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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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October 7, 2019 - A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

October 07, 2019

“Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the Earth.” – Helen Caldicott

We can never say enough about the contributions our teachers make, and the value of their work in our communities. They offer inspiration, guidance, encouragement, and support to our children, and as such, their work touches the future. October 5 was World Teachers’ Day. It is a great opportunity to stop and thank those professionals among us who dedicate their lives to creating a better world, one student at a time. To every teacher in Horizon School Division and across our globe, thank you.

I spent Monday with Horizon’s Board of Education engaged in the process of my annual appraisal. I thank the Board for their feedback and discussions, and I thank my staff for supporting my preparations for this process. As I develop my evidence portfolio each year, every service area in our system contributes to the document. I am grateful for our incredible staff, and the work they do to support my office and realize the goals of our Board.   

Prior to my appraisal, I had the chance to speak with Maury Wrubleski from Bolt FM about Horizon’s Orange Shirt Day activities. The work that happens in our schools by staff and students to commemorate this solemn day is so important to who we are in Canada and who we want to be. For each of us, wearing orange, engaging in activities and discussions, and promoting learning about our nation’s past are all so critical to our shared responsibility of reconciliation. I have said it before, but Horizon as an organization is very lucky to have great local media in our communities who can share about the positive work happening in our schools. I want to thank Maury and Bolt FM for highlighting the work of our students and staff. His article on Orange Shirt Day can be found on discoverhumboldt.comhere.

I spent most of the day on Tuesday with my executive assistant, Marni Sogge, reviewing, revising, updating, and approving a number of Horizon’s administrative procedures. As these documents guide our day to day operations and activities, they are critical to the function of our organization. I greatly appreciate the feedback and review process we engage to ensure our APs are current and reflect the practices and expectations of our system.    

On Tuesday afternoon, I joined a meeting with Humboldt Collegiate Institute (HCI) Principal, Cory Popoff and Supervisor of Literacy and Early Learning, Katherine Oviatt who have been engaged in our work around math assessment and supporting numeracy instruction across the system. Of course, the meeting was also important in providing support to Horizon’s Literacy & Numeracy team comprised of coaches, Kim Junk, Trish Maxwell, Jacquie Bergerman, and Heidi Linford as they support teachers in literacy, which includes numerical literacy. As the entire team was in attendance, they discussed the work done by teachers at our latest Collaborative Learning Day as well as the important path forward for Horizon’s work in Math common assessments. As our efforts to support our classrooms continues, I look forward to even more collaboration and innovation which will only enhance the assessment practices of our instructional staff.

My Director’s Leadership Team (DLT) met online via video conference on Wednesday morning. As I was away with other meetings, I joined the meeting via electronic means. We had a number of information items and discussion topics to share with our principals and vice-principals, and as always, the technology available to us made this an efficient and effective meeting. Later that morning, I joined the Heritage Classic Advisory Board. I am proud to represent Horizon on this board, as the details for this exciting event are being finalized leading to the big game in Regina on October 26.   

I was at Punnichy Elementary Community School first thing Thursday morning for a meeting with Principal Lester Gardiner and Sarah Reding, Chief Financial Officer. I then joined Horizon’s Board Chair, Jim Hack, and Vice-Chair, Linda Mattock, for a meeting with Prairie Valley School Division at their office, working on continued transportation matters that impact both our school divisions.

This week, Horizon was host to the Saskatchewan Provincial Human Resources Group, made up of HR professionals from across the Education sector. The group representing every school division in the province met for two days of discussions, collaboration, and learning. I joined the group on Thursday evening and again, briefly on Friday morning. I would like to thank Deputy Director Randy MacLEAN and his team for their work to organize this event.

Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Jason Neville, and Coordinator of Student Services, Jan Paproski, joined me for a meeting on Friday morning. Student Services has undergone some reconfiguring this year, and it was great to meet with them and discuss how we can best support the renewed focus for our Learning Improvement Planning. I finished the week in a meeting at HCI with Directors Lynn Little from South East Cornerstone and Gwen Keith from Holy Family. Greg Chatlain, Director of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools joined me as we discussed the Joint Operations Committee and the unique manner in which HCI is operated.

In my role as Director of Education/CEO of Horizon School Division, I have the privilege of overseeing the work of an amazing group of people, dedicated to supporting children and their families in every way available to us. It is incredibly inspiring to see their passion and dedication, day in and day out, as we continue to seek out opportunities for growth and improvement. With the first month of the 2019-20 school year now behind us, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you, Horizon, for everything you do.   

Have a great week, everyone.

- Kevin

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