At the Inaugural Meeting of the Board, held on December 4, Director of Education Jody DiRocco shared his 2018 Director's Annual Report.
Read the report: 2018 Director's Annual Report
Mr. Chair, guided by our Catholic education mission, our Board's strategic plan and our ongoing commitment to the success and well-being of each learner, it is my pleasure to present my 2018 Director's Annual Report.
In the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board we take pride in knowing that our students and staff are part of energizing Catholic learning communities that are grounded in gospel values, founded on exceptional instructional practices and focused on student learning.
Mr. Chair, this is the final Annual Report that I will submit as Director of Education, and it provides me with a unique opportunity to share with you some of my personal reflections, as well as highlight some of the many accomplishments from across our system this past year.
Mr. Chair, we are all witnesses to the many successes in our Catholic school communities and I am sure that as you and others read through the pages of this report you will find rich examples of students and staff building communities where our faith flourishes and comes alive; where students are deepening their learning; and where staff are growing as professionals.
Almost eight years ago, I began this journey as Director of Education with great enthusiasm, a firm commitment to serve the students and staff of our Catholic school board, and possessing a deep passion for Catholic education. As I prepare to retire from this role, I continue to possess these same characteristics and commitments. The opportunity to serve the students and staff in this privileged position, in Algonquin and Lakeshore, has been both humbling and inspiring.
Mr. Chair, it is our students who give us purpose and hope. They are the reason we are here. Each day, we delight in seeing how engaged they are in their learning; how they give witness to their faith; and how they are making a positive impact in our world. I thank them for the inspiration they bring to us.
As well Mr. Chair, I recognize, thank and celebrate all of our Algonquin and Lakeshore staff who, each and every day, provide outstanding service to our students. Our staff, regardless of their role in this Board, are to be commended for their commitment to provide a Catholic education that fosters and supports a witness to our Faith in Action, and who nurture the faith-filled environments where our students learn and grow.
Mr. Chair, in our Algonquin and Lakeshore schools we remain committed to building strong communities of faith, engaged communities of learning and compassionate communities of service.
Recently, Mr. Chair, the Ontario Bishops shared with us a wonderful Pastoral letter, Renewing the Promise. In that letter, the Bishops of Ontario affirm for us the gift of our Catholic schools. And, using the principle of accompaniment, present for us, a theology for Catholic schools that describes the importance of building relationships, the need to create communities that encourage engagement and instill hope, and the significance of building communities where young people encounter a joyful Lord.
Mr. Chair, each member of our Catholic school system is called to accompany young people, shoulder to shoulder, one step at a time, so that they leave our Catholic schools as dignified, joyful, courageous and hopeful people. People who are prepared to live life to the full.
For each of us in Algonquin and Lakeshore, strong communities of faith means that we celebrate God's joy and that the young people in our schools encounter and experience the joy of Jesus Christ.
Mr. Chair, engaged communities of learning means that we continue our focus on student achievement and well-being and our relentless pursuit of success for each student. And, as such, we continue to be classroom innovators who focus on instructional approaches that keep student learning at the centre.
Mr. Chair, in this school board, compassionate communities of service
means we are guided by our fundamental belief in the dignity of the human
person and focused on the success of all whom we encounter. And, of
utmost importance, as educators and leaders, we always remember that we are
called to serve.
Mr. Chair, this year we celebrate 20 years as an amalgamated Board. You will see in my report only a glimpse of the many accomplishments achieved in our Catholic schools and across this Catholic school system over these past 20 years.
These accomplishments are many and reflect our Board's commitment to faith formation, strong parish and home relationships, an emphasis on our Catholic social teachings, and a commitment to engaging the voices of students. However, Mr. Chair, there is probably no better way to understand or develop a sense of who and what we are about as a Catholic school system than to listen to the voices of our staff.
Mr. Chair, I wish to personally thank you, the Board of Trustees, our Staff and our Students, for the faith and confidence you have placed in me over the past eight years. Your support of my leadership and of our collective vision has provided me with the ability to lead a Catholic school system that remains focused on our faith and on supporting opportunities to be creative and innovative in our approaches to the education of the students in our Catholic schools.
Mr. Chair, I respectfully submit to the Board, my 2018 Annual Report.