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Settling In: Highlighting 50 Years of Kitimat's History

School Board - Kitimat Schools - Kitimat Education

"Educational foundations have been established in Kitimat.  These standards and traditions are found in the curricular and extra-curricular activities of the school, and have come about through striving for high academic standings and service to others."  Frank J. Bower

School began in Kitimat, September 15, 1952, with 26 children and three teachers - Mr. Bower, Mr. Scheutze, and Miss Cavill.  With the construction of smelter and town, workers with their families arrived and up to 6 new pupils enrolled each week in the small school at Smeltersite.  In February 1953, the first issue of the school paper "TAMITIK" was published as a senior student's English project.

School District Number 80 formed July 1, 1953, and plans for new schools in the Townsite were made.  Skilled teachers were needed.  School District No. 80 (Kitimat) in 1961 offered one of the better salary schedules in the Province and provided accommodation at a nominal fee for single teachers in houses shared with other teachers, and apartments or townhouses for married teachers and their families.

Some important educational dates:

  • Nechako Elementary School opened January 1955 with nine classrooms. The official opening occurred on June 16, 1955.
  • Cormorant Elementary School opened October 1956.
  • Mount Elizabeth Secondary School opened September 1958. New additions were added in 1968, 1969, and 1974.
  • Anthony's School opened in 1957.
  • Kildala Elementary School opened November 22, 1957.
  • Whitesail Elementary School was completed in 1958 but did not open until September 1963. The School was renamed Roy Wilcox Elementary School, May 14, 1977.
  • Alexander Elementary School opened in September 1970.
  • The strap was retired in 1985.

Nechako classroom

Miss Olive Scott instructs her new students in one of the recently completed nine classrooms in Nechako School, January 1955. 

Kildala School Sports Day

Decorated bicycle contest, Kildala School Sports Day, May 1962. 

School's Out For Summer!

"School's Out for some 2,500 Kitimat school children this week.  With two months' holiday to look forward to the four youngsters above, left to right Lisa Lindeman, Cheryl Ulledal, Bob Guy, and Trevor Sandberg, foreground, toss their books in the air with the sheer joy of childhood's freedom." 

Cormorant Elementary School top students

Cormorant Elementary school top students, June 1964, represent a cross-section of the nationalities found in five Kitimat schools, the total population of which is just over 2,000. Given the high ratio of 25 to 40 age group among Kitimat's 9000 residents, a large pre-school number is now nearing school age. 

Perfect Attendance Prize

Cormorant student Lori McKeown receives her perfect attendance prize from Mrs. J. Nelson, July 1961.

St. Anthony's School closing exercises

St. Anthony's School closing exercises, June 1967.

Mt.Elizabeth Band Rehearsal

High school band members at practice.  Led by Kitimat's "Music Man", band director Dennis Tupman, March 2, 1966.