Our School

Exterior of the school

At St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School, we are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ. We recognize our call to love and serve from our Master teacher Jesus Christ, and we are committed to creating a Catholic learning community under the protection of Mother Mary.

The Catholic Graduate Expectations are our foundation as we strive for academic excellence and the acknowledgement of those who achieve it. We recognize God as the source of all life and actively work to focus on social issues within our local and global communities.

We celebrate the diversity within our community with a collaborative approach to learning, in cooperation with parents, the Catholic faith community, and other organizations that recognize the value of our mission. Within the context of Catholic teaching and Sacramental living, our school community strives to demonstrate respect and reverence for all life, thus nurturing a safe, Christian environment for the entire school community.

2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar

Our Board's 2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar is now available. Please subscribe to our school calendar webpage to receive the latest updates and emails on upcoming events and activities happening at school. 

Child Care services

We are pleased to partner with P.R.Y.D.E. Learning Centre to provide a full service child care centre and before and after school child care at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School. Call our child care partner at 905-428-6421 to learn more about our services.

School hours

Our school hours are as follows:

8:40 a.m.- School begins
9:45 a.m.- Morning recess
11:25 a.m. -12:25 p.m. - Lunch
1:30 p.m. - Afternoon recess
3:10 p.m. - Dismissal

Fast facts

Here are some facts about our school:

  • Year Built: 1990
  • Num. of Classrooms: 20
  • Child Care: Yes. Includes before and after school programming. Contact our Pryde Daycare at 905-428-6421.
  • Community Facilities: Neighbourhood park nearby
  • Parish: St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 905-683-1403

Patron Saint

Our patron saint is St. Catherine of Siena was the youngest of a very large family. In 1353, at the age of six she had a vision in St. Dominic's church in which our Lord appeared to her and blessed her.

Her parents wanted her to marry, but she put on the robes of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Dominic and devoted herself to the care of the poor. She had many temptations, but overcame them through constant prayer. Her sound advice and wisdom were sought by civil leaders, and even the Pope.

The Popes had been living in France instead of in Rome for many years because of unsettled times. Catherine made a special visit to Pope Gregory XI and said, "Holy Father, God wants the head of His Church to live in Rome. I pray that you will go there as soon as possible." And once again Rome became the home of the Popes.

Catherine's last days were full of suffering, which she offered up for all Christians. Our Lord granted her a vision showing the beauty of a soul in the state of grace. She died at the age of thirty-three.

Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In addition to her "Dialogue", some 400 of her letters are still in existence.

She was canonized in 1461 and made patroness of Italy in 1939. Feast Day is April 29.

School prayer

O God, You caused St. Catherine to shine with Divine love
in the contemplation of the Lord's Passion and in the service
of Your Church. By her help grant that Your people,
associated in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult
in the revelation of His glory.

School history

The Facilities Report prepared by David Mills Associates Ltd in March 1989 for the Durham Region Roman Catholic Separate School Board detailed the building schedule for a structure of 3340 square metres. From the terrazzo floor finishes and cabinet hardware to the 35-foot-high tilt-anchor base of the flagpole, plans were afoot for a new school. The location would be at the corner of Sullivan Avenue and Bennett Avenue in North Ajax. In the meantime, the 1990-1991 academic year was about to begin.

Until the new school was ready, Principal Breen O'Connor and Vice-Principal Chris Hurst brought their staff and students to 68 Coles Avenue, the grounds of St. Jude Catholic School. While initially the hope had been to locate to 15 Bennett in March of 1991, that plan had to be re-evaluated. In May 1991, the staff and students of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School arrived at their new building. Interestingly enough, the grounds of St. Jude Catholic School became home the following year to the staff and students of St. Patrick Catholic School when construction began at 280 Delaney Drive.

The blessing and official opening of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School took place on Tuesday, June 2, 1992. The Most Rev. R.B. Clune officiated at this celebration.

In 1995, Gene Kiernicki became the new principal of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School, with Anita Sherwin-Hamer and Brian Miettinen serving as vice-principals for the next three years. During these first years at St. Catherine of Siena, many of the traditions that continue to be hallmarks of the school were initiated. The year 1993 saw the passing of Jason Brunshaw, a student who was loved and admired by all. Mr. and Mrs. Brunshaw, wishing to honour Jason's memory, initiated the Jason Brunshaw Award, presented yearly to the Grade 7 student who embodies Christian values. This tradition continues to this day, and to be nominated for this award is considered a great honour by our Grade 7 students. At the final school Mass of the year, Mr. and Mrs. Brunshaw present the award to the recipient for that year.

School spirit has been a tangible part of life at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School. Colours of teal and silver were selected after spirited student debate! The team mascot of a stinger was shortlisted and eventually selected because of its fierce persistence. The population of our school was growing to include families that were both new to Durham region as well as to the country. Reflecting and celebrating the cultural diversity of the school, the flags of many nations began lining the halls of the school.

During the summer of 2010, construction began once again at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School. This time, a permanent addition to the primary hallway would eliminate seven portables. Throughout the fall, winter and early spring, the school was a construction zone. On a daily basis, students saw the progression of construction and began speculating about which classroom would be their new home. On Shrove Tuesday, 2011, the school community came together to celebrate the next chapter in the life of our school. At the time of the opening of the new addition, Norma Wheeler was principal, with Paddy Cauley and Liz Snow spending time in the vice-principal role.

The commitment to developing and sustaining this Catholic learning community remains strong today. In the words of our great patroness, St. Catherine of Siena, "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."

Principals

Past and present principals at our school include:

  • Breen O'Connor (1991-1995)
  • Gene Kiernicki (1995-1998)
  • Sheila Connolly (1998-2002)
  • Lorraine Aarons (2002-2008)
  • Nikole Perreault (2008-2010)
  • Norma  Wheeler (2010 -2014) 
  • Sandy Coscarella (2014-present)         

Philosophy

As Catholic educators, we live according to our Father's code and to lead our students, by example, to live the basic truths of the gospel message. This is an awesome, yet inspiring challenge which we share with the parents of our young men and women.

Children learn what they live. Each day we have the opportunity to teach our students:

  • to love by the way we love;
  • to be generous by our generosity;
  • to be passionate by our compassion; and
  • to be forgiving by the way we forgive.

However, a person cannot give what he or she does not have. Unless we are living the Gospel message, we cannot lead our students to do so.

There are many hallmarks of a Catholic educator, including:

  • Prayer - The challenges of our vocation, and indeed life in general, are great. To meet them we need to follow Christ's advice that we "ask the father in My name". Each Catholic educator has a duty to expose students to his or her particular style of prayer in order to assist students to recognize the value of prayer in daily life.
  • Eucharist - Parish, school, and staff liturgies provide opportunities to celebrate our faith. Our example can testify to the Eucharist as a joyful source of strength and community building.
  • Social Justice - This is the heart of the Christian message, that we "love one another as I have loved you". As our brother's and sister's keepers, we must be concerned about the aged, the poor, the oppressed, and any other marginalized group - both at home and abroad.

Links

Below are links to resources to help you achieve success while at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School.

Contact us

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Principal: Sandy Coscarella
15 Bennett Ave.
Ajax, ON  L1T 3P1
Phone: (905) 427-6105
Fax: (905) 427-7531

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