Brebeuf College School

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Brebeuf College School
BCS Logo 1963.svg
Men for Others since 1963

Studio Gradum Faciant

To Win Merit Through Study
NewBrebeuf.jpg
Address
211 Steeles Avenue East
Willowdale, North York, Ontario, M2M 3Y6, Canada
Information
School number 508 / 690961
School board Toronto Catholic District School Board
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
(Presentation Brothers)
Superintendent John Shain
Area 4
Area trustee John Del Grande
Ward 7
Principal Anthony Azzopardi
Vice Principals Monica Calligaro
Walter Spano
School type Catholic High School
Grades 9-12
Language English
Campus Suburban (14 acres)
Mascot Redmen (1963–2004)[1]
Bulls (2004-present)
Team name Brebeuf Bulls
Colours Red, White, and Black             
Established 1963
Enrollment 1040 (2012-13)
Parish Blessed Trinity
Specialist High Skills Major Computer and Information Technology
Program Focus Extended French
Gifted
Advanced Placement
Homepage Brebeuf College School

Brebeuf College School (Brebeuf College, BCS, or Brebeuf) is a publicly funded Roman Catholic all-boys high school in Toronto, Canada founded by the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) in 1963 and associated with the Presentation Brothers since 1984. Brebeuf College is part of the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Students participate in a various activities, including faith and service-related clubs, music and drama productions, and athletic programmes at both the intramural and extramural levels. Extended French, Gifted, ESL, and Co-operative Education programs are available for students with appropriate qualifications.

Brebeuf offers an Enriched programme that allows students to study advanced material and to develop university-level skills, preparing them to take the AP exam and earn an Advanced Placement university credit while still in high school. Students in this 4-year program study an enriched curriculum in English, Mathematics, and Science.

The school operates on the semester system and has an enrolment of nearly 1,100 students. The majority of students come from Willowdale and northern Scarborough; roughly 20% live in York Region and students travel from as far away as Newmarket, Mississauga, and Pickering to attend the College. Almost 20% of the teaching staff are alumni.

Brebeuf College School is the brother school of St. Joseph's Morrow Park.[2]

History[edit]

St. Jean de Brébeuf[edit]

Main article: St. Jean de Brébeuf

The school was named after Saint Jean de Brébeuf, a French Jesuit priest (the priests who founded the school 1963 were Jesuits of the Upper Canada Province) who first came to Canada in 1625, 17 years after the founding of the country by Champlain's French colonists in 1608. Brebeuf journeyed to the area around what is now Midland, Ontario and preached to the Huron people of that area. In 1649 an Iroquois raid on a Huron village captured de Brébeuf, aged 56, and others; they were ritually tortured and killed. de Brébeuf was canonised as a saint in 1930. In 1954 his grave was discovered by Father Denis Hegarty, S.J. at the present site of Ste.-Marie-among the Hurons, near Midland, with a plaque reading "P. Jean de Brébeuf /brusle par les Iroquois /le 17 de mars l'an/1649" (Father Jean de Brébeuf, burned by the Iroquois, 17 March 1649). de Brebeuf is the patron of Brebeuf College School.

Beginnings[edit]

Construction of Brebeuf High School and the attached Jesuit Residence in 1963 was overseen by Bishop Francis Marrocco and Father Clement Crusoe S.J., in Willowdale, a new Toronto suburb surrounded by farms. The school opened with one hundred students in Grades 9 and 10 in September 1963, with a staff of eight Jesuit priests, one Jesuit brother, and six laymen. Bishops Philip Francis Pocock and Francis Anthony Marrocco presided at the official opening and solemn blessings on January 5, 1964, in front of a large crowd in the gymnasium. Brebeuf's first graduation class in 1966 consisted of 30 students, among them Michael Daoust, who became head of mathematics at Brebeuf.

Original Brebeuf College

In 1967, the school entered an agreement with the Metropolitan Separate School Board (now the Toronto Catholic District School Board), whereby Grade 9 and 10 students would be under the publicly funded separate school system and Grades 11, 12, and 13 would continue as a private school. This arrangement happened at most Catholic high schools in Ontario at the request of the bishops of the province. At the same time, the school's name was officially changed to Brebeuf College School. The first class of Grade 13's graduates from the school consisted of 74 students, two of whom were Michael Daoust and Dr. Robert Lato, formerly the head of guidance at Brebeuf. St. Agnes Catholic School opened adjacent to the Brebeuf property in 1971.

