner...no one loses...all for fun. Our PD community is wonderfully multicultural and to look out at these kids who hail from around the world all playing a game they love and smiling with one another…that’s what it is all about.

Written by: Mr. Harvey and Mr Daranjo

Experiential Learning Opportunity helps Grade 8 Students transition to Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School
On May 28, 2019 Grade 8 students from St. Bernadette, St. Francis de Sales, St. James and St. Jude Catholic Schools travelled to Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School to participate in a Lego, Robotics, Computer Science and STEM Experiential Learning day. Secondary students from Archbishop Denis O'Connor and Notre Dame Catholic Secondary Schools worked with the elementary students to show them how to program using a variety of different software.

Students circulated through collaborative hands-on learning stations, while asking the secondary students about high school and the clubs and activities available. For many students, the day was an opportunity to create and explore different pathways in Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM).

The students also had an opportunity to learn about drones and together with the secondary students built a drone.

Elementary students learning about the high school's robotics club
Secondary students learning how to build a drone
Elementary students working with Lego Robotics and talking with secondary students
male students programming on a computer
Expanding Pathways
Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School Students attend OYAP Symposium
Fifty Grade 9-12 students from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School attended the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program’s (OYAP) Symposium at Loyalist College, on May 14, 2019. Students participated in a variety of hands-on workshops, learned how to apply for OYAP and listened to keynote speaker Damon Bennett talk about his construction career and work with The Holmes Group & HGTV.

Damon’s childhood fascination with restoration turned into a full-fledged career of making people’s dreams come true. Damon’s solid workmanship, along with a reputation for being a stand-up guy with a big heart, landed him a job working on the top show on HGTV. He quickly climbed the ranks and became the Crew Supervisor. For nearly ten years he was an integral key to the team and the success of the shows. These days Damon lends his expertise to homeowners and DIYers across North America with instructional keynote presentations, Q&A sessions and videos. He also runs a very busy construction company, building and renovating homes across North America.

Damon inspired the students to follow their dreams and to do something they love. Students were encouraged to talk with their cooperative education teachers, technology teachers and guidance counsellors to learn more about courses and programs available in the trades.

Skilled Trades Symposium banner
Female and male students working on an electrical panel
Male student standing beside Rider manufacturing sign
Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School Employed after Completion of OYAP Level One
Congratulations to Ben Tibbenham, a Grade 12 Ontario Youth Apprenticeship (OYAP) student from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. Ben is currently completing his Level One Apprenticeship training in the Industrial Mechanic Millwright (IMM) program at Durham College, Whitby Skills Centre. Ben's Cooperative Education placement is being sponsored by Rider Tool and Manufacturing in Oshawa. Ben recently received an offer of full-time employment from Rider Tool upon successful completion of the OYAP Level One IMM program at the end of June.
Ben was first introduced to Kevin Brown from Rider Tool during a school trip organized by the Automotive Specialist High Skills Major Program at Father Leo J. Austin CSS. Ben's offer of full-time employment is an example of successful opportunities that can result from Specialist High Skills Major/Reach Ahead opportunities. This program allows local industry to partner with schools as a first step towards successful career exploration and experiential learning for all secondary school students. 

For more information on the OYAP program, please contact Claudine Longo at claudine.longo@dcdsb.ca .
Strong Girls…Strong World Event Inspires Students to Pursue Careers in the Trades
Exposing female students to strong female role models in essential in any career pathway, but if you are considering a career in the trades then having a female mentor can be extremely beneficial. On Thursday, May 23, 2019 female students in Grades 9-12 from St. Mary, Monsignor Paul Dwyer, All Saints and Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School attended the Strong Girls…Strong World event at Centennial College.

The day long event featured four female guest speakers who spoke to students about their journey into the trades and encouraged them to pursue this career pathway. Each of the guest speakers talked about their experience in tech classes and OYAP while they were in high school. One of the speakers in now part of the faculty at Centennial College in the School of Transportation and another speaker owns her own female only auto shop called Ink N Iron Automotive Ltd. The students were completely engaged by these strong female role models and asked numerous follow up questions.

Students also participated in hands-on workshops that included:

  • Light Boards –students worked on light boards to understand electrical circuits, flow, and power distribution;

  • Brake Training Aid – students worked on removing disc brakes to understand braking components, operation and function;

  • Two ATVs Wheel Removals –students learned how to remove and replace wheels on an ATV which is comparable to any automobile; and

  • Engines – students removed spark plug to better understand the tools used when fixing engines. 
Female students changing tires on an ATV
Student Success
Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary Student Wins Gold at Skills Canada and Skills Ontario Competitions
In early May, secondary students from across Ontario gathered for the annual Skills Ontario Competition, in Toronto. The competition is the Canada’s largest skilled trade and technology competition and is an opportunity for students to demonstrate that they are the best in their field.

Andrew Oliver, a Grade 11 student at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School turned a hobby for fixing small engines into a first-place win at Skills Ontario in the “Outdoor Power Equipment” competition.

“He placed first out of 40 of the best students across Ontario and achieved gold at Skills Canada,” said Mr. Vince Carnovale, Automotive Teacher at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. "We are extremely proud of his accomplishments."

At Skills Ontario, students in the Outdoor Power Equipment category compete in a one day challenge and rotate through six stations to test their knowledge of various small engines such as lawnmowers and chainsaws, as well as electrical components and theory. Students are given points for how fast they complete each task correctly.

