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Catholic school Board briefs
Helping each other find God at St. Joe's

Candace Thomson
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It was St. Joseph School's turn to give its report at the board meeting for Yellowknife Catholic school trustees (YCS).

Gillian Dawe-Taylor, principal of St. Joseph, attended the meeting with teachers Debra McGee, Susan Franklin and assistant principals Rachel Gautier and Genevieve Charron. Along with them came 20 students who are part of the Christian Leadership Team (CLT) and other groups.

"We thought we needed to pull something together, kind of a place for these kids to develop their faith and talk about their faith," said Debra McGee, who helped found the CLT.

"In January 2012, we issued invitations and had a retreat at the church, and then started our weekly meetings after that. Then, we were on our way

"We have weekly meetings every Wednesday during the lunch hour. We all eat together, and then we start with a prayer and read from the scripture, and if we have time, we work on special projects."

She said the membership has doubled since it started and new members join every month.

Grade 6 student Jordan Chung, 11, was one of five students to share why he takes part in CLT.

"I joined CLT to get closer to God and a lot of my friends were in it too. I joined when I came to St. Joe's last year," Chung said. "I think CLT is important because we are a Catholic school and it's good to have Christian leaders to help others."

Elementary students at handgames

Students at YCS got involved in a new event Feb. 15 and 16 which let them work as teams and enhance their cultural education - a handgames tournament in Behchoko.

"For our students, this is not something that they get to do very often," said Claudia Parker, superintendent.

There were 17 teams involved in the hand games, with students aged 8 through 15 from Weledeh and St. Joseph schools combined as a single team.

"They did really well. They came in seventh out of 17 teams," Parker said. "They beat the first team from Whati that they were involved in a match with and that really got their spirits up."

A bus took the students to Behchoko on both days of the tournament and brought them back home at night.

"It was a great experience for them and I can see them getting more involved in the future, with more students involved," Parker said.

Two international trips approved

Trustees approved two future trips for students at St. Patrick High School and, for once, St. Joseph School.

The high school trip is in April 2015 and will send approximately 30 students to Costa Rica. This posed some safety concerns for trustee Amy Simpson.

"I was just going to ask what the implications on Costa Rica are in terms of safety, but I see we approved a trip to South Africa recently, so my question is kind of moot," Simpson said.

Mike Huvenaars, who has extensive knowledge of the trip to South Africa, said he felt Costa Rica poses less concerns for the safety of the students. The trustees discussed this before approving the trip.

The other trip is for band members of St. Joseph School, the first trip approved for one of the elementary schools. The trip will take the band members to Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim, California, in April 2015 for a music conference at the theme park.

"The St. Joseph band has traveled to Winnipeg. They take a small trip every year, but this is the first big trip like this," Parker said.

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