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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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May 19, 2017 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

May 23, 2017

I hope everyone had a fantastic Victoria Day long weekend and had a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having. For many, this weekend represents an unofficial start of the summer season, with activities like fishing, camping, hiking and barbeques. I hope each of you had a relaxing few days with friends and loved ones.

Before I get into the business of this past week, I would like to share two celebration items from St. Brieux School. Earlier this month, students from St. Brieux attended the Youth Business Excellence Awards (YBEX) in Tisdale, Sask., and students came away with 14 awards for their business proposals. These students, including Lerence Baba, Jaymark Cortez, Ellaine Malaban, Alfrenz Vicente, Maicaella Mendoza, Bobbi Bedard, Paige Daubenfeld, Jonalen Redita, Genka Susanoo, Tessa Thomas, Marin Schaab and Aquielle Thorlakson, should all be extremely proud, as I know each of us are, of their accomplishments. You can read more about these outstanding achievements here.

I would also like to congratulate St. Brieux student, Jude Derla, whose black and white Remembrance Day poster received first in the Zone, District and Provincial levels. The Royal Canadian Legion submitted Jude's poster into the National “Never Such Innocence” art competition, where he won 2nd place. Jude will receive 100 pounds sterling, publication in the 2016/17 winners booklet and in the Children's Centenary Legacy Book, a personalized certificate of commendation and an invitation to the prestigious awards ceremony taking place at the Guard's Chapel in Wellington, London, England. Congratulations, Jude!

Our central office was joined by internal auditors from Meyers Norris Penny (MNP), who were conducting the interim audit for Horizon School Division on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. I would like to thank them and my staff for helping to ensure that this process has run smoothly for another year.

Students, staff, parents/caregivers and community members joined Horizon’s Review of School Effectiveness (ROSE) Team at Wadena Elementary School on Monday, May 15, to take part in that school’s ROSE event. We were also joined by George Gordon Education Centre Principal, Jocelyne Armbruster, Three Lakes School Principal, Trevor Otsig, Watrous Elementary School Vice Principal, Rhonda Hardy, Wynyard Elementary School Principal, Jeff Fisher and Lanigan Elementary School Vice Principal, Brad Knudsen. I would like to thank each of the organizers of this ROSE event, including Wadena Elementary Principal, Miles Johnson, and his staff, Horizon’s Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, Coordinator of Learning Services, Jan Paproski and Supervisor of Student Services, Jason Neville. I would also like to thank our participants within the school and community for sharing their feedback. This data will help us make the incredible school environment at Wadena Elementary even better in the future.

On Tuesday, Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman and I met with Kenda Thimms of MNP to discuss this year’s audit. Our meeting was an opportunity to go over the finer details of the audit and ensure they (auditors) had everything they needed for the upcoming audit in the early fall.

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, my direct reports took part in my annual evaluation, lead by facilitator, Dr. Leroy Sloan. I would like to thank them for taking time to give their feedback, and once again, thanks to Dr. Sloan for conducting this evaluation.

The Educational Governance Review “Organizational Staffing and Design” team met via teleconference on Wednesday. Our work continues to establish the processes that will see a contracted resource review compensation of managers and senior staff as well as to continue a review of Board member compensation.

Also on Wednesday, my Director’s Leadership Team (DLT) of school administrators came together in Humboldt for a day of professional development. The day began with Cory Popoff, Principal at Humboldt Collegiate Institute, sharing about our work around assessment. Cory has been working with teachers from across Horizon on the number strand from grades 1-9 and together, they have developed and vetted common assessments that will be used by all teachers beginning the 2017-18 school year. We then completed our book study of Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” which I had been leading our administrators through. I have appreciated the dialogue that has stemmed form the in-depth look at Collins’ work and the introspective and retrospective result of this study. Five of our DLT members shared passionately about their own school’s “Good to Great” journeys, including Janice Fansher, Principal of Lanigan Elementary School, Miles Johnson, Principal of Wadena Elementary, Lianne Borstmayer, Principal of Bruno School and Terry Leibel, Principal of Wynyard Composite High School (Ryan Pederson, Vice Principal of Wynyard joined Terry). We finished the day with group discussions and debriefs relative to the budget and provincial landscape. It was a great day of learning and sharing and I would like to thank everyone for their engagement.

Following the DLT PD sessions, I travelled to Englefeld for the Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division (EPSSD) Board meeting. As always, I was joined in this meeting by our Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman and Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt. We had the opportunity to discuss a number of items, including a staffing update, the work of the Educational Governance Review teams, and the 2017-18 budget.

The latest Celebration Day Lunch took place at Wynyard Elementary School on Thursday. I had the pleasure of joining this lunch, along with our Board Chair, Jim Hack and Trustees, Paul Crow-Buffalo, Jolene Koopman and our newest trustee, Lori-Anne Proznick. This was the first Board function that Ms. Proznick has been a part of since her by-election earlier this month, and it was a great way to begin her term as Trustee for Subdivision 5. Thank you to principal, Jeff Fisher and the students and staff of Wynyard Elementary for making this lunch a fantastic experience for all of us.

Following lunch in Wynyard, I joined a teleconference with the Ministry of Education to discuss the 3.5% reduction target that the government has set for public sector employees. Joining us on the call was Deputy Premier and Education Minister, Don Morgan, Finance Minister, Kevin Doherty, and the Deputy Minister of Education’s office. As you may have heard, our Deputy Minister, Ms. Julie MacRae, will be retiring at the end of this month. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Julie for her outstanding career in support of students and the education sector, and wish her all the best for a happy retirement. Following the meeting, I travelled to Foam Lake to meet with principal, Nevin Halyk and vice-principal, Graham Ferrell before heading back to Humboldt.

As Friday was a Day in Lieu for Horizon schools, our students and school staff had an early start to the long weekend. I spent the day in both the north and south office, preparing documentation for our upcoming Board budget meeting and our senior leadership team evaluations.

Friday evening, I had the opportunity to travel to Regina and officiate Canadian U15 Open Volleyball Championships on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I am always grateful for the opportunity to give back to athletes, coaches and volleyball, in general. While there, I saw Mr. Dave Holinaty, trustee for Horizon, who was watching his grand daughter play in the championship. It was great to see Dave and so many of the other parents, students and staff members from Horizon who attended or competed.   

Have a great week, everyone.

- Kevin

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