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Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School


Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School

Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School
Academics, Arts, Athletics, Technology
In the Service of the Community

Per Scientiam Ad Deum

Through Knowledge Toward God
959 Midland Avenue
Knob Hill, Scarborough, Ontario, M1K 4G4, Canada
Public transit access TTC:
North/South: 57 Midland
West/East: 12A Kingston Road, 20 Cliffside, 21 Brimley, 34 Eglinton East, 86 Scarborough, 116 Morningside
Rapid Transit: Kennedy
GO Transit:
Train: Kennedy (rush hours)
School number 554 / 723428
School board Toronto Catholic District School Board
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Superintendent Nicola D'Avella
Area 7
Area trustee John Del Grande
Ward 7
Principal John Brady
Vice Principals Reginald Ramlogan
Anne Louise Bannon
CSAC Chair Gail Saldanha (2013-14)
Faculty 108
School type Bill 30 Catholic High School
Grades 9-12
Language English
Team name Vanier Mavericks
Colours Canadian Red, Navy Blue, White, Grey and Vegas Gold                     
Founded 1989
Enrollment 1017 (2012-13)
Parish St. Maria Goretti
Specialist High Skills Major Transportation
Program Focus Advanced Placement
Broad-based Technology
Homepage Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School

Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School (locally known as JVCSS, Jean Vanier CSS, Jean Vanier, or shorten as Vanier) is a Roman Catholic high school located in the neighbourhood of Knob Hill at Midland Ave in Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada operated by the Toronto Catholic District School Board. It is named after Jean Vanier, the man who founded L'Arche in 1964. The school can sometimes referred to the Maverick Ranch, a type of unbranded horse.

Prior to the founding of Jean Vanier C.S.S., the facility was opened in 1965 by Scarborough Board of Education (now Toronto District School Board) as Tabor Park Vocational School until 1986 when Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies established in that location.

The school houses 1017 students as of the 2012-2013 year and it's ranked 331 out of 725 schools in the Fraser Institute report card.[1]


To love someone is to show to them their beauty, their worth and their importance.
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

The Man

Main article: Jean Vanier

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

The building at a 9 acre site was once called Tabor Park Vocational School, built in 1965 by the Scarborough Board of Education as a less academically challenged high school. Its programs were different from Bendale Business and Technical Institute 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 David and Mary 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. By the time Tabor Park closed in 1986 due to low enrollment, Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies, an adult high school began in this site. As a result of public funding of Catholic high schools, by 1988, the Tabor Park property was ceded to the Metropolitan Separate School Board (later the Toronto Catholic District School Board) and was reopened as Jean Vanier to serve the rest of Scarborough.

Originally opened in September 1989 with 18 staff and 198 grade 9 students under the leadership of founding principal Michael Leroux, the first students graduated Vanier in 1993. Jean Vanier was established to relive overcrowding at Blessed Cardinal Newman Catholic High School. Construction and renovation were not complete until the spring of 1994, and the school now accommodates close to 1000 students. From the onset, the school was de-streamed in grade 9. The school was opened and blessed in November 1994.

Outside the classrooms, the Student 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, and many others.

In February 2011, Jean Vanier CSS has received Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement award from EQAO. It is the only TCDSB school to given such award.


The enrollment of the school as of 2012-2013 is 1017 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 of 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. Due to Tabor Park being built as a technical-oriented high school, it has brown bricks and overall structure design in the middle where the quad stands. The catwalk was eventually added around 1994 to expand enrollment.[2] as well as red thin cross was retrofitted in the centre around 1994.[3] Other features include 28 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 gymnasia, a drama room, two music rooms, a photography room, guidance area, courtyard, and chapel.

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.


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.


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 expanded in 2012 by Michael Fanning, a new music teacher at the school.[4]

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.

The combined art, music, technology show called Festival of Sight and Sound started by the arts department in the 2000s 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.


Nicknamed the Mavericks, Jean Vanier has enjoyed a history of athletic excellence, which continues today. They offer a wide variety of activities and believe that the athletic program is an integral part of educating the whole person.

The goal of the program is success through participation. Their Student-Athletes succeed through:

  • Skill development and team work
  • 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

The school was well represented with the colours of red, black, silver and compete in the TDCAA locally and OFSAA provincially.


Continuing with the broadbased technology, Jean Vanier offers a unique blend of courses not found in any other school 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"

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).

School Media


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)
  • Title unknown (2013-2014)

Vanier Vision

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

  • Vanier Vibe [2] (Student Podcast - Since taken off the air)
  • Maverick Star (formerly Papercut)



As of March 2013, 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 present Served as vice-principal for five years in two schools. Formerly a math teacher at Neil McNeil.

Vice Principals

Feeder schools

  • 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. Urusla Catholic Elementary School
  • St. Victor Catholic Elementary School

Notable alumni

  • May Marquardt - singer/songwriter (attended 2008/09 - 2011/12)[6][7]

See also

  • List of high schools in Ontario


External links

  • Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School website
  • TCDSB Portal

Coordinates: 43°44′17″N 79°15′32″W / 43.737943°N 79.258772°W / 43.737943; -79.258772

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