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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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September 4, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

September 04, 2018

"Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom” – George Washington Carver

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you have had a fantastic, relaxing summer and a restful long weekend. As we welcome students back into our classrooms on September 4, I can hardly contain my excitement for the great things to come this school year. With so many things to be thankful for this school year, perhaps one of the most notable is that we welcome Englefeld School into our division. After 20 years as Saskatchewan’s only Protestant separate school division, Englefeld chose to become part of Horizon. This decision was the result of much work on behalf of the Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division Board, the community, and the positive relationship with Horizon’s Board. We look very forward to continuing our support of the students, staff, families, and community of Englefeld.

This past Monday, August 27, was the Horizon Teachers’ Association (HTA) convention. This year’s convention was held at Danceland in Manitou Beach and the teachers had the opportunity to hear from the likes of author, David Bouchard, speaker, Darci Lang, and Horizon trustee, Linda Mattock. I want to thank HTA President, Gerard Frison, the organizing committee, and the staffs at Watrous Elementary and Winston High for their efforts in organizing another fantastic convention.

Horizon’s first Collaborative Learning Day of the 18-19 school year took place in Humboldt on the 28th. To start the day, I had the pleasure of welcoming our teachers and sharing some exciting data that tells a story of how far we have come in Horizon. While we have made remarkable strides in areas of literacy and assessment, our journey continues and the sky is truly the limit. Later that morning, I held a meeting with central office staff to discuss the new year and review changes to our organizational structure. Among those changes are a number of positions and titles that have been restructured. Todd Gjevre will now serve as Supervisor of Human Resource Services, Jeff Swanson is now the Manager of Accounting Services, and Lori Washkowsky-Lucyk will serve as our Finance Services Officer. We look forward to continuing our support of students and staff in the months and years ahead.

Our fifth annual Celebration Day was held last Wednesday. I want to thank all staff, including the day’s organizers, for a fantastic event recognizing the work and talents of our staff and students. We enjoyed wonderful performances from Raine Gray, student at Raymore School, Tory and Kennedy White, students at Bruno School, and Jade Otsig, student at Three Lakes School. We recognized our staff through the presentation of Years of Service pins – including our Board Chair, Jim Hack, who is celebrating 40 years of service to our system – and we presented this year’s Excellence in Teaching awards to five very deserving teachers. This year’s award winners are: Wendy Gottselig of William Derby, Carla Lone of Drake School, Judy Lockwood of Watson School, Cayla Grasby of Raymore School, and Matt Tan of Watrous Elementary.

We were also incredibly humbled as a system to introduce this year’s Wall of Fame inductees – the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos. Members of the team, organization, and their families joined us for our induction ceremony. Jacob Wassermann, HCI graduate and Humboldt Broncos goaltender, accepted our nomination on behalf of his teammates, while Ms. Carol Brons, secretary at Muenster School and mother of athletic therapist, Dayna Brons, accepted on behalf of the families. Carol shared a beautiful message about her daughter and the sometimes overwhelming support families have received since the accident. Darrin Duell, former treasurer of the Broncos board, accepted on behalf of the Broncos Board of Directors. Darrin fittingly thanked our staff for supporting students and families through what was the most difficult spring many of us have ever experienced. It is incredibly fitting to honour a group of people who, because of who they were in life, have inspired our entire world to be better. Horizon is honoured to hang a photo of the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos on our Wall of Fame to continue to inspire students, staff, and visitors for many years to come. If you haven’t had the opportunity, please feel free to go to Horizon’s Facebook page to see pictures of the event.

I know this past Thursday and Friday were appreciated as one was an admin day and the other was a non-instructional day. I know school staff always appreciate the time they get to prepare for the return of our students to our buses, our schools, and our classrooms.

The week before last was a busy one as well. On August 21, Humboldt held its third annual Pride Flag raising at city hall. I was honoured to be part of this ceremony and bring greetings on behalf of Horizon. I took the opportunity to share about our Safe and Caring goal, and our work to provide inclusive classrooms that celebrate and support our LGBTQ2 students and staff. First year administrators gathered at central office for orientation that afternoon. We also welcomed first year teachers to a two-day workshop on August 21 and 22.

On Wednesday, August 22, Horizon’s Board met for their first regular meeting of the 2018-19 school year. It was great to see our Trustees following the summer break, and the Board had a very productive meeting. Of note, we discussed outstanding business relating to the amalgamation of Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division as well as updates on much of the work that occurred over the summer.  

My Director’s Leadership Team (DLT) of school principals, vice principals and central office staff met in the Humboldt Public School gym on Thursday, August 23. For our first meeting of the year, we welcomed Horizon’s newest principals – Corinne Harcourt of Englefeld School, Rob Lissinna of Kelvington High, Kalie Hendry of Nokomis School, and Jess Michalchuk of Ituna School.

Friday, August 24, was an admin day for our schools, and I had the opportunity to lead 7 Habits training for staff at Raymore School. I always enjoy leading this training. It was great to talk with them and catch up after the summer break.

Thank you for everything you do, Horizon; and for everything you will do in the coming year. Your work supporting our students and one another makes our goals for Literacy, Safe and Caring and Assessment a reality for students and families. Every day, we truly are Creating a Better World, One Student at a Time.

Have a great week and a fantastic year. Stay #HorizonStrong.
- Kevin

Kevin C. Garinger  B.Ed., M.A.Ed.
Director of Education/CEO
Horizon School Division No. 205