Our History

A Short History of Sturgeon Public Schools

The Province of Alberta was founded within the Dominion of Canada in 1905. The system of education which had been in force in the Northwest Territories was continued and provided education up to the grade eight levels.

By 1935, Alberta was more widely settled and with the rapid advancement of the age of technology, there was a demand from industry and the public in general for higher education. Due to the poor financial state of many of the rural school districts following the depression of the 1930s, it was necessary for the Provincial Government to act. Consequently, in 1936, legislation was passed which provided for the establishment of school divisions.

The Sturgeon School Division, consisting of five sub-divisions, was formed by Ministerial Order on January 1, 1939, the five trustees having been elected shortly prior to its formation.

The following five trustees were sworn in at the first organizational meeting held on December 6, 1938:

Sub-division No. 1          Mr. J. G. Dusseault
Sub-division No. 2          Mr. Angus L. McGillis
Sub-division No. 3          Mr. Harry Speers
Sub-division No. 4          Mr. John E. Holmes
Sub-division No. 5          Mr. M. D. Tkachuk

Mr. Speers was appointed Chairman of the Board; Mr. J. E. Holmes, Vice-Chairman; Mr. E. Meaden was appointed Secretary-Treasurer; and Mr. J. J. LeBlanc was the provincially appointed Superintendent of Schools for the Division.

At the time of its inception, the Sturgeon School Division consisted mainly of one and two-room schools with a few larger schools. Gradually the idea of centralizing the schools around major villages became popular, but the progress of this re-organization was interrupted by the commencement of World War II.

1939, saw the schools of Bon Accord School District No. 438, Camilla School District No. 470, Namao School, and Gibbons School District included in the Sturgeon School Division. This also included Ufford School District No. 2328 (which went on to become Redwater School District No. 2328) that remained a part of Sturgeon School Division until June 1, 1947.

One of the alternatives to centralization during this period was the formation of dormitories. One such dormitory was established in Bon Accord in 1943.

Following the cessation of hostilities, centralization was resumed, and the dormitories were closed by 1949.

Between January 1, 1947, and June 1, 1948 St. Albert School District No. 3 (RCP) and the Legal School District No. 1738 were included in the Sturgeon School Division. In 1947, the Thorhild School Division No. 57 and the Westlock School Division No. 37 were formed which resulted in Sturgeon losing a total of 30 sub-divisions to these new school divisions. With the acquisition of “New Town” status by the Town of St. Albert in 1957, the St. Albert School District was excluded from the Sturgeon School Division. In 1959, the people of the Amelia School District requested and were granted permission to become part of the County of Thorhild.

In 1955, due to a re-organization of the boundaries of the municipalities and the school districts and in preparation for introduction of the County System in the Province, the Vimy School District was lost to Westlock.

With the formation of the County of Sturgeon in January 1961, Sturgeon School Division ceased to exist, and the School Committee of the County assumed the responsibilities for the administration of education formerly vested in the Divisional Board.

Pursuant to a plebiscite requested by the electors, the area reverted from the County of Sturgeon No. 15 to the Municipal District of Sturgeon No. 90, and School Division status on July 12, 1965.

By Ministerial Order dated October 13, 1966, the number of sub-divisions within the Sturgeon School Division was reduced from five to four, following the exclusion of the seven sub-divisions comprising the Legal centralization. This resulted in a reduction of the Board membership to four Trustees.

In September 1966, some high school facilities within the Division were closed and high school students were sent to St. Albert and Edmonton to complete their education. By September 1970, all high school students were being educated in St. Albert and Edmonton.

In September 1971, Sturgeon Heights School opened as part of Sturgeon School Division. This allowed the division to accommodate students from the closure of Cunningham School in Morinville in 1969.

In the fall of 1972, the Morinville Hutterite Colony School joined the Sturgeon School Division.

On September 6, 1977, following public petition, Sub-division No. I of the County of Thorhild was transferred to Sturgeon School Division, increasing the number of trustees to five. In October of that year, following some re-arrangement of the sub-divisions, and at the request of the Minister, seven trustees were elected. This brought the community of Redwater into Sturgeon School Division.

In 1977, the Division constructed Sturgeon Composite High School which offers a comprehensive selection of academic, complimentary and Career and Technology Studies (CTS) programming.

