Opinion Column

In STAR Catholic, the new is here

 Thalia Hibbs/STAR Catholic Trustee


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

That passage from 2 Corinthians sums up our excitement for a new school year at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division. This year we welcome back 400-plus staff members, all dedicated to serving the more than 4,000 students across our Division. STAR Catholic serves six communities in 12 schools across central Alberta, and this year, as we grow, we see a number of changes to the Division.

While there is excitement in each of our communities, specifically in Beaumont we are proud to open our newest school, Ecole Mother d’Youville School, which is STAR Catholic’s second school in the town of Beaumont. It serves grades 5 to 9, and its addition complements the growth of this expanding and dynamic community.

At the beginning of the school year, at our annual Reflection Day, our three-year faith theme was unveiled. That faith theme is, “We are People of The Way,” with a sub theme for each of the three consecutive years: Year 1 - Learn The Way; Year 2 - Love The Way, Year 3 - Live The Way.

The theme originates from two places. One is our STAR Catholic mission statement, officially launched last year: Rejoicing in the Way of Christ, we nurture a love of learning in faith-filled Catholic schools! The second origin is a reference to the title the early Christians used to describe themselves, calling themselves the “People of The Way.” Moreover, Jesus referred to himself as the Way, meaning the Way is actually a person!

Just as our students are on a journey in academics and faith in our Catholic schools, “The Way” also brings to mind a path which we are all on, as we serve, support and celebrate Catholic education in our schools and our communities.

STAR Catholic knows that this support for our schools is strengthened by engagement and communication. To that end, we have launched new school websites for the 12 STAR Catholic Schools, and a new Divisional website. The sites feature news feeds to better keep you up to date on what is happening week-to-week and day-to-day at your local school and the Division. The sites are mobile friendly, so you can check them on your iPhone, android or mobile device. That includes bus status updates, divisional information, and social media connectivity to better share and celebrate the achievements and success throughout STAR Catholic School Division.

We are proud of our school division, its accomplishments and its contributions to a better community. With the passion of our staff, joy of our students and crucial partnerships with our parents and families, we have a lot to look forward to this year.

Welcome back, we hope your 2017-2018 school year is fun and inspirational. The new is here! Have a blessed year!

Thalia Hibbs thalia.hibbs@starcatholic.ab.ca is a Lacombe Trustee on the STAR Catholic Schools Division Board. STAR Catholic Schools has more than 4,000 students in 12 schools located in Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Leduc, Lacombe, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin. 

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