2024 Distinguished Alumni Award

2024 Distinguished Alumni Award

In celebration of Catholic Education Week, the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) is proud to announce its 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award winners. This is an especially exciting year for the YCDSB, as this is the 20th occasion that a group of Distinguished Alumni have been recognized for their significant contributions to their respective careers and communities.

Recognized each year during Catholic Education Week (May 5-May 10, 2024), the campaign includes profiles of the new Distinguished Alumni on posters that will be displayed throughout York Region. The YCDSB is pleased to announce the following 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award winners:

Father Scott Birchall is a priest with the Archdiocese of Toronto and a professor at St. Augustine Seminary. He serves as the Director of Discipleship Formation at Serra House, as well as Director of Pastoral Formation and Director of Field Placement at St. Augustine Seminary. He attended St. Mary Immaculate CES in Richmond Hill, and Notre Dame CES and Sacred Heart CHS in Newmarket. After working as an urban planner, Fr. Scott entered the seminary and was ordained a priest in 2014. Outside of his duties at the seminary, Fr. Scott assists many archdiocesan committees and parishes. Click here to learn more about Fr. Scott.

Jessica Dizon Burns is an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) and professor at Centennial College. She graduated from St. Charles Garnier CES and St. Elizabeth CHS in Thornhill. Jessica is among two per cent of women worldwide with an AME licence and was the first AME at WestJet’s Toronto base. In 2022, Jessica began teaching at Centennial College, and Elevate Aviation recognized her as a “Woman Who Inspires in Aviation.” Jessica has volunteered for the Yellowknife Women’s Society, Women in Aviation International, Elevate Aviation and Belinda’s Place. The proud mother of three boys who are YCDSB students, she speaks regularly at Cardinal Carter CHS to promote careers in aviation and the skilled trades. Click here to learn more about Jessica.

Jeffrey Man is a senior policy advisor at the Ontario Public Service (OPS), where he advises senior executives on policy and program decisions that impact older Ontarians and people with disabilities. He is a graduate of St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS in Richmond Hill. Before joining the OPS, Jeffrey worked on inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility strategies at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Jeffrey gives back to his community by serving on the YCDSB’s Special Education Advisory Committee and the board of Easter Seals Ontario, where he advocates for kids with disabilities so they can thrive in school, work and life. Click here to learn more about Jeffrey.

Deputy Chief Kevin McCloskey is a 24-year member of the York Regional Police (YRP) and a graduate of St. Robert CHS in Thornhill. He currently oversees the Support Branch, which includes Operational Command, Information Services, Support Services and Community Services. Kevin previously commanded the Professional Standards Bureau and the Corporate Development Section. Kevin worked in the Homicide and Intelligence Unitis for eight years. He is the Executive Sponsor for the Special Olympics Ontario at YRP and is a strong advocate for the Holiday Heroes program. Kevin is a proud husband and father, and a York Region resident. Click here to learn more about Kevin.

Saneliso Moyo is a partner at Goldblatt Partners LLP, where she practices labour, employment and human rights law on behalf of unions and employees. She is a graduate of Father Michael McGivney CA in Markham. She has dedicated her legal career to advocating for workers’ rights, and racial and gender equity. She regularly acts as pro bono legal counsel on cases related to issues of anti-black racism and has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario. She continues to give back to the YCDSB community as a frequent guest speaker on equity and activism in our schools. Click here to learn more about Saneliso.

Marsha Pinto is a speech therapist in San Jose, California. She graduated from San Lorenzo Ruiz CES and St. Brother Andre CHS in Markham. Marsha primarily works with students with autism and language delay. NBC and CBS News have interviewed her multiple times on pediatric speech and language development. Drawing on her experiences as a shy student, Marsha started Softest Voices, which advocates for quiet students. Through her workshop tours, Marsha has inspired many of all ages to see their quiet personality as a strength. Click here to learn more about Marsha.

Jordan Romano is the closing pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and a graduate of Father Michael McGivney CA in Markham. The Toronto Blue Jays selected him in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, and he debuted in Major League Baseball (MLB) on June 19, 2019. Jordan played for Team Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and is a two-time MLB All-Star. In 2022, Jordan won the Tip O’Neill Award, presented annually to Canada’s top baseball player. Click here to learn more about Jordan.

Sierra Scodellaro is a clinical research project manager and pharmacogenetics data analyst at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She graduated from Our Lady of Hope CES in Richmond Hill and St. Elizabeth CHS in Thornhill. Her work contributes to optimizing a pharmacogenomics service at SickKids to incorporate precision medicine into daily pediatric clinical care, specifically using genetic data to guide medication selection and patient dosing. In contributing to this work, she hopes to see individualized treatment become the standard of care for everyone as the future of health care. Click here to learn more about Sierra.

Since 2004, the YCDSB has celebrated our graduated students who have achieved a high level of success, while making valuable and unique contributions in their respective careers and communities, applying advanced creative and critical thinking skills and foundational Catholic Values to their daily life and work.

2024 Distinguished Alumni Award