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Welcome back and Happy Spring!  Welcome to Day-Light Savings, Welcome to Sharelife Week and to Week 26!  I hope you enjoyed your well-deserved break, the beautiful weather, and that your wake-up this morning was not too shocking.
 
Please keep Wendy Cassibault and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  Wendy’s aunt passed away March 12.  May perpetual light shine upon her and may she rest in peace.  Amen.
 
We welcome three new members to our staff this week.  Rosanna Parise will be joining the French Department and Jerry Paterna will be working with Special Programs.  Sal Furnari will be moving to the Art Department to fill in for Silvia during her leave.  Student teacher, Tanya Dimaliwat will be working with Carol Holmes from March 22 through May 4.  Please take time to introduce yourselves and spread the Ward spirit.
 
We also welcome Gabrielle Marie Celeste Chiarot into our extended family.  Silvia and her husband David welcomed Gabrielle into their family on March 9.  To quote Silvia, “The best things in life are worth waiting for.”  Congratulations to a most deserving couple, Gabrielle is one lucky little girl!  
 
The excitement and success of International Day certainly helped send us off to our March Break on a high note.  Congratulations to the organizing team of Derek, Maureen Collie, Christa, Wendy Jones, Susanna Mak, and student committee members Iriss Mariano and Tabita Tetangco.  Your hard work and attention to detail helped make the day such a success.  Thanks also to Karen Heisz, Kathy Saran, and the GreenQuest team for assisting with plate rentals and ensuring that the day was environmentally-friendly.  Kudos to the Pavilion Supervisors including Canada’s Agopian, Morra, and Tsang; China’s Valentini; France’s Nangini, Theriault, and Wisniowski; Hawaii’s Hall and Weathers, India’s Albert; Italy’s Bomba, Bufalini, DeMarco, Gintoli, Mallot, and Vechiarelli; Japan’s Chan; Korea’s Titus, Mexico/Latin America’s Collymore and Davies; The Middle East’s Furnari; The Philippines’ Largo and Rayman; Poland’s Marzewski; The United Kingdom’s McAlpine, Powell, and Spearns; and The West Indies’ Jones.  The time you gave in assisting the students with the planning, set-up, organization, and operation of the pavilions impressed us all.  Thanks, also, to all staff, especially those whose department areas were used for the pavilions.  A special thanks to our Custodial Team who helped with set-up and clean-up.  I do believe International Day is back to stay!
 
The past few weeks have been quite busy for the Special Education Department as they conducted the Identification, Placement, and Review Committee process for all our identified students.  Thanks to Anna Dalgarno, Karen Erle, Sal, Jen Hayes, Dana, Joanna, Cathy Schwan, Dave Simone for preparing the reviews and conducting the interviews.  Thanks also to Paul Cerre, Derek, Lynda, Mary Louise, Violet, and Peter for participating in the meetings.
 
Thanks to all TAs for assisting in the collection of course registration forms.  As of March 12, 967 students registered for the 2010-2011 school year.  This total includes 240 students for the incoming Grade 9 class.  Our projected enrolment is 1175, so please speak to your advisees who have not submitted their registration forms.  Violet will begin the initial stages of scheduling this week and all course selection forms must be submitted in order to ensure timetabling and staffing are accurate.  Thanks to Lynn Hayes and Paulette for the countless hours devoted to the collection process.
 
Congratulations to Louise, Christa, Karen Heisz, Kathy Saran, and the GreenQuest team for being awarded a Green Apple School Program grant of $1,000.  The team is excited about using this money in addition to their SpeakUP grant to install bicycle racks in front of the school during Earth Week.
 
On March 5-6, four of our students: Abena Osei-Kwabena, Sajenthan Sripavan, Kyan D'Angelo and Andrew Areghan competed at the annual Hart House, University of Toronto, High School Debating Tournament.  Our students, some of whom were debating competitively for the first time, had a very enjoyable experience competing in this challenging tournament.  Thanks to Coach Waud for giving of his weekend time to enable our students to participate in this event.
 
The results of the last week’s TCDSB Skills Competition are finally in.  Students participated in the areas of photography, graphic design, desktop publishing, web design, and software applications.  Hazel Llanes placed first in web design and Kyan D’Angelo placed first in IT office software applications.  Both will represent the TCDSB at the provincial competition in Waterloo.  Stellar performances were also achieved by Mariah Llanes who placed second in graphic design and Michael Manalo who placed second in photography.  Congratulations to the members of the Art Department for preparing the students for this competition, and special thanks to Dave Emer, Keith, and Nicole for giving of their time to escort the students to the competition.
 
Congratulations to the Varsity Girls’ Hockey team who ended their season by competing in the TDCAA B Championships.  Despite a strong first period, the girls were defeated by Bishop Allen, but had the pleasure of representing Mary Ward and the TDCAA at St. Michael’s Arena.  Congrats to the girls and Coaches Dalgarno, Dever, Poole, and Ventura.
 
