Is spring finally here? We thought so a few weeks back but Mother

Is spring finally here? We thought so a few weeks back but Mother Nature has
way of letting us know who is in control! It’s hard to believe that the midterm
point of Semester II is upon us. Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School has
been a beehive of activities which have benefitted and enriched all of our students.
The highlights of those events can be found in this newsletter, as well as upcoming events
and important dates to mark in your calendar. Rather than including this newsletter in the
report card we decided to promote the Holy Cross Eco club and send it electronically.
However, you will soon be receiving your child’s Mid Term report card which will include
a permission form for student’s to participate in the University of Waterloo Compass
Survey, information about the Specialist High Skills Major programs, a letter outlining an
upcoming Emergency Protocol Practice and information on Christian Community Service
hours which are a required component for graduation and of which the 10 hours for this year
will be due soon. Please review your child’s report card and the included information and
contact the school if you require additional information. Although Parent Teacher
Conferences have already occurred it is always possible to set up an appointment with
teachers to discuss your child’s progress and areas for improvement.
Catholic Education Week will take place from May 5-11th and will highlight all of the
wonderful things that take place here at Holy Cross including the Sirens Rock concert on
the evening of May 9th -11th. Tickets are available by calling the school. I would encourage
you to consult the calendar on our website for a full list of events that will be taking place.
On behalf of the entire staff, thank you for your continued support and commitment to our
school community. Only through our combined efforts can we continue to offer excellence
in Catholic Education.
God Bless
Denice Robertson
F. Brockenshire
Vice Principal
D. Robertson
J. Lennox
Vice Principal
Every year throughout the month of May, Child Find Canada holds the Green Ribbon of
Hope Campaign with the aim to increase public awareness about missing children. All the
money raised by the Green Ribbon Campaign will enable Child Find Canada to continue
their mandate of assisting in the search for missing children.
Child Find Canada, its campaign, the symbol of the green ribbon, and the connection to
Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School is unknown to many but it is based upon one of the
greatest of tragedies in our community and the hope that it is never repeated.
The concept of the Green Ribbon of Hope was created by the students and staff of Holy
Cross Catholic Secondary School in St. Catharines following the abduction and subsequent
murder of one of their students, Kristen French in 1992.
In memory of this tragedy, the students and faculty of Holy Cross Catholic Secondary
School directed that the Green Ribbon be used exclusively by Child Find Canada as a
national symbol to increase national public awareness as well as to raise funds for Child
Find Canada. Some of those students and staff at that time are presently staff members at
Holy Cross.
Throughout the month of May, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary school staff and students
can purchase and wear a green ribbon in support of the Green Ribbon Campaign that
began at Holy Cross 21 years ago. All raised funds and donations will go towards Child
Find Canada.
On March 28th, 2013, the Grade 10 Drama class performed The Stations of the Cross for the
Holy Cross community. The theatre-in-the-round performance included traditional scenes
performed in tableau blended with a reading of each station followed by contemporary music.
This year’s performance also emphasized the gravity of the environmental crisis and the
urgent need for the Church to respond to its moral and spiritual dimensions. Eco Club
members generated awareness of the need for, as Pope John Paul II stated, “ecological
conversion,” by connecting the story of each station to a current ecological need within our
For many of the students involved, it was their first experience with putting together a
production of this scale. In the classroom, students collaborated and volunteered to take on
various responsibilities during the production. Their names and roles are listed below:
Performers: Nathan Bayley, Trevor Caron, Maddison Chamberlain, Andrea Chavez, Makayla
Courteau, Tom Hudson, Rachel Oppenlander, Derek Overholt, Marcus Soo Ho, Hillary
Weyland, and Lucas Zalba.
