Regina was a former intern at the school that inspired her

A former student of Mother Teresa Middle School (MTMS) in Regina has returned to the classroom to continue her education. However, this time he was standing at the front, instead of sitting at the table.

Draydin Cyr, 22, is working on completing his Bachelor of Education internship at First Nations University of Canada.

She was one of the first grade 6 students to enroll at MTMS when it first opened in 2011. Over the next few months, she will become an intern teacher in the school’s grade 8.

“I really enjoy teaching here,” says Cyr. “This school has supported me throughout my life, so it would be nice to come back and give back in that way especially to the next generation.”

Prior to Cyr attending MTMS, she likely would not have considered a career in education. He said he had struggled with school in the past and never felt challenged. He missed more than 50 days of class in 5th grade. His mindset changed when he started at MTMS.

“There are a lot of extracurricular activities and a lot of community involvement. I just remember having fun at all the different outings and experiential lessons this school has to offer,” he said.

“They challenged me in every aspect. They truly have higher expectations for everyone and no exception. Everyone is expected to show up and do their best and follow the rules and have relationships.”

MTMS teaches Grades 6 to 8. About 70 percent of its students are Indigenous and the school has a focus on cultural programs, including land-based education and drumming.

Cyr, who is from Pasqua First Nation, says MTMS helps her connect with her culture.

MTMS staff continue to work with students through a postgraduate support program after they advance from Grade 8. This program provides mentoring to MTMS students from secondary school through post-secondary with the ultimate goal of helping them find employment in any field.

Once Cyr completes her degree, she will be one of the first students to complete the graduate support program.

“You always imagined it, now it’s a reality. He literally went from being a 6th grader to now he is doing an internship to become a teacher,” said student support director Ron Gonzales.

“It’s been an amazing journey with that young man.”

After graduating 8th grade at MTMS, Cyr went on to earn her high school diploma from Athol Murray College of Notre Dame.

Cyr credits teachers and supporters like Gonzales for helping him get to where he is today.

“The teachers themselves inspired me. I had really amazing teachers who really helped me in my life and got me to where I am today,” he said. “They were literally my first role models in life.”

Cyr hopes that she can be a role model for her current and future students. He said he focused on building relationships and offering support.

8th grade student Cooper Lerat already admires Cyr. He hopes to follow in his teacher’s footsteps and attend Notre Dame before going to the University of Saskatchewan to study veterinary medicine.

“I want to go on to post-secondary like him and then he might set goals for himself and I want to set goals and achieve those goals like he did,” said Lerat.

Cyr completed her internship at MTMS at the end of April. However, he hopes to get a steady job at the school in the future.