On Friday, I had the honour of attending a retirement celebration for Strathcona Christian Academy Principle Jim Seutter. Jim has been the principle of that school for 33 years, and was a pioneer in school choice in Alberta. Strathcona Christian Academy is in Sherwood Park. It is now an alternative program within Elk Island Public Schools and consists of 2 schools and over 1000 students in 2 state-of-the-art facilities, with top notch academics, sports, and fine arts. It started, however, as a very small private school with very limited resources - born of a dream that Jim Seutter and others had before programs of choice were all that common.
It is worth remembering that programs of choice don't just exist because of public policy decisions. They have to be developed from the ground up, by educators and entrepreneurs who recognize parent and student demand. Friday was an opportunity to celebrate someone who paved the way for programs of choice in Alberta, and who has shepherded Strathcona Christian Academy through incredible growth and expansion.
We wish Jim well in his retirement, and in any planned activities ahead.