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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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November 9, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

November 13, 2018

How fortunate we are to live in such a country as our Canada, where freedoms are guaranteed and differences are celebrated. Our great country where past wrongs are acknowledged and we work to make them right. Our best efforts bring people together and our greatest virtues guide us into a better future for our children and grandchildren. We owe more than we can ever repay to the people and families, past and present, who sacrificed so much to protect the ideals we live by. Their memories and the hard-won lessons of the past are woven into the fabric of our nation. The deep gratitude we feel when we hear the bugle call of the “Last Post” each November 11 connects all Canadians to our shared history. We remember. We will never forget.  

Last Monday and Tuesday, my Director’s Leadership Team (DLT) of principals and vice principals gathered in Humboldt for a two-day professional development session. The session was facilitated by Horizon’s Literacy Team, which includes Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, Supervisor of Literacy & Early Learning Services, Katherine Oviatt, and our literacy coaches, Kim Junk, Trisha Maxwell, Jacquie Bergerman, and Heidi Linford. The learning opportunity supports the development of our principals and vice principals as literacy leaders in our schools, supporting their staff and students to realize Horizon’s Literacy Goal. I want to thank my DLT and our Literacy Team for two great days of learning and discussion.

Horizon’s Board of Education met on Wednesday for both their regular November meeting and their annual organizational meeting. Items for discussion included Horizon’s 2017-18 annual report, preparations for the upcoming Saskatchewan School Boards Association Fall General Assembly, and a number of other issues of importance to our system and sector. We also enjoyed an informational presentation from Superintendent of Operations/COO, Justin Arendt, relating to Transport Canada’s school bus safety regulations. During the Board’s organizational meeting, Jim Hack was the sole nominee to serve as Board Chair while subdivision 2 Trustee, Linda Mattock, was elected to serve as Vice-Chair. I want to congratulate both our table officers and say that I look forward to working closely with them in the months ahead. I also want to thank Wil Lengyel for his outstanding work as Vice-Chair in previous years.

On Thursday morning, we held a Skype meeting with the DLT. Discussion topics included upcoming Learning Improvement Plan reviews, various professional development opportunities, and discussion around the provincial MySchoolSask student information system that is in the works for all Saskatchewan school divisions. I want to thank the DLT for their work and their time to be part of these important meetings.

Following our DLT Skype, I travelled to Englefeld School to take part in their Remembrance Day ceremony. I appreciated the invitation, and the opportunity to meet with staff and community members for this solemn occasion. As was the case across Horizon, the school organized a beautiful tribute to Canada’s service men and women. I am very proud of our staff and communities for the work they do to pass on lessons of gratitude and remembrance to our young students.

On Thursday afternoon, I travelled with Superintendent of Finance Services and Chief Financial Officer, Marilyn Flaman and Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw to a meeting with Day Star Chief and Council. Trustee and Band member, Paul Crow-Buffalo joined us for the meeting. We enjoy a great relationship with Chief Lloyd Buffalo and his Council, and our meeting was an opportunity to begin the process to rewrite the partnership agreement between Day Star First Nation and Horizon School Division. The current agreement was established in 2011 so I am pleased to begin the necessary process to make the agreement current. On Thursday evening, I joined members of our Board and central office staff, area schools, and community members at Day Star First Nation for a “Meet, Greet, and Eat” social event. I want to thank Chief Buffalo and Horizon’s Trustee, Paul Crow-Buffalo, for the invitation and hospitality.

On Friday morning, I travelled to Saskatoon for meetings related to International Students and Charitable Services. Both meetings were important for our system as we consider the needs of our communities. More information will be provided in the upcoming weeks. 

Two of Horizon’s football teams were in competition for the Provincial Championship this Saturday, with the Wakaw Warriors hosting the 2A 6 Man championship, and the Humboldt Mohawks hosting the 3A 9 Man title. Congratulations to all athletes on an exciting season. Thank-you to the many volunteers, organizers, officials, coaches, family members, and community members for their support of our student-athletes throughout the season. As you know, this was an especially challenging and emotional season for our HCI Mohawks. The CBC put together this excellent article on the team’s journey of the past season. Thank you to HCI Principal, Cory Popoff, for sharing your students’ success and resilience with media.

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