ACSTA MLA Reception Celebrates Catholic Education

 ACSTA was pleased to welcome over 30 MLAs and 50 trustees from 13 Catholic school divisions to the 2024 MLA c3a4494 reception on April 15, 2024.  

The evening commenced with a prayer led by ACSTA's Bishop liaison, Archbishop Richard Smith. Following a land acknowledgment by Trustee Donna Duda (Holy Family Catholic Regional Division), ACSTA Kelly Whalen delivered welcome remarks emphasizing the unifying force of our Catholic faith and the distinctive approach to education embraced within our schools. 

 "In our schools every student is cherished as a child of God, their inherent dignity celebrated and honored." He underscored the remarkable achievements of Catholic school divisions, including their strong performance on the Alberta Education Results Reports (AERR), not only in terms of academic results, but also in  c3a4501facilitating Welcoming, Caring, Respectful, and Safe Learning Environments as well as a high degree of parental involvement.

Following President Whalen’s remarks, Premier Danielle Smith conveyed her appreciation for the dedication of educators, parents, and students in ensuring an exceptional education within our systems. 

 c3a4508"Our government remains committed to collaborating with you to deliver an outstanding education aligned with your values," she assured attendees, going on to outline initiatives aimed at expanding parental and student choice, modernizing schools to alleviate enrollment pressures, and investing in classroom supports – particularly in addressing complex needs and mental health challenges.

NDP Opposition Critic for Education Amanda Chapman started her remarks by recounting a story about her first encounter with ACSTA Director Mary Martin (CCSD). Chapman commended Martin's warmth and professionalism, expressing admiration for her dedication to service. She emphasized the NDP's steadfast support for public education, citing its inclusivity and the many choices it offers Alberta families.

“It is not just me who believes in the role of Catholic Education in Alberta, my colleagues here tonight, my party leader, Rachel Notley, c3a4523 and the entire NDP team stands in support of public education because public education is about accepting all children regardless of their abilities or disabilities and public education is able to offer so much choice for Alberta families.” Chapman stated, “We will continue to advocate for public education and for better funding of all of our public education projects. The work that you do is so valuable and I want to thank you for doing it. For your faith, for your schools, for your teachers, and most of all for your students.”

 The ACSTA MLA Reception is an annual event that picture1.jpgprovides an opportunity for Catholic Education trustees to foster new relationships, as well as to engage in open dialogue and build support for Alberta’s publicly funded Catholic Education System. 

ACSTA is a non-partisan advocacy organization, representing 24 Catholic school trustees to the governments of Alberta, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Our mission is to celebrate, preserve, promote, and enhance Catholic education, fostering collaboration and advocacy for the benefit of our students and communities.