Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
August 30, 2010
School namesakes plan to welcome students Sept. 1
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - Msgr. Fee Otterson has a special affinity for otters.
Aside from the obvious - having the word "otters" in his surname - he has been drawn to a famous quote from author Richard Bach. In his book, Illusions - The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Bach wrote, "We are game-playing, fun-having creatures, we are the otters of the universe."
Otters can be found throughout the south Edmonton's newest school, Monsignor Fee Otterson Elementary/Junior High. Images of otters are printed on everything from letterhead and posters to books and complimentary flashlights. There are stuffed otters in the chapel.
The otters are meant to honour Otterson, 87.
"My name is Otterson and the principal of the school knows that I collect otters. I have pictures of otters and I have porcelain figures, that sort of thing," he said.
Otterson was a graduate of Edmonton Catholic Schools, and was a teacher/administrator for more than 30 years, including 22 years at Austin O'Brien High School.
While he has not yet been inside the new facility, Otterson intends on being there for the first day of classes, Sept. 1.
Sister Annata Brockman says she will also be at the school named in her honour on opening day.
"I can never say that it is my school," she said. "I believe the school belongs to every person whose life has ever touched mine or any person that God has touched through me. This school is part of all of us."
She came to Edmonton from Middle Lake, Sask., and served Edmonton Catholic Schools as a teacher and administrator for 21 years.
She was principal at St. Mark, St. Dominic and St. Andrew schools, and was the last religious principal in the district.
After retiring from teaching, Brockman was a pastoral associate at St. Joseph's Basilica for 23 years. Today she continues to work in the archdiocese, visiting sick and terminally ill people, and visiting with young people whenever possible.
Brockman believes the Holy Spirit is alive in every person.
"If each of us tries our level best to develop the gifts that God has given us, then we are going to make our mark on the people of the world and on creation," she said.
She wrote a special prayer for the school. The prayer highlights three main elements: being thankful to God for his goodness, abundant blessing for all those who enter the school and students developing their God-given talents to the fullest.
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