A former CCSTA president and Higgins Award winner passed away last month.
Michael (Mike) van Adrichem, died in Prince George, BC on Sept. 28, one day before his 91st birthday. He was president of CCSTA in 1975-76 and was awarded the CCSTA’s Higgins Award in 1993 for outstanding contribution to Catholic education. For his impact on Catholic education and involvement in the Church, he also received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal from Pope John Paul II, the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity.
John Stunt, executive director of CCSTA, said the association is saddened by the loss. “Mr. van Adrichem was known as a champion of Catholic education nationally, but especially in his home dioceses of Prince George and throughout British Columbia,” Stunt said. “We mourn his passing but also celebrate his many accomplishments.”
Fred Herfst became a close friend to van Adrichem in the mid-1980s. At that time, Herfst was the executive director of the Federation of Independent School Associations of British Columbia and van Adrichem was a board representative of the Catholic component of that coalition, while serving as the first superintendent of Catholic Independent Schools Diocese of Prince George.
Herfst said van Adrichem had rock solid convictions on fundamental principles, however, he was also exceptional at listening well and adjusting his thinking in political situations. “He had the ability to work with people of divergent faith and bring everyone together as a functioning team,” Herfst said, noting van Adrichem’s leadership qualities were enhanced by remarkable social intuition and being connected to his community in Prince George.
It’s all in your hands.
That’s the poignant message delivered by an innovative campaign to boost awareness of the role of school trustees, while also aiming to increase voter engagement in the upcoming Ontario municipal election.
The campaign is a unique collaboration between four Ontario trustee associations, who share a goal of raising the profile of trustees, while also increasing awareness of existing strong leaders. The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, the Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario, and the Association Franco-Ontarienne des Conseils Scolaires catholiques, are banding together to get their message heard.
Sharon McMillian, Co-ordinator of Communications and Media Relations for OCSTA, said this is the first province-wide effort on behalf of the trustee associations.
“This is the first time this type of resource has been made available with all four associations collaborating,” McMillan said. “The campaign is an opportunity to invite Ontarians to better understand how the system works.”
A little means a lot for families accessing Catholic education across Canada.
Toonies for Tuition Day is set this year for Oct. 7. For almost a decade, the initiative has been encouraging the donation of toonies to help fundraise for CCSTA’s Endowment Fund, which supports students in Catholic schools with their tuition costs in provinces with limited or no public funding.
John Stunt, executive director of CCSTA, said the Toonies for Tuition fundraising campaign has a great impact on the lives of children attending Catholic schools in those provinces.
“These donations play a positive role in helping families of all walks of life be a part of Catholic education,” he said. “We have been fortunate in the past to receive many generous donations which enable our Endowment Fund to assist students. However, the need always outweighs the available money.”