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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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April 21, 2017 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

April 24, 2017

"Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again." --Gustav Mahler

With the Easter Break now behind us, the final months of the school year are fast approaching. I hope you had a relaxing break and found time to spend with friends and loved ones. As relaxing as the break has been, it is great to have our students, teachers and support staff back in our schools and classrooms.     

My week began last Tuesday in a meeting with the Chief and Council of Day Star First Nation and a number of our Board Trustees. Board Chair, Jim Hack, Vice Chair, Wil Lengyel, Trustees, Paul Crow-Buffalo, Jolene Koopman, Albert Pinacie, and Sheryl Kayseas represented our Board at the meeting. Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman, Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, Supervisor of Student Services, Jason Neville and Supervisor of Literacy & Early Learning Services, Katherine Oviatt joined us from central office. We enjoy a positive, productive relationship with our First Nations partners, and Day Star is certainly no exception. Led by Paul, we spent the day discussing the important work we are doing relative to all three of our goals and discussed ways in which we can improve the learning opportunities for our Day Star students attending school in Punnichy. Crandall and Jason shared information related to our ROSE process and Darrell and Katherine were able to take some time to share results in literacy and early learning. This led to an important discussion of our future state and how we can work together to continue to realize the successes we desire for our kids.  

On Wednesday, I joined a teleconference with the Education Governance Renewal (EGR) Organizational Staffing and Design Team. Although I cannot get into the specifics of the work of the committee, the opportunity to provide leadership into a direction for the province for all 28 school divisions is certainly a privilege I do not take lightly.

My Senior Leadership Team (SLT) held a daylong meeting on Wednesday of last week to continue our work around the development of our 2017-18 budget. In this challenging fiscal year for our province, it is critical that we provide our Board with as many options as possible regarding next year’s budget.

On Thursday and Friday, I had the chance to lead a number of our central office staff through 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training, taking advantage of the fact that we had a window of time with our school staffs and students away for the break. The 7 Habits has taken root in Horizon and I have had people from other school divisions share their interest in the work our school division is doing in the 7 Habits. As the author of the 7 Habits, Dr. Stephen R. Covey states, “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny”. Dr. Covey argues that our destinies are not predetermined. In fact, he believes we make choices that affect our paradigms (our worldviews) and that lead us to achieving the results we want to realize in our lives. As more and more staff become trained in the 7 Habits, there is an increased potential that this learning will also influence our students. On Tuesday at Student Day, this work comes full circle as children from Bruno School, whose staff has been trained and is committed to establishing a “Leader in Me” school, will share their present learning experiences to students from all 42 schools in Horizon and Englefeld.

Early Friday morning, I spoke with CJVR of Melfort, who were interested in Horizon’s upcoming Holocaust Symposium. As always, it is great that our local media helps to share news about the numerous learning opportunities we have in our system. We are fortunate to be offering this powerful symposium for our students and I know it will be well received by nearly 600 students and staff on Monday.

I had the pleasure of witnessing a number of our Horizon students competing in various age categories at the Sask Volleyball Provincial Championships this weekend. As always, our student athletes have done all of us proud. I want to congratulate all the athletes for their outstanding sportsmanship and thank the coaches who made this opportunity possible for these volleyball enthusiasts. I am also pleased to announce that the latest provincial champions in the Division 1 14 and Under Girls category, hail from Lanigan. The athletes were mainly from the communities of Wynyard and Lanigan and were coached by Lanigan Central High School teacher, Barb Klapak and Wynyard Composite High School grade 12 student, Noelle Proznick.

Finally, the upcoming week is shaping up to be a busy one for Horizon School Division, with our third annual Holocaust Symposium, our fifth annual Student Day, and our advance polls in the Subdivision 5 by-election. We will also be offering a presentation by Dr. Alec Couros of the University of Regina on Tuesday evening, for our division’s community members and families. Alec’s presentation entitled, “Raising the Selfie Generation”, is geared towards our parents/caregivers and our staff and provides tips and tools to help adults and children navigate our digital world. The session will be hosted at the Humboldt Uniplex Curling Rink on Tuesday, April 25, beginning at 6:30 PM. If you are unable to attend in-person, we will also be livestreaming the presentation on  

Have a great week, everyone. Welcome back!

- Kevin

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