All posts by christiansantilli

Silent Auction

Written By Nicholas Suppa (Student Writer), Edited by Christian Santilli (student editor)

June 6, 2017

On June 6th in room 227, Ms. Nagy’s business leadership class held a silent auction to generate funds for a donation to Share Life. The event was very successful, with a lot of money donated and a big turnout from teachers. The auction raised a total of $1460. Father Bressani regarded this auction event as very successful!  Teachers were welcomed into the business leadership classroom with refreshments, and students handed out raffle tickets as they arrived in the classroom. The winning tickets was given to Mr.Buttigeg, Ms.Filipe. The room was beautifully decorated with posters and thank you letters for all the sponsors that donated items.


The event was well thought out for months and took a lot a preparation by Ms. Nagy’s students. Many students had a great time working on this event and gained much knowledge and experience in relation to teamwork, leadership and collaboration with peers and most importantly gained corporate experience within the classroom. All vital skills needed in the business world. The attendance for the auction met expectations when 60 staff members attended.


The event started during third period and went on during A and B lunch. At first the event seemed to be going slowly but after the first ten minutes, teachers were participating and were bidding on various items that were being auctioned. The number of bids being made by teachers made it seem like there would be no items left to auction!


Items donated were auctioned from many different organizations, including Nike, Sport Chek, Adidas, Canadian Tire, Starbucks, Cineplex, The Keg, and Fortinos just to name a few. Some of the items being auctioned off were TFC tickets, which went for $90, and cineplex and keg gift cards, which went for $66. The highest item auctioned off was a Sportchek gift card and it went for a whopping $100.


The marketing committee spent many hours designing and placing posters around the school and also around Room 227. The Financial committee tracked bids and collected payments from staff, Logistics committee made sure the right equipment was at the auction as well as laying out the room to make the auction looks presentable and the sponsorship committee wrote letters for donations making sure that donations were arriving from organizations.  All students and teachers who participated in the silent auction had a great time raising money for a good cause in a fun and exciting way!


Bressani Day 2017

By: Christian Santilli, Student Writer

Tuesday, May 31, 2017

On Friday, May 26 Father Bressani held the event that students wait for all year long; Bressani Day!   The annual event, during which students and teachers come together to celebrate all things Father Bressani, was a huge success.  Thankfully, the rain held up on Friday, so celebrations were able to be held outdoors, giving students a chance to enjoy the fresh air and the warm weather.  

The festivities started indoors, during first period.  Each home room class was asked to send five representatives to take part in a school-wide scavenger hunt, which included racing to find a wanted sign of Mr. Zaroski, and trying to figure out the exact number of classrooms that are in the school.  The scavenger hunt was won by Mrs. Palmieri’s class.  

Outside the school, organizers of the event certainly did not disappoint with any the Bressani Day attractions.  Exciting activities included a huge, inflatable obstacle course in which students could race against their friends to the finish.  Plus, there was a giant blow-up cage filled with a variety of (safe) items that students could use to fight against other students, which is perfect for anyone who sometimes finds their friends to be a bit annoying.  

As for food, Bressani Day offered many delicious snack options that were available for students throughout the day.  In addition to the free burger that was available to students for lunch, snack options for sale included food from “The Big Cannoli”, an ice cream truck, and “Chimney Stax.”  

And possibly the most entertaining part of the day- for students at least- was the “Dunk a Teacher” and “Throw a Pie at a Teacher” events.  This was the perfect chance for students to have some fun embarrassing their favourite teacher, or to get some great revenge on their least favourite teacher!  But don’t worry, the teachers got their revenge during the student-teacher softball game, where Bressani teachers defeated the students in an overwhelming victory.  

