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St. Joseph High School Musical Theatre Students present “Sister Act”


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 In an intimate theatre setting, high school students will perform the feel-good musical comedy “Sister Act” on March 12, 13 and 14 at 7:00 p.m.  For the first time, students will be performing the full-length musical in St. Joseph High School’s “black-box” fine arts room.

“Live theatre is interesting because the venue has so much to do with the experience of the audience. You can see a Broadway version and a community theatre version of the same show and it feels completely different. Putting up ‘Sister Act’ in our own space has provided all of us with creative opportunities to make this show unique. The students have had a lot of fun figuring out ways to make the show an immersive experience. With a maximum of 100 seats per performance, audience members are sitting, quite literally, in the middle of the action,” said Director, Amie Reid at St. Joseph High School.

The theatre program has grown in the three years since the school has been open. This year there are more than 40 students actively involved in the show. For the first time, this includes a pit band made up of students from the school’s band program. Students in cosmetology and esthetics have the opportunity to learn about stage makeup and hair. Students in our food classes are supplying the baked goods that will be sold during show intermissions.

“This production has not only forged new friendships, but new collaborations within the school, as well as new partnerships within the community,” said Reid.

Tickets are available at the school’s office: $25 for VIP seating, $20 for adults and $15 for students/seniors.

A portion of the proceeds will go to support the 2020 Grad Service Project charity, the Red Deer Hospice Society.

“Teamwork is really important, even if you are in a scene by yourself you are building off of everyone else. I want to become a teacher, so I think theatre will help me,” said Emily Cassels, Grade 12 student at St. Joseph High School.

“I have learned to put myself out there more. This role is really out of my comfort zone and broke me out of my box that I had. This is my first school theatre performance that I have been a part of. This is going to kick off a lot of shows that I hope to be a part of in the future and it’s been a really positive experience so far,” said Cora Gulliver, Grade 11 student at St. Joseph High School.

“What I have learned is different ways to use my voice in my singing especially. I am doing a song with really high vocals,” said Alex Whyte, Grade 11 student at St. Joseph High School.

“It was fun to do a show that I really didn’t know anything about. In being a part of this show, I have learned about character diversity. Mother Superior makes really big character changes throughout the show. It’s in the last act that she finally understands that not everything has to be to the book,” said Gracie Wack, Grade 12 student at St. Joseph High School.

“This is the first time there has been a pit band. In this performance, I have been able to switch between instruments and play more challenging music,” Trisha Bugas, Grade 11 student at St. Joseph High School.

A bit about the show: “When disco diva, Deloris Van Cartier, witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be a found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community but, in doing so, blows her cover. Soon, the gang is giving chase, only to find them up against Deloris and the power of her newly found sisterhood.” (

St. Joseph High School serves over 725 Grade 10 to 12 students in Red Deer. As a learning institution, St. Joseph High School is committed to serving students with a complete offering of learning opportunities delivered within the context of Catholic teachings.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Penhold Flight Instructor Releases Updated Instruction Manual For the 21st Century

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Sky Wings Aviation founder Dennis Cooper lives to fly.

“2020 marks 50 years of flying for me,” said Cooper in a phone interview.  “I was a cadet and part of the glider program but got my pilots license in 1971 at Cold Lake before I even had my drivers license.”

Cooper later earned his Commercial license under Cecil Sorenson and other seasoned ex-Canadian Air Force pilots who transferred their tremendous knowledge base.  Working with Johnson Air Services and Pultz Aviation, he obtained his instrument rating and began his pilot career in earnest.

“One of the tools I had as a young pilot was the Pultz Instructor Manual and sometimes he (Pultz) would ask me questions and I would offer input,” he remembered.  “The original book was a 3-ring binder and we used that format for a long time at Sky Wings as well.”

Fast forward to the present.

“With current technology, many of our students wanted the manual in an electronic form so now instead of just having a softcover book that gets scuffed, dirty and ripped we now have a hardcover AND an electronic version for use everywhere,” added the instructor.  “Since the original book was written, much had changed.”

Changes to the original include an index which the first book did not have according to Cooper, modified levels of instructors, GPS information which did not exist years ago, procedures and general knowledge brought about by technology.

“We kept the artwork from the original,” said Cooper.  “It’s great and captures what we wanted.  We also added enhanced study and review questions based on feedback from students who have been through testing. The result is now a 558 page Instructors Manual that can follow a pilot from the beginning of their career to their end goal, no matter what that looks like.”

The new updated manual can be used in conjunction with Transport Canada publications.  It can adequately prepare a commercial pilot for the Transport Canada Flight Instructor written examination, the in-flight training and ground instruction, as well as the test flight.

Priced at $99 for the hardcover and $90 for the softcover, the “Cooper Flight Instructor Manual” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo and 3 flight suppliers at present.

“I bought Sky Wings Aviation in 1982 and even today I still feel the same when a new student flies for the first time.  I am excited when our students enter the plane, travel the runway and rise into the air for the first time for their first circuit, then return,” said Cooper whose wife Sherry also teaches at the school.  “I enjoy watching the transfer of knowledge from instructor to student, but most significantly, watching them conquer the air just like the Wright Brothers 118 years ago.”

Cooper is not finished yet with 3 more books ready to rewrite for the 21st century.

For more information on Sky Wings Aviation and the 9th Edition of the Cooper Flight Instructors Manual, go to:

Home – Skywings Aviation


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Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools picks up $30,000.00 tab to buy laptops for at-home schooling

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Photo includes, from left, Foundation Board Member Morris Flewwelling, Trustee and Foundation Board Member Bev Manning and Foundation Board Chair Dave Tilstra.

Foundation donates 90 Chromebooks to students in need

As equity, student success and completion are priorities for Red Deer Public Schools, officials have recognized the move to at-home or temporary online learning has presented challenges for some students and their families who do not have access to technology.

In response to this challenge, the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, recently donated 90 Chromebooks to schools to lend to students needing access to technology, totally $30,000.

Dave Tilstra, Chair of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, said supporting students and ensuring they have the tools to learn is key to helping set kids up for success.

“Chromebooks will continue to be an important resource within schools and now at home. We are thrilled that we have been able to donate this much needed technology to students who would otherwise go without to ensure they have the best opportunities to continue learning,” he said.

Families who borrow a Chromebook from their child’s school are responsible for ensuring they have Wi-Fi connectivity and they will ‘sign out’ the devices and assume responsibility for their proper use and return.

“Equity is about fairness. The Foundation supports projects that help give kids life chances,” said Bruce Buruma, Executive Director for the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. “Families experience challenges during the best of times, but the past number of months have been tough for many. We know this donation will help ease one burden so students can focus on learning and families can focus on other priorities.”

The Foundation supports projects that align with the Division priorities of Literacy and Numeracy, Equity and Student Success and Completion.

For more information, please contact:

  • Bruce Buruma, Executive Director
  • Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools
  • Phone: 403-352-2827
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