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  • Marino Gazzola, président de l'ACCEC, reçoit le prix Father John Redmond Memorial

    Marino Award 2Le président de l’ACCEC, Marino Gazzola, a été reconnu lors de la dernière Soirée de gala et remise de prix du Catholic Principals Council of Ontario à Toronto. En présence de sa famille, ses amis et ses collègues, Marino a reçu le prix Father John Redmond pour la défense de l’éducation catholique. Le père John Redmond a dédié sa vie à aider les autres. Il était un passionné d’éducation catholique. Par son exemple de vie chrétienne et par la discipline du sport, il a inspiré les jeunes à se dépasser. Ces mêmes qualités se retrouvent dans la passion et l’intention que Marino Gazzola accorde chaque jour à son travail de conseiller scolaire.
    Marino en est présentement à sa 15 e année en tant que président du Wellington Catholic District School Board, et il est conseiller scolaire depuis 1990. Il est aussi président de l’Association canadienne des commissaires d’écoles catholiques, poste qu’il occupe depuis juin 2016. Il avait été élu au conseil d’administration de l’ACCEC en 2010. Son engagement à promouvoir et protéger l’éducation catholique est bien reconnu au niveau provincial et national.
  • “Very Positive”: CCSTA Connects with newly elected MPs on Parliament Hill

    With many newly elected Members of Parliament serving federal ridings across the country, CCSTA took the opportunity to connect with and showcase Catholic education’s impact in Canada.Lobby Day Kurek

    On Feb. 4, 2020, CCSTA Board of Directors and staff hosted individual meetings on Parliament Hill with MPs from across the country, many of whom are new to the position.

    The day-long Lobby Day was an opportunity to connect with politicians at the federal level.

    “The Lobby Day is a key area of focus for us, even though education is under provincial jurisdiction,” explains CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon. “We feel it’s very important for federal politicians to be aware of the impact Catholic Education has across Canada, including the number of students attending Catholic Schools.”

  • A Toonie at a Time: how Ontario’s Student Trustees are supporting other Canadian Catholic students

    CCSTA has a powerful new tool for its Toonies for Tuition fundraising campaign: student trustees.OSTA Student Trustees

    For this academic year, the Catholic Board Council within the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association are encouraging Ontario’s Catholic secondary schools to prioritize the Toonies for Tuition program as a key fundraising initiative.

    “Many student trustees were shocked to hear some provinces did not have publicly funded Catholic education and are eager to help support students across Canada,” explains Catholic Board Council Vice President Sofia Zamorano.

    When student trustees were told about Toonies for Tuition, the CCSTA initiative that raises money to help offset tuition costs for families attending Catholic school in provinces with limited or no funding for Catholic education, they quickly took action.

    With the help of tools and resources provided by the Catholic Board Council, student trustees mobilize their peers within their school boards.

    There have been various student-led initiatives, such as board wide non-uniform days and social events.

    Each year, CCSTA awards the highest contributing school board with a trophy in recognition of their efforts, but the emphasis is placed on participation, not competition.

    “There is no goal in particular,” explains Ms. Zamorano. “We are encouraging participation to the best of their ability.”

    Through these events, students both show solidarity with their peers across the country and also build advocacy skills.

  • ACSTA Celebrates 50 Years; raises thousands for Toonies for Tuition

    ACSTA 50Years logo CMYKThe Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and hosted an evening gala to honour the milestone anniversary.

    The gala took place in November in conjunction with ACSTA’s AGM and Convention, and the guest list itself was remarkable as clergy, trustees, educators and children came together for the celebratory event.  “All the Catholic Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories were in attendance as was the Minster of Education, David Eggen, who addressed the Gala attendees with a positive note on the great work of Catholic schools in Alberta,” says ACSTA President Adriana LaGrange.

    During the course of the evening, ACSTA honoured Trustees and friends of Catholic Education with ACSTA Awards for their dedication and commitment to Catholic education.

  • American Educator Releases New Podcast about Catholic Education

    Tim UhlDr. Tim Uhl has a tradition when he drives to and from work – he listens to podcasts.

    One day, when the Montana Catholic Schools Superintendent listened to one of his former high school student’s podcast, he had a realization.

