MESSAGE FROM THE Director of Education
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
Throughout this most unusual year, we have operated with a fairly simple credo: let’s focus all our attention on what we can do, and not on what we can’t do.
Rather than being deterred by the limitations COVID-19 has imposed on us, let’s focus on what we can deliver for our staff, students and their families despite those challenges.
I can say with conviction, we have held true to that principle. In the pages ahead, you will see the evidence of what we have accomplished this year under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
Of course, there have been some bumps in the road along the way. We often needed to pivot quickly, and on short notice, in order to meet the needs of those we serve, while remaining compliant with the many regulations that governed our operations in a pandemic situation.
I’m incredibly proud of the way our entire school board community united for a common cause. From March to June, everyone worked extremely hard on behalf of our students, but we knew we had to do better. We spent a tremendous amount of time during the summer working on plans for schools to reopen in September, going back to the drawing board on numerous occasions.
Throughout the entire journey, we never lost sight of our vision to build communities of faith, hope, and service, or our mission to know every student, to inspire them to follow the example of Jesus, and to empower them with the knowledge and skills they need to live purposeful, meaningful lives.
Most importantly, we relied upon our Catholic faith to guide us. Although it has surely been tested, as St. James said in his Epistle, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
In closing, I offer my sincere gratitude to all of those who have persevered, remained true to their faith, and continued to focus on what they can do during these challenging times.
I look forward to brighter days ahead together.
Message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees
If it’s true that there is no education quite like adversity, then 2020 has been one of the greatest learning experiences ever.
Although this has been a year that has tested our collective fortitude like no other, we can look back in hindsight and see there were still many positive aspects about it. Perhaps chief among them is what we have learned about ourselves - about our resiliency, our capacity to adjust, and our ability as a school board to continue to meet and exceed the needs of our students and their families.
Of course it hasn’t always been easy. Many of our students and our staff had to overcome considerable challenges in order for learning to continue. Whether it was through developing alternative schedules, meeting technology accessibility requirements to support online learning, or outfitting our buildings to create safe environments all while ensuring that we were complying with various levels of government regulations, everyone of us was forced to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.
And although we have learned a great deal about ourselves and each other, we have also recognized that we still have much to learn. Throughout this last year, I have been inspired by our Director’s emphasis on focusing on what we can do, and I look forward to seeing what else we can learn and how we can all continually improve together.
On behalf of my fellow Trustees, I want to express my sincere gratitude to our senior team, our school administrators, our educators and all of our support staff who have gone above and beyond during extraordinarily challenging circumstances so that our students and our families could depend on the exceptional educational standards to which they have become accustomed to with our school board.
- Terry Lyons, Director of Education
- Emelda Byrne, Associate Director of Education Student Achievement K-12
- Penny King, Executive Superintendent of Business
- John Ulicny, Executive Superintendent of Education / Human Resources
- Joseph Ibrahim, Superintendent of Human Resources / Education
- Melissa Farrand, Superintendent of Student Achievement K-12
- Rosemary Lo Faso, Superintendent of Student Achievement K-12
- Colleen Norris, Superintendent of Human Resources
- Joumana Tawil, Superintendent of Student Achievement K-12
- Dan Fister, Executive Superintendent of Innovation and Experiential Learning (Retired December 2020)