Beurling Academy: now a peaceful school member

Beurling Academy: now a peaceful school member

Bob Dubois
Le Magazine IDS
November 24, 2006

Beurling Academy flag ceremony

Shown are students holding the PSI flag presented to Beurling Academy last Wednesday during Peaceful Schools International ceremonies. The students from left to right are: Sonal Patel, Amritpal Kaur, and Tanvir Gill.

It has been a busy week on the local scene, and especially so for the good folks at Beurling Academy. Last Wednesday evening, the school opened its doors to the community, but the highlight of the day was the school’s official flag-raising ceremony during the morning indicating their official membership into the prestigious Canadian-based international organization Peaceful Schools International. PSI was formed in 2001 by Dr. Hetty Van Gurp, whose own son died as a result of a bullying incident in Nova Scotia in 1991. Since that time, Miss Van Gurp has devoted time and energy towards supporting schools that have declared a commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of peace.

There are now over 220 schools worldwide with this designation and Beurling Academy has become only the third high school in Quebec to be part of this elite worldwide group.

Principal Christine Cyr opened the ceremony by introducing the various invited guests before turning things over to Pastoral Animator William Grant. The ceremony included: poetry readings by students Leah Layers and Laura Bustamante, the presentation of the peace hands wreath, some reflections with student and member of the peace committee Cassandra Wakefield, and a musical interlude with the BA Jazz Ensemble featuring the soulful singing of Miss Susan Young singing a Sarah McLachlan classic.

The keynote speaker was former Principal Angela Andrews, as under her watch, the school started the work of the commitment towards peace culminating in last Wednesday’s honor.

The morning ended with the presentation of the PSI membership certificate and the unveiling of the PSI flag held by students Sonal Patel, Amritpaul Kaur, and Tanvir Gill, followed by a closing song, John Lennon’s classic “Give Peace a Chance”, sung energetically by student Quentin Chisholm. Good work everybody for this special honor.

Then it was the Open House in the evening, where the school threw the doors wide open to the community where new parents in the area and parents of current Grade 6 students looking at BA as an educational option for next school year got a chance to take in the sights and sounds of the building in which the Board considers one of its crown jewels.

The evening began with opening remarks by Principal Christine Cyr, who was in her first open house at the school, and then introduced her administrative team, VP’s Dona Bianchi and Dean Graddon, who talked about the various programs and activities in the school, followed by the one and only Administrative Assistant Andrew Henry, who had the dubious task of quickly mentioning the school’s code of conduct.

Then it was on to the tour, as parents and students visited the various classrooms, chatting with teachers about the program offerings. Some of the highlights included the new junior science lab, the IBO Holiday Card Burundi Relief Effort Project, and also a project on medieval times.

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