This Week in Horizon » November, 2022

November, 2022

Image of Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education for Horizon School DivisionA message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education
 
 
Kevin C. Garinger, B.Ed, M.A.Ed
Director of Education/CEO
Horizon School Division No. 205
kevin.garinger[at]horizonsd.ca
 
 
 
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A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

 

This past week, I was sick and had to work from home. As anyone who has experienced illness such as COVID-19, it can knock a person down for a lengthy period of time. If there is one thing we have learned from the pandemic, it is that we need to stay home when we are sick and I am certainly glad our staff and students have taken that to heart and work to prevent the spread of disease. 

 

As many of you know, October had a tragic ending for our Horizon community. It is with extreme sadness and deep sorrow that I am sharing the news that Mitch Washkowsky, Learning Resource Teacher at Humboldt Collegiate Institute, passed away suddenly at the age of 30. He had made a significant impact on students and staff at HCI and his loss is felt deeply. Mitch is the son of Lori Washkowsky, Assistant Superintendent of Finance Services. 

 

I feel the quote by author Anne Lamott sums up how Lori and her family, and Mitch’s closest friends feel, “You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp”. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Lori and her family and all who knew this wonderful young educator. 

 

Collaborative Learning Day

Although the first snow of the 2022-2023 winter demanded a last-minute change in plans for the October 24 Collaborative Learning Day, our team provided some excellent learning and facilitation for teachers, educational assistants, and librarians. Staff were able to participate in the Personalized Land Acknowledgement webinar by Annie Battiste of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, spend time in collaboration, and discuss and work on the development of Learning Improvement Plans. I have had the opportunity to see the LIPs already and continue to be impressed with the work of our school staff as you plan for the learning of our students. Well done!

 

School Meetings

I was able to get on the road the last week of October, travelling to  Foam Lake Composite School for a meeting with Principal Nevin Halyk before carrying on to meet with Principals Trevor Otsig and Michael Jordan at the Wynyard schools on my way back to Humboldt. I also spent time in Three Lakes School with Principal Ed Paslowski before travelling to St Brieux and visiting with Principal Jeremy Rolheiser and his staff and students. I ended this week’s travels in Lake Lenore School, spending time with staff and students and Principal Ralph Viczko. It was great to be in classrooms and see the important work that is going on. I also met a number of our students at many of these schools, including our newest students from Ukraine. There are so many things staff are doing to support them, and I had the chance to see some of the translation programs at work. Michael shared with me an exciting app that can help someone learn the Ukranian language or any other language. It’s called Duolingo. It’s free to download so go ahead and give it a try. I am still a novice but I have found it to be quite exciting. 

 

Administrators Symposium

Principals and vice-principals spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Humboldt for our annual Administrators Symposium. We focused largely on the Collaborative Response with excellent presentations and breakout sessions from the team at Jigsaw Learning. We are grateful to Kurtis and Lorna Hewson and Collette Sylvestre who did a remarkable job of challenging us to think about collaborative team structures, how we talk about student needs, and much more. 

 

We also heard from Superintendent of Human Resources, cyber security, and updates to administrative procedures, as well as an exciting presentation on Agriculture in the Classroom by our administrative assistant Sandra Hessdorfer. Sandra is available to help teachers connect their classrooms to resources, including experts in the field so feel free to talk to your principal or reach out to Sandra. As I shared before, October was Agriculture month and although the crops are in and the vast majority of farmers have been able to complete their harvest, agriculture never takes a break. I look forward to the continued work our teachers will do in support of this important learning for our students. 

 

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the amazing learning experience for our administrators, including our principals and vice-principals. I was glad to join as much of it as I could from home. 

 

Audit Committee Meeting

On Thursday, the Audit Committee met to review regular business including human resources updates, finance services updates including financial services allocations, and the board’s governance budget. At the meeting were trustees Mark Fedak (Committee Chair), Jenna Hale, James Lissinna, Albert Pinacie, Jim Hack (ex officio committee member), and Linda Mattock (ex officio committee member). Joining me from my office were CFO Sandy Gessner, and Superintendent of Human Resources Cory Popoff.

