[Pictured Left to Right: Robert Thurston, Sarah Minaker, Stella Sutton, Archbishop O'Brien, Philip Campbell, Colleen Earle, Paula Johnson-Young. Absent from photo: Jessica Silva.]
During Catholic Education Week ALCDSB recognizes the exemplary accomplishments of students, staff and community members who consistently demonstrate outstanding service.
Adult Volunteer of the Year Award
The Adult Volunteer of the Year award recognizes exemplary volunteer services to a school or worksite to the benefit of those staff and students of that site.
This year's recipient is Philip Campbell, a volunteer at St. Peter Catholic School.
Philip Campbell has been volunteering at St. Peter Catholic School since the new site opened five years ago. Every Wednesday and Friday morning, he can be found setting up for breakfast club, and is the first one to arrive. Most importantly, his true light shines when he is interacting with the students who he is serving. Many of the students will come to breakfast club just to see him, talk to him, and laugh at his jokes.
Contribution to Catholic Education Award
The Contribution to Catholic Education Award is meant to recognize an individual, group or organization, which has made a significant visible contribution to the school system but particularly to either or both of the staff and students of the system.
This year's recipient is Archbishop O'Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Kingston.
Archbishop O'Brien is honoured for his support and advocacy of Catholic Education during his 12 years of episcopal ministry in the Archdiocese of Kingston. Archbishop O'Brien has supported a positive relationship between the Archdiocese, its pastoral offices, and the Board, and has been exceptionally supportive of the relationship between home, school, and parish.
Elementary Student Volunteer Award
The Student Volunteer Recognition Awards recognize individuals who have provided exemplary volunteer services to a school, to the benefit of the students and staff of that site.
The 2019 elementary award winners are Sarah Minaker and Stella Sutton.
Sarah and Stella consistently demonstrate a Christian attitude of service, selflessness, and dedication through the many ways that they volunteer their time at JJ O'Neill. They participate in Eco Club and Food Share, and regularly volunteer in the Kindergarten classroom. Stella and Sarah do all of these things as acts of kindness and with love in their hearts.
Excellence in Supporting Catholic Education Award
The Excellence in Supporting Catholic Education Award – CUPE, Support Staff Association and Senior Managers will recognize an individual who demonstrates excellence in the workplace while supporting faith-based education.
This year's recipient is Paula Johnson-Young, the Youth Worker at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School.
Paula's dedication and commitment to the students, families and staff goes above and beyond. Her role as a Child and Youth Worker, as a mentor, as a community partner and as an advocate is so much more than a job. She is truly called to do this work and invests endless time and energy into ensuring others have what they need.
Secondary Student Volunteer Award
The 2019 Secondary Student Volunteer of the Year is Jessica Silva.
Jessica is an outstanding and exemplary Catholic student who lives her faith in her day to day life in school, church and the community. She exemplifies Jesus' model of servant leadership. Jessica is generous with her time and talents. She puts others first and is always willing to lend a hand to those in need. She is very attentive to the needs of others and goes out of her way to make people feel welcome and cared for as part of the school family. Jessica is mature, conscientious, kind, caring, faithful and committed. Her actions are inspired by her faith. Jessica demonstrates her faith in quiet ways. When she leads prayer she inspires others with her quiet piety, respect and dignity.
Archbishop Francis J. Spence Catholic Teacher of the Year Award
The recipient of the Archbishop Francis J. Spence Catholic Teacher of the Year Award is a member in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers; exemplifies the spirit of the Mission Statement of the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board; has rendered meritorious service to Catholic education in the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board; has been active in Catholic education during the current school year; has made an ongoing commitment and contribution to Catholic education; and is committed to the teachings of the Catholic Church through community and parish life.
This year's recipient is Colleen Earle, a teacher at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School. Colleen's true calling in this life is to be a Catholic Educator. Her ability to really connect with students and communicate using a student centered approach leads to a culture of high expectations, a love of learning and spiritual growth. She effortlessly finds ways throughout the day to naturally interject God into lessons and day to day interactions.
The Katharine Award
The Katharine Award honours an individual, group or school whose charitable efforts honour the spirit of giving of the late Katharine Splinter and are consistent with the character of the system as expressed in its mission statement.
This year the award honours Robert Thurston, a caretaker at St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School.
Robert looks forward to greeting students every day, telling them stories, listening to their stories, sharing jokes, talking about hockey, and most importantly looking out for their safety and well-being.
Mental health and well-being is at the forefront of Robert's priorities. This year, Robert spoke at a school assembly, speaking about the importance of getting help when students/staff are 'feeling down,' the importance of taking care of your mental health and the amazing support system that St. Theresa Catholic School has. After recent tragedies in that school community, Robert saw the need to connect with students, and many students and staff praised Robert for his honesty, being open and providing a safe place for all.