Presentation Brothers[edit]

In May 1983, Father William Ryan, the Provincial of the Jesuits, announced that the Jesuits were going to give up responsibilities for the operation of Brebeuf College School by June 1984. This decision was made necessary by the steady decline of available manpower. Immediately, Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter and the staff of the Archdiocese of Toronto began to explore the possibilities to ensure the continual operation of Brebeuf. In February 1984, Cardinal Carter's office announced that the Presentation Brothers were willing to assume responsibility for Brebeuf College, and would officially take over on July 31, 1984. Brother Lawrence Maher FPM was the new Principal until 1996. Thus the school is now also associated by the Presentation Brothers.

The Presentation Brothers of Mary are a religious congregation founded with a single intention—to work for the Christian education and the formation of youth. The Order was founded in 1802 in Ireland by Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, a businessman of Waterford. By the age of forty, Rice was noted as a generous layman, particularly concerned with the plight of the poor. After entering a monastery in Europe, he realized that his real vocation lay with the uneducated and poverty-stricken youth of Waterford. In 1802 Edmund Rice gave up his personal wealth, and by 1822 had become the founder of the Presentation Brothers and the Congregation of Christian Brothers. He died in 1844. Today the Presentation Brothers operate elementary and secondary schools in the West Indies, Ireland, Ghana, Nigeria, and Canada.

In June 1984, the Ontario Government announced it would begin funding Catholic high schools beyond Grade 10 beginning in 1985. In 1987 Brebeuf ceased to be a private school, although it maintained a culture and many traditions of an independent institution. The school's population grew rapidly from approximately 600 to over 1,200 by 1992 with “portapaks” joined by a hallway erected in the parking lot; most Grade 9 classes are conducted there.

In 2001 the Toronto Catholic District School Board announced funding for a new building to replace Brebeuf's outdated facilities invested in C$23 million. The main architect was Rod Robbie who also designed the SkyDome. Under Principal Michael Pautler '76, the Brebeuf community was temporarily housed in the former Bathurst Heights Secondary School (later John Polanyi Collegiate Institute) while the new building was being constructed. On January 5, 2004, exactly forty years after Bishop Pocock presided over Brebeuf College School's Solemn Blessing, staff and students began classes in the new facility at the old campus. It was blessed in April of that year. The school held an Open House of the New Building for Alumni and friends. The Upper Field is dedicated as the Larry Uteck '71 Memorial Field. The Wall of Honour is unveiled to recognize donors who collectively gave over $200,000 to the Reaching New Heights fundraising campaign.

Mission statement[edit]

Brebeuf College School:

  • is a community of faith integrating Christian principles and Catholic values with all living and learning experiences in an environment which recognizes the spiritual dignity of each individual as a child of God.
  • is a family of student-teacher-parent-alumnus working together to encourage excellence, integrity, responsibility, initiative and respect for the other in the classroom, on the playing field and in the larger community of parish, municipality and country.
  • stands for an education that develops soundness in mind, soul and body. Brebeuf pursues an educational philosophy centered on academic and moral discipline. Brebeuf encourages the spirit to soar and the imagination to inquire. Brebeuf nurtures the sense of wonder in each student's unique development. Brebeuf College School rewards hard work and eager application. Brebeuf expands all members of its family to realize the fullness of the potential given by God.
  • believes that the way, the truth and the life informed by the teachings and life of Jesus lead one to success, to happiness and serve to the other. Brebeuf's hallmarks are friendship, faith, discipline and hard work.

Crest and motto[edit]

Crest from the second chapel.

The Brebeuf Crest was designed by Father Robert Meagher S.J., Brebeuf's founding Principal. It symbolizes the rich heritage and history of Brebeuf.

The black bull is taken from the family coat-of-arms of St. Jean de Brebeuf.

The cross of St. George and maple leaves are taken from the arms of the Province of Ontario.

The blazing sun forms the arms of the Society of Jesus who founded the school, and of which Brebeuf was a member. The flames on the circle symbolize the infinite love of Christ, and the little cross, the pinnacle of that love. The Greek letters "iota", "eta," and "sigma" are the first three letters of Jesus's name.

The angel's wings behind the large cross are those of St. Michael, the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The five small crosses on the larger cross represent each of the five Canadian Jesuit Martyrs (Jean de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalement, Antoine Daniel, Charles Garnier, and Noel Chabanel).

The Latin motto "Studio Gradum Faciant" is translated "To win merit through study", emphasizing the academic nature of the school.

