Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School

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Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
JVCSS Logo.svg
Tabor Park Vocational School.JPG
Jean Vanier C.S.S. in the former Tabor Park building
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School is located in Toronto
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School is located in Ontario
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School is located in Canada
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
959 Midland Avenue

, ,
M1K 4G4

Coordinates43°44′17″N 79°15′32″W / 43.738°N 79.259°W / 43.738; -79.259Coordinates: 43°44′17″N 79°15′32″W / 43.738°N 79.259°W / 43.738; -79.259
Former nameTabor Park Vocational School
Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies
School typeBill 30 Catholic High School
MottoThrough Knowledge Toward God
School boardToronto Catholic District School Board
(Metropolitan Separate School Board)
SuperintendentKevin Malcolm
Area 7
Area trusteeMike Del Grande
Ward 7
School number554 / 723428
AdministratorPatricia Donohue
PrincipalRobert Noble
Vice PrincipalsVarvara Nika
Mariko Mackasey
Enrollment934 (2018–19)
Colour(s)Canadian Red, Navy Blue, White, Grey and Vegas Gold                     
SloganAcademics • Arts • Athletics • Technology
In the Service of the Community
MascotMarch the Maverick
Team nameVanier Mavericks
AffiliationRoman Catholic
ParishSt. Maria Goretti
Specialist High Skills MajorTransportation
Program FocusAdvanced Placement
Broad-based Technology

Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School (JVCSS), simply Jean Vanier or Vanier is a Roman Catholic high school, part of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) - formerly known as the Metropolitan Separate School Board (MSSB), in the Eglinton East neighbourhood of Scarborough in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school was opened as Tabor Park Vocational School (1964-1986) by the Scarborough Board of Education and later owned by the Toronto District School Board, after which the building was leased to the MSSB/TCDSB in 1989.

The school is named after Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche in 1964. The school is informally known as New Tabor Park to avoid confusion with Georges Vanier Secondary School and is also sometimes referred to as the Maverick Ranch, a type of unbranded horse. The school educates 1002 students as of the 2016-17 academic year and it is ranked 331 out of 725 schools in the Fraser Institute report card.[1] Its motto is "Through Knowledge Toward God".


To love someone is to show to them their beauty, their worth and their importance.

— Jean Vanier, Community And Growth


Jean Vanier was born on September 10, 1928. He is the founder of L'Arche, an international organization which creates communities where people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them share life together. He is the son of the 19th Governor General of Canada, Major-General Georges Vanier. In his youth and during World War II he served with the Royal Navy and then with the Royal Canadian Navy. As a midshipman, Vanier accompanied the Royal Family on their tour of South Africa aboard HMS Vanguard in 1947.

The School[edit]

Jean Vanier was attempted to merge with Cardinal Newman in June 2000 at the former home of Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute, but the plans were never materialized.

Long before the existence of Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School, the first Roman Catholic separate school, St. Maria Goretti Separate School opened its doors in September 1955 and St. Albert in September 1969 as the first schools within the parish of the same name. Between 1959 and 1962, David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute and Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute were then established although Midland was the sole secondary school in that area. However, by fall of 1973, Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School also opened its doors as the first Catholic high school in that same area as Midland.

The current location, Tabor Park Vocational School was designed by the architects Webb, Zerafa and Menkes, built in 1964 and established by the Scarborough Board of Education in September 1965 as a less academically challenged high school. Its programs were different from Bendale Vocational/Secondary with students integrated to mainstream schooling due to Tabor Park and Bendale were meant for streamed "vocational" high schools for people living near Midland and Thomson. The schools would later forged the model after Tabor Park by the openings of Maplewood and Sir William Osler in 1967 and 1975 respectively. In 1981, the enlarged library and gym storages were built.

By the time Tabor Park closed in 1986 due to low enrolment, Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies, an adult high school began in this site. As a result of public funding of Catholic high schools, in May 1988, the SBE along with the six public boards to lease the Tabor Park property to the Metropolitan Separate School Board and was reopened as Jean Vanier to serve the rest of Scarborough. In that case, it was established to relive overcrowding at Mary Ward, Francis Libermann and Senator O'Connor. By 1988, Scarborough had six anglophone Roman Catholic high schools.

