Principal's Message for February 2015
At our January mass, students and staff had an opportunity to bid a fond farewell to Mrs. Heather Johnson, teacher of mathematics and our swim coach, and to thank her for her contributions to the Holy Cross community over the past semester. In addition, we have recently learned that Ms. Nadia Bernabei, teacher of chemistry, mathematics, and hockey coach, has accepted a position at Regiopolis-Notre Dame and will not be returning to Holy Cross for second semester. We wish them both well in their new positions and remind them, in the immortal words of past-Principal Mo Daniel, that ‘Once a Crusader, Always a Crusader.’ In happy news, we welcome Mrs. Melissa Biggs, no stranger to the halls of Holy Cross, who will be in our Bridges to 18 program until the return of Mrs. Coombs, and Mrs. Elizabeth Mulvenna, another returnee to HC, who will be teaching math and biology.
Congratulations go out to the Memorial donors, organizers, coaches and players who raised $7500 on behalf of cancer research. It was a great day of athletics and activism: I know how much the Holy Cross community has supported cancer research over the years and that kind of commitment depends upon volunteers to make it happen. Well done.
This month, as we embark on second semester, I’d like to highlight attendance, or more properly stated, ‘being present’. Being present is a basic expectation in our workplaces, homes and schools, and whether it’s distracted driving or zoning out on a personal electronic device, being absent has become a growing concern in modern society. It is my hope that students at Holy Cross will recognize the importance of being present and how it will impact on their success in academics, athletics extra-curriculars – and life in general. We have always encouraged students to ‘get involved’ and that starts with regular attendance and participation in the classroom. The administrative team will make attendance a special point of emphasis in semester two grade meetings; our attendance secretaries, Mrs. Burt and Mrs. Nowak, will continue to inform parents of any attendance anomalies; staff will call when issues arise; and we encourage parents to keep informed about their student’s attendance record by contacting teachers when necessary. Together, we will ensure that Holy Cross students will be as successful as possible by being present throughout the term.
Lastly, please read on about Dr. Greg Wells and our School Council sponsored evening now scheduled for March 10th. It’s going to be an interesting night and a great opportunity to engage your Crusader – Dr. Wells will be speaking to students during the day – in a meaningful conversation about health and wellness.
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.