Puneet Varma (Editor)

Ursuline College (Chatham)

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Religious affiliation(s)  Roman Catholic
Superintendent  Scott Johnson
Phone  +1 519-351-2987
Founded  1912 (1912)
Director  Dan Parr
Number of students  1,300
School type  Public, Separate high school
Motto  Fides, Spes, Caritas (Faith, Hope, Charity)
Address  85 Grand Ave W, Chatham, ON N7L 1B6, Canada
School board  St. Clair Catholic District School Board
District  St. Clair Catholic District School Board
Similar  Chatham Secondary School, John McGregor Secondar, Chatham Christian Schools, Tecumseh Public School, Thames Campus Arena

Ursuline College Chatham (AKA The Pines, UCC) is a Catholic secondary school in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada. It is one of two secondary schools in the St. Clair Catholic District School Board (the other being located in the city of Sarnia, Ontario), and is one of seven secondary schools located in the regional municipality of Chatham-Kent. The school has more than 1400 students enrolled, making it the largest high school in Chatham-Kent.



Ursuline College Chatham (UCC) was founded by the Ursuline Sisters as a girls-only school in 1865, and was run by the Ursuline Sisters until the late 20th century, when it became a coed school. The school is now run by the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, and is the only Catholic English high school in the municipality of Chatham-Kent. Ursuline College gets its nickname "The Pines" from all the pine trees that used to surround it. Though not many remain, the nickname stuck.

In 1992, UCC adopted a uniform policy. The uniform consists of either a dress shirt or golf shirt emblazoned with "UCC" and the logo of the school, respectively, and navy blue or khaki pants and shorts. The option to wear a kilt is available for the female population of the school. After ending the contract with the Freeds company in 2005, RJ McCarthy was given the rights to sell the school's uniforms.

In 2007, Dan Tighe, then principal of the school, was named one of Canada's Outstanding Principals.


Academic Departments (& Current Department Heads)

  • Arts (Michael Milner)
  • Business Studies & Co-operative Education (Sandra Dowdall)
  • English (Nancy Foster)
  • Languages (Amelia Villaranda)
  • Mathematics (Peter Cowan)
  • Physical & Health Education (Jeff Denomy)
  • Religion Studies (Karen Dudics)
  • Resource (Dureck Culverwell)
  • Science (Randy Rybansky)
  • Social Sciences (Mark Broadbent)
  • Student Services(Lisa Harnarine)
  • Technology (Paul Bourdeau)
  • Academic Advisors

  • Literacy (Jordan Matteis)
  • Student Success (Paul Teetzel)
  • Non-academic Departments

  • Campus Ministry (Chaplain Thomas Dula)
  • Library Services (Head Librarian Deb Fitzgerald)
  • School Building

    The school is a I-shaped building, consisting of three buildings of roughly equal size, and two connecting hallways. The youngest building, named after Sister Anne Denomy, contains the recently re-built theater, and is unusual for the school in that it is only two storeys high. The other buildings are both older, and have three storeys containing about 16-27 classrooms each. The cafeteria, run by Aramark Foods whose menu and its nutritious aspects has been highly questioned, is between the Xavier and Merici (both of whom were also Sisters of the Ursuline order) buildings. The library is closest to the Denomy building, and is next to the administrative offices.

    The Denomy building contains the only science labs in the school, as well as holding the arts department. The Merici building contains the social sciences, a small chapel used for some sacraments, and theology studies. The Xavier building generally has mathematics and language studies housed in it, as well as housing the guidance department. Each building has a computer lab and at least one washroom for each gender.

    Unique Features

    As a Catholic school, Ursuline College demands four years of theology courses in order to graduate from the school, although the school does have a "World Religion" class in Grade 11. All of these courses comply with the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum Expectations. The school thus teaches effectively straight Roman Catholicism from Grade 9 until graduation. Attendees of the school are expected to maintain "Catholic values", but a great many of the school's students are not of the Roman Catholic faith.

    The school is widely believed to have the best arts program in the region, having a modern theatre and a considerable stock of musical instruments. The school runs two bands, each with over 30 attendees, and in most years a musical is run (2007 is an exception, although a charity musical, Little Women was held outside of the school year). Both bands have traveled across continental America, and in 2007 the Jazz Ensemble won its first gold award in Halifax's Atlantic Band Festival. As well, the school has an extensive communications laboratory, which includes a dark-room and functional television broadcasting equipment, which is used on occasion to present sporting events. UCC is a school that still allows soda to be sold on school property.


    UCC "Lancer" athletic teams are some of the most successful teams in South Western Ontario Secondary School Athletics (SWOSSA) and even in the province of Ontario.

    There are two sporting venues and a practice field on campus at UCC.

