Living Waters GrAce Committee
Living Waters School Division has always been proud of the work done at the Edson schools of Holy Redeemer and Vanier. Both schools offer a variety of programs in a supportive and faith-filled environment for all students. This faith is what makes these schools so unique, and now the School Division is proud to form a committee to advocate for Catholic Education: GrAce
GrAce stands for Gratefully Advocating for Catholic Education. GrAce committees began appearing in 2017 with stakeholder groups funding and delivering their message. These groups are the Alberta Bishops, the Alberta Catholic School Trustees, and the Catholic Superintendents of Alberta.
On January 31st, the Living Waters GrAce Committee, led by Board Chair Dana Kentner and Superintendent Jo-Anne Lanctot, made a presentation to the staff of HRH and Vanier. During the presentation the mandate was made clear: to inspire, invigorate and embolden the spirit of Catholic Education in order to unite, engage, educate and communicate with one voice on its behalf.
“Our schools are welcoming and inclusive, unique and distinct learning environments that provide a faith filled quality education for all who enters our doors,” says Lanctot who adds that the GrAce Committee wishes to continue to advocate the message of Catholic Education throughout the Division.
The reason why the GrAce Committee wishes to advocate for the importance of Catholic Education in the province is because they believe, like many others, that learning in a faith-environment is important for students to become well-rounded citizens.
Catholic Education has been an important component of Alberta schools for the past 160 years when the first Catholic school was established in Lac St. Anne in 1859. The first Catholic school in Edson opened in 1983 with the opening of Vanier Community Catholic School. Holy Redeemer followed two decades later in 2003. With hundreds of graduates from these two schools since the early 80’s, it shows the importance of Catholic Education to so many families in the Edson community.
One of the strongest champions of Catholic Education in Edson is Board Vice-Chair Gemma Christie who has served on the Board for several decades. One can always see Christie at numerous events in the community and she has spoken so positive about the importance of Vanier and HRH to the families that attend these schools.
Not only do many families in Edson choose Catholic Education, but there has been an incredible trend for families choosing Catholic schools across the province with an impressive growth rate of 9.5% over the past three years. With this growth rate, the province has had to build numerous new schools bringing the total up from 418 in 2017 to an incredible 450 in 2019.
With all this said, the biggest purpose of GrAce is to inform the public that Catholic schools are unique and distinct where all students, Catholic and non-Catholic, are welcome.You can count on seeing more of the GrAce Committee in the months and years to come to continue to share the positive message of Catholic Schools in the Living Waters School Division