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Catholic Leadership Awards - 2016

Celebrating student and community leaders

Trustees of the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board wish to thank His Excellency Bishop Douglas Crosby, Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton, Mayor Charlie Luke, and supportive priests, parents, and staff who were in attendance at the 2016 Catholic Leadership Awards Ceremony at Holy Trinity Catholic High School. The event, held during Catholic Education Week, acknowledged amazing student leaders, one selected from each school of the Board, to receive the prestigious student award. “This annual event highlights the role of our Catholic faith in the lives of our fine young people,” said Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella. “It amazes me to hear their stories and witness the depth of their commitment to family, community, and spirituality.”

To add to the excitement of the evening, Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella, presented two new awards that highlight the importance of continued Catholic leadership beyond school.

The Distinguished Catholic Graduate Award was presented to John Webb and his accomplishments were highlighted by Director of Education, Chris N. Roehrig. “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.”

The Outstanding Contribution to Catholic Education Award was presented to Dr. Robert Dixon and his accomplishments were highlighted by Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella. “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. The 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 schools 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. Robert Dixon.”

Photo Cutline: Trustees, Norfolk County Mayor Charlie Luke, 2016 Catholic Student Leaders, BHNCDSB Director of Education Chris N. Roehrig, Parish Priests and new award recipients John Webb and Dr. Robert Dixon gather for a pre-ceremony photo to celebrate the evening.

Photo Cutline: Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella; Distinguished Catholic Graduate award recipient, John Webb; Director of Education,
Chris N. Roehrig.

Photo Cutline: Outstanding Contribution to Catholic Education award recipient Dr. Robert Dixon; Chair of the Board, Mr. Rick Petrella.


For more information about the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board contact:
Tracey Austin | Manager of Communications and Community Relations, Privacy Officer | 519-756-6505 Ext. 234 (office) | 519-732-5282 (call or text) |