The grand re-opening and the CTS wing dedication held at Rimbey Junior/Senior High School Thursday was a well earned celebration of the newly renovated school and a great tribute to a former well respected and well loved teacher, Dale Ewanchuk.
As well as the renovated Career and Technology Studies (CTS) wing, the high school entrance, cafeteria, library and north computer lab were modernized. The $3 million project began last fall.
Wolf Creek Public Schools Superintendent Jayson Lovell said he was delighted to witness the incredible improvements and upgrades to the building.
“Wolf Creek is very proud of this project since it took some unconventional ‘out of the box thinking’ to actually pull it off after many, many years of this modernization lingering in a place where year after year this school fell just below the radar of capital projects for the province. Principal Tim Lekas and his staff have been incredibly patient over decades to finally arrive at this place.”
Trustee Trudy Bratland said the board of trustees for Wolf Creek have had this renovation on their capital plan for many years.
“We were very pleased when we were able to commit to an actual plan that would take us to where we are today.”
She said the board is appreciative of the efforts of Mr. Lovell, Mr. Hall and their staff for all they have done to bring Alberta Infrastructure to our side of the project.
“We thank the staff and students of the school for their mostly cheerful support of the disruption of their school year, knowing that the improvements would be worth the inconvenience.”
Bratland said she was especially impressed with the change in the bus barn.
“Watching the students work on it was great to see,” she said.
In his heartfelt tribute to the late Dale Ewanchuk, high school teacher Kandy Froehlick said there have been many amazing staff work at Rimbey high school over the years.
“Dale was certainly one of the best and he was certainly unforgettable,” he said. “He was seen as a role model for all of our teachers; he taught us many life lessons and provided excellent life advice. Those who worked with Dale knew him to be exceptional at creating relationships and providing hope to students who many have struggled in some areas of their lies. Most importantly, though, Dale challenged each of us to be better.”
Froelick noted that the former teacher, who was nominated for an excellence in teaching award in 2009, never wanted to be in the limelight and often people weren’t aware of the acts of kindness that he did behind the scenes. He recalled that Ewanchuk rented suits for students to attend graduation, took students to an Oilers or Rebels game, took them skiing for a day and mentored countless students who really needed a father figure.
“Every student left our school thinking they were Dale’s favourite student,” he said.
On behalf of herself and her son, Tyler and her daughter, Kendal Monti, Beverlee Ewanchuk thanked everyone for their support and said a few words regarding her late husband.
“For 30 years Dale always said, ‘this is the year,’ she said with a smile.
Following the speeches, the crowd was encouraged to have a tour of the school and enjoy refreshments.
As well as WCPS superintendent, Jayson Lovell and trustee Trudy Bratland, board chairman Pamela Hansen was in attendance as well as Brent Buchanan, Lorrie Jess and Kelly Lowry.