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ATA hands out multiple awards to students in Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools


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ATA Local #80 (Red Deer Catholic)

As we wrap up the first full week back to school, and look ahead to celebrating World Teacher Day on Friday October 5, the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) Local #80 for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools would like to congratulate and recognize a number of 2017-2018 student award winners from across our entire school division.

Across our school division, from Red Deer, to Innisfail, to Olds, to Rocky Mountain House, to Sylvan Lake, to Blackfalds, almost 200 of our students in received awards, prizes and scholarships sponsored by our teaching staff, valued at a total of $10,200.  Awards and prizes were determined at the school level, while the 3 scholarships awarded annually to students entering post-secondary education were determined by a panel of teacher volunteers.

ATA Local #80 (Red Deer Catholic) Student Award Winners 2017-2018


ATA Local 80 Child of a Member Scholarship:

This award is given to a well-rounded child of a current ATA member who is entering a post-secondary program of studies in the Fall of the upcoming school year.  WINNER:  Adam Junck


Leo Richer Education Student Scholarship:

This award is given to a student graduating from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools who is entering a Bachelor of Education post-secondary program in the Fall of the upcoming school year.  The award is named for Leo Richer, a longtime French Immersion teacher with Red Deer Catholic, who also served his colleagues for a number of years as our ATA Local President, and as an elected table officer with the ATA as the  District Representative for Central-South Alberta.  WINNER:  Julie Beally


Margaretrose Willms Mature Student Scholarship:

This award is given to a child of a current ATA member who is returning to school at the post-secondary level after taking some time away from their studies.  The award is named after Margaretrose Willms, a longtime teacher and principal with Red Deer Catholic, who also served as an ATA school representative for many years, as well as being very involved with the practicum field experience programs for student teachers.  WINNER:  Sydnie Ratzlaff


Father Henri Voisin:

As a staff we have decided that we will honor a student from each classroom in the following four categories: Noreen Fischer Christian Leadership, Fine Arts, Sportsmanship, and Academic Achievement.  

Noreen Fischer Christian Leadership Award
Noreen Fischer was a former teacher in our school division. She also loved the St. Francis Peace Prayer and so when she passed away her family set up an award to honor peacemakers in our elementary schools.  We have continued this practice.
This award honors those students who are peacemakers.  That is, those students who go out of their way to make their classmates feel welcomed and loved.  They are the students who reach out when a classmate is hurt or sad and share joy with classmates who are happy. These students make a difference in the lives of those around them.  

Fine Arts Award
The Fine Arts Award recognizes those students who demonstrate exceptional achievement in one or more of the performing and visual arts, including subjects pertaining to music, art, and drama.

Sportsmanship Award
Whether you’re into sports or not, you’ve seen it happen.  You’ve probably even experienced it: Football players shaking hands after four quarters of knocking each other around.  Tennis players leaping over the net to shake hands with their opponents after a hard-fought match. Soccer players exchanging jerseys after an intense 90 minutes.  Even boxers touching gloves at the beginning of each round, then hugging after beating each other to a pulp for 12 rounds. Competitors in every event, from spelling bees to hockey games, can be seen behaving this way.  What’s going on?
It’s all part of sportsmanship, a great tradition in sports and competition that means playing clean and handling both victory and defeat with grace, style, and dignity.  Father Henri Voisin has many students who do just that every single day.
These students play fair, follow the rules of the game, respect the judgment of referees and
treat opponents with respect.

Academic Achievement
Our school and school division value academic excellence.  At Father Voisin, we want all students to strive to be the best possible readers, writers, Mathematicians and scientists.  The Academic Excellence award is given to the students who have been devoted to their personal academic achievement.


