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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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June 17, 2016 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

August 08, 2016

I recently came across a powerful quote from an unknown author, which reads: “A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.” As educators, we certainly know this to be true and in our personal lives, we learn this through our fathers. I would like to begin this week by saying that I hope all dads across Horizon had a very happy Father’s Day spent with loved ones.  

First thing Monday morning, I joined a meeting of the Board’s Audit Committee led by chairperson, Denis Bergerman and comprised of trustees Albert Pinacie, Murray Proznick and Wil Lengyel. Deputy Director/CFO, Lionel Diederichs and Superintendent of Finance Services, Marilyn Flaman joined me as we discussed the quarterly reports of our school division followed by a meeting with our auditor, Meyers Norris Penny (MNP). Following the meeting, I visited Humboldt Public School (HPS) to read with teacher, Ian Elliot’s grade 8 students for “Celebrity Reader Monday”, part of HPS Read for the Summer Week. The school held the event to inspire students to read over the summer and several members of the Humboldt and area community were involved in reading with their students. Later in the afternoon, Katherine Oviatt, Supervisor of Literacy and Early Learning Services read with the Kindergarten classroom. I want to thank principal, Dave Hill and his staff for putting on the worthwhile event.

While at HPS, Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw and I met with HPS administrators for a review of their Learning Improvement Plan. This was one of our final LIP review meetings of the year. We have seen remarkable work through these meetings and it is extremely encouraging to know that our school staff and administrators are passionate and committed to constantly improving the learning experiences we provide for our students. 

On Monday afternoon, we held our Horizon Teachers’ Association (HTA) Liaison meeting at central office. In addition to a number of important discussion topics relating to our critical partnership with the HTA, we held an official signing of the new LINC Agreement. The agreement was ratified by HTA and our Board the end of May and we are very happy to have the contract in place beginning August 24. Everyone involved in our negotiations should be extremely proud of their work to bring this together as it will most definitely benefit our system. The new LINC Agreement can be found on our website or by clicking on this link. We wrapped up our meeting in time to join our annual HTA, Board and Senior Leadership supper. The event is always a positive way for us to celebrate the work of the past year and to strengthen relationships with our professional staff.

Following our HTA supper, I travelled to Holdfast to join in the Schell School Awards Night celebration. I greatly appreciated the invitation to be a part of their celebration of student success and I would once again like to offer my congratulations to this year’s award recipients.

I found myself in Saskatoon for much of the remainder of the week. On Tuesday, a meeting with the Directors from across Saskatchewan was held at the head office of Saskatoon Public School Division. In the afternoon, Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski and Katherine Oviatt joined the meeting to present on the upcoming Literacy Summit to be held in Saskatoon in October. The Provincial Leadership Team (PLT), made up of my fellow Directors both from provincial school divisions and First Nation authorities along with representatives from the Ministry of Education, met on Wednesday. The meeting included a data wall walk where we were able to see a visual representation of data and results from across our sector. Such reviews are great for giving us a broad view of the work going on across the province and for recognizing where more work is needed.

At central office, a Senior Science Workshop was held for our educators on Wednesday and a Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) “review” meeting was held on Thursday. Wednesday’s workshop provided an opportunity for our science teaching staff to review resources for the new curriculum that is soon to be implemented. The LIP meeting was held with central office administrators and school principals as a result of a recognized need to improve upon the document used in our schools. Currently, the LIP development process is conducted in schools through the leadership of principals and with teachers providing input. However, in order for it to better serve the needs of the staff, we are considering a new and improved document template. I would like to thank Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw and his team for their work facilitating both days.

On Thursday, I began the morning at Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division meeting with the Deputy Minister of Education, Julie MacRae, Assistant Deputy Ministers’, Donna Johnson and Clint Repski and other Directors from across the province. We spent time discussing a number of items with the ministry including the nature of the “Transformational Change” agenda. At this time, I don’t have a lot more to share than to say that transformational change will come but what it looks like is still yet to be determined. I then joined Lionel, Marilyn and our Board Chair, Jim Hack in a meeting with the provincial Board Chairs’ Council for the rest of the day. We were led through a final review of the provincial funding process facilitated by Dan Perrins and his committee of Directors (CEOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs). Later that evening, while Board Chairs were meeting with the executive of the Saskatchewan School Boards’ Association, Lionel, Marilyn and I met with all other CEOs and CFOs as well as the executive of the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents (LEADS) and the Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO) in another speculative discussion regarding the Transformational Change in Saskatchewan.

On Friday, I held an early morning meeting with Crandall discussing our current Learning Services model in Horizon. Crandall then travelled to Wakaw to join trustee, David Holinaty in a charity event for one of our students, Sarah Biccum, who has been battling cancer. I thank Crandall and Dave for attending and although I was not able to be with the school and community and this worthwhile event, my thoughts and the thoughts of everyone across Horizon were and continue to be with Sarah and her family. Jim, Lionel, Marilyn Flaman and I then joined a meeting with Minister Morgan and Minister Doherty for a budget follow-up meeting and even further discussion related to the potential of change in Saskatchewan Education. 

Friday afternoon, Deputy Director, Randy MacLEAN represented my office at Englefeld School for a retirement celebration for Janice Clavelle. Janice has been with EPSSD for 18 years and was among the original staff when the separate school division was formed. I was not able to attend this celebration due to our budget meeting but I am grateful that Randy was able to be there and share a message on my behalf and that of the Board.

Friday evening, I had the opportunity to join Subdivision 5 Trustee, Murray Proznick in LeRoy at the graduation ceremony of the class of 2016. It was a great evening and I would like to extend my congratulations and best wishes to the three young women and man who are winding down their high school careers.

On Saturday afternoon, I took the opportunity to join Cory Popoff, Shaun Gardiner, Jacquie Bergerman and their staff at Colony Chev and Buick “Drive for HCI”. A number of supportive community members got behind the wheel of a Colony vehicle in support of the school and its programs. I had the chance to drive the new Chevy Camaro and can attest that it is not only beautiful to look at, it’s pretty amazing to handle. I travelled to Nokomis Saturday evening, joining a number of friends and colleagues of Ken and Terri Koenig who are retiring at the end of the year. Terri is a teacher at Nokomis School Ken is the outgoing Principal and both have had remarkable careers serving their students. They will be deeply missed in Horizon and I want to take this opportunity to wish them and all of our retirees across Horizon School Division the very best in the next chapter of their lives.        

Have a great week, everyone.


-Kevin


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