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High school for Holman

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Holman (Jan 27/03) - Students now have the option of graduating in their home community, instead of shipping off to Inuvik every year.

The new wing of Helen Kalvak school was officially opened in a ceremony held Jan. 20. The $4 million addition includes a new gym, library, computer room, industrial arts room and two more classrooms.

Until this year, students in grades 10-12 had little option other than to board in Inuvik if they wanted to complete their secondary education.

"They can stay home, unless of course they prefer to go to a bigger centre," said Principal Helen Kitekudlak. "That's their choice, their cost."

Previously, travelling to Inuvik from Holman to attend classes cost the GNWT as much as $20,000 per student a year.

Kitekudlak said one Grade 12 student is still taking classes in Inuvik, while two others chose to stay in Holman this semester.

There a nine students enrolled in both Grade 10 and 11 at Helen Kalvak. The first classes in the new wing were held last November but the opening wasn't officially commemorated until last week.

Kitekudlak said the opening ceremony was well attended. Most of the community attended. Also on hand were Education Minister Jake Ootes, former premier Nellie Cournoyea, and Nunakput MLA Vince Steen.

Ootes said he was pleased to attend, and even more happy to see another community given the added benefit of keeping high school students at home.

"This is important because now students in Holman can graduate at home," said Ootes.