Message from our Leadership Team

by Chris Woodcroft

Christmas Edition

As we prepare ourselves for the coming of Emmanuel and the opportunity to gather with our own families we also take this occasion to thank our entire community for a wonderful first few months at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School.  Students are now heading into their final month of the first semester and before you know it we will be heading into final evaluations.  Outside the classroom our school is fortunate to have a phenomenal Student Activities Council (SAC) that provide our students with numerous engaging and fun activities that continue to elevate the spirit of our community.  This past week in particular all the Christmas festivities have brought cheer to many faces.

The co-curricular opportunities continue with the fall athletics season reaching the mid point and having just completed our Live Art and Christmas Arts Night where our Music and Vocal students were able to ‘strut-their-stuff’!  Our Robotics Team has hit the runway and a number of new members are experiencing coding for the first time!  We have completed several contests in the areas of mathematics and computer science with many still to come in other program areas in the new year.  This past week, Resurrection hosted a Christmas Party for the Active and Community Living Program Area students from across the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.  The definite highlight for the week was the Christmas Assembly, students prepared for the several weeks and the show was wonderful!

Finally, we have been preparing ourselves during this advent season for the coming of Emmanuel.  Our community has generously donated numerous gifts to our Christmas Hamper Campaign and our own staff raised over $1500 for our Phoenix Fund which assists our own students in need.

And it came to pass, when the angels had departed from them into heaven, that the shepherds were saying to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they went in haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger.  Luke 2: 15-16

We would like to wish each of you and your families the joy and happiness of the Christmas Season.

Peace and Blessings!!!

Leisha, Marisa and Chris


Chaplain’s Corner

by Marianna Worth

Rez Winter Newswire

It has been a busy few months in the Chaplaincy and Social Justice Department here at Rez. Since our students went out into the community to scare away hunger on Halloween night, collecting food instead of treats, we have been in a constant push toward the seasons of remembrance and of giving.

November brought to us opportunities to pray for peace at our Remembrance Day assemblies, which were organized by the Grade 9 Drama classes.  Students told stories, dramatically presented heroic acts of peace and love, with dancing and drama and song and helped our community to commemorate Remembrance day in a beautiful and reflective way.

The Grade 12 Religion Inner City walking retreats with the Working Centre,  downtown Kitchener were held in the last weeks of November. These retreats gave our students an experiential learning opportunity to walk in solidarity with the poor, and to see first hand the amazing supports and resources out in our community for those in need.

At the end of the November, we launched for the first time Grief Awareness Week, with the Hummingbird Centre for Hope. Prayers, reflections and statistics were shared with the community and ended with Marny Williams Balodis the Co-founder and Director of the Hummingbird Centre for Hope, speaking with our students all day on November 30th in the Lecture Hall. Students learned that grief is a natural part of the process of loss, and there are many ways that we can be supportive to people who are grieving. Students were given information on ways to find supports for themselves, as well as dialoguing on the grief process itself.

The whole month of November was in remembrance of our lost loved ones and we pray that they are now enjoying the fullness of heaven and eternal peace and light.

On November 27th, we had the privilege of taking 5 of our students to Lobby Day at Queen’s park in Toronto. Students joined other student leaders from different dioceses, to share the importance of Catholic Education with MPP’s and other political leaders. Our Phoenix stole the hearts of all who visited our display, and shared with pride their personal joys of

being students within the Catholic Education System, and how we celebrate and grow in our faith at WCDSB!


 Guidance News

by Sean Kritz

Follow us on Twitter @RCSSGuidance

The Application Deadline for University and College is approaching quickly!

Grade 12 students who are planning to apply to either college or university for the 2019 – 2020 academic year are reminded that the application deadline is quickly approaching. Please note the following:

  • University applications are due January 16th, 2019. Students need a PIN number to apply. These numbers are available for pick-up in the guidance office.
  • College applications are due February 1, 2019.
  • Apply early and avoid the stress of last minute on-line delays. Both the OUAC and OCAS sites become overloaded the closer it gets to the deadline date.
  • Complete your Community Service Hours as soon as possible.
  • Review your semester two timetable if you think that you need to make any changes.
  • Information regarding university programs can be found at and at for college programs.


Volunteer Hours

Submitting your Volunteer hours has become easier with our online submission through Hour Republic   

  • Follow this LINK for instructions

You can find Volunteer opportunities at


Do you need help coping with the holidays?

