Hats off, Wabannutao!
The Eastmain school set a record for themselves with their number of graduates for 2017-2018. Eighteen young people graduated over the course of the last school year, reflecting a five-year graduation rate of 60 percent.
Under the leadership of Trevor Mercer – a 15-year veteran of the Cree School Board – the school also had the third highest number of graduates within the School Board, despite being one of the smallest schools and communities. And,the school’s five-year cohort data reveals perfect student retention – not one drop-out.
Director of School Operations Kimberly Quinn credits not only their student engagement initiatives but also the dedication, initiative, and perseverance of the principal.
"He is incredibly humble and caring in his leadership approach," she says.
Encouraging regular attendance is a key priority: the school has developed an early-bird club to recognize and reward students for arriving at school on time. Students who make the club are invited to take part in sports activity days throughout the year.
Students in Grades 5 through Secondary II (with good records) are invited to apply for a Concentration Program – in Art, Cree culture, Science or Sports. This is designed to engage students in something they are passionate about while maintaining their attendance in classes.
Finally, to ensure students have the best chance to succeed, the school employs Elephant Thoughts graduation support from March until June each year, and, this year, hired a Resource person dedicated to supporting Secondary IV and V students in Math and Science.