By Mariah McKenney, Massey-Vanier Class of 2013
This year marks a milestone for the Eastern Townships community – Massey-Vanier High School is celebrating its 50th anniversary. For 50 years, Massey-Vanier (MV) has played a part in the high school careers of many students from the Eastern Townships who have since moved on to adulthood—myself included. This important event is certainly something to be celebrated for all past, current and future MV students and staff.
As I reflected on its history, I wondered how Massey-Vanier had evolved. Julie Edwards has been the Principal of Massey-Vanier High School on the ETSB side since 2014 and Vice-Principal from 2005 to 2012. She explained that, while high schools in Quebec have seen a decline in student enrolment, MV has strived to keep students in school through up-to-date research on student learning along with staff who are dedicated to their students’ success and who are very serious about professional development. Julie also stated that, “What has not changed at MV is the sense of community that exists, even though we are a rural school and our students come from 8 different geographic locations and feeder schools.” Students from both ETSB and CSVDS create a unique dynamic. “We don’t put up barriers, we integrate and cohabitate. We even share some sports teams, a few activities and concentration programs,” explained Julie.
Similarly, an article written in La Voix de l’Est on the Commission scolaire Val-des-Cerfs of École sécondaire Massey-Vanier describes some of the changes that MV has seen over the years. This article mentions the tensions between English and French students at MV over the last 50 years. These tensions are aspects of Massey-Vanier’s history that will be shown in a humorous way. Elaboration of the French-English tensions will be expressed through skits written and performed by current students. Today, both English and French continue to blend together under the same roof. A truly unique dynamic that makes MV stand out!
There will be celebrations held in order to showcase the success and history of Massey-Vanier, both on the English and the French side. An organizing committee for Val-des-Cerfs will be hosting an open house for past and future students on October 19 from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. In addition, a gigantic mosaic mural has been created in honour of this special occasion. It will be hung on a wall outside the school. Students from art classes have worked alongside artists Michel Viala and Sara Mills from Atelier Pluriel Singulier to create this piece.
In addition, Townshippers’ Day will be held this year at Massey-Vanier on September 21st. ETSB will advertise up-coming events on that day. Julie explained that Townshippers’ Day will include performances by MV students. Items from MV’s wood shop will be for sale in the arts and crafts section. On the same day, ETSB is organizing its annual pig roast fundraiser on the Brome Fair grounds. This is to support its athletic program, which is 50 years strong. The fundraiser has expanded this year to encourage alumni, staff and student participation. It will include bouncy houses, a petting zoo, a photo booth, a dunk tank, an on-site canteen and bands. The pig roast dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Refer to the ETSB MV website and one of the many MV Facebook pages for more details.
Although summer is coming to a close, the new school year brings promise and celebration. Massey-Vanier’s 50th anniversary is a milestone for the community. It is also a milestone for all its current, past and future students and staff. Its future looks bright. Massey-Vanier continues to leave its mark on students’ academic careers as it has for fifty years.