Message from the Principal - Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School

Message from the Principal
As autumn summons a change in temperature, much of the world begins preparations for a long
seasonal nap. At Holy Cross however, the busy season has just begun.
With September long behind us and October a recent memory, November is proving to be another whirlwind month as we prepare for Advent. The snow has thrown us for a loop and reminds us
that Christmas is right around the corner.
Students have settled into classes and academics, joined teams and clubs and continued to nurture their spiritual needs through the variety of social justice and spiritual activities offered here
at Holy Cross. By mid September our annual Pilgrimage was well under way. Our committee
chose the theme “Be the face of God, See the face of God” and with over 300 walkers we raised
in excess of $15000.00 for our sister school in Haiti.
It felt like we were just getting started when Parent/Teacher conferences took place in early October. This personal dialogue between parents, students and teachers is critical in ensuring student success. Midterm report cards have been distributed and parents are welcome to continue
the dialogue with teachers as necessary.
As November draws to an end, I remind you that the semester is more than half over, however
there is still ample time to get involved in a team or a club and to improve achievement by attending P3 offered after school from Monday to Thursday weekly. Now is the time to invest
some effort into your school, your home. Please remind your family and friends that our grade 8
open house will take place on Jan 13th, 2015 and remember HC is the place to be!
God Bless!
Denice Robertson
U. Fazari
Vice Principal
D. Robertson
J. Lennox
Vice Principal
The Niagara Catholic District School Board through the charisms of faith, social justice, support and
leadership, nurtures an enriching Catholic learning community for all to reach their full potential and
become living witness of Christ.
On October 2nd members from the Free The Children Club attended We Day 2014 in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. We Day is the largest event of its kind, bringing tens of
thousands of youth and educators together in celebrating their school initiatives towards
Social Justice. Students were entertained by many popular celebrities, musicians and heroes sharing their inspirational stories. This event is a youth movement that recognizes
students who are committed and passionate about creating global and local awareness towards positive change.
As part of our social justice initiative for this year, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School
will be working with Out of the Cold at St. Alfred’s, collecting donations of new or gently
used mittens and socks outside of our chapel. This initiative will continue all winter as
we prepare for a long and cold winter.
Breakfast Club continues this semester five mornings a week,with grab and go service in front of
the main office. Our yearly H-N REACH grant of $1,125.00 was received this month. This
grant is provided by Niagara Nutrition partners to help offset the cost of food for our breakfast
program. Thank you is also extended to First Niagara Credit Union for their $500.00 donation.
Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School is proud to be one of the schools
involved in the very prestigious Brock Mentorship program. This is an
opportunity for keen science students in their last year of high school to
obtain two credits while spending their afternoon each day for a semester
working with a professor on their current research in their lab at Brock.
This year, Ana Peso is working in the kinesiology lab with Dr. Gammage
on a psycho-biology project involving self-esteem and balance in elderly
subjects, and Noora Jadgal is working in the psychology department with Dr. Good on a project
related to the effects of brain injuries on moral judgment. Keep up the excellent work, girls, and
we will be interested to hear your results at the February Symposium!
Life Chain on Lundy’s Lane Niagara Falls, Oct. 5th, 2014
Catch the Raider Spirit!
With the help of the construction classes and
the Art Club, this year’s float was a beautiful
representation of the many wonderful teams
and clubs at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary
School! The float also included the sweet
sounds of the HC rock band along with more
than 100 student participants walking along
side the float. The day was beautiful and
sunny – perfect for spreading some green
Raider cheer in the community.
All students and staff are reminded of Intramural Badminton which is held at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School every Wednesday. Games are in the large gym and they begin at 6:30
pm and come to a close at 8:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Students come on
out and take advantage of this great opportunity to play some of your teachers, your friends,
your family members or even Mrs. Robertson and her husband who are a force to reckon with.
We hope to see many of you on the courts! If you would like more information, please contact
either Mr. Chung or Mrs. Di Franco.
