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Sandy Lake First Nation Service Trip

For the fourth consecutive year, a group of CDSBEO students participated in a service trip to Sandy Lake First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. This initiative was organized by the department of Religious and Family Life Education, providing the opportunity for new adventures and a chance to build stronger connections between CDSBEO and the Sandy Lake Board of Education to eight students from three Cornwall area school communities (Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School, St. Matthew Catholic Secondary School, and St.

Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School). The trip focused deeply on developing a clearer understanding of the living conditions of an isolated First Nation community, learning the traditions of First Nations people, as well as building positive relationships.

Students Hannah Sommerville, Sybe Jellema, and Papilasini Jeevarajan, spoke to the Board about their time in Sandy Lake, and how they were impacted by the experience.

The Sandy Lake First Nation is accessible only by plane or winter ice road, and transportation of essential goods such as food, clothing, gas, building supplies, and vehicles is difficult and very expensive. Shopping for groceries at the Northern Store, visiting homes in desperate need of repair, picking up building materials delivered by plane, as well as having little access to vehicles, proper flushing toilets and clean drinking water, are just some of the challenges faced by the residents of Sandy Lake.

Holy Trinity student, Hannah Sommerville, explained how the students developed a strong bond with the Sandy Lake residents and students.

“We attended choir practice and participated in sports activities with the students,” she noted. “After leaving Sandy Lake, I have maintained these friendships. My experience has certainly given me a great understanding of the challenges that remote First Nations communities face.”

St. Joseph’s CSS student Papilasini (Bevy) Jeevarajan enjoyed learning about the way of life and customs.

“We went fishing twice while in Sandy Lake, to experience their traditions. We also participated in learning to write Oji-Cree, the main language spoken in Sandy Lake, which we learned is being lost. The community is trying to bring back the Oji-Cree language.”

Sybe Jellema from Holy Trinity, explained how the residents of Sandy Lake are helping students to build community, and also become healthier through sports programs.

“A lot of different sports are played in Sandy Lake. One of the biggest challenges is type II diabetes, and so, opportunities for youth to be more active has been a strategy to help reduce diabetes. Team work is a huge focus in sports, and how the youth work as a team. Many students have learned to trust each other through participating in sports. At home, sports are very competitive, whereas there, the teamwork is the focus, not winning, not who is the best, but supporting everyone as part of a team.”

At the conclusion of the Sandy Lake presentation, the students thanked the Board of Trustees for their support of the trip.

Director Gartland thanked the group, and the staff, for participating and assisting with the experience.

“Clearly this presentation took you all back to your past experiences there. Thank you for representing our Board. You’ve really captured what you’ve learned, and what you’ve experienced. Thank you also to the staff for the time you’ve put into this initiative, and planning this experience for these students.”



Local Government Week – October 15-21

Catholic Trustees provide a distinct and crucial service to Catholic schools and school boards. As the democratically elected representative of the Catholic community, Trustees serve as stewards and advocates for publicly funded Catholic education, and govern the Catholic school systems in Ontario.

Established to increase youth and public awareness about the role local government plays in our communities, the Province of Ontario has designated October 15-21 as Local Government Week. During this week, schools and municipalities are encouraged to educate students on the operation and importance of local civic institutions.


To learn more about the role of the Catholic Trustee, please visit: Catholic Trustees – Celebrating Local Government Week

To learn more about the history of Catholic education in Ontario, please visit:


CDSBEO Schools Work to Defeat Depression

Partnering with the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) participated in fundraising events to raise money for Defeat Depression.  The campaign, which works to raise awareness, acceptance and understanding of mental health needs.

Defeat Depression is a national mental health awareness, anti-stigma and fundraising campaign that provides hope and reduces stigma for people affected by depression and other mood disorders.  Across Canada, volunteers are organizing walks, runs and other physical or social activities to get people talking about mental health.  Our students and staff have taken the pledge to Move for Mental Health and be more involved with their mental well-being.

Schools organized creative and engaging activities to help raise awareness and support for mental health. One of the most exciting aspects of this campaign is that the funds go to an organization chosen by the school. All of the money raised stays in each community, and every school has selected an organization that either helps those affected by mental health concerns or that promotes positive mental health, to be the recipient of the funds raised.

Events were held in May and June of this year. This is the fourth year the board has participated in the campaign.

CDSBEO Appoints New Director of Education

The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario is pleased to announce the appointment of John Cameron, as its new Director of Education for the Board, effective January 1, 2018. Mr. Cameron, who was appointed to the position on September 19th by the Board of Trustees, is currently the Associate Director of Education, with responsibilities that include supervision of Catholic schools in the Cornwall area.

