Knightly News

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Brayden Petrella and Kylie Cameron

Knightly News

Welcome back to a brand new school year! I’m sure we all had a great and safe summer!

Hello to everyone! Our names are Brayden Petrella and Kylie Cameron and we are your new amazing Knightly News editors for this school year! We will be sure to tell you about all the exciting things happening at Monsignor O’Neil!

There are so many important things since the start of school to report to you! I guess we will start from the beginning. There was great excitement as all the students gathered in the gym the first day of school. Everyone wondering who their teacher would be and would they be with their friends. At the Welcome Back Assembly, our new students and staff members were welcomed to our school by Mrs. Berkvens, our principal. She also reviewed the rules and other items so that everyone will have a wonderful and safe school year.

A warm O’Neil welcome to all the Grade 5 students, as well as all the new students to our school community! We know you will love it here at O’Neil! It is our hopes that our Grade 9 students are adjusting to high school life. We wish them well and we will certainly miss all of you!

We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Mr. Heffernan to our school. He is teaching the Grade 7/8 class until Mrs. Donais returns from her maternity leave. We hope you enjoy your time here at O’Neil!

On September 14th, we invited our school families to come out to meet the staff and all our wonderful families in our school community. Everyone got to enjoy complimentary hotdogs and drinks courtesy of our Snack Program. We thank Father Tom for blessing the new school year! Thanks to Mrs. Harkes, Mrs. Brotz and Mrs. Cattle for organizing this event. We would also like to thank the many O’Neil grads who came to help serve.

It was great to be able to celebrate our Opening School Year Mass together with the staff and students from St. Joseph’s School on September 22nd. Thanks to Mrs. Hanley and Father Tom.

On September 23rd, the students in Grade 7 and 8 received their immunizations... UGH!

The Grade 8 students started preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. On September 28th there was a meeting at St. Mary’s Church where we all learned about continuing to grow as young Catholic adults.

The leaves are starting to fall from the trees so we would like to remind everyone to dress appropriate for the weather and wear layers to keep warm in the upcoming cold weather.

Say CHEESE! Everyone wore their best smiles for our picture day in the morning on September 30th.

Coming soon... the musical production of “ANNIE!" Who will be performing this you ask? It’s the students here at Monsignor J.H. O’Neil Catholic School. The halls were filled with students practicing their singing and dancing for the auditions. This musical production will take place in April.

Our annual Terry Fox Run took place on October 3rd. All students ran, walked, scootered, or bladed to music provided by our DJs to raise money for Cancer Research. This year, the students raised $1,815. Thanks to everyone who donated to this worthwhile cause. Also, thanks to Mrs. Rayner for organizing our Terry Fox Run.

Our Student Parliament elections took place on October 5th. All the students gathered in the gym to listen to speeches from the student candidates. Congratulations to all the students who ran for positions. Everyone did an amazing job!

Our Student Parliament members for this year are as follows: Lyle Collins (Prime Minister), Hannah Hopkins (Deputy Prime Minister), Matthew Ecker and Abigail Frank (Ministers of Faith), Ethan DaCosta and Maddie Thiessen (Ministers of Media), and Kylie Cameron and Brayden Petrella (Ministers of Communication).

The students also voted on class reps and here are the results: Gr. 5A - Anthony Mentor/Courtney Hopkins, Gr. 5/6 - Mackenzie Silliker/Emma Lansink, Gr. 6A - Asha Agro/Keira Spanjers, Gr. 7A - Maci Nold/Gabriella Vermeeren, Gr. 7/8A - Summer Antoszko/James Mitchell and Gr. 7/8B - Matthew Kilian/Kennedy Elku. We are sure that all these students will do a great job!

The students participated in cross-country at Regina Mundi in London on October 6th. All our student athletes did a wonderful job representing O’Neil. We had several students who placed in the Top 10 in their age groups! Congratulations to Trevor Nunn (5th), Chase Morris (7th), Jack Main (1st) and Alex Cordeiro (1st). Everyone had a blast! Thanks to Mrs. VanDaele for organizing this sports event.

We are blessed to have many volunteers from our St. Mary’s Church who come throughout the school year to pray the rosary with our classes. We thank Mrs. Stancek, Mr. & Mrs. Hanley, Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Harkes and Mrs. Myny for taking time to share in our faith together.

