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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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December 9, 2019 - a message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

December 09, 2019

Only two weeks left until students and staff will enjoy a two-week holiday as we ready for the Christmas season. This is easily my favourite time of the year as I look forward to the opportunity to share in festivities with my family and friends. Of course, it is also a challenging time for others including some of our own Horizon families. So, my hope is that this season can be kind and wonderful for everyone across Horizon and beyond. As Burton Hills said, “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other”.

Our Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) meetings are in full swing, with meetings in schools every day last week. On Monday, I travelled with Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski and Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Jason Neville, to Wakaw School, Cudworth School, and participated in the Bruno School review on route back to the office. While there, we met with principals and vice principals to discuss their school-level planning documents and how they are putting work in motion to achieve the goals of our Board and support student success.

I then returned to central office for a meeting with our Board Chair, Jim Hack, and Vice-Chair, Linda Mattock. During our meeting, we set the agenda for the upcoming December Board meeting and discussed items of importance for the Board to review. We were joined in this meeting by Deputy Director, Randy MacLEAN, Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Sarah Reding, Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt, Executive Assistants, Marni Sogge and Melanie Gray, and Communication Services Officer, Lance Hiltz.

Following our agenda meeting, our Horizon Teachers’ Association (HTA) Liaison Committee held a meeting to discuss critical topics for our teachers and Board. I want to thank the HTA, including President Gerard Frison, for their dedication to this important work.

On Monday afternoon and well into the evening, we were very fortunate to have a visit from students in the Archerwill/Rose Valley Student Leadership Program at central office. Students came to wrap gifts for our Christmas Hamper Project and we are so grateful for their help. It is inspiring to see these young people volunteering their time to help with the project and make the holidays a little brighter for children and families in need in Horizon.

On Monday evening, I joined the School Community Council (SCC) at Three Lakes School for their monthly meeting. It is always so beneficial to meet with our SCCs and I appreciate the invitation to join with Linda Mattock who attended with me. Like many of our schools, the SCC at Three Lakes is very active and works hard to support the work of the principal, Trevor Otsig and the rest of the staff with an ultimate goal of improving student learning.

Our LIP meetings continued on Tuesday, with Darrell, Jason, and I visiting Wadena Elementary, Wadena Composite, Lakeside Colony School, Quill Lake School, and Watson School. I then returned to our central office for a meeting of the Joint Operations Committee (JOC). The JOC represents the unique partnership between Boards and senior leadership of Horizon and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools to oversee the operation of Humboldt Collegiate Institute.

Wednesday saw our LIP meetings continue, with trips to Annaheim School, Lake Lenore School, St. Brieux School, and Three Lakes School. I then returned to the office for a meeting with Brent Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce. We have a great partnership with our communities, and I appreciate Brent taking the time to meet with me and discuss our shared work supporting communities and families.

Wednesday evening, I joined Jan and Darrell Paproski and principal Carol Baade at the annual Imperial School musical rendition of Beauty and the Beast. I had the pleasure of witnessing the amazing talents of our young people as they carried out an incredibly difficult performance with grace, skill, and poise. I want to thank Carol for the invitation. I know that trustee Cheryl Vertefeuille, who attended one of the next evenings, also appreciated the amazing skills of our students from Imperial School.

We were back on the road for LIP meetings on Thursday, travelling to Lanigan Central High School, Lanigan Elementary, Englefeld School, and Wynyard Composite. That evening, Wynyard Composite hosted a meeting and supper with our HTA Executive. I was happy to join their meeting and be in great company with a group of people focused on collaboration in support of our teachers.

My Director’s Leadership Team (DLT) met via videoconference on Friday morning. I joined the meeting from Schell School as we were preparing for the LIP meeting that morning with principal, Donna Appel. We discussed a number of important information items and reminders, including a reminder about Christmas Hampers. I want to once again share the reminder that if Horizon staff would like to contribute to this important project, please contact CFO Sarah Reding or Manager of Payroll Services, Corinne Thoms. The generosity of our staff is what makes this powerful project possible, and we greatly appreciate everyone’s support.

Following our LIP meeting at Schell School, we travelled to Nokomis School to review their LIP. I then returned to the office for the afternoon to catch up on a few things before the weekend. I also had a conversation with Devan Tassa, editor of the Humboldt Journal, regarding the provincial education plan framework. I appreciate Devan’s interest, and the opportunity to discuss this important work the education sector has engaged in to plan for the future of education in this province.

Have a great week, everyone! #HorizonStrong

- Kevin

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