Aug 27

Chris Smeaton

From the Desk of the Superintendent- August 2017

The summer is quickly coming to an end and this week we welcome back staff officially on Wednesday and administrators (LLT) tomorrow. Our first Learning Leadership Team is always characterized with a fair amount of “need to know” information preparing our leaders for the first staff meeting and first day of school. But it would not be typical if we didn’t incorporate professional learning into our meeting and this year we will be spending the afternoon with assessment guru, Dr. Thomas Guskey. His presentation is entitled, Beyond Assessments For Learning: Assessments That Improve Learning and it should affirm our practice in Holy Spirit where data is used to improve instruction and assure parents of high quality learning rather than simple accountability and compliance. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Guskey speak a couple of times at major conferences but am looking forward to this smaller and more intimate setting. If you are interested here is a quick article, “Starting the School Year Right” for your reading pleasure.

Even after 32 years in education, I’m always excited at the start of a new school year. There is a comfort in understanding the culture and the direction of the division and knowing so many of the high quality staff that make up Holy Spirit. But there is also great excitement as we welcome new staff and build on our existing practices for continuous improvement. It is those innovative practices, out of box thinking and creative ideas from all staff that always fosters great enthusiasm.

I’m certainly anticipating a great start to the year with our Spiritual Development Day featuring David Wells. This is a return visit for David and so many of you have heard him, but his message is so powerful (and quite comical) that one could listen to him multiple times without tiring. This past year David presented at both SPICE and Blueprints and his message on Pope’s Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (Latin: The Joy of Love) was both moving and uplifting. His presentation will set us up well as we begin Year 2 of our faith plan, Growing in Spirit”. I’ll provide more context on our faith plan during my opening address on Thursday.

2017-18 will be our second year as well of our Three Year Continuous Improvement Plan. Our priorities remain unchanged with a continued focus on the following:

  1. Staff and students will grow in their faith and experience the richness of Catholic Education.
  2. All students will develop literacy and numeracy skills that will prepare them for a changing future.
  3. First Nations, Metis and Inuit students will achieve equitable educational outcomes.

While the goals are consistent throughout the division, individual schools will continue to personalize them to best fit their context. This process, which we have honed over a number of years, has the strength of an overarching framework (Division Priorities) combined with the flexibility within our schools to develop strategies that meet their individual needs. The result allows for focused resource allocation to support creative ideas and innovative practice. Add the fact, that our schools work together as collaborative teams rather than competitive sites. This provides our schools with the ability to prototype and evaluate ideas and practices and then scale them up and out through the division. While this process may seem like common sense and simple, it is not necessarily a norm in school divisions across North America and is one of the reasons why we continue to excel as a system.

Finally, while the summer was busy for some and restful for others, I want to recognize that many in our midst dealt with some personal tragedies and heartache, some known but most unknown. As a reminder, please keep all of our colleagues in your prayers as they journey now and into the future. May God bless you as you begin this 2017-18 school year!

 

Jul 03

Chris Smeaton

Life’s a dance- St. Michael’s Bow Island Graduation Address

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, honoured guests and St. Michael’s Graduates of 2017.

I want to begin by thanking the graduating class for choosing a theme that has a song that I actually know and don’t have to Google to find out the words! “Life’s a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.”

Tonight, I want to focus on two key aspects from those lines in that song, learning and leadership. One of my favourite quotes on learning and one that I use often is provided by philosopher Eric Hoffer. He says,

“In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”

Why is learning so important…because we are in times of drastic change and we live in a global economy. The stats say that you will have 10-14 jobs in your lifetime and many of these jobs haven’t even been invented yet. For example, the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004. 75 billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2020 and 10 million self-driving cars will also be on the road. As a farming community, think of the technological advances in the equipment you use in your fields today as compared to even 10 years ago.

It is unrealistic and I would go as far as saying that it is arrogant to think that one can live successfully in this ever changing world without being a learner. But it is important to remember that learning opportunities come to us both formally and informally, through schooling and through life. Being a learner is not just about a destination like post-secondary, it is a life long journey. Never stop being a learner and always be open to learn from everyone you interact with. Lessons can be learned from princes and paupers.

“Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow” reminds us that great leaders do both. And boy, do we need great leaders because we are currently experiencing a leadership void in many areas of our society. Sometimes that leadership void is created because of a “greying” population. For example in Holy Spirit Catholic Schools, we could potentially lose 22 administrators in the system to retirement in the next 5 years. But often the leadership void is created not because of a lack of people in the position but rather a lack of ability to lead. Just because you can host a reality TV show and fire people doesn’t necessarily provide you with the right skills to lead.

No, if you want to lead, if you want to learn about leadership watch Pope Francis. In his book, Pope Francis Why He Leads The Way He Leads, author Chris Lowney references the Pope’s leadership by saying,

“You can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself. But you can’t lead others if you use power primarily to serve yourself and your ego. Leadership is not about you, it about the rest of us- your family, community, colleagues, or customers.” (pg 41)

In order to lead effectively you must serve others. He goes on to say,

“The new leader will sweep away the idols of self-interest and lead us toward what serves the common good, what respects all people’s rights and freedoms, and what protects our beloved children, and their children after them.” (pg 52)

Many of you have been gifted to grow up in this community and in this school where service to others and where that type of leadership is the norm. Leave St. Michael’s with that frame of leadership always in your actions. Lead for the right reasons and follow the right people!

As I close, I want to leave you with words from our Holy Father,

“We are not alone; we do not walk alone…We walk in front in order to guide the community, in the middle in order to encourage and support, and at the back so that no one lags too far behind, to keep them united.”

On behalf of the entire school division, I wish you congratulations and God’s blessings! Thank you!

 

 

Jun 30

Chris Smeaton

Learn from yesterday, live for today, dream for tomorrow- St. Mary’s Taber Graduation Address

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Honoured Guests and especially to our St. Mary’s Graduates of 2017. It is always a pleasure to attend our graduation ceremonies and bring greetings on behalf of the entire school division.

I want to speak briefly about your grad theme, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, dream for tomorrow” but I want to really focus on the scripture reading you have chosen from the Book of Esther, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” Our education system is built on learn from yesterday. Other than pre-tests, you are generally assessed on what you learned in the past. Each day your foundational knowledge builds from what you learned yesterday and those building blocks continue to grow in preparation for what you may want to do into your future. Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard says, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” There is a strong connection between what you have done in your past or what you have learned and what you do or want to dream about in the future. In the world of HR and business, we often use the statement and hire on the basis that, “the best predictor of future performance is past performance.” Your community at the school and your family and friends hope that you have learned enough from yesterday in order not only to dream of tomorrow but rather achieve tomorrow.

And that leads me to living for today and recognizing that “perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” The superficial version of living for today is carefree, with no responsibilities, and no care for anything or anyone else. It is about what is best for me and not what is best for the community. And while all of us here tonight have had moments of that superficial version of ourselves, it is not what we have been called to be or do. We have been created for today to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly. This is where we are supposed to be, at this time and in this place. The moment is now, it is tomorrow and it will be always for which you have been created.

Live for today knowing that you have been created in the image and likeness of God. Live for today not for your own greatness, not for your own sake or own benefit. Rather live for today by what St. Teresa of Calcutta says, “Do small things with great love.”  You have learned from yesterday and dreamed of tomorrow but it is what you do today, what you have been created to do each day that will make your tomorrow pleasing to God. Live your life so that you honour every moment as the moment that you have been created for.

On behalf of the entire school division, I wish you congratulations and God’s blessings! Thank you!

Jun 29

Chris Smeaton

From the Desk of the Superintendent- Year End Message

June 29th…only two more official tie days! What a year it has been. We opened a new school, St. Teresa of Calcutta; we are in the final months of our modernization of St. Michael’s in Pincher Creek and we are in the beginning stages of our modernization of St. Patrick’s in Taber. And that is just our capital projects!

We still have two more grade 12 graduations this week and so I ask for your prayers for our students at St. Mary’s Taber and St. Michael’s Bow Island. As we say good luck to our graduating students we also say goodbye to our retirees. I always love to hear their stories at the Board’s Retirement Dinner. It is a wonderful testament of deep commitment these individuals had for the students in our system. What a difference each of them made!

