Former River Glen School attendees invited to farewell event

Anyone who remembers having home school advantage for the annual River Glen Rodeo or simply attending the little school by the river is invited for a farewell hurrah on May 17.

Anyone who remembers having home school advantage for the annual River Glen Rodeo or simply attending the little school by the river is invited for a farewell hurrah on May 17.

River Glen School in Red Deer will cease to exist at the end of the school year after a five-decade run. While River Glen will close, Gateway Christian School will move into the facility located south of the Kerry Wood Nature Centre on 59th Street.

To mark the finality, a homecoming day is being planned for May 17 at the school, open to all alumni and former school staff. Hundreds are expected, including alumnus and Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer. Fellow alum Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary, has also been invited.

“This is a time to reflect and refresh old acquaintances. It’s a homecoming, an opportunity to come say farewell to the old place and reminisce with former friends and colleagues, and perhaps the odd fossilized staff member like myself that they might remember,” said David Mathias, who has taught at River Glen since 1980.

The school site once served as military barracks, and the first school at the location was housed in an army hut. The River Glen building was constructed in 1960 and named after a nearby dairy farm.

River Glen has never been part of a city-based school division, and has always catered to students living outside of Red Deer. With its kindergarten to Grade 12 orientation and smaller size, some city residents have been attracted to the school in recent years as well, said Mathias.

Because of its rural flavour, the school held its own rodeo for many years, regularly thrashing its urban competition. And nestled as it was between the river, Gaetz Lakes, and the nature sanctuary, the location was ideal for the forestry, wildlife and biology lessons that Mathias taught.

“When you gather it all together and take a look, it’s been a pretty remarkable little place,” said Mathias.

Today, enrolment is barely above 200 students and split classes are the norm. Enrolments have fallen sharply over the last 10 years, as students have headed to larger local high schools where opportunities are more plentiful.

Older River Glen students and some teachers will mostly head to a new secondary school in Penhold in September, and others will be dispersed among schools in Red Deer and outside the city.

The homecoming day will start at noon with a barbecue, followed by remarks, tours and an appearance by the Red Deer Royals band. RSVPs are encouraged before May 1 via email to dmathias@chinooksedge.ab.ca.

mfish@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

A hairy issue: Sailors tell the US Navy, ‘We want beards’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Now that women in the Navy can wear ponytails,… Continue reading

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month