Archived—Shannon McCarthy

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Year: 2008 – Province: Nunavut

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

School: Rachel Arngnammaktiq Elementary School
PO Box 370
Baker Lake, Nunavut
X0C 0A0

Principal: Ivan Payne
School Telephone: 867-793-2513
School Fax: 867-793-2500
Subjects and Grades Taught: Kindergarten

Teaching Approach

  • Emphasize literacy, numeracy and social development of students.
  • Become a part of the community. Baker Lake is a closely knit Inuit community of about 1700 that supports both traditional and modern lifestyles and is only accessible by air for most of the year. From the beginning of her time there, Ms. McCarthy has assumed she has as much to learn from the community as her students have to learn from her.

Outstanding Achievements

  • Developed the KinderAtii program to prepare preschoolers and their parents for success in Kindergarten and beyond. The program introduces children and their parents to the structure and expectations of school and also includes seminars. Now in its second year, the program has received positive reviews from students, parents and school administrators, and appears to be positively affecting student attendance and performance.
  • Recognized that handwriting was a challenge for her students, so she piloted a highly structured handwriting program. The Kivalliq Regional Nunavut Department of Education has honoured Ms. McCarthy as an exemplary teacher and featured her in a mentoring DVD, on which she instructs teachers on how to implement this regionally identified standardized handwriting program.

Rave Reviews

"Shannon McCarthy is the kind of teacher that students remember long after they graduate. She is the kind of teacher who makes a difference. She is the kind of teacher that has inspired many of us to become teachers ourselves" Jim Kreuger

"Her KinderAtii program is an excellent way to get children excited about going to school everyday. Of our six children, we have had three whose first teacher was Shannon. I hope my seven-month-old son's first teacher will be Shannon as well. Teachers come and go in Baker Lake but Shannon has stayed for a long time. I hope she continues to stay." Parent

"Shannon demonstrates total inclusion in her classroom teaching activities. Her knowledge of the Inuit culture, traditions and language demonstrates her keen sense of individual students' needs and abilities." Principal