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Why Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools? Here’s Why!

Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools provides an outstanding education and a great head start for students. “Arise: Get up, Get going, go with God!” is the motto that provides empowerment to the division and everyone within it.

Alyssa Frew, pre-kindergarten and music teacher, discusses what makes her, and the students’, time with the division so rewarding.

“I was fortunate enough to have been placed in Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools for my student teaching 19 years ago. So, the first time I walked into a Catholic school, I was already an adult,” says Frew. “It was the season of Lent when I began student teaching, and it ended up being the first Lent that I was able to observe the 40 days most wholeheartedly. The daily reminder and prayers, which came from immersion in the faith while working in the school, is what I needed to boost my own faith as a young adult. I have worked in many schools since that first experience and now this year, my four children and I can be found in five different St. Albert Catholic schools each day.”

She continues, discussing the benefits for students.

“Our division is a wonderful place for children to grow up because we are built on the underlying belief that every person is known and loved by God and that every child deserves to experience that love and acceptance in their schools. This makes our programming inclusive and available for all and ensures we are challenging ourselves to better serve our students in their learning and well-being physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, and emotionally.”

Shanlyn Cunningham, Manager of Communications, Marketing & Community Engagement with the division weighs in.

“We’ve heard consistent feedback that our schools offer a different feeling; something that you feel as soon as you walk in the door – a sense of community and being part of something more than just a school. Everyone knows each other’s names and each student’s well-being is a priority.”

“One family recently said that walking into the front doors felt like a warm hug,” Cunningham continues. “When you join our schools, you and your family become part of this community.”

In addition to core competencies and religious instruction, teachers prepare students to face real-world issues.

“Our shift to a digital world opens up fabulous educational opportunities, but it can present very real dangers and temptations to children that have not been faced by previous generations,” explains Frew. “The right educational environment has teachers and parents jointly providing support, supervision, and daily time limits so our children can still have the screen-free activities and human connections that are so important to their development.”

Both Frew and Cunningham wish more people knew about what makes Catholic education so special.

“I do wish everyone could have the same experience I had as a young adult experiencing a Catholic school for the first time,” smiles Frew. “There is nothing old-fashioned about a Catholic education. What is refreshing is that the moral standards guiding our behaviour as staff, parents and children are not everchanging with daily trends, but are based on our common Christian faith and put into practical use for today’s world.”

Cunningham adds, “Families do not need to be Catholic to attend our schools. Everyone is welcome here. We teach our students to be kind, to be empathetic, and to just be good human beings.”

The students also learn how to give back. Both students and staff are involved in fundraising for initiatives such as Catholic Social Services, the Ukrainian refugee effort, funds to replace the loss of Morinville’s Saint Jean Baptiste Parish, and other causes that students choose and value.

The division supports the Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools Education Foundation registered charity, which provides grants and scholarships. The charity takes donations directly and provides tax receipts. It is also supported by events such as the golf tournament taking place on June 14, 2023, at the Sturgeon Valley Golf & Country Club.

Catholic education can leave a lasting impression on a student that has an influence over their lifetime. Learn more online and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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