The Senior Girls Basketball Team is at end of another successful
season. The girls had a great showing at the Saint Francis Tournament, playing some of the top teams in the region. They also
participated in the Standard Tournament. The Lady Raiders
played in ten regular season games, ending with a record 7-3 finish. This put them in second place overall. The girls played
Governor Simcoe in the semis to decide who was moving onto
the finals. The Raiders pulled it out in the end as they defeated
the Redcoats 36 to 28.
Congratulations Ladies, for a season well played!
Coach Gauthier
Congratulations goes out to the Holy Cross Catholic Secondary Jr. Football team. They
went undefeated in the regular season, and a final victory of 40 to 10 for a championship
Lady Raiders are back in action this winter. Come out and support the Girls’ Hockey team by
cheering them on at the Virgil Arena. Go Raiders!
New at Holy Cross this year…..Girls’ Lacrosse! Come out and join the team.
No experience necessary as we will be practicing skills and doing cardio
work-outs in the HC Health & Wellness Center, all winter to get ready for
our spring games and tournaments. If you would like to join the fastest game
on two feet, please see Mr. Accursi in Student Services.
Congratulations to the Holy Cross Senior Tennis
team who had a successful 2014 season! The team
consisted of Pylin Christopher (Ladies Singles),
Allan Laflamme (Men’s Singles), Braden McKie
and Nathan Bayley (Men’s Doubles), and Andrea
Chavez and Marcus Soo Ho (Mixed Doubles).
This season the Zone Tournament was held at the
Welland Tennis Club. Each player 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 the Ladies Singles and Men’s Singles teams who advanced to participate in the SOSSA tournament. Each team played two outstanding games against some
exceptional players. Although none of the teams advanced to OFSAA, they both demonstrated outstanding effort in their matches.
Mrs. I. Kukla, Senior Tennis Coach
Braden McKie
and Nathan
Below: Pylin
Above: Marcus Soo Ho & Andrea Chavez
Below: Allan Laflamme
Congratulations to our Holy Cross Junior Tennis Team for an outstanding performance at Zone
and SOSSA competitions this fall.
At the Zone 4 tournament, our Junior Holy Cross Tennis Raiders had a perfect undefeated record.
At the SOSSA tournament, our Junior Raiders demonstrated excellent skills, effort and sportsmanship in all of their matches, with Dallas Smith, Alex Kedzierski, and Eric Laflamme capturing
SOSSA championships!
Katherine Li – Zone 4 Female Singles Champion
Dallas Smith – SOSSA and Zone 4 Male Singles Champion
Alex Kedzierski and Eric LaFlamme – SOSSA and Zone 4 Male Doubles Champions
This was a great season of tennis at Holy Cross! The future looks very bright for Raider Tennis.
We are looking forward to next season. Practices begin in the first week of September. New
players are welcome.
Coach: Mr. F. Rozman
Above: Alex Kedzierski and Eric LaFlamme
The Halloween spirit filled the small gym on October 29th as over 40 Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School students banded together to create and star in our 3rd Annual HC
Haunted House. Jen Korsmit, Zoie Ward, Scott Williams, along with Maddie and
Deanna Mayle, were the masterminds behind this years theme of an infected hospital.
They would like to thank Ms. Cookson and her class for the phenomenal makeup, Mr.
Bonsi and Mr. Maxwell for all the construction help, as well as Mr. Volante and Mr.
Cavasin for helping run ticket sales. Over 200 community members enjoyed the thrills
and chills of HC’s Haunted House, which helped bring in over 50 lbs of food for the
food bank. Congratulations to all those involved on the amazing job!
Zoie Ward, Jen Korsmit, Scott Williams, Deanna Mayle, Maddie Mayle
ABOVE: Holy Cross Prefects welcome students and
parents to Grade 9 Curriculum Night.
Karyn Robichaud, Jessica Novacic, Sarah Martin,
Anna Kobryn and Haileigh Cumiskey.
LEFT: "Prefects Helping on Photo Day"
Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School presented a cheque to Autism Ontario. Money was raised
to support Autism Ontario and was a great way to create awareness about autism in both the school
and the local community.
Students in the photo from left
to right are: Christopher Chambers, Tiffany Boyer, Joseph
Donatelli and Jordan Shaw
(Communications and Volunteer Coordinator from Autism
Ontario) .
