Smaller, Smarter, Stronger. Sarah Doub

Smaller, Smarter, Stronger. This is what defines Glencoe District High School, and what sets it apart from secondary schools across the Thames Valley Board. There is a sense of pride and a sense of family that no dollar amount can substitute, and as a Glencoe Gael, I believe in the power of rural education.

Our students have proven year after year that the power of rural education is alive in Glencoe District High School. Consistently, G.D.H.S. has ranked among the top schools in EQAO math and literacy results, exceeding Board and Provincial standards. This past year was no exception—Glencoe District High School achieved an 87% success on the grade 10 Literacy test—6% above the Thames Valley Board average and 5% above the provincial average.  What makes this achievement so phenomenal is the fact that G.D.H.S. is not solely an academic school. The needs of every student are catered to here, regardless of whether their future plans include post-secondary education or a direct move to the workforce. G.D.H.S. is inclusive of all levels of academics, offering strong programming at the essential, applied, and academic levels. Even with this broad range of curriculum level, G.D.H.S. has consistently ranked among the larger schools that offer more academically-focused programming. For a school of less than 400 students, our continuing ability to surpass provincial standards is but one testament to the success that students are experiencing as a direct result of attending Glencoe District High School.

What more will it take for the Minister of Education to realize that Glencoe District High School embodies every educational quality that the Thames Valley District School Board strives to instill in its schools? School boards throughout the province need to be provided with the funding to support their small schools, and it is the job of the ministry to correct a faulty funding formula in order to ensure that this support is received.

Walking the halls of my school, I experience every day what thousands of students outside of the Glencoe community will never have the opportunity to. At G.D.H.S., you are not a number. Every student, staff, and community member of Glencoe District High School is a Glencoe Gael and a part of a family. Each teacher in our school has a sincere desire to be here, and the Gael spirit is alive in the faces of our students. Here, students are given the opportunity, the tools, and the support they need to be successful. Students are known and are cared for by their teachers, allowing for an accurate assessment of individual needs, and more importantly, an increased feeling of comfort. There are no unfamiliar faces at G.D.H.S., and the kind of interaction our students experience with each other and with staff is invaluable. Our students, staff, and community have built a team relationship, and we govern our school by the Foundation Principle of “putting students first”. Here, students’ personal success is the focus – the product of our goal to make G.D.H.S. a great place for all people…a goal that is being achieved every day.

Look at the signs in the shop windows. Read the newspaper articles. Count the number of students involved in community clubs, teams, and after school jobs, and the number of community members and organizations that are always so happy to provide their personal, financial, and moral support for the students at G.D.H.S. Together, we celebrate our personal achievements in academics, as well as in athletics and the arts. The spirit of Glencoe District High School extends far beyond its walls. It reaches into the hearts of our community and touches every student, staff, and community member that has had the honour of being called a Glencoe Gael.

Glencoe District High School has taught me that the true value of education does not lie between the pages of any textbook, but rather, in the experiences, the relationships, and the opportunities for personal growth that a school provides for its students.

I believe in the power of rural education…

I believe in the power of Glencoe District High School…

Smaller, Smarter, Stronger.

Sarah Doub

Students’ Council Past President,  Glencoe District High School.

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Filed under Alumni & Friends, GDHS History

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