HFCRD Welcomes Carlo Poretta as Vice Principal of St. Andrew’s School

The Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD) is pleased to welcome Carlo Poretta as the Vice Principal of St. Andrew’s School, commencing in the 2016/17 school year.  Carlo has been in school administration for five years and brings a wealth of experience in elementary and secondary schools.  Carlo will join the administrative team at St. Andrew’s, and will focus on the management of the junior and senior high grades in the K-12 school.

“HFCRD is pleased to welcome Carlo to the division and to St. Andrew’s School. He has demonstrated extensive knowledge in many key areas and is a good fit for our division,” said Superintendent Betty Turpin.  “Carlo will be a fantastic addition to the St. Andrew’s administrative team and I expect his transition to St. Andrew’s to be a smooth one.”

Carlo earned his Masters in History at York University in Toronto, Ontario.  He also holds a baccalaureate with Honours in political science and history.  He has fostered positive relationships with students and staff throughout his career, and describes his philosophy of education as student centered and firmly believes that all students can succeed.  Carlo is very involved in his community through various committees, organizations and sports teams. 

 “When students’ strengths are highlighted and nurtured, the student builds confidence and resiliency, and this leads to student success both in academics and in personal development,” said Carlo.  “Being an educator brings the invaluable responsibility to positively impact the community and society in which we live, and I will strive to do this to the best of my ability.”

HFCRD wishes current Vice Principal Linda Vanden Berg the best as she returns to the classroom at St. Andrew’s School!

August Board Meeting Date Changed

Due to scheduling conflicts, the August Regular Board Meeting date has been changed to Friday August 26th at 10:00am.  All Regular Board Meetings are open to the public so please join us at the Catholic Conference Centre in Peace River!

Inaugural Catholic Leadership Academy Grows Leadership Capacity Within HFCRD


In September 2015, the Holy Family Catholic Division (HFCRD)’s inaugural Catholic Leadership Academy began with 14 participants looking to grow their leadership capacity, and grow in their faith.  The Academy, led by Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta (CCSSA) Executive Director Jamie McNamara, consisted of a four-part comprehensive leadership training that took place throughout the school year on Fridays and Saturdays, most of which was the participants’ personal time.  The group celebrated their final training on Saturday May 14th with a short ceremony of congratulations and a final prayer.  The purpose of the Academy was to develop leadership within the division to better prepare teachers for leadership roles.  

“We are very proud of our Catholic Leadership Academy participants.  I am very proud to have witnessed the incredible growth they have displayed throughout this program, and am very confident that we have met our goal to build leadership capacity within the division,” said Superintendent Betty Turpin.  “Thank you to Jamie McNamara for providing a high-quality Catholic leadership training for our division.”

Due to the success of the 2015/16 Catholic Leadership Academy, the Academy will be offered again in 2016/17.  Interested participants can contact Superintendent Betty Turpin to express their interest.  Here’s what the 2015/16 participants have to say about the Academy:

"It has been a wonderful experience that allows you to view your profession through a new lens. It was insightful, inspiring, and engaging. Discussions were lively and the presentations were extremely enlightening and beneficial. Anyone who is able to take part in this Academy should consider it!"

- Ashley Sherbanuk, Teacher

“The Catholic Leadership Academy helped me to understand leadership through the lense of Catholicity and a leader as a shepherd.  It helped me to understand a broader perspective of the division.

–Joanne Baird, Learning Coach

“I truly appreciated the time to reflect on my own practice and the opportunity to see things from a different perspective.

- Monique Randall, Teacher

"The Catholic Leadership Academy exposed me to many school based administration experiences that will be a great asset in my new role as a Catholic School administrator. The collaboration with my colleagues, the expertise and involvement of Senior Administration, and the leadership of Jaimie McNamara made the experience a very practical and eye opening one. I highly recommend participation in this leadership academy."

– Lauri Goudreault, Teacher & Vice Principal in 2016/17

“The Catholic Leadership Academy has given me an insight about what is all included in a leadership role. It has given me the confidence and motivation to be a better leader in my school and possibly take a leadership role later on in my career.”

– Angela Lavoie, Teacher

"The Catholic Leadership Academy helped me to see our district as an entity: we examined our district priorities, saw what and why decisions are made at central office and that our Catholic faith unites us - and much more! I especially enjoyed interacting with people from our other schools."

-Joanne Boutet, Teacher

“I would highly recommend the Catholic Leadership Academy to anyone who is interested in the decision making process that occurs beyond their classroom walls.  The activities, readings, discussions, and collaboration all intertwined with faith that make up the sessions will leave you with a new perspective on how leadership operates within Holy Family Catholic Division #37.

