Catholic school board returns to familiar place for first meeting after election

Historical photo of St. Paul Cathedral in 1911 -- the first Catholic parish in Saskatoon, and the diocese's original cathedral, it was also the site of the first meeting of the first Catholic school board in Saskatoon 109 years ago. The newly-elected school board recently met at the church for its recent 2020 organizational meeting as well. (Photo courtesy of GSCS)

By Derrick Kunz, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools

The first Board of Education meeting for Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ trustees since the Nov. 9 civic election had a blend of familiarity and newness — in more ways than one.

The 10-member board has seven returning and three new members.

Returning trustees are: Debbie Berscheid (Humboldt), Ron Boechler (Saskatoon), Diane Boyko (Saskatoon), Jim Carriere (Saskatoon), Tim Jelinski (Saskatoon), Wayne Stus (Martensville, Warman, and rural Saskatoon) and Sharon Zakreski-Werbicki (Saskatoon).

Newly elected trustees are: Hudson Byblow (Saskatoon), Dana A. Case (Saskatoon) and Bonita Elliott (Biggar).

The Nov. 23 organizational meeting location was not the usual board room in the GSCS downtown office. Instead, trustees returned to the place that it all began in 1911—the basement of St. Paul Co-Cathedral.

Of course, it was not the co-cathedral 109 years ago. The cathedral (as it was then) was the centre of Catholic faith life for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, and became the first classroom for the newly formed St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Separate School Division # 20—now commonly known as Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.

The annual organizational meeting is the time when the board selects a chair, vice-chair and trustees to represent the board on a variety of committees. And

Diane Boyko was re-elected as chair, and Ron Boechler was re-elected to serve as vice-chair.

“Being able to gather in a larger space, together in one place as a newly elected group of trustees, is really important,” said Diane Boyko, Chair of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ Board of Education.

“Not only is meeting in St. Paul’s a bit nostalgic, I think it helps ground us in our mission of Catholic education—to nurture the spiritual dimension of the person in addition to the intellectual, physical, mental and emotional. I’m hopeful this sets a good direction for us as we start our term as elected officials entrusted to lead the division.”

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