Nova Scotia

Holy Angels' girls start year at Sydney Academy

It was the first day of school at Sydney Academy Tuesday for about 180 girls who used to attend Holy Angels High School — the only public all girls' school in Atlantic Canada that closed for good June 30.

 It was the first day of school at Sydney Academy Tuesday for about 180 girls who used to attend Holy Angels High School — the only public all girls' school in Atlantic Canada that closed for good June 30.

Grade 12 student Samantha Gaudet said going to a co-ed school will take some getting used to.

"Nerve racking and a little bit scary," she said of her first day at her new school, adding that she misses Holy Angels.

"It's home, it was family to us," she said. "It wasn't just another school."

With the influx of new students, Sydney Academy has added five new classrooms and offers more courses like childhood development, food and textiles, health and human services.

There are also seven more teachers.

Sydney Academy principal Kevin Deveaux said he feels the change is good.

"We were a school of  about 60 per cent male. Now we will be about 50/ 50 female to male. It's going to be interesting to see how it will change the dynamics of the school," he said.

Space will be at a premium and teachers who are used to have their own homeroom will no longer have them. All classrooms will be used every minute of the day.

With more girls, there will be more of everything from courses to sports.

"There will be a different number of sports teams, more female sports team because of the increase of interest. I've already been asked about different sports we will be able to do," Deveaux said.

 Grade 12 student Teagan Binns said the  co-ed school is large.

"It's so  hard  to find your way around. You feel like a Grade 10 again," she said. "Holy Angels was so amazing and we had great teachers."

But Teagan feels that after few days at Sydney Academy, she will make the adjustment — but she will never forget Holy Angels.

About 300 girls attended Holy Angels, which was established in 1885.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board had leased the Holy Angels building from the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, but the order decided last year to sell the building and adjacent convent.

now