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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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January 19, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

January 22, 2018

To begin "This Week", I led a meeting Monday morning with my Director's Leadership Team (DLT) via Skype. The DLT consists of all Principals, Vice-Principals, Coordinators, Supervisors, Superintendents, and Deputy Director. This was our first meeting of 2018 and we had an opportunity to discuss important opportunities in our system for the coming weeks and months. Among our discussion topics was a reminder for principals to share with their school communities about this year's Wall of Fame nominations. The deadline for 2018 Wall of Fame nominations is January 31 and I would remind all staff and stakeholders that the nomination form (and our past inductees) are on Horizon's website at: Horizon's Wall of Fame is a fantastic way to celebrate the illustrious graduates from Horizon schools, honour the staff that helped set these students on a path toward success, and honour the current staff who are preparing our future Horizon Wall of Famers.  

Following the DLT Skype meeting, my Senior Leadership Team (SLT) met for the remainder of the morning and most of the afternoon. The SLT is made up of Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman, Deputy Director, Randy MacLEAN, Superintendent of Human Resource Services, Todd Gjevre, Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw and Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt. The support and insights of SLT members inform many of the administrative aspects of our system and I greatly value their time and input.

On Tuesday, I met with representatives of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4799, including president, Marie Moore. Horizon and CUPE enjoy a very positive and productive relationship, and this meeting was, as Dr. Covey teaches us in the 7 Habits, to "seek to understand" and, where necessary, to "shift our paradigms". I am grateful for the opportunity I have to meet with Marie and I thank her for the shared commitment to the needs of our CUPE employees.

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Joseph Hoffer of Sask Central Colony. Our meeting, which stretched into the late afternoon, focused on the needs of Sask Central Hutterian School and the numerous ways Horizon continues to support the school. Joseph is a Minister and German teacher at the Colony and he took the time to take me around some of his newest construction. Of course, it was also an opportunity to see my students and their teacher/principal. However, Donna Von Hagen and other principals were in Meadow Lake taking their Level 1 Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) training so I got to meet one of our important substitute teachers, along with the students. Interesting that there are currently two Hutterite Colonies in Horizon School Division as this is a small number in relation to other school divisions. Sun West School Division has 17 Hutterian Schools and Chinook School Division has the most in the province of Saskatchewan, and the most I have ever heard in a school division, at 32!

If you tuned in to Global Saskatoon News at 6:00PM last Wednesday evening, you may have seen students from Lanigan Elementary School during the weather segment. Thanks to Grade 6 teacher, Mr. Chernishenko and principal, Ms. Janice Fansher, students heard a presentation from Meteorologist, Peter Quinlan. Mr. Quinlan shared a presentation about weather forecasting and various weather phenomenon in Saskatchewan. He also talked about the job of a meteorologist, sharing behind-the-scenes information and photos from the newsroom. I would like to thank Mr. Quinlan and Global Saskatoon for their visit. If you missed the news on Wednesday, you can see our students in the weather segment posted to the Global Saskatoon website, here:

The Education Governance Review (EGR): Organizational Staffing and Design Team held a face-to-face meeting in Regina on Thursday. The objective of the sector's EGR teams varies from reviewing the current division boundaries to finding sector-wide efficiencies for the sector to looking closely at the staffing and organizational structure of Saskatchewan school divisions, including reviewing compensation for trustees and senior officials. As you may or may not be aware, a report was prepared for my committee by Knibbs and Associates relative to our mandate and we are in the process of finalizing the review of the report for the ministry. While I was in Regina, LeRoy School performed their rendition of the hit musical "Grease". The packed house was treated to an absolutely amazing performance by our students. I always appreciate the opportunity to attend these staff and community led performances and I thank principal, Annette Zentner for the invitation to my office. 

On Friday, Marilyn Flaman and I had a meeting with Ministry of Education personnel to discuss Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division and their impending amalgamation with Horizon. As we move toward the end of the 2017-18 school year, plans are being actualized in support of the amalgamation in order that it is as seamless as possible for the students, the staff, and the community of Englefeld. I appreciate the Ministry's support in this work. As with anything we do, collaboration will be key to our success.

Finally, as I shared last week, the calendar "vote" has been sent to staff and School Community Councils (through school principals). By the end of the weekend, we were already at 449 votes with one week to go! This is a tremendous response in this first week, but still a little less than 40% of the potential vote. Our goal of 500 votes is almost surely to be eclipsed and, on behalf of the Board, I want to thank each of you for your willingness to be part of this important process. Once again, if you have questions or need the link resent, please don't hesitate to contact my office.

Have a great week, everyone.

- Kevin

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