St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School

Mudpuppy’s featured artist for May is Grade 9 Villanova student

 

By Danica Skakavac

At only fifteen-years-old and in the ninth grade, Madison Young of St. Thomas of Villanova has made quite a name for herself.

While she has loved art since the age of four, Young has been interested in her current style, hyperrealism, for only one and a half years. Despite the short period of time, Young’s skill has only grown dramatically and her wonderful artwork is being showcased again and again. She has been featured in a couple of local magazines, attended a couple of charities where she donated original artwork for auction and, as well, was the Mudpuppy Gallery’s student artist.

This month, she became the gallery’s featured artist. Only recently has she been spotlighted in a much different way; when local musician Christian Vegh’s mother contacted Young’s mother, Sharon, about designing the cover art for his brand-new single, “Worthy.”

Madison Young, a Grade 9 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, is this month’s featured artist at the Mudpuppy Gallery in Amherstburg. (RTT Photo by Danica Skakavac)

Madison Young, a Grade 9 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, is this month’s featured artist at the Mudpuppy Gallery in Amherstburg. (RTT Photo by Danica Skakavac)

Young jumped at the opportunity and designed a stunning cover, the picture a very realistic pair of diamond-encrusted lips.

“It was an exciting opportunity and I’m very fortunate they asked me,” Young said.

Young isn’t planning on letting her talent go to waste either, as she has opened an online store so people can purchase prints and paintings they like. In the future, she wants to attend medical school to become a surgeon (though unsure of what specialty in particular) but is adamant about continuing her artwork, just maybe not full-time. She is very proud of the textures she incorporates into said artwork, since she is able to render those textures with only coloured pencils.

“My favourite thing about creating art is a sense of accomplishment,” she said. “It is exciting when people want to purchase my artwork to hang in their homes or businesses.”

If you are interested, you can visit Young’s website at www.diamonddraws.com. Young’s exhibit at the Mudpuppy Gallery will be running through the month of May.

Villanova girls hockey team captures SWOSSAA championship

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The St. Thomas of Villanova girls hockey team is heading for OFSAA after winning the SWOSSAA “AAA/AAAA” title last Tuesday afternoon.

The Wildcats and the Chatham-Kent Hawks couldn’t settle things in the first three periods or in the first three overtime periods but Alessandra Schembri ended things with just 11.4 seconds left in the fourth overtime to give the Wildcats the 1-0 win.

Schembri said she pushed the puck past the Hawks’ defense and ended up on a breakaway. Stopped on her first attempt to score, she picked up the rebound and ended the game.

“Before I knew it, the puck was in the net,” said Schembri. “It was surreal. I didn’t know what happened. I was at a loss for words. I was trampled by my teammates.”

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats  gather for a group  picture after capturing the SWOSSAA AAA/AAAA title last Tuesday.

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats gather for a group picture after capturing the SWOSSAA AAA/AAAA title last Tuesday.

It was a fast-paced game, Schembri added, but the scoring chances were kept to a minimum.

“There wasn’t a lot of room out there but we worked hard and pushed through,” she said.

Captain Carli Dumeah motivated the team between every period, Schembri added, and “we all worked hard for her.” It was also an emotional game for the senior players, as they are in their final year of high school hockey.

Villanova head coach John Purdie pointed out that Chatham-Kent was undefeated coming into the game while the Wildcats lost only once during the season. Both teams allowed less than one goal per game during the season.

Purdie said their loss was to Chatham-Kent, a 3-1 defeat at a Christmas tournament. He said the Hawks “snuck up on us” as the Wildcats were not expecting them to be as strong as they were.

Since that game, the Wildcats made beating Chatham-Kent one of their missions this year.

“Our goal from Day 1 was to get to OFSAA and win OFSAA,” said Purdie. “We said it all year, this was a step towards the end goal.”

The Wildcats figure they can do well at OFSAA, which is March 21-24 in Mississauga. Purdie said they may be one of the smaller schools there, but they have a lot of elite players and have proven they can play with some of the best in Ontario.

