2012 archive

Opening Message to Staff

Good morning and welcome back. It is good to be with you again and I hope that you experienced the same rest and relaxation that I had over the summer. I would really like to thank Bishop Henry & all of our clergy here today for celebrating with us. Your presence reminds us of the …

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Time for Action

Last week, I participated in our annual summer conference in beautiful Waterton Parks National Park. This event brings together senior administrators from 10 school divisions in southern Alberta as well as representatives from Alberta Education, CASS, ASBOA, ASBA and ASCA. It signals the beginning of the school year for us and provides an excellent opportunity …

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Olympic lessons for education

Great holiday timing and superb coverage by the Canadian media has allowed me to watch the Summer Olympics on an almost daily basis. Although I’m more familiar with some sports than others, I enjoy watching all of the different competitions. Much to the chagrin of my wife, I try and watch all of them simultaneously, …

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Leadership Lessons

I began my leadership career as a brash and cocky 29 year old back in 1991. As a new vice principal in High Prairie, holding a  fresh graduate degree, I thought I knew it all. Fortunately, I had a wonderful principal and mentor who took the time to guide me through the beginning of my leadership journey. …

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Renewing public confidence in education

There is no doubt that public education in North America is under attack. The lack of confidence is more pronounced south of the border than here in Canada. But even so, everybody has an opinion on education and more often than not a ready-made solution for our ills. Just because you attended school or you are …

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Fail Forward

During my opening address to staff last year I termed the phrase “Fail Forward” as a way to promote an environment of risk taking and culture of transformation. Although I was fairly confident in my own definition of the phrase, I erred in not fully understanding the potentially negative connotation of it.  Failure is not a word that …

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Act, Dream & Believe

This past Friday I addressed the graduates of St. Mary School in Taber. Enclosed is the short message I delivered that evening. Enjoy!    Good Evening Ladies & Gentlemen, honored guests and graduates of 2012. It is always an honor to bring greetings on behalf of the division at graduation ceremonies. And coming back to Taber brings such …

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Evolving Practice

I was struck by a conversation I was involved in with our leadership program participants last week. We began to reminisce about the teachers who had taught us and some of the practices that were considered the “norm” in those days! Each of us could recount many examples of those teachers who made such a positive …

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Don’t forget to celebrate!

The school year in Alberta is coming to a close and it will coincide with my first year of blogging anniversary. What began as a desire to simply communicate from the my office has developed into an almost weekly personal education reflection. Upon reviewing my yearly blog posts, I would suggest that the vast majority …

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Where lies the enemy?

There is considerable finger pointing in our world today. We’ve replaced responsibility with accountability. Too often, society is quick to blame somebody or something else for their own woes. This really struck a chord a couple of weeks ago when I was involved in a Twitter chat that blamed everything beyond themselves. Even trying to …

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