Haa Huu Payak aboriginal school principal a home girl

Haa Huu Payak's new principal came to Alberni by way of Vancouver and Bostson, Mass.

New Haa Huu Payak Elementary School principal Kailee Carr

New Haa Huu Payak principal Kailee Carr always wanted to be a teacher and she’s ended up a principal.

It’s been a long road home for Carr (nee: Horbatch), who is from Ahousaht and grew up in the Valley.

She arrived here from Boston, Mass. where she lived until August.

“I came here pretty close to the start of the year but it’s been great — it feels good to be home,” she said.

Carr attended Calgary Elementary School and EJ Dunn and graduated from ADSS in 2000.

She attended UBC, where she earned B.Sc. in chemistry and MA in education and leadership with an aboriginal focus.

After graduating from UBC she worked as a teacher at EJ Dunn in 2007 before moving again.

“I felt funny working as a teacher along side people who taught me when I went to school there.”

Carr and her husband moved to Boston, where her husband works as a science researcher in a lab.

The couple lived in the Boston suburb of Jamaica Plains. “Fenway Park was within walking distance,” she said.

Carr could have also worked in a lab but held out for a teaching opportunity.

“I like science but I like children, and I like working with people more than I like being in a lab alone,” she said.

Carr never lost sight of her childhood dream, which was to be a teacher. When the chance to be home and work in the education system came up she jumped at the opportunity.

“I always wanted to be a teacher but didn’t think that it would be this soon,” she said.

Carr doesn’t miss Boston’s cold winters and doesn’t mind Alberni’s rainy ones.

“Not that I don’t love Boston but I love being back home in Port Alberni,” she said. “People in cities can be quite guarded but it’s not like that here.”

Carr takes the helm at Haa Huu Payak, where student enrollment has risen from 84 students last year to 100 this year.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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