St. Mark Elementary School was not quite ready for September 3, 1974, the school opening. For a few months the students had to be transported by charter buses to St. Bernard School in the Bowness/Montgomery area. Once the school building was finished and the students were housed in the building, St. Mark School served as our parish church for four years.
Father Cooney, who went on to become Bishop Cooney, was the parish priest at the time. He ministered to ST. Mark School and Parish for more than eleven years. Father Cooney left St. Mark Parish in August, 1984 but the children who attended St. Mark School during the years that he was pastor remember him well, as he was very involved with the school. Mr. Matt Verhagen was the founding principal at St. Mark School. He stayed until June, 1976.
When the school was first built, it was painted a bright orange color. Mr. Verhagen once told the story of some stranger who jokingly commented that St. Mark School was being used by Canadian Pacific pilots as a beacon to guide them to the airport.
The school blessing took place on November 10, 1975. The Bishop celebrated Mass and then blessed each classroom.
St. Mark School was built as an open area, modular building which was a new concept at the time. The school was blessed with the largest gym of any elementary school yet built. We still enjoy our gymnasium, however, walls were built to create individual classrooms.
St. Mark School continues to be a school whose staff, students and parents work together to build a Christian community and who strive for academic excellence.