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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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September 16, 2019 - A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

September 16, 2019

As a parent, my worst nightmare would be realized upon the sudden loss of one of my own. I know this feeling from the loss experienced these past years. This has happened far too often to Horizon families and the passing of Jack Weber was another reminder of how fragile life is. This past week, I joined staff within Horizon and the community of Watrous and area in mourning the loss for our grade 7 student. The service celebrating his life was held on Wednesday afternoon and while it was a beautiful tribute to an amazing young man who has a wonderful and loving family and so many friends who cared for him deeply, it also reminded me of the support that will be needed to move forward on the difficult path of healing. Certainly, things will never be the same for any of us without Jack in our lives, so the path of healing is partly about learning to live with this “new normal”. As author Mitch Albom stated, “I love you every day. And now I will miss you every day”. Jack is so very sadly missed and our hearts go out to his family and all who knew him.

The week began with an agenda meeting with our Board Table Officers and central office staff as we set the agenda for the upcoming regular meeting of our Board. Board Chair, Jim Hack, and Vice-Chair, Linda Mattock joined us in the Boardroom for this meeting. Staff from my office were on hand to discuss their agenda items and provide support, including Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Sarah Reding, Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt, Deputy Director, Randy MacLEAN, Executive Assistant, Marni Sogge, and Communication Services Officer, Lance Hiltz. I was in Watrous that morning, and so I joined the meeting by phone. I appreciate the work that goes into planning our agenda each month, and the time it takes to finalize reports. Now that we are halfway through the busy month of September, there is much to share and discuss with our Trustees.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in Regina for meetings with our Provincial Leadership Team (PLT) of my fellow Directors of Education and Ministry of Education personnel. The PLT conducted a process to review the outcomes and priorities for cycle four, which is partly a visualization process that looks at data from across the sector so that we can discuss strategies for growth.

On Wednesday evening and Thursday evening, I led volleyball referee clinics at Wynyard Composite and Humboldt Collegiate, respectively. It is critical for our student-athletes that we have certified volunteers to officiate and help provide opportunities for sport in schools. I want to thank all of the attendees we had join each clinic.

On Thursday morning, I joined a teleconference with the League of Educational Administrators, Directors, and Superintendents (LEADS) executive. I then had a meeting at Humboldt Collegiate Institute to discuss our work on Horizon’s common assessment practices.

On Friday, after a morning meeting in Regina where I represent Horizon School Division on the Board of the Heritage Classic, I joined a meeting with the registrar at the Ministry of Education office and finished off the day with a planning meeting for the SaskMath priority of the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP), which I lead along with Duane Hauck, Director from Northwest School Division.

Over the weekend, I helped in the facilitation of a Level 2 volleyball officiating clinic. Once again, I want to thank everyone who attended for their commitment to helping provide our students with opportunities for sport in the coming season.   

Have a great week, Horizon. #HorizonStrong.

- Kevin

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