Palliser Opening Day Celebration Thursday

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Palliser Central Office will be closed Thursday for staff to gather for celebration

VULCAN — Palliser Regional Schools will hold a historic Opening Day Celebration for staff Thursday, the largest gathering of teachers, administrators and support staff in the division’s history.

With the addition of Calgary Islamic School’s two campuses to Palliser, the division now has more than 900 employees. Palliser expects to welcome 8,100 students back to schools Tuesday, Sept. 1, the largest student population the division has ever served.

All staff are invited to the Opening Day Celebration Thursday morning at the Cultural Recreational Centre at 504 4 Avenue South, Vulcan, from 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Aug. 27. The event is a celebration of long service awards and other special recognition of Palliser employees.

The event includes the division’s Wall of Fame induction ceremony, starting at 11:15 a.m. This year, three individuals will be added to the Wall of Fame, honouring former students and staff of Palliser’s schools.

Inductees are Ron Nikkel, who attended John Davidson School in Coaldale, and brothers John and Adam Beriault, who attended Menno Simons Christian School in Calgary.

Nikkel devoted his working life to promoting restorative justice and advocating for justice, humane treatment of prisoners and victim-offender reconciliation. He spent 30 years leading Prison Fellowship International, founded by Chuck Colson following his imprisonment related to the U.S. Watergate scandal. Nikkel will be inducted for outstanding achievement in international restorative justice.

The Beriault brothers are perfect examples of individuals who took their passion and used it for the benefit of others, at home and internationally. With their passion for cycling, the pair cycled across Alberta, not once, but twice, to raise money for the Mennonite Central Committee’s international work and awareness of HIV/AIDS. Between Alberta tours, John and Adam cycled across Kenya, working with an MCC partner there, to continue to raise awareness and support for the MCC’s HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. The Beriaults will be inducted for outstanding achievement in humanitarian service. This is the first time the Wall of Fame has inducted siblings.