AP students Try Their Hand as Engineers Without Borders at U of T Conference

By A.J. Dinglasan, Science Department

Senior PACE/AP science students ventured beyond the borders of St. Brother Andre CHS to learn more about how the engineering profession can impact our world.  Grade 11 students Matthew Monaco and Kevin Setnyk participated in a two-day conference organized by the University of Toronto chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) held at the St. George Campus on May 27-28, 2017.  Monaco and Setnyk were among about a hundred conference delegates who participated in workshops with guest speakers as well as design challenges aimed at engaging youth to use innovative ideas to affect social change.

Andrew Lau, an alumnus of the PACE/AP Science program at St. Brother Andre who just finished his sophomore year at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering serves as Vice President for Operations of the Engineers Without Borders chapter at the school.  Having been through the PACE/AP program, Lau thought that current SBA students would benefit from being inspired to create a bigger impact on the world given the knowledge, skills and passion they now bring to their science education.  “Development is a complex issue,” Lau says, “but with the right systemic approach, youth leaders, whether they plan to go in to engineering or not, have immense potential to improve the quality of life for others in the world.”

Monaco and Setnyk found out first-hand how much the engineering field can indeed affect the lives of many people in the developing world.  While Monaco initially thought that the main focus of the conference was the engineering discipline itself, he was nonetheless inspired by how engineering can be the catalyst and a practical vehicle for social change.  One speaker in particular, Andre Bertram, drove this point home for him.  Bertram and a colleague invented a watch that tracks vital signs and can call for help in the event of an emergency.  The health technology start-up that he and his partner created works with universities and hospitals in the hopes that the device can make its way to parts of the world that need it the most. “His was the most inspiring talk in my view, as he had achieved so much as a young age.  Having created a business at age 19, he showed that anyone can be an entrepreneur if they so desired,” says Monaco.

EWB article photo_IMG_6606 (1).JPGThe workshops that the students participated in as well as the various design challenges incorporated case studies that brought various global issues closer to home.  “We were taught new methods of solving problems that involve identifying stakeholders and then coming up with conceptual solutions.  We were able to come at problems from a different perspective, which was an efficient way and it really worked well,” says Setnyk.  He added that the design challenge emphasized the importance of working as a team and learning to collaborate with other people to get things done.  “There’s really no one-size-fits-all solution for the case study.  It came down to how willing people are to explore possible solutions and see what could be done to create social change,” adds Monaco.  Lau hopes that conferences like this would empower students at SBA to advocate for social change as well as follow their passions at the same time.  He hopes that the school will be represented again at next year’s conference and that social change and youth empowerment remain a conscious presence in these students’ lives.

Hooked on Knowledgehook!

By: Ms. Angela Martins, Department Head of Math

This semester, teachers in our Math department piloted the use of Knowledgehook. Knowledgehook is an online environment that helps teachers and students to improve achievement in foundational math skills. Students participate in engaging quizzes and independent practice questions. Students enjoyed using it so much that several students in the Grade 9 and 10 Applied and Academic math courses completed 1000 math questions. Knowledgehook announced them as mathalon winners and awarded with medals. Students were very excited to receive a medal presented to them from their principal, Mr. Pivato. The Math department is very proud of our students’ accomplishments.

SBA Arts Students Extremely Successful in Allstate Contest!

The St. Brother Andre community is so proud to celebrate this wonderful accomplishment of a number of students in the Arts program. Students entered a contest sponsored by Allstate and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.).  This contest was open to students in secondary schools across York Region. Students created original works of art and submitted them for judging in various categories. Here are the results:
Category: Video
fasullo.jpg 1st Place: Mikayla Fasullo, Grade 12
Category: Hand-Drawn
romans 2nd Place: Brookelyn Romans, Grade 11
franco 3rd Pace: Jose Franco, Grade 11
Category: Computer-Drawn
keen 1st Place: Kevin Keen, Grade 12
ramirez 2nd Place: Nathan Ramirez-Adrian, Grade 12
chow 3rd Place: Nicholas Chow, Grade 11
Category: Computer Generated:
guintu 3rd Place: Patricia Guintu, Grade 11
These very talented senior students have represented the St. Brother Andre community well and we are also grateful for the guidance and mentorship that was provided by their teacher, Ms. DiLiddo. Congratulations!

Recognizing Outstanding Leadership at St. Brother Andre!

For the past 15 years, staff and students in the York Catholic District School Board have been recognized for their outstanding contribution to school leadership at the annual York Secondary Catholic Presidents’ Council (YSCPC) Awards Night.

This year’s event was hosted at St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School and was attended by each of the YCDSB principals, superintendents and trustees. The Awards Night was hosted and MC’d by both of the YCDSB student trustees: Nicholas Bottger, a grade 12 student at Father Bressani, and St. Brother Andre’s own Ben Smith, a grade 11 student.

