This Week in Horizon » June, 2024

June, 2024

A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education
 
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Good morning, Horizon. I hope you had a relaxing weekend. 


I want to begin by sharing a cute story that happened at one of our schools while I was involved in LIP meetings. A little boy was standing in front of one of our schools waiting for a ride so he could go home. I was interested in why he was standing there so I went up to him, stuck out my hand and said, “I am Mr Garinger, what is your name?” He replied very kindly to my request and shared his name and shook my hand. I then asked him why he was outside. He shared, “I have pink eye so I am going home”. I responded in a kind way stating that I hope it goes away soon so he can feel better and get back to school. We then exchanged some last words as his ride showed up and I went inside making sure I did what I needed so as not to spread the virus. Moments like these are such important reminders of the good work our staff does to ensure our children are cared for and valued. I think about how staff across Horizon would have reacted and I know it would have been similar to my reaction. In challenging times like we are facing this week, we need to remember that there is stress, and we need to always remember that our reactions, both positive and negative, will impact our children positively or negatively. 


I want to share a quote from leadership expert and author of “Start with Why” Simon Sinek that really resonates with me: “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” This quote is a powerful reminder of why we come to work every day. A deep belief in the potential of every student drives our commitment to education. It's not just about the lessons we teach, but about our impact on their lives and futures. Thank you for all you do to support our students and for embodying our shared vision and continuing to remember your “why.” 


Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) Job Action

The STF announced work-to-rule sanctions last week, and we have been working with schools and reaching out to parents, caregivers, and community members to ensure that our students will be safe and looked after over the noon break. We appreciate the support and continue to hope that an agreement can be reached soon.


Directors’ Leadership Team

We began the week with a virtual meeting where we discussed both the wrap-up of this school year, including scholarships and retirements, as well as planning for the 2024-25 school year. We also took the time to dig into the processes necessary to address recent job actions including expectations regarding graduations. 


As I have shared in a recent letter that hopefully provided some clear directions regarding graduation expectations, if you have any questions or concerns resulting from that mandate, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. We look forward to joining you in support of our graduating students and thank you for the same. 


Learning Improvement Plans

We continued with the second of two Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) review meetings for the 2023-24 school year. Superintendents Jacquie Bergerman, Trish Maxwell, Bryan McNabb, Terry Leibel, and I appreciate the excellent work that has gone into these plans by school community councils, staff, and administrators. 


Last week, we met with administrators from Wakaw, Bruno, Humboldt Collegiate, New Horizon Hutterian, Wynyard Elementary, Wynyard Composite, Lakeside Colony, Watson, Englefeld, Punnichy Community High, Punnichy Elementary Community, George Gordon Education Centre, and Raymore schools.


Governance

We held our quarterly Joint Operations Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon with representatives from Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, with whom we oversee operations at Humboldt Collegiate Institute. Trustees Linda Mattock (Committee Chair) and Dr Cheryl Vertefeuille were in attendance along with staff including CFO Sarah Reding, COO Justin Arendt, Superintendent of Human Resources Cory Popoff, and myself. We joined Greater Saskatoon’s Trustees Sharon Zakreski-Werbicki and Wayne Stus, along with Director of Education François Rivard, CFO Joel Lloyd, and Superintendent of Education Terri Fradette. Senior administration has done some important work on recreating the Joint Administration Agreement to align it to the practices within the school. It will be reviewed by the Boards with hopes of it being ratified shortly. 


Public Schools of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s Public Section annual general meeting and professional development event on Thursday evening and Friday were highly engaging and informative, offering valuable insights and networking opportunities for attendees from across the province. Public Schools of Saskatchewan represents 16 public school divisions and serves as a voice of advocacy for public education, ensuring that the needs and interests of public education are well-represented and upheld.


I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Muenster School and the Headstrong team who won a Citizenship award from Public Schools of Saskatchewan. Minister Jeremy Cockrill and Senator David Arnott were in attendance to both say a few words and to present the prestigious award to the school. Our student representatives did an outstanding job of representing their school and school division during their acceptance speech and throughout the event. It was a very proud moment for Muenster School, the Board and the Director. Congratulations!

