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Fort McMurray Catholic Schools Step Up: Meet the Village Mayors

Megan McKenny
BY Megan McKenny
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Fort McMurray Catholic Schools is proud to support the 2018 Alberta Winter Games! We will be cheering all of the athletes on from the sidelines in every sport from archery to wrestling, hockey to fencing!

Fort McMurray Catholic Schools will also be supporting hundreds of young athletes by providing somewhere for them to rest and prepare for the next day of competition. Four of our schools will be Athletes Villages for the Games.

Superintendent George McGuigan says this speaks to our Core Value of We value community, “We are a proud supporter of the Alberta Winter Games. Opening our doors and welcoming athletes from across the province is part of our Catholic tradition.”

“The more we have people visit our community,” continues McGuigan, “they will come to realize and see for themselves what a great place Fort McMurray is to live, work, and play.”

The Alberta Winter Games are about bringing young athletes from across the province together. It’s an honour to host, says Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Education Chair Paula Galenzoski, “It is a privilege for us to give back to our community by supporting the games in this way. Opening up our schools as athlete villages means we can support each and every young athlete in pursuing their dreams. These events couldn’t happen without incredible collaboration and a collective desire to welcome people from all over Alberta to experience the hospitality and community of the Wood Buffalo region.”

Galenzoski states the work being done in schools to support the games really does speak to Fort McMurray Catholic Schools Core Values, “One of our core values is community. Community isn’t necessarily a geographic location or a place, community is about relationships and a sense of belonging. The Alberta Winter Games is all about bringing people together, making new relationships. For some, it is the dream. For others, it’s one step closer to their dream. However we can help youth reach their goals, we will do all we can to assist.”

For Sister Mary Phillips Vice-Principal Joel Canete he will be spending the Alberta Winter Games as the Village Mayor at his school, “All the schools that are housing the athletes are called Villages. I am responsible for my Village. Primarily, ensuring that the facility is a safe place for the young athletes. I’m excited to be helping out with the Games as it’s an opportunity to work with youth in a different capacity than what I do with role as a Vice-Principal.” 

The transformation from normal school facility to Athlete Village will essentially happen overnight adds Canete. “The Village of Sister Mary Phillips will be hosting young gentlemen from cross-country skiing, squash and curling. We will be converting 13 classrooms and our gymnasium to sleeping quarters. This entails having teachers remove most of their furniture in their classrooms. Our goal is to have the classrooms ready for the athletes by the afternoon of February 15th and then back to normal for the Sister Mary Phillips students on February 20th when school starts again.”

Canete will be an avid spectator during the Alberta Winter Games, “I’m looking forward to meeting all the young athletes and their families. They are all from different parts of the province, and coming together to compete and celebrate their athletic endeavours is exciting for me.”

We look forward to hosting athletes at Sister Mary Phillips School, St Kateri School, St Martha School, and Holy Trinity Catholic High School. We will be cheering you all on during the Games, and continue cheering as you all chase your athletic dreams!