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​Maverick School History

On October 12, 1993 Maverick School opened its door to six students with Steve Small as the teacher/principal. Succeeding principals were Harvey Martinez (1994-1997), Cathy Manson (1997-2004), Ed Doyle (1999 – 2000) and Jayne Nicholson (2004 to present).

This day was the last of many months of planning by a bevy of enlightened educators and board members and the first of twenty years of a school driven by and continuously created by students.  

Nameless on opening day, the school began its education with students identifying themselves as independent and non-conforming. Within three weeks, Samuel Augustus “Maverick” and what he stood for provided the basis for a school name that students could identify with.

In the 1800's there lived in Texas a rancher and politician by the name of Samuel Augustus Maverick.  Legend has it that Maverick received 400 head of cattle as a repayment of a debt owed to him.  But rather than branding these cattle, as was the custom, he simply put them out to pasture.  In short - and much to the chagrin of his fellow ranchers - Maverick refused to "fence them in".  As a result, over time the colloquial definition of the word "Maverick" has come to be: "one who departs from the customs or beliefs of his group."

Six students quickly grew to twenty-seven; by the end of their first year together with two teachers and two assistants they built the foundation of a school that today is an integral part of the K-12 system in the Chinook School Division.  The bricks and mortar of this foundation include the following:

1.    The guiding principle Freedom = Responsibility
2.    The “Connection Program” that shifts the negativity of school suspension and expulsion to a choice, without guilt and authoritarian strong arming, to take “a break” from school to re-evaluate commitment and goals.  A continuous intake and exit facilitated this program.
3.    The promise from all staff, in all circumstances to:

A.    Treat students with respect whether reciprocated or not
B.    Give straight answers to students regardless of the questions nature
C.    Encourage students to do well, recognizing that each student wants encouragement in a different way.

In the fall of 1996 Maverick School moved to its present location at 197 4th Avenue Northwest and continued to evolve. An increase in the staffing component, removal of a cap on student numbers and allocation of additional space allowed for enrollments as high as 80 students. New commitments to the building of this unique school include:

1.    Adoption of Control Theory as a base philosophical approach with training and certification for all staff members.

2.    Instructor lead courses for students in Control Theory, Social Studies and Math.

3.    A community based Physical Education Program.

4.    Educational offerings and opportunities that encourage the development and use of students’ multiple intelligences.

5.    An ecological education program that includes two annual trips to the Boreal Forest Learning Center and a Spring canoe trip.

6.    A music and arts education program supported through generous community and corporate sponsorship of Maverick’s annual coffeehouse and art auction, “Through Our Eyes”.

In its twentieth year Maverick has much to celebrate: one hundred and eighty-seven graduates; a thriving music, art and outdoor education program; a staff component trained in control theory and a student group that embraces what it means to be part of a student driven school!

The original bricks and mortar continue to provide the strong foundation for Maverick
- a safe place for students to learn… to grow… to become the people they want to be!

© Maverick School 2014

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