Category Archives: Student Life

SBA Student Leaders Map Out a Great Year Ahead!


What a powerful way to set SBA up for a great year ahead!  On August 31st, SBA’s own Ben Smith, Board Trustee, joined in on audio conference.  Student Government President Carson Bury met with Principal Pivato to review a number of Carson’s proposed improvements to the school including additional bike racks which have now been installed.  Mr. Pivato said, “Carson has his eye on how to make student life better in all ways.  I intend to support many of his ideas because they reflect the wishes of students and will result in a positive school experience coupled with stronger social bonds.  We are constantly looking at how we can use our school funds to leverage healthy, safe, social, technological, learning environments so that our students can grow and succeed in school and in life as much as possible.  They are Catholic leaders first and foremost and have demonstrated this in their actions on a constant basis.”

eugene and carsen

A number of projects were either completed or initiated this summer:  our WiFi system was fully upgraded and expanded upon, mirrors and stall hangers have been ordered for all of the washrooms, circular picnic benches were installed, basketball shot clocks were installed, banks of lockers were painted, an industrial dishwasher was put into our student bakery, replacement parking signs were ordered, the cafeteria dividing wall was repaired, and 25 new chrome books and a cart were delivered.

Every school has its strengths and at SBA, one of them is undeniably the incredible leadership of its student body. Go Cardinals!


Kudos, Ben!

Recently, our very own Ben Smith was featured in the Stouffville Sun-Tribune. Check out the article below!


The Future Awaits for St. Brother Andre

It’s out with the old, and in with the new. The year is 2015, and here at St.Brother Andre, there is an energetic buzz in the air. The grade nines have just started their first semester, and the seniors are starting to fulfill their university/college application requirements. In addition, clubs and councils have opened their doors to recruit new members, and there has been talk of what is going on this year.

I interviewed Head of Student Government, Apollonia Mastrogiacomo about what’s going to happen this upcoming year.

What can we look forward to this year? Is there anything new coming out in terms of student government?

“This year is going to be an extremely exciting year for SBA’s student government. We are definitely continuing last year’s student government initiative, Spirit Wear Wednesday as well as bringing many brand new things to SBA. Our ‘Color War’ on September 24th kicked off the official Student Government year! We are also hosting karaoke in the cafeteria on all three lunches, once a month which began on October 2nd. As promised the ‘ALL council wide social’ as well as SBA varsity jackets are well on their way. There is so much more yet to be announced coming for our students this year; it’ll be one of many firsts!”

What do you hope to accomplish this year?

“This year I hope to accomplish all the things I promised in my speech, which are in production as I previously listed. Beyond this I hope to continue to bring the SBA community together, demolishing the division between our grades. My personal goal, as well as that of our entire Student Government, is to brighten the days of our students just a little bit more. We wish to make school something more than just ‘school’.”

Any advice you want to give out to the grade nines or twelves?

“I would like to emphasize to grade nines that high school is indeed an adventure, meaning it will not turn out how you plan, yet in the most amazing way possible. Yes, academically this time is essential, but this is also such an important time for growing. The second you stop trying to impress people and live by their standards is the time in which your life will become that much better; I urge all grade nines to carry this with them on their adventure. To grade twelves, there is not much advice I can give, as I too am in the same spot, still figuring it out. I do want to say, however, that the people I have grown to love in the last three years are amazing and I encourage them to bring this ‘awesomeness’ with them in everything they do. “

And with that, let’s all hope for the best in the future!

SBA Band and Choir Perform at Ricoh Centre


On Friday March 6th, over 180 SBA music students traveled to the Ricoh Centre to perform during the first period intermission of the Marlies game.  Our performers looked great wearing their red music jackets.  They sounded great performing “Call Me Maybe”, “Party Rock”, and “Living on a Prayer”.  The highlight of their performance was the crowd favourite, “the Hockey Night in Canada Medley.”  The crowd cheered and appreciated the wonderful performance.



The Marlies played the Adirondack Flames and won the game 5-3.



