Welcome back

FMCSD’s staff and students ready for first day

By Megan McKenny, Fort McMurray Catholic School District

FMCSD Welcome Back

Over 300 graduates from Holy Trinitiy Catholic School and Father Patrick Mercredi High School celebrated their long-awaited graduation ceremony last weekend. Photo by Fort McMurray Catholic School District.

The first day of school is September 6. It may have been a very long summer, but rest assured that there was plenty of work going on in our schools to make sure that your return will be to a safe environment.

Restoration work started in early June, and is now complete in all schools – except for Father Beauregard and Good Shepherd. Restoration work will be on-going during the fall at Good Shepherd and Father Beauregard Schools as they will not open for the 2016/17 school year. As previously announced, Father Turcotte will be the designated school for all elementary families residing south of the Athabasca River.

The safety of our students and staff has always been at the forefront of our extensive restoration efforts. The schools were thoroughly cleaned, including all surfaces and HVAC systems. Supplies and material that could not be effectively or safely restored were removed and will be replaced.

There is a rite of passage when it comes to crossing the stage for a high school graduation ceremony. We were so pleased to be able to provide this opportunity for our Holy Trinity and Father Mercredi grads this year. It was a beautiful day to celebrate over 300 graduates and recognize their time within the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools family.

Holy Trinity High School Principal Lucy Moore said her message to the graduates was rather simple.

“I wanted to congratulate them on their resiliency in times of trial. On May 3, many of our students grew up in a second. They took responsibility for younger siblings, for an older generation, for themselves and they stepped up when they were needed.

After they rescued their families when their parents were unable to get home, they shook it off and signed up to complete their courses so they would be in the most advantageous position as they started university or college. That resiliency will see them through whatever trials come their way.”

“I hope, and I know, that they will always care for others,” continues Moore, “Our school environment is very accepting of students, embracing each person as an individual. These students have been with us five years and they have always been supportive of each other – there have been no prejudices. I have no doubt that they will continue to accept each individual for the positives they bring to a situation. They will be a gift to their families, their workplace and their country as they make their way in our world.”

Father Mercredi High School Principal Natasha MacArthur-Poole said it’s been a long journey that has passed by quickly.

“Our graduates have spent the last 13 years and two extra months preparing for High School Graduation; and the day has finally arrived. You have survived your first day of kindergarten, countless fire drill and lockdown drills, many final exams, at least two cancelled pep rallies and a citywide evacuation. You are one tough bunch,” shared MacArthur-Poole.

“From Grade 8 to Grade 12, over 2000 hampers have been packed for the less fortunate,” adds MacArthur-Poole. “Cakes were baked and sold, community dinners have been prepared and served, children have been mentored, driveways shoveled, bags carried. Being a Trapper means you are generous with your time and your talent, continue to give back to the new communities you move to.”

Fort McMurray Catholic Schools Superintendent George McGuigan said, “It’s a few great weeks for our school families, celebrating our graduates and coming together as a full staff family. We are looking forward to our first staff Mass on September 2. This will prepare us spiritually for our students to come through our doors on September 6.”

Fort McMurray Catholic School Board Chair Tracy McKinnon added, “As this school year unfolds we will work together in our moments of joy and struggle reaching out to our friends and colleagues in ways that befriend the soul and give it room to grow. We will help form our new generations not only in knowledge and faith, but in every aspect of what it means live a as a mature responsible citizen in today’s world. On behalf of the Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Education we would like to extend a warm welcome to those of you who are returning and those who are new to our school family.”

For the latest information regarding Fort McMurray Catholic Schools, please visit www.fmcsd.ab.ca.

– Connect Weekly –