Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 28, 2005
Jean Forest Academy named
All girls junior high honours retired senator
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The Edmonton Catholic School Division has named its new all-girls junior high leadership academy after retired senator Jean Forest.
Forest's name was chosen Feb. 11 from a roster of 27 names submitted by the division staff.
"We are extremely pleased to have our all-girls academy named after Jean because she embraces a lot of what we are hoping that the all-girls academy will teach young women," division spokesperson Lori Nagy said Feb. 17.
"We just think that she represents some wonderful characteristics that all girls in the academy will look up to," she said pointing to Forest's outstanding leadership in promoting Catholic education, her Christian values and her remarkable record of community service. "She'll be a wonderful role model for these girls."
To be based at St. Basil School, 10210-115 Ave., the mission of the Jean Forest Academy is to "provide the finest Christ-centred learning environment which inspires young women to develop in spirit, leadership, intellect, self-discovery and service."
"I'm deeply honoured; I really am," Forest said from her home in Victoria. "I just hope I can live up to those high expectations. "
Forest, chancellor emeritus of the University of Alberta and a member of the Order of Canada, has served on numerous public bodies, including the Alberta Human Rights' Commission, the Edmonton Catholic School board and as president of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association and vice-chair of the board of governors of Newman Theological College.
The mother of seven and grandmother of 11 received the Order of Canada in 1987 after serving on a committee appointed by the Canadian bishops to address the needs of women in the Church. She served as a senator from 1996 until her resignation in 1998 out of concerns for her husband's health.
She is currently a member of the board of Island Catholic Schools.
The retired senator is familiar will all-girls schooling because some of her children attended one.
"Our four daughters attended an all girls school in Edmonton many years ago; it was the Assumption Academy, a French school run by the Sisters of Assumption.
"We were very sad when it had to close because there were no more sisters to teach there, but I thought it was a wonderful school."
The Forest Academy is scheduled to open in September beginning with Grade 7. Fifteen girls have registered to date. At least 48 students are needed for the academy to go ahead.
"The academy will help the girls to discover things about themselves that they might not have had an opportunity to do in a classroom that had both boys and girls," Nagy said.