Focus On Education

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Grad takes the helm of his alma mater

Mark Whyte, Conrad Grebel University College’s student council president, left, and University of Waterloo president Feridun Hamdullahpur, centre, stand with Marcus Shantz, who was installed as Grebel’s eighth president on Nov 2, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)

Marcus Shantz laughs when it’s noted that the previous seven presidents of Conrad Grebel University College have all been pastors or academics, or both. “I guess the board sees that it takes a broad skill set to be the president,” he says.

A child’s world in the palm of their parents’ hands

Parents of students at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary & Middle School can now download a school app to help them connect with their child’s school world.

When most parents send their elementary-and middle-school-aged children off to school, they rely on school websites and notes in their children’s backpack to keep them informed. But one Winnipeg school has changed all that. Now, Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary & Middle Schools (WMEMS) parents can download a school app to stay in the loop with their children’s world.

Drawing students ‘in’

During a chapel service, Grade 10 students from Rosthern Junior College present what they learned from their trip to Winnipeg. (Photo by Ryan Wood)

Grade 10 students at Rosthern Junior College debrief after a visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. (Photo by Kenna Forrester)

In “Outwitted,” poet Edwin Markham writes: “He drew a circle that shut me out— / Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout. / But love and I had the wit to win: / We drew a circle that took him in!”

Building bridges

Jessie Castello, a member of Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ont., has just completed her master of peace and conflict studies degree at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont. (Conrad Grebel University College photo)

In celebration of 40 years of leadership in peace education, the current Grebel Gallery exhibit, Beyond Essays: Approaching Peace Education Differently, showcases some of the creations of Conrad Grebel University College Peace and Conflict Studies students over the years. Submitted by PACS student Ambar Hernandez, this arpillera sheds light on the role that the Vicariate of Solidarity played in empowering and protecting individuals during the Chilean dictatorship (1973-90). It demonstrates the artist’s memories of the community coming together to fight for equality and dignity with hope as their shield. (Conrad Grebel University College photo)

In 1977, an academic concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) was formally introduced at the University of Waterloo, launched by Conrad Grebel College, now Conrad Grebel University College. It was the first undergraduate peace studies program at a Canadian university.

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.

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