(FORT MCMURRAY, AB – September 25, 2018) Fort McMurray Catholic Schools is excited to formally welcome Elsie Yanik Catholic School into our district family. Today we celebrated the grand opening of our school with Education Minister David Eggen, as well as several dignitaries, and members of the Yanik family.
Fort McMurray Catholic Schools is honoured to be able to name a school in the name of Elsie Yanik. Superintendent George McGuigan, “Anytime we open a new school it is exciting. However, the opening of Elsie Yanik Catholic School has significant meaning. Elsie, a long time Indigenous Metis elder of our community, holds a special place in the hearts of so many people of this region. Her everlasting message of love permeates not only Fort McMurray Catholic Schools but all of us. We are honoured to be able to name our newest Catholic Elementary School after such a revered person. The response from the community has been unbelievable. This is a testament to the far reaching influence she has had to the Region.”
Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Education Chair Paula Galenzoski, “It’s certainly been our privilege to have had Elsie Yanik as an elder, mentor, partner, and advocate for education in the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools family. It feels like we’ve been waiting a long time for this day to finally arrive. To have this school filled with the joy and noise of the very people Elsie championed – children – is just so fantastic and we are honoured to be able to carry on her legacy of kindness.”
Fort McMurray Catholic Schools also had the opportunity to celebrate another very important Fort McMurray family at the grand opening of Elsie Yanik Catholic School. We unveiled the Geraldine and Jim Carbery Learning Commons.
Fort McMurray Catholic Schools Superintendent George McGuigan says it is the perfect combination, “What a fitting way to include naming the Geraldine and Jim Carbery Learning Commons within this grand opening. The Carbery’s and Elsie were dear friends. With Geraldine’s passing two years ago, we were looking for a way to honour not just her but Jim as well. Both were long time supporters of Catholic Education, serving as Trustees; Geraldine being our longest serving until her passing. It was an honour for us to have Jim and family in attendance today as we unveiled the name.”
“There are few supporters of our community and Catholic education as dedicated and loyal as Geraldine and Jim Carbery,” adds Chair Paula Galenzoski. “Geraldine left big shoes to fill as a Trustee and a community leader, and I had the privilege to serve with and learn from her. To honour her and Jim’s dedication to our Indigenous community, education, and their friendship with Elsie Yanik in this way is purely a match made in heaven.”
Elsie Yanik Catholic School, located in Parsons Creek, is the 12th member of the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools family.