CCSTA Annual Meeting Celebrates Faith and Unity in Calgary

ACSTA Executives, Directors, and staff attended the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association (CCSTA) AGM and Convention in Calgary last week, along with members from over 90 school boards who represent more than 850,000 students.

Attendees prayed and worshiped together, heard from a variety of keynote andimg_1567.jpg breakout speakers, discussed national resolutions, and broke bread over the course of their three and a half days together.

Hosted by the Calgary Catholic School District, the event spanned three days of discussions, keynote speeches, and fellowship. It beganimg_1672.jpeg with an inspiring address by Father Cristino Bouvette titled “Reconciliation is Possible: The Contribution of Catholic Education towards Reconciliation with our Indigenous People,” highlighting the role of Catholic education in fostering reconciliation.

On Friday, attendees were treated to thought-provoking sessions by Ian McCormack and Dr. Bob Murray. McCormack’s presentation, “Who’s Driving the School Bus,” explored leadership dynamics in educational settings, while Dr. Murray’s talk, “Maintaining the Gift of Catholic Education in an Era of Political Polarization,” addressed the challenges and resilience of Catholic schools amid contemporary political tensions.

That afternoon, attendees could choose from a range of topics presented by notable speakers, including Janelle Reinhard, Dr. Peter Baltutis, Kevin Warriner, Father Paul Moret, Dr. Bryan Szumlas & Cynthia Launière, and Dr. Caroline Maillet-Rao.

The day's activities concluded with a social event at Calgary’s Heritage Park. This evening of dining and networking reinforced the sense of fellowship and shared purpose that defines the CCSTA.img_1834.jpg

Saturday’s program featured Kate Mallon from Grateful Advocates for Catholic Education (GrACE), who delivered a compelling keynote on “The Courage to Lead” in Catholic education. In addition to reviewing the current state and history of Catholic Education in Alberta, Mallon emphasized the importance of strong leadership in navigating the challenges facing Catholic schools and highlighted GrACE's role in advocating for the system. Her talk was followed by the formal AGM, where members voted on key resolutions and discussed pivotal issues impacting Catholic education. The meeting concluded with a Mass and procession at St. Mary’s Cathedral celebrating the feast of Corpus Christi, during which the CCSTA Board of Directors received a blessing from Bishop William McGrattan of Calgary. img_2035.jpg

With this year’s event in Calgary over, attendees are already looking forward to the 2025 convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia, promising another opportunity to celebrate and strengthen the bonds within the Catholic educational community across Canada.

ACSTA is represented on the CCSTA Board of Directors by our President, Kelly Whalen and also by ACSTA’s Past President, Harry Salm, who is currently serving as CCSTA’s Vice President. 

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