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Colour me happy

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Repulse Bay (Mar 01/06) - Staff members at Tusarvik school spent a little time on the other side of the teacher's desk this past month.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Saskatchewan artist Jeannette Cloutier flew to Repulse Bay to work with eight Tusarvik teachers during professional improvement week at the school. - photo courtesy of Leonie Aissaoui

Eight teachers spent their professional improvement week taking their creative prowess to a whole new level.

School principal Leonie Aissaoui says the wheels were set in motion when teacher Janey Meredyk told fellow staff members about a talented friend of hers in Melville, Saskatchewan.

Meredyk's glowing testimonial to the artist's abilities soon had the teachers convinced they would like to spend their improvement week developing their creative skills.

Aissaoui says the arrangements were quickly made for Jeannette Cloutier to fly in from Melville and conduct the five-day workshop.

"We learned how to make our own stamps using carving blocks, and different kinds of books such as accordion books and a geologist's book," says Aissaoui.

"We learned about contrast, lightness and darkness in colour, how to use scratch tools to create graffiti effects on ready-to-use scratchboards, and also gained experience with water colours and pastels."

The week went past far too fast, as far as the teachers were concerned.

Aissaoui says everyone was enjoying themselves so much, they often worked through their breaks and into the evening hours.

She says she found the classes so relaxing, she didn't want to spend any time in her principal's office during the week.

"I just wanted to keep working on my project and take full-advantage of her (Cloutier) being here because she's very knowledgeable.

"The teachers can use a lot of what they learned in their own classrooms.

"Learning to make the books will be a big benefit because kids love making books.

"We also have a teacher doing art with our high school students this year, so we picked up a lot of great ideas for those students to use in class."