East Gwillimbury community invited to say goodbye to Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Elementary School

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Elementary School, located at 53 Morton Avenue in East Gwillimbury’s Sharon community, will close at the end of June. A new school facility will open nearby at 801 Murrell Blvd. in September 2017. Our Lady of Good Counsel CES will host a School Closing Ceremony on Saturday, June 3, 2017. The entire school community including current and former students, staff, families, and friends of the school are invited to attend.

The closing ceremony will include a Mass in the morning and an Open House in the afternoon. The Mass will be celebrated by Father Roy Roberts at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish. Following the Mass, special guests including School Trustee, Theresa McNicol, YCDSB Director of Education, Patricia Preston and Mayor of East Gwillimbury, Virginia Hackson will deliver brief speeches. The Open House will allow community members to tour the school one last time, view various displays highlighting the school’s history, and provide an opportunity for visitors to mingle and reminisce. Refreshments will be served.

Since 1959, Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Elementary School has served the Sharon community with pride. In the early 1950’s Bishop Francois Morocco introduced the idea of co-op housing in the village of Sharon. By 1955, 23 families had purchased building lots along Morton Avenue, and by 1957 most of the homes were completed by people who worked together to build the houses while also working at their regular jobs in Toronto. Children living in these homes were originally bused to St. John Catholic School in Newmarket.  The co-op group saw the need for a Catholic school in Sharon and formed the East Gwillimbury Separate School Board. In the fall of 1959, Our Lady of Good Counsel opened with 2 classrooms and 61 students. As the population continued to grow in Sharon, the school was expanded to 6 classrooms in 1965, and in 1981 an addition with 5 classrooms, a library and gymnasium were built.

Today, the school serves 271 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8, under the jurisdiction of the York Catholic District School Board. The school’s Principal, Van Quinn, will oversee the transition to the new Our Lady of Good Counsel facility in September 2017.

“There is a strong sense of pride in our original Our Lady of Good Counsel school facility,” said Quinn. “Several of our staff members, as well as parents, uncles, aunts, and even grandparents of our current students previously attended OLGC and have happy memories from their time here. Even as the community develops, the sense of a rural and close-knit community still exists at OLGC. I look forward to sharing the many happy memories that have been made here with our school community on June 3rd. It will provide a chance to say goodbye before moving to our new school facility in September.”