DVSS adds staff, expands programs as school year nears
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