Christmas is a time for family and a time for joy and celebration. It can also be a very stressful time for families with limited resources. Various outreach programs can link families with a variety of financial and food supports, grief and coping supports and subsidies for recreation programs. For more information, contact the Community Outreach Worker closest to you.

Phone Numbers

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Here 24 Seven (Crisis Line): 1-844-437-3247 (local and will link family with local services)

Safe Haven Shelter (519) 749-1450


Websites – (24/7 online counselling service) – (24/7 online counselling service) – (info & tools to help manage stress & anxiety)

Walk-In Counselling Services:

Front Door 1770 King St. E., Kitchener –Wednesdays 12pm-6:30pm; Saturdays 9am-3:30pm

Free/No appointment necessary – for families with children up  their 18th birthday

KW Counselling Services 480 Charles Street – Thursdays 12pm-6pm

Fee for service (Sliding Scale)/No appointment necessary

Also, we know that money is tight for some members of our community, so here some activities or referrals that are FREE or inexpensive over the holidays:


Specialist High Skills Major Students!


New Look for Website

Check out for lists of majors, course details and calendar of upcoming certifications.

REMEMBER: To look over the many certifications for your major under Trips and Training and sign-up before they fill up!

 Questions? Need more Information?

Contact: Ms. Iley in Guidance   or (Board office)


What’s Happening in the Arts

by the Arts Department

Arts Night & Christmas Concert



On Thursday Dec 13th the school came alive with tremendous musical performances by the choir, junior and senior bands, along with vocal classes, instrumental classes and solo performances too. The artwork of students in visual art, crafts and photography from grades 9 to 12 were on display in the Forum. This special night recognizes and celebrates the talent of our students in the Arts.




Our dance team has been busy this semester pumping up the energy at Resurrection.  Below see images from K-W Bowl and our collaborative Arts Extravaganza at St. Benedict’s Secondary School. They are closing off 2018 with their traditional Christmas dance at the Assembly on Friday December 22!






The Grade 9/10 Drama students are working on an adaptation of a favourite Holiday Classic while the Grade 12’s led a class of Grade 8 students from St. John’s Elementary school through the process of preparing an adaptation of “The Grinch” for a performance at Resurrection on Friday, December 14th.  The Grade 12 directors Katharine Sill, Rachel Huhse, Mackenzie Donaldson and Wes Richardson used all of their drama skills of leadership, creativity, innovation and passion to bring this performance to life! It was a great success for our future Phoenix students!


Rez Music has been crushin’ it!  The Grade 9 Vocal class sounded absolutely angelic at our Advent Mass and lead a tremendous “Voices Workshop 2018” day for Grade 7/8 vocalists. Tonnes of talented Rez musicians absolutely RAISED THE ROOF at the “Grade 8 Night” with a GLORIOUS performance of “This is Me”,  and took the audience at the Christmas concert on an EPIC musical journey. The recording studio has been fired up with lots of musicians laying down tracks and creating Christmas albums (best stocking stuffer EVER).

Congratulations to our grade 9 vocal class on running a successful grade 7&8 Voices day and sharing their love of singing! They even made the news!!

Rez Music rooms are cranked up after school with the Sr. Band OWNING Bruno Mars, and demonstrating that the truly are “the champions of the world” with an impressive Queen Medley. Jr Band made Katy Perry and Adele proud at their first gig, while Flute Choir just dazzled with a breathtaking performance of Coldplay’s “The Scientist.”

Rez musicians shared their voices at the Inaugural Meeting of the WCDSB Board of Trustees

But the craziness doesn’t stop there!!!

Rez Music is looking forward to showing some Rez pride by cranking out beats on their Elementary School Magical Music Tour at the end of December, and strutting their stuff at the Spring concert. Look out Cleveland, we’re headed your way in May!









Visual Art

Christmas Cards

As part of the Grade 12 Visual Art course, the students are asked to create a painting for the annual Christmas cards distributed at Resurrection. This year’s design selections belonged to (left to right) Sabrina Romano, Michaelane Boyd, Ryne Ertel and Linda Tran.

Kayla Rischke’s design (left) was selected to accompany the Christmas hampers this year. Kaitlyn Saar’s design was selected by our Director of Education, Loretta Notten, for the WCDSB card.




Conestoga College Graphic Design Prof Visits

In November, Graphic Design Prof Mike Powell visited our Grade 12 Portfolio Development Class. What a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn about the graphic design program along with how to prepare their portfolios for interview time.