    “Why not me?” he asked himself. “I knew a few people and also knew that no one seemed to be doing this. So I thought this would be a great way to spotlight innovation and best practices and have conversations with smart people about the best path forward. This sounds like jargon but it's really true. I like thinking, I like talking to smart people, and I like trying new things.”

    And so, this past September Dr. Uhl released his own podcast, Catholic Education Matters. Each week, he interviews thought leaders in Catholic education and discusses the future of Catholic schools in America.

    Dr. Uhl hopes to reach emerging leaders, including those who want to be Catholic school principals, current principals who want to improve, aspiring superintendents, or current superintendents searching for better ways. 

    He says he wanted to focus on Catholic education for a variety of reasons.

  • Canmore Hosts A Superb CCSTA AGM

    Photograph by Ken Collett.Another successful CCSTA Annual General Meeting is in the books. The organizing committee, along with the entire Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees Association, put on a smooth, informative, and enjoyable event. Canmore was a beautiful setting for the yearly gathering, which Alberta Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange also attended.

    “The venue was spectacular,” says CCSTA Past President Marino Gazzola. “All the sights were beautiful, and having the Rocky Mountains all around was breathtaking.”

    He adds that the entire conference went perfectly.

    “The organizing committee did an incredible job putting it all together,” he says. “Everything was on time and on schedule. The keynote speakers were absolutely amazing, and the breakout sessions were on very relevant topics.”

  • Catholic Education Week and Toonies for Tuition: A missed fundraising opportunity this year

    CEW 2020

    Catholic Education Week is upon us! Across the country, Catholic School Boards are highlighting the wonderful and important work happening within our Catholic education system.

    Naturally, with so many good things being celebrated within our classrooms, our attention turns to ensuring Catholic education is available to all Canadians, including those living in jurisdictions that have no or partial publicly funded Catholic education.

    Which is where the Toonies for Tuition Endowment Fund comes in.

    Traditionally, we at CCSTA see a surge in fundraisers for the Toonies for Tuition Endowment Fund during Catholic Education Week.

    With schools functioning remotely throughout the country, Catholic Education Week looks a little different than most years. With those changes comes an unexpected consequence: fewer local fundraisers are happening for Toonies for Tuition.

    As a result, there will be a potentially reduced funding for Toonies for Tuition this year. To curb the negative impact on the fund, CCTSA is asking our supporters, followers, stakeholders and fellow educators to consider donating to the fund.

    Upon hearing about the funds’ challenges this year, many administrators from across the country reached out to share stories that might inspire action. They shared stories of belonging, family ties and the benefits of faith-based education, and how the Toonies for Tuition program supported those experiences.

    “The Toonies for Tuition Endowment Program has afforded many children the opportunity to avail of Catholic education in a safe and caring environment which has enabled them to have a sense of belonging,” shares Elaine King, Principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. “They have flourished in a faith based learning that is so important to them and their families.”

  • CCSTA Announces Winners of the 2020 Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge

    CCSTA Announces Winners of the 2020 Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge

    KCDSBThe Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association is pleased to announce that Kenora Catholic District School Board has taken the top spot for school boards and Saskatchewan has reclaimed its provincial title in the Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge!

    Each year, a trophy is awarded to the individual school board or division in the fully-funded provinces that raises the most money per capita based on Full-time Enrolment. A second trophy is awarded to the province that raises the most money based on FTE.

    For Kenora CDSB, the Toonies for Tuition campaign is about much more than bragging rights.

    “The need for supporting this initiative became very apparent when attending the CCSTA AGM in Newfoundland several years ago. Since then, we have recognized the importance of this initiative,” explains KCDSB Trustee Frank Bastone. “I have travelled to other provinces and networked with fellow Catholic school trustees where provincial funding is either very limited or non-existent. Yet, we’ve heard the stories of the sacrifices that families have made to ensure that their children receive a Catholic education. These sacrifices made me all the more grateful for the funding of Catholic education in Ontario and aware of the need to assist those families that choose a Catholic education for their children.”

    To meet their fundraising goals, Kenora CDSB took a multi-pronged approach.

    They hosted a board-wide fundraiser in February for all staff and students. On top of that, the Board’s trustees collected a fee from all attendees at the Trustee Christmas party in December that was donated to the CCSTA’s Toonies for Tuition program. The school board also accepted donations from individual supporters such as Tom Shura who donated $2,095.72 as well as from other individuals, the Knights of Columbus and the Notre Dame Church Catholic Women's League.


