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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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October 12, 2018 - A Message From Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

October 16, 2018

October 14-20 is Education Week in Saskatchewan. This year’s theme, “A world of learning for every student”, recognizes the multiple pathways to learning being made available to our students, and also highlights the tremendous impact of educators in broadening the horizons and enriching the lives of Saskatchewan students. Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate learning, applaud the achievements of our students, and acknowledge the outstanding contributions being made by education professionals and paraprofessionals throughout our province. Staff can share their Education Week activities on social media, using the hashtag #skedweek and feel free to include me so I get your wonderful activities directly (@KevinGaringer). Together, we acknowledge the dedication and success of our incredible students and staff.

In addition to Education Week, it is also Saskatchewan Library Week, and Monday is both Librarian Appreciation Day and School Bus Driver Appreciation Day. We cannot overstate the importance of our libraries, our librarians, and our bus drivers in supporting the success of our students. Please join me in thanking our librarians and bus drivers for their continued commitment to student needs. 

With Saskatchewan School Sport Week taking place last week, many of our schools celebrated with events, photos, and games. You can check out Horizon’s Twitter account (@horizonsd205) and the account for the Horizon Central Athletics Association (@HCAAathletics) for photos of these events in schools across our division. This fall, over 300 volunteer coaches are dedicating their time and expertise to around 2,000 students in five school sport activities – golf, soccer, cross country running, football, and volleyball. About 250 of these volunteers are teachers and other school staff members, and about 50 are community members. A number of students have also volunteered as coaches in HCAA schools this fall. These numbers do not include the officials who have a direct impact on the school sport experience in the HCAA schools. This week and always, thank you to everyone who makes opportunities for sport available for our students.

Last week, I joined Horizon’s Trustees, David Holinaty and Linda Mattock, and Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman, in a meeting with the Joint Operations Committee, along with Trustees and senior leadership from Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. The JOC oversees the joint operation of Humboldt Collegiate Institute by our two school divisions – a unique arrangement that has honoured the needs of families in Humboldt and area for many years.

On Wednesday of last week, Horizon’s Board of Education gathered for their regular monthly meeting. Topics covered at this meeting included a report from the Board’s Audit Committee, review of Horizon’s Strategic Plan, preparations for our Board’s upcoming Organizational Meeting in November, and a discussion around our ongoing work to consider the potential of recruiting international students to Horizon schools. As always, our Board’s attention to detail and dedication to students, staff, and families served these conversations extremely well.

On Thursday and Friday, I travelled to Saskatoon with Board Chair, Jim Hack to take part in the Provincial Education Summit, hosted in large part by Deputy Minister of Education, Rob Currie and his staff. We were also pleased to be joined by three other central office staff members including Kam Kiland, Manager of Facility Services, Jocelyne Possberg, Manager of Transportation Services, and Jeff Swanson, Manager of Accounting Services. We heard from many inspiring speakers including some Saskatchewan students and had many inspiring discussions about the future of Saskatchewan’s education sector. As our current Education Sector Strategic Plan is made-up of outcomes, priorities, strategies, and improvement targets looking forward to the year 2020, the summit was in part an opportunity to further our collaborative work toward a vision for the years beyond 2020. Looking at how close we have already come to 2020 goals in areas such as literacy outcomes, the future of our sector is bright indeed. I am very appreciative of this opportunity to work together with colleagues and stakeholders from across Saskatchewan to ensure that our shared future in education continues to shine.

Cross Country Provincials took place this past weekend, and a number of Horizon schools were represented in the competition. Congratulations to all student athletes who took part, and to everyone who helped organize the event. Special congratulations to Adam Mytopher of William Derby School, who placed first in the Junior Boys group, and to the teams from Three Lakes School, Lake Lenore School, and Muenster School, who placed first, second, and third in the 1A School Team competition.

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