Investing in Education: The Faculty of Education Legacy Initiative

June 12, 2023

We are delighted to announce that Edmonds Community School has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural Faculty of Education Legacy Gift, chosen by the Class of 2023! The graduates were given the opportunity to choose a cause that the faculty would support on their behalf, and they selected “Books for a School Library” as the top priority. As a result, Edmonds Community School will now receive a collection of books they need the most. We would also like to acknowledge the support of SFU Alumni in this initiative. 

Located in the heart of the vibrant Burnaby neighborhood, Edmonds Community School stands as a symbol of inclusivity, care, and academic excellence. Their firm belief in the exceptional potential of their students is clear in every aspect of their educational approach. With a steadfast commitment to the idea that all students can achieve success academically, athletically, artistically, and socially, Edmonds Community School leaves no stone unturned in ensuring the academic prosperity of every learner.

The Faculty of Education Legacy Gift stands as a powerful testament to Edmonds' unyielding commitment to academic excellence, community engagement, and the comprehensive growth of their exceptional students. This commitment is further exemplified through their active participation in the Friends of Simon program. 

“Edmonds has been a Friends of Simon site since the inception of our program in 2006,” explains Angela Flumerfelt, the Program Coordinator. “For many years, our tutors from Friends of Simon have thoroughly enjoyed working with our students at Edmonds.”

To provide further insights into the remarkable achievements and ongoing initiatives at Edmonds Community School, we had the privilege of speaking with the school's principal, Sean Gaster. 

Q: When did the school open and what sets it apart from other schools?

A: Edmonds School in Burnaby has a rich history of over 100 years. It was originally established as a high school and later transitioned into an elementary school. What sets Edmonds apart is its deep-rooted connection with the community. It has been serving the community for many years and functions as a central hub, partnering with numerous community organizations. Edmonds operates beyond regular school hours through community partnerships, making it a true community school.

Q: Can you tell us about the diversity of students in your school and how you ensure an inclusive environment for all students?

A: Our school is situated in one of the most diverse communities in the province. With over 60 languages spoken, Edmonds welcomes many newcomers as they begin their journey in Canada. The school takes pride in its commitment to inclusivity. By collaborating closely with various wrap-around services in the community, Edmonds promptly responds to the needs of families and the community, fostering an inclusive environment for all students. 

Q: Can you describe any unique or innovative programs or approaches that your school offers?

A: We offer several unique and innovative programs. One notable program is the Friends of Simon Partnership with SFU, which focuses on peer mentorship and full-day summer programs. The school also has partnerships with United Way, Burnaby Family Life, and the Local Community Food Hub in collaboration with the Greater Vancouver Community Food Bank. Additionally, Edmonds has sponsored many student teachers during their practicums, supporting the development of future educators.

Q: Can you share any notable achievements or milestones that the school has accomplished recently?

A: One recent achievement worth mentioning is the partnership between Edmonds School and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. This collaboration has been instrumental in supporting local families in the southeast side of Burnaby, demonstrating Edmonds' commitment to addressing community needs. 

Q: How does it feel to be a recipient of the legacy gift from the Faculty of Education?

A: We are honored to receive the legacy gift from the Faculty of Education, solidifying our longstanding partnership with SFU. Our collaboration with the Community of Practice Module in SFU's Teacher Education Program has been incredibly valuable. We take pride in seeing many teachers who completed their practicums through this program return to Edmonds as educators. We look forward to nurturing an ongoing relationship with SFU and continuing our work together.