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Doing What's Best for Kids is a centennial history of one of the most important social institutions in the history of Fort McMurray. It explores the Fort McMurray Public School Board's relationship since 1912 to the development of oil sands, salt mining, fishing, lumbering, steamboat operations, aviation and railway development. The booms and busts of these industries at times threatened the existence of the district and at other times were the basis for growth.

The people who have made this history are a feature of this book. This group includes Douglas Craig and Cassia McTavish, who ensured that the fledgling school established in 1912 would survive the economic slump of 1913. The struggles with the department of education in Edmonton over funding and school approvals are another theme. Collectively it is the story of persistence and accomplishment in a location far from Edmonton, but rich in human and natural resources.

Table of Contents

1. A community institution, 1912-1934
2. Fragmentation, 1935-1955
3. Transformation, 1955-1969
4. Rebirth of a school district, 1969-1979
5. Consolidation, 1979-1992
6. Doing what's best for kids, 1993-2012
7. A second century

School histories:
Dr. K.A. Clark School
Beacon Hill School
Thickwood Heights School
Fort McMurray Composite High School
Westview School
Greely Road School
Westwood Community High School
École Dickinsfield School
Timberlea School
Frank Spragins High School
Fort McMurray Christian School
Fort McMurray Islamic School
École  McTavish Junior High School



John Gilpin

John Gilpin is an historian and writer with a BA and MA in history from the University of Alberta and a PhD in economic history from the University of Leicester, England. His interests include the settlement of western Canada, with a particular emphasis on transportation, water resources and urban development.