Production Team
Assistant Director: Devon DiMarco
Stage Managers: Ben Skounphong & Eric
Lighting Design Crew: Hugo Barraza, Nicholas
MacDonald & Ryan Mandeville
Costume Coordinator: Derek Overholt
Set Design & Construction: Eric Woodland &
Lucas Zalba
Sound Design Crew: Nicholas D’Intino &
Anthony Gaio
PowerPoint Design Crew: Meaghan Burton &
Emma Kubisheskie
Eco Club Correspondents: Maria Boada, Shanza Hashmi, Julia Mielczarek & Kelli Turner
F.U.E.L. is a physical activity program that welcomes all Raider girls every Wednesday
after school for fun, friends and prizes! F.U.E.L. combines popular workout classes with
an opportunity to meet new people and learn more about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
This semester, the F.U.E.L. girls have had the opportunity to participate in certified led
classes including Zumba, Tabata, Yoga, and outdoor boot camps along the canal. The girls
are also set to meet at the St. Catharines YMCA for free F.U.E.L. group classes that
include swimming, spinning and aerial yoga.
Each week, participants are entered into raffle for monthly prizes. Congratulations to
Ellen Ford who won a F.U.E.L. T-shirt in the month of March, and to Maegan Curtis who
won a yoga mat in April.
Thank you to Nurse Kendra Harle, Mrs. Kukla and Ms. Spreitzer for helping lead the
Raider girls in using more energy for life!
We’ve moved! The Breakfast Club has moved to the hallway in front of the
main office. For a “free grab and go” style meal, please visit us at our new location every
morning from 7:30 to 7:55. Thank you to Niagara Nutrition Partners for their support and to
all the volunteers who contribute to this program. We hope that you will join us for the
On Friday, May 3rd, 2013, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School held its first ever Canadian
Cancer Society Relay for Life event. Relay for Life is an inspirational 12-hour fundraising event
that brings the Holy Cross community together to celebrate life and fight back against cancer.
During this event, students and staff walked around a track to raise money for cancer research and
its support programs. This year’s goal was to raise $20,000 and so far we have raised $19,700 and
counting. The Relay for Life began with a survivor lap, led by cancer survivors.
Teacher Moderators: T. Zwambag-Emond, A. Sabatini, I. Kukla
Student Chair: Brody Longmuir
Student Vice-Chair: Shanza Hashmi
The sun is finally shining into the Special Education classroom and we have been
studying some “eggciting” things. We used vinegar to remove the shell from a chicken's
egg and then put it in water to watch it grow via osmosis! After, we made qualitative
observations of eggs from a duck, a brown hen and a green egg laid by a young hen. We
fried them up in a pan. Yes, we like Green Eggs and Ham!
In the fall, we planted spring bulbs that are now staring to grow. We are measuring and
charting the progress of our tulip and daffodil bulbs with the help of our peer tutors
Danielle and Logan. The tallest plant to date is the red tulip we planted beside the cross
in the Peace Garden.
Another sign of spring is our beach volleyball tournament. All our friends from the other
seven high schools will join us for some fun.
Special Education Beach Volleyball Event was a Blast!
Although it was raining outside on Friday, April 12th, the sun couldn’t shine any brighter in
the Holy Cross gymnasium. The Special Education Department hosted their 14th Annual
Beach Volleyball tournament for all secondary students in the NCDSB who are based in
Special Education classes. The morning was spent playing friendly volleyball matches,
preparing the players’ appetites for a delicious pizza lunch from local business, Christina’s
Pizzeria. This event concluded with a dance, courtesy of DJ, Mr. Napoli. We would like to
thank everyone involved in ensuring the success of the day. Special thanks goes to our
sponsors: O’Hara Trucking, Walmart (Welland Avenue), and Zehrs in Welland. Our very
own announcer, Matthew D’Alessandro, was in his element as he engaged the crowd with his
enthusiastic voice and entertaining comments. He is no amateur with the mic! We were also
particularly impressed by the work of our peer tutors who acted as hosts and guides for our
friends from other schools. Therapy Tails made a special guest appearance and meeting Pugsy
was the highlight for many of the athletes. Special Education students are looking forward to
gathering again next month at Blessed Trinity for a Drum Café.
