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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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May 10, 2019 - A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

May 13, 2019

I want to begin this week by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and surrogate moms among us. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “Mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” For so many of us, our moms are a source of strength, wisdom, and unconditional love. A single day to say “thank you” is not enough, but it is a good reminder to show our gratitude every day. To the mothers who have lost children, to those who have experienced the loss of their mothers, and to those with strained relationships, you are especially in our thoughts today.

This past Monday, I travelled to the Prairie Valley School Division office in Regina for a meeting with Luc Lerminiaux, Director of Education regarding student transportation services between our two systems. Our partnerships with our neighbouring school divisions, as well as all divisions across Saskatchewan, are critically important for the education sector as a whole to ensure we continue to provide the most effective services we can to families. Mr Lerminiaux and I, along with our staffs will continue our work together as we address some of these needs along our borders.

On my way home from Regina, I stopped in Strasbourg for a meeting with Mr Gerard Frison, teacher at William Derby School and President of the Horizon Teachers’ Association (HTA). Now that we’re into the final months of the school year, the HTA will be enjoying some year-end activities, such as a dinner with the Board and the superannuates banquet. We also have an HTA Liaison Committee meeting on May 13, so Gerard and I had much to discuss in preparation for the meeting.  

On Tuesday, I joined Trustee, Jolene Koopman, and Deputy Director, Randy MacLEAN, in interviews for the principal role at Drake School. While we saw several impressive candidates, I am very pleased to share that this position has been accepted by Mr Brad Knudsen. Brad has worked within a number of Horizon schools as vice-principal and has been a principal for a short term at Viscount. He brings a wealth of knowledge and significant energy to benefit the students, staff, and community of Drake. Please join me in congratulating Brad on this new role.

On Tuesday afternoon, we held a meeting to set the agenda for next week’s regular Board meeting. Board Vice Chair, Linda Mattock, joined us in the office, while Board Chair, Jim Hack, joined by phone. Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman, Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt, Deputy Director, Randy MacLean, Executive Assistants, Marni Sogge and Melanie Gray, and Communication Services Officer, Lance Hiltz join us for these planning meetings. I want to thank all my senior leadership and assistant staff for their contributions to our agenda, and our Board table officers for ensuring that the agenda is informative and efficient.

Fishing Lake First Nation Chief, Derek Sunshine and his Council, including our trustee, Ms Sheryl Kayseas visited our central office for a meeting on Wednesday morning. We were honoured to host them for this important and productive meeting surrounding the future of our partnership. Our work with our First Nation leadership is critical and we are proud of the collaborative work we do to benefit the students and families of Fishing Lake.

Last Thursday, I began the annual process of employee appraisals with members of my Senior Leadership Team (SLT). Darrell Paproski, Superintendent of Student Services was the first SLT member to engage in the process. We discussed the work and successes of his service area, which includes Early Learning, Literacy, and Student Services. As this process continues, I look forward to furthering conversations about the remarkable work happening in Horizon School Division.

After the noon hour on Thursday, I was honoured to join students, staff, and community members at Humboldt Public School for their Leadership Assembly. HPS unveiled a new buddy bench in honour of Brody Hinz and Tyler Bieber, who were tragically lost in the Humboldt Broncos bus accident. Brody’s mom, Darlene Hinz, and Tyler’s mom, Marilyn Hay, joined the event to help unveil the bench. I was honoured to share a few words about friendship and the importance of kindness through my personal experiences with these amazing young men.

I then met with my SLT for the remainder of the afternoon to continue our discussions around the 2019-2020 budget. Much work has gone into this year’s budget, and it has been another challenging year as we make the most of the funding we receive from the government. I am proud of our SLT, our school administrators, and our budget managers for their work to ensure that every dollar is utilized to its fullest potential to support kids. We will be presenting the latest draft of our budget to the Board during our May meeting and our Trustees will continue their conversation to finalize the numbers for 2019-2020.

On Friday, I was invited to visit 15 Wing Moose Jaw for an air show with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), also known as the Snowbirds. It was an honour to be invited, and to represent our school community at this event.

Horizon’s second graduation of the season took place at Lake Lenore School on Friday, May 10. I want to thank school staff, community members, and student volunteers for organizing this celebration. I also want to thank Board Vice Chair, Linda Mattock, and Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, for being in attendance to represent our Board and my office, respectively. Lastly, I want to congratulate the Lake Lenore School class of 2019! On behalf of your school division, we wish you all the best as you rise to meet challenges and engage in the numerous opportunities and successes the years beyond high school will continue to bring.   

Finally, I want to congratulate Three Lakes School grade 12 student, Cole Smith. In early June, Cole be one of only four students selected to travel all expenses paid to France to join a Government of Canada Delegation at the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Cole had to be part of Encounters Canada and had to submit an application including an essay to be selected. Cole’s success is just another example of the amazing things our students are doing across Horizon.  

Have a great week, everyone. Stay #HorizonStrong.


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