Catholic Education Week Alumni Recognition

To celebrate Catholic Education Week we will be sharing alumni of our catholic elementary and secondary schools who have used their catholic education to reach new heights!

First up, we have Robert Pizzo. Rob is a Sacred Heart and OLOL graduate. He took the passion he found during his time in broadcast at secondary school, to thrive as a broadcaster for some of the top Canadian broadcast companies.

We celebrate St. John, St. James and Bishop Macdonell graduate, Dan MacKenzie! Dan credits the support and guidance from his many educators to help drive him to his current role as president of the Canadian National Hockey League.



"I was in a unique situation as I went to St. John elementary and my father was my Principal from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and then was just across the parking lot when I went to St. James for grades 7 & 8.  I ended up trying pretty hard not to get in trouble so I wouldn’t get disciplined both at school and at home!  I attended Bishop Macdonell high school downtown for grades 9 to 13 and graduated in 1987. 

As I look back on the impact of my education in WCDSB on my future life and career, the thing that really struck me was the impact of certain educators on my life.  I think about Sebastien Dalbo when I was in Grade 6 and how he had a chess club at recess and would take the time to play with us and challenge us to beat him, which really motivated me. 

I remember all the great coaches who I had from Lorenzo Dragonieri at Saint James to Randy Remigis, Gerrard Tessaro, Les Schmidt and Steve Redmond at BM who got personally invested in seeing us succeed.  It taught me that in order to achieve great things you need to “be in it” everyday putting in the work and that there were no shortcuts to success. 

Finally, there were teachers like Joe Tersigni, Nan Anderson and John Maschio at BM who sparked an interest in me in subject matter that would help me as I moved through my career.  I wasn’t a naturally strong math student and John Maschio taught me a system to deal with complex problems that allowed me to take math in university which was critical to me earning a B.Comm which helped me tremendously in my career.

My advice to students today would be to find your passions, dive into them with both feet, put in the work (no shortcuts) and always be open to learning.  There is always something new you can master and someone you can learn from, no matter the field."

We are proud to share Helen Fishburn, a special alumni whose work has supported countless individuals in our greater community through her work as CEO of CMHA.

We celebrate Kaleigh Rafter! Kaleigh has gone on to have a notable softball career most recently representing Canadian Women’s Softball team at the 2021 Summer Tokyo Olympics.

We are proud to share St. John, St. Francis and OLOL alumni Talia Ricci. Talia shares advice for students, advice she has used to create a thriving career with CBC.

We celebrate Dana Roberts. A graduate from St. Micheal and Bishop Macdonell, Dana has gone on to be a fixture in homes as a CTV News reporter, anchor and producer.