  

Athletics

Horizon had an excellent showing at the SHSAA provincial track & field championships this past weekend - congratulations to the many athletes who competed! Of course, thank you to the coaches, families, and cheering sections who were there along the way. Finally, congratulations also go to athletes who medaled, and special mention to Hailee Woodhouse from Schell School who was the Junior Girls MVP and Bronze MVP overall!


Have a great week, everyone.  


-Kevin


Kevin C. Garinger B.Ed., M.A.Ed., Ed.D. (Candidate)

Director of Education/CEO

Horizon School Division No. 205

[email protected]

@kevingaringer

Good morning, Horizon!


I must admit, like many, I am so grateful sanctions are over for this year. I know there will be continued challenges until a collective agreement is reached, but the impact on children, youth, families, and staff is unquestioned when sanctions exist. I remain hopeful that this will be the end of the sanction process for this CBA. I suppose time will tell. 


Author Mark Yarnell said, “A leader is someone who demonstrates what’s possible.” These words resonate deeply as we reflect on the incredible efforts and achievements of our team this year. Each one of you has exemplified leadership, showing our students, parents, and the community what is possible through dedication, creativity, and resilience.


Learning Improvement Plans

We wrapped up the second of two Learning Improvement Plan review meetings for the 2023-24 school year. Again, Superintendents Jacquie Bergerman, Trish Maxwell, Bryan McNabb, Terry Leibel, and I appreciate the great work that SCCs, staff, and administrators have put into these plans. 


We visited Archerwill, Rose Valley, Kelvington High, Robert Melrose Elementary, Quill Lake, LeRoy, Lakeside Hutterian, Humboldt Public, Ituna, Foam Lake Elementary, Foam Lake Composite, Wadena Elementary, Wadena Composite, and Cudworth schools.


Governance

Board Chair Linda Mattock, Vice Chair Mark Fedak, CFO Sarah Reding, COO Justin Arendt, Executive Assistant Marni Sogge, Communications Officer Jesse Green, and I met on Tuesday afternoon to prepare for this week’s regular Board meeting. It is the last board meeting of the 2023-24 school year and we are saying an early goodbye to Mr Doug Armbruster. Doug and his family, including wife and math coach Jocelyn and their son and Horizon student Celyn, are moving to Regina at the end of June. Doug has been an excellent trustee and strong voice for students across Horizon. We will miss him at the Board table and wish him and his family continued success in their next adventure. 


Horizon Teachers’ Association (HTA) Superannuation Banquet

Trustee Jennifer Lemky and I were honoured to celebrate retirements at the HTA superannuation banquet in Watrous on Thursday evening. To say that we will miss these educators and the many others who were unable to attend is an understatement. These dedicated professionals have not only imparted knowledge but have also provided mentorship, inspiration, and unwavering support to countless individuals over the years. Their presence in the halls, their wisdom in the classrooms, and their commitment to fostering a nurturing learning environment have been invaluable. On behalf of all of Horizon SD, our Board, and my office, THANK YOU!!


Graduations

I was able to take in Muenster, Englefeld, and Bruno Central graduation ceremonies on Friday, while Trustees and members of the Senior Leadership Team attended the many other grads that took place. It is always a pleasure to participate in these learning celebrations with our school communities, and we are extremely grateful to families and staff for their last-minute preparations to ensure that graduates are honoured. Of course, the announcement regarding sanctions ending at 4 p.m. made things easier as principals and staff were able to manage the celebrations. 


I know many have planned educational trips as we head into these last two weeks of school. Travel safely and keep my office apprised of how they go.

 

Have a great week, everyone.  


-Kevin


Kevin C. Garinger B.Ed., M.A.Ed., Ed.D. (Candidate)

Director of Education/CEO

Horizon School Division No. 205

[email protected]

@kevingaringer