Destiny Discover
Students recognized for “Excellence in Catholic Education”

Gazing out at the hundred or so award recipients seated before him in the forum at Cathedral High School, Director of Education David Hansen asked, “Why?”

“What was your motivation to dedicate time and effort for the recognition you received tonight?”

People don’t dedicate hours to a pursuit – whether sports, academics, robotics, science fair, care for the earth, or volunteering –- just to be recognized at the board’s annual awards celebration and have their picture taken, he indicated.

“Too often our culture tries to convince us that the only reason to do something is if there’s something in it for us.”

“Well, this evening, I would argue that we have over a hundred examples sitting in this auditorium that show us that the pursuit of excellence is not about awards and recognition, but is about living life to the fullness of the gifts we’ve been given.”

On June 5, those gifts were on full display at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s annual awards ceremony at Cathedral High School that celebrated “Excellence in Catholic Education.”

The awards ceremony was established several years ago to recognize and honour students and teams who demonstrate excellence through their talents and hard work, and who, by their commitment, serve as role models to other students in their schools and communities.

Said Hansen, “For it is in the celebration of excellence that we recognize the model you have set for us.”

Expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the many and significant student accomplishments of the past year, Chairperson and Master of Ceremony, Patrick Daly indicated that as well as thanks, “ It is our hope that the awards and scholarships presented this evening will motivate and encourage students to bring their energy, enthusiasm and generosity to building a Catholic community within their schools, and to shaping the vision of Catholic education in Hamilton-Wentworth.”

He added that the awards ceremony is not only an opportunity to recognize the achievements of the award recipients, but to celebrate and honour commitment to excellence – a long-standing tradition at the board and a pillar upon which Catholic education was built.

“While we recognize individual students and teams, we also welcome, honour and thank the families and school communities who have supported and assisted them.”

“Your families, teachers, principals, teachers, staff, advisors and coaches share in your joy and are an important reason for your success,” he reminded the award recipients.

“Only through their generosity of time and spirit is it possible for our schools to provide such a wide range of extra-curricular activities so important to our school communities and students.”

This has only been made possible through the precious gift of publicly funded Catholic schools in Hamilton and throughout the province, said Daly. Quoting from the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario’s recently released Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education, “Renewing the Promise,” he stated: “Catholic schools are places where children and young people encounter Jesus and where they are encouraged to enter more deeply into a personal relationship with Him.”

“They are privileged places, together with the family and parish community, where our faith is handed on, and this can only succeed with the cooperation of all concerned.”

Looking out at the rows of students and family members, he urged, “Let us never take that gift for granted.”

Over the next hour, close to 90 individuals and 8 clubs and teams made their way to the stage to be recognized for achievements in the areas of academics, athletics, Catholic leadership, Stewardship of Creation, STEM, music and the arts.

The awards ceremony was broken into five categories. The first part of the evening was dedicated to board awards. These included the Sister Maria Cordis Music Awards; the St. Thomas Aquinas Centre for the Arts Foundation Scholarship; the Presidents’ Council Bursary; the James L. Daly Awards of Excellence; and the Jim Hansen Spirit of Community Awards.

The Sister Maria Cordis Awards, which consist of an achievement recognition plaque and $100 monetary prize, are presented annually to one Grade 8 student from each family of schools who intends to pursue music studies in high school. The awards were established in honour of the late Sister Maria Cordis, a respected and dedicated Catholic educator who shared her passion for music over many decades with thousands of students throughout the system.

The St. Thomas Aquinas Centre for the Arts Foundation Scholarship also honoured achievement in the arts. The $500 scholarship, presented this year to one high school student, was established to preserve the memory of centre’s philosophy that awareness of, exploration in, and appreciation for the arts fuel the imagination and spirit of the child.

The next award – the Presidents’ Council Bursary (valued at $700) – was established in 2007 by the council of secondary school student presidents to recognize a graduating secondary student who has demonstrated exemplary Catholic leadership and contributed significant service to the school community.

Leadership and service were also the criteria for the James L. Daly Award of Excellence, presented each year to one elementary and one secondary student. The award was established to honour and recognize the leadership and contributions of former Director of Education Jim Daly.

Similarly, the Jim Hansen Spirit of Community Award was instituted to honour another giant in Catholic education, former Superintendent of Education and trailblazer Jim Hansen who led the movement toward inclusive education. The award is presented to one elementary and one secondary student selected by their school as being builders of community.