Jean Vanier C.S.S. came to existence on September 5, 1989 within the St. Maria Goretti Parish catchment area as Central Scarborough's with 18 staff and 198 grade 9 students under the leadership of founding principal Michael Leroux, with the first students graduated Vanier in 1993. Construction and renovation began in 1990, and was completed in the spring of 1994, although the eastern portion building was erected and built with 18 classrooms in 1991 along with the front fascia and the school now accommodates close to 1,000 pupils. From the onset, the school was de-streamed in grade 9. The school was opened and blessed on November 13, 1994. In its conception, the school was originally to be named St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School, named after a Jesuit priest, Francis Xavier. But despite a turnout and the elementary school using the name, it was changed to Jean Vanier thereafter.

Following the closure of Midland Collegiate in 2000, Vanier received the remaining students from Midland. To date, students living in the school's former catchment area have applied or attended Vanier since.

In February 2011, Jean Vanier C.S.S. received Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement award from EQAO.

Jean Vanier C.S.S. celebrated its 20th Anniversary in June 2010 since it opened in September 1989 with the Mass and Alumni social. The school celebrated its 25th in October 2014 in conjunction with L'Arche's 50th anniversary of its founding.

In the news[edit]

  • On May 20, 2004, 17-year old Jeffrey Michael Rich Reodica, who was in Grade 11 at the time, was playing basketball with his friends at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School.[2] However, the next day, Reodica and his buddies encountered the three white teens into Benleigh Drive just behind the school. Later, Toronto Police Const. Daniel Belanger arrived at the scene and shot Reodica who was holding a rock as a defense.[2][3] Reodica later died of his injuries on May 22, 2004. Belanger later justified in shooting of Reodica because the teen was swinging a knife, which was found at the scene.[2]
  • During the morning hours of July 16, 2010 at 1:10 a.m., a Pontiac Sunfire which carried five boys was flipped and crashed at Greencedar Circuit and Daphne Road on a tree, near Lawrence Avenue East and Markham Road, right behind Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute. The fifth person, who was a passenger in the back seat, later identified as 16-year old Allan Christopher Alfred, was not wearing a seatbelt at the time.[4] Alfred, who completed Grade 10 was going to Grade 11 during that period. Just mere six days later, Alfred died of his injuries at Sunnybrook Hospital.[5]
  • Wayne Paul Foster, a 61-year-old Curriclum Leader for Business,[6] was tragically killed in a bizarre car accident involving a dump truck on Major Mackenzie Drive East near Kennedy Road in Markham on the morning of September 8, 2011.[7]
  • On the evening of December 20, 2012, Gabriel Michael Zapanta,[8] who was a tenth grade student was hit by unknown truck at 8:00 p.m. EST at Kennedy Road and Trevorton Drive north of Eglinton Avenue East. He died eight days later.[9]


The enrollment of the school as of 2015–16 is 996 pupils. It is a co-educational semestered school operating in grades 9–12. The school draws crowds from the Bendale, Ionview, Knob Hill, Scarborough Junction, and most parts of Scarborough as well as some from Toronto and as far from Pickering and Ajax. It became a popular destination powerhouse with its excellent facilities and programs since the closure of nearby Midland Avenue Collegiate Institute in June 2000.

Emphasizing on the "AAA" focus, the school has a large athletic field found in most regular public high schools, but usually unavailable with purpose built Catholic high Schools. The design of the former Tabor Park school consists of brown bricks and overall structure in the middle where the quadrangle/courtyard stands. The two catwalks along with 20 new academic classrooms, a seminar work room, and an exercise room was eventually added in 1991 to expand enrollment.[10] as well as black cross was retrofitted in the centre.[11] Other features in the leased 126,241 sq. ft. facility include 28 academic classrooms, two automotive shops, four state-of-the-art science labs, three computer labs, two Mac labs, a visual arts studio, cafetorium, library, expanded ME/DD classroom, a double gymnasia that can be split into two, a drama room, two music rooms, a photography room, guidance area, a recently renovated home economics room and a chapel.

The school's main palette is beige, grey, light blue, blue and white with the lockers colored light blue and royal blue though they were painted aqua green. It has an aforementioned layout in which it is divided into three floors with two separate wings:

  • The first floor (basement) is a science/computer studies wing in which the old carpentry/automotive/metal shops were renovated over while the greenhouse was removed and on the same floor, which is the English/history/geography wing, it originally had ten academic classrooms until its reduction to seven due to an enlarged room being the ME/DD program.
  • On the second floor (the main floor), it features two distinctive wings being the mathematics and one excerise room in the new section and at the old 1965 section, it consists of a larger library and computer room formerly split into three shops for textiles, merchandising and assembly), weight room (child care), photography (hairstyling), the CYW office/classroom (assembly and production), drama arts (visual arts), and renovated staff and home economics rooms (food and baking rooms) as well as the chapel, credit recovery room, and the music room that was formerly four classrooms and a library respectively. The gymnasium and cafetorium were renovated.
  • In the upper level, the third floor, the arts/Com Tech/business wing originally designed with six academic classrooms and presumably four science labs. Currently, it has three classrooms, one ESL room, two computer labs, one Special Education room and one visual arts studio.