The win qualified Andrew to compete in the Skills Canada competition held on May 25, 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At Skills Canada, Andrew competed against ten other provinces in the Outdoor Power Equipment category. The two day (12 hour) challenging competition took place outside in cold and windy conditions. In the end, Andrew won gold and achieved first place in Canada for his category.

The Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country. Each year, more than 550 competitors from all regions of Canada compete in over 40 skilled trade and technology competitions. 
Inspired by his grandfather at the age of two, Andrew has been working in a shop and learning how to fix small engines by taking them apart and rebuilding them. "I love being able to use Math and problem solving skills to figure out what's wrong with an engine in order to fix it," said Andrew. "It has also helped me hone my organizational skills."

Andrew added, "Thank you to Mr. Carnovale for challenging me to think outside the box. I wouldn't be where I am without his encouragement and continued support."
Male student working on a snowmobile in a school's autoshop
Three male students holding flags and wearing their medals
Male teacher standing with male student in the automotive classroom surround by small outdoor equipment and cars
Three male students fill the back of a police cruiser with food
Female police offer gives a thumbs up to the students for all their work loading the cruiser and donating food.
Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School Students Cram a Cruiser
A huge shout out to the students at Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School for working together to cram a police cruiser with non-perishable food items on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The students donated 1023 food items that was donated to the local food bank. A special thank you to Community Liaison Officer, Constable Cornes for delivering the food items.

Durham Catholic Students Compete at Special Olympics
Over 2000 athletes and 500 coaches from across Ontario gathered for four days in May to compete in five sports for one unified world at the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario International Youth Games. Athletes aged 13-21 from around the world traveled to Toronto for the games and competed in five sports – athletics, basketball, bocce ball, floor hockey and soccer.

Our Durham Catholic secondary students from Archbishop Denis O’Connor, Father Leo J. Austin Catholic and Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary schools represented their schools with pride and competed against great athletes.

Congratulations to all our athletes and their coaches – we are extremely proud of your accomplishments and commitment. Bravo to the following students for their success:
Students from Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School
  • Michael Bailey;
  • Javonte Burnett;
  • Kevin Croteau;
  • Matthew Heldsinger;
  • Caleigh McMurchy;
  • Alicia Perri;
  • Quase Rangbar.

Students from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School
  • Joseph Alfonsi;
  • Brooke Colangelo;
  • Crestin Francis;
  • Quin Hoshowsky-Linhares;
  • Sarah Regier;
  • Sebastian Ruisell.

Student from Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School
  • Joshua Artiga.

The games marked the 50 th anniversary of the Special Olympics.
Students and coaches dressed in Austin spirit wear at the special olympics
Male student in wheelchair holding school sign with male and female adult coaches
For male students lock arms in arms getting on the track at the special olympics
Four male students and their robot
Six male students
Three male students looking at the Robotics competition
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School Students Compete at the Ontario Skills Competition
Congratulations to the St. Mary Catholic Secondary School's Tech students who attended the 2019 Ontario Skills Competition! Three students from Mr. Pisani's Communication Tech class and four students from Mr. O'Connor's Robotics class represented St. Mary Catholic Secondary School at the province wide Skills Competition in early May at the Congress Centre in Toronto. Students competed in three different technical and highly professional events:

  • The Robotics Team finished 19th out of 32 teams in the Robotics Competition. Congratulations to students Mitchel Coelho, Neil Lobo, Eamonn O'Neill & Dylan Rapanan;

  • The Animation Team finished 7th out of 24 teams in the 2D Animation Competition. Congratulations to Ross Mendigorin & Daniel Mikla; and

  • Congratulations to Brendan James who placed 10th out of 41 students in the Digital Photography competition. 
St. James Catholic School wins First Place at Elementary Orienteering Meet
Gabriela Vigilante-Mirkovic, Raquel Vergara and Kira Brady from St. James Catholic School won first place at the annual Orienteering Schools Meet hosted by the Toronto Orienteering Club, in May. This is the first time an elementary school team from Durham Region has won.
Orienteering requires students to use their navigational skills and an orienteering map to find checkpoints in a forest, as quickly as possible.

“The goal is to local the checkpoints and reach the finish line in the shortest amount of time,” said Nicole Bauer, Teacher at St. James Catholic School and one of two Orienteering Coaches. “It’s a club that is really starting to become popular at the school and teaches students valuable skills such as time management, teamwork, quick thinking and how to use a compass and read a map.”

Grade 5 student, Johanan Adeleye, also from St. James Catholic School scored second place in the elementary school category, competing solo. “It was lots of fun running around the forest,” noted Johanan.
As well as being fun — “We got to miss school and run around in the forest!” — the students from St. James say orienteering teaches teamwork, quick thinking and navigational skills that rival a cellphone’s GPS.
Four female students standing together
Upcoming Events
Register Today for Summer School
It is not too late to register for summer school courses. If you are a secondary student looking to take an accelerated class or want to upgrade your mark, then consider taking a summer course through DCDSB's Archbishop Anthony Meagher Continuing Education Centre.

Credit recovery, accelerated and e-learning classes are still available. Visit https://www.con-ed.ca/en/non-credit-classes/summer-school-programs.aspx to register today.

Summer camps for elementary students are also available, please visit https://www.con-ed.ca/en/non-credit-classes/summer-school-programs.aspx for additional information.

Female student working in a classroom during the summer
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca