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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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January 18, 2019 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

January 21, 2019

The past week began with a meeting of the Director’s Leadership Team (DLT) via Skype on Monday morning. This was our first meeting in the new boardroom, and an excellent opportunity to use some of the audio-visual technology available to us in the new space. I want to thank the DLT for sharing information and discussions in our first meeting of the New Year. I also want to thank our Information Services team for ensuring our technology needs were met for this first meeting.

Following our DLT Skype on Monday, I met with Ryan Schnee to continue discussions around recruiting international students to attend Three Lakes School and other Horizon schools. Ryan serves as School Community Council chair at Three Lakes. His SCC has been deeply involved in the planning and preparation around this opportunity, and I thank them for their guidance. Horizon’s Board has directed us to proceed with this initiative, and we will be sharing more information as plans are finalized in the coming months.  

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) met on Tuesday morning. Items discussed included international students, upcoming professional development opportunities including discussion surrounding our PD session for our DLT. On Tuesday afternoon, I met with Gerard Frison, teacher at William Derby School and President of the Horizon Teachers’ Association (HTA). I value the conversations I have with Gerard and am thankful for the working relationship we have developed in support of the HTA, our Board, and Horizon families. We began discussion relative to the 2019-20 school year calendar and will continue our work together in hopes to get staff to vote the first week or two of February and so the Board can finalize their decision.

On Wednesday, the Horizon Board of Education held their first regular meeting of 2019. Discussion items included international student recruiting, the ongoing work of renewing our First Nation Tuition Agreements, upcoming opportunities for SCCs, and numerous other topics. Following a tour of our new space, Trustees joined central office staff for lunch. Wakaw School Principal, Darryl Dickson followed up lunch and shared a presentation highlighting how his school has utilized the data collected from their Review of School Effectiveness (ROSE) event that was held in the fall of 2017. As part of her report, our Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman shared an informative presentation on the topic of net financial assets. We also had the opportunity to watch a great video of the office construction project, filmed and edited by Horizon Network Analyst, Shawn Peters (I have provided a link to the video here). We were grateful to have our Trustees together for the first time since the holidays, and thankful for the opportunity to share our new central office and boardroom. Of course, with the new technology that is in the board room, it will require that our Board continue to explore the norms necessary for the smooth running of the meetings. Such tremendous opportunities exist for the Board and for our schools relative to the new facility. I know the Board and I continue to be excited about how our students and staff will be able to gain access to the Board room.

Our SLT met again on Thursday morning to continue our discussions and share new information following the Board meeting. While we were meeting, the Literacy Team had a professional development session in our new flex room. It seemed to go very well and, where we would have had to rent a facility, we were able to find lots of space in our new facility. We then travelled to Quill Lake School for the latest Celebration Day Lunch, where we met Board members, Christine Gradin, Sheryl Kayseas, and Vice Chair Linda Mattock. Our lunches are such a great way to say “thank you” and celebrate our staff and students. Our Trustees and senior leadership always appreciate the chance to get out and spend time in schools and these events certainly support that. Thursday afternoon, I travelled to Watson school to meet with Principal Jay Fitzsimmons and stopped in at Englefeld before returning to the office where I joined Randy MacLEAN for the last part of the afternoon session during our beginning administrators’ induction program.

Departmental exams will get underway later this week. I want to wish our students the best of luck and congratulate them on their studies and preparation. I also want to thank our staff and families for helping students get ready for these assessments. Remember that success doesn’t happen by accident. As Thomas Edison said, “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.

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