Gratton finds being inolved on the ground floor rewarding

April 3, 2019

LLOYDMINSTER–When Cory Gratton was on staff at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School, he saw first-hand the sort of passion and pride that could come from being involved in the Skills Canada National Competition.

After seven years there, Gratton decided to move to the much smaller confines of Avery Outreach School (also a member of the Lloydminster Public School Division). Now in his second year, he has been one of the main catalysts in bringing those same opportunities to the students at Avery, which offers an alternative education centre for those in Grades 10-12.

In his own words, Gratton said it has been immensely rewarding to be able to build a program from the ground floor–aided in no small manner by having secured a $12,000 grant from the Skills Canada National Competition. The students have also embraced the concept.

As a result of the grant, the school was able to purchase saws, drills and sanders as part of what became a project to build a shed in the shop area.

Quite aside from that tangible project, the students have also become involved in the competition aspect and thanks to three of them turning in medal-winning performances, Gratton said that has been a perfect way to gain greater buy in.

“It’s different here than at LCHS because previously our folks just weren’t as familiar with it. But now we have promoted the program and our staff has been great since they are able to see what this is about.

“I would say a lot of our students are hands-on learners, and we have quite a few students who are hoping to pursue the trades when they have completed school. So this has given them a really good opportunity to gain that practical experience, and they can see the potential. Being able to purchase brand new tools with the grant has made things a lot easier, and it’s been a real boost for our school,” Gratton added.

He said the experience of achieving success from competing has resulted in an extra sense of validation for the program.

“When you see them on the stage and they get to experience what they are good at, that’s been really encouraging. This is what teaching and learning should be all about,” Gratton said.

For more information regarding Skills Canada, please see