 

Well done to senior soccer athletes and coaches on an amazing season. I am always so proud to learn of the opportunities that are provided to our students through the sports and arts. Congratulations to provincial champions from Middle Lake/Lake Lenore (Girls 3A division) and Lake Lenore/Annaheim/Muenster (Boys 3A division). Congratulations as well to Cudworth/Three Lakes Boys who captured the silver medal, also in the 3A division.

 

Best of luck to our athletes this week as junior girls and boys volleyball teams vie for the district championships, and senior volleyball moves into regional finals for girls and conferences for boys. As well, our tackle football teams head into provincial gold and bronze finals. As always, a lot going on across Horizon. Have a great week everyone!

 

-Kevin

 

Kevin C. Garinger, B.Ed, M.A.Ed

Director of Education/CEO

Horizon School Division No. 205

[email protected]

 

A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

 

Welcome back from the weekend, Horizon. Thank you for sharing pictures and stories of your Indigenous Remembrance Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies - this is such an important time for our schools and communities. Larry Murray, grand president of the Royal Canadian Legion once said, “Remembrance reminds us that our nation has been through even more challenging times. Whether at war or during peace support operations, Canada’s veterans and fallen heroes alike can take comfort in our remembrance.”
 
Having had two grandfathers who fought in the 2nd world war, I have an understanding of the trauma associated with their war-time efforts. One of my grandfathers was shot in the back at Dieppe and was a prisoner of war for four years; he endured significant hardships. Both of them witness death and dying beyond anything any of us wish to imagine. As I think about them at this time, I can’t help but think about the children who are coming to us from war-torn countries around the world, like Ukraine. It is easy to understand that there will be trauma associated with their attendance. I am grateful for the excellent staff who are now in their lives to help make these transitions to Canada and our Horizon Schools extremely positive. Thank you!
Congratulations to our two HCAA 6-aside football teams that came away with provincial medals! Wakaw took silver in the 2A category and St.Brieux captured the bronze at home. Well done to all our football athletes and coaches across Horizon School Division!
 
Pan-Canadian Summit on K-12 Workplace Wellbeing
I was fortunate to attend the Pan-Canadian Summit on K-12 Workplace Wellbeing for three days last week. Superintendents Terry Leibel and Cory Popoff also joined, and we found the summit to be extremely valuable. We heard from expert speakers and collaborated on health and well being, and I know we look forward to incorporating some of the ideas into our everyday practice at Horizon.
 
Board Agenda Meeting
On Wednesday we held an agenda meeting to prepare for the annual Organizational Meeting and regular Board meeting this week. Board Chair Jim Hack and Vice-Chair Linda Mattock joined Superintendents Sandy Gessner and Justin Arendt, Executive Assistant Marni Sogge, and Communications Officer Jesse Green and me for the meeting.
 
SCC Reminder
The Board and my office look forward to our SCC Engagement session called School Community Councils 101 coming up on November 16, 2022. We look forward to virtually hosting this session for SCC committee members and principals beginning at 6:00pm.
 
Have a great week, everyone!

 

-Kevin

 

Kevin C. Garinger, B.Ed, M.A.Ed

Director of Education/CEO

Horizon School Division No. 205

[email protected]

A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

 

Yesterday was National Child Day, a chance to reflect on and celebrate the rights of children. November 20th was chosen because the United Nations adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on November 20, 1989. By signing onto the UNCRC in 1991, Canada made a commitment to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect and have every opportunity to reach their full potential. 

 

Humorist and columnist Erma Bombeck once said, “Children make your life important.” I know I’m not the only one who feels this every day. I feel so fortunate to work in education and to have a chance to contribute to our youth, and I feel even more fortunate to do so alongside such an amazing group of dedicated people at Horizon. Thank you for all that you do!