  • CCSTA Launches National Toonies for Tuition Campaign Materials

    The Toonies for Tuition Initiative is gaining some serious momentum across the country. Toonies social Eng 3

    To help support the schools, educators and students taking the lead on building Catholic education opportunities for all students across Canada, CCSTA collaborated with the Ottawa Catholic School Board to launch online marketing materials related to the cause.

    Toonies for Tuition is a CCSTA-based initiative that works to raise money in order to help offset tuition funds for families attending Catholic schools in provinces with limited or no funding to the private education system.

    And the CCSTA wanted to continue to build its momentum of support from across the country.

    “Last year, when the endowment fund committee convened to distribute the funds it was suggested that a short video could be a powerful tool to help school boards and schools promote their campaigns,” explains CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon.

    That’s where Catherine Burnham comes in. She is the Atlantic Region Board member with the CCSTA, and she’s also the Director of Development with the Divine Mercy Catholic School in Saint John, NB

    She created a video that helped tell the Toonies for Tuition story.


  • CCSTA Lobby Day a Success

    Lobby Day 2After meeting with MPs from around the country across the span of two days, CCSTA is confident in its support from political representatives at the federal level.

    On Oct. 30 and 31, CCSTA Board of Directors scheduled meetings with MPs to discuss Catholic education in Canada and its long-serving role since the country’s earliest days.

    They met on Parliament Hill, followed by an open reception for networking.

    “In my view, overall, the day was a huge success,” says CCSTA President Marino Gazzola. “We were very well received and had many very positive comments.”

    The first meeting included a sit down with the Leader of the Opposition Party, Andrew Scheer. Scheer – who is a Catholic school graduate – reiterated his support to the system.

    “Mr. Scheer was unequivocal in his support,” says CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon. “He said if we ever need his backing, don’t hesitate to call.”

    The following day, CCSTA hosted several meetings individually with MPs including Charlie Angus, Earl Dreeshen and Peter Fonseca.

  • CCSTA President Easter Message

    Easter Message CCSTA

    The Canadian Catholic School Trustees' Association wishes trustees, administrators, clergy, school staff and all students and their families across the country a peace-filled and blessed Easter.

    During these challenging times, we are reminded of Jesus’ steadfast love for us and his willingness to make his great sacrifice for our eternal salvation.  With the knowledge of what Jesus endured for us, we go forward with the confidence and strength we require to face our current challenges and to live out the values of peace, kindness and love for which he advocated.  

    May you feel the light of the Lord in your hearts and may it fill the hearts of your family and homes.

    Paula Scott, CCSTA President


  • CCSTA President Marino Gazzola Honoured with Father John Redmond Memorial Award

    Marino Award 2CCSTA President Marino Gazzola was honoured at the recent Catholic Principals Council of Ontario Awards and Gala Dinner in Toronto. Joined by family, friends, and colleagues, Marino was presented with the Father John Redmond Memorial Award for advocacy in Catholic Education. Father John Redmond aspired to help others all his life. He was passionate about Catholic education. Through his example of a Christian life and the discipline of sport, he inspired young people to be their best. These same qualities are exemplified in the passion and purpose that Marino Gazzola brings to his work as a Trustee each and every day.

    Marino is currently serving in his 15th year as Chair of the Wellington Catholic District School Board and has been a Trustee since 1990. Serving also as President of the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association, a position he has held since June 2016 after being elected to the CCSTA Board of Directors in 2010, his impact promoting and protecting Catholic education is well known provincially and nationally.

  • CCSTA Welcomes Adriana LaGrange as Vice President

    Adriana LaGrangeAlberta’s Adriana LaGrange has been elected as the CCSTA Vice President and it couldn’t be a more fitting role.

    Following the passing of Vice President Tony Sykora in January, the CCSTA felt the void of Tony’s passion for education. Sykora, who hailed from Alberta, played a big role in Alberta’s Catholic education platform – as does LaGrange.

    “It’s such a meaningful fit to have Adriana accept the Vice President role to fill Tony’s spot,” says CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon.

