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  A Brief History 

img3.jpgNorthern's strong history began in the year 1956 when it opened its doors to the beginning of stoic times as a leader in the educational community.   Initially, classes were held at S.C.I.T.S. since the new building was not officially moved into until March 8th 1957.  During 1956-1957 many events happened. The Drama Club presented its first play, "The Happy Journey." The new Northern Key Club received its charter.  The school colours of red, white, and black were chosen and the first set of examinations were written on November 19 - 23rd.  The school's official opening took place on October 18th 1957 and the motto "Praemium Est Paratis" - "The Reward is for the Ready" was chosen. The Honourable Dr. W. J. Dunlop, Minister of Education was official guest speaker. The school is dedicated to its first Principal, Mr. S. H. SEAL, who retired in 1964. Northern's official song was produced in 1958 and is called "Cantatum Nostrum" or "Our Song". It was written and composed by Mr. R. P. Butcher, music teacher. The first edition of the Northern Hi-Lites yearbook was published in 1958. The annual Student-Teacher basketball game started on this date and Northern continued to win the City Championships in Football – undefeated.

Five years after the official opening of the school, Northern staff and students faced yet another "new frontier" with the construction of an eight room addition in 1959 and then a three room addition in 1960.  Students witnessed moments of rocket flights to outer space and huge advances in science and technology, such as the invention of the colour television, the computer, and the invention of the Internet.

Northern has been host to many interesting events over the years. In the year 2000 students formed a "2000" on the back campus so that a picture could be taken for the Guinness World Records.  In 2004 Northern tried to break yet another record for the largest game of Leap Frog! In 2015 and 2016 Northern's Tech Department was the only high school in all of Canada to participate in the Shell Eco-Marathon, to build and test an energy efficient vehicle. 

Our students are never forgotten. There is a memorial plaque on the corner of Michigan and Indian honouring five students who died in 1993.

In May of 2006 N.C.I.V.S. celebrated its 50th Anniversary.  Thousands from the community, from across Canada and the globe, travelled to Sarnia to celebrate. Friendships were reunited and fond memories of youthful shenanigans re-lived.

Special prizes and awards of Northern have ranged from Posture Queens, to Great Wagon races.  Student art was shown at the C.N.E.  Mrs. Norm Perry presented the "Galloping Ghost" trophy in 1959 honouring our Northern football team. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 have been awarded to the library as it changes with technology and student needs.

In the words of our first Principal, "If you apply yourself diligently to your school work and try to live up to the highest moral standards, you should achieve happiness and success not only during your high school days, but also during the greater part of your life that lies beyond graduation." S.H. SEAL

A Brief History facts taken from Northern Hi-Lites 1958-62.


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Northern Collegiate Institute & Vocational School
940 Michigan Ave, Sarnia, ON, N7S 2B1
Principal: Melissa Mallette
Vice Principal: Marty Passmore
Vice Principal: Nathan Jeffrey

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