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Three years ago, an official announcement was made by the Living Waters Catholic Regional Division and then MLA George Vanderburg that École St. Joseph School was to be replaced with a new building. The school motto, Rooted in earth, growing in spirit, branching out into the real world came to be as the school was indeed built and made ready for its students for the September 2017 season.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday at the school. The school showcased its artistic talents to the many dignitaries in attendance. Father Benjamin Belgica opened with a prayer and a blessing, and Elder Annabelle Kootenay also blessed the school and said a prayer. Other dignitaries present were Jim Rennie, Mayor of Woodlands County, and councillors Sylvia Bonnett, Ron Govenlock, and John Burrows. Whitecourt’s Mayor Maryann Chichak and several school trustees were also in attendance.
Living Waters Catholic School Board Superintendent Jo-Anne Lanctot thanked everyone who helped them with the process and believed in their goal. “A lot of effort was put into the building of this school, and there was a great deal of discussion back and forth with administration, architects, and everyone else involved to bring us to this day.”
Current MLA for Whitecourt-Ste. Anne, the Honorable O’Neil was impressed with the building, as he was seeing it for the first time since, he quoted “the shovel went into the ground.” Carlier said this school is one of 50 new schools that opened in 2017 across Alberta.
Father Benjamin Belgica of the St. Joseph Catholic Church was pleased to be present for the Grand Opening. Father Belgica said he’s glad to be present to support this endeavour as well to give his support to the students and teachers at the school. “We have to support the students especially when they are learning so they can grow to be better persons of our community. I’m very grateful to be a part of their lives and I feel blessed.” Father Benjamin visits the school as frequently as he can to engage with all the students and be available to them.