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Horizon School Division
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September 10, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

September 10, 2018

With the first week of 2018-19 behind us, I want to thank Horizon’s students and staff for a fantastic return to classrooms. So much work has already begun towards realizing Horizon’s goals of Safe and Caring, Literacy, and Assessment. This past Saturday, September 8, was World Literacy Day. As author and educator, Mary Ellen Chase once said, “There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.” I hope each of you had the opportunity to enjoy a good book over the weekend, and an opportunity to share your passion for literacy with the young readers in your lives. 

Of course, last Tuesday marked the first day of school for 2018-19. As students returned to classrooms across our system, I had the pleasure of traveling to Englefeld to join them for the morning. As you know, this was Englefeld’s very first day as a Horizon school. It was great to be able to see the excitement on the faces of students, teachers, and staff as they walked down the halls and greeted one another following the summer break. At 9 AM, I joined a “welcome back” assembly in the school’s gymnasium. Principal Cori Harcourt led the assembly, introducing each grade, school staff, and the SRC. I shared a few words of welcome and shared my own excitement for their return to our school division after over 20 years. The students from the SRC then taught me and the rest of their classmates and staff, their school dance. It was a great way to start the year, and I am grateful I had the opportunity to be there. Once again, I want to extend the warmest welcome to Englefeld School, on behalf of our Horizon family and thank them and all of you across Horizon for choosing kindness for our students.

I returned to central office on Tuesday for a noon hour meeting to set the agenda for our Board’s upcoming monthly meeting on September 12. Board Chair, Jim Hack, joined Deputy Director, Randy MacLEAN, Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman, and Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt, and me via teleconference. As always, this preliminary meeting will ensure that our regular Board meeting runs smoothly and productively when our Trustees are together next Wednesday. Following our agenda meeting, I met with Marilyn and Justin to discuss an upcoming strategy session our Board has scheduled for October 3 and 4. I will share more about this important work in the upcoming weeks.

On September 5, my Senior Leadership Team (SLT) met at central office for most of the day. In addition to Randy, Marilyn, and Justin, the team includes Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw and Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski. There were a number of important items to discuss as we begin the new school year, including opening day enrollments, professional development opportunities for our school administrators, updates to Horizon’s strategic plan, administrative procedures, and more. The passion and expertise of this team is always inspiring, and I look forward to the great things we will achieve in the months to come.

My Director’s Leadership Team (DLT) met on Thursday morning, via Skype. This technology allows us to keep school administrators in schools while still sharing important information and discussions on a regular basis. As this was our first Skype meeting of the school year, we had a lot of information to share; but the meeting was very efficient, thanks to preparations on the part of our staff.

As we begin week two of 2018-19, I look forward to the numerous accomplishments in store for our system, our schools, our staff, our families, and, most importantly, our students. Through our focus on collaborative practice, on that work that we have done together and that has certainly contributed to our current levels of growth, it is obvious that the sky is the limit for Horizon School Division.

Have a great week, everyone. Stay #HorizonStrong.

- Kevin

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