    Adriana LaGrange was first elected to the Board of Trustees of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools in 2007 and has spent three of those years as Board Chair and Vice Chair for another two. She has long been involved in Catholic education and her community taking on numerous volunteer and committee opportunities. Adriana currently lives in rural Red Deer with her husband of 32+ years, is a mother of seven children and a grandmother of three. She holds an honours diploma in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and also owns and operates a family farm in addition to managing the trucking of a large hog partnership.

    Adriana was elected to be the President of the Alberta Catholic Trustees' Association (ACSTA) in November 2015 and re-elected to the president's position in November 2016. This put her in to serve as the Alberta representative for the CCSTA Board of Directors.

  • Congrès When Faith Meets Pedagogy 2018

    2018 WFMP eposter 004 page 001

    Le congrès annuel  When Faith Meets Pedagogy 2018 de la Catholic Curriculum Corporation se déroulera du jeudi 25 octobre au samedi 27 octobre, au Delta Marriott près de l’aéroport de Toronto. Ce congrès rassemble des intervenants de tous les niveaux en éducation catholique.

    Selon Michael Bator, directeur général de la Catholic Curriculum Corporation (CCC) depuis les derniers 9 ans, cet évènement a été mis sur pied afin de contribuer à la création de ressources pédagogiques distinctement catholiques.

    « Cela nous aide à faire en sorte que les enseignants des écoles catholiques subventionnées bénéficient d’un apprentissage professionnel qui appuie les ressources développées par les différents conseils et/ou par la CCC elle-même, » dit-il.

    Le congrès s’amorcera jeudi soir avec la conférence du Dr Nuala Kenny. Elle est médecin, membre des Soeurs de la Charité d’Halifax, professeure émérite en bioéthique à l’Université Dalhousie, et conseillère en matière de politiques à l’Alliance catholique canadienne de la santé.

  • CSDCEO Chair Receives Honour

    bazinetFrançois Bazinet, chair of the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO), will be inducted into the Order of the Pleiades for the year 2019.

    He will be receiving the Order of the Pleiades of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie. He’s one of six recipients of the order within the Ontario Chapter of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie (APF), the medal recognizing dedication and outstanding contribution to the vitality of Ontario’s Francophonie.

    “Contributing to the promotion of the French language across Ontario and (CSDCEO) schools is for me a cause that is enormously rewarding,” said Mr. Bazinet in a news release issued by the CSDCEO. “You could also say that it is a life mission.”

    Bazinet has worked in Francophone education for over 40 years. He is a retired teacher who, after a long career at L’École secondaire catholique La Citadelle, became chair of the CSDCEO two years ago. He serves as the trustee for North Stormont, North Dundas and Russell.

  • Des élèves de l’Ottawa Catholic School Board réunissent diversité et vêtements mode

    Oscar Tango ClothingSept élèves d’une école secondaire catholique d’Ottawa attirent l’atttention nationale grâce au lancement de leur propre ligne de vêtements.

    Ils incorporent à leur collection un message d’inspiration pour la diversité et l’égalité.

    Sous la griffe Oscar Tango, le code militaire pour les lettres O et T, ces élèves du St. Joseph High School proposent un message issu de leurs origines de partout au monde. Leurs noms?  Jay Mills, Justin Park, Hassan Hamed, Kristian Toscano, Eric Batali, Melanie Ni-Lan et Kallel Coltess.

    Jay dit que l’idée de démarrer une nouvelle ligne de vêtements leur est venue lors d’ une visite chez un ami.

    « Nous aimons tous la mode, mais nous avons réalisé que les marques de vêtements que nous portons ne représentent rien de spécial, » explique-t-il. « Nous voulions d’une marque qui transmette un

    message inspirant, qui représente chacun de nous et qui illustre nos origines comme nos racines. »

    C’est là qu’Oscar Tango est né et que le slogan Diversity Through Design (La diversité par le design)a été adopté.

  • Deux dollars à la fois: comment les Élèves conseillers et conseillères de l’Ontario appuient les autres élèves catholiques canadiens

    IMG 7783L’ACCEC a un puissant nouvel allié dans sa campagne de collecte de fonds Toonies for Tuition : les élèves conseillers et conseillères.

