A school where teachers want to work

A school where teachers want to work


In 2017, Le Journal profiled a dozen graduates from an unloved school in Montreal. We have documented their journey for 5 years.

The Pierre-Dupuy school, long associated with the biker war, is now such a quiet establishment that teachers are crossing their fingers to get a job there.

“It's incredibly easy to recruit teachers at Pierre-Dupuy […] Myself, I was afraid of not having my permanent position here”, relates Jean-Michel Picard , teacher and shop steward. 

The school and neighborhood have changed tremendously since the 1990s and 2000s. At the time, the school was located right in the heart of the events of the Biker Wars, which left it with a tenacious reputation.  

Today, Pierre-Dupuy is in fact a small school of less than 350 students where everyone knows each other. Despite this, the number of student enrollments has stagnated. And its new director, Valérie Lagrange, has every intention of remedying this.

“I'm a fan of this school,” says the one who has been in office since last March. “It's a bright school, with little hierarchy. »


It is counting in particular on a new neighborhood that is being developed a few streets away. Often, people who come to gentrify an area like everything to be close, she explains. 

“We are in a pivotal moment […] We have never seen so many bikes everywhere, with small public markets. Now, people have to follow this approach […] and choose a school where their children can walk. »

But if the neighborhood is changing, it is also thanks to immigration, which brings families who, without being wealthy, highly value education. 

C This is the case of the Al Shihadeh sisters, originally from Syria. “They are in recovery from morning to evening. I have to get them out, ”says Ms. Lagrange. 

When Zahiya Al Shihadeh arrived in Montreal in 2016, she did not speak a word of French or English. Today, she has just finished her 4th secondary… in enriched.

“I am so proud”, admits the 17-year-old young woman.


Daya Moumédia Amraoui, 14, testifies to the fact that a neighborhood school can be demanding and stimulating. She chose the Arobas option, where young people develop video games, for example. 

“It's a lot, a lot of work,” says the one who sometimes finishes her work at 11 p.m. to combine everything. 

“It prepares for CEGEP”, abounds Zahiya Al Shihadeh. 

“I know what Pierre-Dupuy has to offer […] ] It's impossible that in a few years, there won't be 500 students in this school”, predicts the principal.

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