St. Jerome Catholic Elementary School in Aurora celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Liturgy for its entire school community on Thursday, May 19, 2016.
The Liturgy was celebrated by Father Frank McDevitt and featured a blessing of an outdoor classroom, a video documentary of the school's history, and a collaborative singing of the school song. Following the Liturgy there were speeches by officials including: Patricia Preston, Director of Education; Opiyo Oloya, Superintendent of Schools; Brad Coates, Catholic School Council Chair, and Michele Reaume, Principal.
St. Jerome CES opened its doors to 385 students in November 2005. It was built to accommodate families in the newly developed community in north-east Aurora. Students were previously housed at Holy Spirit CES until St. Jerome was ready. Its inaugural Principal was Rav McKee, who returned to the school for its anniversary along with another former principal, Rosemary Hopps.
St. Jerome was the first Eco-certified school in the York Catholic District School Board, and its students and staff are deeply committed to caring for the environment. Following a school-wide, collective brainstorming initiative in 2014, the school transformed part of its outdoor area into a stone-seated, outdoor classroom where students regularly learn next to nature.
The school also organizes its students into groups of "families," that span grades and ages. Students meet with their "family" monthly to participate in various activities together that reinforce a caring and supportive school environment for all.
"Honouring the voices of others, especially the students that we are called to serve, is at the heart of all that we do here at St. Jerome," says Michele Reaume, School Principal. "We are a family, and it is our strong bonds, mutual respect and dedicated faith that has carried us forward for ten years strong. I thank our alumni and former staff who returned to St. Jerome to help us celebrate a decade of Catholic education. I also thank the anniversary planning committee, and everyone else who helped to make this special day a success."