Father Henry Voison Noreen Fischer Fine Arts Sportsmanship Academic Sacraments Poetry
Pre-K AM Michael Skinner Caelyn Wazny Mia Arcand Raymond Lam
Pre-K PM Paige Poffenroth Stacey Manabat Colby Waldner Paige Clark
K-R Bella Visscher Allison Sun Tessa Ofstie Aaron Howorko
K- PTTh Brooklyn Music Ava Carle Chase Pochylko Iyla Davies
K- PWF Oliver Hale Pierce Lynch Tyler Barrow Mila Kloberdanz
1C Jaxon Rehman Kyleigh Amas Finn Lynch Paisley Adams
1DC Annyka Gonzalez Austin LaFrance Joshua Garreffa Isla Marsh Aaron Santiago
1H Sean Skinner Mya Coupland Grayson Pearson Rachel Reschny Annabel
2B Rianne Watson Olivia McFadden Jaxen Ross Caelan Pimentel Grade 2: Sebastian Celso Vanya Ferguson, John Carl Jacob, Rohann Lacostales, Morgan Pikkert, Allie Larouche, Mackenzie Music, Caelan Pimentel, Riley Rabena, Reese Rehman, Clarissa Roderson, Riley Rosario, Pierre Ylagan, Emma Fillier, Nairn Patterson, Sarah Towers, Paul Gonzalez John Carl
2R Kinley Luca Cena Moore Carter Wescott Mackenzie Music Kinley
2S Taya Stehr Rohann Lacostales Alexander Howorko Dakota Carroll Dakota Carroll
3C Serin Girard Katie Johnson Arthur Becegato Emmet McGuigan
3H Michelle Owolagba DaErika Bahadur Matthew Morrow Autumn Carroll Branek Ferguson
3S Kabir Raj Tanya Adolfo Tayten Dube Seth Haase
4A Ella Dorigatti Emma VanHyfte Arnold James Del Mundo Jillian Marquart Denix Alvarez & Megan Stehr
4M Taylor Funnell Samantha Barrow Grady Pasman Cohen Gulak
5AJ Addi McMahon Katrina Wong Julian Galenza Andrea Abat
5B Louise Ante Alexa Ross Jaxon Winchester Lola Pui



Holy Family School

5M:  Raizelyn Perez/ Jayden Paynor-Limbona

5WQ: Kaitlyn Louks/ Jacob Campbell

5S:  Ashley Korenchuk/Nathan Ignacio

Noreen Fischer Award: Bryce Hanusich



  • Grade 5 Ryan Henrion, Richard Malcolm, Natalie Julien

  • Grade 6  Amy Bui

  • Grade 7  Grace Webster

  • Grade 8  HAnnah Ly

  • Grade 9  Hailey Anderson



St Patrick’s Community School:
Highest academic average:

Grade 6 Erin de Leon
Grade 7 Nicole Parafina
Grade 8 Elisse Canaynay  
Grade 9 Lucia Baldanado


St. Teresa de Avila:

Highest Academic: Iris Kang & Maya Edzerza

Sportsmanship: Presley Zinger, Lean Sevilla, Ashlyn Makarenko, David Friesen

Citizenship: Somonta Num, Kane Delaney, Kacey Sacolles, Colton Bowes

Dedication: Javier Hernandez & Neveah Zillinsky


St Gabriel Online Schoool:  Alternative Education Award

– Enrolled in an alternative route

– Enrolled only with St. Gabriel’s (Grade 8 – 12)

– Is registered in our online or outreach school

– Demonstrates:

    – Responsibility

    – Self motivation

    – Academic growth

    – Work ethic

– Successfully passing all courses

Gabriel Royko

Levi Castle

St Francis of Assisi:
A common fund is established that is put towards the purchase of plaques honouring top students in core subjects for each grade as well as Christian Spirit and Physical Education.


Ryan Clark

Olivia Jacobs

Archer Jenkins

Haley LaGrange

Sarah Properzi

Alexandria Ragasa

Holy Trinity (Olds):

KA Braxton Gordash
KB Walter Giugovaz
1A Bryson Bieber
1B Kensi Miller
2A Zaijan Eclavea
2B Palin Lentz
3A Jon Sproule
3B Max Huhn
4A Braden Scott
4B Austin Fletcher
5A Hannah Zurkan
6A Zoe Ginter
7A Nicole Zumbuehl
8A Kimberley Canilang


Ecole Our Lady of the Rosary (Sylvan Lake):
Our students are picked to receive the Christian Leadership Award.?

