Home and School Association

by Margaret Modin

On September 18, 1959 approximately 80 persons along with Mr. R. Racette, Superintendent of Schools; Dr. F.G. Miller, County Representative to the School Committee; Mr. Fagnon, President of the St. Paul Home and School Association; and the Regional Director of the Alberta Federation of Home and Schools met in the gymnasium of the high school (now the junior high school) to determine whether or not a Home and School Association should be formed in Elk Point.

The guests present outlined the purpose of having such an association and when the vote was taken it was agreed unanimously to form "The Elk Point and Community Home and School Association". The purpose was to work towards a better understanding between the home and the school and to involve parents in school activities as much as possible.

The first executive consisted of president, Ronald Flanders; secretary, S.A. Holthe; treasurer, Peter Ference; lunch convener, Della Povaschuk (Mrs. John); program committee convener, Margaret Modin (Mrs. Lawrence); other committee members included Gladys Flanders (Mrs. Ronald); John Bauman, representing the staff, Bob Quin; and finance committee convener, Peter Ference. Membership fees were $1.00 and continued to be that for the life of the association.

Meetings were held on the third Wednesday of each month September to June inclusive. At the outset each member donated enough money to buy his/her own coffee cup which was placed in the group supplies. In time the rest of the necessities for making the coffee were purchased with money raised by other means.

At one time the membership totaled 95 members (December, 1959). This was the highest it ever got.

A great many interesting and informative programs were planned, among them were visits from Health Unit representatives to discuss the aspects of the Health Unit with respect to the school; programs displaying the Enterprises Systems as used in the school; Report Cards; Credit System in the high school; Scholarships and Bursaries; Industrial Arts, Home Economics and Junior High Art displays; Pre-Schoolers and their readiness for school; the County School System; Highway Safety as Pertaining to Bus Safety; Flouridation, etc. A number of fun things were also planned, namely the presentations made by the drama classes over the years under the direction of people like Mary Loftus (Mrs. John Bennett), Ila Borowsky (Mrs. Max), John Murray, Ted Mathieson and Trudy Haub rich. Another item of interest which I remember was the display of art which Mary (Loftus) Bennett was responsible for bringing to us from an art gallery and which she was responsible for exhibiting and supervising the care of while it was here. This was no small task because as I remember there were seven huge boxes of it.

In addition to this type of programming, the association was involved in other areas of interest to the school and the community. It is noted in the minutes of the November, 1960 meeting that the association voted to recommend to the county board that the new high school be called the "Dr. F.G. Miller High School" in honor of the contribution made by Dr. Miller to education in this community. This recommendation was accepted and acted upon by the board. Members were responsible for the planning and landscaping that took place around the schools in 1963 and those who were members then will well remember this, and the number of holes dug, and pails of water carried, by those who turned up to help that day. Parent-Teacher Interviews were discussed and brought into being, and the association provided the lunch served as well as the host/hostesses for this day to help coordinate activities at the school. Career Days were planned and the members helped in various ways with them. It is noted in the October 26, 1967 minutes "it is hoped that the new addition to the F.G. Miller High School will be completed by Christmas". Following this, in 1968 the new library in the school was dedicated to Mr. R.E. Beattie in honor of his retirement as school principal.

Many people were members over the years and it would be impossible to list all their names here. It is sufficient, I believe, to say that without each one of them the organization would not have been the success it was; however, I would like to name those who gave of their time to act on the executive committees and I trust that no one is missed here.

President: Ronald Flanders, Lowell Croft, Margaret Modin, Marvin Willmer, Joe Tredger and Audrey Willmer. Vice-President: John Povaschuk, Dave Stevenson, John Bennett, Jim Pennington, Audrey Willmer, Margaret Modin and Ronald Flanders. Secretary: S.A. Holthe, Lawrence Modin, Jim Pennington, Peggy Adomaitis, Mary Derewynka, Mary Mistol, Donna Babcock, Irene Lindquist.

Treasurer: Peter Ference, Fred Mulak, Bill Schuhmacher, Ed Pankiw, Walter Saranchuk and Nola Coma. Program Convener: Margaret Modin, Velma Andrishak, Ralph Chase, Grant Samuelson, John Murray, Audrey Mantik (Erna Holliday's sister). There may have been others.

Lunch: Della Povaschuk, Grace Pinder, Ann Buck, Pauline Maslak, Margaret Modin, Mabel Dumont, Donna Aarbo, Audrey Lorenson.

Membership: Ronald Flanders (who served forever, I believe) and Maureen Millar. There may have been others helping at various times.

Hospitality: Velma Andrishak and Irene Magnusson. This seemed to develop to the point where everyone was made to feel they had a responsibility in this area and therefor no one person was in charge.

Finance Committee: It seems the only two people involved in this area according to the minutes were Peter Ference and Paul Stepa.

The need for the association seemed to diminish as the years went on and because people began to feel free to visit the schools anytime and, have a closer relationship with the teachers. Consequently when at the annual meeting held on November 22, 1972, the nominating committee was unable to come in with an executive and when no one present would volunteer to carry one, a motion to disband was put forward and carried. Funds which were left in the account were put into a trust account with the understanding that they would be used to carry on the award given by the Home and School and known now as the one given by the Parents' Committee as long as the funds would last. At the time of writing, February, 1977, there is still an award being given from this fund