Board Chair, Todd Lalonde says that Mr. Cameron has a longstanding career in Catholic education. “Mr. Cameron’s dedication to Catholic education cannot be questioned. He has demonstrated for many years, his dedication to ensuring that students have the opportunity to flourish in a faith-filled learning environment. He is a strong advocate for our beliefs and values and I look forward to working closely with him in this new role.”

Over his 26 year career as an educator, Mr. Cameron has held positions including secondary teacher, vice-principal, principal, superintendent and most recently Associate Director of Education. His career began at St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School in Cornwall where he taught religious education. During his time as an administrator, Mr. Cameron has gained experience overseeing the Religious and Family Life Education Department, the International Education program, the Adult and Continuing Education program, and the Student Success portfolio. He has acted as a mentor and guide for the CDSBEO Catholic student trustees, and as key facilitator for the CDSBEO Parent Involvement Committee. Mr. Cameron earned his Masters of Education from the University of Ottawa.

Director of Education, Wm. J. Gartland expressed his confidence in the appointment. “Our Board has benefited greatly from Mr. Cameron’s participation in planning for the needs of our system in his current capacity as Associate Director of Education. I know that he will bring that same level of passion to this new position.”

Mr. Cameron expressed his gratitude. “I am honoured to have been given this opportunity. Our board has seen much success under the direction of retiring Director of Education Wm. J. Gartland, and I look forward to building on those successes as I take on this exciting role. Over the years, I have enjoyed working with the Board of Trustees in my capacity as Superintendent and Associate Director, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to nurture the hearts, minds, bodies and souls of our students.”

Catholic School Council Summit

The CDSBEO Parent Involvement Committee will be hosting the annual Catholic School Council Summit on September 28th at St. Michael Catholic High School in Kemptville. The goal of the summit is to continue to involve parents in the education of their children. All parents are invited to attend and participation is encouraged.

A barbeque dinner will be served between 5:30 and 6:30, followed by a number of informative workshops. Each participant will have the opportunity to attend two workshops.

Please contact your child’s school if you are interested in attending this event.

Please click here to view a copy of the event program.


Masquerade for Mental Health

The CDSBEO is proud to have participated as a partner organization at the Masquerade for Mental Health, hosted by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, at Rideau Hall on Saturday, September 9, 2017.

The event began with a reception for partners, followed by a lively fair where attendees were invited to ‘take off your mask’ and combat the stigma related to mental illness. The event was made possible through the support of Bell Let’s Talk and other partners.

A key feature of the event included a community zone – a space where visitors had the opportunity to engage with more than 40 mental health partners from across the country in an interactive and informal way, to discuss key issues and to share innovative mental health practices and prevention strategies.

At 8:00 p.m. presentations by artists from a variety of disciplines (music, dance, visual arts) took place, and visitors had the opportunity to create their own mask to wear throughout the event.

CDSBEO was one of 40 mental health partners invited to participate in this unique event.


His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston learns about the mental health programs within the CDSBEO.














Heather Bovey (Coordinator of Special Education) and Michelle Neville (Mental Health Lead) at the CDSBEO booth at the Masquerade for Mental Health.

New Catholic Student Trustee for 2017-2018 School Year

The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario is pleased to announce that Andrew D’Alessio, a grade 12 student at St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School in Cornwall, has been installed as the next Catholic Student Trustee for the CDSBEO. Mr. D’Alessio has assumed the position from Alexa Meeson, who served for the 2016-2017 school year.

“As the new Catholic Student Trustee, I’m looking forward to working closely with the other secondary schools across the Board. I also look forward to being the voice for all CDSBEO students at the Board table.”

Trustee D’Alessio was elected to the position earlier this year by the Student Senate.

“The CDSBEO has been so fortunate to have had excellent student trustees,” remarked Board Chair, Todd Lalonde. “We look forward to working with Trustee D’Alessio in his new role.”

“I am very confident Andrew will be an exemplary advocate and a strong voice for all students in our Board,” noted Director of Education Wm. J. Gartland.

“The CDSBEO truly values the voice of our students, and we look forward to hearing about the great things happening in our schools through Andrew in his new role.”

As Catholic Student Trustee, Andrew D’Alessio will represent the more than 12,800 students across the Board. He will lead the Student Senate, which is made up of representatives from all CDSBEO secondary schools. The Senate discusses student issues, gathers student opinion, and helps to develop communications with all students across the CDSBEO. It also provides a means for student council leaders and senators to gain leadership skills.

In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees and the Catholic Student Senate, Trustee D’Alessio will have the opportunity to meet other Student Trustees, and Trustees from across the province.


