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CDSBEO Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) Vacancies

The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario invites Catholic School Council parent leaders to apply for vacant positions on the CDSBEO Parent Involvement Committee.

Counties with vacant positions include: Lanark County, Prescott-Russell County, and Glengarry County.

Catholic School Council parent leaders are asked to serve a two-year term, and must be available to attend four meetings per year, in addition to other leadership responsibilities.

All Catholic School Council parent leaders interested in serving on the CDSBEO Parent Involvement Committee are asked to complete the Parent Involvement Committee Application Form and return it to Norma McDonald at by Friday, October 19, 2018.

*Please note: the form may be completed and saved electronically.

CDSBEO Introduces New Board Spiritual Theme

The new CDSBEO Board Theme Be Holy – Joy Springs from a Loving Heart! is inspired once again by scripture; by the Saints and by the Holy Father Pope Francis. The theme, which will be implemented over the next three years, was formally presented to the Board of Trustees at the August 29th meeting.

Students from the choir at St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School in Cornwall began the presentation by singing a song written to accompany the theme entitled Be Holy. The song will be incorporated into celebrations, liturgies, and masses throughout the CDSBEO.

Theresa Lalonde Pankow, Principal of Religious and Family Life Education, provided an outline of the new theme, how it was inspired, and how it will be lived out throughout schools.

“We have been blessed in our board to have wonderfully engaging themes that have allowed us to access, unpack and bring to life our board’s vision: Inspired by the teachings of Jesus Christ, we transform the world with justice and peace through Catholic education,” began Mrs. Lalonde Pankow.

“Our new theme is a personal call to be inspired and transformed within our intimate relationship with Jesus, and at the same time to move outside of ourselves to acts of kindness, where we respond to the call to let Jesus inspire and transform others, through us.”

Each year of the theme will be a balance of contemplation and action. Constant reflection on God’s presence will be a focus, which will be counter balanced by recognition of the needs of others. Schools have been provided with resources to help bring the new theme to life in CDSBEO classrooms and in student life. It will also be a focus to inspire and inform social justice initiatives and acts of kindness throughout the Board.

“Three sub-themes build upon each other and each will be studied for one year,” noted Mrs. Lalonde Pankow. “In year one, we will explore scripture and experience prayer. We will develop an understanding of our personal call to holiness and through this experience a deeper relationship with our God.”

“Year two will provide an opportunity to deepen our understanding of holiness through the study of the Saints, and in year three we will apply our understanding of our call to holiness through action and devotion.”

The Board will be providing professional development days for educators, as well as implementing a new “CDSBEO Week” to help engage students in the new theme and its messages.

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance

For your convenience, we’ve made arrangements for families to voluntarily purchase student accident insurance through the Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance program, underwritten by Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. (iA Financial Group).

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance offers protection against the unexpected costs of injury from accidents, and is especially valuable for families who:

  • do not have medical or dental plans,
  • have limited plans, as it may help supplement health and dental benefits, or
  • have active children who enjoy sports and outdoor activities.

For complete plan details, please visit



SEAC Meeting – Cancelled

PLEASE NOTE: The SEAC meeting scheduled for this evening at 6:00 pm, at the Kemptville Board Office has been cancelled.

CDSBEO Welcomes Catholic Student Trustee Michael Fenn

The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario is pleased to announce that Michael Fenn, a grade 12 student at St. Mary Catholic High School in Brockville, has been installed as the next Catholic Student Trustee for the CDSBEO. Fenn has assumed the position from Andrew D’Alessio, who served for the 2017-2018 school year.

“We are so pleased to welcome Trustee Fenn to the Board,” noted CDSBEO Chair Todd Lalonde. “We know that he will make an outstanding contribution this coming year as the voice for all CDSBEO students.”

Trustee Fenn was elected to the position in April by the Student Senate.

“I am thrilled to begin my new role as Catholic Student Trustee. I strongly believe giving the Board of Trustees a clear and honest student perspective will benefit the entire CDSBEO today, and as we move forward into our bright and promising future.”

