Earlier this year, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board established the new Pope Francis Award for Ecological Leadership.

This important new piece of our staff recognition program annually recognizes up to three school staff members / volunteers who actively demonstrate a love for creation and care for the planet in all their interactions — people who initiate or lead environmental projects of all kinds.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for our Common Home), Pope Francis reminds us that “Along with the importance of little everyday gestures, social love moves us to devise larger strategies to halt environmental degradation and to encourage a ‘culture of care’ which permeates all of society” (#231).

The Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations ask that all graduates be “responsible citizen[s] who respect the environment and use resources wisely.”

And the WCDSB’s own Multi-Year Strategic Plan asks all staff to “promote stewardship of the earth and its resources” and to “implement the core teachings of Laudato Si’”.

The inaugural recipients of the Pope Francis Award for Ecological Leadership are:

Cynthia Brown: Library Tech — Holy Spirit CES

Kathy Doherty-Masters: Volunteer — St. Bernadette CES

Jennifer Venditti: Teacher — St. Elizabeth CES