Birchwood’s 10 Year Anniversary Celebrations

by Dan Mullins

It’s been a year of celebration at Birchwood Elementary. In December 2011, Birchwood opened its doors and welcomed students for the first time. On June 3rd, 2022, Birchwood held an official celebration of its 10th anniversary.

The three past and present principals of Birchwood came together to mark the school’s first decade of existence by holding an assembly and opening a time capsule. Brigitte Valois, the school’s current principal, hosted Coleen Turner and Dominique Daoust, the first and second principals.

The time capsule contained many things, from a binder full of letters from students from the first year, to the original art of a mural. The item that elicited the greatest response was a jersey… an Ottawa Senators jersey! There were some gasps and some laughter when it was revealed. The story goes that students had been invited to include something that meant a lot to them, and one student had offered their favourite hockey jersey.

The event did not go off without a hitch, however! Planned as a virtual assembly, but the camera equipment provided by MELS was defective and last minute arrangements were made to hold it in-person. Being adaptable seems to be the virtue of the moment, and in this case, Birchwood proved they have no shortage of it and the celebration was a great success. The end-of-year family celebration and barbeque that was held later that evening welcomed a record-setting number of people, estimated at over a thousand.

Over the course of the decade, Birchwood Elementary school has become a central place for the St. Lazare community. A final acknowledgement of the year’s significance was provided to each student, staff member, and bus driver. A small, waxed cardboard box — which contained a baby birch tree, just beginning to bud was distributed as a souvenir.

In December, the Pearson News marked its anniversary by publishing a video and a poem: Birchwood 10 Year Anniversary and an Ode in our first issue in this new format.