Austin O’Brien Catholic High School is located in southeast Edmonton with a student population of 966 students. The school has a long standing tradition of excellence in academics, the arts and athletics. Austin O’Brien offers a learning environment that reflects the values of a Catholic education… respect, honesty, loyalty, fairness and communal and personal growth. Students participate in prayer, retreats, social justice and community work throughout the school year. Strong emphasis is placed on assisting others less fortunate in the local and global community. Our Student Leadership and Christian Leadership opportunities help students strengthen their faith through serving others.
The school is named in honor of, and after, Sir Austin A. O’Brien. In 1924, Sir Austin O’Brien was appointed Superintendent of Edmonton Separate Schools and served until 1961. His leadership led to high morale and loyalty necessary for the financial sacrifices needed to preserve Edmonton Separate Schools during the depression years. He aimed to build a system characterized by traditional respect for high academic standards and by a modern regard for better methods of teaching. This made him an outstanding business administrator and educational supervisor. Never one to make hasty decisions, he is noted for making the right decisions.
Although such recognition is usually postponed until after death, his services were such that honoring him while alive was deemed appropriate. In 1963, there were nearly 18,000 students in fifty-five schools, five of which were high schools – largely through the progressive policy brought to the School Board by Sir Austin O’Brien. His sense of courtesy and fairness was largely responsible for the good relations existing between the two City School Boards. His relations with the Provincial Department of Education were also amicable, while he continued to demand the same measure of justice for both the Separate and the Public Schools.
Sir Austin O’Brien gave a speech at the official school opening, and was presented with a miniature spade, in commemoration of the sod-turning ceremony. A portrait of Sir Austin was presented to the school, and hangs in the front foyer. Austin O’Brien High School was officially opened on November 24, 1963. Seven teachers and Sr. Marie Lillian as Principal staffed the school.
It is the mission of our school to help each and every student realize his or her potential and become a responsible, productive, and balanced individual within the context of our Catholic faith.
Austin O’Brien Catholic High School must have a clear sense of the goals that it is trying to accomplish, the characteristics of the school it seeks to become, and the contributions that the various stakeholders in the school must make in order to transform ideals into reality. The following vision statement is intended to provide the standards that Austin O’Brien Catholic High School should strive to achieve and maintain. These standards should serve as both the blueprint for our improvement efforts and the benchmarks by which we will evaluate our progress.
At Austin O’Brien Catholic High School, students take pride in themselves as individuals, as students of Austin O’Brien, and as members of a faith community.
Printable PDF's are below:A Tribute to Austin O'Brien June 14 1961.pdf