Our School

Exterior of school

At St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic School, we are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ. We recognize our call to love and serve from our Master teacher Jesus Christ, and we are committed to creating a Catholic learning community under the protection of Mother Mary.

The Catholic Graduate Expectations are our foundation as we strive for academic excellence and the acknowledgement of those who achieve it. We recognize God as the source of all life and actively work to focus on social issues within our local and global communities.

We celebrate the diversity within our community with a collaborative approach to learning, in cooperation with parents, the Catholic faith community, and other organizations that recognize the value of our mission. Within the context of Catholic teaching and Sacramental living, our school community strives to demonstrate respect and reverence for all life, thus nurturing a safe, Christian environment for the entire school community.

2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar

Our Board's 2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar is now available. Please subscribe to our school calendar webpage to receive the latest updates and emails on upcoming events and activities happening at school.

Patron Saint

Our school was named in honour of Marie Marguerite d'Youville, who in 1737 founded the order of the Grey Sisters. The religious order was highly regarded by educationalists for its work in teaching the youth of the country and was invited to Whitby in 1959

Marguerite was born on October 15, 1701, in Varennes, Quebec. Following the death of her husband, she was left with two small sons to raise and her husband's debts. She opened a small store to repay her debts, educate her sons, and provide for the needs of Montreal's poor.

When she was 26, she came to the deep realization that in the great human family, we are all sisters and brothers loved by a providential and compassionate God.

She gave residence to a blind woman and also begged for assistance to bury criminals who had been hanged in the marketplace. These acts of selflessness inspired three women to join her. On December 31, 1737, they consecrated themselves to the service of the poor, in whom they saw the person of Jesus.

In 1753, Marguerite was appointed Director of the General Hospital. Soon the hospital was filled with the elderly, orphans, prostitutes, the mentally ill, physically handicapped, chronically ill and abandoned infants. Marguerite lived there from 1747 to her death in 1771. She fought for the rights of the poor and her primary concern was to spread the Good News of God's compassionate love for every human being.

Pope John XXIII beatified Marguerite on May 3, 1959, proclaiming her "Mother of Universal Charity." She was the first Canadian woman to be called "Blessed." On December 9, 1990, Pope John Paul II canonized this "Mother of the Poor" and presented her to the entire world as a model of compassionate love. Marie Marguerite d'Youville was the first Canadian-born person to be made a saint. Her feast day is October 16.

School prayer

I beg of you
Wherever I may be
Whatever I may do
Take me by the hand
And lead me to Jesus

Together let us walk the Way
The one where Jesus is recognized in
The poor, the abandoned
The sick, the forgotten.
Walk with me in the light of the Truth
That is Jesus,
So that one day with you
I may enjoy Life everlasting.

Amen.

School history

St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic School was opened in September 1990 to reduce the overcrowding at St. John the Evangelist and St. Theresa Catholic Schools. Most of the 359 students who started that first September came from St. John the Evangelist C.S. In September 1991, the enrolment had increased to 416, as former students of St. Theresa came to St. Marguerite d'Youville C.S.

St. Marguerite d'Youville C.S. was built in 1988 as a relocatable building, originally to be a French First Language High School. The first occupants were students of École Secondaire Catholique Charles Garnier. The French-speaking high school was later moved to Oshawa until a permanent site could be built. The title was transferred, and in 1990 the school became St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic School. In order for the building to accommodate Kindergarten through Grade 8 students, some changes were made to the building during the 1990-1991 school year. The Industrial Arts and Family Studies rooms were converted to Kindergarten classrooms during this time.

The school was named to honour Marie Marguerite d'Youville, who in 1737 founded the order of the Grey Sisters. The name of the school was chosen for its significant historic connection and recognizes the long service of the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in the Whitby area. The religious order was highly regarded by educationalists for its work in teaching the youth of the country. The religious order, founded in 1926, was invited to Whitby in 1959 at the express wish of Father Leo J. Austin to establish a Catholic High School, later named Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School.

The name of the school was approved by the Durham Catholic District School Board on January 16, 1989. At first, the school was to be called Blessed Marguerite d'Youville, but the name was changed upon her elevation to sainthood by Pope John Paul II in 1990. The official opening of St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic School took place on April 11, 1991, with the blessing by the Most Reverend Robert B. Clune. The first principal of the school was Lionel Kelly.