Catholic Student Trustee Alexa Meeson (2016-2017) and Catholic Student Trustee Andrew D’Alessio (2017-2018)


CDSBEO Director of Education Announces Retirement

Wm. J. Gartland, Director of Education for the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, has announced his retirement from the Board. He will leave the Board starting in January 2018. Mr. Gartland has served as teacher and administrator in Catholic education for the past 32 years. He has held the position of CDSBEO Director of Education for the past 11 years, and previously held the position of Superintendent of Human Resources with the Board prior to becoming Director.

During his distinguished career, Mr. Gartland has also held positions as Principal, Vice-Principal and teacher with the Ottawa Catholic School Board, where he also served as Assistant to the Director and Manager of Corporate Affairs.

As Director of Education, Mr. Gartland has overseen many initiatives within the CDSBEO, including the development of several notable mental health initiatives, for which the Board was recognized by the Mood Disorders Society of Canada with two awards. He has made tremendous contributions to improved student achievement, and strengthened and expanded community outreach through the development of new partnerships and coordinated response initiatives.

Over the 11 years he has been Director of Education, Mr. Gartland has served on many provincial committees including his role as Vice-Chair of the English Catholic Committee of Directors of Education (ECCODE). In addition, he has been an active member as the Executive of the Committee of Directors of Education and has served on provincial negotiation teams on behalf of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association. He has also been a mentor to new Catholic Directors of Education, and has been involved in the community through various swimming and alpine skiing youth competitions. Mr. Gartland has also served two consecutive years as the Co-Chair for the Canadian Educators Conference on Mental Health.

“I have enjoyed my vocation as an educator during these past 32 years,” noted Mr. Gartland. “Of course, it is difficult to leave, and I will miss the people from all parts of our Board. We are a great Catholic community and I leave with a spirit of appreciation for all the blessings I have been given over the years. It has been a tremendously rewarding career.”

CDSBEO Chair Todd Lalonde noted that Mr. Gartland has guided the Board with a great vision for positive growth that has resonated throughout CDSBEO schools. “We are most grateful to Bill for having accepted the challenge as Director some 11 years ago. Under his guidance, the CDSBEO has continued to excel as one of the most highly regarded Catholic boards in the province. We wish him a long and healthy retirement. The Board will miss his leadership.”

New School Year Reminders

The CDSBEO is excited to welcome students back to the classroom on Tuesday, September 5! Parents are reminded that any busing inquiries can be directed to STEO. Their website link is

All CDSBEO schools are open, and currently accepting registrations for the new school year. Please visit our registration page for more information at: For a directory of our schools, please visit:


Record Proceeds Raised at the 10th Annual GSTF Golf Tournament

The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) hosted the tenth annual Good Samaritan Trust Fund (GSTF) Golf Tournament and Silent Auction on Tuesday, July 4, at the Smiths Falls Golf and Country Club. The tournament raised more than $31,400, the largest total in the history of the event, and $8,000 more than what was raised in 2016. Proceeds from the event are collected through registration fees, sponsorships, and funds generated through the event silent auction.

Director of Education, Wm. J. Gartland, expressed his appreciation, “We thank everyone who has supported this event for the last ten years! We owe so much to our supporters and sponsors for our continued success. The Good Samaritan Trust Fund has helped countless students and their families, and we have recently been able to provide bursaries to those students who meet the criteria. It is inspiring to witness how much this fund does for our Catholic school community, and the impact it has had for those in need.”

The tournament’s winning teams include:

  • Top Foursome – John Cameron, Andrew Krol, Keith Dickson, Michael Whelan
  • School Team Challenge – Kathy Laushway, Leigh Ann Ellis, McLean Koekkoek, Kris Laushway
  • Frank B. Musca Award – Brent Bovaird, Crystal Lake, Andrew Lovett, Nancy McIntyre
  • Top Corporate Team – Steve Burke, Innis McDonell, Kristen Ward, Mark Branchaud (Cameron Networks)

The CDSBEO would like to thank the many sponsors who helped make the tournament a success. This year’s major sponsors include: Adams, Sherwood, Swabey & Follon, Benson Certified Auto Service, Cameron Networks, Edward J. Cuhaci & Associates Architects, EH Lawco Inc., Richard D. Steele Construction, Ruiter (RCL) Construction Ltd., Scotiabank, Thousand Islands Tax & Duty Free Store Ltd., and Tierney Stauffer LLP. The Board is also appreciative to all of the prize donors, volunteers, and supporters of the tournament and silent auction.

Established in 2006, the GSTF assists CDSBEO students and families through the provision of financial support in circumstances which cannot be remedied by other charity organizations. The fund fills a support void which is not defined or restricted to one specific need.


Winners of the of the top corporate team challenge (left to right) Mark Branchaud, Kristen Ward, Steve Burke, and Innis McDonell (Cameron Networks) with Director of Education Wm. J. Gartland (right).

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