Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 27, 2007
New Superintendent pushes perseverance
Elk Island Catholic School's Chris Diachuk wants to provide quality Catholic education
By BILL GLEN
"It's our faith belief that draws our community together."
- Chris Diachuk
"The division sees itself as Catholic schools for kids, as opposed to schools for Catholic kids," he said. "It's our faith belief that draws our community together.
"The quality of the educational program provided through our schools is exceptional. Parents are looking for a values-based, moral upbringing for their children in an inviting family environment."
Diachuk, who holds a doctorate in educational psychology, is an adjunct professor at the U of A in the faculty of education.
He was instrumental in establishing the master of education (school counselling) program that has trained school counsellors and psychologists for 16 years through the department of educational psychology.
A noted speaker, Diachuk has delivered numerous keynote addresses at conferences in Canada and North America for some 25 years.
It is in those talks that he emphasizes the role of perseverance in contributing to success in life.
Much of his career has been spent working with troubled and troubling children and adolescents. Many of his early teaching assignments with Edmonton Catholic Schools were with students who were sentenced by the courts to attend school.
"I learned very early how important it is to form a positive relationship with your students and really try to understand what is going on in their lives," he said.
"I went into some of the saddest homes. I learned that non-attendance and behavioral issues are not a cause, but a symptom of what is going on in a child's family life.
"Kids don't leave their troubles behind. They take them wherever they go."
Diachuk said people are happiest when they are learning new things and that it is incumbent upon the division and its educators to prepare students for the future by becoming effective problem solvers.
"Our role in schools is to create that excitement, not only in our students but within the family as well. A lot of our schools are focused on family activities to get the parents into the schools to experience part of the culture of what goes on with their children."
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