On September 26, 2019 the Georges Vanier Catholic School community came together to celebrate 50 years in the community. Thank you to staff, parents, students, community members and special guests who joined for the celebration.
Principal Tracze also welcomed another special guest, Patrick Schollard, who is a retired teacher who started his teaching career at Georges Vanier when it opened in 1969. Thank you Patrick for joining!
[Pictured above: Patrick Scollard at the door of his very first classroom of his teaching career in 1969.]
[Pictured below: David Joyce, Director of Riding Affairs for MPP Office of Todd Smith, Father John Hibbard, Mitch Panciuk, Mayor of the City of Belleville, Steve Tracze, Principal of Georges Vanier Catholic School, David DeSantis, ALCDSB Director of Education and David Giroux, Superintendent of School Effectiveness.]
In September 8, 1969, Georges Vanier Catholic School opened its doors for the very first time and became the showcase school of the Hastings-Prince Edward County Roman Catholic Separate School Board. The school was unique in both its physical structure and its pioneering teaching methods, modelled after Maria Montessori. Sister Barbara Thiffault the school's first Principal wrote in her original draft "In order to educate the whole child that child must have freedom to develop his physical, intellectual and spiritual powers to the fullest". This was an era of open concept education, portable walls provided physical flexibility in accommodating various groupings of children and collaborative planning was the order of the day. Today those principles still apply at Georges Vanier with Universal Design for Learning.
Georges Vanier Catholic School is named after one of Canada's great citizens. With a life spanning two World Wars and the Great Depression, Georges Vanier is remembered as a distinguished soldier, a caring diplomat and respected Governor-General. He was both the first French Canadian and Roman Catholic to hold this appointment. He and his wife, Pauline, worked tirelessly during and after World War II to help destitute refugees whose lives were in upheaval because of the war. Georges Vanier died in Canada's Centennial Year, 1967. His life of service and humility have been an example to all who have attended this school. An interesting footnote is that from the air our school's footprint bears a striking resemblance to Canada's national emblem - the Maple Leaf.