The Eco team recently attended the Green Living Show at the CNE and returned with
exciting observations and ideas. Earth Day included new planting in the Peace Garden;
prizes given to HC students caught being eco-friendly with their reusable water bottles
and Tupperware lunches, and a clean-up of our neighbourhood. Please continue to join us
in making Holy Cross as green a community as possible!
Brock Mentorship is an amazing enrichment opportunity for keen, high achieving students
to work on research with a professor at Brock University. This year, Kirstyn Ali studied
with Dr. Cheryl McCormack, a neuropsychologist, to gather data about the relationship
between face ratios and aggressive behavior. She did an outstanding job and the experience
will serve her well in University Science next year. Interested students for upcoming years
should see Mrs. Farrell for more information.
Niagara Regional Science Fair winners, Noora Jadgal and Mah-le-qa Jadgal
Holy Cross students attend a performance of Quebec dance Troupe at Brock University
Our Hairstyling and Aesthetics class was invited to be involved in the Well Spring
Niagara’s annual fundraising fashion show held at Queen’s Landing April 28, 2013.
Students Andy and Avery Savage-Lee from Holy Cross, and Julianna Sanchez from Denis
Morris, applied their talent for makeup to eighteen cancer survivors modeling for the show,
as well as other models who donated their time for this wonderful organization. The show’s
carnival theme was colourful, thus allowing our Niagara Catholic students to step outside
the box and release their divine makeup designs to enhance every model. This event raised
$20,000 for programs and services to support men, women and children in Niagara living
with cancer.
On February 21, 2013, students in Grades 9, 10 and 11 had the
opportunity to write the University of Waterloo Mathematics Contests.
Over thirty students participated in the hour long contest.
Congratulations go out to the following students who earned the highest marks in the school:
Christian Eduardo Ramirez for the Grade 9 Pascal Contest, Elliot Littlejohn for the Grade 10
Cayley contest and Ignatiy Kuznyetsov for the Grade 11 Fermat contest. All three students
will be recognized with an award at the end of year at the Recognition Night banquet.
The Grade 12s wrote the Math contest on April 17.
Congratulations goes out to over 30 Holy Cross students who competed in the 2013 Skills
Competition. This was the largest representation of Holy Cross students in this competition in
recent memory. All teams performed well but special recognition goes out to Jake Holt and
Mark Dawson who won a gold medal in Landscaping and Gardening, Kurtis Caron who won a
silver medal in Architectural Design and Janell Tomalty who won a silver medal in Hairstyling.
Special thanks also goes out to the teachers who prepared these students for this competition,
they include: Mr. Quinn, Mr. Bonsi, Mr. Cumming, Mr. Pockaj, Mrs. Gandola, Mr. Maxwell,
and Mrs. Cookson.
Shakespeare Festival at Holy Cross
On May 29th, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School will be
participating in its first Shakespeare Festival. Visitors will be
transported to Shakespeare’s era and treated to music, dance, and
drama from the time period, as well as informed of some of the major
events and happenings of the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Festival will be a culmination of the hard work and research that English students have
been conducting this semester. They have been asked to surpass the printed page of
Shakespeare’s plays and bring alive his history and culture as they explore “The Bard’s”
universal and timeless themes.
The day will begin with exhibits where such enticing topics as the Black Plague, Witchery, and
the Supernatural may pique the minds of the superstitious. Those with a weak stomach may
find Elizabethan fashion or social customs more palatable. The intellectuals shall be
challenged to contemplate the astonishing discoveries made in science and philosophy.
This is an excellent opportunity for you to witness this exciting endeavor. The schedule for the
day is as follows:
Shakespeare Festival
On May 29th
9:40am – 10:20 am
10:20am – 11:20am
NCDSB French/Italian/Spanish Public Speaking
It is with great pride and honour that Holy Cross recognizes the following winners of the
International Languages Public Speaking Contest. The contest was held on Tuesday, March
26th, 2013 at Club Roma in St. Catharines.
A special congratulations goes out to:
Nooran Abu Mazen, who placed third in Grade 9-10 French Core.
Shanza Hashmi, who placed second in Grade 11-12 French Core.