–Stewart McIntyre, Teacher

“The Catholic Leadership Academy has allowed me to develop skills that were immediately useful in the classroom and will undoubtedly continue to help me in my profession in years to come, at any level.  The perspectives gained in terms of what it means to be a leader in catholic education were inspiring and truly made me reflect on how small actions can make hugely positive differences.”

-Stephane Gaudreau, Teacher

“Know By Heart” Video Showcases Innovative Learning in HFCRD

In 2016, the HFCRD Learning Fair took a very different turn. In past years, students and staff from across the division gathered for a day of celebrating learning. This year, the Learning Fair was transformed into a school-based event in every school, and a video to better demonstrate and reflect HFCRD’s 21 st century learning practices. The video gives parents and community members the opportunity to hear what students and staff learned throughout the year and what was meaningful to them.
The video was created by HFCRD’s Learning Coach team and features students and staff from across the division. Students and staff were asked the following two questions and their answers are featured in the video:
1) About memorable learning experiences: “What stuck with you this year?”
2) About God’s goodness: “How did you experience God this year?”
“This video is a reflection of the innovative learning that happens in HFCRD schools every day and I am so impressed with the meaningful comments from our students and staff,” said HFCRD Superintendent Betty Turpin. “I look forward to watching more videos next year and hearing more from students and staff about their learning. Thank you to our Learning Coaches for creating such a beautiful video!”
Next school year, a more comprehensive video will be created that will involve footage created by staff across the division. The video will give further insight into the 21st century classroom, and further feature the innovative practices happening in HFCRD schools, and how God is part of everything the division does.

Dominique Jean Named Principal of Glenmary School

The Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dominique Jean as the Principal of Glenmary School, commencing in the 2016/17 school year.  Dominique, who is currently Vice Principal at Glenmary School, has been teaching in the Peace region since 1989 and brings a wealth of experience both as a teacher and administrator in elementary, Junior High and Senior High levels. 

“We are very excited to have Dominique move into the Principal role at Glenmary School.  He has many years of experience as a Vice Principal and Principal throughout the province,” said Superintendent Betty Turpin.  “Dominique has made a very positive impact in Glenmary School as Vice Principal and I am confident that he will do an excellent job in this new role.”

Dominique completed his post-secondary education in Saguenay, Quebec.  He holds a college degree in science and a baccalaureate in physical education completed at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi.  Dominique has been involved in school activities, particularly with sports.  He has coached volleyball and badminton for many years and also worked as a sports coordinator. 

“I am very excited to take on the new challenge as Principal of Glenmary School next year,” said Dominique.  “I look forward to continuing to foster positive relationships with our school community in this new role.  I will strive to ensure that Glenmary remains a leader in education and continue to help students become the leaders of tomorrow.”

HFCRD wishes current Principal John Wiedrick the best in his new role with High Prairie School Division!  

St. Stephen’s School Raises Over $8200 for Red Cross, Thanks to Rauri’s Challenge

Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD) warmly congratulates St. Stephen’s School for raising over $8200 for the Red Cross in support of the Fort McMurray wildfire victims.  The incredible donation amount was raised through ice cream sales at the school, community support, and local business’ donations.  The students and staff of St. Stephen’s School were overwhelmed by the community support.

“Thank you to our community for overwhelmingly supporting this worthy cause and being role models for our students,” said Assistant Principal Sandy Campbell.  “The people of Fort McMurray are in need and we are so proud of how our school community has stepped up to support them.”

After the school had raised $1600 through ice cream sales, Grade 2 student Rauri Carroll took matters into his own hands and taught us all a lesson in the power of one person.  Rauri hand wrote a letter to the local Tarpon Energy Services branch, where his father works, and challenged them to match the school’s donations.  Not only did Tarpon Energy Services accept Rauri’s challenge, Valleyview Tarpon staff matched the donation as well for a grand total of $4000.  Further, Valleyview Tarpon Energy Services challenged all Tarpon branches to match the donation; Greg Young, an owner of Tarpon, also accepted Rauri’s challenge by donating $1600 to the Red Cross.  Thank you to Rauri for showing us how one person’s actions can quickly snowball and inspire the community.  Rauri’s challenge inspired his family, his school and his community to come together to support another community in need.

