Senator Marty Deacon recently spoke to students at St. Patrick's Catholic High School. It is the second visit by a Canadian Senator in two years, organized by teacher Blake Morrison as part of a Senate youth outreach program.
"The outreach program is a terrific resource for students," says Mr. Morrison. "I am so appreciative that last year Senator Michael MacDonald and now Senator Marty Deacon have taken the time out of their busy schedules to share their insights about the Canadian Senate with our students."
Senator Deacon was an educator for 35 years and also served as an Olympic and Commonwealth Games badminton coach for more than two decades, when she was appointed to the Senate in February 2018.
She talked to students about the work of the Senate to review government legislation and offer amendments before it becomes law. She also spoke about the importance of representing all of the country's different regions.
The Senate Chamber in Parliament's Centre block is currently being renovated - a process that could take up to ten years. In the meantime, the Senate is meeting in a former Ottawa train station, pictures of which Senator Deacon shared with the students.
The Senator told students that in 1974 she attended her first national badminton championship in Ottawa and the group didn't have money to stay in a hotel, so they slept on benches in the train station. Now, many years later, she finds herself returning to that same building - but this time as a Senator!
In the photo above Senator Marty Deacon speaks to students at St. Patrick's Catholic High School, Sarnia.
The theme for Catholic Education Week 2019, which is being celebrated from May 5 to 10, is Living as Joyful Disciples. The St. Clair Catholic District School Board will join with other Catholic school boards across the province to celebrate the significant contribution that Catholic education makes in our communities, the province and to Canada.
The 2019 theme was inspired by three sources: Renewing The Promise, the Pastoral Letter on Catholic Education from the Bishops of Ontario; Gaudete et exsultate, the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis on the Call to Holiness; and Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, the October 2018 Synod of Bishops.
"Each year, Catholic Education Week offers an opportunity to reflect on the importance of Catholic education in our schools and in each of the communities we serve," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education.
"Through the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations, our students become faith-filled responsible citizens and life-long learners, who give back to our communities in countless ways."
Special activities are planned at each of our schools throughout Catholic Education Week. Some activities celebrate our faith; some focus on learning excellence through literacy and numeracy events, technology and celebrations of the arts; and other demonstrate our commitment of service through acts of charity.
Hear what our students say about what Catholic education means to them. Go to http://www.st-clair.net/catholic-education-week-2019.aspx
St. Michael Catholic School in Bright's Grove is grateful for a very generous donation from UNIFOR Local 848, which helped support the transformation of its library into a beautiful, refreshed Collaborative Learning Space that will help students to build the skills they will need for the future.
In particular, the donation made it possible for the school to purchase materials needed to construct a LEGO Wall, where the students can plan and then create designs that can be viewed by everyone in the school.
Principal Steve DeGurse says the donation has greatly accelerated the transformation of the former library.
St. Michael has an excellent collection of books for the students; however, the generous gift from UNIFOR has allowed the school to direct other funds toward improvements like flexible seating and technology.
Mr. DeGurse says students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 enjoy creating media and digital works using green screen technology and that the new space is alive with curiosity and the enjoyment of learning.
With continued financial support, the school hopes to continue to enhance the space with additional materials and tools to further encourage students' critical thinking skills.
In the photo above with students are (far left) Tracey Quinn, Early Childhood Educator; (front row seated) Corey Sommise, UNIFOR Local 848; and (far left) Steve DeGurse, Principal of St. Michael Catholic School, Bright's Grove.
The flag at the Catholic Education Centre in Wallaceburg has been lowered to half mast this weekend, in recognition of the National Day of Mourning for persons who have been killed or injured in the workplace. Flags at federal, provincial and municipal office buildings across Canada will also be lowered in honour of the observance.
The official day of mourning is Sunday, April 28, 2019.
The first such National Day of Mourning was held in Canada in 1991 and since then more than 100 other countries have also adopted the custom.
We offer our prayers for the victims of workplace tragedies and their families.
The gym at Holy Family Catholic School in Wallaceburg was transformed into Cardinals' Camp-Read-A-Lot this week, as campers settled in to read their favorite books or to hear readings from some very special community dignitaries.
The student campers curled up in tents, on camp chairs, by a 'lake' with real kayaks, or near make-believe fires to read their favourite books and enjoy camp-themed snacks, while listening to the gentle sounds of nature in the background.