Mah-e-leqa Jadgal, who placed third in Grade 11-12 French Core.
Jenny Menendez, who was our third place Italian Second Language winner and her
brother, David Menendez, who placed second in the Spanish Native Speaker category.
Thank you to all individuals who came out to participate in this event. It was a great experience
for everyone involved. We are extremely proud of your commitment to Holy Cross.
Concours de français Brock-Niagara Brock-Niagara French Contest
Holy Cross’s grade 11 and 12 students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their French
language skills through a variety of academic activities at the Brock-Niagara French Contest/Le
Concours de Francais.
This particular contest provides students with an opportunity to apply their second language skills
in competition with students from other district school boards. This most worthwhile experience
also serves to increase their experience with the language outside the classroom, provides an
opportunity to meet and converse with other students for whom French as a Second Language is
valued and network with reputable professors from Brock’s French Department.. This educational
activity will take place on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 at Brock University.
“Learning another language is a journey well worth the effort.”
Holy Cross students from the Business Leadership class were asked to invent different versions of
the first annual Holy Cross Board Game. Students were required to work as a team to create the
game design, game board, game cards, game pieces and written rules. Pictured below is one of the
student management teams consisting of Dan Tough, Kelsey Sawatsky and Matt Holub who showed
their game to Mrs. Erin Farkas. We would like to thank all HC staff who came in to help us test out
our games.
The English Department is getting ready for a busy spring with many exciting events planned
for students. HC Logos, our school online anthology that features student writing, artwork
and photography, has gone live with regular updates of new student submissions. To check
out work from our talented student body, please go to On
April 25th, our Logos team also held our first coffee house event to raise funds to print our
magazine. The HC cafeteria was converted to a real bohemian café with students performing
songs, music and poetry for a captivated audience. Free coffee was provided for all guests
and sweet treats and used books could be purchased for a modest fee. Our event was a huge
success and contributed to the printing costs of HC Logos.
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend us your ears!” The HC English department is also
excited about our upcoming Shakespeare Festival on May 29th when we will be transported
back in time to celebrate the theatre, art, music and culture of the Renaissance period.
Students will be performing from a selection of Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays and will
be accompanied by our very own talented student minstrels. Exhibits will also be displayed
on topics that range from Elizabethan fashion to the supernatural. Come out and join the
festivities and fun!
On May 7th, English Media and Writer’s Craft classes will be attending a screening of Iron
Man 3 to compliment studies of adapting text for the screen and cinematic conventions. Our
ENG4U students will also be attending the highly anticipated Baz Lurhmann adaptation of
The Great Gatsby on June 7. The classic American novel is one of our studied texts in the
Literary Circles Unit and Lurhmann’s visually stunning style is sure to inspire rich discussion
of his interpretation of the book.
We will also be bringing the written word to life by hosting another Poetry Slam event. Our
first semester Poetry Slam was a huge success, inspiring many of our students to get involved
in the monthly Poetry Slams at Mahtay café. This semester, regional Slam poets will be
conducting workshops for the Grade 12 Writer’s Craft students in addition to performing for
selected English classes. Last semester’s slam created quite a buzz in the school and this
semester’s event is sure to do the same.
The English department would also like to offer their congratulations to Daniel Goodman.
Goodman, a Grade 12 graduating student, has been chosen to be reprinted in an anthology
comprising the best in online non-fiction writing called Speculative Fiction 2012. This is the
inaugural volume of an annualized series that showcases writing from science fiction and
fantasy's top authors, bloggers, and critics.
His piece, "Small Heroes Overcoming Big Obstacles", was originally part of a web event that
he co-produced with a colleague, Sarah Chorn of Bookworm Blues, titled "Special Needs In
Strange Worlds". It examined the role, portrayal, and impact of disability in speculative
fiction, and what it meant for the capabilities of the genre. Dozens of authors, bloggers,
critics, and fans contributed pieces for the event which was considered a great success. Not
only did it draw tens of thousands of readers, it also had its own section and required reading
list created for it at The World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto.
