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Nov 30

Chris Smeaton

From the Desk of the Superintendent- December 2011

It is hard to believe that 2011 is coming to a close and soon we will be ushering in a new year. Although we still have the entire month of December, it will fly by before we know it. When I look back at 2011, I am proud of the many accomplishments of our students and staff. Whether it be their involvement in a fine arts production, an athletic event or volunteering they make Holy Spirit what it is today: “A Christ-centered learning community where students are cherished and achieve their potential.” 

The November board meeting tends to be fairly financial in nature. The Board of Trustees finalized the final budget and received and approved the audited financial statements. These decisions made by the Board demonstrated the commitment to their values. As an example of this commitment, the Board recommended that  the entire money received by the provincial government be allocated to staff in schools. This amounted to 5.65 FTE teaching positions, 1.5 FTE educational assistants and 1.0 FTE FNMI Support Worker. Furthermore, an additional 1.15 FTE teaching position will be hired to help further support students. This is an investment of nearly $800,000.00 into our classrooms. The Board also approved the combined 3-year Education Plan/Annual Education Results Report that is subsequently forwarded to Alberta Education. For further information on the Board meeting please refer to the Board Meeting Briefs.

Our schools are well involved in December with Christmas plays, concerts and other activities. It is a busy time for the schools and I want to acknowledge and thank our staff for the countless hours they put in to making these events special for the students and parents. I try to make it to many of the concerts as I thoroughly enjoy watching the many talents of our students. So many of my fondest memories of my own children, now adults, come from the activities they participated in the school.

Looking out the window today, it is not hard to believe that we are approaching Christmas. The fresh snowfall should remind us of a new beginning. Yet, all I could think about this morning was the cold, the poor driving conditions and, did I mention the cold! But then I spent some time with students at St. Paul and my thinking radically changed. You see, all they could think about was the wonder of snowflakes and all the fun activities they were going to be able to do in the snow. Perspective! Those children knew that this snowfall meant a new beginning and they welcomed it with open arms. Our Catholic faith has a new beginning at this time of year as we commence the Advent Season. It is a beginning that we need to look upon with hopes, dreams and possibilities. We need to look at this preparation for coming of the Lord’s birth with the eyes of a little child. And if we do, we won’t see the cold but instead the warmth of God’s love and His wonder.

May God Bless you and your family with a joyous Advent Season.

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