News | DrumhellerMail - Page #20
Last updateThu, 21 Sep 2023 8am

DVSS looking forward to coming school year

IMG 1403

It looks like another busy year ahead at DVSS as teachers and administration begin preparing for the coming school year.
Principal Curtis LaPierre is looking forward to the year. While the job can be challenging, it comes with its rewards.
“I think overall it is positive, it’s optimistic, it is an opportunity to engage in a positive way and support youth and keep moving forward. To me, that is the passion,” he said.
There have been some new additions to the staff at DVSS. Principal LaPierre tells the Mail they have added Jake Stadlwiser. He will be teaching primarily Building Construction and Industrial Arts. He will also be teaching CALM.
In January, the school welcomed Robyn Yaremcio from Stettler to teach primarily Junior High Math.
Christine Burfield will be taking on a larger role at the school, filling a maternity leave, and teaching senior high school math.
He says last year was a difficult year for staffing, finding teachers as well as substitutes.
“Hopefully, this year is much smoother,” he said.
He adds enrollment continues to be strong. He said they finished out the year with about 460 students, and this year they are on track to have between 460-480 students.
They are expecting about 68 international students in the dormitory, as well as about a dozen homestays. This has rebounded and is up a little bit over last year.
Mr. Hamm will be introducing Psychology 20 and 30 at the school this year.
“Psychology has always been very popular, but it has been an online module, so we’re giving it a go with an in-class scenario,” said LaPierre. “I think it is relevant now just because of the students’ mindset and social media. With general media and social media, you have a very negative bias, and it has a huge impact in terms of students and their mental health… It gives them the opportunity to have conversations around issues associated with mental health.”
DVSS will continue with its Powerful Learning Initiative.
“That is everything from strategic instruction, authentic engagement, connecting and contributing, which ultimately leads to deep understanding,” explains LaPierre.
He is also excited to have a full-time family resource worker. Richele Horachek a former DVSS graduate will be taking on the full-time role.
“With a degree in Social Work with aspects in terms of support in terms of students and families that she can do, that as teachers we can’t,” said LaPierre. “The coordination of services in regards to outside organizations, whether that be Child and Family Services, or Mental Health Services, and the daily support in terms of LGBTQ2S scenarios, she supports as well. And the overall mental health of teenagers today.”

Greentree School welcomes new staff

IMG 1401

The countdown is on for the first day of the school year, and already the halls at Greentree School are emanating new energy as September 5 approaches.
Principal Shelley Friesen says enrollment at Greentree School has remained consistent and they are looking forward to a fun and learning-filled year.
Friesen says they are once again joined by Mr. Peter Erhman who will be heading up their Strive program.
Greentree School started its Strive program last year. This program offers special needs students a safe environment to learn basic skills for living and curriculum material based on their abilities and learning needs.
“We are very happy to have that as a special class,” said Friesen. “Last year was our first year. There wasn’t a lot. A lot of the kids are younger in that classroom… last year we did a lot of learning and growing. I know Mr. Erhman is quite excited to do a lot of special activities with them.”
The school also welcomes Jennifer Davies, who will be teaching a Kindergarten/Grade 1 classroom.
“She comes from Strathmore and has been here before doing some early intervention work, and we are happy to have her here full-time,” said Friesen.
There is also a new addition at the Grade 3 level. Danielle Runzer is joining the faculty. She is coming from Red Deer and has a technology background.
“She is very keen to be working with kids and helping them and having them think, which is fantastic,” said Friesen.
“I am hoping to work with Ms. Runzer to see what kind of tech clubs and things like that we can get going,” explains Friesen, sharing she hopes to better utilize the Rotary Innovation Centre.
These additions come after the departure of long-time teachers Sue Noy and Sharon Walker who retired.
The school will be continuing with its junior Dynos and mini Dynos after-school sports programs.
“Ms. Meesom does a fantastic job of that and the kids love it,” said Friesen.
They are looking at reintroducing the school band, based on interest, and Choir.

Special Areas Region designated under Alberta Advantage Immigration Program

special areas

Communities and employers in the Special Areas region now have a new tool to help attract newcomers to this rural area. The region was recently designated under the Rural Renewal Stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program.
This means the region is being recognized for having a community-driven approach to attracting and retaining newcomers through immigration. One of the key factors that determines if a newcomer stays in a region is how connected they are with people in the community.
“Attracting workers to our rural remote region can be a real challenge for businesses, especially in highly competitive fields like health care,” said Wanda Diakow, Special Areas Regional Economic Development. “Having the entire Special Areas region designated under the Rural Renewal Stream will help employers attract and retain workers. We hope this program will help people in our communities to better connect with newcomers and help them put down roots. We want everyone who comes to the region to get to experience all the opportunity that lives here.”
The Rural Renewal Stream helps communities in rural Alberta address current labour needs and skill shortages while making sure the right supports are in place to help newcomers settle into the community. With the Special Areas Region now designated under this program, employers in the area can connect with resources to help attract, recruit, and retain workers from outside the area.
“The Harvest Sky Region has a long history of working together to overcome challenges and build better communities,” said Mark Nikota, Economic Development manager, Harvest Sky Region. “This designation means it will be easier for businesses in the region to attract and retain workers and that newcomers can find the supports they need here. Finding workers has become one of the hardest challenges businesses are facing right now and we are excited this designation will help showcase all our region has to offer, including our welcoming community spirit.”
Regional economic development programs are looking to partner with employers that have permanent full-time jobs that need to be filled. If you would like to learn more about this program, please reach out to Wanda Diakow, Economic Development Officer, at (403) 575-9533 or by email to


The Drumheller Mail encourages commenting on our stories but due to our harassment policy we must remove any comments that are offensive, or don’t meet the guidelines of our commenting policy.