Welcome to the Family!

Not long ago, I attended a conference session entitled, “Sharing our Stories:  Finding the Heartbeat and Creating your Brand”.  The essence of the presentation was about knowing the heart of one’s school and bringing to fruition the reputation a school leader wanted it to have – the “feeling” others would have when they heard the name or reflected on their experience there.  The first “Ralph McCall School” words that came to my mind, both then and still today, were “Family” and “Home”.

Privileged to be the Principal at Ralph McCall for three years already I have regularly told people, with pride, that it was barely two weeks into my arrival as “the new administrator” that the school already felt like home and that “all these people were my people.”  Before working here, I had previously heard similar stories from Guest Teachers and Pre-Service Teachers, so I knew of its reputation, but I immediately experienced it first-hand.

I celebrate these people who give this school its pulse.  From our Head Building Operator who will participate in talent show lip sync events to the wonderfully welcoming and thoughtful office ladies.  They feed, clothe and love on little ones all day long.  If someone loses a tooth they make an enthusiastic fuss as though that child is the first person it has ever happened to!  We have an incredibly talented group of innovative and genuinely caring teachers, as well as a dedicated and compassionate support staff who hold our building together like glue.  They aren’t called “support” staff for no reason!  We are all part of the Ralph McCall family.  Our students, their parents and our whole community are part of it too.

Yes, we are an inclusive and high-achieving school.  We focus on literacy and numeracy, science, fine arts and sportsmanship.  We embrace diversity and personalize programs to meet the needs of each child.  We integrate technology into all curricular areas and provide children with real-life opportunities to realize their learning.  All Rocky View Schools do this, each in their own way, and we are tremendously proud to be part of moving education forward.

But, as a reader here now, your memories of elementary school are more likely to be of the Christmas Concert than the spelling test, or of sitting at the back of the bumpy bus on a field trip rather than of which textbooks you used.  You may recall getting dressed up on spirit days or having class parties.  More than anything, I remember the feeling I had just being a student.  Loving my teachers, and wanting to BE a teacher!  I remember being on the playground with friends and bringing home class pets for the weekend.  I felt safe, cared for and important.  My elementary school was my home away from home.  Ralph McCall is now my home away from home.  I love my job because I love my people and the students are some of those precious, little people.  Our number one job is to make them feel safe, cared for and important.

People are the reason our school is great.  They are the reason for our reputation.  They are our “brand”.  If you haven’t already experienced Ralph McCall School, I invite you over to “our house”.  It is an amazing place to work, learn and play.


Mrs. Andrea Craigie


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