Criteria for the award:

A student who earns the Christian Leadership award demonstrates many or all of the following Christ-like qualities:

¨ Helping others

¨ Including others

¨ Showing kindness/empathy to others

¨ Showing compassion and respect

¨ Modeling the golden rule “Treating others as you would like to be treated”


This year’s winners are:

Chloe Lima
Leightan Olson
Kayn Bowman
Dominic Chubala
Molly Tiner
Tyler Gajardo
Roen Martel
Gabriel Rovero
Bryn Golden
Jillian Brode
Benjamin Veldman
Izabella Olsen
Paislee Zimmer
Archer Becker
Jackson Corkum
Jace Lapp
Alexis Scheffelmaier
Nikita Birkbeck
Annika Lewis
Annika Hoffos

Ecole Mother Teresa School (Sylvan Lake):

Highest academic average:

Grade 5:  William Norris

Grade 6:  Kennedy Moffatt

Grade 7:  Lauren Olson / Alyssa Olson

Grade 8:  Kalli Matthew

Grade 9:  Denaisha Kraft / Jessica Kraft

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‘Harm Reduction’ is killing B.C.’s addicts. There’s got to be a better way

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Susan Martinuk 

B.C. recently decriminalized the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. The resulting explosion of addicts using drugs in public spaces, including parks and playgrounds, recently led the province’s NDP government to attempt to backtrack on this policy

Since 2016, more than 40,000 Canadians have died from opioid drug overdoses — almost as many as died during the Second World War.
Governments, health care professionals and addiction experts all acknowledge that widespread use of opioids has created a public health crisis in Canada. Yet they agree on virtually nothing else about this crisis, including its causes, possible remedies and whether addicts should be regarded as passive victims or accountable moral agents.

Fuelled by the deadly manufactured opioid fentanyl, Canada’s national drug overdose rate stood at 19.3 people per 100,000 in 2022, a shockingly high number when compared to the European Union’s rate of just 1.8. But national statistics hide considerable geographic variation. British Columbia and Alberta together account for only a quarter of Canada’s population yet nearly half of all opioid deaths. B.C.’s 2022 death rate of 45.2/100,000 is more than double the national average, with Alberta close behind at 33.3/100,00.

In response to the drug crisis, Canada’s two western-most provinces have taken markedly divergent approaches, and in doing so have created a natural experiment with national implications.

B.C. has emphasized harm reduction, which seeks to eliminate the damaging effects of illicit drugs without actually removing them from the equation. The strategy focuses on creating access to clean drugs and includes such measures as “safe” injection sites, needle exchange programs, crack-pipe giveaways and even drug-dispensing vending machines. The approach goes so far as to distribute drugs like heroin and cocaine free of charge in the hope addicts will no longer be tempted by potentially tainted street drugs and may eventually seek help.

But safe-supply policies create many unexpected consequences. A National Post investigation found, for example, that government-supplied hydromorphone pills handed out to addicts in Vancouver are often re-sold on the street to other addicts. The sellers then use the money to purchase a street drug that provides a better high — namely, fentanyl.

Doubling down on safe supply, B.C. recently decriminalized the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. The resulting explosion of addicts using drugs in public spaces, including parks and playgrounds, recently led the province’s NDP government to attempt to backtrack on this policy — though for now that effort has been stymied by the courts.

According to Vancouver city councillor Brian Montague, “The stats tell us that harm reduction isn’t working.” In an interview, he calls decriminalization “a disaster” and proposes a policy shift that recognizes the connection between mental illness and addiction. The province, he says, needs “massive numbers of beds in treatment facilities that deal with both addictions and long-term mental health problems (plus) access to free counselling and housing.”

In fact, Montague’s wish is coming true — one province east, in Alberta. Since the United Conservative Party was elected in 2019, Alberta has been transforming its drug addiction policy away from harm reduction and towards publicly-funded treatment and recovery efforts.

