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More than just a school

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services

Hay River (Dec 05/05) - Emotions ran high at the official opening of Ecole Boreale on Nov. 19.

The atrium at the centre of the school was packed full of parents, teachers, students, officials and well wishers who listened to the speeches and presentations in English and French.

"Today I stand before you humble and grateful for being part of this project," said Lorraine Taillefer, the school's principal, stopping to control her tears.

"Thank you to the parents and students who open the school doors and bring us life," Taillefer said.

The Grades 1-2 class sang the school song, complete with country dance steps, and kindergarten students explained why they love the school.

Joanne Connors, who travelled from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, for the ceremony, remembers when the $2.9 million school was just an idea.

The French program started eight years ago in a classroom in Princess Alexandra school and then moved into two portables.

"Ecole Boreale is built of wood and stone as surely as it is built of love and faith and it's our sanctuary," said Connors.

The school has 63 students, but can accommodate 110.

"I think it's good we have a bigger school now," said Alysa Gallardo, a Grade 6 student, who eagerly showed visitors around the building.

To end the opening ceremony gummy worms were passed to everyone.