As Catholic Student Trustee, Michael Fenn 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 Fenn will have the opportunity to meet other student trustees, and trustees from across the province.

Michael Fenn can be found on social media at @Michael_CDSBEO (Twitter), and on Facebook at

Certificates of Appreciation 2018

Each year, the CDSBEO honours deserving students and staff through the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation. Awarded to remarkable persons with outstanding successes, the certificates were presented to 18 students at the June 19th Board meeting. The following are this year’s award recipients:


Abby Jurchuk, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School
Abby is an accomplished weightlifting and CrossFit athlete, who competes at the provincial and national level for weightlifting. She has dedicated herself to the sport since the age of 12. In January, Abby won a bronze medal at the Canadian Junior Olympic Weightlifting Competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 2017, Abby won a silver medal at the same event.

Aubree Bowes, St. James the Greater Catholic School
Aubree Bowes is a grade 2 student who has shown exceptional talent in writing. As part of her work for a French poetry unit at school, Aubree wrote several poems which were submitted for consideration to the OECTA Young Authors Awards. Aubree’s poem was selected in April by the Provincial Selection Committee, and her work has been published in the 2018 Young Authors Awards compilation.

Brooklyn Jordan, St. John Catholic Elementary School
After participating in the St. John Catholic High School’s annual Relay for Life in May, and being so touched by the experience, Brooklyn felt that she wanted to do more to help. Brooklyn took on her own initiative to make and sell bracelets, with all proceeds going to Relay for Life. Brooklyn is a very caring person who makes a difference among her peers and within her school community.

Victoria Nichols, Notre Dame Catholic High School
Victoria has been a dedicated highland dancer from a very young age. This year, Victoria placed 7th in the Scottish Open Championship in Dunoon, Scotland; placed in the top 6 in the Commonwealth Championship in Stirling, Scotland; won first place at the Loch Norman Carolinas Open Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina; and represented Canada in the Basel Tattoo musical event in Switzerland, as part of the Canadiana Celtic National Dance Team.

Charlotte and Jaclyn Stewart, St. John Catholic High School
Charlotte and Jaclyn are two sisters that have been dedicated dancers from a very young age. Both compete at the national and international level in highland dance. Charlotte placed 3rd overall, and Jaclyn placed 4th overall for their respective age groups at the 2018 Ontario Closed Championship. Charlotte placed first at the Ottawa Highland Dance Association Championship, 5th at the Commonwealth Championship, 7th at the Cowal World Championship, and 5th at the Bute Highland Championship, all of which were held in Scotland. Jaclyn won the Commonwealth Championship in Stirling, Scotland, and placed 5th at the Juvenile World Championship in Cowal, Scotland. In addition to dance, Jaclyn has also played the lead role in the short film “From Sarajevo”, which won numerous awards at the South Academy Arts and Film Festival.

Lisa Ding and Mahi Patel, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School
Lisa and Mahi participated in the 2018 United Counties Science Fair. The girls grew a bean plant under various light conditions, exploring the circadian rhythm of the plants. An environmental chamber was used for the experiment, and the girls were required to take daily results (both qualitative and quantitative) in order to fully explore their topic. Their project won the following list of awards: Outstanding Research Award, St. Lawrence College Health & Sciences Trophy, and the Rotary Club Cornwall Best Junior Trophy. The girls moved on to the National Science Fair in Ottawa, Ontario.

Elise Plaschka, Lily Young, Abby Douglas, Jessica Meeson, and Sherron Sabourin, St. Mary Catholic High School
This group of grade 10 students are members of the Brockville Blazers Midget Girls Basketball Team. This past April, the team won gold in the Division 2 Provincial Championship.