Villanova’s Allison Langille (87) drives around Chatham-Kent’s Kirsten Horney during last week’s SWOSSAA title game at the Libro Centre.

Villanova’s Allison Langille (87) drives around Chatham-Kent’s Kirsten Horney during last week’s SWOSSAA title game at the Libro Centre.

“This is the most complete team we’ve ever had,” said Purdie. “The depth of this team is amazing.”

Both goalies – Kristen Swiatoschik and Erica Fryer – give the team a chance to win and Purdie believes they could medal with either of them.

The Wildcats expected the SWOSSAA final to be a tight hockey game and Purdie stressed to the players to not let a bad bounce beat them. He also credited the referees, who “did a great job letting them play.” There wasn’t a single penalty called in the game.

Players come from Amherstburg, Harrow and LaSalle, Purdie noted.

“I think this is the kind of hockey team that brings communities together,” he added.

Gibson Gallery showcasing “Artists of the Future”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Work of art students from a pair of local high schools is on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery through March 19.

“Artists of the Future” is the opening exhibit of 2017 at the gallery with roughly 100 pieces of work by General Amherst High School students on display with 200-250 pieces of art created by St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School also featured.

Jessica Dass sits beside one of her works that are exhibited as part of the Gibson Gallery's "Artists of the Future" exhibit.

Jessica Dass sits beside one of her works that are exhibited as part of the Gibson Gallery’s “Artists of the Future” exhibit.

“The Grade 12’s worked really hard to put this show together,” said General Amherst art teacher Andrea Craig-Wammes. “It’s part of the curriculum to get pieces ready for an art gallery.”

While the show features work from students in Grade 9-12, Craig-Wammes noted the Grade 12 students were the ones getting the pieces titled, mounted and ready to be showcased.

“They’ve put in a lot of effort,” said Craig-Wammes.

The work that came from General Amherst students was chosen either by the students or Craig-Wammes herself. Students didn’t have to have their work exhibited, but Craig-Wammes didn’t recall any student taking that option.

“They had the opportunity to deny it but everyone is excited about showcasing their work,” she said. “It’s a huge honour for them to have their artwork in a gallery and to be able to showcase their talent.

A wide range of mediums was used by General Amherst students from sculptures to painting to scratch art and more, with the Villanova students also displaying their talents through a number of ways.

“We have a lot of variety of work,” explained Villanova art teacher Lisa Bastien. “Our students are encouraged to think outside the box. They are posed problems and have to solve them independently.”

Concepts are presented to the students with students able to work with the concepts in their own way, Bastien said, adding they also work with the students on their technique as well.

Kyra Breshamer shows the artwork she created for the "Artists of the Future" exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

Kyra Breshamer shows the artwork she created for the “Artists of the Future” exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

Roughly 400 students per year enroll in Villanova’s art program with the show being much of what has been done in the first semester. While work is showcased in the school, exhibiting it in an art gallery puts a different context on it, Bastien added.

“It makes the kids feel important to have it in a gallery space,” she said. “I’m just really proud of the kids and the families who came by and supported them.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. Their hours are Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 519-736-2826, e-mail office@gibsonartgallery.com or visit www.gibsonartgallery.com.

St. Thomas of Villanova welcomes prospective new students, parents

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School opened its doors to incoming students and parents and gave them a look of what it has to offer.

The area’s Catholic high school held its Grade 8 open house last Thursday night with hundreds from Amherstburg and surrounding areas touring the County Road 8 facility. Moving from Grade 8 to Grade 9 doesn’t mean certain things will change, principal Amy Facchineri told the crowd assembled in the auditorium.

Local high schools held Grade 8 open house last week, including St. Thomas of Villanova. The Wildcats’ dance teams perform as part of the event.

Local high schools held Grade 8 open house last week, including St. Thomas of Villanova. The Wildcats’ dance teams perform as part of the event.

