When Kevin Kobus received the 2016 Higgins Award last June, he was quick to turn the attention to past recipients. Kobus was the 41st Annual Higgins Award recipient, and said he felt honoured to be among the list of past winners.
“It is a privilege to be joining such an accomplished group,” he said during his acceptance speech at the CCSTA AGM in Yellowknife. “I note in particular Greg McNally’s name on this list. Greg was a friend and valued colleague. Like others who have received this award, he is a fine example of what those involved in Catholic education should strive to be.”
The Higgins Award is in memory of a distinguished Canadian jurist and Catholic School Trustee, the Honourable Justice James Higgins of St. John's, Newfoundland. Each year, the CCSTA Board of Directors presents an award to a person or group that has made an outstanding contribution to Catholic education in Canada.
From Ontario to Newfoundland to British Columbia, the award recognition has made its way across the entire country honouring those who have made an impact on Catholic education in Canada. Add a comment
CCSTA is saddened by the recent passing of a strong Catholic education supporter and dear friend, Tony Sykora. Tony passed away on Jan. 1, 2017 with his family by his side.
Tony’s long-time commitment to Catholic education first started in Grade 1.
He attended Catholic Schools from Grade 1-12 in Edmonton, Alberta. Upon moving to Sherwood Park and sending his own children to Catholic Schools, he became involved as a volunteer and a school council member. He was encouraged to run for the position of Catholic Trustee for Elk Island Catholic Schools in 1997, and was elected. He later served as Chair of the Board for nine years and President of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association (ACSTA) for four years. He became a member of the CCSTA Board of Directors in 2011, and just this past year, was elected Vice President at the 2016 AGM in Yellowknife, NWT.
When elected as Vice President this past summer, Tony remained true to the spirit of Catholic education and role of trustee.
“I believe a Faith-based education based on the Gospel Values of Jesus Christ is essential for the development of young people as they shape future societies,” he said. “Although Catholic Education is protected by constitutional guarantees, it is important to never get complacent about the gift of Catholic Education and ever important to demonstrate to other Catholics that we provide an education to our young people that honours the mission of the Catholic Church. We must also demonstrate and articulate that Catholic Education provides excellent value to society as a whole.”
He said it’s essential that we share the successful story of Catholic Education across Canada, and continue to enhance relationships with the Catholic Bishops of Canada and Members of Parliament. “This will ensure that Catholic Education is available to parents who wish for an education for their children founded on the Gospel teachings of Jesus Christ,” he said. Add a comment
Cross-Country Initiatives Set to Support Tuition Payments
Schools and school boards from across Canada have carried out plans to support the Toonies for Tuition initiative.
For the past three years, the Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) holds a one-day blitz for the Toonies for Tuition campaign during the Catholic Education Week, specifically on the World Catholic Education Day.
The school board works hard to ensure all levels are involved including the schools, parents and staff.
A poster is sent the week before to the school board’s 36 schools across its large territory of 19,226 square kilometres in Northern Ontario, which includes the counties of Chapleau, Dubreuilville, Espanola, Greater Sudbury, Hornepayne, Michipicoten, North Shore, Sault Ste. Marie and a portion of West Nipissing.
They also send a letter to parents asking for a $2 donation towards the CCSTA’s Endowment Fund, which supports Catholic students in provinces that have no public funding for Catholic schools. An e-mail is sent to all staff on the Monday of the Catholic Education Week also asking for their support.
This year, the CSCNO plans to engage its Student Senate in promoting the 2017 campaign. The Student Senate is composed of the President of the Parliament of each of the school board’s nine high schools as well as their two Student Trustees (pictured). At its next Student Senate meeting in mid-December, CSCNO’s Director of Education, Mrs. Lyse-Anne Papineau, will call upon their leadership to identify strategies for the Toonies campaign. They have expressed a keen interest in being part of the 2017 campaign « Solidarité pour la scolarité » at the CSCNO! (pictured at bottom)
Meanwhile, at St. John Elementary School in Perth, Ontario, staff and students donned sports jerseys and hats in late November in order to support a Toonies for Tuition fundraiser. Each participating student was asked to donate $2 and the school raised $300. Principal Deanne Strong, along with students Hudson and Hannah Borrowman and Alex James collected the toonies from the students (pictured).Add a comment