Angelina Polegato, St. Mary-St. Cecilia Catholic School
Angelina is a grade 4 student and competitive gymnast. This year, she competed in three qualifying events for the season: Envol 2018, where she placed 2nd, Woodbridge Provincial qualifier, where she placed first, and lastly at the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre Qualifier, were she placed second. Of 24 provincial athletes in her level and age division, Angelina held the sixth highest score. At the provincial championships, Angelina finished in tenth place. She also travelled to Boca Raton, Florida for the Florida Crown Championship, where she competed in a level 7 open age session, placing first all-around.

Lauryn Roy, St. Mary-St. Cecilia Catholic School
Lauryn began gymnastics less than three years ago, and has only been competing for the last two seasons. She began in level 3, and is now at level 5. After all of the qualifiers for this season, Lauryn sat at number 1 in Ontario for her age and level. Lauryn competed in the Provincial Championships in May, in London Ontario.

Maggie Shaw, St. John Catholic Elementary School
For the last four years Maggie Shaw has been inspired to help others and to give back to her community. In doing so, she has raised $5,000 that has been dispersed to various families in need or community organizations that support families. Three years ago, she helped to organize a school wide skating party to raise money for a fellow student who was terminally ill. Last year, Maggie organized a church and school parish event to support a former student of St. John Elementary who was battling cancer. This year, another fundraiser was organized that saw the proceeds go directly to Ronald McDonald House.

Isabelle Georgeadis, St. John Catholic Elementary School
Isabelle is a grade 6 student who recently raised $1,200 to shave off her long hair. She generously donated the funds to the Children’s Wish Foundation of Ontario, and to the Cadets association to which she belongs. Congratulations Isabelle on making a difference and demonstrating to your classmates how important it is to give back to others.

Marie-France Pilon, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School
Marie-France worked all year developing makeup, costume and hair design for the Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School entry into the National Theatre School Drama Festival Provincial Showcase. She, along with her partner Jasmin Virtanen, won the award for Makeup Design from the provincial adjudicator for their efforts in bringing stage characters to life.

2018 Certificates of Appreciation Award Recipients


Exceptional Students Create Beautiful Art for Charity

Without Exception: Exceptional Art from Beautiful Minds is an exhibition of artworks created by special needs students of the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. The program was implemented by Sarah Jaynes and Mieke Stacey, from Notre Dame Catholic High School in Carleton Place. The two oversee art workshops and tour the student exhibitions throughout Eastern Ontario. Each year, students come together for a one day workshop to work on a new project with a theme. The 2018 workshop, which was held yesterday at the Cornwall Board Office, gave students the opportunity to create beautiful works of art.

The Without Exception program has been gaining popularity since its creation in 2008, and has been shared with school boards across Canada. In an effort to share the joy of this program, 100 per cent of the profits from the sale of items created with the art, such as prints (paper or canvas), note cards, mugs, t-shirts, canvas bags, are donated to the Good Samaritan Trust Fund. The Good Samaritan Trust Fund is a Board charity which helps CDSBEO students and families with financial emergencies in circumstances not aided by other existing charity organizations.

For more information on the Without Exception program, please visit their Facebook page at:




























Catholic Education Week 2018

Each year, the Catholic community of Ontario engages in a week-long celebration of the unique identity and distinctive contributions of Catholic education during Catholic Education Week. This year, Catholic Education Week took place from May 6 through 11. The event celebrated the theme “Renewing the Promise,” which draws on documents created by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario about Catholic education in Ontario. The week began with the celebration of the annual Board-wide Mass at Holy Cross Parish in Kemptville, which was led by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

Superintendent of School Effectiveness, Natalie Cameron, gave a brief overview of the week’s events, which was followed by a video presentation. Throughout the week, schools shone a great light on the ways in which CDSBEO Catholic schools celebrate Catholic education. The week was marked by special activities and events for all grade levels, including prayer celebrations, service activities, celebrations of the arts, sporting events, and fundraisers; the spirit of service and learning was the hallmark of each event.

