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

March 05, 2018

With Telemiracle 42 taking place this weekend, I want to thank our staff and students for their fundraising efforts to support this very worthwhile cause. I also want to acknowledge everyone from our Horizon communities who took part in the telethon. Telemiracle is an event that shows the true spirit of Saskatchewan, supporting those in need and being there for one another in our province. I am extremely proud that students, staff, and families across Horizon show their generosity and support for this event each year. As author JF Anstead so eloquently put it, “Helping others is the oxygen of paradise”.

Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) review meetings continued this past week. I joined Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, and Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, in visiting schools and meeting with administrators to discuss the development and progress of their LIPs. The main focus of discussion was to review mid-year running records and to discuss graduation rates in high schools.  

This past Wednesday, students, staff and others in organizations across Saskatchewan recognized Red Cross Pink Day. It is a day for us to wear pink as a visual reminder of our ongoing dedication to anti-bullying initiatives and programs. It is also an opportunity for our schools to make their commitment to this work known to students and communities through activities and events. I always enjoy seeing people across our system showing their support for this day, wearing pink and standing up to bullying. As a reminder for our staff, it is important to share that there are resources in place to help students if they are experiencing bullying. It is imperative to remind them that they can and should reach out to a staff member in their school or speak to another trusted adult for support. The I Am Stronger program is also a great resource for students, linking to the Report Bullying SK Student Online Reporting Tool and is available if they prefer to report a case of bullying anonymously. Finally, it is also important to teach our children that they need to be “upstanders”, rather than bystanders. As the famed human rights activist Desmond Tutu stated, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”.

Wednesday was also the day of our Review of School Effectiveness (ROSE) event at Humboldt Public School. I want to begin by thanking Humboldt Public School Principal, Clayton Parobec, and his staff. Their work to prepare for our visit is much appreciated. I would also like to thank our ROSE team of Crandall Hrynkiw, Darrell Paproski, Superintendent of Human Resources, Todd Gjevre, Supervisor of Student Services, Jason Neville, Supervisor of Literacy & Early Learning, Katherine Oviatt and Coordinator of Learning Services, Jan Paproski. Although Jan was unable to join us for the event, she was very involved in the planning and organization, as always. Thank you also goes out to the administrators visiting from other schools: Principals Miles Johnson, John Casavant, Jeff Stroeder, Michele Presber, Janice Fansher, and Vice Principal David Millette. Lastly, thanks to the staff, students, families, and community members for their invaluable feedback. The data gathered through this event will be a great benefit to Horizon and to HPS staff, aiding us on our journey from good to great. 

LIP reviews continued on Thursday morning. On Thursday afternoon, I met with members of the Following Their Voices (FTV) Priority Action Team, for a meeting at central office. Randy Fox, retired Director of Education with Living Sky School Division, and Following Their Voices Facilitators, Crissy Sutherland and Pauline McKay travelled to Horizon to meet with us and discuss Horizon’s involvement in this critical program. We were joined in this meeting by Crandall Hrynkiw, Coordinator of First Nations & Métis Education, Lester Gardiner, and Communication Services Officer, Lance Hiltz. Teacher and Following Their Voices Facilitator in Raymore School, Dustin Hubick,  joined us via Skype. This is the third year of FTV in Raymore School, and our meeting was an opportunity to discuss the program, how it will move forward and how we may be able to utilize the resources of FTV in other schools.

The Brier is going on in our province and I am aware of the opportunity that aspiring student athletes will have to attend this event. Of course, Horizon’s own Muyres’ brothers and their father (Lyle is their coach) are once again representing Saskatchewan. We certainly wish Dallan and Kirk all the best in their pursuit of a Canadian championship.

Finally this week, I am happy to inform you that we are once again congratulating Horizon’s Coordinator of Student Activities, Brian Grest, on his well-deserved recognition. Mr. Grest was recently named Citizen of the Year for his invaluable contributions to the community of Humboldt. You will recall Mr. Grest also recently received the Canada 150 Medal for his years of community-minded work. Congratulations, Brian.

Have a great week, everyone.

- Kevin

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