School Notes

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Albert Lacombe students plan to celebrate their school’s 50th anniversary this June with a giant mural of the school’s namesake.

Albert Lacombe students were busy this week as they painted about 300 metal panels that will soon be assembled into a large mosaic picture outside the school.

The mural project is part of the school’s ongoing celebration of its 50th anniversary, said principal Joan Tod. The school first opened its doors in November 1964.

“There are over 300 tiles that are going to be assembled,” she says, and everyone from preschool to Grade 6 is painting one. The school has also invited special guests such as Mayor Nolan Crouse and Father Ignacy Warias of the St. Albert Catholic Parish to contribute tiles.

When finished, the mural will depict the school’s namesake, Father Albert Lacombe.

“We wanted something on the outside (of the school) that really represents our legacy,” Tod said, noting that they already have a much smaller portrait of Lacombe in the school’s lobby.

Co-ordinating the project are St. Albert artists and Albert Lacombe alumni Lewis Lavoie and Phil Alain.

Alain says this has been an emotional experience for him, as he hasn’t been back to Albert Lacombe since he finished Grade 6 there decades ago.

“The memories just flood back.”

Each student is given a specific colour palette to work with and allowed to paint whatever they wish, Alain explained. Sports and mountains have been popular subjects, as has the infamous Creeper – the green exploding monster from the computer game Minecraft.

Once the panels are done, Alain and Lavoie will assemble them into a finished eight-ft. by eight-ft. portrait that will go up by the school’s front door in late June.

Alain said he hoped this project would show students how everyone is important, no matter how small their contribution.

The Bellerose Reach team came home with their heads held high this week after a gruelling ninth place finish at nationals.

Bellerose’s Reach for the Top squad finished ninth out of 15 teams at the national Reach tournament at the University of Toronto from May 22 to 25. Ottawa’s Lisgar Collegiate Institute took the national title.

Reach for the Top is a quiz-show-like challenge that has high-school students answer as many trivia questions correctly as they can as fast as possible.

It was an intense competition, with Bellerose enduring a gruelling 15-game marathon on day one, said team coach Brian Joseph Grant.

“This was the first nationals that I’ve been to where any of the top teams could have taken it.”

It came down to the choice of questions asked and experience, Grant reported – the Ontario Reach league is just so much bigger than Alberta’s, giving eastern teams more groups to practise against. He hopes to expand Alberta’s league to compensate.

The team was a little hard on themselves, but seemed to enjoy Toronto and meeting students from across the country, Grant said.

“I’m very proud of them (for being) in the top 10,” he said.

“They can hold their heads high.”

Reachforthetop.com has the full results from the national final.

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