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Names of New Schools

New Schools

Names of New Catholic Schools Announced

Edmonton Catholic Schools is delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees has approved the names of two of our new Catholic schools:

  • Joan Carr Catholic Elementary/Junior High School (Keswick)
  • Father Michael McCaffery Catholic High School (Heritage Valley)

The provincial government announced the new schools last year. In January, Edmonton Catholic Schools asked its students, staff, and the greater community for help naming them. We received more than 300 submissions.

“The overwhelming response we received was truly heartwarming,” said Board Chair Sandra Palazzo. “The tributes to the two school namesakes that are being brought forward were unique, personal, and beautiful testaments of the contributions of these members of our Catholic community in Edmonton and beyond.” 


Joan Carr served as Superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools for 14 years until her passing in February 2020. She was a passionate advocate for Catholic education and fostered a culture of excellence in learning that was grounded in the love of Jesus. Her visionary leadership has been recognized and celebrated locally, provincially, and nationally, including being named Canadian Superintendent of the Year in 2016

Below is a sample of some of the submissions we received:

“She lived the values of what makes Catholic education so great – unwavering dedication to her faith life; fortitude to stand up again and again for the right to publicly funded Catholic education and the humanness to meet every individual, no matter of standing, with kindness, dignity, and respect.  Joan Carr is Catholic education.”  

She modeled, on a daily basis, what it means to be a committed Catholic Educator. Her work as superintendent was exemplary, in every way, always being that advocate for quality Catholic Education with students at the center of her commitment.” 

“Joan worked hard to reconcile our past with our Indigenous ancestors. Her dedication to children was prominent. She loved Jesus Christ and her motto, act justly, to love faithfully and to walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8) was everlasting in our Division/Division theme. She touched the lives of so many. Joan was not working but living the calling of a vocation. She needs a building to stand as a place to continue her legacy, highlight the wonders of education, showcase the arts and bring honour to all our peoples.” 

 Located in southwest Edmonton, Joan Carr Catholic Elementary/Junior High School will open in September 2022 with space for more than 900 students. 


Father Michael McCaffery was a leader in the Edmonton Catholic community for more than five decades. He served in numerous parishes across the province and was honoured with the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2005. He was an ardent supporter of Catholic education and our Catholic schools. Father McCaffery also taught at Newman Theological College and served as Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton.  Father Mike was known for his generosity in serving the community of Edmonton in initiatives that improved the lives of others. 

Below is a sample of some of the submissions we received:

“Father Mike embodied Christ and the Church, his unwavering dedication and energy to our community is simply incredible. The thousands of lives he touched always with a blessing, kind word and engaging and encouraging smile will never be forgotten.   Whenever I saw him in person his eyes and heart was full of love and kindness.  He always made time and found a way to fill each and every request.  His faith and love had no boundaries for even those of a different faith knew he was an exceptional man of God.”  

“Father Mike breathed life and joy into the gospel of Christ by his life-long service to our community, his example of joy, humility, compassion and love of people. He was an outstanding, inspiring disciple of Christ.”

“Father Mike was a "people's priest".  He lived Jesus' words "let the children come to me".  He welcomed everyone, Catholic or not, with positivity and a spirit of openness. He understood that life can get messy and helped people, young and old, navigate that reality through the love of God and the power of forgiveness. He believed strongly in education, having been a professor at Newman Theological College.   To me, Father Mike was a clear example of living one's life in the image of Jesus.  He gave himself fully in service to his students, parishioners, friends, family, and community.  He is a shining example of the values Catholic Education instills in students, and a school named after him would encourage students and staff, and anyone walking through the doors, to try to emulate the qualities Father Mike shared every day.”

Construction is scheduled to begin on Father Michael McCaffery Catholic High School this fall. Once built, it will have a capacity of 1,300. 

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