Wellness Room Mural



As part of their selection of portfolio projects in the Grade 12 Portfolio Development course, 5 students decided to create a mural in the Wellness Room. (left to right) Caitlin Thomas, Antonia Belletti, Likezo Musongole, Jenna Tracey and Nicole Frenette (absent in photo) have been very busy at work over the last 5 weeks. Drop by the room to see the finished work!




Arts Council



Arts Council is a club that promotes the arts and other events in the school. We have been very busy this first semester designing spirit wear, banners, selling tickets, designing info sheets for guidance along with artwork for the board office (woodburnings). This group is comprised of over 45 dedicated students lead by arts reps Linda Tran and Tyler Shea.  








Visit from Former Resurrection Art Student

In late October, Dana Burrell, a former visual arts student visited the Grade 12 Portfolio Development Class. As a 3rd year interior design student at Conestoga College,  she provided a great deal of information about the interior design program, course material/projects as well as tips for preparing your portfolio for application to the program.





On December 6th over 90 students in Cosmo, Visual Arts, Tech Crew and Comtech participated in Live Art. Live Art is an event that is designed for students to work “live”, creating drawings, paintings, digital art as well as nail art, up-do’s and special effects make-up. Our tech crew showcased their lighting and sound magic. Our comtech students conducted a photo shoot.  It’s a chance for those “behind the scenes” students to have their moment to perform for their peers. Congratulations to all those students involved! Special thanks to Ms. Heldman, Mr. Syme, Ms. Erickson and Mr. Forndran.

Interested in participating in April 2019? See Ms.Erickson to register.

Read more about Live Art in the KW Record:


Looking Ahead in the Arts

April 11 – “Here Comes the Sun” Spring Concert

April 26 – Live Art

May 1-3 – Cleveland Rocks Music Trip

May 16 – Year End Arts Celebration


Community News

World Religion Excursion

by Shelley Leite

On Tuesday, November 27th, World Religions students learned about the variety of places of worship in our community while visiting a Sikh Gurdwara and Beth Jacob Orthodox Jewish Synagogue.   From the student’s perspective, the highlight of the synagogue was seeing the Torah Scrolls up close:  “Talking about how big these Torah scrolls are in class is one thing, but really seeing one gained my respect for the Sofer Setam (writer of Torah Scrolls).”

At the Sikh Temple, students were also impressed with the reverence and respect shown to their holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib:  “Learning about the Guru Granth Sahib and why there was someone waving the fan or chaur over it was very intriguing. It is done as a sign of respect towards the holy book which I find very interesting. It reminds me of how every time one passes the tabernacle in a Catholic church, they must bow as a sign of respect. So it’s fascinating seeing different way people show respect towards those special religious items.”

As our guest speaker said at the Gurdwara, these students are the future of Canada, and it’s important for them to learn and understand their neighbours to continue to make this the greatest country in the world.


Global Youth Forum: “Refugees in a Global Context: Historical Lessons and Contemporary Insight”.

by Mary Jo O’Brien

         On Friday, December 14 – Nearly 70  students from RCSS heard the stories of new immigrants and refugees to Canada including Tareq Hadhad – the founder and CEO of Peace by Chocolate.  Tareq’s moving story of the break up and dispersion of his family during the war in Damascus brought the entire audience to their feet. His family now lives in over 17 countries.  He and his immediate family now live in Antingonish, Nova Scotia. The students were challenged to think about ways to assist newcomers to Canada. In their breakout groups the students were encouraged to use critical and innovative thinking to develop and propose solutions to making schools more welcoming and inclusive, easing the challenges of learning a new language, addressing the importance of education and the demands of  health care needs in a new country.

Students were informed about the complexity surrounding global refugee governance and the interdependent systems behind the issues, the roles that cities play in the governance of the global refugee system, and the importance of  economic, social, technological and the educational needs of refugees and the communities that host them. While the arrival of refugees is often framed as a challenge, it also presents an opportunity to be innovative and develop solutions that benefit both newcomers and communities.

       The students participated in a variety of learning avenues including plenary discussions, breakout sessions with community and academic experts, firsthand testimonials and multimedia presentations. They also participate in guided small group discussions and were encouraged to use critical and innovative thinking to develop and propose solutions to these very pressing issues in our world.

Classes: Society and Change, World Issues, International Governance, ICP students.  Thanks to Bridget, Brent, Nadine and Mary Jo for providing this opportunity and for the write up above!!!