 

Website Training and Launch Date

Training for administrators and secretaries on the new website is set for Tuesday and Wednesday morning, and the launch date of the new site is scheduled for November 28. The training sessions will be virtual and there will be a recording available to those who aren’t able to attend. We expect the new website to be quite user friendly and can’t wait to see what you all think! Teachers can expect to hear from communications office Jesse Green about training for your teacher page in the near future. 

 

Saskatchewan School Board Association (SSBA) Fall General Assembly

Horizon’s Board Trustees and I joined the SSBA’s 107th Fall General Assembly in Regina last week. The theme was “Innovation, Inclusion, and Investment,” and the sessions were an excellent way to celebrate the work and leadership of the SSBA, member boards, directors, administration, teachers, staff,

and education partners and honour our collective commitment to students and learning. 

 

Trustees vote on numerous resolutions, as well as nominate and vote for their executive board. For the second term in a row, trustee Christine Gradin was elected as the central constituency rep for the executive of the SSBA. This is a great feather in the cap of Horizon’s board and certainly goes a long way to keeping our board up to speed on what is happening at the provincial level. Congratulations Christine! And congratulations also goes out to trustee Doug Armbruster, who was elected as the backup to Christine. 

 

Christmas Hampers

It’s that time of year again! Our Board’s Christmas Hamper project is in full swing and donations of cash, personal hygiene items, blankets, and winter clothing (toques, mitts, scarves, and socks) are graciously accepted. The Horizon School Division Board of Education will match all cash donations up to $5,000, and tax receipts will be issued to anyone wishing to contribute..

 

If you are interested in making a donation through a payroll deduction, please contact Todd Gunther, Supervisor of Payroll Services. Any cash donations can be forwarded to Marni Sogge.

 

When we first started this program in 2014, we sent hampers to 98 children in 46 families. Since then, the program has grown considerably and last year we sent hampers to 404 children in 149 families. This year we anticipate having over 150 families with well over 400 children receiving support. We would not be able to continue this project without your generosity so I want to thank our staff, SCCs, and community groups for your continued support of this important program. I also think it is important to recognize donations we have received from other staff and community organizations, and I will share more about their incredible generosity in the upcoming weeks. Thank you again, everyone. Our children are so fortunate to benefit from those who are so willing to give. 

 

November Board Meeting and Organizational Meeting 

We met for our regular board meeting and annual organizational meeting. We are pleased to welcome Jim Hack and Linda Mattock back as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, and look forward to another excellent year. A full look at November’s board meeting will be made available in From the Board, and meeting minutes will be published online following the December meeting. 

 

SCC Virtual Workshop

On Wednesday evening, we invited School Community Councils to gather at their individual schools for an evening workshop. It was wonderful to have so many groups and individual SCC members participate in the evening. The innovation and support that our SCCs offer Horizon Schools has such a positive impact on the education of our children. To every parent and community member who volunteers their time to enhance their children’s school experience – thank you! We all benefit from your involvement. I want to also thank our trustees and everyone who contributed to this excellent event! 

 

Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) meetings

It’s also the season for Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) meetings - something I thoroughly enjoy. We meet with administrators twice a year to review their school plans and it is always so encouraging to hear about the great things happening at the school level. Last week Superintendent Bryan McNabb and I visited Punnichy Community High, Punnichy Elementary Community, George Gordon Education Centre, and Raymore schools. 

 

Métis Nation of Saskatchewan

Superintendent Bryan McNabb joined other leaders from Saskatchewan school divisions for a check-in meeting with the Métis Nation. As you are likely aware, Horizon is in the process of hiring a Métis coach to support Michif language and culture in our schools. The Métis Nation of Saskatchewan is funding this opportunity for a teacher to move into this role. If you know someone who may be interested, please let my office know.

 

Provincial Girls Volleyball

Congratulations to our girls’ volleyball athletes and coaches across our system on an excellent season. Horizon had excellent representation at this weekend’s girls’ provincial tournaments with six of our teams making it to the final championship of the SHSAA season. 

