Focus On Education

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A passionate advocate for Mennonite education

Mennonite institutions endure based on the hard work and dedication of those who believe in their impact on individuals and the broader community. On Jan. 31, 2018, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate will lose a passionate advocate for Mennonite education, one the school will sorely miss, when Dennis Wikerd retires as the school’s assistant principal after 39 years of service.

An exciting first step

I live in one of the most beautiful places on the Prairies. The Shekinah Retreat Centre is situated in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Northeast of my house, a deep ravine funnels a beaver-filled creek into the wide river below. God’s presence is ubiquitous here, a place that has been significant to my development since I attended summer camp at Shekinah when I was 7.

Rooted in faith or academia

When Justony Vasquez decided to be part of World Youth Day in Poland last summer, she had no idea that the venture would land her at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU). In her final year of high school, she’d already received acceptance and a scholarship to another university. She can only explain the last-minute change as something “Spirit-led.”

‘One team’ at MCI

Our purpose at Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) in Gretna, Man., is to educate young people in an Anabaptist/Christian context, seeking to develop their God-given potential in terms of physical, intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, social and spiritual well-being, and to develop in them an appreciation of our Mennonite heritage.

A learning community

I recently enjoyed a visit with a Rosthern (Sask.) Junior College (RJC) alumnus whose graduating class is from decades past. There were many smiles as we talked about old classmates, teammates, teachers and coaches. His stories were certainly evidence that RJC is a place where one makes friendships that last a lifetime, and that RJC has been a true learning community for generations.

‘The heart of our song’

On a hot June weekend, more than 100 Rockway Mennonite Collegiate alumni rehearsed, relived and performed a Rockway choral experience.

Three beloved choral directors—Jan Overduin, Robert L. Shantz and Ann L. Shultz, a 1984 graduate—each chose a hymn and two pieces that, with prayer and reflections, were melded into a moving, worshipful experience.

Back to class

Miraya Groot follows Mac Wallace, Zack Strike, and Brendan Paetkau as Conrad Grebel University College students unload the last of their residence room furniture before the first week of classes. Just as Grebel students share their treasured school traditions, well-loved skybunks and couches also get passed along from one year to the next. (Photo by Jennifer Konkle)

Back at the Grebel table

Fine arts student Margaret Gissing poses with a silverware sculpture she created with her father Gus Gissing, a Conrad Grebel University College alumnus. The sculpture represents the many people involved at Grebel and the different gifts they each bring to the table. (Photo by Jennifer Konkle)

Eager faces showing a little bit of nervousness arrived at Conrad Grebel University College on Labour Day for the new school year.

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