In the MANS gymnasium, the line for Awards Day assembly was impressive—girls in fancy dresses and boys in ties waited alongside classmates in traditional regalia as they chattered in anticipation. Parents with cameras contributed to the buzz at MANS on the last day of school in June.
From the opening moments to the very special award created by the staff—the Outstanding Achievement Award—students are reminded that building character is what will set them apart now and into the future.
The parents of Larissa Roasting-Raine were among those who snapped photos and beamed as their children were called forward to receive a “Well done!” from Principal Gail Wilton. Some parents, like Larissa’s, became regular participants themselves in the ceremonies, popping up three or four times as their child was recognized and photographed with the principal. To make areas for improvement easier to work on, three categories are rewarded: High Academic Achievement (Honour Roll), Attendance (90% and above), and Citizenship. If a student is awarded all three, the special Outstanding Achievement Award is cause for major rejoicing.
“Larissa loves it here,” said her father. Her positive example is making an impression on her pre-school sisters, who handled Big Sister’s awards as she passed them back for safekeeping. Larissa loves MANS so much, her father confided, that she gets upset when a snow day or other circumstances keep her from school.
Larissa isn’t alone. Several students had a perfect attendance record, but that distinction earned one Grade 7 student a special honour. While all five of the top honour winners are distinguished in their academics, attendance, and citizenship qualities, Shaneek Roasting’s perfect attendance, combined with the other recognitions, garnered the top award of the day.
Grade 6 teacher Cheri Notice provides insight into the habits and values these top award students are internalizing.
“Jahleel [Roasting, pictured above, Outstanding Achievement Award] is a motivated student who works very hard to not only complete assignments but understand them. It is this love of learning that drives him to be the best in everything he does,” says Cheri. “From the basketball court to the classroom to being a caring big brother, Jahleel excels. He is very proud of his Native heritage and family, and this drives him to want to make his family and community proud.”
MANS provides its students with much more than classroom education—students develop personal skills and tools that build character, integrity, and the ability to make good choices. Students’ families are involved in the school and the school is involved with their families. MANS succeeds by creating a supportive and rigorous alternative learning environment where a distinctly Cree culture is shared and thrives. To all of our students: "Well done!"