St. Nicholas celebrates 25 years of serving the Newmarket community

Anniversary event included a Mass, Gallery Walk, speeches and barbecue

St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School in Newmarket celebrated its 25th  anniversary on Monday, May 6 th. The milestone celebrations included Mass celebrated by Father Efren Alvarez-Pelayo, Pastor of St. John Chrysostom Parish, remarks by Board and community dignitaries, a Gallery Walk featuring student artwork, and a complimentary barbecue sponsored by Nutrafarms for the school community.

When St. Nicholas first opened during the 1993-1994 school year, it served 571 students, many of whom transferred from nearby St. Paul Catholic Elementary School and area public schools. Its inaugural Principal and Vice-Principal were John Chyz and Tom Jones, respectively. They led a team of 37 founding staff, three of whom continue to serve at the school today and were recognized during Monday’s festivities: Cindy Ashworth (Mullaly), Catherine Barrett and Jean Arnold (Brand).

As the Newmarket community grew in the 1990s and 2000s, additional schools were built in the area including St. John Chrysostom Catholic Elementary School, which helped to accommodate the new housing developments. Today, St. Nicholas serves almost 300 students from JK – Grade 8. It is well known for its First Nations, Métis, and Inuit inspired outdoor classrooms, arts activities, sports activities, and supportive parent community.

“St. Nicholas is a beautiful learning community that strives to embrace God’s call for us to love one another in all that we do and say,” says Deirdre Vance, Principal. “Our wonderful staff members are dedicated to enhancing the learning environment and freely offer their time to run several extra-curricular programs. Our parents and Catholic School Council offer outstanding support and I am thankful for their fundraising and lunch program coordination.

“Our students enjoy using new technologies available to them and regularly give back to others by participating in environmental initiatives, our Luke 4:18 social justice program, and fundraising for ShareLife, St. Vincent de Paul and other charities. St. Nicholas’ example of living life joyfully inspires us all to truly be ‘gifted with each other.’”