2016-17 was the first year of both our Three Year Education Plan and our Three Year Faith Plan. Limiting and really aligning our system to three goals for an entire three year period (as opposed to a 3-year plan done every year) has already shown great promise in our schools. The ability to focus on our faith, literacy/numeracy and First Nations, Metis and Inuit learning over a three year period allows us to really deepen our work in those areas. I felt much pride in the system when listening to our school leaders present on their continuous improvement plan progress for this year. While never perfect, the work in our schools is incredible. Some might suggest that I say that because I’m the superintendent but the evidence from our May 2017 Accountability Pillar Report confirms our excellence.

This year I’m completing my fourth year of a five year contract with the Division. Although my work is reviewed annually by the Board, their practice (and it is a good practice) is to ensure a full evaluation before going into the last year of my contract. It is part of the evidence that they use to decide on whether to offer a further contract and could be required by the Minister who actually has final authority on whether I continue as a superintendent or not. From Section 114 of the School Act:

  • If a board intends to reappoint a superintendent named in a contract referred to in subsection (1), the board shall, not less than 6 months before the contract ends, give to the Minister, in the form and containing the information required by the Minister, notice of its intention to reappoint the superintendent.
  • A reappointment of a superintendent must be for a period of not more than 5 years.
  • The Minister may approve or refuse to approve a reappointment under subsection (2), in any form the Minister considers appropriate, not more than one month after the Minister is notified under subsection (2).
  • If the Minister refuses to approve a reappointment under subsection (2), the Minister shall give the board reasons in writing for the refusal.

Since it is my intention to stay for at least a few more years this evaluation is pretty important. The evaluation includes evidence related to my job description that I collect and present to the Board of Trustees, reflections on each dimension of my work and the results of anonymous interviews with all senior and school leaders (40) by an independent consultant. Although the result was a very good evaluation, it really speaks to our system, to the people who make up Holy Spirit. We don’t continue to grow and improve because of me but rather because of us. No matter what position you hold in our system, you contribute to the excellence that is recognized locally, provincially and nationally. I extend my gratitude to our Board of Trustees, to our system and school leaders and all of our staff, students, parents and community. It continues to be an honour to work alongside all of you and I am blessed to serve Holy Spirit as Superintendent of Schools.

It is just about summer holiday time folks and so I would like to wish you the very best! Please rest and relax, visit with family and friends and don’t forget to save time for prayer and reflection. Enjoy your time away. May God continue to bless you during these next two months!

Jun 03

Chris Smeaton

From the Desk of the Superintendent- June 2017

On Friday, we had our staff retreat here at St. Basil Catholic Education Centre. Like all of our schools, we believe in the importance as a Catholic/Christian community to come together in a religious retreat format. It was a powerful day and reminded me again of the beauty to bring God into our public institutions. While many of us may take our ability to pray for granted, it is essential that we celebrate our uniqueness and continually stand up and tell our story.

In my latest article that I wrote for the Lethbridge Herald, I focused on the engagement of our stakeholders through the online process of ThoughtExchange. Participants (almost 75% being parents) described prayer, mass and liturgical celebrations and the visible signs of our faith as some key aspects that demonstrate Catholic Identity. We also asked in what ways might we strengthen our Catholic Identity? One thought that was highlighted was:

More personal example of to live as a Catholic in a challenging world. Kids are always observing and learning. Modeling from teachers, coaches, admin is important for students to see how others handle challenges.

While that comment may seem negative, we need to respond as a further call to action given the continued and even more intentional threat to Catholic Education in Alberta. Telling our story is not just about what we say but more importantly in what we do! David Wells at Blueprints challenged us all to be proud in our actions and vocal in our words that we work in publicly funded Catholic Education. A storm is brewing throughout the province and even though we are strong here in Holy Spirit Catholic Schools, we must speak with one voice and model the way!

I can’t believe that we are in June already. It seems like we just implemented the first year of our Three-Year Education Plan and we are now planning for year 2. Our school leaders reviewed their continuous improvement plans with senior administration last week and there were many successes shared in supporting our three priorities. But the honesty of the challenges shared illustrated not only a great trust amongst all members of the Learning Leadership Team but a commitment to continuous improvement. While our priorities will remain constant for the next two years, there is always a focus on how we can shift or course correct or simply change what is not working. Change to improve in many ways is standard practice within our division.

