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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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June 10, 2016 - Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

August 08, 2016

In the words of Mr. Hockey, the late, great Gordie Howe: "You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave – win or lose." Surely, our staff and students can relate to this perspective. Our remarkable results this school year are a testament of a great number of efforts on the part of students, parents, staff and Board of Education. Our labors have resulted in the successes Horizon has enjoyed over the past 10 months and I know our future remains very exciting.   

This past week began with my evaluation as Director of Education. Every year, the Board evaluates my performance as a Director and Monday was my opportunity to work through the process with them. I continue to find this process extremely positive as it is both an opportunity to share the successes of our system and review my growth goals from the past year and develop my growth goals for the upcoming year. The ability to celebrate is certainly tremendous while being somewhat humbling. However, the opportunity to look at growth is equally important. Probably the most important growth goal that was developed speaks directly to the need to demonstrate measurable student achievement. Last year, the bar in Horizon did not move but this year, our success is certainly obvious. On Tuesday, the Board went through their evaluation of themselves as a corporate entity as well as a self-evaluation of their role as trustee. Again, it was both a wonderful opportunity to celebrate but an equally effective chance to discuss relevant areas for growth. Henry Ford once said, "If everyone is moving forward together, success takes care of itself." I don't know of another system that is so focused on their goals and on working together toward a common end. I would like to thank everyone across Horizon School Division for a job well done this year in supporting my work as Director and the vision of our Board of Education.

Following the Board's evaluation and Policy review on Tuesday, the Board and I joined the rest of the central office staff for our year-end golf and bbq windup at the Humboldt Golf Club. The annual event is a great opportunity to spend time with our central office team and some of their families. I would like to extend my thanks to Horizon's social club for coordinating this event and bringing us all together for another great evening. I took the opportunity to say thank you to computer technician, Brian Hay, who will be retiring at the end of June. Brian has been an exceptional employee for a great number of years and we wish Brian every success in his retirement. I also said good-bye to Amber Cleveland, payroll clerk who will be leaving our employ the end of June to travel. Finally, it was the first time I announced that trustee, Ian Kelln who will be ending his tenure with Horizon's Board of Education the end of June. In order to remain a trustee, you must reside within the boundaries of the school division. Ian has had a remarkable tenure in Education, having been a teacher, principal, superintendent, Director and last, but not least, trustee and will be missed greatly at the Board table.

Our Board of Education met on Wednesday for their regular monthly meeting. Although there will be at least one more meeting before the end of the school year, this was the Board's last regular monthly meeting of the 2015-16 school year. As you will have seen in a media release from my office this week, our trustees ratified the agreement with CUPE Local 4799. Following ratification on June 6 by our staff who are part of the CUPE union, the agreement is now in effect. I am extremely proud of the negotiating team for the respectful and collaborative process that brought this agreement to fruition. Moving forward, I truly believe the agreement will be effective for our staff, our Board and ultimately, our students. Also at Wednesday's meeting, Supervisor of Student Services, Jason Neville and Coordinator of Learning Services, Jan Paproski joined Crandall Hrynkiw, Superintendent of Learning Services to present results from the recent Rose Valley School "Review of School Effectiveness" (ROSE) to the Board. As has been the case with previous ROSE events, the Rose Valley ROSE provided us with important data and feedback that will continue to inform the work of the school. We took a break from our meeting in the morning to enjoy an early birthday cake celebration for Deputy Director/CFO, Lionel Diederichs. Lionel's birthday isn't until August, but we wanted to celebrate with him while we had the Board and office staff together. As I've shared, Lionel will be moving into his new role with Prairie Spirit School Division on August 1st, 2016 and we are most definitely going to miss him around Horizon. The Board also enjoyed a visit from Horizon's Author-In-Residence, Sigmund Brouwer. Sigmund toured schools all last week to culminate this year's program and stopped by to enjoy lunch and to present a wrap up of the year with the Board. Following the Board meeting, I had a meeting with members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to discuss the organizational structure of my office. The organizational structure of the school division is something the Board of Education requires the Director to establish and I regularly inform them of any changes to the structure before they are put in motion.

On Thursday, I travelled to George Gordon Education Centre to conduct interviews for the role of Principal. I was joined by Randy and Subdivision 11 Trustee, Nathan Bitternose and we interviewed three outstanding candidates. My office will be announcing the successful individual in the coming days. Prior to the interviews, Randy had the opportunity to join in Humboldt's "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event. The international event raises awareness and funds to combat domestic violence issues by having participants literally walk a mile in red high heels. I want to thank Randy for representing Horizon in this very worthwhile event.

Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) reviews took place at Lanigan High, Lanigan Elementary, Drake School and LeRoy School on Friday. As always, Crandall Hrynkiw and Darrell Paproski joined me in these important processes with school-based administrators.

Following LIP reviews, I returned to the south office where I held one of our regular staff meetings. I had the pleasure to introduce Jeff Swanson to our staff. Jeff will be joining us as the Assistant Superintendent of Finance Services as a result of the promotion of our Superintendent of Finance Services, Marilyn Flaman to CFO. I also want to congratulate Lori Washkowsky Lucyk, who was successful in her candidacy for the position of Manager of Accounting Services. Finally, I also shared the very recent news that Joanne Cunningham, Supervisor of First Nation & Métis Education Services, will be retiring at the end of June. Joanne has served our students and staff for nearly 7 years and she will be sorely missed. We wish her all the best in retirement and know that the legacy of her work will be felt by students and staff in Horizon for years to come.

On Friday evening, I had the pleasure of joining the community of Englefeld School to celebrate this year's graduating class. Grad ceremonies were also held at Bruno, Imperial, Kelvington, Lanigan, Raymore, St. Brieux, Wadena and Wynyard. Thank you to our trustees who attended representing our Board and members of my central office staff who were able to represent my office at these ceremonies. Congratulations and best wishes to this week's graduates.

Finally, on Saturday I had the pleasure of taking in a performance of High School Musical at Humboldt Collegiate Institute. The performance was truly an amazing spectacle and the staff and crew did an inspiring job of bringing it all to life. I want to take this opportunity to thank the students for their tremendous efforts and thank Glenda Lees, Shawna Meyers and the other staff and volunteers for facilitating the opportunity for our students to showcase their remarkable talents.

Have a great week, everyone.


-Kevin


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