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King George VI Public School - Sarnia
Go Knights!

At King George VI School, our primary mission is to ensure that each child develops to her/his full potential as a person. It is our aim to provide an environment which recognizes the uniqueness, self-worth and dignity of each student and to provide opportunities for students to acquire the basic skills, knowledge and attitudes required for their continuing education.

Through a variety of learning experiences, students will be encouraged to assume accountability for their behaviour and responsibility for their role in the development of academic skills.

Our school aim is to foster a spirit of respect and co-operation among students, parents and teachers so that they work together towards the goal of preparing each child to assume a responsible role in society.

King George VI School operates under and within the educational policies as prescribed by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training and the Lambton Kent District School Board.

Chris Hadfield

Along with all its special qualities, King George VI, Sarnia has a very close relationship with a famous Canadian astronaut, Colonel Chris Hadfield. 

Chris attended King George VI School for Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2. He returned on Sunday Feb. 4, 1996 to his former public school for the first time since his family moved away. At that time, he spoke to the students and teachers about his experiences in space. He inspired us to go after our dreams and to quote Chris, “the sky is not the limit…” Our school library was dedicated to Chris and is now known as the Chris Hadfield Library Resource Centre. 

Since this first visit, we have continued to stay in contact with Chris through E-Mail several times a month. On Sept. 8, 1997, Chris revisited King George and a tree was planted in his honour. It was dedicated to “Our Spaceman from his Earth School”. This scarlet maple will continue to reach for the sky that has no limit to Chris. During this visit, he also returned the crest of King George VI School that flew with him on the STS-74 mission to Mir, Nov. 12, 1995 to Nov. 20, 1995. It flew with the crew of five astronauts orbiting the earth 129 times and travelling 3.4 million miles. Chris invited all the students to come up to his new playground – The International Space Station – and see Sarnia and the world from space. He also told them, “It is up to YOU what to do with YOUR life. Make the most of each day, and work for your future. I will think of you when I’m out walking in space. Study hard, learn well, have fun.” From King George’s first astronaut – Chris Hadfield. 

Because of Chris’ desire to stay connected to King George VI School, he has submitted our name for several contests and events. We were part of the Discovery Channel, “Name the Space Arm Contest”. We received a beautiful poster and honourable mention for the creative, inventive, imaginative “Canadian Limb” name submitted by Mrs. Mott’s class. 

King George took part in the “Student Signatures in Space Program” sponsored by Lockheed Martin. Each of the 540 selected schools in United States and foreign countries were asked to submit a poster containing all the student’s signatures and take part in a National Space Day on May 21, 1998. These signatures were flown in space with John Glenn and the crew of STS-95, October 29 to November 7, 1998. Our poster along with a certificate of space flight to verify that the signatures flew in space and a signed crew photo were returned to the school in April 1999. These articles are on display in the Chris Hadfield Library Resource Centre. 

During his second flight to space (STS-100, April 19, 2001 to May 1, 2001), the Space Shuttle Endeavour linked up with the International Space Station. Chris along with American Scott Parazynski performed two spacewalks to install the Canadian-built Robot Arm Canadarm 2 to the station. This mission also delivered the Italian-made resupply Logistics Module Raffaello. Chris took with him 3 maple leaves from the tree that he planted in front of King George VI School in 1997. These leaves floated freely around Endeavour with Chris. When these leaves were returned to the school, they were framed with a certificate from NASA and pictures of them floating in space. They flew with a seven-member crew orbiting the earth 187 times and travelling 7.9 million kilometres in 285 hours, 30 minutes. 

Chris has accomplished many firsts as a Canadian Astronaut. He was the first Canadian mission specialist, the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in orbit, the only Canadian to visit Mir, the first Canadian to ever leave a spacecraft, and float free in space and the first Canadian to operate the new Canadarm 2. Currently, he is living in Star City, Russia, as NASA’s Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. As NASA’s lead representative his work includes coordination and direction of all Space Station Crew activities in Russia, oversight of training and crew support staff, as well as policy negotiation with the Russian Space Program and other International Partners – another Canadian first. 

On Nov.6, 2002, Chris made a third visit to King George VI School. He spoke about his second flight to space, showed a video of his trip and answered student questions about his life and space travel. Chris feels part of his job now is to tell young Canadians, like those at King George, things they can do when they grow up and things they can aspire to if they just work hard enough at school. 

Chris visited the school for the fourth time in June 2006 when his space pictures were being shown in the Gallery in the Grove. 

In February 2012, Chris participated in a virtual Question and Answer Session via Adobe Connect with our Grade 6 and 6/7 students. He talked to our students about the importance of having a dream, of setting a goal, and to follow it until they had accomplished what they set out to do. In November 2012, Chris will launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to reach the International Space Station (ISS) where he will live and work for six months as part of the crew of Expedition 34/35. We hope to be in contact with him during this expedition.

Chris’ continuing interest in King George School is an inspiration to our students. We are truly grateful for his ongoing involvement. We anticipate future astronauts from King George VI School in Sarnia.


King George VI Public School - Sarnia
585 O'Dell Ave, Sarnia, ON, N7V 4H7
Principal: Adam Carswell

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