Overview[edit]

Religious life[edit]

The school follows the Catholic Church's sacramental and liturgical calendar. Students take religion courses in each year of school. Each day begins with a community prayer over the public address system and a communion service in the chapel. The Angelus is recited at 10:00 each day. Students participate in a day-retreat as part of their religion class. Kairos (retreats) are offered to students in Grade 11.[3][4] Masses are held throughout the year (Feast of Brebeuf, Thanksgiving, Advent, Feast of Edmund Rice, Closing Mass, etc.) and on every First Friday of the month. Exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place following the First Friday Mass.

Students are encouraged often to put their faith into action as "men for others" in various charity drives and social justice initiatives. The school's Youth Ministry group has over one hundred student members.

The school is active in the promotion of social justice issues. Students and staff organize a social justice symposium for Catholic high school students.[5][6][7][8]

In 2011 the school instituted the first of its international service and leadership programmes with a trip to Ghana in conjunction with the Presentation Brothers. In 2012, students and staff underwent a similar trip to St. Lucia.[9][10]

The school maintains excellent and ongoing relations with the Jesuits and Presentation Brothers, the school's founding religious orders, through chaplaincy, masses, guest speakers, retreats, guest speakers, fundraising, and other collaborative ventures.[11][12][13][14][15]

Awards and scholarships[edit]

The Honour Roll recognizes students who have an overall average of 80% with no marks below 60%. Students who achieve Honour Roll status for every year of high school are inducted into the Blessed Edmund Rice Society, named for the Founder of the Presentation Brothers, at Graduation.

There are awards for the highest overall average in each grade and these are named for the college's Jesuit principals:

  • Grade 9 - Father Robert Meagher S.J. Award
  • Grade 10 - Father Clement Crusoe S.J. Award
  • Grade 11 - Father Kenneth Casey S.J. Award
  • Grade 12 - Father Winston Rye S.J. Award

In 2012, the school created the Order of St Jean de Brebeuf to recognize members of the school community who exemplify the values and ideals for which Brebeuf College School stands, namely: faith, discipline, integrity, hard work, humility, excellence, success, pursuit of the greater good, friendship, and community, and for always being ‘Men and Women For Others’.[16]

2010–2011 EQAO results[edit]

88% of Grade 9 Academic math students were at Level 3 or 4. There were 173 students in the Grade 9 Academic classes during this time frame, 5% of whom were students with Special Education Needs (excluding gifted).

37% of Grade 9 Applied math students were at Level 3 or 4. There were 51 students in the Grade 9 Applied classes during this time frame, 55% of whom were students with Special Education Needs (excluding gifted).

83% of first-time eligible students were successful in the Grade 10 literacy test. 46% of previously eligible students were successful in the Grade 10 literacy test.

Fraser Institute ranking[edit]

The Fraser Institute's 2010/2011 report on Brebeuf College School gave it an overall grade of 6.5/10, ranking it at 299 of 718 publicly funded secondary schools in Ontario.[17] The school is ranked as 241 out of 691 is the most recent years, with ratings of 7.7 in 2007; 7.5 in 2008; 7.3 in 2009; 5.4 in 2010; and 6.5 in 2011.

Co-curricular activities[edit]

Brebeuf offers a large variety of extracurricular activities and clubs, including: debating, school newspaper, Me to We, peer tutoring, Student Council, Robotics, Math Club, Business Club, Law Club, Medical Club, Asian Association, Social Justice Club, Art Club, School Bands, Theatre Brebeuf, etc.

Varsity sports[edit]

Hockey, rugby, tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball, curling, track and field, cross country, table tennis, badminton, swimming, soccer.

House system[edit]

In 2010, the school reintroducted a House System and all Grade 9 students were place in one of five Houses named for the Canadian Jesuit Martyrs who were contemporaries of St. Jean de Brebeuf. Students participate in a variety of athletic and academic competitions. The House names are:

School media[edit]

The "B" newspaper has been published continuously since 1963.

The "Brebeuf Relations" is the newsletter sent out 2-3 times per year to the parent community and friends of the school.

The "Alumni B" is published each December and has kept Old Boys connected to their alma mater since 1982.

Brebeuf's yearbook, "Echon" takes its name from St. Jean de Brebeuf's name in the Huron language, and has been produced annually since 1967.

BNN, or Brebeuf News Network, is a closed-circuit television system consisting of six monitors placed strategically throughout the school. It broadcasts announcements and short news and video clips produced by the school's media arts courses.

