March 1, 2018
Dancers decked out in feathers, the sounds of bagpipers filling the air and clear voices of children singing. Sounds like a party, right? This year, we had many reasons to celebrate; 11 reasons, in fact, because we opened that many new schools this year.
What started as excitement in September when the doors to our new schools officially opened, has continued to grow throughout the year. Not since 1913 has Edmonton Public Schools opened 11 new buildings in one year. This is a rare privilege and honour for our District, which couldn’t have happened without the support from our provincial government.
The grand openings, which started in November and wrapped up mid-February, gave us an opportunity to officially celebrate each and every school and the school’s namesake. When we name a school, we honour not only that individual, but the contributions they have made to their community, our city and our country. At each of the openings, I listened with great admiration about the differences they have made to our city.
And because the individuals and their accomplishments are so varied, the opening ceremonies were equally diverse. Each one honoured the namesake so differently, from the gifts presented to the inclusion of culture and diversity.
While we heard from many of those who had schools named after them, or from their families, about how honoured they are, each and every one of them expressed their hopes, dreams and wishes for the students attending their school.
Our honoured guests know that the students of today will become the leaders of tomorrow and at every event, they emphasized the importance of community, education and positive social values. Our students have so much to look up to in each of their namesakes.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank the staff and students in our new schools for hosting such inspiring grand opening ceremonies.