On October 7th, staff and students broke bread together at our delicious Thanksgiving lunch with all the fixings catered by Chrissy’s Catering. Deacon Jack led us in grace before meals. The staff and students were excited to meet Evan Van Moerkerke, a graduate of O’Neil and a Canadian Olympian who was a member of the Canadian Swimming 4x100m Men's Freestyle Relay Team at the Rio Olympics this past summer. Everyone was amazed at how tall he was!

In honour of Evan, we had our first spirit day where students wore red and white attire. To congratulate Evan on his accomplishment at the Olympics, he was presented with a large card signed by everyone and a Canadian fleece blanket made by Mrs. Cattle. We would like to thank all of our wonderful parent/grandparent volunteers who served the meal to all in attendance. After the meal, Evan was on hand to sign autographs. We thank Evan and his mother for coming out to share his Olympic experience with O’Neil.

In the afternoon the students participated in an afternoon of Turkey Bingo where students had the opportunity to win many prizes. There were even several students that were lucky enough to take a turkey home for their families to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day. Thanks to Sobeys for their donation of turkeys for our bingo. We greatly appreciate your support. We also give thanks to Mrs. Cattle and Mrs. Harkes for organizing our Thanksgiving celebration. We truly have so much to be thankful for!

We hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving Day with their families on October 10th.

Our intermediate boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams are underway. Both teams are enjoying themselves as they improve on their skills. The players are continuing to keep the crowd on their feet by playing very well and displaying good sportsmanship! Once again, showing that the Knights rule... GO KNIGHTS! Thanks to Mr. Heffernan and Ms. Proctor for offering to coach our teams this year. We also thank Mr. Henry for helping the teams during Woodstock games, and to all volunteer referees and scorekeepers.

Our Parent Council elections took place on October 17th. Our 2016-17 Parent Council is as follows:

Mrs. Jacquie Verberne (Chairperson), Mrs. Ina VanHaren (Co-Chairperson), Mrs. Berkvens (Principal), Mrs. Terpstra (Teaching Staff Rep), Mrs. Harkes (Non-Parent Rep). We thank our executive for their support towards our school.

On October 18th, Mrs. Rayner/Ms. Cotman’s Grade 5 class, along with Mrs. Terpstra’s Grade 5/6 class, enjoyed a trip to the Tillsonburg Community Centre where they had fun learning about municipal government and other services the Town of Tillsonburg offers.

October 28th was a PD day. The staff participated in various workshops all day and the students got to sleep in... YEAH!

There were many awesome costumes worn by the staff and students on Halloween! It was amazing with lots of frights, fun times, and amazing costumes. Each class chose the best costumes from their class to participate in costume judging in the gym. All staff and students gathered in the gym so these students could parade in front of a panel of judges to determine who would win for the best costumes in such categories as funniest, most original, scariest, cutest, classic, and group. After recess the students from Grade 5 and 6 toured the SPOOKY Haunted Gym put together by the Student Parliament members. In the afternoon the Grade 7 and 8 students had a blast at our Halloween Dance.

On November 2nd the Grade 8 students were invited to attend St. Mary’s Catholic High School for an Orientation Day. They enjoyed a day in the life of a highschooler! During the orientation, students met a few of the staff and students from St. Mary’s. We enjoyed some entertainment from the talented students at St. Mary’s Catholic High School. They got to meet some teachers who talked about a normal day at high school. Along with a tour of the school, students were able to participate in some fun activities. They enjoyed tons of pizza and had a blast playing games with the gym teachers and dancing around to some music. All in all it was an amazing day!

In the morning on November 3rd, the Grade 5 students had a unique opportunity to make a nativity scene out of clay with Karina Viovy. The nativity scene included Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The Grade 6 students, who created that part last year were able to complete their nativity scene by making the Three Wise Men. The students enjoyed making their very own nativity scene which they will enjoy for years to come. We would like to thank the Catholic Women’s League for providing partial funding for this spiritual project. We are also grateful to the CWL for funding transportation of our students to celebrate our Faith at Mass at St. Mary’s Church.

Progress reports went home with the students on Friday, November 4th. Most of us were very excited to receive them, while others are prepared to hide them in the back of the freezer.

That brings our Knightly News up to the present! Stay tuned for a shorter update of activities at O’Neil next week... LOL!

- Brayden Petrella & Kylie Cameron 



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