It seems like just yesterday that the 2018 Municipal Elections took place, resulting in eight (8) newly elected Trustees and one (1) re-elected Trustee on the Halton Catholic District School Board for the 2018-2022 term of office.
It was a hard-fought campaign, which saw no less than 35 candidates registering their names across the four Halton communities, all with a commitment to a transparent, equitable, safe, faith-based, publicly funded education model.
Since our official inauguration on December 4, 2018, my colleagues and I have been working diligently implementing the Ministry of Education legislation into policies through a Catholic lens.
The Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association (OCSTA) hosted an Orientation and Finance session in January that was well attended by our Board Trustees, and we were privileged to gain knowledge of the role of the Trustee with a focus on Catholic values. Being among over 200 Trustees from all over the province, it was inspiring to witness the dedication to Catholic education.
My participation on the Policy, Salary Advisory, Audit and Discipline Committees, as well as working alongside my fellow Catholic School Trustees, the Director, and staff, have given me great insight so far into the inner workings of the school board and the delivery of Catholic Education to more than 35,000 students across 57 schools.
In keeping with the Catholic Education model of preparing the whole child, we are in the third year of implementation of our Board’s five-year Strategic Plan, focusing on ‘Achieving, Believing, Belonging’. The commitment to this plan is driven by the leadership of our new Director, Mr. Pat Daly, and our senior staff, consisting of 10 Superintendents – three of which are new to their roles.
With all of the new faces and initiatives at the Halton Catholic District School Board, the operative word is renewal. This is evident in, for example, the $18 million renovations at Assumption Catholic Secondary School – the first Catholic high school in Halton. We are beyond grateful for the Halton District School Board for their cooperation, and for allowing our students to be housed in the former Pearson School as they await construction of their new school.
As your Trustee, I am working to visit all of our schools in Burlington. To date, I have had the opportunity to attend several school events and activities, some of which include Notre Dame’s hosting of Burlington’s Mayor Marianne Mead Ward, Assumption’s Mary Poppins production, the Assumption Family of Schools’ speech finals at St. John’s, St Anne’s School Council meeting, the STEAM presentation at St. Gabriel, and participating in the salad cart program at Holy Rosary. My goal is to continue to participate in as many functions as possible and represent our Board of Trustees wherever possible.
The provincial government has just released its first budget with a focus on fiscal responsibility, which requires balanced budgets for all school boards. Trustees and senior staff will be collaborating to deliver equitable education with lower funding and still meet the needs of all our students and teachers.
Sincerest congratulations to all of our staff, students and families on a successful year and congratulations to all graduates, at every stage of education and direction they are travelling.
Wishing you a very blessed Easter season!