ST. CATHARINES – Niagara Catholic District School Board held its Inaugural Meeting of the 2018-2022 Board of Trustees at Denis Morris Catholic High School on December 4. The inaugural meeting was preceded by a Mass and Commissioning of the trustees-elect at St. Julia Catholic Church, officiated by Bishop Gerard Bergie.
Niagara Catholic’s new board was sworn in during the meeting by the Honourable Madame Justice Jane Milanetti of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, immediately prior to the election for the Chair and Vice-Chair.
Frank Fera, trustee for Niagara Falls since 2000, was acclaimed as Chair of the Board. He served as Vice-Chair in 2009. This is his first time as Chair.
Dino Sicoli, who was elected by English-Catholic school board supporters in Port Colborne, Fort Erie and Wainfleet, was elected Vice-Chair. He previously served as Vice-Chair in 2015.
During his remarks, Chair Fera spoke about the importance of remaining focused on the mission of continuing to provide excellence in Catholic education to students in Niagara.
“As we move forward, focusing on making students as a priority, at the centre of our Board’s mandate, we must keep Catholicity at the core of our decision making,” he said. “That is what makes us unique – let us embrace it. Furthermore, we have an obligation as trustees to inspire our staff and, in turn, our students, to instill faith in them, to encourage them and to provide them with unique opportunities to walk in the footsteps of Saint Paul and become true followers of Christ.”
Vice-Chair Sicoli spoke about the opportunities a new Board of Trustees has to promote Catholic education in Niagara.
“We are in the midst of a period of transition here at Niagara Catholic,” said Vice-Chair Sicoli. “We welcome five new trustees to the Board. For many organizations, this amount of change could signify significant challenges. I choose to look at it as a time for opportunities – opportunities that will allow us to move forward in our quest to provide a quality Catholic education to our students.”
Director of Education John Crocco welcomed Niagara Catholic’s five new trustees and welcomed back returning ones, and congratulated Chair Fera and Vice-Chair Sicoli on their new roles.
“I am pleased to welcome our newest trustees to the Niagara Catholic family, and congratulations to Chair Fera and Vice-Chair Sicoli,” said Director Crocco. “We look forward to working with the new Board of Trustees, as we continue to build upon Niagara Catholic’s strong foundation and continue to the tradition of excellence in Catholic education in Niagara.
“I also extend sincere appreciation, on behalf of the entire Niagara Catholic family, to our former trustees Maurice Charbonneau, Father Paul MacNeil, Ed Nieuwesteeg, Ted O’Leary and Pat Vernal. May God continue to bless you as you embark on new paths, and I invite you to remain connected with Niagara Catholic.”
Niagara Catholic provides excellence in Catholic education to approximately 21,000 students throughout Niagara, from Kindergarten through graduation.
(Source: media release)