Retired Prince Albert Catholic School Division Trustee and vice chair Maurice Chalifour was recently recognized for his contributions to Catholic education.
Chalifour was the recipient of the Julian Paslawski Meritorious Service Award presented by the Saskatchewan Catholic School Board’s Association (SCBA).
This award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and contributions to the Catholic educational community. In a special ceremony, held at Lloydminster on Oct.21., Chalifour was celebrated for his outstanding leadership in Prince Albert.
“I was honoured and at the same time I was humbled,” Chalifour said. “It’s, I think, quite a prestigious award I never expected to get.”
Suzanne Stubbs, Board Chair of the Prince Albert Roman Catholic Separate School Division, said Chalifour is a truly exceptional individual whose service to the community goes beyond mere duty, reflecting on his deep vocational calling.
“Maurice Chalifour embodies a wealth of personal and professional experiences and a gracious spirit of volunteerism,” Stubbs said in a press release. “His tireless efforts have immensely enriched the Catholic Education community locally and provincially. He remains an esteemed and valued member of the Catholic educational community and a lifelong friend to the Prince Albert Board of Education.”
Chalifour joined the division as a teacher in 1969. He eventually became a principal in 1987, serving in the position at St. Anne and Holy Cross schools before officially retiring from teaching in 1995. He continued to serve as a substitute teacher until 2004.
Chalifour was elected as a Trustee in 2011. During his time as a Trustee, he played a pivotal role in the functioning of various committees, including the Audit Committee, Discipleship Committee, and Staff Appreciation and Recognition Committee. He also served as the liaison for the Prince Albert Catholic Education Foundation and assumed the role of Vice-Chair of the school board.
Regardless of his role, Chalifour said he wanted to help prepare students to take the next step in education and life.
“I think it’s really important, preparing young people to be ready to chase their dreams and when they graduate that they can lead a good Christian life,” he said.
As a Trustee, Chalifour was a key figure in important meetings with stakeholders, and his involvement was crucial to the success of the provincial fundraising campaigns. He was passionate about preserving local voices in Catholic education, and he actively engaged with local parish communities to underscore this significance. His dedication extended to being appointed to the Board of Director for the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association.
He said that throughout his career, support from staff has always been key.
“I believe that the Catholic Schools are preparing their students very well for their future when they graduate and reach for their dreams in the future,” Chalifour said.
“Those are some of the most important things I believed in. I believed that when I was a classroom teacher and I still believe that still as a trustee,” he added.
Chalifour, along with his fellow former trustee, Albert Provost, co-founded the Prince Albert Catholic Education Foundation.
This foundation served as a bridge between Catholic schools, parishes, and the broader community, upholding the vision, mission, and core values of the Catholic School system.
Chalifour played a pivotal role in raising over $600,000 for essential upgrades at École St. Mary High School in 2003 and supported the national fundraising initiatives like “Toonies for Tuition” for Catholic education.
Beyond his educational pursuits, Chalifour is a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus and has previously chaired the Columbian Centre Board of Directors. He is an active participant in his parish and a dedicated community member.
Chalifour retired from the Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education in Nov., 2022.