The range of emotions for Shannon Fayant these last few days of the school year have been off the charts.
Therefore, the principal of venerable Scott Collegiate has compartmentalized it into individual days as it’s not only been the last graduation class in the 94-year history of Scott Collegiate but it’s also been the last few days of frantically moving everything lock, stock and barrel to the adjacent $42 million, Mâmawêyatitân Centre that is a new multi-purpose, integrated facility that is envisioned to be the key to revitalizing Regina’s North Central neighbourhood.
A day after having watched the current Grade 12 class graduate Fayant was barely able to catch her breath and savour the moment because there were still boxes everywhere in what was now an all but empty office.
“The emotions have been back and forth: Monday it was like a bit of an acceptance that this was all happening, then we had the last graduating class and that definitely made it feel like this is real now and the transition was that much closer so in a way it’s been just like teacher planning and just trying to figure out what was going to be the next thing,” Fayant said.
Although she regards herself as a calm person, Fayant said she drew great strength and a sense of peace from the last opportunity she had to smudge in her office during this hectic week.
“We have such an awesome staff who has all worked so hard on this and we’re all taxed. Grad is always emotional and with all the rest of the stuff that’s going on I have told staff to take care of yourselves too because that’s really important,” the principal said.
An Indigenous person herself, Fayant is aware she is a role model to the 98 percent First Nations students attending Scott. She stressed the importance of education in the students’ future, adding that she constantly reminds them to strive for more, including pursuing post-secondary education. “We have to change the question to not if you’re going to graduate, it’s about when you graduate,” she said.
Fayant stressed the importance of the legacy of Scott Collegiate both as a physical building (it is to be demolished starting in July) but also for the students for whom this has been like a second home for many.
Fayant said she doesn’t know exactly what the future will look like at Mâmawêyatitân but that’s part of the excitement. “I sure want to be part of it and see where it goes, but it’s also important for us to honour the past here at Scott Collegiate. This week has been like taking a step back so we can move forward.”