In 2011, however, Portables made their way back to the facility to accommodate more students in the existing campus since the addition was added. There are 3 portables.

Jean Vanier also has a diverse population consisting of South Asians, Filipinos, Whites, Latin Americans, Blacks/African Canadians, Chinese, Arabs, and several other ethnic minorities.


Since its inception, Jean Vanier offers various courses in the comprehensive academic program for its students. Students can choose from a variety of courses at the academic, applied, and open levels. These, and other specialized courses, help prepare students for university, college, or the world of work after they have completed their studies at the school. Vanier currently offers math, English, science, Canadian History, geography, and religious studies. It also has special education programs.

Vanier, every year, competes in the University of Waterloo mathematics competition.


The word “Arts” is one that is immensely rich in meaning and its value is greatly appreciated in the school community. The creativity, style, expression, compassion and unique artistic approach is very obvious in 5 Arts Disciplines such as drama, instrumental/vocal music, visual arts, and photography. The drum line was introduced in 2012 by Michael Fanning, a new music teacher at the school.[12]

The combined art, music, technology show called Festival of Sight and Sound started by the arts department in the 1990s consisting of the talents of the music students as well as the work of the Art, Drama and Photography students. It is held in December and May each semester.

On March 6, 2014, Vanier was selected for the Musicounts Band Aid Grant program costing at $600,000. The school received their $10,000 in equipment for the drum line program such as the marimba and a complete set of cymbals.[13][14] The guests were Juno Award-winning musicians Classified and David Myles who also performed their single Inner Ninja live in front of 300 students.[14]


The Jean Vanier Maverick has held a history of athletic excellence, which continues today. The school was well represented with the colours of red, black, silver and compete in the TDCAA locally and OFSAA provincially. So far, Vanier Mavericks compete in basketball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, rugby, cross country, track and field, badminton, and indoor soccer. It notably previously competed in ice hockey and curling.

The goal of the program is success through participation. The school's Student-Athletes succeed through:

  • Skill development and teamwork
  • Recognizing and respecting the skills of their opponents
  • Competing with tireless effort and with the highest level of integrity
  • Combining academic excellence with sports
  • Displaying Christian values that will allow to be leaders of tomorrow


Continuing with the broadbased technology, Jean Vanier offers a unique blend of courses not found in any other schools such as CITI Motive (Automotive Class) - Dual High School / College Credits, Communications Technology, Partnership with Apple Inc., Yearbook (Desktop Publishing), Photography, among others.

The Communications Technology program began in 2000 under the leadership of Thomas Gilmor and Roy Ilulani with 60 students and has since gone to 250.

"In the service of the community"[edit]

In today's world, the students practice an active, faith life through service to the community. The education component is learned through religion classes, regular school practices and through special initiatives such as their affiliation with Development and Peace. Their support with the community through activities such as:

The school has donated volunteer time, food and money to organizations such as: Development and Peace, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Canada), Share Life – Covenant House, Inner City Angels, Raising the Roof, Help a Family Fundraiser (a school and orphanage in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic), St. John the Compassionate Mission, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), The Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Day Sales, The Louise Russo Fund, Right to Life, and L'Arche Daybreak (Richmond Hill, ON).

Student life[edit]

Beyond the classrooms, the Student Advisory Council organizes certain events to show school spirit such as Pep Rally, Fearfest, Semi-Formal, 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Activity Day, School Dance, 30 Hour Famine, SAC Gives Back, and Dress Down Day. In addition to SAC, there are certain organizations and clubs run and operated like Social Justice, History, Maverick Athletic Council, Anime, Chess, Mathematics, Best Buddies, Improv, School Plays, Drumline, and many others.

The Student Advisory Council is currently moderated by the school's teachers Melissa Avecillas (English), Destiny-Lynn Barbitta (Guidance) and Andrea Sisca (Teacher/Librarian).

School media[edit]


Over the years, Jean Vanier has publish several yearbooks in its 22-year life. Unlike all other high schools who receive yearbooks at the end of the year, the yearbooks are released the next year.

