Black Gold School Division

Our Schools – Your Children – The Future

January 20, 2016

$25,000 donated towards the creation of scholarships for graduates of Warburg School

Terry Proskurniak, Donor and Bill Romanchuk, Associate Superintendent, Learning Services.

In December,Terry Proskurniak paid a visit to Black Gold Regional Division No. 18 (BGRD) with an envelope in hand. What was inside, in the mind of Proskurniak, was a humble donation, but to BGRD and the students of Warburg School, it was a significant showcase of “paying it forward”. It was a generous investment in our children’s future. Proskurniak donated $25,000 towards the creation of scholarships for graduates of Warburg School.  In doing so, he has shown his commitment to stand behind the continued education goals of as many as five graduates on an annual basis for five consecutive years.

Proskurniak explained that growing up in Warburg (from the age of six until he moved to Edmonton at the age of 17) was a great experience for him and his family.  His parents, John and Nancy, owned the Warburg Hotel from 1944 until 1955. Although Proskurniak completed his high school diploma and met his wife Angela in Edmonton, Warburg, Alberta still held a place near and dear to his heart.  After all, he spent many years of his active youth playing hockey and baseball in the community, and attended school in Warburg.   During his Warburg School years, he mastered his reputation as a prankster alongside his oldest friend, Gordie Schnick, who remains a resident of Warburg today. Proskurniak has been retired as a partner from Pentagon Structures Ltd. for a number of years. As a father of four grown children who are fully self-sufficient and living across Western Canada and New York, he felt it was time to do something for others.

The idea of giving back to the community where he grew up started in 2005, when Proskurniak attended the Village of Warburg’s 100th anniversary of Alberta joining the Confederation of Canada. Approximately 3,000 people attended the centennial celebration in Warburg, which was spearheaded by Gordie Schnick’s wife, Phyllis. During the event, a time capsule that was buried 50 years earlier at the school grounds (which moved three times as a result of new schools and land appropriation), was unearthed and opened to expose letters written by students in the 1950’s about themselves. The pride and thoughtfulness of the community got Proskurniak thinking “I’d like to do something for Warburg”.  So he began to explore options to give back, often checking in with Schnick in terms of what could be done or what might be the best fit.

It was not until September 2015 when Proskurniak attended the Student Wall of Fame celebration at Warburg School, that the solution as to how he could make an impact in the community appeared.  Annually, Warburg students are presented with the scholarships they earned at the Awards Ceremony in conjunction with the Student Wall of Fame inductions.  “Scholarships,” Proskurniak thought. “Gee, now I can do that.”

In our meeting to receive the donation, Proskurniak stated that he hoped this donation might inspire other people to see a way to give back or “pay it forward”.  “You have to do things for others”, Proskurniak said.  “It’s just that simple.”

The scholarships Proskurniak has created will help deserving students with their post-secondary education – a continued education that some students might not be able to experience otherwise. Successful applicants of the Terry Proskurniak Scholarship must have: received a high school diploma from Warburg School; a minimum average of 70%; been accepted into a post-secondary program; and demonstrated a genuine commitment to academics, co-curricular activities, and citizenship/volunteer opportunities at school or in their community.

On behalf of Warburg School and the Black Gold Regional Division No. 18, thank you to Terry Proskurniak and all of our scholarship donors for their generosity and support.  The scholarships that BGRD is able to distribute support the next generation and invests in tomorrow’s legacy. To learn more about scholarships available in BGRD, click here.

News Release: Terry Proskurniak Scholarship