    Knight's Field is the football field at UCC. It is located beside the practice field at the north end of the campus. It has a press-box and a scoreboard and has been renovated with donations from the local councils of the Knights of Columbus. Games are broadcast on the local school-based television channel. The school uses its gymnasium for other indoor sports.

    The UCC Lancer senior football program has enjoyed some extremely successful championship winning seasons locally, as well as a couple appearances in the SWOSSA Regionals and Finals, while the junior teams were undefeated until the 2009 season when they lost in the first round of the play-offs to the Wallaceburg Tartans.

    The UCC Cheerleading team (level 3 co-ed limited) is the only team that has won many competitions in the past year, they competed in "Cheer Alliance" Fall Classics, Great Lakes Christmas Challenge in the US and The UCC Cheerleading Team recently competed in the "Cheer Alliance" Provincial Competition and placed first at all of them. The Cheerleading Squad has placed 3rd place at the Nationals for 3 consecutive years now.

    Theatre Arts

    UCC is widely known for its impressive Drama Department. With the Ursuline College Theatre Opening in 2003, the theatre has allowed the school to host its own performances on campus. The 507 seat theatre features a state of the art lighting and sound system, orchestra pit, "loading door" access directly to stage as well as a catwalk that extends over the entire theatre.

    Each year a major musical is produced. Most of the arts department are involved in this endeavour. The play runs for several days yearly in April or May. Past performances include "Les Miserables", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Shrek the Musical", "Seussical the Musical", "AIDA", "Beauty and the Beast", "Cinderella", "CATS", "The King and I", "Children of Eden", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Godspell", "Guys and Dolls", "The Sound of Music", "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". In 2007, the school did not put a musical out, except for the charity play "Little Women", which ran during the summer. In 2015, students will perform "The Addams Family: A New Musical".

    Students also participate in the yearly Sears Drama Festival and have won top honors in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2009. The 2003 production "The Rash" won locally for best festival entry and went on to win the "Oscars" in Sudbury. The 2009 production of 'MacBraveheart,' written and directed by students Chris Luis and Mackenzie Warner, won a plethora of awards at the local level and was selected to move on to the Regional competition in Brantford. In 2010, a student written production by Ben McCabe, Conner Stirling and Erin McCollum won high accolades, including a ticket to the regionals in Hamilton. Based on Plato's Allegory of the Cave, this adaptation, called 'The Confines of the Ring', saw events unfold in a 1920s circus freak show. Emily Pickard authored an entirely original script, 'When it Rains...', for the 2011 entry. Emily's play achieved honours in writing, original music, set design and it also garnered an outstanding production award.

    In 2012, Colin Edmondstone, Ryan Nauta and Christopher Brackett collaborated on a new work for the Sears Drama Festival. "MAGI: A Musical" was a dynamic and innovative musical production with book and lyrics by Brackett, Edmondstone and Nauta, who also provided compositions for the show. "MAGI: A Musical" tells the story of the 3 Wisemen and their journey to find newborn baby Jesus at the Nativity. The show was loosely based on The Gospel of Matthew and featured Trevor Richie, Anna Dzieciol and Heather Kosik as the Three Wisemen, Justan Myers as a flamboyant King Herod and Colin Edmondstone and Leah O'Neill (understudy Karly Soucie) as Joseph and Mary. The show was Directed by Colin Edmondstone with Musical Direction by Cole Mills and Production Stage Managed by Christopher Brackett. The full length musical production was revolutionary at the Sears Drama Festival as it featured a 6 piece orchestra, theatrical flying, over 80 costume pieces (designed by Christopher Brackett) and a full company of nearly 50 students. The show was well received at the Sears Drama Festival Lambton-Kent Competition winning numerous awards and receiving a standing ovation before the performance was complete. "MAGI: A Musical" achieved honours in writing, directing, original music, ensemble work, costume design, and staging.

    Elementary Feeder Schools

  • Christ the King Elementary School (Wallaceburg)
  • Georges P. Vanier Elementary School (Chatham)
  • Good Shepherd Elementary School (Thamesville)
  • Holy Family Elementary School (Wallaceburg)
  • Monsignor Uyen Elementary School (Chatham)
  • Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School (Chatham)
  • St. Agnes Elementary School (Chatham)
  • St. Anne Elementary School (Blenheim)
  • St. Elizabeth Elementary School (Wallaceburg)
  • St. Joseph Elementary School (Chatham)
  • St. Joseph Elementary School (Tilbury)
  • St. Michael Elementary School (Dresden)
  • St. Michael Elementary School (Ridgetown)
  • St. Ursula Elementary School (Chatham)
  • St. Vincent Elementary School (Chatham)
  • Walpole Island Elementary School (Walpole Island First Nation)
  • References

    Ursuline College (Chatham) Wikipedia