top of page
  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Former students, educators celebrate Western Secondary School before closing

by Sylene Argent

After 51-years of offering high school students a chance to take a hands-on approach with their education, Western Secondary High School will close at the end of this school year.

  Former students and educators took the time to reminisce in the hallways and classrooms, in addition to greeting old-time friends, on Saturday as a closing celebration was held.

  Sam Thomas has been a teacher at Western for the past 27-years, and over those years she has seen how the school’s hand-on teaching methods has helped many students learn, grow, and later find success once graduated.

  Wanting a way to help former students get a chance to say ‘good-bye’ to the school that helped them discover the passion or talents they may not have known they had prior to enrolling, Thomas organized the celebratory event.

  “The school meant a lot to many. It helped a lot of students,” she said, greeting those who stopped by.  

  Students benefiting from that hands-on model of schooling will still be able to do so, but from the new North Star High School, being built in Amherstburg.

  Thomas said she, and many others, fought hard to try and keep Western open for years, but enrolment has decreased with under 200 students this school year. In the past, there were as many as 700 students enrolled in its programming.

  “It has had an insane turnout,” Thomas said of the event, which started at 2pm. “At around 12:15pm, people were already lined up outside. It has been awesome.”

  She hoped with decade rooms, the event would not only be a walk down memory lane, but also a reunion for the former students.

  Former student Rob Dupuis said he benefited from Western’s hands-on education, and excelled in its business program as a result. He stressed the importance of providing this type of learning, and how beneficial it is to many students in finding success. 

bottom of page