Ecole St. Mary High School to host tours and open houses in March

Daily Herald File Photo A group of 21 Japanese students will be visiting Ecole St. Mary High School in March and host families are needed.

Ecole St. Mary High School is preparing for another round of tours and open houses to introduce Prince Albert Grade 8 students to the school.

The tours and open houses are open to any students interested in attending Ecole St. Mary. They begin on Monday, March 7 and continue for a few weeks, according to principal Mark Phaneuf.

It’s such an exciting time of year to see that they are excited about moving to high school,” Phaneuf said. “The vast majority of kids, by the end of Grade 8, are ready to move onto something new. They have maybe a love and fondness that’s very deep for their elementary school, but they kind of outgrow that setting and they are ready to move on to high schools.”

Phaneuf said that the staff is happy to be able to offer school tours this year, and the excitement from students wears off on everyone around them.

You can actually feel the excitement in those kids as they are coming through,” he explained. “They come through in a very respectful manner, but you just see that they are getting excited about being involved in the high school.

I know there can be some angst as well because it’s new and it’s bigger but there is that underlying excitement and we are excited to share that with them.”

Phaneuf said the host tours are exciting for staff members too. Teachers enjoy pouring into the lives of students, he explained, so the excitement of the week goes both ways.

This job is life giving,” he said. “I know people think a high school principal’s job is difficult. I would describe my job as humbling because we have such wonderful kids, such wonderful staff and families.

I’m a firm believer that your job either eats you or feeds you, and this job definitely feeds me. You just get to share that experience with them.

It’s an opportunity, and you are, as a principal or the vice principals and staff, the only ones who get to share that with those kids. It’s a pretty awesome feeling quite frankly.”

Grade 8 students will tour the building and then do a follow-up visit with current students either in person or through Microsoft Teams. The goal is to help new students understand what they can expect from attending St. Mary.

There will also be two open house evenings on Tuesday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30.

We will gather in the large gym, so you will get a chance to go through the entire building and see what we have to offer here at Ecole St. Mary High School,” Phaneuf said.

Phaneuf explained the because of the COVID-19 pandemic some people may prefer small groups. To help meet those needs, the school has offered tours for one to three families at a time. The smaller tours will start March 28. Groups can book a tour by calling 306-953-7544.