    Pour cette année scolaire, le Conseil catholique au sein de l’Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l’Ontario invite les écoles secondaires catholiques de l’Ontario à favoriser Toonies for Tuition comme collecte de fonds de choix.

    « Plusieurs élèves conseillers et conseillères ont été outrés d’apprendre que l’enseignement catholique n’était pas subventionné dans toutes les provinces et ils offrent leur support aux élèves canadiens, » explique Sofia Zamorano, vice-présidente du Conseil catholique.

    Lorsque les élèves conseillers et conseillères ont été mis au courant de l’existence de Toonies for Tuition, cette campagne de financement pour les familles dont les enfants fréquentent l’école catholique dans les provinces où elle est peu ou pas subventionnée, ils se sont rapidement mobilisés.

    À l’aide des outils et des ressources mis à leur disposition par le Conseil des écoles catholiques, ils ont fait appel à leurs pairs dans les différents conseils scolaires.

    Plusieurs activités menées par les élèves ont été mises sur pied : journées sans uniformes, et différentes activités sociales.

    À chaque année, en guise de reconnaissance, l’ACCEC décerne un trophée au conseil scolaire qui amasse le plus d’argent, mais l’accent est mis sur la participation et non sur la compétition.


  • From Strike Talks to Good News: Here's a round-up of good news pieces coming from Ontario Schools

    Because our head office is located in Ottawa, our news feed has been filled with stories outlining the ongoing teacher strike action taking place across all school boards in Ontario,scott mission 0130 including the Catholic School teachers.

    As we pray for a result that brings quality education and opportunities to our schools, we thought we’d go beyond the mainstream headlines and showcase some of the amazing things currently happening within Catholic schools across Ontario.

    Here are some good ones:


  • Key MPs Set to meet with CCSTA at Oct. 31 Lobby Day

    Andrew ScheerCCSTA Board of Directors are set to meet with key political players from across Canada this week, including the Leader of the Official Opposition, Andrew Scheer.

    Scheer was elected as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada in May, 2017. This comes after serving as the youngest Speaker of the House of Commons in the country’s history. He was elected within the Regina—Qu'Appelle riding in Saskatchewan.

    The CCSTA Board of Directors will sit down with him for a 20-minute discussion on Oct. 30 about the importance of Catholic education within the Canadian education system.

    The following day, CCSTA Board of Directors will split up to meet with other MPs from across the country including:

    • Earl Dreeshen, CPC MP (Alberta)
    • Peter Fonseca, LIB MP (Ontario)
    • Chandra Arya, LIB MP (Ontario)
    • Lloyd Longfield, LIB MP (Ontario)
    • Harold Albrecht, CPC MP (Ontario)
    • Todd Doherty, CPC MP (British Columbia)
    • Marco Mendicino, LIB MP (Ontario)
    • Charlie Angus, NDP MP (Ontario)
    • Terry Sheehan, LIB MP (Ontario)
    • Francesco Sorbara, LIB MP (Ontario)
    • Omar Alghabra, LIB MP (Ontario)
    • Chris Bittle, LIB MP (Ontario)
    • L’ACCEC accueille Paul Bourassa comme représentant de l’Alberta/TNO/Yukon au conseil d’administration

      Paul BourassaQuand Paul Bourassa raconte comment il est devenu conseiller scolaire il y a six ans, deux commentaires surprennent : il s’est engagé par défaut, et il est très heureux de l’avoir fait.

      « Les parents des écoles françaises catholiques ont reçu un courriel sollicitant des candidats puisque le conseiller scolaire en exercice avait démissionné. En lisant le courriel j’espérais que quelqu’un se présente. Lorsque le second courriel est venu, nous informant que personne ne s’était avancé, j’ai discuté avec mon épouse de l’éventualité de consacrer du temps à un tel engagement, » explique-t-il. « J’ai soumis mon nom et je ne le regrette pas. J’ai mon mot à dire dans l’éducation de mes enfants et celle de tous les enfants. C’est un grand honneur et une responsabilité dont je suis fier. »

      Depuis, il est conseiller au Conseil scolaire FrancoSud et impliqué en éducation catholique.

      Paul a joint le conseil d’administration de l’Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association dont il est depuis peu le vice-président. Il s’est aussi joint au conseil d’administration de l’ACCEC à la fin de 2017 comme représentant de l’Alberta.