Congratulations to Ms Barcena and Mr Jannetta for their good work in preparing the band and choir for this awesome experience

Halloween Spirit Alive and Well

Monster Pumpkin Carving at SBA

As is our tradition at SBA, our students took part in our annual pumpkin carving competition this morning.  Each homeroom was able to enter one pumpkin into the competition.   The judging took place after school by a secret panel of judges.  There are four categories with three winners in each category.  The winners are posted below.

The judges were not able to photograph two winning pumpkins:  Most Artistic 3rd Place from Mrs Couchman’s 11F and Best Monster 3rd Place from Mr Schaffeler’s 12M.  The judges were very impressed with all entries and congratulate all homerooms for having the Halloween spirit!

A big thank you to the Arts Council for organizing this activity that everyone enjoyed so much.  Happy Halloween to all!!


Best Monster 1st Place Mrs Bilinski's 11B

Best Monster 1st Place
Mrs Bilinski’s 11B

Best Monster 2nd Place Mrs Wong's 12R

Best Monster 2nd Place
Mrs Wong’s 12R


Most Scariest 1st Place Ms Giordano's 11H

Scariest 1st Place
Ms Giordano’s 11H

Most Scariest 2nd Place Mr Tracanelli's 10M

Scariest 2nd Place
Mr Tracanelli’s 10M

Most Scariest 3rd Place Ms Schlechter's 12N

Scariest 3rd Place
Ms Schlechter’s 12N

Most Artistic 2nd Place Ms Raponi's 11P

Most Artistic 2nd Place
Ms Raponi’s 11P

Most Artistic 1st Place Mr Gencarelli's 9E

Most Artistic 1st Place
Mr Gencarelli’s 9E









1st Place- Most Creative Mr. Jannetta's 9F

Most Creative 1st Place
Mr. Jannetta’s 9F



Most Creative 2nd Place Mr Torelli 12P

Most Creative 2nd Place
Mr Torelli 12P

Most Creative 3rd Place Mr Rehel 9L

Most Creative 3rd Place
Mr Rehel 9L




A Talk with Father Maurice Emelu


FDC Hosts Father Maurice

FDC Hosts Father Maurice

St. Brother Andre’s Faith Development Council hosted a guest speaker, Father Maurice Emelu, Tuesday afternoon. Father Maurice Emelu is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria. He has accomplished many endeavours in his service to God. He is the founder and chair of Gratia Vobis ministries, Inc., a non-profit organization for the Media Evangelization and charity apostles with its headquarters in California, USA. Father Maurice is a published author of two books — Scaling the Heights and Word for a Wounded World — as well as developed a weekly television series for the Catholic Television Network entitled “ The Faith with Father Maurice.”

a chat with Father Maurice

a chat with Father Maurice

At first, all the students attending this event were all scattered around the cafetorium, expecting Father Maurice to talk on the stage. Instead, Father Maurice invited us to gather our chairs around him in front of the stage to form an intimate group with him.

After a brief introduction, Father Maurice played a video that documented his recent travels in different parts of Africa. He was accompanied by people of all ages, genders, and nationalities. They witnessed the bright colours of the African culture and the beautiful nature that surrounded Father Emelu and his colleagues. The students were immediately engaged with the African music in the background as well as giving the students a new perspective of the Catholic Church. The churches in Africa are beautifully designed, painted with warm colours, and can hold at least a thousand people which accounted for its large size.

Father Maurice compared the difference between Church of Africa and our church in Canada in terms of their offertory processions. He acted out how we position ourselves in Church by sticking his arms to his side with his back erect which resulted in a few giggles. Father Maurice told us that people who carry the gifts in the offertory procession go up in a sacred and uniformed dance. The reason is: “ The Gospel is good news. It brought an end to segregation. It brings joy and it brings freedom.”

Father Maurice had been a priest for 10 years and he chose this sacred profession because: “I fell in love with God.” As he was growing up, he saw how priests can talk with many people and how they positively impacts many lives. Father Emelu admired the opportunity to spread the good news of the Catholic Church and decided to respond to God’s call.

