Principal's Message for September 2015
It has been a busy summer at Holy Cross, with the ongoing facility upgrades on top of our regular preparations for 2015-16 keeping staff on their toes. Welcome back, and I trust you‘ve had a refreshing and rewarding holiday. Our thoughts and prayers are with our graduates as they begin the next step on their educational journey, even as we turn our minds to our new Crusaders, the class of 2019.
Our school pastoral theme this year fits beautifully with our school mission: "Blessed are the merciful." (Matthew 5:7) Our pastoral team, Chris Forster, Father Leo Byrne and new addition Fr. James Quirk, has completed planning for the year. Watch for more information about upcoming initiatives from our Pastoral team in this and every newsletter.
The ongoing labour unrest in the educational sector has caused some concern. Throughout, staff have taken the view that we prepare for the year as we always have, hope and pray for resolution, so news that OECTA has signed a tentative agreement with the province is welcome news. We will be starting the school year as we always do with a full slate of activities and events. And, I might add, with increased enrolment of about 70 students over projections back in May. Thank you for showing confidence in our school.
Our School Improvement Planning (SIP) for 2015-6 will focus on student inquiry in all of our instruction: enhancing the already engaging learning environments in our classrooms by allowing students to operate independently, to make decisions and to attempt challenging tasks. The teachers‘ role, to ensure students have the necessary knowledge, skills and strategies, remains our fundamental order of business as we move forward with our SIP plan. Updates on progress will follow throughout the year.
Parents interested in getting more deeply involved in their children‘s education are encouraged to attend the first meeting of the Holy Cross Catholic School Council on Wednesday, September 16th, 2015, at 6:30 in the school library. Our chairperson, Michelle Iliescu (email@example.com), would like to welcome all our new families and hopes to see you on the 16th.
On a related note, parents know that students who are involved in school outside the classroom perform at a higher level inside the classroom. Holy Cross offers a wide variety of extra-curriculars—so encourage your Crusader(s) to get involved.
Ian Stuart, Principal
Vice Principal - Paul Melim
The Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board has the admirable distinction of retaining many of its graduates as support, teaching, and administrative staff. As a graduate of Regiopolis-Notre Dame, Mr. Melim went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours and a Bachelor Education from Queen’s University before beginning his teaching and administration career in secondary with another school board in Southern Ontario. After 12 years away from Kingston, he returned home taking a position as the Principal of St. Mary Catholic School in Trenton for the past five years.
It is with enthusiasm that he returns to the secondary panel. Mr. Melim looks forward to fully participating in the development of the Holy Cross student’s mental and spiritual growth before they move into their post-secondary lives. “I feel it is a tremendous opportunity to help students become active and responsible participants in their school, community, and faith. I look forward to being a part of the Holy Cross community”.
Have a good year.
Vice Principal - Ms. Wendy Gallant
“Blessed are the Peacemakers”, is a wonderful theme for our school year. The goal of ‘peace’ will offer us many opportunities to grow together and to make a difference. Most recently, during the Thanksgiving Food Drive, our students and staff donated approximately 2100 kilograms of non-perishable food to the local Food Bank, which has seen a 15% increase in demand this year. Holy Cross exceeded last year’s donation and we extend a heartfelt thank you to all who contributed through your generosity and efforts. In the near future, there are numerous opportunities for students and staff to share and spread our peace. Our staff continues to gather and deliver weekly donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. These types of initiatives allow all people in our community to feel valued, and to have the dignity and peace they require.
During the 2014-2015 school year, we turn our attention to Pope Francis, who stands as a remarkable role model for peace in our world. Let us follow him and lead a life of humility, show concern for the poor and build relationships among peoples of various backgrounds and faiths. Together, we make every day meaningful for ourselves and others.