Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School

This week’s Spectator Literacy project was facilitated by Francesca Grilli.


Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School is located on 100 Panabaker Drive in
Ancaster, Ontario. It is a brand new school community that has only existed since September 2004 and has only been in its current site since February 2005. The Principal is Nat Gallo and the Vice-Principal is Sara Cannon. Both have brought a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the task of leading a new school community into the future. The superintendent is Remo Presutti and the trustees are Sergio Manchia, and Carolyn Cornale

Bishop Tonnos is a school of the future. It began as only a grade nine and ten school but is adding an additional grade each year and its first graduating class will be June 2007. This allows the staff and students to grow into the exciting state-of-the-art facility they call home.

The building itself has a greenhouse, technologically advanced cafetorium, a triple gymnasium with suspended wood floors and a fitness centre that is second to none. The school offers all sports teams from midget to junior and senior. As well the traditional clubs and activities are offered here, including student council, band, stage crews, and talent show.

Bishop Tonnos is a school whose motto is “One school. One Goal. One Lord.” We have been putting our motto into practice by being active in many community fundraisers including “Rooftops in Grenada” and Tsumani relief.

Though we are new and small, we are already being noticed and plan to be an important part of the future of Catholic education in this community.

School Information:
Principal: Nat Gallo
Grades offered: Grades 9-12
100 Panabaker Drive
Ancaster, Ontario

Main Contacts: Francesca Grilli
School Phone:
905 648-4989

Art Gallery


Artwork by Morgan Herrell, Grade 12

Artwork by Simone Sitar, Grade 10

Artwork by Rebecca Barnard, Grade 9

Artwork by Ali Montesanto, Grade 9

Artwork by Jasmine Park, Grade 10

Artwork by Simone Sitar, Grade 10

How I Hate to Love You
Spencer Bernacci, Grade 9

You are my beloved, yet you are my enemy,
Why must my only love be born for my only hate?
Our love is sacred and tainted,
So for our sake we must abandon these burning emotions for they only lead to pain.

Your family destroyed mine, leaving me utterly alone.
Those closest to me even ask why I fell in love with one such as you?
All I can do is stand there, holding back tears,
Yes your kin stole my throne, but I cannot deny my heart…

We are of different worlds.

“A beautiful, bloodstained tragedy,” one might put it,
But how can it be labelled “tragic” when we’ve experienced the joys of our love?

People tell me that I shine more brightly nowadays,
And my feelings are so plain to see.
But it is a painful love;
One which eats away at my soul,
I wish to follow my own path, but my duty gets in the way,
My role is to take back my country from those who reign upon it.

We could be a magnificent romance, greater than any before,
But I can never be a part of such a story, no matter what we do.
Like the Montagues and the Capulets we are, forever torn apart.

History may remember me as a great ruler, one which suffered.
Or perhaps as the fool that let happiness pass right by…
One thing is for sure, I will die alone no matter my title,
For I want no other by my side.

So pure but dreadfully forbidden,
I wish upon you every happiness one may have in life.
Farewell and good luck, we shall not meet again,
Angels of Heaven do weep for our bleeding hearts.

Audieu, mon amour

Let our light never end…

The Blind Date
Kaitlin Nucci, Grade 10

“Blue dress, or pink skirt?” I questioned myself while going through my closet. You see, my friend, Jen, had decided that she would set me up with one of her friends, a blind date. I’ve been nervous, excited and a bit doubtful all day about this situation. Could it turn out to be a fun night? Thoughts of possible locations for this night ran through my head. Would we go to the movies? Would he pay for my ticket? Or maybe we would go out for dinner at some fancy restaurant. This night had endless possibilities, and by sitting here wondering I was not going to get anything done. So, I ran my fingers through my curly, brown hair and applied some navy eyeliner to help my blue eyes stand out.

I would have preferred going to the open-gym to play some volleyball tonight, one of my favourite hobbies. If those were my plans for tonight, I would have avoided being nervous, and sweating through what was now a third shirt.

“I guess I can’t wear that tonight,” I said to myself while putting on a different shirt. It was 6:37 pm. I still had twenty-three minutes to pull myself together. I was not always this nervous. The problem was my biggest fear was rejection. If this entire night turned out to be a dud, and Mr. Anonymous made it clear that he was not interested at all, I don’t think I would be able to get over it. I had always been good at everything I had done, especially sports, because they are one of my special talents. All through high school, I had good grades and I had lots of friends. I had never disappointed anyone. However, in this situation, I did not think I could control what would happen. If this man did not like me from the start, his impression of me would not change. I had gone this far in my life without being rejected, but this was a whole new situation. I knew nothing about this guy, not even his name! I was avoiding thinking about awkward circumstances.

I picked up my favourite necklace and fastened it around my neck. It was 6:49 p.m. Eleven minutes until the moment of truth. I sprayed some perfume and applied a neutral colour lipstick. Then it hit me! If this guy was so great, as my friend Jen had said he was, why didn’t she keep him for herself? It is only natural that when you meet a great guy, your first reaction would not be to set him up with someone else. What if I ended up getting rejected by a loser? That would be even worse! I would never forgive myself. Then the doorbell rang.

“Hide!” I yelped. Not exactly the best first reaction, but after that last thought, I could not follow through with this! I decided I would hide behind my bed, until he left. I checked the clock, yet again, and learned that it was 6:55 p.m. He was five minutes early, no wonder I was unprepared. I needed those five minutes to build myself up, and calm myself down. Now I knew I would not be able to go through with this date. The doorbell rang again. I realized this guy wasn’t going to give up so easily. In a way, I felt bad but I had no idea what else to do. The doorbell rang for a third time. It was only then that it finally hit me. By hiding behind my bed, I was never going to accomplish anything. How could I get over my fear of rejection by just sitting here and avoiding it? I needed to face my fear!