The Curling Team had a very busy and enjoyable day at the TDCAA Championships with four recreational teams and two competitive teams on the roster.  The boys’ competitive team advanced to the bronze medal round, and the girls’ recreational team, including Skip Cindy To, Hil Ching Wong, Phoebe Lai, and Patricia Benavidez, captured the Gold Medal.  The girls’ competitive team, including Skip Julie Thompson with Kayla Mundy, Kim Chung, Priscilla Chen, and Sonya Noronha, gained an OFSAA birth with their Gold Medal win.  Congratulations to all team members and Coaches Ste-Croix and Zidar.  Good luck at OFSAA on March 24 – 27.
 
Envelopes will be distributed to TAs each day this week for the ShareLife Change for Chile Campaign.  Staff and students are encouraged to donate their spare change each morning.  All donations made to ShareLife will be matched by one of their generous donors, so Mary Ward's donation will go a long way!  Thanks to Christa, our ShareLife representative, for co-ordinating this event.
 
In order to promote awareness of the planned Global EARTH HOUR event, Mary Ward will join other TCDSB schools to participate and demonstrate how we continue to be stewards of the earth. On Friday, March 26 we will turn off the lights for one hour where it is safe to do so, and where it will not adversely disrupt normal classroom teaching. The time for this event will be determined by the Hip Hop ImmUNITY assembly.  Arrangements have also been made for all non-essential lighting to be turned off in TCDSB schools on Saturday, March 27 between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
 
Thanks to all staff who participated in professional development sessions, or took our students on trips last week: Maureen McAndrew for accompanying students to the Loretto College School Mass in celebration of the Loretto Sisters’ 400th Anniversary, Matt and Mark Morra’s HRE3M1/3O1 trip to the “Talk” Play, and Susanna Mak’s participation in the Areas 9 and 10 K-12 principals’ meeting and the Literacy Teacher Leaders’ meeting.
 
Thanks, also, to the staff that remained behind and covered areas to allow these events to happen.
 
A special thanks to Mike Kennedy who took the Adventure Seekers’ Club to the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show on March 18!
 
Monday, March 22 is Day 1.  Pierre Cuschieri’s Physics classes will enjoy a nanOntario presentation during periods 1, 2, and 3. 
 
Tuesday, March 23 is Day 2 and Violet’s birthday.  This is the last day for students to submit units with tests for inclusion in the April report cards.  Len, Peter Hathway, and Amy will depart at 12:15 p.m. with their drama students to St. Maximillian Kolbe to lead a Theatre Workshop presentation. 
Violet is scheduling and Patricia is at a Secondary Principals’ meeting.
Before you leave for the day, stop by the gym to cheer on the badminton team in their matches against Neil McNeil.  The players and Coaches Albert, Largo, and Valiulis appreciate your support.
 
Wednesday, March 24 is Day 3.  We will follow an Extended TA schedule to facilitate the Grade 9 OASIS Assembly focusing on Character, Decision Making, and Academic Integrity.  A discussion on these topics with your Grades 10 – 12+ advisees would be time well spent.
Michelle Albert will accompany her Grade 12 College Math students to Holy Spirit for an afternoon PLN session, and Matt, Derek, Amy, and Angela Zabana will participate in a Religion Teaching Learning Critical Pathway (TLCP) morning workshop at Francis Libermann.
Violet is scheduling all day and Patricia is participating in a Strategic Renewal Round 2 workshop at St. Bonaventure in the afternoon.
 
Thursday, March 25 is Day 4.  Mary-Lynn and Kathy Saran will travel with their ASM/TGJ2O1 students to Harbourfront and Dave Emer, Jerry, and Angela Zabana are off to Downsview Park with the Girls’ Soccer team for a tournament at the Hangar.
Derek will participate in the Issues Series in the morning, and Patricia will participate in the Succession Series in the afternoon.  Both sessions are being held at St. Basil’s.
Coaches Davies, Smith, and Weathers will celebrate a successful Boys’ Basketball season with an after school team banquet in the English area.
 
Friday, March 26 is Day 5.  We will follow a modified schedule to facilitate the Hip Hop ImmUNITY assembly.  Details for this full school, one hour assembly will follow early in the week.  GreenQuest will co-ordinate Earth Hour after the assembly, and all TAs are asked to return all EQAO referral forms to Violet.  Mary Ward will be well-represented at today’s Voices That Challenge Student Trustee Conference with Mary-Lynn leading yoga, Jen Wisniowski leading pilates, and Mary Louise and student representatives assisting in the planning of the day’s mass with Father Stan Fortuna.
ESP and USJ are hosting a school dance to raise funds for their respective charitable organizations.  Thanks to Wendy Jones and Cathy Schwan for working with these students to coordinate this event.
 
That’s all folks. Enjoy your week!