After his lecture and a few questions from the students, everyone joined hands with their heads bowed in prayer. He sang a beautiful hymn and then gave every person a blessing. The most important subject he touched on was the dilemma that all high school students are in: finding our career and working towards a bright future. Father Maurice gave us one simple piece of advice: be consistently positive because when you have faith in Jesus, everything will work out fine.

Thank Goodness for Upgrades!

SBA students and teachers can finally breathe a sigh of relief. That’s right! Starting October 27th the guidance computer lab is getting updated. Our Principal, Mr. Dan Zaroski said “This means that each of our computer labs in the school  have been replaced in the last 3 years” Students will be able to access their Google accounts, and use it to submit homework or create PowerPoint presentations for class. Teachers will find it easier to teach their classes by also accessing their accounts to show upcoming projects or to instruct a lesson.  SBA has a total of  10 computer labs.

the guidance computer lab

the guidance computer lab

Grade 11 students Dillon Singh, who is skilled with computers, gives his insight. ““I think that it’s good that the school should be updating the computers every three years mainly because we live in a world where we live in a technology based society, we are going to be so involved with technology as it is. We should try to understand it and get the proper tools to learn more to be more aware of what we are doing.”

Tina Anemos, a hardworking grade 11 student adds “I think it’s a good idea because it will help students work faster because some of the computers are really slow. It will be more convenient for students with their work.” Students who have been interviewed nodded their heads in. Slow computers have limited help for a student who needs everything to be done as soon as possible.

Our head of Canadian & World Studies –Mr. Swan who is already using his Google account for his classes is supportive of the updates. ““Being able to use these technologies to teach students is great. They will be able to access their GAFE accounts more frequently and should make sharing information simpler. Presentations and homework will be easier for them to handle.” Guidance Counselor Mrs. Smyth shares her opinion with a confident smile. “I think it’s fantastic. We run all the careers courses now through Google with the Google docs, and students already have their Gmail accounts set up. We are moving more towards that. It’s less paper, so it’s better for the environment. These are skills that kids need when they go into the workplace and more onto university- everything is electronic. We are very happy.”

one of the new computers

one of the new computers

Mr. Maiorano our school technician adds his input. “This can help students with their research. The better the computers, the better the students will learn.”

On the behalf of the SBA community, we are excited about the upgrades because it helps us with our studies and we are grateful for this upgrade.






The next part of these exciting upgrades are the addition of Epson Brightlink projectors to our classroom….watch for that story soon!


“What Happens in Muskoka Stays in Muskoka”

Gr. 12s singing at Muskoka

Listen to those 12s singing!

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“To sum up Muskoka Woods in one phrase I would say it was life-changing,” as Curtis Breen, gr. 12 leader put it at the end of the Muskoka mass. This annual three day trip was truly about building relationships and welcoming the grade nines into our close knit SBA family. In contrast to Curtis, when Adrian Ali, gr. 9 student was asked about his Muskoka Woods experience he answered with a subtle “pretty good”. After being asked about his favourite moment specifically he went on to say “what happens in Muskoka stays in Muskoka”. This only describes how much fun the grade nines had and even after some moments that one may consider embarrassing like almost tipping out of a canoe or singing super off key during karaoke, the memories we made here, even the silly ones, will last a life time! From archery to mountain biking, testing our team work skills at the low ropes and high ropes, zip lining and even tennis, we all got closer together as a family. These were only some of the many activities we had the opportunity to take part in. Of course no one can forget karaoke night and the grade nine girls belting it out to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” The dance was also an event to remember and not to mention the last day when all the grade twelves got together to sing “Lean On Me.” I think it was in that moment that we realized that this is our last year of high school and we have to make the most of it. For the grade nines, it was an example at how close you’ll all become over these next four years. Most of them admitted to being terrified of the gr. 12’s before starting high school and now, after just three days we can gladly say we’ve all became best friends with our cabin members. Remember, if you see your leaders in the halls don’t be afraid to say hello! Although we are all sad that it’s over, Muskoka woods was an incredible adventure that we will never forget.

Welcome to Wonderland


Staff Writer

May: a month when students are filled with excitement, knowing that summer is on its way. It is also a month that marks the coming of the annual Arts Night, presented by our very own SBA Arts Council.  Read the rest of this entry

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