Despite the great success that Bressani Day ended up to be, all Bressani students know that there almost was not a Bressani day at all this year!  Things were a bit different this year, and students were told that they would have to pay two dollars for Bressani Day tickets, and if less than 90 percent of students bought tickets Bressani Day would be cancelled.  This understandably concerned many of the students, including grade 11 student Katie Pigott, who explained, “I was just really worried that our Bressani Dat would be taken away.”
In the end, Bressani Day was a great day filled with all sorts of fun for students and teacher alike, and needless to say, everyone is eagerly awaiting Bressani Day 2018!  


2018 Costa Rica Trip


By: Christian Santilli, Student Writer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The students of Father Bressani are being presented with an exciting, once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to beautiful Costa Rica.  In March, 2018, Mr. Gorys and Mrs. Puopolo will be leading a student excursion to the tropical Central American country, with an itinerary including some of the most breathtaking locations the country has to offer.

The trip, planned in conjunction with EF Customized Tours will be an eleven-day tropical adventure, at a cost of $3200 (insurance costs are extra).  In this article, I will highlight some of the incredible locations and activities planned for students during their Costa Rica tour.  

The first stop for students after a five and a half hour flight is San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Students mainly use San Jose as a springboard to their adventure but get a chance to drive through the cultural downtown, the cultural centre of the country.

The next morning the group will head out through banana plantations while travelling to the beautiful Tortuguero National Park on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.  The tour includes a guide through the historic Tortuguero village- home to just 700 inhabitants, and only accessible by boat.

Students will enjoy their third day exploring the lush natural scenery of Tortuguero National Park and the Tortuguero Canals which are home to exotic species such as howler monkeys, macaws, toucans, and caimans.  

The adventure continues the next day as Bressani students will board a bus to travel to the mountainous Arenal region, home to the mile-high Arenal Volcano, an active volcano soaring high above the tropical hills.  In this outstanding setting, the group will partake in a student favourite visit to a local sustainable farm where they are guaranteed to learn, laugh and be fed with all organically grown food.  

On the outskirts of La Fortuna, the main town in the Arenal region, students will complete their international community service opportunities with a visit to a Costa Rican school and an Childcare House (their version of a small orphanage). During this time students will deliver packages of supplies and donations they collected throughout the first half of the school year. They will be given time to learn about the Costa Rica school system and their rich culture.

“Students have often cited the community service aspect as their favourite part of the trip,” said Mr. Gorys. “The bonds that they create in the few hours with some of the students is actually amazing to see. We never leave a school without some form of tears falling from faces, not wanting to let go of new found friendships. The competitive soccer games with those kids are pretty intense too…some of those kids are small but they are fierce and refuse to lose!”

 After this the Bressani group will head to the Arenal Hanging Bridges, where they will be fully immersed into the remote rainforest of Arenal.  To finish the day, students can relax at one of the region’s many natural volcanic hot springs. “Words can’t describe the looks on students faces when they walk into the hot spring resort. The place is stunning and amazing and so relaxing. It is definitely a highlight,” said Mrs. Puopolo, the other teacher supervisor.  

And this is all just the first five days!  The next days include activities such as horseback riding with the Pacific coast in sight, swimming alongside waterfalls,  exploring numerous tropical jungles and coastlines, relaxing on the gorgeous Pacific coast beaches, and experiencing Costa Rican traditions, food, music, and entertainment at a special dinner on the last night back in San José.  

This Costa Rica excursion is unlike anything else that Father Bressani has to offer, as it allows students to fully immerse themselves in a foreign culture, and experience exotic scenery unavailable to them in Woodbridge.  It teaches students about our environment and highlights the great importance on “green technologies” that are going to dominate the future economy.  Students drive past and learn about the Costa Rica Silicon Valley where major worldwide computer technology companies have opened businesses and expanded operations to Central America.

Do not miss your chance to experience all the natural wonders of a tropical environment in one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly nations.

Mr. Gorys, the trip organizer, has traveled to Costa Rica several times, and he explains, “For a great life experience, there is no trip better than Costa Rica.  It has a little bit of everything, and something for everyone.  Students can gain independence, and learn some useful travelling skills, all while enjoying great weather, and an awesome environment!”