“This is going to be your child’s home away from home for the next four years,” she told the crowd, before they were able to tour the school.

Facchineri added that because students are leaving one Catholic school, it doesn’t mean their Catholic education is ending.

“Villanova continues the string of Catholic-based education,” she said. “Just because you are leaving one building doesn’t mean you are leaving the system.”

Kaley Nast holds a leopard gecko during the Grade 8 open house at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School last Thursday night. Nast was one of several current Villanova students showing some of what is in the school’s “Living Lab.”

Kaley Nast holds a leopard gecko during the Grade 8 open house at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School last Thursday night. Nast was one of several current Villanova students showing some of what is in the school’s “Living Lab.”

Facchineri said Villanova offers “a diverse program” and outlined successes students have had academically, athletically, and socially, saying the thing she brags about most is the group of people the students have become and how well rounded they are. She said teachers focus “on the whole child.”

Nick Alkhouri, Villanova’s student council prime minister, encouraged incoming students to get involved outside the classroom as well as inside the classroom. Getting involved with extra-curricular activities was one of the best things he ever did, Alkhouri noted.

The Villanova curling team demonstrates their sport in the hallway during last Thursday night’s Grade 8 open house at the Catholic high school.

The Villanova curling team demonstrates their sport in the hallway during last Thursday night’s Grade 8 open house at the Catholic high school.

“When you put yourself out there, especially at Villanova, you will never regret it,” said Alkhouri. “Villanova has so much to offer.”

The evening featured visits from the principals of the area feeder schools, Amherstburg/LaSalle trustee Frank DiTomasso as well as several members of the Windsor-Essex Catholic School Board’s senior administration, including director of education Paul Picard.

Isabella Scott paintsabove a row of lockers at St. Thomas of Villanova Jan. 12.

Isabella Scott paintsabove a row of lockers at St. Thomas of Villanova Jan. 12.

St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School has grown from 90 students when it first began in 1987 to roughly 1,200 students currently.

Economic Development Committee wants to know vision of youth

 

By RTT Staff

The town’s economic development committee wants to know what the town’s youth sees as the vision for the community.

Bob Rozankovic, the committee chairperson, appeared before town council Oct. 11 to officially launch the essay/multimedia contest the committee is holding. That contest opened Oct. 17 to coincide with Local Government Week, Rozankovic told town council.

The contest is open to all students at General Amherst High School, St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School and Western Secondary School. The economic development committee is asking students to tell them their vision for the future of Amherstburg.

A Grade 10 civics class from General Amherst High School was one of three classes hosted by Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, CAO John Miceli and senior staff last Monday. These students, along with every other student from General Amherst, Villanova and Western, are eligible to participate in a multi-media contest presented by the town's economic development committee.

A Grade 10 civics class from General Amherst High School was one of three classes hosted by Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, CAO John Miceli and senior staff last Monday. These students, along with every other student from General Amherst, Villanova and Western, are eligible to participate in a multi-media contest presented by the town’s economic development committee.

Submissions can be in the form of a written essay, poem, video, song or animated comic strip. Councillor Joan Courtney said she was pleased the contest allowed for submissions in a variety of mediums, “which I think is fabulous.”

Entries and signed waivers must be submitted to the town by Nov. 21.

A panel of judges will determine the winners. Rozankovic said those winners will be recognized at the Dec. 12 town council meeting.

“It’s a great idea for the economic development committee,” said Councillor Rick Fryer, adding the students are the future of the town. Councillor Leo Meloche, also a member of the economic development committee, reported that local principals have been “very receptive” to the idea.

Local realtors have offered up the first and second prize sponsorships as Brad Bondy of Re/Max will donate the $500 first prize while the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team is sponsoring the $250 second prize. Rozankovic and Diana Marretta are sponsoring the $100 third prize.

Submissions can be dropped off in-person at town hall, located at 271 Sandwich St. S., or be sent in via e-mail to ecdev@amherstburg.ca. For more information, visit www.amherstburg.ca.