Catholic Central High School Named School Of The Year

A Catholic high school in Windsor has been recognized for its efforts to promote diversity.

Catholic Central High School on Tecumseh Rd. has been named the '2018 School of the Year' by the Harmony Education Foundation, a national organization known for empowering youth.

"We created a school that is very welcoming, loving and we accept people for who they are," says student Uonako Mandila

The school has organized several initiatives to encourage inclusivity and equity such African-Canadian Cultural Experiences and Dare to Dream CommUNITY Project to help girls from Syria who have arrived in Canada to build self-esteem.

Of the 655 students at the school, 70% of them are English language learners.

Grade 12 student Daut Said from Ethiopia is part of the African-Canadian Cultural Experience (ACCE) club and says it is educational too.

"We learn all about these cultures and we are learning about how they carry themselves, so we understand more about them."

Teacher David Walls, who helped to create the ACCE, jokes the 'minorities are the majority' in the school.

"Anyone new who comes in, I don't feel like they are different, they feel an embrace," he says.  "If you are here between classes, you hear about 15 different languages and for the group to win an award like this, for the school it is just like, you deserve it."

Being 150 years removed from his African decent, he acknowledges the students look up to him as a role model which he appreciates.

The principal along with eight students will travel to Toronto in November to receive the award.