Remember that everyone is welcome to come explore Costa Rica with Father Bressani, so tell your friends and talk to Mr. Gorys for more details!  There is a parent meeting regarding the trip on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.  

Reach For the Top Regional Tournament

By: Christian Santilli, Student Writer

Monday, April 10, 2017

On Wednesday, March 29 Father Bressani’s senior trivia team, “Reach for the Top” participated in the York Regional trivia tournament.  The team travelled to St. Augustine CHS in Markham with librarian Mrs. Girardo to challenge schools from across the region, including public and private schools.  

Our team, made up of grade 11’s Brian Diep, Christian Santilli, and Nic Santos, along with grade 12 Daniel Morelli, has been meeting in the library every week since September to prepare for last week’s tournament.    They practiced hundreds of questions relating to an unlimited list of topics, including Math, Language, History, Science, Geography, and Pop-Culture.

Sadly, at the meet, our team did not advance to the semi-finals.  Bressani went up against five other school teams, losing to Brother Andre, Sacred Heart, and St. Robert, and winning their matches against Langstaff and Norman Bethune.  All matches were incredibly close, with the game against Brother Andre coming down to one question at the very end.  

No matter the outcome, the students had a great time at the tournament, enjoying friendly competition, and learning new, interesting facts.  Plus, a delicious pizza dinner was available for teams after the games were finished.  

When asked what she liked the most about the tournament, grade 11 team member Nic Santos said, “I loved the feeling of pride when you are the only one who knows the question.”

We look forward to cheering on Bressani’s junior trivia team at their tournament on April 26.  Anyone interested in joining next year’s “Reach for the Top” team can speak to Mrs. Girardo for more details.  New members are always welcome!     


Interact Council Volunteers for Shrove Tuesday

By: Christian Santilli, Student Writer

Monday, March 6, 2017

One of the most enjoyable (and delicious) times during the Easter season is the very first day of that season; Shrove Tuesday.  Shrove–or “Pancake”–Tuesday marks the day before ash Wednesday, which is the start of Lent; the countdown to Easter Day.  On shrove tuesday we feast on fatty foods, specifically pancakes, in preparation for the sacrifices that we are about to make during Lent.  

Serving pancake dinner is a great way for church communities to come together,  express their faith, and have a great time together while enjoying a delicious meal.  It is for this reason that Father Bressani’s Interact council volunteered to help the Christ Church Woodbridge Anglican parish with their annual “Night of 1000 Pancakes” dinner.  The community dinner provides hungry neighbours with delicious pancakes, sausage, ham, potatoes, desserts, and more.  

The dinner costs ten dollars, which buys you endless refills on all dishes–including pancakes.  All funds raised during the dinner go to the charity “Creating Alternatives.”  Creating Alternatives is a non-profit organization based in Woodbridge which raises money to organize a day program for adults with disabilities such as downs syndrome.  

The Interact council members were more than happy to help the church set up and run the event throughout the night.  Bressani’s volunteers set up tables and dinner places, carried food from the kitchen, and served the meals to the many hungry patrons.  Our volunteers also remained attentive all night, making sure that all of the diners were satisfied, and providing a fresh round of pancakes when requested.  

Interact member, and volunteer at the Night of 1000 Pancakes Isabella Missios said about the dinner, “Events like this are extremely important for communities because raising funds for people with disabilities gives them opportunities, allowing them to become active members in their community.”  Interact council is committed to volunteering at community-building events such as this wherever they can, because they understand the importance of taking action in the community.  

The Night of 1000 Pancakes is held every year on Shrove Tuesday at Christ Church Woodbridge at 8045 Islington Ave, Woodbridge, ON.  Doors are open to anyone who wishes to donate.  