The Special Education Advisory Committee (S.E.A.C) of the Niagara Catholic District School
Board is made up of Association representatives and Trustees whose role is to support students
with special education needs and their families.
The Committee makes recommendations to the Board with regards to any matter relating to
educational programs and services to be implemented in schools for our students.
All parents are welcome to attend the monthly meetings and learn about different programs and
supports that are available in special education.
Meetings are held at the Catholic Education Centre, 427 Rice Road, Welland, Ontario at 7:00
p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month. In the case of a holiday, it would be held on the second Wednesday.
If you are unable to attend the meetings and wish further information, please visit our website at under Programs, Special Education, Special Education Advisory Committee or contact your school Principal who will provide you with a list of representatives and
their contact information.
S.E.A.C. continuously strives to ensure that the rights of students with diverse learning needs
are being met both at the elementary and the secondary level as well as serving as a resource for
parents of these children.
For further information there are two links:
The Special Education Advisory Committee website; and
The Ministry of Education Special Education website .
At the end of October we find that we had many things to be thankful for this month. We
walked around our neighbourhood gathering walnuts, chestnuts, pinecones and acorns to
create centerpieces for our Thanksgiving tables at home. After the long weekend we were
made to walk the plank with Mr. Craig’s drama class during pirate week. We compared the
movie “Hook” to the book “Peter Pan” and then wrote our own Pirate Adventure Tale.
Pilgrimage Sunday found five of us walking and rolling down to the Market Square for
Mass with our friends from Denis Morris and Saint Francis. We raised $200 for Haiti and
were able to tweet a message through Sister Doreen to Naishka, an 11 year old girl, who is
now able to go to school because we walked!
Our Halloween Potluck lunch was a great feast and we welcomed our secretaries and administration to join us for a feast of bones and blood, ghoulish greens, and witches brew. Our
costumes were outstanding (see photo) and Sammy (aka Willie Wonka) won best costume.
He now has a free ticket to the semi-formal, which makes us all laugh, because we know he
does not like to dance! However, he is very excited to go and eat a great meal and talk to his
We are thankful for our friends at school who gather together after school for movie nights,
trips to the mall, and trick or treating. I am thankful for my wonderful Educational Assistants. Although they are small in number they have a great spirit and love for the students
who call room 112 home.
Mrs. Dirks
Special Education Teacher
Thank you to all parents who visited the Special Education Department
on Parent-Teacher interview night. Individualized Education Plans
(IEP’s) were mailed home on Friday, October 17th. We welcome your
input on your child’s IEP at any time during the school year as it is a
working document. Please contact Ms. van Ophem or Mrs. Di Franco at
extension 2132 with any questions or concerns.
Grade eight students from our neighbouring elementary schools were treated to a business
workshop where they learned how to re-brand a cereal to appeal to teenagers. Grade 12
business students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School helped these future raiders
create their new cereal box covers.
Three senior students from the Brock Business program came to talk to HC business students about the benefits of attending the School of Business at Brock University. HC students learned about paid coop options, international exchanges and much more within the
Brock program.
Cooperative Education provides an opportunity to earn credits through a learning experience
that takes place in the community. All forms of experiential learning are a valuable complement to students’ academic experience and preparation for the future.
This semester, our students are enjoying experiences in a wide variety of workplaces, including the new Niagara Hospital’s surgical
ward, the St. Catharines Chamber of Commerce, and White Oaks
Fitness Centre. We are particularly excited about successful placements in highly sought areas such as electrical and renovation construction.
Students should inquire at Student Services if they are interested in
earning credits through the Cooperative Education program.
A new season is upon us where we have a new group of grade
nine students, exploring what Holy Cross Catholic Secondary
School has to offer. The culinary arts students showcased their
talents by preparing fresh baked goods, finger foods and tomato soup cappuccino for the Grade Nine Meet the Teacher
Night. Under the leadership of Chef Pockaj, the students were
involved in the preparation of foods and the service of the
snacks to the large turnout of parents, guardians, siblings and
future Raiders. Preservation of local produce has been one of the units the students have
studied and was the focus for the Grade Nine Curriculum Night. Courses at the grade 10 level are open to all students.
