History of Ecole Bonaventure
The French Immersion program began in the Lord Selkirk School Division in 1987. The first group of students was a K-1 class and it was housed in the Selkirk Junior High, but administered by Lawrence Kristalovich, the Principal at the neighboring Robert Smith School. Thus we were called Robert Smith French Immersion. This arrangement proved to be effective as it provided the opportunity to share Robert Smith's facilities, programs, and resources. Bob Wur became the new Principal at Robert Smith in 1988 and Lucie Kuly joined the French Immersion team as a teacher that same year. As each year progressed, another grade was added and the enrollment grew quickly. By 1989 the program had grown to five grades and Lucie Kuly was appointed Vice-Principal to oversee the Immersion program. In 1991 the program had a full complement of elementary grades (K-6) and was well on its way to being its own school. Lucie Kuly was named Principal of the French Immersion program and Ecole Selkirk Junior High became a dual track school, receiving the graduates from the elementary French Immersion. On June 27, 1994 Robert Smith French Immersion was officially renamed Ecole Bonaventure! The name represents the adventure that had been embarked by the parents, students, and staff. It also reflects the spirit of adventure and opportunity that children encounter when they set foot on a bilingual journey. In 1995 the Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive High School accepted graduates from Ecole Selkirk Junior High French Immersion. The first graduates from the French Immersion program in Lord Selkirk graduated in June 1999. Lucie Kuly continued to be a strong advocate for the French Immersion program until her retirement in June 2004. Rachelle Tougas was the Principal of Ecole Bonaventure from September 2004 till her retirement in June 2015. Under her direction Ecole Bonaventure continued to flourish as an Elementary French Immersion Centre in Selkirk. Ecole Bonaventure piloted the first Balanced School Day in LSSD and other elementary schools soon followed suit.
The school has a strong literacy program in both Français and English and boasts a beautiful outdoor classroom that is used by all students and staff. June 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of our school name. The long-awaited construction of a new gym and link was completed in June of 2015.
Mme Susanne Saiko-Gamble became Principal of Ecole Bonaventure in September 2015 and continues her efforts to support students in the development of their identities as language learners and members of the greater francophone community.