Mental Health Week

By: Christian Santilli, Student Writer

The week before exams last semester was a very special time at Father Bressani.  Ms. Stanevicius and her gym classes organized a week packed full of activities which promoted mental health awareness and useful stress-relieving techniques.  The objective of Bressani’s mental health week was to provide all students with a relaxing environment, allowing them to engage in new activities that that might help to relieve stress.  It was no coincidence that mental health week took place the week before semester one exams.  Father Bressani knows how stressful exams can be, and how this stress can negatively affect the mental health of some students.  For this reason, various activities were carried out in order to lift spirits before exams.  

What seemed to be the most memorable of mental health activities that students had the chance to take part in was “Therapy Dog Day”.  On January 16, 2017, therapy dogs were brought into our school for students to visit during lunch.  Needless to say, many students were extremely excited to take a break from the busy school day, to sit down and pet a cute, furry friend.  There is a reason why dogs were chosen for mental health week.  Studies have shown that spending time with dogs is actually one of the best ways to alleviate stress.  It has been observed that the endless enthusiasm of dogs is contagious, and that this excitement will spread onto humans who interact with them.  Overall, dogs are shown to relax people, and to take their minds off of their stressful schedules.  The therapy dogs were certainly a success with students, especially grade eleven student Isabella Missios, who said the dogs; “Were really soft and they warmed my  heart.”

In addition to dogs, there was a large emphasis on “Play” during mental health week.  Posters were seen all around the school displaying messages reminding students about the importance of play.  The posters focused on messages promoting imaginative, childlike play, as a method for relieving stress, and even as a method for studying.  Studies show that interactive play is very important for relaxation, relieving stress, and stimulating the brain.  Taking part in activities such as board games and sports are good examples of ways to play.  Continuing on the theme of play, the main halls of Father Bressani were lined with piles of children’s toys during lunch on January 18th.  These toys were used to remind students how they used to play as young children, and to remind them to continue to play as they grow older.  

These were only a couple of the fun, stress-relieving activities available at Father Bressani during mental health week.  Grade eleven student Sarah Morra, one of the organizers of mental health week, stated that; “Our objective was to educate students on mental health issues, to eliminate stigma, and to help students to de-stress during exam time.”  The Father Bressani community is incredibly thankful for the relaxing and insightful techniques that were shown during mental health week.  


Wallace House Craft & Bake Sale

By: Christian Santilli, Student Writer

Mon. Nov. 21, 2016

On November 19 the Father Bressani interact council met at the historic Wallace house in old Woodbridge. The house is operated by community members who run programs such as a knitting and quilting group, a bridge playing club, and a writers group, which all meet at the historic house during the week.  On Saturday, the Wallace house opened itself up to the whole community through a crafts and bake sale.

Here, Father Bressani’s interact council sold hot dogs to raise money for their council; money which will be used to fund more school events.  Inside the house, a whole room was filled with crafts such as quilted blankets and knitted baby clothes.  Another room was filled with jewellery and homemade jams, and paintings were on display in the hallway.  All items were made and sold by local community members.   

Outside, the cold and rain could not stop the Bressani interact council from selling hot dogs to hungry patrons, nor could it stop them from having a good time, while volunteering in our community.
While at the event, I talked to some Bressani students about their experience at the Wallace House.  Interact member Katarine Pedro explained that events such as the Wallace House craft and bake sale are important because they are a way “for the community to bond and grow closer.”  Interact member Joseph Spagnuolo described his favourite thing about volunteering on Saturday as; “seeing the joy in the community at the event.”
The Father Bressani Interact council is an affiliate of the Rotary international organization, which works to promote humanitarian services, ethical standards, and peace around the world.  The Bressani Interact council raises money in our school through a number of events throughout the year, such as popcorn and cotton candy sales during lunch.  

The Nathaniel Wallace house, built in 1873 is owned by the city of Vaughan and is a designated Ontario heritage site.  The next big event at the Wallace house will be the Victorian Christmas event on Saturday December 3.