The second award category was the “Living the Spirit” awards, presented to a graduating student from each elementary and secondary school who personifies the qualities of “Believing, Achieving, Serving.” Recipients were selected on the basis of academic performance, faith witness, and demonstration of justice and service by way of their extra-curricular and volunteer activities.

The third part of the awards evening was dedicated to student achievement in science and athletics at the provincial, national and/or international level. They included BASEF (Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair) Canada Wide Science and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Trip Awards, OFSAA gold medals, and the Mike Morton Bursary. They were followed by special presentations to robotics teams from St. Mary, Cardinal Newman and Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary Schools, and the BR Xpression vocal ensemble from Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School.

The awards ceremony concluded with the board-sponsored Stewardship of Creation Awards, given to one student from each Catholic secondary school for their care of the Earth.

Congratulating the students award recipients, Director of Education David Hansen said that greater than the reward and recognition this evening, was the satisfaction of “finding excellence in yourself.”

“We, the recipients of the fruits of your commitment to excellence, are better for it.”

“I thank you for who you are, I congratulate you on your accomplishments, and I offer you every blessing and all the joy that life brings you.”

Congratulations to the following award recipients:

St. Thomas Aquinas Centre for the Arts Foundation Scholarship
Sophie Visca – Bishop Tonnos CSS

James L. Daly Award of Excellence
Alissa Guagliano – St. Clare of Assisi CES
Aniello Lombardi – St. Thomas More CSS

Presidents’ Council Bursary
Brynmor Dayes – Bishop Tonnos CSS

Sister Maria Cordis Music Awards
Chantel Czok – St. David CES
Michaela Tassone – St. Joachim CES
Patrick Jeffrey – Our Lady of Peace CES
Angela Quesada Mora – Sts. Peter and Paul CES
Jeremiah John – St. Margaret Mary CES
Jessica Malek – Our Lady of Mount Carmel CES
Brian Whitman – St. Vincent de Paul CES

Jim Hansen Spirit of Community Award
Katherine Wiesner – St. Matthew CES
Marley Mahon – St. Mary CSS

Living the Spirit Awards
Niambh Prangley – Canadian Martyrs CES
Isaiah Brady-Clarke – St. Joseph CES
Julia Ferreira – St. Lawrence CES
Monica Daly – St. Mary CSS
Elizabeth Spanic – Holy Name of Jesus CES
Julia Tarasiuk – St. Ann (Hamilton) CES
Jasmine Pereira – St. Brigid CES
Alicia Brest – St. Eugene CES
Sophie Moores – St. John the Baptist CES
Sarah Cymbaluk – St. Patrick CES
Elizabeth Williams – Cathedral High School
Anneliese Paes – St. Agnes CES
Natalia Karsztun – St. Luke CES
Leah Xiang Finelli – Blessed Sacrament CES
Jenna Parris – St. Anthony Daniel CES
Jacob Collins – St. Kateri Tekakwitha CES
Ava Bozzo – St. Margaret Mary CES
Serena Zambito – St. Teresa of Calcutta CES
Jamal Samuels – Our Lady of Lourdes CES
Steven Bisbal – Sacred Heart of Jesus CES
Nadija Lucyshyn – St. John Paul II CES
Giuliana Mascia – St. Marguerite d’Youville CES
Angelina Baldin – St. Michael CES
Joseph Jos – Sts. Peter and Paul CES
Carina Cortez Corado – St. Jean de Brébeuf CSS
Abigail Knox – Annunciation of Our Lord CES
Marisa Caprio – Corpus Christi CES
Beata Lombardi – Regina Mundi CES
Isabella Fazzari – St. Teresa of Avila CES
Lorena Morcone – St. Thérèse of Lisieux CES
Samantha Desa – St. Vincent de Paul CES
Kristina Landry – St. Thomas More CSS
Tomas Rozman – Immaculate Heart of Mary CES
Patrick Jeffrey – Our Lady of Peace CES
Nicholas Tavares – Our Lady of the Assumption CES
Ania Vera Laguna – St. Clare of Assisi CES
Judeny Belizaire – St. David CES
Annabella Castellani – St. Francis Xavier CES
Lucas Alampi – St. Gabriel CES
Carlina Cipolla – St. James the Apostle CES
Angela Guglielmo – St. Mark CES
Faith Pagunsan – St. Martin of Tours CES
Luka Severinac – St. Matthew CES
Isabella Lukic – St. Paul CES
Elisa Mejia – Bishop Ryan CSS
Michela Davies – Cardinal Newman CSS
Lily Raposo – Guardian Angels CES
Reuben Mathew – Holy Name of Mary CES
Adriana Bozzo – Immaculate Conception CES
Hannah Schneider – Our Lady of Mount Carmel CES
Tomas Jimenez – St. Ann (Ancaster) CES
Roman Campanaro – St. Augustine CES
Julia Caravaggio – St. Bernadette CES
Jenna Fraser – St. Joachim CES
Joseph Soliman – St. Thomas the Apostle CES
Emily Bird – Bishop Tonnos CSS