"Camp Read-A-Lot was great fun," says Principal Mark Bernard. "And it has got us all in the mood for a much-anticipated visit by well-known Canadian children's author Eric Walter, when he comes to Holy Family Catholic School in May - we can't wait!"
The students also have a surprise for Mr. Walter, who began the Creation Of Hope charity to assist children and families in Kenya. The school has raised an amazing $1,000 for the charity, which they will present to the author when he arrives.
Special thanks to the guest readers at Camp Read-A-Lot, which included Mayor Darrin Canniff, Councillors Carmen McGregor and Aaron Hall, Trustee Carol Bryden, Walpole Island Librarian Lynda-Lou Classens, Superintendent of Education Lisa Demers, CKXS radio host Greg Hetherington and Chatham-Kent Police Special Constable Randi Hull.
Three St. Clair Catholic students recently participated in the Lambton County Science Fair. Cyndi Rayson us a Grade 3 student at St. Anne Catholic School in Sarnia. Her project Does Eco-Friendly Soap Lye? received several awards winning her a week at Western Engineering Summer Camp.
Annabelle Rayson, a Grade 8 student at St. Anne, also took home several awards with her project De-Icer Distillery: An Innovative & Environmental Approach to Road Safety. Annabelle will advance to the Canada-wide Science Fair in Fredericton, New Brunswick in May.
She will be joined by St. Patrick's Catholic High School students Kendra and Kiran Prasad, who won a number of awards including the Enbridge Senior Gold Award, for their project RoboElbo: Innovative Powered Elbow for Brachial Plexus Injury.
Congratulations to all students who participated in the 2019 Lambton County Science Fair!
In the photos are (top) Cyndi Rayson; (middle) Annabelle Rayson, both students at St. Anne Catholic School in Sarnia; and (below) Kendra and Kiran Prasad, students at St. Patrick's Catholic High School.
Under the Electricity Act, 1998 - Ontario Regulation 507/18 and the Demand Management Plan, the St. Clair Catholic District School Board is required to report to the Ministry on its energy conservation investments from 2013-2018 and the new targets it has set for 2019-2023.
Both are captured in the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan, which was presented to the Board of Trustees this evening.
"This report is a comprehensive snapshot of the investments we have made at St. Clair Catholic and the steps we have set out to continue to achieve energy savings through 2023," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education.
From 2013 to 2018, the Board has invested nearly $12 million in energy management strategies, which include the installation of high efficiency lighting systems, high efficiency HVACs, boilers and rooftop systems for heating and cooling, improved glazing, wall insulation and new roofs.
It is estimated that a further $19.5 million will be invested in the design and construction of our new school builds in Chatham and Sarnia and retrofit strategies for existing schools now through 2023; and an additional $412,000 for planning, energy audits and training and education.
"The Board's strategic plan calls us to be wise stewards of the public resources with which we are entrusted," says Amy Janssens, Associate Director – Corporate Services & Treasurer. "That commitment also extends to our efforts to reduce, where we can, our carbon footprint, as we also seek to be environmental stewards of our planet."
In June 2018, Holy Rosary Catholic School received 'gold' certification with the Ontario EcoSchools program, joining a movement of over 1,900 certified schools across the province.
Since that time, Holy Rosary has been involved in a number of conservation activities.
"We all care for God's creation by managing and reducing our carbon footprint in measureable ways," Principal Margaret DeGurse told trustees during a presentation to the Board.
Some of the initiatives at the school include turning off lights and electronics to save energy; reducing waste from seven bags a day to one bag a day; using compostable garbage bags; used battery collection and using hydroponic tower gardens to grow vegetables indoors.
New initiatives this year include promoting a National Sweater Day contest across the St. Clair Catholic District School Board; collecting dried-up markers and pens; inviting speakers in to talk to students about farming and water systems; greening the school grounds by planting 11 new trees; and writing letters to politicians, commercials and a song to petition the proper disposal of contact lenses and the cases they come in. The students are really hoping the contact lens petition will make a huge impact in the future!
"One of the most rewarding outcomes of being an EcoSchool is that our students have become environmental stewardship leaders," says Mrs. DeGurse. "Not just at school, but also in their homes and in the community."
In the photo above, students from the Holy Rosary Eco-Schools Team with Principal Margaret DeGurse, following their presentation to the Board of Trustees on April 23, 2019.