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Connor McDavid's public school teachers reflect on his early focus & skill amid NHL playoffs

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A Newmarket elementary school where Edmonton Oilers Captain Connor McDavid was once a student is supporting its hometown hero with students donning jerseys and sporting the NHL team's signature blue and orange colours.

Students and faculty show their support for hometown hero Connor McDavid at Clearmeadow Public School in Newmarket, Ont., on Thurs., June 13, 2024. (CTV News/Catalina Gillies)

At Clearmeadow Public School, McDavid's former teachers fondly remember him as a standout student, even at a young age.

"When he was in Grade 1, I taught him science and social studies. [He was] probably the most focused six or seven-year-old you have ever seen," said McDavid's former teacher, Charlene Delaney.

"Our old gym teacher, Ken Milne, had stories of teaching him a skill, and he wouldn't leave until he mastered it. Something that took kids months or the entire year, he would do in a couple of classes," Delaney added.

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid skates during the NHL All-Star skills competition's NHL obstacle course section, in Toronto, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

In Grade 5, McDavid led his floor hockey team to a win, and his level of sportsmanship was already apparent.

"I had the Clearmeadow Cup ready to hand to the winning team, and I mean, the gym was full of students, pandemonium, and everyone celebrating. And I took the trophy, and I looked at him and went to give it to him, and he put his hands up, and then he pointed to his team, and it was at that moment that I knew that this was a kid that there was something very remarkable," said teacher Michaela McKeown.

And it's not just McDavid's former school celebrating as the Oilers compete for the Stanley Cup.

"So many people know Connor and his family, and as his career grew, he became more and more well-known, of course. But for us, it's just super exciting to be able to cheer him on and back a Canadian team in the playoffs and, of course, back Connor McDavid, Newmarket's hometown hero," said Mayor John Taylor.

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