Past Recipients

Distinguished Catholic Graduate Award

2016-17 – Katie Edmonds

Presentation to Katie Edmonds: “Katie is a graduate of Holy Trinity Catholic High School and went on to the University of Toronto where, this June, she will be receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Nutritional Science and a double minor in Immunology and Physiology. Although still very young, Katie’s accomplishments are a resounding testament to living a life which exemplifies our Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations. Katie is no stranger to the unexpected struggles that students may face along their journey. Her ability to overcome challenges is a testament to who she is, her faith, and how strong she has become. Katie’s accomplishments include being on the Dean’s Honour Roll, receiving many scholarships, being an active volunteer for and a student guest speaker at the Jack Summit. is a national network of young leaders transforming the way we think about mental health and well-being. The Summit program brings student leaders together to learn from each other and build the skills needed to elevate their impact back at home. Katie is also a volunteer for the Medical-Dental Global Brigades. Recently, as part of the Brigades, Katie traveled to Honduras where she participated in service learning projects in rural areas. Katie is happiest when she is helping other people.  In September, Katie is starting her Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering, the next step in her goal of becoming a Dentist. It is my honour and a pleasure to present the Distinguished Catholic Graduate Award to Katie Edmonds.”

2015-16 – John Webb

Presentation to John Webb: “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am very pleased to introduce the recipient of the first Distinguished Catholic Graduate Award.  This year’s award showcases the importance of humble, dedicated, tireless, and pervasive involvement at school and in the parish.  We often talk in generalities about the need for parent involvement in our schools and parishes.  This year’s award recipient embodies this concept.  In bestowing this award to this year’s recipient, the Board hopes to, in some small way, underscore the importance of being involved in schools and parish life.  This year’s award recipient serves on the Board’s Regional Catholic Parent Involvement Committee and the Catholic Education Advisory Committee; he continues to volunteer with the St. Mary’s Hagersville running club (even though his children no longer attend the school); he assisted in the recording of our first video on Christian Meditation With Children.  He is actively involved in the sacramental life of the Church, is a member of Parish Council and serves as a Eucharistic Minister.  He is a graduate of St. Mary’s School in Hagersville.  The first recipient of the Distinguished Catholic Graduate Award is John Webb.”

Outstanding Contribution to Catholic Education Award

2016-17 – The Late Jack Griffin

Presentation to Mrs. Griffin and Jack Griffin Junior: “Last October, our Catholic community was deeply saddened by the loss of Jack Griffin Senior, an inspirational contributor to Catholic education. Jack was a trustee with the Brant County Roman Catholic Separate School Board, as well as on the Board of Governors of St. John’s College. During his 20-year tenure, he served as Chairman of both the School Board and the Board of Governors.  Jack was dedicated to the concept of Catholic education and worked tirelessly as a strong advocate for full funding of Catholic high schools. Jack was an innovative thinker and brought about significant change. He was instrumental in fundraising to build the addition on St. John’s College and was a driving force in bringing together the separate campuses of Providence College, an all girls school, and St. John’s College, an all boys school, into the campus of St. John’s College as we know it today. Beyond his work as a trustee, Jack was Development Director with St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo and in the late 1990s, he was greatly involved in fundraising to support the opening of the Brantford Campus of Sir Wilfrid Laurier University. I am honoured to present the Outstanding Contribution to Catholic Education Award, recognizing Jack’s commitment to Catholic education, to his wife Theresa Griffin.”

2016-17 – Tony Roels

Presentation to Tony Roels: “Tony Roels immigrated to Canada from Belgium in 1953. Arriving with little, and understanding the value of hard work, Tony worked on a variety of farms, eventually settling into a tobacco farming operation with his late wife, Betty, and three daughters, Margaret, Catherine and Sherry. As a parent, Tony knew that in order to be successful in life, a good education was important. In 1958, there were no Catholic elementary schools in the Scotland-Oakland area. Tony, with a group of similar-minded Catholic parents, applied for and set up a Catholic School Zone in Scotland, Ontario. The four-room school, named after St. Anthony Daniel, a Canadian Martyr, opened in 1962 with approximately 100 students. From 1962 to 1969 Tony was a trustee for St. Anthony Daniel School. When the small school boards in the area amalgamated, Tony also served on the new board. During his early time as a trustee, Tony responsibilities included fundraising, facility maintenance and staffing. Through Tony’s efforts and those of many other Catholic families, Catholic education arrived in Scotland. The school community had very close ties to the local parish where the lives of students and families were enriched. It is my honour and a pleasure to present the Outstanding Contribution to Catholic Education Award to Mr. Tony Roels.”

2015-16 – Dr. Robert Dixon

Presentation to Dr. Robert Dixon: “This award was created by the Board of Trustees to recognize individuals connected to the school Board who have made an exceptional contribution to Catholic Education.  This is the first year of the award.  The first award recipient is a person who has made a substantial contribution to Catholic education – not only in Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk – but across the Province of Ontario.  The recipient is the former Director of Education of the predecessor Brant County Roman Catholic Separate School Board.  He literally wrote the book on Catholic education in Ontario.  His book, entitled, Catholic Education and Politics in Ontario, is required reading for anyone seeking supervisory officer qualifications in Catholic school boards.  The recipient is legendary in his pursuit of funding for Catholic school in Brantford and for the Province.  He is an expert on constitutional law as it pertains to Catholic education in Ontario and has successfully submitted affidavits to the courts on matters related to Catholic school hiring practices and Catholic school funding as per the constitution.  The recipient has been called to serve at arbitration hearings, is a sought-after speaker and continues to write books on the history of Catholic schools for a variety of school boards.  The first recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Catholic Education Award is Dr. Bob Dixon.”

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