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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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December 14, 2018 - A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

December 17, 2018

Now that we are into the last days of school for 2018, I cannot anticipate more, the opportunities the New Year will bring for our students, staff, and families. As we wrapped up holiday activities and Christmas concerts in our schools this week and next, I wish to thank everyone for the work they’ve done and will continue to do in support of kids. As author Richelle Goodrich put it, "Even the smallest tender mercy can bring peace when recognized and appreciated". 

The Board’s Audit Committee met on Tuesday morning to review Horizon’s first quarter financials. This committee includes trustees, Mark Fedak, Jolene Koopman, David Holinaty, Paul Crow-Buffalo, Linda Mattock, and Jim Hack, along with Deputy Director Randy MacLEAN, Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO Marilyn Flaman, and myself.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Joint Operations Committee met to discuss operations at Humboldt Collegiate Institute. This committee includes Horizon trustees, Linda Mattock and David Holinaty, as well as representatives from Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.

The Board held their final meeting of 2018 on Wednesday, December 12. Among several important items for discussion during the meeting, we welcomed Dr Shawn Davidson, President of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA), and Jaimie Smith-Windsor, who represents the SSBA’s central constituency. The SSBA is looking for feedback from their members on a number of operational items within their organization, and our Board was happy to provide feedback and discuss some of the services that the SSBA provides. Our Board also had an opportunity to discuss matters relating to our amalgamation with the Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division. We greatly appreciated the opportunity for discussion with both Shawn and Jamie our strong position related to funding and service delivery.

For lunch that day, we held a holiday potluck with trustees and central office staff. I am always grateful for the opportunity to bring people together for meals at any time, but especially during the holidays. While we were gathered, we took the opportunity to recognize Jan Paproski and Albert Pinacie for their years of service with Horizon and our legacy divisions. We are celebrating Jan for 30 years of service in support of students and families and are celebrating Albert for 20 years of service as a Board Trustee. Our entire system has benefitted from their work, guidance, and leadership.

For the fifth year in a row, Horizon’s Christmas Hamper project will be helping students and families in need across numerous communities in our system. Last Thursday, office staff and Board members were busy packing and wrapping gifts to prepare for delivery and help spread holiday cheer. This year, thanks to the generosity of our Board and individual staff donations from across the system, we are able to share gifts with 316 students and 122 Horizon families. This is a very special project and one of many reasons why I’m so proud to work with the Horizon School Division Board and Horizon staff.

While staff and trustees were busy wrapping gifts, I was in Saskatoon on Thursday morning for a meeting related to the potential of recruiting international students into our system. That afternoon, I met with Ryan Schnee to continue the necessary discussions.

Like many of us, as we consider moving into the final school week of 2018, I am looking forward to the break and the anticipated refresh that the New Year will bring. In the 2017-18 school year and the entire year of 2018, we were met with significant obstacles, many of which could have easily kept us down. To be honest, it is likely that no one would have blamed us. Instead, as the incredible professionals and paraprofessionals we have within our province, the needs of children were placed first and people rose to meet the challenges. And we have persevered. I am grateful for each of you and for your commitment to each other, to our families, and to our kids. Not quite 5 days left...and I know they will be exciting for our children and youth.

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
kevin.garinger@horizonsd.ca