Austin O’Brien Catholic High School is located in southeast Edmonton with a student population of 860 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.
Students are well prepared for the challenges of post secondary education as a result of the strong academic program within the school. Experiential and digital learning opportunities in the humanities, sciences, the arts, health education and career and technology inspire our students to pursue further learning at the post secondary level in a variety of areas. Austin O’Brien also offers three Bilingual Language Programs in Ukrainian, Polish and Spanish. In these program students are immersed in language and culture with their peers over their three years. The school also offers a Golf Academy Program from grades ten through twelve.
Austin O’Brien has a long standing tradition of an outstanding and widely recognized fine arts program. Students can take advantage of a variety of music courses, instrumental band, choral music and guitar. Students can explore their talents and skills through numerous drama and theatre opportunities, and they can explore their talents through visual arts. Austin O’Brien offers a wide range of athletic and wellness opportunities for students. Team sports, personal fitness and recreational pursuits provide opportunities for participation, personal challenge and development.
Our school is also a district site for the Edmonton Catholic Educational Experiences Program. Within this district program students learn life skills and are integrated into work experience programs within the community. This is a unique program that offers support to students with a diverse range of medical, developmental and communication challenges. A team of specialized staff offer a wide range of support to students in these programs to ensure that they can successfully transition into the community after their high school years.
Austin O’Brien has a long standing tradition of excellence. Our motto, “Many Gifts, One Spirit” exemplifies our school mission to graduate students who are prepared and confident to lead happy, productive lives and in turn, to share their gifts with others.
Sir Austin O'Brien was superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools from 1924 to 1961.. He administered the school district with a sense of fairness and justice. His leadership led to high morale and loyalty among staff, inspiring people to make financial sacrifices in order to preserve Edmonton Separate Schools during the depression years. He helped build a system characterized by high academic standards and by outstanding teaching methods. He was an outstanding business administrator and educational supervisor, noted for making the right decisions on behalf of Catholic education.
Sir Austin O'Brien spoke at the official opening of the school on November 24, 1963. A portrait of Sir Austin which still hangs in the front foyer was presented to the school. The original staff consisted of seven teachers with Sr. Marie Lillian as principal.
By 1963 the school district consisted of 18,000 students in fifty-five schools, five of which were high schools. the district's growth was largely through the far seeing progressive policies brought to the school district by Mr. O'Brien. Mr. O'Brien's 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 pleasant, while he continued to demand the same measure of justice for both the Separate and Public Schools.