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UCC Students Helping to Provide Solutions for Community Issues Through Inquiry-Based Learning 

Through inquiry-based learning, students in Steve Churchill's Grade 11 English class are helping to provide solutions to real issues confronting the community.

"This semester, we invited some local agencies into our classroom to talk to us about some 'real world' problems which face our community," says Mr. Churchill.  "The students have followed their passion and their interest and are helping to provide solutions."

Some of the groups invited to speak to students were Pet and Animal Wildlife Rescue, Learning Disabilities Association, Chatham-Kent Outreach for Hunger and the Ursuline Sisters.

"The local Pet and Wildlife Rescue Centre had a recent break-in and was in need of emergency funding," says student Erykah Bugros.  "We decided to design bracelets and sell them, hoping to raise $400.  We've already hit $300 and we're sure we will make our target!"

Another group of students was concerned about young people who cannot afford to play organized sports.  They partnered with SportChek and Canadian Tire to promote the JumpStart Program, which helps give kids from families in financial need the same opportunities to participate in sports as their neighbours, classmates and friends.  They also partnered with students in Grades 1 to 8 at St. Michael Catholic School in Ridgetown to produce dozens of posters, to help promote JumpStart.

"The students all designed their own projects to work out solutions to the problems they were passionate about.  I'm so proud of all of them and the work they're doing in our communities," says Mr. Churchill.  "What I like best about these projects is that they tie so directly to the mission of Catholic education.  These kids aren't only talking about their faith, they're living it!"

The students will discuss their projects in a Ted Talks-style presentation to the community agencies and invited guests on January 18 in the UCC Theatre.

In the photos (above left) students show off the bracelets they designed for the Chatham-Kent Pet and Wildlife Rescue fundraiser; and (above right) some of the posters designed to help promote the JumpStart Program.


Dec 22, 2016

St. Anne Catholic School Bell Choir Performs Christmas Concert at Marshall Gowland Manor in Sarnia 

Students in the St. Anne Catholic School Sarnia bell choir recently performed for an enthusiastic group of residents at the Marshall Gowland Manor home for the aged.  The choir is directed by retired St. Clair Catholic principal Anne Lobsinger.

"The students were outstanding in their performance," says Mrs. Lobsinger. "At the conclusion of the concert, I heard a number of the residents shouting 'encore!'"

The students, from Grades 5 and 6, performed a number of holiday classics and many of the residents joined in and sang along.

After the presentation, the students mingled and spoke with the residents and enjoyed hot chocolate and treats.

"It was a fun day for all of us," says Mrs. Lobsinger.  "The students always enjoy an opportunity to share their music with others.  I think the day was as meaningful for the choir as it was for the residents!"

In the photos (above) Mrs. Lobsinger poses with two members of the bell choir and resident June Lasenby, who thanked the students at the conclusion of the concert; and (below) the bell choir performs a song at Marshall Gowland Manor home for the aged in Sarnia.

Dec 09, 2016

John Van Heck Acclaimed Chair of the Board; Michelle Parks Acclaimed Vice Chair 

At the December 6, 2016 Initial Meeting of the Board of Trustees, John Van Heck was acclaimed to the position of Chair of the St. Clair Catholic District School Board for a second straight term.  Trustee Michelle Parks was acclaimed Vice Chair, a position she has previously held for the past two years.

Mr. Van Heck has been a Catholic trustee since 2006.  In accepting the position of Chair, he thanked his fellow trustees for their support and for always working together as a team.

“Together, we have a common interest in that we always put our students’ and parents’ wellbeing first and that we also hold in high regard the wellbeing of our employees,” says Mr. Van Heck.

In looking to the future, he says completing the work of the Pupil Accommodation Review in Chatham is an important milestone that lies ahead.

“Completing a new and comprehensive plan for our Chatham elementary schools will put Catholic education on solid ground for a bright future in the second largest city of our district,” he says.

Michelle Parks is now in her eleventh year as a Catholic trustee.  In her remarks to the Board last night, she expressed support for her colleagues and for members of the senior administration, as they strive to meet the Board’s three strategic priorities of living our faith; promoting educational achievement and innovation; and fostering stewardship, leadership and social justice. 

“To Dan Parr and our entire senior team, your dedication, commitment and love of St. Clair Catholic is evident in both your words and your actions,” says Mrs. Parks.

Elections for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair are held annually at the Board’s December meeting.  The term of office for both positions expires at the end of November 2017.

The evening began with Mass, which was celebrated in the chapel of the Ursuline Boardroom.  Father Chris Gillespie was celebrant, assisted by Steve Eckert, a Seminarian currently serving the Holy Redeemer Parish Cluster.

In the photo above are (L-R) John Van Heck, Chair of the Board; and Michelle Parks, Vice Chair.  They were elected to their respective positions for 2017 at the Initial Meeting of the St. Clair Catholic District School Board on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

Dec 07, 2016
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