Award recipients were nominated by their peers and school staff in a variety of categories. This year’s award winners from St. Brother Andre represent a wonderful cross section of our staff and student population who regularly contribute to promoting a positive culture at school. We are so proud of the following award winners:

  • Mikayla Fasullo, Outstanding Leadership in the Arts
  • Marisa Metauro, Outstanding Leadership in Athletics
  • Stefania Colangelo, The Breakout Award
  • Joshua Yeboah, The Character Award
  • Dominique Tertigas, The Equity Award
  • Mikayla Wall, The Initiative Award
  • Julia Azzarelli, The Inspiration Award
  • Keeley Aird, Outstanding Junior Leadership Award
  • Jessa Ruth Said, Outstanding Religious Leadership Award
  • Victoria Scala, School Spirit Award
  • Ms. Francene Wong Shue, Outstanding Leadership – Support Staff
  • Mr. Joseph Chow, Outstanding Leadership – Teaching Staff

The St. Brother Andre community is so grateful for such exemplary models of Christian leadership who contribute to making our school a fantastic place to learn and inspire other to develop strong Catholic character.

Parents! Have you registered yet???

blake fly


Dear Parents/Guardians:

 The Institute for Catholic Education (ICE) would like to hear from all stakeholders in the YCDSB community about Catholic education in Ontario! “Renewing the Promise” is a dialogue to solicit your input about Catholic education in Ontario and will help guide the work of ICE for the future.

Our YCDSB teachers, staff, parents and students play a very important part of this dialogue process.  All are encouraged to participate as key members of our school communities.  You are invited to offer your ideas on-line, starting TODAY, through a special Thought Exchange website. Please log in at the link provided to complete the survey no later than May 19, 2017http://signup.thotex.com/iceont/Pyv

The ideas and comments you submit will provide important input for a gathering of the Catholic community later in the year on the theme of “Renewing the Promise”. When the process is completed, results and analysis will be publically available and form the focus for Catholic Education Week 2018.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

SBA Students Participate in the Model UN

Author & Photo Credits: Byron Luk

Last week, the SBA Model United Nations (Model UN) club traveled to the University of Toronto to participate in the SOMA (Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly) conference hosted by University of Toronto Schools. Delegates learned more about International Relations within the wider community and experienced the inner workings of the United Nations by assuming the roles of UN representatives and members of other international bodies.
This national conference attracted students from all over Canada and created an opportunity for SBA students to network and connect. Our SBA students were divided into committees that focused on different issues within the global community, such as human rights (UNHCR), national defense, world health, economics (ECOSOC), and social sustainability (UNICEF), to name a few. Representing the countries El Salvador, Israel, Guinea and Denmark, the students did intensive research in order to portray each country’s views accurately. Delegates exercised their ability to problem-solve and work with others who may have different opinions on certain issues of global concern.​​ Special honorable mentions within each committee include: Miguel Soriano- Best Dressed Delegate, Aidan Aird and Sebastian Melano- Funniest Delegate(s). It was a fun experience for the SBA Model UN club and they look forward to doing the conference again next year! Special thanks to Mr. Evans for supervising SBA’s Model UN and Mr. Pivato, as they made this all possible.

A Message from the YCDSB Trustees


Gr. 9s Visit St. Paul’s Basilica

Photo Credit: Ms. McParland, Ms. Attenborough

Article by: Ms. McParland

On April 26, 2017 grade 9 students taking Religion this semester embarked on a trip to St. Paul’s Basilica. Students delivered donations to Good Shepard and celebrated Mass (Fr. Had them all come.onto the altar during the celebration of the Eucharist).  The Basilica’s history is deeply connected to the Irish immigrants who came and were disliked for being Catholic.  They needed a place to celebrate Mass.  When St. Paul’s Elementary School was built behind the Basilica in the 1960’s they uncovered many bones of human bodies while excavating. During the Irish Potato Famine, Toronto experienced a mass entry of immigrants,  and many died and were buried quickly as to not have sickness spread. Sadly, there are no gravestones memorialize the loss of life.

This was an excellent learning experience for all students. Many thanks to all those who were involved in organizing and supervising this excursion!

Attendance Matters

attendacAttendance has a direct impact on student achievement. When a student is present at school, he/she increases the potential to maximize achievement. When a student is unable to attend school. clear and open communication between home and school is important in order to support students. The Student Hub highlights all of the attendance procedures that are followed at St. Brother André which cover a variety of scenarios. These procedures have been put in place and are enforced to secure the safety of all students. Failure to comply with these procedures could result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school.

Students and parents are asked to review the attendance procedures and if clarification is needed, kindly contact the school Administration. Please review the following:

  1. reporting a full day’s absence
  2. the 15 minute rule
  3. early leaves and signing out
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