School Notes: Remembrance essay and Skills medallists


Remembering our soldiers

A St. Albert student will take part in Canada’s national Remembrance Day ceremony this fall after winning an essay contest.

About 17 St. Albert youths were recognized at the St. Albert Legion hall Sunday for their winning entries in the 2017 Royal Canadian Legion Youth Remembrance Contest. The long-running competition asks students to create poems, posters, and essays on the theme of remembrance each fall, for a chance at fame and prizes.

This year saw two St. Albert students win at the national level: Sadie Vogel of St. Albert Catholic High (first place senior essay) and Teresa Borlé of Vincent J. Maloney (honourable mention intermediate poetry).

These students would have had to beat thousands of others from across Canada to get to nationals, said Dave Velichko, district commander for the Legion in Alberta.

“It is very impressive to have someone local get to that level.”

Vogel’s essay, “Remembering the Past and Reflecting on the Present,” describes the difficulties youths face in connecting with wars of the past when they live in peaceful places.

Vogel, who said she planned to visit war cemeteries in Holland next year, said she makes that connection through the stories her grandparents told her about growing up in Holland during the Second World War.

“They could hear the bombs and the shooting going on,” she said, and they didn’t always have three square meals a day.

Vogel said it’s tough for many Canadians to visualize that, as we live in peaceful times, adding that it was important for us to remember what our soldiers did and continue to do to preserve our freedoms.

Vogel received a plaque and $1,000 for her win, as well as a free trip to Ottawa where she will meet the Governor General and help lay a wreath at the National War Memorial as part of this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony. Doug Delorme, co-chair of the St. Albert Legion’s poppy campaign, said that Vogel was the first St. Albert student to place first at nationals since 1997.

Borlé’s poem, “Freedom Isn’t Free,” uses the imagery of white crosses in a cemetery to reflect on sadness, bravery, and obligation.

Borlé and Vogel’s writings will be published online and in a book distributed to Legion halls nationwide later this year.

Visit for details on the contest.

Skills medals

St. Albert student tradespeople forged some bronze medals in Edmonton last week during the annual provincial Skills competition.

Four St. Albert students came home from the Edmonton Expo Centre Friday with bronze medals earned from their performances at the 2018 Provincial Skills Canada Competition, which ran last Thursday and Friday. The contest saw hundreds of high-school and post-secondary students compete in timed events based on 46 different trades, including baking, robotics, and crane operation.

St. Albert Catholic High’s Nicole Dea took third in the senior hairstyling competition despite having less than a week to prepare for the event.

“I honestly didn’t think I would do that good considering what I was up against,” she said, adding that she was very proud of her performance.

Dea said hairstylists faced a three-part challenge consisting of a bridal style (which you could practice in advance), a randomized hairstyle, and a hairstyle based on a picture.

Dea said she kept it simple for the bridal style, sticking with a few loops at the bottom and some flowers, but ran into trouble with her random hairstyle challenge, as her dye-job turned out pink instead of the intended red.

Dea said competing in this tournament was a cool experience.

“I didn’t realize how good I was until I was at the competition.”

Other St. Albertans taking bronze at Skills were Paul Kane’s Brendan Woodland in cabinet making, SACHS alumnus Chantelle Watson in post-secondary hairstyling, and NAIT’s Carolane Decoste in mechanical insulation.

Sturgeon County winners included Grace Ardt of Sturgeon Composite (silver, post-secondary hairstyling) and Sydney Jones and William Doney of Morinville Community High (bronze, video production).

Visit for the full list of results.


About Author

Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.