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Friends of St. Joseph School Society supports St. Joseph School

Posted on December 24, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Heather Cameron
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Friends of St. Joseph School Society is a group that supports St. Joseph School in Coaldale.

“The purpose is to create an opportunity for parents to be involved in the school and their child’s education,” said Brent Christensen, Prinicipal of St. Joseph School in Coaldale. “They do this by working with administration at the school to identify needs at the school and organizing various fundraisers and service projects to help the school achieve these goals.”

The society, Christensen says, meets at the school on a bi-monthly basis and typically, the meetings follow a parent council meeting, so they start at either 6:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., and typically, they are the last Thursday of the month.

“It was created in order to provide the school with a fundraising group that is outside the mandate of what a parent council would be,” said Christensen. “Parents and staff saw a need to have increased parent engagement and financial assistance with projects the school couldn’t otherwise afford. The goal is to make every child at St. Joseph has the best possible educational experience they can.”

All parents/guardians of St. Joseph school students are eligible to join the society , Christensen says. There a chair, vice chair, secretary and members at large. According to the Society’s website, the current ‘crew’ is as follows: the chair is Deana Nahachewsky, the Vice Chair is Terrena Reeder, the Directors are Ashley Evans, Amanda Bohner, Amanda Webster; the Treasurer is Kyrie Thomas, and the Secretary is Joanna Faulds. 

“Members can commit as much or little of their time as they are able,” said Christensen. “ In addition to running fundraisers they help distribute hot lunches, help at welcome back barbecues, help with our grade 9 farewell and many other school events throughout the year. The current Friends members do a membership drive at the beginning of the year at our welcome back BBQ and various other school wide events. People can join at any time throughout the school year as their schedule allows.”

The Society, Christensen says has also done many things including create yearly classroom discretionary funds where teachers have access to money to help pay for supplies or field trips; get an electronic sign on the front of the school; get an addition on the playground; get a new score clock on the gym; and they are currently raising funds for a new stage. 

“I think overall people appreciate the work the society does,” said Christensen. “I believe it provides an opportunity for parents/guardians to be involved in the school. It is also a really nice opportunity for parents to get to know each other and make connections with others in the community.”

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