Grade 8 open house

St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School opens its doors at Grade 8 open house

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A large crowd of prospective students, parents, guardians and Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board officials packed into the theatre at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School last week to see what the school has to offer.

The area’s Catholic high school held its Grade 8 open house last Wednesday evening with the night opening with a presentation in the theatre before tours of the County Road 8 building were held. Principal Amy Facchineri told students and parents from the Catholic feeder schools that attending Villanova would be an extension of their education.

Villanova students perform a song and dance number as part of the school’s Grade 8 open house Dec. 12.

“For those of you that may be new, don’t worry,” she continued, stating their children would be “embraced” by the staff and students at Villanova.

Facchineri said they had a tremendous number of current students that wanted to help with the Grade 8 open house.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of students here that wanted to help,” she said.

Facchineri also pointed out that every department within the school was represented at the Grade 8 open house. She noted the students at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School excel in the classroom, using their EQAO test scores as one example, and they also have a wide range of athletic and extra-curricular activities as well.

“We really do have something for everyone,” Facchineri stated.

Villanova students clown around in a “car” that was built at the school. It was displayed during the Grade 8 open house Dec. 12.

The evening also featured performances by Villanova students, who sang and danced for the large crowd in the theatre. Lindsay Pietrangelo, head of the school council, also promoted Villanova and said becoming involved with the school council is a great way to be “plugged in” on what is happening at the school.

Frank DiTomasso, the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board trustee for Amherstburg and LaSalle, also promoted Villanova.

“I think this is the greatest school in Essex County,” he said. “They have a lot to offer.”

Grade 8 Night at General Amherst sees strong attendance

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Grade 8 students from around the area converged on General Amherst High School with the local public high school showing them what the school has to offer.

Grade 8 Night was held recently with students welcomed to the building and given a tour with information given on the various courses and programs offered. Principal Melissa DeBruyne was pleased with the turnout.

“I felt like it was very well attended,” she said. “The comments I got back from families was that it was a family school, a close knit community school.”

Demonstrations were held during Grade 8 night at General Amherst High School, including in the school’s science department.

“People liked the school spirit,” added vice principal Bonnie Desjardins, noting many staff and students were dressed in the school’s black and gold colours.

DeBruyne said there were a lot of current General Amherst students on hand to help with all of the departments having displays of what they offer. Food was prepared, shop and technology classes were active, business presentations were made and other activities available to let prospective students know what they can expect if they enrol at General Amherst High School. Many students were intrigued by presentations from the mathematics department, she stated.

“The biggest thing is that we’re a family school and a community school,” said DeBruyne.

Desjardins pointed out the communication technology students prepared an introductory video about General Amherst. That video has now been made available on YouTube.

The General Amherst band performed at the recent Grade 8 open house. (Photo by Wyatt Trudelle)

The fact there is a new building on the way, to be built on the southern 15 acres of Centennial Park, wasn’t a huge selling point, she added. DeBruyne stated that a new building won’t alter the fact that General Amherst High School is a community school.

“I don’t think it will change who we are,” said DeBruyne. “A fancy new building doesn’t change what we do for kids.”

The current enrolment at General Amherst High School is 626 students.

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.