Graduation rate at École Sainte-Anne goes from zero to 100 per cent in three years
Harrison Vallis is proud to be one of 13 senior students at École SainteAnne in Mainland to graduate this year — a sharp contrast to 2015 when all five senior students at the school had a failing grade.
Harrison Vallis is proud to be one of 13 senior students at École Sainte-Anne in Mainland to graduate this year — a sharp contrast to 2015 when all five senior students at the school had a failing grade.
In August of 2015, Evangeline Lainey, a parent of a student at the French language school, complained of all five members of that year’s senior class failing. While she didn’t feel the students were blameless, she said having teachers who didn’t provide discipline was another part of the problem.
The problem got even worse when she said parents wasted their time talking to a school board director who she felt wasn’t willing to listen.
Since that time Marcella Cormier has taken on the job as the new principal at the school and Kim Christianson has been in the position of director for the Conseil Scolaire Francophone Provincial de Terre-Neuve-etLabrador since November of 2016.
While Vallis said he couldn’t comment on what happened in 2015 since he was in Grade 9 at the time, for him high school was great and he was part of a high academic group led by teachers who helpful and treated students well.
He said when Cormier moved from a teacher to principal that’s when everything changed around at the school.
“She got a good head on her shoulders and she’s a great leader,” Vallis said.
One of the things that he really enjoyed while in school was getting music instruction playing accordion from instructor Bernard Felix, from whom he later took private instruction. While accordion is his favorite instrument, he also plays guitar, piano and mandolin.
His mom Anastasia Vallis is proud of the school her son attended, noting the school itself is the foundation but it all comes down to everyone working together to make it a success.
She said there’s a difference since the new administration came in and that parents also have a responsibility to make sure their kids can get the best experience possible.
“French education has opened so many doors for Harrison and the community involvement with administration is all good,” she said.
While Harrison is nervous and excited about going off to university, his mom says it’s all good except for having to see him go away and is proud he wants to pursue a career in the medical field.
In addition to the 100 per cent pass rate, the total of scholarships awarded to École Sainte-Anne students is $112,500 should the graduates renew their applications and maintain a certain average.
All graduates have been accepted to postsecondary institutions in and outside this province, making them the pride of their school community.
Christianson said their school board has come a long way in the quality of education from “the bottom up to the top down.”
She said from parent engagement and student motivation there is a positive school climate in the French schools for senior students in this province in Mainland and St. John’s.
Christianson said when it comes to post-secondary it helps when students are willing to relocate to another province as they can’t study fully in French at Memorial University, so scholarships are an incentive.
Harrison Vallis is one of the three recipients of scholarships and one of 13 graduates at École Sainte-Anne in Mainland this year. Here, the young musician is seen posing for a photo.