Column: STAR Catholic trustees the road and tour the division

The board of trustees checked out 12 schools within the district.

Dan Svitich

STAR Catholic Trustee Ponoka

St. Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic School Division serves six communities across central Alberta and has 12 schools in those six communities.

Our board is aware of, and interested in, the unique accomplishments and challenges of each school, but with a new board there was an eagerness to visit these schools in person.

To that end, the board set out on a tour of all STAR Catholic schools, over several days.

Through the tour we were able to see the beautiful and most recent additions to STAR Catholic with Ècole Mother d’Youville School in Beaumont, which opened to the community this school year. The other recent addition is Father Leduc Catholic School in Leduc, and it opened in the 2016-2017 school year, and is in its second year already. We are pleased to see how these schools are embraced by parents, from the initial announcement of the schools to the early days of operation and beyond.

Part of what is included in the tour is to see first-hand the schools we have on our capital plan. We have several projects listed on our capital plan, and top among them for the past several years has been a modernization of Father Lacombe Catholic School in Lacombe. We look forward to continued progress in advocating to the provincial government in funding for the projects listed in our capital plan.

The tour allowed the board to see the amazing work done by our facilities department over the past year. During the 2016-2017 school year, STAR Catholic received more than $890,000 in Infrastructure, Maintenance and Renewal (IMR) funding. Of the $780,000 spent from the IMR funds, there were significant building improvements and projects completed.

Trustees saw the re-flooring of many areas of St. Augustine’s Primary School in Ponoka and St. Benedict School in Leduc, including its gym floor. St. Ben’s also saw a new sidewalk, and a new portion of the roof, as well as drainage in the area around the school’s new playground. Sacred Heart School in Wetaskiwin saw concrete replacement in a couple of entryways, and the conversion of two computer labs into classrooms. There was also painting of certain areas of many of STAR Catholic’s schools and included in these projects was the finishing of Ècole Mother d’Youville School and Father Leduc Catholic School.

All of these projects speak to the commitment STAR Catholic has to the facilities that welcome and serve our students each day.

In addition to seeing the schools, these tours went far beyond bricks and mortar. Although the buildings are the place our students come to learn, it’s the dedicated and passionate people who serve in those schools as educators, mentors, support and leaders that truly make STAR Catholic what it is. These school tours gave trustees the wonderful opportunity to meet teachers and custodians, admin assistants and principals, and every other staff member who, with joy, work to educate the body, mind and spirit of students. It also provided the opportunity to meet and see those young, bright minds in action and that is an experience that is second to none.

We are blessed to have the division we do, and look forward to its continued growth. Thank you again to our schools for hosting these trustee tours and God bless your work in His name.

Dan Svitich dan.svitich@starcatholic.ab.ca is a Ponoka Trustee on the STAR Catholic Schools Division board. STAR Catholic Schools has more than 4,000 students in 12 schools located in Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Leduc, Lacombe, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin.

Just Posted

Ponoka’s ag society board under scrutiny during AGM

About 80 people attended the society’s AGM, which saw three directors replaced

Ponoka teen pedestrian suffers injuries after pickup collision

A pickup struck a teen on residential streets in Ponoka

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

PHOTOS: Battle of Ponoka basketball action

The first ever senior high basketball league game for both Ponoka high schools was high energy

Guards injured, money stolen during overnight blast at Edmonton bank

Alberta Health Services said the injuries to the male guard were serious

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Most Read