Each year, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board proudly announces the recipients of three major awards: Chair’s Award, Community Partner Award and Distinguished Graduate Award.

This year’s recipients of those respective awards are John Dietrich (Principal of St. Mary’s High School), Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows Parish (St. Mary’s Parish), and Dr. Laura Shoemaker (retired WCDSB Superintendent of Special Education).

The Chair’s and Community Partner Awards will be presented virtually on May 13, 2021. The Distinguished Graduate Award will be presented at a suitable time following the conclusion of the current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Chair’s Award:

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.

During his almost 30-year career with WCDSB, John Dietrich has served as an Administrator at 4 of the board’s 5 secondary schools, where his organizational, technical and communication skills – as well as his great faith – have served as an inspiration for a generation of educators and school support staff.

Community Partner Award:

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.

Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows Parish (St. Mary’s Parish) has been at the heart of Waterloo Region’s Catholic community – not to mention the City of Kitchener itself – since 1854. Being a downtown church, the parish has established an impactful ministry in assisting the needs of many neighbours for food, shelter, connection and belonging. The St. Mary’s Kitchen and Tiny Home Takeout initiatives are key examples of that ministry in action.

For more information about Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows Parish, please CLICK HERE.

Distinguished Graduate Award:

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.

Throughout her career, Dr. Laura Shoemaker worked tirelessly to ensure all students with special needs received the individualized programming necessary for them to reach their full potential. Her life’s work – providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment for ALL students — has animated the very best of the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations.

For more information about the WCDSB’s Special Education programs and services, please CLICK HERE.

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