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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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September 15, 2017 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

September 19, 2017

This past week was extremely challenging for so many of us. When we lose someone close to us, the hurt elicits feelings related to grief and, for some, feelings related to trauma. Although Ricky Block’s funeral on Thursday may bring a level of closure, it will never change the fact that an important member of our Horizon family will never walk our halls or share in the joy he, as much as anyone, knew one can only truly get from being in the greatest profession in the world…education. I have talked often about the power of community. The level of support that is evidenced during this challenging time will continue to be necessary in order to help each other reach acceptance. So many of you put your fellow man in front of yourselves and you gave everything you had to help leading up to our loss, during our loss and after our loss. You were students, family, staff, and friends who have and will continue to support each other and for that, we are all fortunate.

This same level of support will be necessary for so many others who have experienced loss. I want to send our deepest condolences on behalf of everyone in Horizon School Division to the family and friends of Horizon parent, Heidi Clay, who lost her battle with cancer. I ask for your thoughts and/or prayers for Heidi’s children and her family and friends who are dealing with this incredible loss. Finally, I also wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of the young child who died tragically in Saskatoon this past week. This heartbreaking accident has touched everyone in our province and beyond, and our thoughts and/or prayers are with every child and adult impacted.

Throughout the past week, work moved forward and on the evenings of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I held volleyball referee clinics in Wynyard, Humboldt, Kelvington and Watrous. Having received my level 3 certification as a volleyball referee last year, I have been able to lead the training for new and aspiring officials. With the recent announcement that students are able to receive a high school credit by completing their level 2 by the end of grade 12, my hope is that interested youth take advantage of this opportunity. Hosting level 1 clinics is the start point for this potential credit attainment and I’m grateful to be able to support our students, our programs and our athletic district in this way.

On Tuesday morning, I joined a conference call with my fellow Directors of Education and personnel from the Ministry of Education in order to review and discuss recent legislative amendments to the Education Act. For your information, the amendments can be viewed on the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan website, here.

Horizon’s Board of Education held their regular meeting for the month of September this past Wednesday. Among a number of other important items, the Board reviewed amendments to the Education Act, heard reports from the Board’s Governance Committee and Celebration Day Committee, discussed driver’s education and talked about the progress of our central office administration facility project. This was yet another smooth and productive meeting, with our Board working passionately for Horizon’s students and staff. The Board also took time to remember the contributions to children, staff and families by Ricky Block, a very fitting tribute and one which exemplifies the deep commitment and personal concern our trustees hold for our teachers and everyone in the Horizon family.

Members of the Provincial Leadership Team (PLT) of Directors and Ministry personnel held a teleconference on Friday morning to discuss the upcoming PLT meeting and data wall walk that will be taking place in Saskatoon on September 21. It is critical to the success of our education sector that each of our school divisions has an opportunity to share and review data, and to ensure we have the opportunity to discuss that data. As an outcome owner on the PLT, I recognize the work that goes into compiling this data and sharing it with our provincial personnel.   

Finally, I want to share a brief story that speaks to the amazing effect our children have on community. Hannah, a young student at HPS has been raising money by selling “Lemonade for a Cause”, in order to support children who are hospitalized and unable to go trick or treating during the Halloween season. As well, any excess funds raised are going to purchase books for the children’s hospital. There are so many of these stories across our system and I know our world will remain in great hands when we see our children so committed to supporting those less fortunate than themselves.

Have a great week, everyone.

- Kevin

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