June will pass quickly with a bedlam of activities and a focus on final exams and projects. But even in this very busy time, I would ask that you step back and reflect on the many successes of the year. You’ve done good Holy Spirit staff…very good and you should be proud. Enjoy the rest of the month and soon a well deserved holiday.

God Bless!

 

Jun 02

Chris Smeaton

Stakeholder Engagement

The following article was written for and published in the Lethbridge Herald on May 31, 2017.

One of the four strategic priorities for our division is, “Stakeholders will be well engaged in the educational system.” We would like to believe that school newsletters, blogs or other social media options, press releases and school council meetings would serve the purpose and allow us to “put a check in that box.” While all of these communication strategies may be effective in delivering messages and information, they generally lack the ability to truly hear from stakeholders. We recognize the importance of teacher feedback to students yet, especially in the past, have been more reticent to open ourselves up to honest and constructive feedback from our stakeholders.

Open houses still have a place in gathering feedback, especially from our parents, and public consultations can bring together diverse voices in the community. However, in a very busy world, it is difficult for many of our stakeholders to free their schedules to participate in-person. In our division, with both urban and rural school populations, this issue is further exacerbated. Recognizing this challenge, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division has utilized an online solution called ThoughtExchange that provides our Board, senior administration and school leaders with tremendous feedback and ensures both government accountability and public assurance.

The ThoughtExchange process is simple and allows for parents, staff, students and community members to contribute. The result is that key ideas emerge that either affirm our work or indicate a need for course correction. To begin with, we ask three open ended questions:

  1. What aspects of our school life best demonstrate that we are authentically Catholic schools?
  2. What are some ways our division and school can strengthen our Catholic identity?
  3. What are some ways we might better prepare our students for a changing future?

Participants are asked to share their answers to these questions during the “Share” phase of the process. This year, a total of 1,474 distinct thoughts were generated by 778 participants. Almost 75% of these respondents were parents.

The second phase allows participants to add stars to the thoughts shared by others. Each thought can receive between one to five stars, depending on the individual’s belief in the importance of a particular thought. Over 42,500 stars were assigned during this year’s process. This “Star” phase allows the division and each school to easily see what is most important to their stakeholders. The software analyzes the starring patterns and reveals areas of interest and concern.

Final results can be viewed from both the division and individual school levels. At the public Board meeting held in May, these results were presented to the Board of Trustees. They have also been shared with our schools with an expectation that they will be reviewed at school council meetings. But, to increase the level of transparency, the final “Discover” phase, makes all of the results public and accessible through this link.

ThoughtExchange has been a tremendous resource for obtaining open and honest feedback from our stakeholders. It has allowed us to move forward, confident that our stakeholders are well engaged and supportive of the priorities of our school division.

May 14

Chris Smeaton

Take the road less travelled- St. Michael’s Pincher Creek Graduation Address

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen and a warm welcome to our St. Michael’s Graduates of 2017.

I always enjoy bringing greetings on behalf of the school division to all of our graduating classes, and today marks the first two of our four high school graduations in the division. In both of these graduations here at St. Michael’s and earlier this morning at CCH, their principals will make their final principal address. At the end of this school year, we will say good bye to Mr. Kuchison as principal of St. Michael’s. I would be hard pressed to find a stronger advocate for students than Mr. K. He cares deeply for his students and consistently strives to build positive relationships with them. This is one of his greatest gifts. And so before I bring my remarks, I offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Kuchison.

Take the road less travelled is a powerful grad theme and an excellent model of how to take on life. It does provide a dilemma though since often it is easier to follow the road more travelled. It is easier to go along with the crowd, to be silent when you should be heard and to step away instead of stepping forward. In other words, the road most travelled is safe!

It is not that your parents or your educators want you to be unsafe and reckless, but they did not raise you or educate you and God certainly didn’t create you to live a mundane existence. There has always been a challenge to you to go beyond and push yourself. We all want you to be the best versions of yourselves and that cannot come about by taking the road most travelled.

But taking the road less travelled does not mean going forward with your eyes closed in reckless abandon. It is not without thought or practice, but it is always with action. And it is this action rather than any word you speak that will demonstrate you are on the road less travelled.