In the years 1976 - 1979, an increase of 2,400 students (from 2,300 to 4,700) was experienced. Since 1979, enrolments have remained relatively stable at approximately 5,400 students.

During the 1981 - 1982 school year, the City of Edmonton annexed a portion of the southeast corner of the M.D. of Sturgeon which included the Horse Hill School which, as a result, was transferred to the Edmonton Public Schools in July 1982. Many of the remaining rural residents from the Horse Hill area came to Landing Trail School. This annexation, coupled with a downturn in Alberta's economy, resulted in a ‘dip’ in enrolments during the period 1983 to 1986.

On December 2, 1982, Landing Trail School officially opened. Currently a K-4 school, it first opened to serve rural students K-9 around the town of Gibbons.

On February 17, 1983, Ochre Park School, was opened to serve the community of Redwater.

May 1984, saw the official opening of Lilian Schick School to serve the Bon Accord community.

In the spring of 1989 the Board of Trustees, in keeping with the philosophy of the ward system, resolved to make electoral boundaries and attendance boundaries co-terminus wherever feasible.

In September 1994, Guthrie School at Lancaster Park, Canadian Forces Base Edmonton, became part of Sturgeon School Division.

In September 1995, Oak Hill School in Bon Accord also came under the Division’s jurisdiction. Oak Hill School had been previously administered by Sturgeon School Division from 1979 until 1990.

In November 1995, the Division opened an alternative education program, the Sturgeon Learning Centre, to provide educational learning opportunities for senior high students and young adults.

In the fall of 1996, the School Division launched one of the first educational wide area networks in Alberta, Route #24, that introduced the Internet and a variety of related technology as an instructional tool to enhance student learning. In January 2000, the Division upgraded to a wireless network with the assistance of an Innovation Grant from Alberta Learning.

In July 1997, the alternate school programs were expanded to include the Morinville Learning Centre, which was originally developed in partnership with the Greater St. Albert Catholic Regional Division. Sturgeon School Division assumed full responsibility for the Centre in 1999. In 1999, the Sturgeon Learning Center celebrated the graduation of its first group of students who had successfully completed the Alberta Diploma requirements.

Significant building projects that occurred during the latter half of the 1990’s included the
modernization of Bon Accord School in 1998, the building of the Morinville Colony School in 1999 and the replacement of Guthrie School in Lancaster Park, Edmonton Garrison was completed in 2003.

In September 2003, the Redwater Learning Center was established and served local students until its closure in 2010.

A modernization of Namao School was completed in 2010.

In June 2011 as per the St. Albert and Sturgeon Valley School Districts Establishment Act, Sturgeon School Division was charged with the responsibility of providing public education to students resident to the Towns of Morinville and Legal. Classes in Morinville started out in the local Community Cultural Centre (grades 1 – 4) and the Parish Hall (Pre-School –Kindergarten). In September 2012, the Government of Alberta transferred George P. Vanier School in Morinville from the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Division (GSCRD) to the Sturgeon School Division. The school was renamed Morinville Public Elementary School and opened its doors in September 2012.

In September 2014, Morinville Public Elementary School was renamed Morinville Public School to reflect the addition of Junior High classes with the first group of Grade 7 students.

A major modernization of Sturgeon Composite High School was completed at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

In September 2019, Morinville Public School split into two schools: Morinville Public Elementary School and Four Winds Public School. Both schools were housed in the same building awaiting the new 5-9 school build.

Morinville Public Elementary School was renamed to École Morinville Public School in September 2019, to recognize the school as a dual-track Public Education program.

In January 2020, a newly built school called Four Winds Public School opened its doors to
students in Grades 5 to 9 in Morinville for the 2019-2020 school year.

A modernization of the Frank Robinson Education Centre was completed in 2020.

The rebuild of Camilla School in Rivière Qui Barre was completed in March 2021.

