February 2, 2017

Dear PVNC Community,

We have rounded the shortest day of the year and are heading into longer days - a sure sign of the hope of spring, even though there is more winter weather still to “enjoy”!   My best wishes to everyone in our PVNC community and prayers for a healthy and successful year.  

It is important to bring each other good wishes and prayers. This year has begun with a great deal of difficulty world-wide, tragedies which impact every one of us in some way. The events of recent weeks challenge all of us to be ever more committed to stand in solidarity with one another and, more importantly, with our neighbours who are oppressed by the attitudes and actions of others. We are called to stand together, in respect, in care, in compassion, in celebration of uniqueness, … in solidarity. We are called to stand against racism, discrimination, and every attitude that could be harmful or disrespectful to others.  

The Apostle James wrote, “Faith, by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:17). It is clearly not enough to believe in a peaceful future, or to pray for peace, though we must always do both. We have to act as well.  As we reflect on our vision and our focus on learning, leadership and service, it is important to remind ourselves that our acts in times of crisis demonstrate our commitment to service. All of us must join together in our efforts to be at peace with ourselves, to live in peace with each other, and to create peaceful responses where there is conflict. This is not easy, but our future depends on it. And we can only be at peace, live in peace, and create peace if we have faith and pray. So we are in an important time in our history, and our students are looking to us as teachers and leaders to show them the way, to instil confidence in them, and to remind them by our words and actions that we are not alone, that God is truly with us.

As our secondary students complete Semester 1 and prepare for new courses, and as our elementary students continue in their journey of inquiry and learning, it is important to acknowledge that all of us at PVNC are enabling our students to be the very best learners they can be and to realize their God-given potential. This is our mission as Catholic Educators. 

This month we have the opportunity to celebrate one of our PVNC principals who is passionately committed to that mission. Karan Leal, principal of St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School in Peterborough, has been named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals by the Learning Partnership. This is a prestigious recognition, and it not only acknowledges Karan’s incredible leadership of her school community, but her collaborative partnership with so many others - staff, parents, students, colleagues, the local parish and the board’s leadership team - in building and growing a truly great school. Our congratulations to Karan on this well-deserved recognition. 

Setting our sights past these long winter months and onto the renewal of spring, I invite you to engage in the opportunities to share your views as we review our plans for the future.

We want to hear your voice as we engage in an important review of our Board’s Strategic Plan. Please take a few minutes to fill out our strategic survey:

Inspired by so many great examples of leadership in PVNC, let’s join together in committing ourselves to achieving excellence in Catholic Education through learning, leadership and service, to being the very best we can be for our students as we look toward 2020. 

Michael Nasello, Director of Education