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

November 21, 2019

We had a lot going on last week in Horizon. On Friday, we held a ceremony and open house to celebrate the grand opening of our central office. For the morning, we were proud to welcome Honourable Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Gordon Wyant, Honourable Minister of Finance, Donna Harpauer, City of Humboldt Deputy Mayor, Lorne Pratchler, Elder Stuart Bitternose of George Gordon First Nation, Council Member David Crow-Buffalo of Day Star First Nation, past Horizon Board Trustees, past employees, and community guests. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, we led tours through the office and our Board had the opportunity to sit down for a meeting with Minister Wyant and Minister Harpauer. We greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Ministers in our Boardroom and discuss education in Horizon and across the province. Our central office staff put a lot of work into preparing for the celebration, and I want to thank each of them for making the day a huge success. During my greeting that morning, I shared a quote from Mattie Stepanik, the late poet, motivational speaker, and activist, which I feel encapsulates the spirit of the project and Horizon School Division as a whole:  “Unity is strength...when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”

The SaskMath Reference Committee held our first meeting on Tuesday. I am on the Priority Team for the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) SaskMATH Priority, along with Duane Hauk, Director of Northwest School Division, Vincent Cable, Director of Saskatchewan Rivers School Division, Susan Nedelcov-Anderson, Kevin Tonita, and Lisa Eberharter from the Ministry of Education. For our committee meeting, we were joined by Sharon Meyer of North East School Division, and Flo Woods from the Ministry. The Project Manager for this work is former Horizon Senior Leadership Team member, Crandall Hrynkiw.

I also had a teleconference with Greg Chatlain, Director of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, and Greg Enion, Director of Regina Public Schools to discuss some important issues that relate directly to the regulatory practices of LEADS.

On Tuesday evening, I travelled to Englefeld to meet with the Town Council who have owned the Englefeld School facility since 1998. Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Sarah Reding, Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt, and Manager of Facility Services, Kam Kiland, joined me in the meeting. We had a chance to discuss opportunities within our partnership related to the future of Englefeld School.

Horizon’s Board held their annual Organizational Meeting on Wednesday, November 13. Among several discussion topics, the Board also chooses their Table Officers for the year during this meeting. Jim Hack will continue as Chair and Linda Mattock will continue as Vice-Chair. More information can be found in the media release found here. Following their Organizational Meeting, the Board held their Regular Monthly Meeting. Among the many important topics discussed during this meeting, I led our Trustees through a demonstration of WebEx, which is a video conferencing software that we currently use for my Director’s Leadership Team meetings, and which can be used for Trustees to videoconference when they’re unable to attend a meeting in person. Trustees also provided their “in-principle” approval for Horizon’s annual report. This report will be completed later this month when our audited financial statement is completed and approved by the Board’s Audit Committee.

On Thursday, we held our first Review of School Effectiveness (ROSE) event of the year at Wynyard Elementary School. ROSE is a strategic process that gathers feedback and data from staff, students, administrators, parents/caregivers, School Community Council (SCC) members, and community members and celebrates the great things happening for our students while identifying those items necessary to support school and system growth. I would like to thank each of the organizers of the ROSE event, including Principal Joe Filson and his staff, Horizon's Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, Coordinator of Student Services, Jan Paproski, and Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Jason Neville. Finally, I want to thank the students, staff, and community member participants for their valuable feedback and input throughout this process. The data will help our staff at Wynyard Elementary School on their journey from good to great.

While Friday was our central office grand opening event, we had many examples of celebrations happening in our schools at the same time. Muenster School hosted the 1A Girls Volleyball Provincials and Foam Lake Composite School hosted the 2A Girls Provincials. We are certainly proud to host these championships, and a lot of work goes into planning and preparing for these events. I want to thank Dennis Gerwing, principal of Muenster School and Nevin Halyk, principal of FLCS, their staff, students, and volunteers. I also want to thank the communities of Muenster and Foam Lake. These events do not happen without the support of the community, and we are grateful to have strong community support across our system. I had the pleasure of officiating volleyball in Foam Lake over the weekend, and it was truly impressive to see the level of athleticism and sportsmanship on display. I know I can echo the same for all 4 provincial championships in which Horizon teams were competing. In total 8 teams including Muenster, LeRoy, and Rose Valley (1A); Foam Lake and Wakaw (2A); Lanigan and Punnichy (3A); and HCI (4A). Congratulations on a fantastic season, students, coaches, parents, and volunteers!

Have a great week, everyone! #HorizonStrong

- Kevin

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