Leo Nickerson was a local resident noted for his unselfish devotion to community work, particularly with young people in Cubs and Scouts. On July 14, 1961, he was serving as a leader at a weekend camp. A freak storm hit Lake Wabamun and surprised a group of his Cubs who were swimming. The boys were in shallow water but high waves created by the violent winds swamped the swimmers. Leo Nickerson managed to save two boys before turning his attention to three others who had been swept out to deeper water. Witnesses told of seeing him reach and grab hold of the Cubs before suddenly being overcome by a wave. All four drowned.
In 1964, when the original school was built, it was named in his honour. Mrs. Sylvia Nickerson laid the original cornerstone which is still displayed outside the front entrance.
In 1986, Mrs. Nickerson officially cut the ribbon, opening our renovated facility and unveiling an artist's sculpture of her late husband. The following year, a modern upgraded playground and major landscaping project was completed.
For many years, students have been told the story of Leo Nickerson and have been invited to emulate his qualities of friendship, selflessness and service to the community.
Celebrating our 50th Anniversary
In 2014, École Leo Nickerson School celebrated its 50th Anniversary. A special celebration was held on June 24th to mark this important milestone. Mrs. Nickerson and her daughters were in attendance, along with school board trustees, and current and former students, teachers and administrators. A commemorative plaque was presented by school trustees, and is displayed with the original cornerstone, which was laid 50 years prior. The students and artist Stan Phelps collaborated on a celebratory mural entitled A Child's Realm, depicting our school's sense of community and love of learning.