2024 Chair’s Award, Community Partner Award and Distinguished Graduate Award Recipients

Community Partner Award: Erick Traplin

Presented annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made by a community partner or agency to the Catholic school system serving the students, staff, and greater community of Waterloo Region.

We are excited to announce Erick Traplin as the recipient of this year’s Community Partner Award for his outstanding contributions to children’s entertainment. Since 1989, Erick has captivated young audiences with his fun-filled concerts, encouraging participation and sharing his love for music at schools, fairs, libraries, and community events throughout Ontario and Eastern Canada. With his rich voice and engaging delivery, Erick brings a mix of original and traditional songs that delight kids of all ages. His performances at nearly every Waterloo Catholic District School Board school have shared powerful messages of positivity, inclusion, and belonging. Congratulations on receiving the Community Partner Award!

Chair’s Award: Terri Pickett

Presented to a person or persons in the school system who has contributed significantly to Catholic Education. It is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made to the Catholic school system serving the students, staff, and greater community of Waterloo Region or to the betterment of Catholic Education in Ontario in general.

We are delighted to recognize Terri Pickett for her remarkable contributions during her 23-year tenure at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, particularly her last seven years as Senior Manager of Facility Services. Terri’s most notable achievement is the implementation of the WCDSB Service Quality System (SQS), a groundbreaking initiative that has transformed our schools. Terri’s unwavering dedication to our students’ and school’s success is evident to everyone who has the pleasure of working with her. Congratulations to Terri Pickett for this well-deserved recognition!

Distinguished Graduate Award: Martha Lenio

Presented to a graduate of more than 10 years from our school system who has demonstrated outstanding examples of the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations. Awarded at the graduation exercises of the recipient’s Secondary School or other appropriate public venue.

Dr. Martha Lenio, a graduate of St. David CSS, has charted an inspiring path since high school. With a doctorate in photovoltaic engineering, she founded Mars Green Consulting, offering renewable energy solutions. As Mission Commander for NASA’s Mars analogue simulation, she spent eight months leading her crew in a geodesic dome on a Hawaiian volcano to simulate life on Mars. Now, as an Arctic Renewable Energy Specialist with the World Wildlife Fund in Nunavut, she advises the government on renewable energy and collaborates with locals to develop sustainable solutions. Throughout her journey, Dr. Lenio has remained guided by the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations. Congratulations to Dr. Lenio on her remarkable achievements!

May 10th, 2024|

Upcoming Board of Trustees’ Meeting: Monday, May 13 , 2024


Committee of the Whole Board Meeting: Monday, May 13 , 2024 @ 6:00 pm – Agenda: 2024-05-13_COW_Agenda

Location:  1st floor Board Room, Catholic Education Centre, 35 Weber Street, Kitchener

General Information About WCDSB Board Meetings

Information About the Board of Trustees

(Note: Agenda files can be large. If you are experiencing issues downloading a file, right-click on the link and choose “Save Target As…”.)

May 10th, 2024|

Multi-Year Strategic Plan Survey

As we reach the midpoint of our Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP), we are committed to ensuring our strategies and actions align with our goals. By utilizing our MYSP indicators and implementing evidence-based practices, we are diligently monitoring our investments and efforts. Our accountability framework further positions us to meet our objectives effectively.

Your input is important to us. We are reaching out to parents and community members to gather your perspectives and insights. Please take a few moments to complete our spring survey. Your feedback will help shape the direction of our initiatives and ensure that we continue to progress in a manner that reflects our shared values and priorities.

Thank you for your participation and support.

COMPLETE SURVEY: https://wcdsb.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5hC7fij9iAmHrGC

May 6th, 2024|

Red Dress Day

May 5 marks Red Dress Day, a significant day of remembrance dedicated to raising awareness and honouring the memory of the Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit individuals who have been victims of violence. On this day, people around the community wear red dresses or red clothing on this day as a symbol of remembrance and solidarity. This gesture represents their commitment to recognizing the dignity of every person and aligns with our Catholic values of compassion, justice, and the sanctity of life. We join in prayer and reflection, seeking healing and justice for all affected families and communities, while reaffirming our commitment to building a more inclusive and respectful society.

May 3rd, 2024|

St. Mary’s High School Cultural Fashion Show

Written by: Mikayla Perez, Grade 11, St. Mary’s High School

During St. Mary’s High School’s Culture & Diversity Week, which began on April 14, 2024, students showcased their traditional cultural attire in a dynamic Cultural Fashion Show held in the school’s cafeteria on April 19. The event featured students from various grades and cultural backgrounds, each bringing a piece of their heritage to the stage.

Grade 11 student Oluwademilade (Israel) Dosekun, representing Nigeria, wore an Agbada, a traditional Yoruba male attire. He expressed his motivations: “I wanted to showcase a little about myself and just be a little more confident; I wanted to showcase my culture, and I just thought my outfit was really cool.”

Paolo Manese, a Grade 12 student representing the Philippines, donned a Barong Tagalog. He said, “I want the people in this school to learn a little more about the Philippines by showing off our culture through this outfit. I think showcasing this traditional attire can help students develop a good impression of the Philippines.”

The show, which took place during the lunch periods, was well-received by the students. Grade 12 student Naomi Weldetensae remarked, “It was really nice seeing all the pretty cultural outfits on the stage. I enjoyed the show because I got to learn a little more about other cultures, and the performance itself was really entertaining.”

The week-long event was initiated by the school’s Student Activity Council, which also introduced other culturally inclusive activities, such as multilingual morning prayers and a culturally diverse menu in their Eagle Eats Meal Program.

Despite the positive feedback, Student Activity Council Director Mia O’Connor voiced concerns about student engagement. She stated, “Student engagement is actually something I’m struggling with. … I’d like there to be more opportunities, especially for newcomers. … It’s kinda hard to decide what’s gonna be the best route to make sure that all students are engaged because sometimes the [council] plans things that may be good for their group but maybe not for other groups, so I definitely think that’s something that our student council needs to work on.”

Looking ahead, O’Connor added, “It’s nice to have a week, but it’d be a lot nicer to have these things integrated throughout the year.”


This article is part of the WCDSB Jr. Journalist program, a new initiative designed to provide journalistically inclined secondary students with a platform to share stories from their school and showcase their impressive talents.