St. Marguerite d'Youville students were originally nicknamed the "Hoyas," with a bulldog as their mascot. In 2006, under the leadership of principal Maureen Thomas, a decision was made to change the school's nickname and mascot. After a year-long process of brainstorming new names, voting on a winner and developing a new logo, St. Marguerite students became known as the Mavericks. Shortly afterwards, principal Janine Bowyer arrived. St. Marguerite carried forward the new name with the introduction of the Mighty Maverick Award, through which school spirit was celebrated. The award recognizes students for everything from small acts of kindness to much larger acts of charity organized to help those in need.

In 2010, it was announced that St. Marguerite d'Youville would begin an all-day kindergarten program in the fall of that same year. With this decision, significant classroom renovations were undertaken in the summer of 2010 to the kindergarten wing of the school. Enrolment in the program increased significantly for the fall of 2010, and a total of four ELKP classrooms were completed to accommodate the influx of new students. At this time, two portable buildings were added to the school property to accommodate our growing numbers.

In 2010 and 2011, the students and staff of St. Marguerite d'Youville achieved an important accomplishment, earning their way to a Gold Certification from Ontario EcoSchools. As part of the EcoSchools certification process, the school, under the direction of Eco Committee leaders Mrs. Ambra and Mrs. Plommer, planned and implemented a school greening project, whereby 13 native trees were to be planted in the schoolyard. The goal of this project was to foster an environmental ethic in the students, support the local ecosystem and create more shade in student play areas. The project involved months of planning and fundraising, as well as dedication and hard work from many in the school community, including teachers, students, administration staff, custodial staff and parents.

In April 2011, with more than $10,000 raised by the students, the school community proudly planted 13 trees in the schoolyard, which have been lovingly cared for by the school community.

There is an important historical connection of the schools Eco initiatives to the mother of charity, Marguerite d'Youville: in the greater Montreal area, few natural areas have been as well preserved as that of Saint-Bernard Island. The wetlands, ponds, streams, grasslands, maple syrup farm and multicoloured oak trees found there make up the exceptional ecosystem that provides a home for diversified wildlife and flora species.

There are 11 floral species that are categorized as endangered or vulnerable and 214 species of birds. The island also provides a special home for fish, in part because of specially prepared wildlife installations.

An agreement was reached in 1993 between the Grey Nuns, the Quebec Wildlife Foundation and the City of Chateauguay that allowed for the creation of the Marguerite-D'Youville Wildlife Refuge. This name stems from the founder of the Grey Nuns of Montreal, who became the owners of the island in 1765. The Sisters of Charity, who owned the island for 245 years, have signed a 40-year conservation agreement with the Fondation de la faune du Québec to ensure the protection of this provincially significant wetland habitat. It would seem that it is no coincidence that our school community is as dedicated as the Sisters are to caring for our local environment, as was our school's namesake.

Principals

Our past and present principal include:

  • L. Kelly (1990-1997)
  • S. Roche (1998-2003)
  • M. Thomas (2004-2006)
  • J. Bowyer (2006-2009)
  • J. Leclerc (2009)
  • J. Huxter (2009-2011)
  • M. Legacy (2012 - 2015)
  • D. Assenza (2015 - present)

Philosophy

As Catholic educators, we live according to our Father's code and to lead our students, by example, to live the basic truths of the gospel message. This is an awesome, yet inspiring challenge which we share with the parents of our young men and women.

Children learn what they live. Each day we have the opportunity to teach our students:

  • to love by the way we love;
  • to be generous by our generosity;
  • to be passionate by our compassion; and
  • to be forgiving by the way we forgive.

However, a person cannot give what he or she does not have. Unless we are living the Gospel message, we cannot lead our students to do so.

There are many hallmarks of a Catholic educator, including:

  • Prayer - The challenges of our vocation, and indeed life in general, are great. To meet them we need to follow Christ's advice that we "ask the father in My name". Each Catholic educator has a duty to expose students to his or her particular style of prayer in order to assist students to recognize the value of prayer in daily life.
  • Eucharist - Parish, school, and staff liturgies provide opportunities to celebrate our faith. Our example can testify to the Eucharist as a joyful source of strength and community building.
  • Social Justice - This is the heart of the Christian message, that we "love one another as I have loved you". As our brother's and sister's keepers, we must be concerned about the aged, the poor, the oppressed, and any other marginalized group - both at home and abroad.

Links

Below are links to resources to help you achieve success while at St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic School.

Contact us

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Principal: Diana Assenza
250 Michael Blvd.
Whitby, ON  L1N 6B1 
Phone (905) 666-9301
Fax (905) 666-9565

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