DVSS adds staff, ex­pands pro­grams as school year nears

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Al­lie Ruck­man The Drumheller Mail

As the time for back­packs, pen­cils and school bells nears, Drumheller Val­ley Se­condary School Prin­ci­pal Cur­tis LaPierre, sits at his desk or­ga­niz­ing Grade 10 sched­ules and that of four new teach­ers for the up­com­ing year.

Even though it is a vig­or­ous task, he re­mains op­ti­mistic about the next school year.

“The be­gin­ning of ev­ery school year is about fresh starts and new be­gin­nings, for staff, for stu­dents, for every­body. In that tone, every­body is com­ing back fully rested, their stress lev­els for the most part is fairly low. Ev­ery one is full of juice to get go­ing again,” says LaPierre, now in his sev­enth year as prin­ci­pal of DVSS.

This year, Drumheller Val­ley Se­condary School en­roll­ment is pro­jected to be around 450 stu­dents from grades 7 to 12. Also ex­pected are ap­prox­i­mately 55 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents.

“The Golden Hills School Di­vi­sion (GHSD) is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a bit of a surge of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents. They were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a bit of a down­turn in the last three or four years be­cause of the world econ­omy sce­nario, so things are look­ing up in that depart­ment,” he said.

The school is also wel­com­ing four new teach­ers to their staff. Evan Mc­Clure, Robert Mec­talpe, Nicole Leg­goet, and Bai­ley Camp­bell will be join­ing the staff at Drumheller Val­ley Se­condary School.

“Evan Mc­Clure is orig­i­nally from Cal­gary, he is com­ing from up north to be here and has three years se­nior high English teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and will be tak­ing over Mrs. Hem­ming’s se­nior high English class,” says LaPierre.

Also join­ing the staff is Robert Mec­talpe, who is a first year teacher and is tak­ing over Knowl­edge and Em­ploy­a­bil­ity class, Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion, and Ger­man.

“Bai­ley Camp­bell is a first year Sr. High Sci­ence and Math teacher. She has been teach­ing in Fort Chipewyan, Al­berta for the last year and a half, which is a fly-in na­tive com­mu­nity. She will be the lead teacher at our Out­reach School. Her knowl­edge of math and sci­ence is some­thing we are in need of at the Out­reach,” says LaPierre.

Nicole Leg­goet is a first year Sci­ence teacher and will be tak­ing over ju­nior high Math Sci­ence and Com­puter class.

“We have some great peo­ple com­ing in and I am very ex­cited about it,” says LaPierre.

A new pro­gram at DVSS is emerg­ing. Stu­dents are now able to earn 25 high school cred­its as well as a post se­condary cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as a Health Care Aide. The high school is also fo­cus­ing on ex­pand­ing other classes.

“Our com­puter sci­ences classes are ex­pand­ing more in terms of cod­ing and our dig­i­tal me­dia is still on­go­ing, fo­cus­ing on dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion. We also have our multi lan­guage pro­gram, where kids can choose what lan­guage they would like

to study. We are also still of­fer­ing French and Ger­man classes to stu­dents.”

The school will con­tinue with an­nual events such as the Terry Fox Run, the Se­niors Din­ner, and lead­er­ship camps.

“This year we are do­ing an ex­tra big push on dig­i­tal cit­i­zen­ship and men­tal health. We are also bring­ing the RCMP in to warn stu­dents about the use of fen­tanyl,” he said.

Lapierre re­mains op­ti­mistic about the up­com­ing year.

“I think the school year is go­ing to go as it has in pre­vi­ous years. It is go­ing to go great,” chuck­les LaPierre.

The first day of school is on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 1.

Cur­tis Lapierre... DVSS prin­ci­pal

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