The video below highlights some of the many happenings at CDSBEO schools during Catholic Education Week


New Specialist High Skills Major – Agriculture Program in Cornwall

Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School is now offering a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program in Agriculture. The program began in September 2017, and this year’s first cohort of 15 students, has helped to support a very successful start-up!

Students have created a small sized farm on the Holy Trinity property, planting over 2,000 trees (maples, oak, spruce, apple, pear and plum), and setting up a permaculture garden area. The students have also helped to build a greenhouse for additional growing of plants and vegetables.

Lead Teacher Michael Smith noted that getting the program up and running was hard work.

“It’s been a lot of work setting up the farm for the program, but all of the students have really enjoyed working outside, building the permaculture gardens, and planting the 128 fruit and nut trees. They have certainly become proud ambassadors for the program.”

The Specialist High Skills Major in Agriculture is one of 24 SHSM programs offered throughout the CDSBEO.

Students from the Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School SHSM, Agriculture















Patrick Paul, a grade 11 SHSM Agriculture student, and the new greenhouse.

Update on the new K-8 Catholic Elementary School, Smiths Falls

In November 2016, the CDSBEO received approval for the construction of a new 432 pupil place JK-8 Catholic elementary school in Smiths Falls, along with a daycare and family support centre. This school is the new consolidated school for the current St. James and St. Francis de Sales Catholic Schools.

Construction of the project, which is scheduled to open in September 2018, is progressing on schedule and the principals of the current St. James and St. Francis de Sales have several transition initiatives underway.

“The new facility will be approximately 50,000 square feet, on 6.28 acres,” noted Manager of Plant and Maintenance, Roger Cauley. “Estimated cost for the facility is $14.5 million, which includes 19 classrooms, and a 5,000 square foot Ontario Early Years Centre (EarlyOn Community Hub), 3,500 square feet for the childcare centre, and 1,500 square feet for CDSBEO Plant Department offices and drop-in space.”

The facility is made up of three sections (the school, childcare and family centre, and board staff area), with some special features including staff parking area, and a bus loop. Currently, the project is progressing on schedule, and the east block is well underway with drywall and painting now underway. At any one time there is up to 85 people working on the site.

Some innovative design features have been added to the interior of the school as well, including classrooms with large glass panels between them which can open to create one large space.

“We really wanted to create a school designed for the future. We know that education is changing, and we wanted to encourage creativity and collaboration,” explained Susan Forbes, Principal of St. James the Greater. Forbes has been appointed to the position of principal at the new St. Francis de Sales Catholic School.

Student workspaces in the new school will include flexible tables that are moveable, and which can be manipulated to create both individual and group workspaces.

“We didn’t order any traditional student desks, and we didn’t order any traditional teacher desks,” noted Forbes. “We have teacher mobile workstations with a power source in the centre, and these can move around the classroom to have a point of instruction at any place in the room.”

The learning commons, known in the past as the school library, is a redesigned concept which incorporates a bright and vibrant common space that includes books, a Lego wall, smart boards, vertical learning surfaces, and comfortable seating, to allow for a variety of activities to take place in that space.

“If you have a smaller parent meeting, you can have parents in the space. We are very excited about the learning commons, and the potential it offers for the learner.”

“A new scoreboard has been purchased for the gym through fundraising efforts from both schools,” she continued. “We know having a new school, and having a big school, we will be able to host tournaments. We are planning to add more school gym equipment and we are spending time looking at the outdoors space, and encouraging more natural space, such as tree stumps. Eventually we would like to have an outdoor classroom to get the students outside and take the learning outside as much as we can.”

The schools have also begun to host collaborative events to be able to bring the two staff groups together.

“We’ve been trying to do as much as possible to bring the two staffs together,” explained Theresa Lalonde Pankow, principal of the current St. Francis de Sales.

“Our community is very involved, and does rally together, and we are planning more joint things for the new school as we move forward.”

The school will be introducing a new mascot, which is yet to be decided.

Rendering of the site of the new St. Francis de Sales Catholic School, Smiths Falls.

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