The road less travelled is not about fame or fortune, an award you want or a position you covet. It is much simpler than that but also much more difficult in today’s society because the road less travelled is counter cultural. It is about making big changes in our world with small gestures; the gestures of friendship, of kindness, of compassion and of forgiveness; the giving of time and of one’s self; the act of standing up for the marginalized and lifting up the downtrodden. While we would like to believe that is common in our world, the fact is, it is a lonely road where few travel often.

In Catholic Education we are fortunate to acknowledge that Jesus is our best example of taking the road less travelled. He consistently spoke against injustice and intolerance and lived with faith and passion. And he calls us each and every day to come along on that road.

When you walk out of the doors of St. Michael’s for the last time this year, commit to taking the road less travelled. Challenge yourself to go against the flow; to speak when it is easier to be silent; to stand up when it is easier to sit down; and to give when it is easier to take. Be open and proud of your faith because that is a road less travelled! In the end, live your life so that you are a shining example for your parents, your peers and your future generations! Take the road less travelled because it is always the right road to the right destination.

On behalf of the entire school division, I wish you congratulations and God’s blessings! Thank you!

 

May 14

Chris Smeaton

Super Human Gifts- Catholic Central High School Graduation Address

Oki, Bonjour Mesdames et Monsieurs and Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen and especially to our CCH Graduates of 2017.

I always enjoy bringing greetings on behalf of the school division to all of our graduating classes, and today marks the first of four high school graduations in our division and the first of two which are held today, one in Lethbridge and one in Pincher Creek. And in both of these graduations here at Catholic Central and later this afternoon at St. Michael’s, their principals will make their last principal address. At the end of this school year, we will say good bye to Mrs. Koran as principal of CCH. She is extremely bright, has a sly sense of humour and one of the best instructional leaders that I have ever worked with. Mrs. Koran is one of the greatest advocates for CCH and to say that she bleeds Cougar blue and white would be an understatement. And so on behalf of the entire school division, I would offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes to Mrs. Koran.

Super Human Gifts is your grad theme this year. At first glance, with all of the super hero and science fiction movies out there, one might equate super human gifts to supernatural powers. But we all know that none of us have x-ray vision, can fly unassisted or simply disappear. There are no Green Lanterns, Wonder Woman or Silver Surfers around…they don’t exist. And while those are all fiction, super human gifts are quite real and live in each of us. What makes them super is our ability to use them to the fullest. In my address I want to focus on three gifts that we have inside of us, the gift to learn, the gift to love and the gift of faith.

All of us were given the gift to learn albeit at different rates and through various ways and methods. Some are book smart, some are street smart, while others can build or design and others can dream, imagine and create. We are all unique. The gift to learn does not come to an end since you are graduating high school, or once you finished post-secondary. It is a life gift and it becomes super when you use it to become the best version of yourself, be it single or married, parent or not, novice or elder. Be a learner forever in all things.

The gift of love as super human is best described in 1 Corinthians, “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Make love a super human gift, by sharing your compassion, showing mercy and building relationships.

And finally, you have been given the super human gift of faith. This may be the hardest to understand at your age and it will continue to be the most difficult to live in our secular culture. Faith in one God or Creator, belief in a higher power and acceptance that the Holy Spirit lives within you will be your greatest ally in life. Your ability to have faith will be a game changer. Your desire to live a faith filled life even through all your struggles and disappointments is a super human gift that will always protect you and lead you home.  

Take your grad theme to heart. These gifts are not supernatural; they live within you and so find your own super human gifts and grow and share them.

On behalf of the school division, I wish you the best of luck in your future and wish you God’s blessings. Thank you!

May 07

Chris Smeaton

Let the celebrations begin!

Last week’s From the Desk of the Superintendent had an almost exclusive focus on Catholic Education. The threat is still very real but after returning from another successful Blueprints Retreat, there is renewed hope because of the quality of Catholic educators throughout the province. It doesn’t hurt to spend some quality time with David Wells, who always lifts your spirits. He will be with us here in Holy Spirit to start off our 2017-18 school year and for those who have not had the pleasure to hear him, you are in for a real treat.

What I neglected in my last post, I want to address today and it centers on celebration. While we have ample opportunities to celebrate throughout the year, it seems that from the month of May forward, we ramp it up! On Monday we begin with our traditional First Nations Feather Blessing and Metis Sash Presentation Ceremony at Catholic Central High School. It is always a highlight for me to share in this tremendous honor with our aboriginal students and families. We are so blessed in our Division to have the guidance of Elder Peter Strikes With A Gun who leads this special ceremony.

