The first year of operation for Monsignor John S. Smith School was in 1997-98. That year, under the leadership of principal Thomas Sullivan and vice principal Larry Tominyama, 23 teachers, one caretaker, one library technician, and one secretary; a total of 424 students filled grades kindergarten to 8. Early on it became clear that the school was going to have a significant impact on the Douglasdale community.
As the years progressed, the school developed a major role within the greater community. It served as a temporary church for St. Albert the Great Parish until 2004. Since that time it has served for local groups such as Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, as well as Sparks, Brownies and Guides, drop-in programs, recreational basketball. Our ties with the community clearly transcend religious boundaries.
Since this school first opened its doors in 1997, charitable works have been a strong focus of our staff and students. Two cancer drives raised over $90,000 for that charity. Charity drives for goods and money are often held throughout the year.
At its peak enrollment, our school was run by a staff of 47 teachers, 11 support staff, four caretakers, three office staff, one library technician, a principal, vice principal, and an assistant principal. The 902 students were further supported by over 500 registered parent volunteers.
In addition to living our faith, academic excellence has consistently been a hallmark of Monsignor Smith. Learners excel in many different ways, highlighting their gifts from God. Over the past years a recognition program called Star Awards has come to illustrate our focus as teachers and caregivers. In this program each child is recognized at some point during the year for the gifts and talents they have received from the Lord our God. Through this, each child is seen as a gift to the world. In the future Monsignor John S. Smith School will continue to seek and nurture the greatness and Godliness in each child.