“Wait Up!” I yelled to the mystery man before I lost my chance to conquer my fear.

“Hello Ellie,” he greeted as I finally opened the door. As we walked toward his car, I felt a sense of real accomplishment, and I knew as the night grew on that this feeling would just grow stronger.


Rown Firth-Masi, Grade 10

As I walk through my front door, I walk towards her, afraid to tell her of my choice. She sees me, and comes towards me, a smile across her face. I don’t know how I can say it to her, to tell her that I will be gone for a long time, or that I may never come back.

“Hi there,” she says, quick and to the point. “Where were you yesterday? You didn’t call.”

I don’t answer, just stand there, trying to marshal the thoughts roaring around my brain into order. “I-,” I started then stopped, uncertainty filling me. I try again, this time adding, “Signed,” before I break off.

She can tell something is wrong, and the smile leaves, bewilderment taking its place.

“What is it?” she says, softly, without any force.

I look into her eyes, and take a deep breath. “I- I’m going to be away for a while, I don’t know how long”.

“What do you mean? Where are you going?”

A much longer pause this time, and I bow my head, afraid to look, afraid at what I might see in her eyes. It is then when I speak, “I signed up. I’m going to Iraq”.

A weight lifts off my chest at these words, but it is slammed back when she reacts. I look up and see tears forming in her eyes, a frown crossing her face. She looks straight at me and says one word, a simple word that I can’t answer, “Why?”

I am silent, unresponsive, and again she asks the question, with volume and force. Louder and more hysterical she gets, crying and wailing. Shame courses through me and I reach out to her, trying to give her some comfort. She slaps my hand away and hits me in the arm, anger and despair alternating across her face. Then it stops and she starts to look calmer, until she has stopped crying.

I again try to reach out, needing comfort as much as she does, but she pushes me away again. Tears come to my eyes and I sit down on the floor. I look at her and she turns, going to a back room, unable to face me.

I really do cry then, wailing into my arms. My brain is coursing with emotion. Anger, fear, despair, and so many others flood through me. I think about why things went so wrong. All I was trying to do was to do a service to my country, to help us overcome this period of war. I stand and prepare myself, ready to comfort her. I move towards our bedroom and slowly open the door.

The room is empty, looking neat and tidy. I look around and see a note on the bed, in her neat, slanted writing. I start to shake and almost start crying again, but I seize control of myself and reach out for the note with trembling hands.

‘I have to go away for a while. I don’t know where or for how long but if you come back, I will find you. Until then, goodbye’. I sit down heavily and put my head in my hands. I remember why I chose this, the ads, commercials, politician backing it. I stand up and start to pack what little things I can bring and I don’t leave the house until my Call to Duty comes.

5 years later…

I am back, finally, I am back. I step down from the plane surrounded by my fellow soldiers. I look around at those who have come to see us, hoping beyond hope that she will be there, a smile on her face. But there is no one. Quietly, I head towards the exit. I resolve to start searching for her the very next day and I am ready to make things better.

40 years later…

My life is drawing to a close. As I sit here in a hospital bed, I know that death is close. No matter how cheery and optimistic the nurses and doctors act, I can tell. It has been 40 years since I returned and I never did meet her again. In the second year of my leave she contracted brain cancer and although she hung on for 2 more years, it killed her. As death comes for me, I have made a realization. The ads, commercials, and politicians that influenced me are uncaring. All in all, they were all started by the same man, he who runs our country. And it is he that starts these conflicts, but it is never he who fights them. Instead, he chooses to use us, to get things done. I will die with the following question in my mind: Why do they always set the par and why do they never fight the war? An odd question, but a truth, a puzzle that will never be solved by the people of this country.

What is He Thinking? Banning Water Bottles Not a Good Idea!

Rhiannon Russell, Grade 12

It’s bad enough that schools sell greasy burgers and fattening poutine, but removing water bottles from school vending machines? Not a good idea.

Hamilton Public School Board trustee, Tim Simmons, recently announced a strategy to remove bottled water from local public schools because such plastic bottles are made of polyethylene, a chemical harmful to the environment. When these bottles are not recycled, they are dumped in landfill sites. The polyethylene from the bottles then seeps into the soil as the bottles decompose. While Mr. Simmons’ intentions are admirable, his logic is faulty.

Students should be encouraged to drink water instead of less healthy drinks such as pop, juice, and coffee. Water is essential to the human body for hydration, proper digestion, and the flushing of toxins. Plus, water is relatively inexpensive in comparison to carbonated beverages.

If school boards were to remove water bottles from school vending machines and cafeterias, would the same then be done with pop and juice bottles? Simmons seems to be focused on bottled water, not bottled beverages, but plastic pop bottles also contain the same harmful chemicals. Removing bottled water would likely result in increased sales of bottled pop and juice. Would there even be a reduction in the overall number of plastic bottles being discarded?

The problem is not really the plastic bottle. The problem is the lack of available recycling. Schools need to do a better job of improving recycling opportunities. Each classroom should a have a blue box and students should be taught how to properly use it. Students will recycle if it is convenient for them to do so.

Banning the sale of water bottles will only encourage students to drink less healthy beverages. By continuing to sell bottled water and by promoting recycling, schools would be doing their part to encourage healthy lifestyles and to help keep the environment clean.

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