Archived—Recipient Bios

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Year: 2001 – Province: Manitoba

Certificate of Achievement Recipients

James McLellan

School: Arthur A. Leach School
1827 Chancellor Drive
Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3T 4C4

Principal: Nicholas Eliuk
School Telephone: 204-269-1674
School Fax: 204-269-7832
School Website:
Grades/Subjects Taught: Grades 7 to 9, art, drama, digital filmmaking

Teaching Approach:

  • The at-risk child is as full of potential as the gifted child.
  • Bring everyone together for the benefit of the student: parents, other teachers, mentors in the community, and people with areas of expertise who can help the student achieve success.

Outstanding Achievements:

Spearheaded development of integrated digital filmmaking program at school. Mr. McLellan and students have created several original, professional-quality movies, full length and short. Digital filmmaking adds a unique component to visual and performing arts programs as well as integrating core curriculum areas into arts. The class completes one full length film each year. Under teacher's guidance, students manage all aspects of the project, from writing the script to promoting the film. At the end of the school year, the feature length film is screened for students, family and community at a local movie theatre.

  • Film projects develop student language skills, through writing scripts used in films and developing speaking abilities when acting.
  • Students develop sense of teamwork and dedication.
  • Many at-risk students with so much interest in the project and new sense of self-worth stay in school.
  • All students registered are fully engaged, regardless of level of functioning or academic ability.
  • Students willingly put in extra hours to complete the film on time.
  • Many students continue with filmmaking after graduation; students nominated for filmmaking awards in Toronto and Greece.
  • School enrolment (in a low enrolment area) jumped 15 percent.

Rave Reviews:

[Our] film might have been made without the aid of Mr. McLellan, but it wouldn't have received a special recognition at a Manitoba film festival and wouldn't have been nominated for best actor at the Toronto International Teen Film Festival. Former student

I remember joking around with Mr. McLellan one day and I said, 'You know Mr. McLellan, they say those who can't do teach.' Well, in this case, those who CAN do do teach and I will always be grateful for that. Former student