 

I acted as the referee in chief for the 1A provincial in Rose Valley and was proud to welcome the student-athletes to our system on behalf of trustee Jim Lissinna and to the communities of Rose Valley and Wadena. The parent, student, and community volunteers at both schools did an absolutely fantastic job organizing the event. 

 

I want to take the opportunity to congratulate the Rose Valley Roadrunners, who won the 1A Girls Provincial Champions for the 6th time in a row! Also, congratulations to the Lanigan Lazers who are the 3A Girls Provincial Champions! Well done to both teams! Congratulations also to LeRoy (1A), Wakaw (2A), Watrous (3A), and Humboldt Collegiate (4A) on representing Horizon so very well at the provincials this weekend. Finally, congratulations to all the athletes who competed and enjoyed the opportunity to participate with their peers in girls’ volleyball over this past season. I don’t say this enough, but a huge thank you to the families, coaches, and volunteers who are the support system and cheerleaders of these amazing kids.  

 

Have a great week, everyone!  

 

-Kevin

 

Kevin C. Garinger, B.Ed, M.A.Ed

Director of Education/CEO

Horizon School Division No. 205

[email protected]

A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

 

I hope you all were able to spend time enjoying your family over the weekend. After a busy week, I was able to spend time with my son and his family, including one of my favourite humans - my granddaughter. Spending time with family is so important and I feel grateful that I got this time with them. As Canadian actor Michael J. Fox once said, “Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.”


Christmas Hampers
Thank you for spreading the word about the hamper project - requests are up from last year and donations aren’t quite as high as they have been, so every bit of exposure helps! I can’t say enough about how valuable this project is for those who are less fortunate. It is pretty amazing that we get to support more than 400 children this year again. Thank you to each of you for your support of the Board’s program.

Directors’ Meeting
I joined Directors of Education from across Saskatchewan on Monday afternoon to discuss matters concerning provincial school divisions. Immediately following our meeting, we had the opportunity to meet with the Deputy Minister and her office to discuss significant matters such as centralized online learning. More information will be provided to our Horizon staff and Board once a more formalized plan is in place. As we have run our own distance learning for many years, this will be a major change for our system and one that will require some further preparation and planning.

Provincial Education Plan Implementation Team (PEPIT) Meeting
Superintendent of Learning Trish Maxwell and I attended the provincial PEPIT meeting in Regina on Tuesday and Wednesday. The objectives of the meeting were to review and prioritize feedback on the draft actions, measures and targets for the long-term PEP.
 
LEADS Executive Board Meeting
I joined the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents (LEADS) executive for our board meeting on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. As president of the organization, I work closely with our executive director Ben Grebinski and president-elect Jason Young to set the agenda and take the board through the agenda.

SSBA/STF Duty to Accommodate Workshop
Following the Thursday morning meeting, I slipped over to the professional learning opportunity put on jointly by the SSBA and STF regarding Duty to Accommodate. Superintendent of HR Cory Popoff and Manager Monica Arendt were also in attendance. Lawyers from SSBA and STF did a tremendous job of taking HR Superintendents, Managers, and Directors through numerous case studies that provided an excellent understanding of how to address the often common needs of employees and employers.

Provincial Boys Volleyball
Congratulations to our boys volleyball athletes and coaches on an excellent season. Horizon was represented at this weekend’s boys provincial 1A tournament by Annaheim/Lake Lenore Schools and Englefeld School. A special congratulations goes out to Annaheim/Lake Lenore who finished with the silver medal.

Congratulations to all senior boys teams on a remarkable season, as well to our junior teams whose seasons wrapped up earlier in the month. Great job to the Lanigan School junior girls and LeRoy School’s junior boys who are Horizon Central Athletics Association (HCAA) District Champs, as well to Wadena Elementary’s junior B girls and Humboldt Public School’s junior B boys who each took silver in districts.

Have a great week, everyone! 

 

-Kevin

 

Kevin C. Garinger, B.Ed, M.A.Ed

Director of Education/CEO

Horizon School Division No. 205

[email protected]