Category Archives: Principal Connections

Lessons from Eco Club


Lessons from Eco Club

By: Lorna McGillis, Vice-Principal, St. Anthony, Port Hope

Our rapidly changing environment prompts us to stop and think, and indeed take stock of how we live on our planet. We are called to respond and to adopt new ways of living as Pope Francis highlights in his encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.

The response to this call by our school’s Eco Club members has been one that exhibits understanding, commitment and an embodiment of stewardship that lends hope that the future of our Earth is in capable and caring hands.

Speaking about her reasons for joining the Eco Club one student explains, “I wanted to be a part of something, to help out here at school and I wanted to increase my understanding of things like recycling and keeping the Earth clean.”

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Student Independence


Student Independence – Planning with the End in Mind

By Brendan Byrne Browne, PhD

As educational leaders tasked with preparing our students for their best possible future, we are charged with considering what is possible, challenging the status quo and redefining what student success means. Education is a moral practice because it involves intentionally influencing the lives of people (Starratt, 2004).

As we wrestle with big decisions about student support and doing more with less, it is imperative that we do so from ethically defensible positions, grounded in students’ best interests, focused on fostering the greatest degree of independence possible. Consider our obligations to promote, support and foster human dignity, we are faced with challenging existing norms around student support, success, independence and pathways.

A recent article in the Toronto Star entitled “Ontario Parents Worry About Special Education Support” (Gordon & Rushowdy, 2016) presented as an accepted norm that the academic and social success of students with special needs is directly connected to receiving one-to-one adult support by an educational assistant or paraprofessional. A parent of a 19-year-old student highlighted this by saying, “Is someone going to remind him to eat his lunch?”

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Developing Humanity – Fulfillment of a Vocation

Developing Humanity

Developing Humanity – Fulfillment of a Vocation



By Joe Geiser
Protective Services Coordinator, CPCO

“Although I achieved my high school diploma from a Catholic school I have never felt truly fulfilled in the 15 years since then.” “Why don’t students in our Catholic elementary schools know the bible stories anymore?” “Can we say a prayer of thanks before we eat?”

These statements and questions were made by former students as we caught up with each other over a meal. As I reflect on them, I am struck by the significant role and tremendous opportunity that Catholic administrators have on a daily basis.

Our work as Catholic principals and vice-principals calls us to recognize the talents, the challenges and the potential in all of God’s creation. As such we are given the responsibility to develop the humanity, the ‘humanness’ of all within our communities – students, faculty, support staff, families and occasionally even our parish teams. St. Teresa’s words remind us that the vocation we have and the work that we do ‘ … is between you and God.’ And that we are called to ‘… Do good anyway.’

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
St. Teresa of Calcutta

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As We Learn, They Learn


As We Learn, They Learn

Deirdre Kinsella Biss


By Deirdre Kinsella Biss
Editor, Principal Connections

With the upcoming release of the latest issue of Principal Connections magazine, Editor Deirdre Kinsella Biss provides a sneak preview of what you can expect.  

Welcome to the winter publication of Principal Connections. In this issue, we shine a spotlight on the important role that Catholic principals and vice-principals have in helping students develop and contribute to humanity.

Traditionally, global human development has been measured by literacy development, poverty rates and financial sustainability. But human development goes well beyond academic achievements, health and income. Our students need to develop the necessary values, skills and attitudes for dialogue, collaboration and cooperation in order to live peacefully and lovingly within a community. At the heart of it, students must learn to exercise acceptance of one another. In its most profound sense, then, human development is at the core of Catholic education.

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Tech Talk: Collaboration Tools


Collaboration Tools for Digital Classrooms




By Ania Czupajlo

TECHNOLOGY IS EVERYWHERE AND THAT INCLUDES EDUCATION. Today’s schools are implementing technology as it enables them to collaborate and communicate more effectively with their students, teachers, parents and community.

Digital classrooms can help keep students more engaged and focused while working on projects. As an educator, there are many tools that will help make your classrooms more fun and interactive, and where your students can learn and shine together.

Here are six collaboration tools that can help you create your digital classrooms.

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