In September 2021, Sturgeon Public Virtual Academy was opened in response to the positive online learning experience supporting students through the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Past and Present Trustees

ALLEN, Hugh 1952-1954   McCUE, Arthur 1951-1955
AUSTIN, Reg 1965-1974   McDONELL, John 1965-1983
BAUMAN, John 1980-1995   McGILLIS, Angus 1939-1944
BEVINGTON, Don 1961-1965   MAHE, Paul 1951 only
BEVINGTON, Joyce 1977-1989   MARTINEAU, Fred 1945-1950/
BILECKI, Olga 1974-1977     1965-1966
BORLE, Ed 1957-1960   MESSIER, Ladis 1951-1954
BRIGGS, Cindy 2021-   MILLER, Wendy 2004-2017
BUGA, Stacey 2021-   MILLIGAN, Richard 1989-1998
CHAUVET, Paul 1945-1954   MILLIGAN, Robert 1998-2010
CLEMENT, C. 1960 only   MURRAY-ELLIOTT, Trish 2019-
COMO, Roy 1962-1964   MYCHASIW, Michelle 2013-2016
COURCHESNE, Ed 1961-1964   NOBERT, Alphonse 1961 only
CUNNINGHAM, Toby 1945-1956   NOWAK, Tracy 2007-2017
DEEDMAN, William 1965 only   OATWAY-McLAY, Tasha 2017-
DUSSEAULT, Joseph 1939-1944   PASICHNEY, William 1944-1946
DWYER, Joe 2017-   PAUL, Harold 1969-1977
EVERITT, Keith 1977-1986   PEQUIN, Janine 2017-
FEATHERLEY, Misty 2013-2021   PORTER, Bruce 1951 only
FLYNN, Willie 1956-1965   PORTER, Shelly 2010-2013/
FORCADE, Lionel 1955-1959     2014-2017
FRAZIER, Penny 2004-2007   REYNOLDS-KUIPER, Dorothy 1986-1992
FUNDYTUS, Careen 1995-2010   REYNOLDS, Linda 1992-1998
GARON, Leo 1940-1943   ROSS, Neil 1947-1951
GERVAIS, Therese 1995-2004   ROSS CARLETON, Micky 1986-2004
GRAY, Brent 2010-2013   RYE, Lawrence 1961-1965
GIBBONS, Irene 2021-   REMILLARD, D. (Mrs.) 1955-1957
HOLE, Lois 1967-1979   SHERWIN, Shane 2017-2018
HOLMES, John 1939-1948   SIMONOWITS, Robert 1995-1998
HORNER, Gail 1998-2007   ST. ONGE, Harvey 1966 only
HOOD, Don 1977-1980   SPEERS, Harry 1939-1950
HRYNCHUK, Fred 1998-2010   STEVENS, Joyce 1983-1992
JENKINS, Archie 1955-1960   TKACHUK, M.D. 1939-1940
JEWELL, Terry 1980-1995/   VAN DE WALLE, Walter 1958-1965
  1998-2021   VENESS, William 1953-1955
KLUFAS, Harry 1980-1986   VISSCHER, Cathy 1992-1995
KLUTHE, Lawrence 1965 only   WALKER, Stanley 1961-1965
KOHLE, Elizabeth 2007-2021   WALL, Ruth 1977-1980
KONSORADA, Nick 1965 only   WARD, Jim 1977-1980
KRIEGER, Daryl 2010-2013   WILSON, George 1965-1969
LESBURG, Albert 1965-1967   WILSON, Lloyd 1956-1960
      ZUIDEMA, Peter 1980-1998


Past and Present Superintendents and Secretary Treasurers

Past and Present Superintendents   Past and Present Secretary Treasurers
WARREN, Shawna 2022-   NICHOLSON, Sean 2023-
CAMPBELL, Mary Lynne 2018-2022   LEVESCONTE, Liliana 2020-2023
DICK, Michèle 2007-2018   BROOKS, Charmaine 2018-2020
MILLER, Evan 2000-2007   PAULIK, Iva 2013-2018
ROBERTSON, J. Kenneth 1998-2000   PARASYNCHUK, Karen 2002-2013
HOGARTH, John 1994-1998   PILSNER, Marlene 2000-2002
THIESSEN, Roy D. 1986-1994   ISBISTER, Andrew 1997-2000
TAYLOR, Anthony 1985-1986   LLOYD, Murray 1984-1997
HEPPLER, Walter 1979-1985   KRAUSKOPF, Charles 1964-1984
ROBINSON, Frank 1970-1979   NOBERT, Alphonse 1962-1965
KUNST, A.E. 1964-1970   MEADEN, E. 1938-1962
SWAN, J.F. 1955-1964      
SCOTT, R.J. 1939-1942 &      
ERICKSON, E.M. 1942-1945      
LE BLANC, J.J. 1938-1939 &