"Triple Bronze" is an annual poetry anthology which began in 1971.

"Brebeuf TV" is a television network at Brebeuf College School that was launched on October 1, 2012 by Jonathan Lim, Frederick Wilson, Mateo Herrera, Frederick Villaruel, and Joshua Abesamis.

Uniform[edit]

Brebeuf has a traditional uniform consisting of a white dress shirt, striped school tie, grey dress trousers, black dress shoes, and a black blazer or sweater. In the warmer weather, students have the option of wearing a crested golf shirt.

Student government[edit]

The student body is represented by a Student Council, elected directly by the students. The executive consists of a President, Vice-President, Sports Representative, Social Representative, Junior Vice-President, Junior Sports Representative, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Student Council organizes such events as dances, clothing sales, pep rallies, the graduation formal, and intramural sports.

Traditions[edit]

  • First Friday Masses: These are held on the first Friday of every month in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
  • Can-Aid: A canned-food drive held before Christmas every year since 1984. Donations go to the Good Shepherd Refuge. The record is almost 50,000 cans.
  • Communion Breakfast: A mass and breakfast for students, staff, and their families begun in 1963.
  • Theatre Brebeuf: Every year the students put on a play or musical, usually involving students from St. Joseph's Morrow Park and Loretto Abbey.
  • Club Brebeuf: The music council holds an annual talent show in which schools from Brebeuf, St. Joseph's Morrow Park and Loretto Abbey show off their talent. The funds from this event goes towards a charity that supports cancer research, Meagan's Walk.
  • Brother Maher Fund: Established in 2002, students raise money for Presentation Brothers' schools in Ghana.
  • Town Hall: Student Council elections are preceded by speeches by candindates. Once rowdy affairs, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, they are now more dignified and focus primarily on the speeches.
  • Christmas Assembly: Held on the last day of classes before Christmas break, students and teachers perform a variety of Christmas-themed entertainment. Teachers also put on humorous skits for students.

Brébeuf Bible Challenge[edit]

The Bible Challenge is a competition held every year to advance knowledge and growth in the Bible as part of Brébeuf tradition. The rigorous competition involves answering basic to obscure questions with the top seeds advancing into the medal round. Below are some of the results in the past years.

Year Institution Final Third place match
1st Gold Score 2nd Silver 3rd Bronze Score Fourth place
2000 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2001 Brebeuf College School 1st . Daniel Lamhonwah 3rd . 4th
2002 Brebeuf College School 1st . 2nd 3rd . 4th
2003 Brebeuf College School Daniel Thämbïräj 18-0 Daniel Lamhonwah Michael Torossian 7-6 Mark Krevs
2004 Brebeuf College School Mark Krevs . 2nd 3rd . 4th?
2005 Brebeuf College School Mark Krevs 2-1 Timothy Pang Michael Habib 1-0 4th?
2006 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2007 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2008 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2009 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2010 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2011 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2012 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2013 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2014 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th
2015 Brebeuf College School 1st Score 2nd 3rd Score 4th

Administration[edit]

Principals[edit]

Principal Previous School Date started Date finished Notes
Father Robert Meagher S.J. 1963 1972 Founding Principal of Brebeuf College under the Jesuits.
Father Clement Crusoe S.J. 1972 1976
Father Ken Casey S.J. 1976 1979
Father Winston Rye S.J. 1979 1984 Last principal under the Jesuits.
Brother Lawrence Maher F.P.M. 1984 1996 Only principal under the Presentation Brothers, last principal from a Religious Order.
Joseph Brisbois 1996 2000 First lay principal. Currently acting principal at Michael Power/St. Joseph High School as of September 2013.
Michael Pautler '76 2000 2004 Served as principal under Brebeuf's temporary site at Bathurst Heights Secondary School. Oversaw construction of the new building.
Nicola D'Avella 2004 2008 Previously principal at Michael Power/St. Joseph High School from 2008 to 2013, promoted superintendent for Area 7 in 2013.
Anthony Azzopardi 2008 present

Vice Principals[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Prominent alumni[edit]

Some prominent alumni include:

Prominent former staff[edit]

  • Terrence Prendergast S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa.
  • Father Jim Webb S.J., Provincial, Jesuits of English Canada.
  • James Barry, editor of many English textbooks.
  • Michael Pautler '76, Director, Halton Catholic School Board

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°48′01″N 79°24′09″W / 43.800206°N 79.402624°W / 43.800206; -79.402624