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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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February 2, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

February 05, 2018

I would like to begin this week by extending a welcome to our new Education Minister, the Honourable Gordon Wyant. In addition to serving as Education Minister, Minister Wyant will also be serving as Deputy Premier. I look forward to continuing our work with the Ministry, supporting learning and success for students and families, with advocacy from our new Minister.

Saturday, January 27, was Family Literacy Day. Schools and classrooms across Horizon have held activities and events to recognize the day, and I want to thank each of our staff members for that work. I also want to thank our families for ensuring students are reading at home and that reading is both encouraged and celebrated. As we know, research shows that 100% of children with supportive homes and access to effective instruction will achieve their reading goals. We also know that success in literacy is a foundation for all future learning success. With the literacy growth we have enjoyed in Horizon in recent years, I am proud of this collaborative effort between our teachers, support staff, administrators, Literacy Team, and families. Nobel peace-prize winner and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan talked about literacy as well as anyone ever could. He stated, “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity…everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”

Departmental exams wrapped up this past Tuesday. I want to once again thank our students for their diligence and commitment to studies in preparing for these assessments. I also want to thank our teachers and support staff for their dedication in preparing our students. With the first half of the school year now behind us, I look forward to the coming months and many more opportunities for our students and staff to prove why we are all so proud to be a part of Horizon School Division.

As Wednesday was a non-instructional day with our students away from classrooms, many of our school staffs across the system took the opportunity to engage in team building activities, professional development or planning for the new semester.

Wednesday was also “Bell Let’s Talk Day”. I am thankful that people across Canada use this day to destigmatize mental illness and instead, engage in discussions about resources available for anyone who may be in need of support. I want to take this opportunity to remind any of our students or staff reading this that you can contact your school principal or our division office to access the resources and/or professionals we have in place for this reason. You are never alone and it is never a bad time to reach out for support.

Finally, I want congratulate Rick Hamel, principal of Rose Valley School and Eagle fans across Horizon on their first ever Super Bowl win. Beating arguably the best quarterback and head coach in NFL history is no easy accomplishment and I’m sure for Rick and all Eagle fans, it was an enjoyable finish to an extraordinary season. There is no question that the underdog prevailed. It took a growth mindset for the Eagles to prevail…the same kind of mindset necessary for success in learning. As “greatness advocate” and award winning author, Dr. Assegid Habtewold states, “A winning mindset can transform an underdog into a champion, conqueror, and achiever. [We’re] a mindset away from winning [our] battles!”

Have a great week, everyone.

- Kevin

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

Kevin.garinger@horizonsd.ca