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

COLUMN: STAR Catholic grateful for community, choice, and opportunities for conversation

‘We also come together to celebrate the Easter season.’

“Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” – John 11:25-26

This month, as we welcome a long-awaited spring, we also come together to celebrate the Easter season. It’s a time of gratitude and renewal, during which we give thanks for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the gift of eternal life, and the many blessings we enjoy every day.

We have much to be thankful for.

The value of service to others and the importance of expressing thanks are lessons that help shape the moral integrity of our students, and it is with deep gratitude that we are able to instill these lessons in safe, respectful, and publicly funded Catholic schools.

We are grateful for the chance to make our voices heard and exercise our freedom of choice based on our values and beliefs. Whether it is by casting a ballot in this month’s provincial election, or having the ability to decide to educate our children in an inclusive, Christ-centered environment, Albertans are blessed with many opportunities to choose.

Though we are not without challenges, we are also grateful for the ability to collaborate with members of the community to discuss the obstacles facing Catholic education, and ways we can work together to ensure our schools continue to be the accessible, positive, and successful environments they currently are.

One of the ways we have worked to open these avenues for discussion is by creating a Grateful Advocates in Catholic Education (GrACE) group of dedicated and passionate individuals who are committed to taking steps towards ensuring the livelihood of Catholic education.

We began hosting community engagement sessions this month, and will continue to do so over the weeks to come. These have been inspiring evenings full of constructive conversation and the sharing of positive stories. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to attend an event near you. You can follow @STARCatholic on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

If you are unable to attend a GrACE community event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to share your thoughts and suggestions with me directly. I am eager to hear what you have to say, and grateful for every opportunity for discussion. On behalf of the STAR Catholic Schools Board of Trustees, I wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe, and blessed Easter season.

Donna Tugwood is a Lacombe 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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