Principal of Paradise Intermediate looking forward to students’ arrival
By Mark Squibb/September 2, 2021
The only thing missing from Paradise Intermediate, for now, is the students.
That’s according to Stephanie Snow, the first ever principal of the brand-new intermediate school located just behind the Dianne Whalen Soccer Field off McNamara Drive.
“We know we have students with varying interests coming in, and I think we have a facility that will speak to all of those interests, whether it be physical education, whether it be art, or whether it be technology, we have it, and we’re ready to welcome students in and grow this space,” said Snow.
The school, which was first announced by the provincial government in 2017, will open its doors to students for the first time on September 8.
“The teachers are just as excited as I am to welcome the students in,” said Snow. “They’re back and busy and ready to go.”
Provincial representatives, including Transportation Elvis Loveless, and Education Minister Tom Osborne attended a media tour of the new facility Tuesday morning. The ministers fielded questions from reporters regarding the schools reopening plan, saying they would be relying on Public Health when making decisions in the face of a potential fourth wave of Coronovirus infections.
Snow, meanwhile, allowed teachers may have ‘first day nerves,’ which is common to every school year, but are not overly anxious about teaching during the pandemic.
“I think everyone is just excited to get back to routine, and in a such a nice building,” said Snow.
Initially the 11,000 square metre, three storey building, constructed by Lindsay Construction at a contracted cost of $30.9 million, was to accommodate over 800 Grades 6 to 9 students. For the first year however, only about 375 students, all in grades six through seven, will attend.
In September 2022, the school will accommodate Grades 6-8 (current Grade 5s
from various elementary schools will attend) and then in September 2023, current Grade 4s will enter and the school will accommodate Grades 6-9, according to a government spokesperson.
The spokesperson said this scenario was suggested by parents during the 2018-19 community
consultations on the catchment zones for the new school.
The gradual introduction of students will allow current intermediate students to continue in their class groupings to high school and graduate with their friends.
Inside the facility is a large learning common, which Snow said will be an everchanging room to meet the needs of whichever students are using it at the moment There is also a gymnasium, technology labs, science rooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a home economics room, soundproof music rooms, and more.
Meanwhile, outside the school, work is ongoing on construction of a new traffic circle at the intersection of McNamara Drive and the road that leads to the school.
That work, contracted to Farrell’s Excavating at a cost of $2.3 million, is scheduled to be finished before students arrive nest week.
Prior to accepting the role as principal of the new school, Snow served as principal of Rennie’s River Elementary in St. John’s. To Paradise parents, she may be a familiar face – prior to Rennie’s River Elementary, she was vice principal at Paradise Elementary for a number of years.
She had a short message for students, which she delivered with a smile.
“We’re waiting for you, we’re ready for you, so get rested up, we’ve got a lot of work to do over the next couple of months.”