Total Funds Raised:

Ice Cream Sales: $1600
Tarpon Energy Services: $2000
Valleyview Tarpon Energy Services Employees: $2000
Greg Young, Owner of Tarpon: $1600
Rauri’s Grandparents: $1000

Grand Total: $8,200

Special thanks to:

-       Memory Lanes and Will Vredegoor for donating all the ice cream and cones
-       Valleyview IGA and the Bargain Shop for offering large discounts on supplies!

Thank you to the community of Valleyview for supporting St. Stephen’s School’s fundraiser to help the Fort McMurray wildfire victims!  

Glenmary School Offers First-Ever Welding Program, With Unanimous Support from Board of Trustees


Throughout April 2016, Glenmary School was pleased to offer its first-ever High School welding program, after the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to financially support the program at their March 15th Regular Board Meeting.  The purpose of the program was to give high school students the opportunity to try welding for perhaps the first time, and encourage them to consider a career in welding.    

“Glenmary School is very excited to expand our CTS course offerings and give our students this new opportunity.  Our school is very thankful to the Board of Trustees for their financial support,” said Glenmary School Vice Principal Dominique Jean.  “We’ve heard very positive feedback from students and we hope to offer this program again in the future.”

The program, taught by Journeyman Millwright and Welder Arlen Pahl, began on Tuesday April 5th with 14 high school students split into two sessions.  Students worked for three hours each day at their own pace and earned one credit for each of the eight modules completed.  Further, students had the opportunity to have their hours count toward the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) Program. 

“Students did exceptionally well for beginner welders.  This program will give them a big head start in their careers,” said Instructor Arlen Pahl of Trades Training Initiative (TTI).  “Offering welding in a high school setting gives students one-on-one training, and practical experience before even entering the workforce.”

To give students a real-world welding experience, each class began with a safety meeting and a task hazard assessment.  Students also underwent rigorous safety training at the beginning of the course.  The students had experience on three welding machines, a mig welder, a horizontal band saw, a vertical drill press and with oxy/acetylene cutting. This equipment was used to complete welding coupons in the flat, horizontal, and vertical positions.  Students also fabricated two steel framed picnic tables.   

Students worked outside rain or shine and were required to wear full welding attire including a welding helmet, steel-toed boots, and coveralls.  Glenmary School thanks the Canadian Welding Association for donating all welding helmets for the program, Boucher Bros for their donation of lumber for the picnic tables, and to Hypertherm for their donation of a Powermax 45 plasma cutting machine and educational resources, as part of the “Spark Something Great Program.”  These items will be fantastic additions to the TTI tool crib and the CTS cutting modules!

Glenmary School Thanks 100+ Career Fair Speakers

Glenmary School genuinely thanks the 100+ speakers, and organizers who donated their time to speak at Glenmary’s first-ever Career Fair.  On Thursday April 21st, Glenmary grade 9 to 12 students were treated to a full day of learning about potential careers.  Throughout the day, students chose which sessions they would like to attend so they had the opportunity to explore their many interests.  Each speaker prepared a short 20 minute presentation, followed by a question and answer opportunity.  Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive as the day provided students the opportunity to step into the shoes of a professional in their areas of interest.

“When we first asked community members to volunteer as guest speakers, we expected 20 to 25 speakers.  When over 100 offers to speak came in, we were truly overwhelmed by the community support,” said Glenmary School Council Member and Career Fair Organizer Cheryl Fitchie.

According to Fitchie, School Council members dreamed of hosting a Career Fair at the school for several years.  This year, they joined together to realize their dream, and with the help of many Glenmary staff members, they gave students the opportunity to make a more informed career choice. 

“We are very thankful to our School Council members, our staff, and the over 100 speakers who volunteered their time to make our Career Fair a success,” said Glenmary School Principal John Wiedrick.  “Organizing an event of this caliber is no easy task and we are so blessed to able to offer this valuable learning opportunity for our students.”

Career Fair Organizers:

(L-R) Rebecca Joe, Cheryl Fitchie, Spencer Pinnock, Sherry Rhodes, and Monique Randall

Career Fair Speakers:

