“This school has fantastic energy. I am deeply impressed with the staff keenness and relationships with the students,” said Kelty Grant, who has assumed her duties as the new principal of Iroquois Public School. “The children are really friendly. I go out in the yard and the kids are happy to see me and to talk to me. That stands out in my mind.”
For Grant, who grew up in Ingleside and attended Rothwell-Osnabruck, coming to Iroquois was a little bit like coming home. She is familiar with the area and with the Upper Canada District School Board for whom she has worked in teaching and administrative capacities since 1992.
Principal Grant received her B.A. at Queen’s University in Kingston, and took her teacher training at McGill University in Montreal. She began her career as an elementary/primary teacher.
“My first five years in education were spent teaching at the Kanatakoa School, which is part of Awkwesasne, affiliated with UCDSB,” Grant said. “I taught kindergarten, grade three and grade five there and loved the experience. From there I went to Memorial Park, then to Morrisburg Public School where I taught part time.”
Later, Grant split her time between Vincent Massey and Viscount Alexander serving as a vice principal and an acting principal. She brings extensive classroom and administrative experience to her position at Iroquois.
Grant has a family with two children and two step-children and makes her home in Ingleside.
Although she has only been principal since the late summer, Kelty Grant is delighted with the enthusiasm for teaching and for learning that she sees among teachers, students and parents.
She also praises the support of the custodial and secretarial staffs at the school. She laughed that custodians have already had to cope with wasps in the primary playground.
“IPS teachers have a deep focus on the curriculum,” she said. “They’re willing to experiment and to try different approaches to learning. I find that very progressive. I find they also have a lot of interesting ideas which they are very willing to share. That helps to move a school ahead.”
Grant is already looking forward to the first professional learning community at the school where the staff will examine EQAO results (out soon) and analyze on-going strategies for improvement. She is hoping that the school has succeeded in getting a PRO (Parents Reaching Out) grant which will help set up a new program designed to help parents develop family literacy, to work with their children at home.
“I’m still getting to know the needs of the school, still discovering what teachers are seeing in their classrooms,” she said. “Then I will have a better idea in what directions to move.”
Grant is aware of some of the priorities at IPS, such as Take Home Reading Programs, the acquisition of more SmartBoards and the need for new playground equipment. Traditions like monthly assemblies, concerts and special events will continue.
“The most important thing I believe is that every child can learn,” she said. “It’s my job to create an environment where that can happen. All subjects are important. You must develop the whole child.”