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Leading by example: Grad returns to work at childhood school in Fort Providence

This fall, Annadette Bouvier is starting a new job as an educator at Deh Gáh Elementary and Secondary School in Fort Providence, N.W.T. — the same school she graduated high school from.

Annadette Bouvier hopes her story will inspire the children and teens she’ll be working with

Annadette Bouvier says she wants to encourage students to explore because she knows how it feels to live in a small community and how it might be scary to leave. (Loren McGinnis/CBC)

This fall, Annadette Bouvier is starting a new job as an educator at Deh Gáh Elementary and Secondary School in Fort Providence, N.W.T. — the same school she graduated high school from.

After a few years in Yellowknife and with a brand new diploma in early learning and child care from Aurora College under her belt, she has moved back to her home community.

"My mind's blown still a little bit that I'm going to be having my own classroom that I'm going to be running," Bouvier said.

The path to where she is today also included a personal journey of transformation. In 2017, she found out she had Type 2 diabetes and the diagnosis changed her life.

"I quit drinking and I've been going to the gym, exercising and eating better," she said.

She's now more than two and a half years sober and wants to be a role model for the children in her community and beyond.

Inspiring change

Bouvier went to Tulita in January to share her story. She said there were high school students in the crowd at the community arena and she hopes she inspired them.

"Education is important if you want to get somewhere in life … if you want to get a good paying job," she said.

At Deh Gáh School, she hopes the students will come to her if they want to talk.

"I would want them to be able to trust me," she said. "Just to build that trust relationship and learn with them, learn from them."

Bouvier also wants to encourage students to explore because she knows how it feels to live in a small community and how it might be scary to leave.

"My plan was to … tell the older kids that there's a bigger world out there," she said.

Written by Ashleigh Mattern, with files from Loren McGinnis

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