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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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May 11, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

May 14, 2018

I want to begin this week by sharing a heartfelt “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the moms across Horizon School Division, and beyond. Thank you for your constant inspiration, teaching, motivation, leadership, and love. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “All that I have or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” Abe’s quote signifies the impact of these women in our lives who have fed us, clothed us, looked after our scrapes, and packed our lunches for school. She walked us to the bus and picked us up from school when we were sick. I have heard it said this way about moms:
When you were a child, she walked ahead of you to set an example. When you’re a teen, she walked behind you to let you make your own mistakes…but to pick you up when you needed her. When you’re an adult, she walks beside you so that, as two friends, you can enjoy life together.
Today and every day, we say thank you to those incredible women in our lives…our moms.

Horizon’s Board of Education held their regular meeting for the month of May. With much to discuss and share, I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with our outstanding trustees. I took the opportunity to thank our Board for their outstanding support of our students and staff over the past month and to share the supports that will be ongoing in the upcoming weeks and months to deal with our grief and loss in response to our tragedies in our system. Our Board then heard reports from two of our principals, who joined our meeting via Skype, sharing about the work that has taken place in their schools since the Review of School Effectiveness (ROSE) events that were held last year. Miles Johnson, Principal of Wadena Elementary School, and Michele Presber, Principal of Quill Lake School, each shared about how their schools are utilizing the data gathered through their ROSE to help in their journeys from good to great. Following the ROSE reports, we were joined by members of the Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division (EPSSD) Board of Education to discuss the upcoming amalgamation between our two divisions. The amalgamation will be official on June 30, and we are continue to look forward to officially welcoming Englefeld School into our Horizon family.

Horizon’s interim audit began this week, with our external auditors from Myers Norris Penny (MNP) initializing their work in our central office. I want to thank Horizon’s Finance Services Team and our various budget managers for their work to prepare for the audit. On Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to meet with our auditors and discuss the process and some of the areas I requested they consider as in preparation for their impending work. MNP has been the Board’s auditor the last few years and was selected through a tendering process the Board engages in as the term of the contract with their auditor comes to a close.

I also met with Kevin Cameron, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response,  as well as Greg Chatlain, Director for Great Saskatoon Catholic, Tracy Muggli, Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the Saskatchewan Health Association (SHA), and Tamara Sheppard, also from Mental Health and Addiction Services of the SHA, to discuss and debrief about the ongoing supports for our Horizon community. We know some of the most significant challenges we will face as a school division relative to the many tragedies we have endured are still to come. Our work to effectively and strategically prepare for and meet these challenges head on will be pivotal in ensuring our children, our families, and our staff are afforded the best support possible.

Finally, I had the opportunity to travel to Chilliwack, B.C. Friday for the 2018 RBC Cup National Junior ‘A’ Hockey Championship, in order to represent the Humboldt Broncos organization during the opening ceremonies Saturday evening. The support our school and hockey communities have received from the hockey, sport, and education world has been both inspiring and humbling. This weekend in Chilliwack was just another example of how people across our country are reaching out to say they have love for us and they care for us and that they want to help us during our time of need. The great Paulo Coelho, the author of The Alchemist (by the way, one of the top ten greatest books of the 20th Century and a fable well worth the read), put it this way, “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too”. If Coelho is correct, it is critically important that we embody love in order that we are examples for our students. As adults, it is incumbent upon all of us to keep love and all that it stands for strong in our homes, our schools, and our communities…love makes everything better.  

Have a great week, everyone…stay Horizon Strong.  

- Kevin

Kevin C. Garinger, B.Ed, M.A.Ed
Director of Education/CEO
Horizon School Division No. 205
kevin.garinger@horizonsd.ca