Staff of The Palliser School Division gathered virtually on August 24, 2022 to mark the start of the 2022-2023 school year. In following the long standing tradition in the division, two new inductees were welcomed to the division's Wall of Fame which recognizes former students or employees of Palliser School Division who have rendered prolonged and significant services to their chosen work or area of interest. The inductees embody the Palliser motto which encourages us all to "Dream and Believe; Learn and Achieve."
The first inductee was Dr. Kathryn Koliaska who was recognized for her outstanding achievement in medicine. Koliaska grew up in the County of Lethbridge, attending two Palliser schools in Coaldale, R.I. Baker Middle School and Kate Andrews High School. She convocated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and the University of Alberta with her M.D. Kathryn is currently employed with Alberta Health Services as the Lead Medical Officer of Health in North Zone, and as the provincial Lead Medical Officer of Health for Safe Healthy Environments.
When COVID-19 began to spread in Alberta, Kathryn worked with her executive partner and the team to quickly mount outbreak prevention and early recognition outreach in all seniors’ congregate living facilities in the province. She worked closely with Alberta Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health to ensure requirements to limit the spread of COVID-19 were followed across the province. Currently, she is focused on incorporating learnings from the pandemic response into her work in supporting safe and healthy communities through promotion, prevention and protection.
Always having a strong interest in education, Kathryn taught private piano lessons in high school and university while working towards her Royal Conservatory of Toronto ARCT certification in piano performance. As the former Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency program director at the University of Alberta and the current acting Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Specialty Committee for Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Kathryn teachers future public health physicians and is helping to lead the development of a competency-based curriculum for the specialty.
The second inductee, Elisabeth Maier, was honoured for her outstanding achievement in athletics. Elisabeth completed her elementary and junior high school years at Trinity Christian School in Calgary.
Too old at 14 to start luge, and too young to start bobsleigh, Elisabeth was encouraged to take up skeleton at 14 years of age. She quickly turned heads around the world and was fast tracked on the pathway to the podium. After winning a silver medal at the 2014 World Junior Championships, Elisabeth proved she was ready to carry the torch for Canada’s next generation of skeleton athletes after shocking the world by winning one gold, three silver and one bronze medal in her first year on the World Cup circuit during the 2014-15 campaign.
Elisabeth accomplished the first step of her Olympic dream by representing Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, just weeks after finishing third in the Overall World Cup skeleton standings.
Palliser is proud to honour the achievements of this year's inductees and is pleased to welcome both Kathryn and Elisabeth to the Wall of Fame!
Read more about these featured alumni on our Wall of Fame page: Palliser Wall of Fame