Ursuline College Chatham (AKA The Pines, UCC) is a Catholic secondary school in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada. It is one of the three secondary schools in the St. Clair Catholic District School Board (the other two being located in Sarnia, Ontario), and is one of the seven secondary schools located in the Chatham-Kent municipality. The school has more than 1500 students enrolled, making it the largest high school in the regional municipality of Chatham-Kent.
Ursuline College Chatham (UCC) was founded by the Ursuline Sisters as a girls-only school in 1912, and was run by the Ursuline Sisters until the late 20th century, when it became a unisex school. The school is now run by the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, and is the only Catholic high school in the municipality of Chatham-Kent.
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 or skirt 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, Principal Dan Tighe, the former principal of the school, was named one of Canada's Outstanding Principals.
Academic Departments (& Current Department Heads)
-Arts (Michael Milner)
-Canada & World Studies/Business Studies (Patricia Willan)
-English (Camilla Dunn)
-Guidance (Adolph Estoesta)
-Languages (Amelia Villeranda)
-Mathematics (Michael Mathany)
-Physical & Health Education (Jeff Denomy)
-Religion Studies (Christopher Gutteridge)
-Science (Paul Teetzel)
-Resource (Dureck Culverwell)
-Technology (Wolf Marty)
-Campus Ministry (Chaplain Cindy Waddick)
-Library (Head Librarian Elaine Goldhawk)
The school is a T-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 stories high. The other buildings are both older, and have three stories containing about 6-12 classrooms each. The cafeteria, run by Aramark foods 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.
As a Catholic school, Ursuline College demands four years of theology courses in order to graduate from the school. The school also has about four mandatory school masses and "pep rallies"; for this reason, it is the most authoritarian school in the region. Although the school does have a "World Religion" class in Grade 11, it is believed by some to be inadequate. 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.
The school has had several issues with the area around it. The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, which houses a Tim Hortons and a cafeteria frequently used by students has threatened to close the facility to Ursuline students due to noise and rude behavior on the latter's part. In 2007, an agreement with the neighboring Evangel Church which allowed students to park at that church's parking lot was broken off by the Evangel Church due to poor behavior on the part of driving students. The uniform policy is now reinforced with a three strike policy,first strike is detention, second is suspension while the third is possible expulsion.
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 & soccer 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 monies from 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 team has enjoyed some extremely successful, championship winning seasons while the junior teams has gone undefeated for multiple seasons.
The UCC Cheerleading team (level 3 co-ed limited)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.
But they went to Nationals this year (2008) and placed third.
UCC is widely known for its impressive Drama Department. With the UCC Theatre Opening in 2003, the theatre has allowed the school to host its own performances on campus. The theatre features a Box Office in the Main Entrance, 550 seats, a modern lighting and sound system, orchestra pit, a large stage with "garage door" access for loading and catwalk that extends over the entire theatre and holds the lighting in place.
Each year a major play is produced. Most all of the arts department is involved in this endeavor. The play runs for several days yearly in May. Past performances include "CATS", "The King and I", "Children of Eden", "Fiddler of the Roof", "Godspell", "Guys and Dolls", "The Sound of Music", "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat". In 2007, the school did not put a musical out, except for the charity play "Little Women", which ran during the summer.
Students also participate in the yearly Sears Festival and have won top honors in year 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. The 2003 production "The Rash" won locally for best festival entry and went on to win the "Oscars" in Sudbury.