Science & Athletic Awards

BASEF – Canada Wide Science Fair Trip Awards

Christopher Lamont – St. Margaret Mary CES
Claire Le Donne – Corpus Christi CES
Anthony Saturnino – St. Margaret Mary CES

BASEF – Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Trip Awards
Joseph Saturnino – Bishop Ryan CSS

OFSAA Gold Medals
Girls’ Wrestling – Ellise Daynes, Bishop Ryan CSS
Girls’ Wrestling – Ligaya Stinellis, Bishop Ryan CSS
Boys’ & Girls’ Combined Wrestling, Team Champions – Bishop Ryan CSS
Girls’ Wrestling, Team Champions – Bishop Ryan CSS
Senior Girls’ Volleyball – St. Mary CSS
Senior Boys’ Football, GHAC Bowl Champions – St. Thomas More CSS

Mike Morton Bursary
Isaiah Brady-Clarke – St. Joseph CES
Dylan Patterson – St. Teresa of Calcutta CES
Michael Mitra – St. Thérèse of Lisieux CES
Christopher Rodrigues – St. Mary CSS

Special Presentations
Celt-X Robotics Team – Bishop Ryan CSS
Cardinal Newman Robotics Team – Cardinal Newman CSS
MakeShift Robotics Team – St. Mary CSS
BR Xpression – Bishop Ryan CSS

Stewardship of Creation Awards
Olivia Content-Renauld – Bishop Ryan CSS
Rachiel Chirara – Bishop Tonnos CSS
Seyed Ibrahim Hosseini – Cardinal Newman CSS
Regan Larochelle – Cathedral High School
Pina Meleca – St. Jean de Brébeuf CSS
Haley Sheldon – St. Jean de Brébeuf CSS
Meira Morphet – St. Mary CSS
Melak Ifrim – St. Thomas More CSS










From left to right: Chairperson Patrick Daly, Christopher Lamont, and Director of Education David Hansen. Christopher, a Grade 7 student at St. Margaret Mary CES, was the recipient of the BASEF Canada Wide Science Fair Trip Award.
From left to right: Chairperson Patrick Daly, Christopher Lamont, and Director of Education David Hansen. Christopher, a Grade 7 student at St. Margaret Mary CES, was the recipient of the BASEF Canada Wide Science Fair Trip Award.

The St. Mary Senior Girls' Volleyball Team was recognized at the HWCDSB's awards celebration on June 5 for bringing home an OFSAA gold medal.
The St. Mary Senior Girls' Volleyball Team was recognized at the HWCDSB's awards celebration on June 5 for bringing home an OFSAA gold medal.

The BR Xpression vocal ensemble is newly returned from the Heritage Music Festival in Nashville where it won a gold medal in the Contemporary Choir category, and Maestro medals for each of its soloists.
The BR Xpression vocal ensemble is newly returned from the Heritage Music Festival in Nashville where it won a gold medal in the Contemporary Choir category, and Maestro medals for each of its soloists.

Mike Morton, right, presents Michael Mitra from St. Therese of Lisieux, with a bursary in recognition of his leadership in school sports and sport related activities at school.
Mike Morton, right, presents Michael Mitra from St. Therese of Lisieux, with a bursary in recognition of his leadership in school sports and sport related activities at school.

