North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Oct 03
Superintendent Visit: Larson Elementary School
Fall has arrived at Larson École Elementaire / Elementary School

By Lisa Dalla Vecchia, NVSD Communications

One of the highlights of a superintendent’s responsibilities is the school visit, as it is an opportunity to connect and hear directly from school administrators, staff and students. And on a beautiful, crisp, sunny fall day in September, Superintendent Mark Pearmain spent the morning at Larson École Elementaire / Elementary School.

Hosted by Principal Cathy Piteux and Vice Principal Amelia Poitras, the grand tour began at the library. Teacher Librarian Kathleen Patterson thoughtfully described the process she had developed to ensure students are able to safely access a rich collection of reading material.


 Principal Cathy Piteux speaks with Superintendent Mark Pearmain at the school library.

From there, we joined a Kindergarten class. We watched students arrive and immediately go to wash their hands, before grabbing a favourite book, sitting on the classroom floor and begin reading. It was heart-warming to see our youngest students settling in so well and adjusting to the classroom routine.

We were there for the school’s morning announcement that signaled the start of the day. It included a land acknowledgment, musical interlude and weekly intention, which for this particular week was, “I will lead by example, in class, on the playground at home.”

A kindergarten student reads with his teacher.

As we made our way, visiting different classrooms, where some were taught in English and others in French, we met teachers and students who were proud and eager to share how they were spending their days, learning together.

Some students shared that they were journaling about their weekend adventures; others displayed artwork made from only natural material they had found outside the classroom. A few of the older students presented some of the “treasures” they had discovered exploring the school grounds; others enthusiastically described the stories there were writing…and intended to publish!

Superintendent Mark Pearmain with Larson alumna and Teacher Emily Norvell.

We met Ms. Emily Norvell, an alumna of Larson Elementary who still calls North Vancouver home. Emily graduated with her education degree from Simon Fraser University in 2019, and she has now returned to Larson to teach—and in her old grade three classroom.

We met Precy Erana, one of our newest custodians, who greeted us with a warm smile and shared how happy she was to be part of the team at Larson Elementary.


Precy Erana, one of the newest members of the NVSD team.

We also met young stewards of the environment, future authors…and future reporters. Each classroom visit was an opportunity for students to ask some tough questions to Superintendent Pearmain, including:

  • "What is your favourite colour?"
  • "What is your favourite sport?"
  • "What is your favourite season?" and
  • "What exactly do you do?"

We ended the day touring the school's new universally accessible playground. We even persuaded Cathy and Amelia to test out the swing equipment.


Vice Principal Amelia Poitras and Principal Cathy Piteux enjoy the new swings.

The day was memorable and full of smiles and laughter. We cannot wait for the next opportunity to visit Larson and our other schools…and we'll be sure to share a summary with you.


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