Exercise Your Taste buds,
Chef Pockaj
Students in picture: Chef, Michael Lem, Maddie Mayle, Kiana Trembley,
Kyle Vandermolen and Deanna Mayle
Wayne Toth
Automotive Technician
Niagara College
Sgt Norman Burns
Officer Ian Rubel
Niagara Regional Police
The Grade 10 Academic French Class organized a Job Fair en français on Thursday November 13th in the cafeteria. The students demonstrated their communication skills as
they presented display boards depicting their career choice and illustrating competencies
required for their career as well as other careers relating to their own. The students also
created a cover letter and curriculum vitae in preparation for their interview in French administered by their teacher Madame Lambert. One of the interview questions focused on
the importance of speaking French.
Another aspect of the Job Fair included a portfolio that each student created. Within the
portfolio students completed an Intelligence Test that helped them choose careers that best
described their personality and a written paragraph illustrating “A Day in the Life of their
This purposeful activity contributes positively to the Ministry Course Expectation for
Grade 10 students regarding career choices. The consensus was that the study of French
continues to enhance future career choices.
French Job Fair puts students’ French skills to task as they communicate to each other the
benefits of learning French as a life skill in the pursuit of Career Choices.
The Science Department would like to begin by congratulating the Eco Club/Green Team,
under the direction of Mrs. Farrell, Miss Giroux, and Mr. Accursi, for a job well done in preparing the Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School online 2013/2014 Eco-schools submission.
Months of hard work have paid off and you should all be proud of the first ever Niagara Catholic Platinum rating. Thanks to all the staff and students who handed in class work, lessons,
and contributed in other ways. Mr. Brgan and the 2014/2015 Eco Club will have their work
cut out for them this year.
Mr. Brgan, Mr. Bonsi and Chef Pockaj completed the Lowes Skills Ontario Grant for Education. A detailed proposal has been put together for a major revitalization of the Father Kenneth Burns Memorial Garden. We are all excited and looking forward for the final results of
the winning schools to be released sometime at the end of the month of November. Construction on new bench seats, a small herb and vegetable garden, and a completion of the greenhouse and toolshed are just some of the projects the funding could potentially help complete.
Our first semester science students have
been diligently working on some great
curriculum-related activities. Last month
Miss Giroux’s chemistry class conducted
an activity where students used standard
chemical techniques, like flame tests,
and precipitate analysis to identify unknown “mystery” chemical compounds.
Mr. Brgan just completed a chromatography lab activity with his biology class,
where the student’s isolated plant pigments from spinach and kale leaves.
Mrs. Kukla organized and led an electric
circuit’s investigation with her grade
nine science class. They have been
working hard building and observing the
electrical nature of series and parallel
circuits. There is always a great handson activity happening down the science
hallways at Holy Cross.
Student Council has been working very hard his fall. We have continued with our biggest
fundraiser of the year which is the Raider Card. It is a student discount card that allows
subscribing Raiders to receive discounts at local businesses and at school events such as
extra out of uniform days. Once again, this fundraiser was a huge success with great student participation!
To continue keeping the Raider spirit alive Student Council also co-hosted the first pep
rally of the year. Held during the beginning of the football season, it was fun for all and
included two local food trucks on site for lunch.
Council also held the first dance of the school year. Student Council invited all Raiders to
come out and have a fantastic time at the “western themed” dance. The cafeteria was
transformed into a country rodeo. Cowgirls and cowboys that attended had a great time.
Halloween activities included a costume contest held in the gymnasium for the whole
Looking ahead, Student Council is busy organizing some Christmas surprises for the most
wonderful time of the year!
Above: Andrea Chaves and Pylin Christopher
Above: Halloween Costume Group
Winners …. “RECESS”
Above: Halloween Costume
Right: 2014-15 Student
Grade ten history students at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School have been immersed
in the study of trench warfare as part of the World War One unit. No class experienced
this quite like that of Mr. Hendrickse who transformed his classroom into the battlefields
of the Western Front.
Grade ten history students will also be gearing up for a hands-on trip to the St. Catharines
Museum to discover the wartime experiences of St. Catharines residents at home and on
the fronts of WWI battlefields.