Grade 8 Sts. Peter and Paul student Joseph Jos is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Patrick Daly. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 8 Sts. Peter and Paul student Joseph Jos is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Patrick Daly. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

Grade 8 St. Martin of Tours student Faith Pagunsan is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustees Paul DiFrancesco and Mary Nardini. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 8 St. Martin of Tours student Faith Pagunsan is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustees Paul DiFrancesco and Mary Nardini. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

Grade 8 St. Clare of Assisi student Ania Vera Laguna is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustees Paul DiFrancesco and Mary Nardini. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 8 St. Clare of Assisi student Ania Vera Laguna is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustees Paul DiFrancesco and Mary Nardini. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

Grade 8 St. Ann (Hamilton) student Julia Tarasiuk is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Tony Perri. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 8 St. Ann (Hamilton) student Julia Tarasiuk is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Tony Perri. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

Grade 8 St. Agnes student Anneliese Paes is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Aldo D'Intino. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 8 St. Agnes student Anneliese Paes is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Aldo D'Intino. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

Grade 8 Guardian Angels student Lily Raposo is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Carolyn Cornale. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 8 Guardian Angels student Lily Raposo is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Carolyn Cornale. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

Grade 8 Corpus Christi student Marisa Caprio is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee John Valvasori. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 8 Corpus Christi student Marisa Caprio is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee John Valvasori. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

Grade 8 Blessed Sacrament student Leah Xiang Finelli is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Joseph Baiardo. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 8 Blessed Sacrament student Leah Xiang Finelli is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Joseph Baiardo. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

Grade 12 St. Mary CSS student Monica Daly is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Mark Valvasori. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.
Grade 12 St. Mary CSS student Monica Daly is presented with a Living the Spirit Award by Trustee Mark Valvasori. The Award recognizes exemplary, well-rounded students.

David Hansen presents Katherine Wiesner with the James Hansen Spirit of Community Award. The award, in recognition of former Superintendent Jim Hansen's legacy of 'Each Belongs,' is presented annually to one elementary and one secondary student who, by their presence and actions, serve as builders of community.
David Hansen presents Katherine Wiesner with the James Hansen Spirit of Community Award. The award, in recognition of former Superintendent Jim Hansen's legacy of 'Each Belongs,' is presented annually to one elementary and one secondary student who, by their presence and actions, serve as builders of community.

Chairperson Patrick Daly, left, and Director of Education David Hansen present St. Joachim student Michaela Tassone with a Sr. Maria Cordis Music Award.
Chairperson Patrick Daly, left, and Director of Education David Hansen present St. Joachim student Michaela Tassone with a Sr. Maria Cordis Music Award.

Chairperson Patrick Daly, left, and Director of Education David Hansen present Seyed Ibrahim Hosseini from Cardinal Newman CSS with the Board's Stewardship of Creation Award for his work to promote a more environmentally sustainable school community.
Chairperson Patrick Daly, left, and Director of Education David Hansen present Seyed Ibrahim Hosseini from Cardinal Newman CSS with the Board's Stewardship of Creation Award for his work to promote a more environmentally sustainable school community.

Chairperson Patrick Daly, left, and Director of Education David Hansen present Rachiel Chirara from Bishop Ryan CSS with the Board's Stewardship of Creation Award for her work to promote a more environmentally sustainable school community.
Chairperson Patrick Daly, left, and Director of Education David Hansen present Rachiel Chirara from Bishop Ryan CSS with the Board's Stewardship of Creation Award for her work to promote a more environmentally sustainable school community.

Chairperson Patrick Daly, left, and Director of Education David Hansen present Pina Meleca from St. Jean de Brebeuf CSS with the Board's Stewardship of Creation Award for her work to promote a more environmentally sustainable school community.
Chairperson Patrick Daly, left, and Director of Education David Hansen present Pina Meleca from St. Jean de Brebeuf CSS with the Board's Stewardship of Creation Award for her work to promote a more environmentally sustainable school community.

Bishop Ryan's Girls' Wrestling Team were named Team Champions at this year's OFSAA Girls' Wrestling Championship.
Bishop Ryan's Girls' Wrestling Team were named Team Champions at this year's OFSAA Girls' Wrestling Championship.

Bishop Ryan's Celt-X Robotics Team was one of 3 HWCDSB secondary robotics teams that advanced to the World Robotics Championship in Detroit in April. Celt-X is not only a District Championship Winner from the Ontario Provincial Championships, but ranked 2nd at the Worlds.
Bishop Ryan's Celt-X Robotics Team was one of 3 HWCDSB secondary robotics teams that advanced to the World Robotics Championship in Detroit in April. Celt-X is not only a District Championship Winner from the Ontario Provincial Championships, but ranked 2nd at the Worlds.