New faces at Green­tree School

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Kyle Smylie The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Kyle Smylie

To­mor­row, Septem­ber 1, par­ents of stu­dents at Green­tree School will get free­dom once again as their kids will be shuf­fling to the bus and back to class. The ele­men­tary school is wel­com­ing a num­ber of staff changes and pro­gram im­prove­ments for the up­com­ing school year.

Prin­ci­pal Erin Bent­ley-Camp­bell said staff have been at the school prep­ping their course­work for the last week and a num­ber of new faces will be lead­ing class­rooms this year af­ter some teach­ers switched grades and oth­ers re­turned from ma­ter­nity leave.

The new Grade 5 teacher, Priya Stephen, is a re­cent grad com­ing from place­ment in Air­drie, who prin­ci­pal Bent­ley- Camp­bell said is bring­ing “lots of ideas for pro­grams.” Drumhel l e r lo­cal Tra­cie Clark has been hired for “Achiev­ing In­de­pen­dence,” the spe­cial needs pro­gram at the school.

Kinder­garten teacher Robert Row­land comes from Wabasca in north­ern Al­berta and is de­scribed by Bent­ley-Camp­bell as “very keen, ex­pe­ri­enced, and comes with a lot of kinder­garten and also tech­nol­ogy back­ground,” and also brings with him the rare and added bonus of be­ing a male in­struc­tor.

“It’s nice to have that op­por­tu­nity, and lots of lit­tle boys will be ex­cited to have a male kinder­garten teacher,” she said.

“I’ve gone to a lot of con­fer­ences and I can count my male com­pa­tri­ots on one hand,” Row­land said. “We are def­i­nitely a dy­ing breed in ele­men­tary ed­u­ca­tion, and I’ve known a lot of par­ents who have wanted their kids in my class be­cause of that.”

Row­land is mak­ing the move from the small north­ern vil­lage to Drumheller in or­der to live closer to fam­ily.

“I was look­ing for po­si­tions around this area be­cause my dad lives in Sun­dre, and when this came up I was white on rice ap­ply­ing for it. I love the area,” Row­land said.

Phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion in­struc­tor Jen­nie Lo­van found a per­ma­nent po­si­tion with Green­tree af­ter sub­bing for the school last year. She was ed­u­cated in On­tario and worked at a pri­vate board there for one and a half years be­fore want­ing a move to the pub­lic sys­tem. Op­por­tu­ni­ties in Al­berta brought her here. “It hap­pened a lot faster than I thought it would. I ap­plied ev­ery­where in Canada and when I got a call from Golden Hills (school di­vi­sion) I packed up,” she said. Lo­van is en­joy­ing the pace of Drumheller com­pared to Toronto and says ed­u­ca­tion in smaller cen­tres like Drumheller are more holis­tic com­pared to the mas­sive school di­vi­sions in metro ar­eas.

“I found in Toronto at the pri­vate school that they fo­cus on grades. I find there is more com­mu­nity in­volve­ment here. There was less emo­tional fo­cus there – here, you’re de­vel­op­ing the whole per­son with more of a mo­ti­va­tional and so­cial devel­op­ment fo­cus,” Lo­van said.

“As long as I have a job here I’ll be here. I feel like I’m start­ing to make long term plans al­ready,” she said.

Prin­ci­pal Bent­ley-Camp­bell said a new por­ta­ble unit will be in­stalled in a few weeks af­ter be­ing de­layed due to wet weather. Once in­stalled, a Grade 6 class­room will be moved in. She said the school has a num­ber of pro­gram changes in the works which will be an­nounced shortly.

Green­tree School is back in ses­sion on Thurs­day and kinder­garten teacher Robert Row­land and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion in­struc­tor Jen­nie Lo­van will be some of the newer faces greet­ing stu­dents.

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