Adrienne Moffet
Albert Cooper
Alberta Works
Alisha Mody
Andrew Baron, Kara Nyland
Arlen Pahl
Barry Himer
Brian Stanley
Brianne Nettlefield
Cam Dechant
Canadian Armed Forces
Captain Mike Frayne, Lieutenant James Martin
Carmen Collins
Carson Murphy
Cassandra Gifford
Cathy Hewko
Chad Skolseg
Chantal Bentley
Chris France
Colin Gagnon
Constable Nathan MacKay, Constable Marci Seymour, Constable Brandon Hrdlicka
Corinna Williams
Cullen Morton
Darcy Foreman
Darren Boyer
Darren Havener, Sean Hill, Duane Sawan
Darren Rohatyn
Daryl Magnusson
David Chapados
Denis Simoneau
Diego Syz
Dr. Blackstock
Dr. Brett Hessel
Dr. Potvin
Dr. Root
Fritz Dijk
Gayle Walton
Helen May
Jaimie Scobie
Jaimie Warne
Jean Lawrence
Jody Bekevich
Kaitlin McGuire
Kaitlin Noskey, Lindsay Grundy-Kish , Andre Knight-Lira, Sarah Chipman
Karen Hee
Karen Skarberg
Karl Mundt
Katie Leussink
Kelly Whalen
Kerri Webb
Khirsten Gallant
Kim Pinnock
Kimberlee Archibald
Laura Love
Lindsay Bentley
Lindsay Gish
Louise Dueck
Lynne Pardell
Mae Stewart
Megan Hoffman
Melanie Bekevich-Joos
Mona Diebert
Monique Randall
Nathan McKay
Raelene Marceau
Remi Tardif
Robb Stavne
Ron Roes
Sally Barkwell
Samantha Bruun
Samantha Koeing
Samantha Siddall
Simonne Skrlik
Sister Mary Jean
Spencer Pinnock
Sr. Mary Jean Davidson
Stacy Reimer
Sue Long
Tanin Behnke
Tim Neufeld
Vanda Kinshella
Veronica Ryan
William Barkwell



Cpl Brad McIntosh of RCMP Warns Students About the Dangers of Fentanyl


On Tuesday May 31, Glenmary School hosted Cpl Brad McIntosh of the ‘K’ Division Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) Team, a division of the RCMP, who presented to students about the dangers of fentanyl.  All junior and senior high students from Peace River and Grimshaw were invited to hear Cpl McIntosh’s important message that could potentially save lives.  Fentanyl is a drug similar to heroin that is currently experiencing an increase in popularity.  Fentanyl is 80-100 times more powerful than morphine and is often used as an inexpensive substitute for heroin.

“If you ingest fentanyl the size of one grain of salt, you will get a high, but if you ingest fentanyl the size of two grains of salt, you will likely be put in an overdose state,” said Cpl McIntosh.  “One pound of fentanyl could kill 250,000 people.”

Fentanyl is most commonly used as an anesthetic in hospitals, but Cpl McIntosh explained how easily an inexperienced drug producer could unintentionally produce pills containing deadly amounts of fentanyl.  He recommended to all students that they avoid fentanyl, unless administered to them by a medical professional. 

“Thank you to Cpl McIntosh for bringing this important message to students in the Peace Country,” said Glenmary School Principal John Wiedrick.  “Drugs are not welcome in our school and we hope today’s presentation reinforced our continued message to students: say no to drugs.”

Cpl McIntosh also showed a powerful video of a drug user experiencing an overdose and how quickly an overdose can occur.  The man lost consciousness, stopped breathing and fell to the ground.  Luckily, the man in the video was in a public place so 911 was called and the man was treated by paramedics.

Glenmary School thanks Cpl McIntosh for educating students about fentanyl.  

Holy Family School Student Kyara Garnett Wins Provincial Knights of Columbus Contest

The Grimshaw Knights of Columbus award Kyara Garnett winner of the Knights of Columbus Religious Vocations Awareness Drawing Contest
(L-R) Gerald McGuire, Grand Knight Gilles Doucet, Kyara Garnett, Pat Armstrong


Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD) warmly congratulates Holy Family School grade five student Kyara Garnett who won the provincial Knights of Columbus Religious Vocations Awareness Drawing Contest.  Representatives from the Grimshaw Knights of Columbus presented the award, along with a cheque for $100, at the school assembly on Monday May 30th

“Kyara competed against students from across the province and her drawing was selected as the best,” said Grand Knight Gilles Doucet.  “It is very rare for someone from a small town to win a contest like this.”

The school chose six entries to send to the local Knights of Columbus, who chose Kyara’s design to submit to the provincial contest.  The State Council then chose Kyara’s design as the provincial winner out of the 10 submitted from across the province.  The top 10 drawings each won $100 for their outstanding entries.  Kyara’s drawing will be posted on the provincial Knights of Columbus website to celebrate her big win. 

“We are so proud of Kyara for her outstanding accomplishment,” said Holy Family School Principal Victoria Cornick.  “Her drawing is a reflection of her commitment to her faith and we look forward to seeing her artistic skills develop even further in the coming years.”