Donna Tugwood/Lacombe Trustee on the STAR Catholic Schools Division Board

COLUMN: STAR Catholic congratulates graduates, wishes communities a happy summer

‘It’s many students’ favourite time of year — summer vacation is approaching.’

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” — Song of Solomon 2:12

It’s many students’ favourite time of year — summer vacation is approaching! As the holidays grow nearer and we look back at the school year, we give thanks to God for the many successes and good news moments we’ve enjoyed.

In September, as we welcomed both new and returning students, we also rolled out a mental health awareness campaign. We shared resources and information from Alberta Health Services geared towards increasing parent knowledge, and aimed to raise awareness around issues such as depression and anxiety in youth. Positive mental health for all is one of STAR Catholic’s top priorities, and we will continue to look for new and productive ways to maintain our commitment to the cause in the year to come.

In the fall, a modernization plan was approved for Father Lacombe Catholic School, followed by the initial drawings and designs phase. We are eager to see the next steps of this project take place, including construction next year. We are also hopeful for Provincial announcements about additional modernizations and new schools.

In the spring, we formed a Grateful Advocates for Catholic Education (GrACE) group, and hosted numerous community engagement sessions. Nearly 175 supporters of Catholic education attended these events, which were full of inspiring questions, dialogue, and stories. We look forward to putting the information we gathered to use in the near future.

We marked many important holidays, feast days, and special occasions such as World Teacher Day, Read-In Week, Catholic Education Sunday, Orange Shirt Day, and Catholic Education Week. We also welcomed the return of well-loved annual student events such as the STAR Science Olympics and Track STAR Challenge.

Of course, we also celebrated the achievements of graduates from Christ the King School, Holy Trinity Academy, St. Augustine School, and STAR Catholic Outreach. We know these incredible young people have bright futures ahead of them, and we ask that God continue to bless and guide them on this next chapter of their journey.

The STAR Catholic Board of Trustees thanks students, staff, and administration for the work they did to make this school year an amazing one. Whatever your plans for the summer are, we pray it is safe and happy. Make new memories, share many laughs, and spend valuable time in the sunshine with the ones you love.

Donna Tugwood ( is the local Trustee on the STAR Catholic Schools Division Board. STAR Catholic Schools has more than 4,200 students in 12 schools located in Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Leduc, Lacombe, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin.

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