Instead of offering safe-injection sites and free drugs, Alberta is building a network of 10 therapeutic communities across the province where patients can stay for up to a year, receiving therapy and medical treatment and developing skills that will enable them to build a life outside the drug culture. All for free. The province’s first two new recovery centres opened last year in Lethbridge and Red Deer. There are currently over 29,000 addiction treatment spaces in the province.

This treatment-based strategy is in large part the work of Marshall Smith, current chief of staff to Alberta’s premier and a former addict himself, whose life story is a testament to the importance of treatment and recovery.

The sharply contrasting policies of B.C. and Alberta allow a comparison of what works and what doesn’t. A first, tentative report card on this natural experiment was produced last year in a study from Stanford University’s network on addiction policy (SNAP). Noting “a lack of policy innovation in B.C.,” where harm reduction has become the dominant policy approach, the report argues that in fact “Alberta is currently experiencing a reduction in key addiction-related harms.” But it concludes that “Canada overall, and B.C. in particular, is not yet showing the progress that the public and those impacted by drug addiction deserve.”

The report is admittedly an early analysis of these two contrasting approaches. Most of Alberta’s recovery homes are still under construction, and B.C.’s decriminalization policy is only a year old. And since the report was published, opioid death rates have inched higher in both provinces.

Still, the early returns do seem to favour Alberta’s approach. That should be regarded as good news. Society certainly has an obligation to try to help drug users. But that duty must involve more than offering addicts free drugs. Addicted people need treatment so they can kick their potentially deadly habit and go on to live healthy, meaningful lives. Dignity comes from a life of purpose and self-control, not a government-funded fix.

Susan Martinuk is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and author of the 2021 book Patients at Risk: Exposing Canada’s Health Care Crisis. A longer version of this article recently appeared at

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$1,000,000 boost from province for upgrades at Red Deer’s Centre for Social Impact

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Youth HQ is proud to announce that Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer and District has been awarded $1,000,000 through the government of Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) for the purpose of facility upgrades to the Centre for Social Impact.

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) is an inspiring place where charities and non-profits can
collaborate; a place centrally located where families can readily access a variety of supports and
services; and a place where organizations can share resources and minimize operating costs.
“We are grateful for the support from CFEP, which enables us to address facility enhancements
and upgrades in support of the charities and non-profits that share this place where community
connects.” States Rob Lewis, Executive Director, YouthHQ.

Board Room at the Centre for Social Impact. Priority upgrades are the roof of the building and the HVAC systems

“Investments into non-profits in our communities, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer
not only support new activities and programming but uplift youth and help build stronger
communities. Alberta’s government is proud to provide this million dollar grant to Red Deer Big
Brothers and Big Sisters, as they provide essential supports and services for the youth of Red
Deer and surrounding area.”

Tanya Fir, Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women

“The CFEP grant awarded to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer and District is very
exciting news for Red Deer and surrounding communities. This substantial investment will
directly benefit our community by supporting essential youth programs, providing lasting
benefits for our youth in the years to come. I was happy to write a letter of support, as I am
continually inspired by the work Youth HQ does in our community. This grant will undoubtedly
enhance their ability to make a positive impact.”

MLA for Red Deer-North and Minister of Health, Adriana LaGrange

Conferencing area at the Centre for Social Impact. Priority upgrades are the roof of the building and the HVAC systems

For more information on the Centre for Social Impact please visit

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District enables life-changing mentoring relationships
to ignite the power of young people. Providing life changing mentoring experiences since 1976,
Big Brothers Big Sisters has been matching children and youth with adult role models who help
them achieve their biggest possible futures. We believe we are #BiggerTogether, and currently
work with over 220 young people to ignite their potential.

About Youth HQ

Youth HQ empowers youth by fostering a community of support. Our network seeks to instill
young people with confidence in their unique identities and abilities, providing them with skills
for life through knowledge, healthy relationships, and quality experiences while providing safe
environments to learn and grow. Youth HQ coordinates programming for Big Brothers Big
Sisters of Red Deer & District and Boys & Girls Club of Red Deer & District, offering numerous
programs and services that support children, youth and families.

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