Mildred Hall School has been a downtown landmark for many years. Our tipi, which houses our Aboriginal Language and Culture Program, characterizes the unique nature of our school. We recently completed an extensive renovation that has allowed us to improve upon our proud tradition of being an integral part of the downtown scene. Mildred Hall was Yellowknife's first school teacher and the original log school house which bears her name, still sits on our property. Our school was nominated and chosen as one of the Top 40 Schools in Canada as selected by Today's Parent magazine. Voted in from a field of over 600 schools, we earned this honorable recognition for the unique and diverse programming we provide. This includes the Aboriginal Language and Culture Program and our approach to literacy development. We are very proud of our diverse and unique student population.
Mildred Hall was born in the United States and moved to Calgary, Alberta as a young woman. In 1921 she graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She taught in Olds and Fitzgerald, Alberta before moving to Yellowknife in 1939. Mildred Hall was the first "real" teacher hired by the newly-formed Yellowknife Public School Trustee Board. Her salary was a dazzling $100 per month. She taught eighteen students ranging in age from six to fifteen years in a log cabin in Old Town near Johnson's Building Supplies. After the summer vacation, the school moved to the former kitchen and bunkhouse belonging to one of the local mining companies in what is now called "School Draw". Part of the building served as a classroom, the rest was her home. In 1941 Miss Hall married the editor and publisher of the "Yellowknife Blade" newspaper, Jock McMeekan. In the late 50's they left Yellowknife to live in Alberta, and Mrs. McMeekan continued to teach there until she retired to Victoria, BC in 1968. In 1966 a nine room primary school was constructed and an addition was completed in 1971. Yellowknife Public School was renamed in Miss Hall's honour in 1974. We are proud to carry the name of such an adventurous and caring lady. MHS Renovations After years of planning, many meetings, and surviving two years of renovations, the 2005-2006 school year provided Mildred Hall students and staff with a wonderful new place to work and play. The nine million dollar renovation project was completed in August and ready for the new school year. All classes were back under one roof after two years of being separated. During the first year of the renovations, all classes (with the exception of 2 classes which were housed in portables on the playground for the duration of the project) moved to the 1965 wing while the 1970 wing was renovated. This "newer' part of the school received interior work only. The upstairs was gutted and then new walls were built and new floors installed. For the most part, the layout remained the same although it is now much more open than before. Then during the 2004/05 school year, most of our classes were moved into the new upstairs wing while the oldest part of the school, the 1965 wing, was demolished. Despite facing several challenges, among them a lack of heat during a very cold Fall, losing a large portion of our playground to construction materials and vehicles, and varying degrees of noise and dust, the renovation project went extremely well. We are now the proud inhabitants of a beautiful, bright, warm, and spacious place of learning. Was it worth the wait? You bet! To honor this momentous occasion, MHS held its Grand Opening Celebration on September 28, 2005. Students and their families, politicians, and many members of the community toured the bright and spacious new facility. They joined us for refreshments, entertainment, the ribbon cutting ceremony, and of course a few brief speeches. Guests were also invited to browse through the numerous displays showcasing the wide variety of programs. For MHS students and staff, 2005-2006 was an exciting and productive school year as we once again got back to 'normal'.