I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Your works are wonderful.  My soul knows that very well.

Psalm 139:14

Once again we have arrived at the end of another school year.  As always I am filled with awe and wonder for all that has transpired between the bookends of September and June.  One only need pause for but a moment and think back on the year that was, to be filled with a sense of gratitude and accomplishment.  I am also conscious that it has not been a year without loss, some quite profound, as we have lost valued staff, students and Waterloo Catholic community members who we know have left voids in our lives.  Our remarkable faith gives us strength however, as we contemplate that they walk beside us in different ways now, but hopefully still giving us the strength and soul-nourishment we require.

I do spend the latter part of this month attending a number of graduations and you cannot help but feel a sense of pride as you observe the students being acknowledged and you listen to the various valedictorians speak to their diverse experiences, those that make them laugh, those that make them cringe and those that they will carry for the remainder of their lives.  While we most certainly value the learning and they do remark on those memorable classroom experiences, it tends to be the encounters of faith, their relationships, and their extra-curricular experiences which emerge as the most compelling of those memories.

In these final months I have had the good fortune to bring updates of our accomplishments at the Bishop’s Banquet, at our Community Leaders’ Breakfast and within our Strategic Plan Report Card to Board, to name a few.  In each case it was possible to point to a breadth of accomplishment where our pastoral plan theme of #CalledToBelong is authentically realized, where our desire for an integrated Well Being Plan is prioritized and where student achievement is thriving.

It has not been an easy year in every respect and the government announcements that informed our budget process have been challenging.  I am proud of the work of the senior team and grateful to them for their dedication throughout that difficult process.  Our system will continue to serve our students and serve them well, with love, with hope and with faith.  Our system is growing and confidence in our community that provides faith-based, quality, inclusive education remains strong.  For those that are transitioning to new roles or retiring altogether – gratitude for all you have contributed and best of happiness and fortune in your next chapter.

Thank you for all you have done, regardless of your role in our system, to ensure that our students have enjoyed the very best education possible.  Our board is so multi-faceted and that diversity is truly beautiful.  Just as the students we serve are all so different, all our staff bring unique talents and gifts, that when realized in the service of our students, make Waterloo Catholic truly a place that is Heart of the Community, where there is Success for Each and A Place for All.  As the pace slows, take the time to fully embrace the gentler days and those for whom you care.  Know that you are valued as a member of our Waterloo Catholic family.  May God hold you in the palm of His hand until we meet again.

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten – Director of Education