All profits of this anthology will be going to Room to Read, a non-profit organization
dedicated to providing literacy and gender equality in the education systems of third world
countries, specifically in Africa and Asia. Daniel is pleased that he has the opportunity to
contribute to this wonderful charity.
Speculative Fiction 2012 was released on April 26 and is available in both electronic and
physical formats. We are proud of you Daniel!
Finally, for students interested in further information on any of the English Department’s
upcoming events, please see your English teacher!
Just a reminder to all students that Christian Community Service hours are
due on May 21. Please submit completed forms to your religion teacher in
order to have hours included in final reports. Thank you!
Congratulations to the Holy Cross School Reach Team for an excellent 2013 season of
School Reach.
Our senior squads (Grade 11 and 12) and our intermediate squad (Grade 9 and 10)
showed excellent skills and knowledge in tournament play competing with the other
Catholic high schools in Niagara.
Games were fast, challenging and exciting – requiring quick thinking and decision
making. Our students were challenged to solve problems and answer questions in a wide
range of subject areas such as science, mathematics, history, the arts and current
events – just to name a few.
Our Senior 2 Reach Team completed the season with 11 wins. Our Intermediate Reach
Raiders 1 finished the season with 12 wins. Both squads just missed securing a playoff
berth in the highly competitive league. Well Done, Raiders.
On March 19, Holy Cross hosted a Reach tournament for all of Niagara’s Catholic
secondary schools. The tournament was a tremendous success, thanks to those students
who volunteered as scorers and spotters and to the teachers who generously donated their
classrooms. Thank you all very much.
All in all it was a very good season for our Holy Cross Reach Team. Our students showed
excellent knowledge, dedication and exemplary behaviour throughout the Reach season.
Practices for next season begin in October. New members are welcome.
To all the seniors graduating this year, thank you for your excellent participation and
keep reaching for the top!
Moderator: Mr. F. Rozman
The dedication and determination of the Raiders Squash Team resulted in a Third-Place team
finish at the Ontario High School Squash Championships, held at Executive Squash and
Fitness, in Concord, Ontario, April 5th—6th. The two-day tournament provided exciting
match-play for our seasoned and novice players.
Leading female score contributions were made by Sofia Chavez who captured her 2nd
consecutive 1st place finish in the 11/12 Girls Unranked Division and by Veronika Lenkiewicz
who finished in 7th place in the same category. Andrea Chavez played a hard-fought match,
resulting in a 2nd place finish in the Open Girls Ranked Division. In the 9/10 Girls Unranked
Division, Pylin Christopher and Megan Punter captured personal bests finishing in 2nd and
10th place, respectively.
Leading male score contributions were made by Brett van der Zalm, who finished in 6th place
out of 72 players in the 11/12 Boys Unranked Division. First-year player, Nick Green, worked
his way to an 8th place finish in the 9/10 Boys Unranked Division.
We look forward to seeing you on court in 2014 and best of luck to our graduating Seniors:
Sofia Chavez, Michael Domagala, Cristian Fagetan, Veronika Lenkiewicz, Brian Raymond,
Brett van der Zalm, Kylee Woodard and Shea Toner.
Congratulations to the Holy Cross Senior Badminton team who had a successful 2013
season! Team members were both gracious and enthusiastic as Holy Cross hosted the Senior
Subzone Tournament. All players displayed exceptional skill and determination while on
the court. Off the court, HC players exhibited endless enthusiasm and support not only for
their own team, but also for all teams at the tournament! Go Raiders!
Extra congratulations go to our Female Singles player, Racquel Rodriguez, who
advanced to participate in the Zone Tournament and will hopefully make it all
the way to OFSAA this year!
The Holy Cross Junior and Midget Badminton teams have been relentlessly
practicing and are eager to participate in their Subzone Tournaments in the
coming weeks. Their display of passion and persistence make it clear that they
are ready to play hard and advance further in the tournament.
Miss. L. Ciccarelli & Mrs. I. Kukla
Midget, Junior and Senior Badminton Coaches