  • 10th Anniversary (1999-2000)
  • Tomorrow Came too Soon (2001-2002)
  • "" (2002-2003)
  • FlashBACK (2003-2004)
  • 15th Anniversary (2004-2005)
  • Timeless (2005-2006)
  • Growing Together (2006-2007)
  • Turning Points (2007-2008)
  • Forever Young (2008-2009)
  • 20th Anniversary: And ya Don't Stop! (2009-2010)
  • Word (2010-2011)
  • Connections (TTC-style motif) (2011-2012)
  • Pieces of Us (Jigsaw puzzle motif) (2012-2013)
  • TBD(2013-2014)
  • TBD(2014-2015)

Vanier Vision[edit]

Vanier Vision is a newsletter that highlights the events happening in Jean Vanier throughout the school year. Published by the school principal and the communication technology teacher, it is distributed to students quarterly upon mailing the report cards in November, February, April, or July. The redesign took place starting in the Spring 2013 issue.

Other publications and media[edit]

  • Vanier Vibe [3] (Student Podcast - Since taken off the air)
  • Vanier Vibe: The Revival (Student newscast produced in Communication Technology and broadcast throughout the school - Started Spring 2018)
  • Maverick Star (formerly Papercut)


The school crest was designed by the first art teacher, Martine Girard-Agro in 1989. It features a calligraphy of a "J" and a "V" with a t-like cross.



As of July 2015, only four active principals of Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School remain employed with the TCDSB.

Principal Previous School Date started Date finished Notes
Michael Leroux Francis Libermann Catholic High School
Regina Pacis Catholic Secondary School
1989 1998 Founding Principal of Jean Vanier.
Carmine Settino 1998 2001 Currently Principal at Chaminade College School.
Joseph Clarkson Brother Edmund Rice Catholic Secondary School 2001 2007 There's an award named after him named The Joseph Clarkson Award that is given to a student in each graduation ceremony.
Peter Aguiar Francis Libermann Catholic High School
Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School
2007 2011 Currently at 21st Century Learning as a Program Co-ordinator. Formerly at Francis Libermann Catholic High School as English teacher (1988-2002)
Anthony Bellisario
Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School
Brebeuf College School
2007 2007 Placed on an interim basis due to Aguiar's heart surgery. Currently at James Cardinal McGuigan as a principal.
John Brady James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School
Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts
2011 2015 Served as vice-principal for five years in two schools. Formerly a math teacher at Neil McNeil.
Linda Maselli-Jackman Monsignor Fraser College
Blessed Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School
St. Joseph's Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School
2015 present

Vice principals[edit]

Feeder schools[edit]

  • Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School
  • Precious Blood Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Agatha Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Albert Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Barbara Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Boniface Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Joachim Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Maria Goretti Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Martin De Porres Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Richard Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Rose of Lima Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Theresa Shrine Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Thomas More Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Ursula Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Victor Catholic Elementary School

This school also accepts students from Bliss Carman Senior Public School, Cedarbrook Public School, Donwood Park Public School, General Crerar Public School, Ionview Public School, John McCrae Public School, Knob Hill Public School, Robert Service Senior Public School, Tredway-Woodsworth Public School and St. Andrew's Public School. All of the schools are located within the vicinity of Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute, David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute, R.H. King Academy and Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School Toronto Ontario Academic school ranking".
  2. ^ a b c Mick, Hayley Officer cursed teen before shooting, inquest told - The Globe and Mail, June 9, 2006. Retrieved on December 12, 2015.
  3. ^ "Filipino teen, Jeffrey Reodica, killed by Toronto police".
  4. ^ Boy, 16, ejected from flipped car fights for life - CTV News Toronto, July 18, 2010. Retrieved on December 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Cherry, Tamara Family hopes teen's death not in vain - Toronto Sun, July 24, 2010. Retrieved on December 12, 2015.
  6. ^ "Week of September 12". Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School.
  7. ^ Man dies in Markham collision - CityNews, September 8, 2011. Retrieved on December 12, 2015
  8. ^ Highland Funeral Home, Scarborough Chapel.
  9. ^ Teen struck by vehicle succumbs to injuries - CP24
  10. ^ [1] Tabor Park Vocational School
  11. ^ CSAC Minutes: 21 September 2009 Archived 7 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Toronto Catholic School Board
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ MusiCounts Announces $75,000 in Grants to TCDSB Schools - TCDSB
  15. ^ Notre Dame Yearbook 2004: Discovery
  16. ^

External links[edit]