Image result for peter strikes with a gun

The Feather Blessing and Metis Sash Presentation Ceremony lead into our first two high school graduations of the year. Both Catholic Central High School in Lethbridge and St. Michael’s School in Pincher Creek host their graduation masses, ceremonies and banquets this weekend. It is a little bit of driving to attend both but, so important for me to be able to bring greetings and celebrate with our graduating students and families. Please keep our students and their families in your prayers this coming week.

Last week we honored our latest Excellence in Catholic Education Award winner, Lorelie Lenaour and this week we celebrate our Edwin Parr Award nominee at a banquet in Taber. The Edwin Parr Award recognizes outstanding first year teaching. This year, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division is pleased to support Caitlyn Kasprick as our representative. Ms. Kasprick, a teacher at Father Leonard Van Tighem School  will be the toast of the evening along with other nominees from Zone 6.

On Tuesday evening, the Board of Trustees host their annual Long Service Awards. The evening begins with a mass (our Catholic tradition), followed by the awards and concludes with a social. Beginning at the 5-year mark, all staff are recognized for continuous service on five year intervals. In my travels, I’ve not witnessed a more robust long service program and so I want to congratulate the Board for their commitment to this recognition. I highlight this fact because often we believe that our norm (how we do things in Holy Spirit) is “the norm” around the province and country. I understand that not all recipients are able to attend and so for those who won’t be there I just want to thank you for your years of service and commitment to Holy Spirit Catholic School Division.

Finally, the last celebration I want to acknowledge is Mother’s Day. To my own mom, to my wife, the mother of our two grown children and to all the mothers in our communities, I want to wish you the very best. There is nothing closer to God’s unconditional love than that of the love of a mother. And so from all the daughters and sons out there we ask for God’s blessing on our mothers. May we always love them deeply, cherish their life and honor their memory.

Image result for God's blessing for mothers

May 01

Chris Smeaton

From the Desk of the Superintendent- May 2017

Blueprints starts on Tuesday evening but today and tomorrow morning, Catholic senior administrators are attending our regular meeting. We always begin with mass and today we were honoured to have Bishop McGrattan celebrate the Eucharist with us. He then joined us in our meeting to give all of us a better understanding of his leadership and direction for Catholic Education. While his approaches may be categorically different from his predecessor Bishop Henry, his commitment and support of Catholic Education is similarly, unwavering.

So let’s begin with a conversation about Catholic Education as it certainly has dominated the news of late. The rhetoric of only one publicly funded system is again becoming popular. The news out of Theodore, Saskatchewan where non-Catholic students will not be funded if attending Catholic schools beginning in 2018 adds fuel to the fire. But let us not push the panic button just this yet. The Theodore case has been in the courts for 12 years and already the Saskatchewan government is arguing it. Appeals are probable and so the question of non-Catholic families needing to leave Catholic schools is premature to say the least.

But with Catholic Education under such scrutiny, merely applying the “wait and see” strategy is likely ill-advised. Lawyers will be involved, so let them handle the legal dilemma and quite honestly we need to let the politicians deal in that arena. Our role, for those of us in the system, is simply to do what we should be doing all the time- offering the highest quality of Catholic Education in our schools each and every day! Demonstrate our uniqueness! Showcase how our faith is permeated in all that we do! Find the face of Christ in every child we serve, and in every parent and adult we meet. Be proud of how Catholic schools are fabrics of our communities and how all of us in Catholic Education play a part in God’s plan. This is not a wait and see approach but rather an intentional practice to solidify not just our constitutional right but more importantly our responsibility to the children entrusted to our care. If there is ever a time for our Catholic community to come together, it is now!

I’ve served in Catholic Education since I began my career in 1985 and there has always been a perceived threat. Maybe this threat is the same as always or maybe it is more intense. Regardless, all of us in Catholic Education, regardless of denomination need to be prepared to stand up if required. I’ve long argued that Alberta has one of the best education systems in the world in part because of publicly funded school choice and because of that, it is worth protecting!

Enjoy some spring weather and have a great May!

 

Older posts «

» Newer posts