Prince of Peace Catholic school marks 25 years in Keswick

All-day anniversary event featured Mass, speeches, student performances, fun fair and more

Prince of Peace Catholic Elementary School in Keswick celebrated its 25th anniversary on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The milestone celebration included a Mass celebrated by Fr. Paul Hancko, which was followed by brief speeches by Board and community dignitaries and student performances. There was also a chance for guests to browse an art gallery featuring student work, as well as photos and memorabilia from the past 25 years. The festivities continued in the evening with a barbecue and fun fair.

In September 1993, Prince of Peace welcomed 302 students in Kindergarten to Grade 8, making it the second Catholic school in the community of Keswick and the third in the Town of Georgina. Its inaugural principal was Paul Brand, who led a team of dedicated and enthusiastic staff, including Ms. Jennifer Meade who continues to serve at the school today as the last founding staff member.

In September 2002, Our Lady of the Lake (OLL) Catholic College School opened its doors directly across the street from Prince of Peace. The opening of OLL provided secondary students in Georgina with the opportunity to attend a local Catholic high school, instead of traveling to Newmarket’s Sacred Heart CHS. To make this possible, OLL began serving students in Grades 7 – 12, and the three Georgina-area elementary schools were restructured as Kindergarten – Grade 6 schools.  This arrangement is unique to the Georgina’s Catholic schools and because of its success the York Catholic District School Board anticipates using a similar model in the future for its schools in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Prince of Peace students benefit from a strong partnership with Our Lady of the Lake. Students participate in specialty workshops using equipment and tools designed for high school students, and Grade 6 students are given leadership opportunities usually reserved for Grade 8s. Prince of Peace is well-known for its environmental stewardship; it recently constructed an outdoor Celtic Peace Garden where students can reflect and enjoy learning in a natural environment.

“I had a great time at our school’s 25th anniversary and I thank everyone who helped us celebrate this milestone,” said Michael Ball, Principal. “Over the past quarter-century, Prince of Peace has touched the hearts of many. I thank our dedicated staff for giving their time so students can enjoy extracurricular athletics and clubs like our Luke 4:18 social justice group, robotics club, choir, dance crew, ukulele and drumming and more. I also thank our supportive parent community for their fundraising efforts and providing students with our daily nutritious snack program, hot lunch program, and our 25th anniversary fun fair and barbecue! This was truly a great community event!”