Provincial awards recognize service and leadership
An annual awards ceremony hosted virtually by the Catholic Principals’ Council Ontario (CPCO) on April 23, 2021 recognized outstanding school and community leadership in a year when not just leadership, but an inspired-type of leadership was needed to cope with the unexpected challenges of COVID-19.
Honourees this year included Mark Daly and Jenny Frappa as Secondary and Elementary Principal of the Year 2020, and Chairperson Patrick J. Daly who received the prestigious Father John Redmond Memorial Award for 2021.
In words of congratulations, Director of Education David Hansen likened their leadership during this time of pandemic to the image of the shepherd whose primary responsibility is the safety and welfare of the flock.
“How fitting that the theme of the CPCO AGM this year was ‘Welcoming the stranger – being the resilient Shepherd,’” said Hansen. “Mark, Jenny and Pat, as Catholic leaders in our Board and broader community, bring guidance, leadership and nurturing to the flock entrusted to their care. They are indeed resilient shepherds. We offer them our thanks and our congratulations.”Principal of the Year 2020 (Elementary)
Jenny Frappa, who currently serves as Principal of St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary School, has dedicated over 30 years of service to Catholic Education.
Her leadership – described as a blend of passion and compassion – has informed her work in the area of Special Education and can be seen in the school’s Stewardship of Creation initiatives which culminated in St. Marguerite being named “Canada’s Greenest School” in 2015 and Frappa as “Environmentalist of the Year” and most importantly, in her living out and witnessing to the faith.
“Every day is a blessing where we are called to ignite hope, live with gratitude and be generous in supporting others,” said Frappa, in written thanks. “I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated Principals, Vice-Principals, teachers and support staff who are committed to making a difference in the lives of students, parents and the school communities we serve.”Principal of the Year 2020 (Secondary)
For Mark Daly, who was nominated by the CPCH Secondary Executive for his transformational brand of leadership, the award is just further proof that he is where he was called to be.
As a secondary school principal, Daly has boosted student engagement, reduced suspensions, established school mentoring programs, advocated for sports facilities and school infrastructure improvements, and increased supports for students in need at each of the schools in which he has served. During the pandemic, Daly, currently Principal of Cathedral High School, not only ensured that his students remained connected to their learning but made sure that students felt supported and that graduating students were celebrated.
“I thank God, my dear wife Rowena and children, all of the hundreds of staff and thousands of students who I have had the privilege to serve in Catholic Education,” he said. “I am grateful for all that they have done to support me in what I feel is my life’s true vocation.”Father John Redmond Memorial Award 2021
In other award presentations, HWCDSB Chairperson Patrick J. Daly was recognized with the Father John Redmond Memorial Award. The award, which recognizes extraordinary service in Catholic education, is presented annually to an individual whose contribution has had a significant provincial impact.
Patrick Daly has been a Catholic school trustee since 1985 and has served as Chair of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board for the past thirty years. At the provincial level, Patrick first served as the President of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) in 1996. During that 2-year tenure, Patrick provided leadership to obtain equity in education funding for all students in Ontario. Legislation achieving this milestone was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.
In 2016 and then again in 2020, OCSTA’s membership elected Patrick to serve as President where he continues to fulfill a pivotal role in the shaping of legislation and policies having impact on Catholic education. His contributions have been recognized with the CCSTA Higgins Award, the OCSTA Trustee Award of Merit, and now, with the CPCO Father John Redmond Memorial Award 2021.
“I am truly humbled to receive this prestigious award as it bears the name of such a good and faith-filled priest and Catholic educator,” he said. “Father Redmond’s commitment to educating the whole child has always served as an inspiration to me.”
He added that he was doubly honoured to receive the award from CPCO, an association known for its visionary and courageous leaders, its strong advocacy on behalf of Catholic Principals and Vice-Principals and its significant contributions to the cause of publicly funded Catholic education. Expressing his deep appreciation and admiration for the men and women who serve as principals and vice-principals in Catholic schools throughout Ontario, he thanked them for the invaluable leadership and service they provide to the students, staff and Catholic school communities they serve. What they do, he added, is best stated in the Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter, This Moment of Promise: “As no one else, you who are Principals and Vice-Principals have a unique opportunity to create the character of your school. The life, the values and the feeling of each school derive in large part from your commitment to your staff, to your students and to the gospel.”
“I thank you for being all of that.”
Thanking the individuals who have helped to shape his own journey in Catholic Education, Daly added that the recognition belongs to them as well – his colleague trustees, the Board of Directors and staff at OCSTA, his children and his wife Carol .
“I will never forget this wonderful honour and assure you of my support and prayers for CPCO.”CPCO Student Scholarship Award
This year’s recipient of the Student Scholarship Award, Sophia Fielding, has overcome many challenges in her young life and continues to inspire others with her positive attitude.
A 2020 graduate of Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School, Sophia has experienced a great deal of trauma in recent years, including losing her father to kidney disease, her mother’s battle with cancer, her own surgery for a stomach tumour from which she is now recovered, and financial hardship.
Despite the demands on her time, Sophia has maintained honour roll status during her four years of high school, even after missing school for health reasons. She has also volunteered for many years at St. John the Baptist Catholic Elementary School, assisting with the school’s fundraising campaigns to build wells in Guatemala and works at a part-time job to save towards her university degree.
Describing Sophia as a “quiet leader,” her nominator, Guidance Teacher Sheila Mazza noted that she is spiritual and not afraid of being an individual who does not “follow the crowd.”
“She does so in a humble way and has an incredibly pleasant attitude. I admire her courage and her ability to cope with adversity while juggling so many personal obstacles. Her schoolwork –after family – is a priority!”
“She is positive and grateful and incredibly kind. It has been a privilege to know her and her family,” Mazza added.
Sophia is currently in her first year of the Social Sciences program at McMaster University and hopes to become a counsellor or Social Worker.
Extending congratulations to Sophia on behalf of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, Director of Education David Hansen applauded the exceptional student for her courage and resiliency.
“We wish her every success in her studies and future endeavours and commend CPCO for their tradition of supporting students through the annual scholarship award.”