Welcome to 2016 and may God’s blessings be upon you this new year. I hope that you experienced Christ’s love this past Christmas and enjoyed some wonderful time with family and friends.
Starting a couple of years back, January marks the month I hold future plan meetings with all administrators in our division. I have a standard format whereby I ask three questions:
- What are your 1, 3 and 5 year career plans?
- What are three schools you would like to work at?
- Who are three leaders you would like to work with?
The purpose of this exercise is twofold. The first reason is to gain a better understanding of my administrators in order to better support their growth and development. Secondly, it assists in the major role of succession planning that I am responsible for as Chief Education Officer. Great leaders, especially at the school level are essential for the development and maintenance of innovative learning environments and as we lose administrators to other senior positions or retirement, it is critical that I am ahead of the curve whenever possible. Looking in the mirror this morning at my increasingly grey and white Christmas beard, I’m reminded that there are a number of us within Holy Spirit who will be able to retire or move onto other positions within the next five years. Succession planning for any organization but especially in school systems is of crucial importance. Please remember to take advantage of Superintendent Chat if you are considering a career move. Please remember to take advantage of Superintendent Chat if you are considering a career move.
Succession planning also leads to staffing. This year, teaching positions of known retirees will be advertised early. This will allow for internal candidates a chance for a possible transfer and will also open our doors early to our most talented education graduates. We will also begin the process of staffing our new school Blessed Mother Teresa early this year. At our December Learning Leadership Team meeting, we gathered input from our administrators on how to proceed with this process. Within the next couple of weeks, the process will be clearly communicated through the Deputy Superintendent’s office.
Obviously the staffing of all of our schools will take into account our own enrolment projections. With registration beginning on January 4th, this will provide us with some needed information about our opening enrolment at Blessed Mother Teresa and other schools throughout the system. We continue to grow in the City of Lethbridge and our rural schools contradict the normal trend in Alberta by either maintaining or increasing in student numbers. This fact speaks to the excellence we strive for in all of our schools and the positive outcomes we are able to achieve!
I’m not a great believer in New Year’s resolutions because I’m of the thought that any time is a good time to break bad habits, live better and love more but I also recognize the importance of a date to begin. So if you’ve set some goals for 2016, I wish you nothing but good luck! And finally, may the year of 2016 be a blessed year for you; one where mercy is shown to you and by you each and every day! God Bless!