By Adam Eisenbarth
Students were anxious to grab their report cards and celebrate the start of summer vacation, but for staff at the Rimbey Christian School, it was a time to reflect on another successful year.
The school celebrated the last day of classes with the Year End Appreciation Pancake Breakfast.
Principal Tambourine Simpson was thankful for the support the school receives.
“It’s hard to come up with a list because we get so much help at the school and we really appreciate all that you do,” said Simpson after listing some of the generous volunteers who helped throughout the year.
From snowplow drivers, event organizers, bus drivers, lawn mowers and more, it’s clear the school relies on the many volunteers that help out.
“This school would not be successful and we wouldn’t be able to do it without all these volunteers,” said Simpson.
The past school year will be remembered as the first with a busing program. The school used donations to purchase three buses and operates two routes. The buses also help with field trip planning.
“Before, we had parents driving. The parents didn’t mind doing it, but it’s a lot of organizing, getting parents to drive who are available.”
It was also a special year for Simpson herself, as she taught kindergarten at the school for the first time in her three-year tenure.
“All of them came with a real love of learning. It was really encouraging to see. It helped remind me of why I do this.”
Simpson says her years at the school have been a positive experience.
“I’m overwhelmed at how many people love, and are dedicated to this school. They just give so much to the school.”
Throughout the year, students enjoyed a variety of guests including Olympic bobsledder Lyndon Rush and authors Georgia Graham and Sigmund Brower.
Simpson believes the school is an important piece of the community and they do what they can to make Rimbey a better place to be.
“We’re always trying to get our name out there so people know we’re here.”
The school encourages their students to volunteer.
“Once a week, junior high students would get together and do things in the community. They painted park benches, shovelled walks and raked leaves for seniors, anybody that knew about it could phone us.”
With fewer than 100 students, the school is looking to attract more students with free tuition next year for new families.
“We think that if the family comes in and sees our school and sees the community atmosphere of the school, the small class sizes, they’ll want to stay.”
While the number of students is a bit low, Simpson says there’s nothing to panic about. “It’s enough to keep going but we do definitely have room for more.”
The school is looking forward to next school year and has set Aug. 30 as the date for their Back to School Barbecue. Anyone will be welcome to check out the school and enjoy the fun evening with donkey rides, face painting, sumo suits, jump castles and more.