SAC Unity Conference at St. Jerome’s University!  Thanks to both Ms. Godkin and Mr. DaCosta for providing this opportunity to our student leaders!!!

Grade 12 Retreat

by Laureen Damaren and Sabrina Romano

The Grade 12 retreats are well on their way, this day referred to as “The Inner City Walk”, has the grade 12 students spending the day walking in solidarity with the less privileged in downtown Kitchener.  On this day, they learn about the incredible support offered through The Working Centre systems.


A reflection written by Sabrina Romano:

The main takeaway for me, was my acknowledgement of my own personal privilege. I was able to recognize by the end of the trip how truly spoiled I am for the many things I have access to, and how not all people are as fortunate or blessed as I have been. I have learned that we must treat the homeless with equity, not simply with equality, providing them with the resources and extra support necessary to allow them to stand back on their own two feet (The Walk with the Homeless, Nov. 19. 2018). These lessons that I have personally come to understand, correlate very well to the fourth Catholic Social Teaching known as “The Option for the Poor and Vulnerable”. This teaching emphasizes “the choice to put the needs of society’s most vulnerable members first among all social concerns”, proving that if we as a society are able to develop this choice further and take action, the problem comes one step closer to finally being resolved (Windley-Daoust, 2008).


by Tom Schneider

The Fall Athletic season wrapped up in mid-November with the teams listed below capturing the District 8 Title.

  • Sr. Boys Football
  • Jr. Boys Football
  • Boys Tennis
  • Varsity Boys Golf
  • Varsity Girls Golf
  • XCountry Midget Girls
  • XCountry Junior Boys
  • XCountry Overall Boys

Individually a number of Phoenix  Athletes captured individual D8 Titles:

  • Cross Country- Ashley Blaszak, Alex Niscolesco, Patrick Benest, Alyssa Pearce
  • Tennis- Kristian Kopic, Hunter Tyszka , Hayden Scott

Special congratulations to Alyssa Pearce and Mackenzie Donaldson who finished 12 th at OFSAA and Abby Yuhasz who finished 15th.

The winter season is up and running with close to 170 Athletes representing the Phoenix. Good luck to all teams.

Back to Back Tournament Junior Boys’ Basketball Champions!  Thanks to Mr. Tyzska  (and Tyler) for giving up some of their weekends to provide this opportunity to our student-athletes!!!

Growing from 12 to 22  participates in a year!  Go Phoenix Curlers!! Thanks to Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Borth and Mr. Harbison for working with our curlers.  

Both Boys and Girl Varsity Hockey teams have had a great season.

Our Boys’ Hockey Team performed successfully at the McKerley Classic Hockey Tournament and had five outstanding games including a quadruple OT win in the quarters prior to losing a hard fought battle in the finals in their sixth game in two days!!! Thanks to all of our coaches- Mr. Stapleton, Mr. Durastanti, and Mr. Jagas (Boy’s Team) and Ms. Hafner, Mr. Brenner and James (Girl’s Team)  for all the time you dedicate to our athletes.


Christmas Blessings to you and your family.  We will see you on Monday January 7th.



Notice to All Graduating Students:

Grad Photos will take place in the school  the Weeks of February 19to March 1 – book appointments online at Lifetouch.  (link will not be available until mid January).


BYOD Purchase Program

Are you interested in purchasing a chromebook?  Check out this information highlighting a new WCDSB / Staples Partnership:

BYOD Purchase Staples Parent Letter

Dates to Remember in 2019!  

Jan 7 – Back to School

Jan 15 – Dodgeball Tournament

Jan 16 – Photos Teams and Clubs

Jan 22 & 23 – EQAO Gr 9 Math

Jan 22 to 24 – Quite Days

Jan 25 – Period 1 Exam 8:10 am

Jan 28 – Period 2 Exam 8:10 am

Jan 29 – Period 3 Exam 8:10 am

Jan 30 – Period 4 Exam 8:10 am


Feb 1 – P.A. Day

Feb 4 – Semester 2 Starts

Feb 7 – Lifetouch Photo Day

Feb 14 – Final Report Card Distribution for Semester 1

Feb 18 – Family Day Holiday

Feb 19 to Mar 1 – Grad photos

Feb 25 – Parent Council Meeting

Feb 28 – Hoops for Heart


Mar 6 – Ash Wednesday Mass

Mar 11 to 15 – March Break

Mar 27 & 28 – Performance ‘Heidi’s Story”

Mar 27 – Civives Day

Mar 29 – Thinkfast