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Jennifer Rabchak:

“The reason we moved to Olds was because we were interested in the opportunities that the high school offered, but we still wanted to live in a small town. I was nervous making the decision to move to Olds. The school seemed awesome and shiny and new and looked great on paper, but I was worried it wouldn’t measure up in real life. I’d always imagined that my kids would grow up and graduate in our previous community, so it was hard to give up on that dream at first. I felt like we were taking a big risk, and in the days leading up to the move there was definitely a lot of uncertainty. That being said, I wanted to give my kids the best possible start in life, and I felt that the diversity of programs and opportunities that Olds High School offered was the best way to do that.

Since we took that leap of faith and moved to Olds, there hasn’t been a single day where I’ve regretted that decision. Living in Olds has been even more amazing than I could have ever imagined. We’ve found the community to be really open, welcoming and friendly. My kids have had an awesome time in the high school, and my son has flourished in the art and music programs there. The fact that he’s able to be in a state-of-the-art drama production in a state-of-the-art facility in a rural setting is incredible. I think the young man he’s growing into has a lot to do with the opportunities he was given at both Deer Meadow and Olds High.

I love the community spirit we’ve found here. I love that I’m from a town that has it’s very own Olympic athlete. I was so excited the day she competed. I got up early, wore my Canada t-shirt and headed to the theater. It was so exciting to be there, in a room full of people that all had that common bond of being from Olds and being proud of that. I like going to the grocery store and running into people I know. I like going to the mechanic and knowing that one of their kids is a student of mine. I think it makes me more accountable, and I think it makes them more accountable too, because we know each other, and we’re invested in each other’s lives and connected through our work right here in the community.

I’d always wanted to raise my kids in a small town where everybody knew everybody and where people lived and worked in the same place. What is great about Olds is that it’s self-sufficient. Everything I need I can get here.

My first experience with moving to Olds was how my principal unexpectedly arrived at my house on moving day and helped me move my furniture in. Another teacher I was working with showed up that day with supper, and I just thought, “wow, this is what I have been looking for,” and I found it right there in my first day in Olds, my community.”