Living Waters Catholic Schools Board is pleased to welcome back Darrell Ghostkeeper and Florence Gladue from Slave Lake, Gemma Christie (Vice Chair) from Edson and Irene Sawyer from Whitecourt.  As we accept Tammy Kennedy’s resignation as a Trustee representing our Edson Ward, the Board would like to welcome our newest Edson trustee, Eva Kuefler, acclaimed in the October 2018 by- election.  The Board looks forward to working with Eva and hearing her insight on education.  With the by-election and organizational meeting behind us, the Board is ready to get to work ensuring the needs of all students in the division are being met.

The Board determined that for the Division to move forward, it was prudent they develop Guiding Principles for their decision making:

Primary Principle:

  1. We will honor our Catholic tradition in all the decisions we make; we will model the way.

Complimentary Principles:

  1. We will ensure resources will be used to maximize student learning.
  2. We will ensure respectful relationships with our stakeholders through consultation.
  3. We will be transparent and open when communicating information.
  4. We will provide all budget facts.
  5. We will engage in priority-based budgeting; we will honor defined aspects of site-based and centralized decision making.
  6. We will continuously examine our initiatives, practices, and procedures to ensure they support our goals.
  7. We will continuously strive to achieve efficiencies as a Division.
  8. We will make evidence-informed decisions.
  9. We will ensure student success through attraction, development and retention of quality people.
  10. We will ensure health and safety for our students and staff.

With these guiding principles in mind, at the annual Board evaluation, the Board decided to focus on the following areas of emphasis for the Division in the 2018/2019 school year:

1. Continued Focus on Catholic values and Faith Development – We are a Catholic School Division, a focus on Catholic values and faith development needs to be at the core of what we do.  Everything we do for Catholic Education flows out from our Faith.

2. Enhance and refine student engagement processes – First and foremost we recognize that we are here for the students and as such we need to engage with them and hear from them.

3. Review the Vision Statement for the Division – Currently, “Transforming the educational experience in our schools through high yield instructional practices and relevant, engaging and inspirational relationships based on Catholic ethics,” is the vision statement for the Division.  To align with the changes in Education and in meeting the needs of all students, the Board will focus on creating a clear and concise vision to articulate what the Division would like to achieve over time.

4. Support Blueprint 5.0 – Through the outlined core beliefs, strategic planning and action areas, a 20/20 Vision on student learning is the focus that the Board will be supporting to ensure administrators, teachers, and support staff are collaboratively meeting the needs of all students, as they continue on their learning paths into the future.

5. Review the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls For Action (in Education) to determine specific actions for the Board to consider in fostering reconciliation – Our teachers, through curriculum and professional development are educating themselves and our students in a variety of areas concerning First Nation, Metis and Inuit history and culture. What are the key areas for the Board to implement, beyond the Blanket Exercise and Treaty Acknowledgements before meetings that will have meaningful and impactful effects on education in our Division?  This is the question the Board is going to try and answer as it examines the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Educational Calls for Action.

The Living Waters Board of Trustees are in a unique leadership position where we are entrusted to make responsible, fiduciary decisions that are in the best interest of the Division as a whole.  This can be a challenge with three separate and distinct communities with diverse needs. As such, we call on God to help guide our work, guide our decision making and direct our talents so that we may listen attentively to those we encounter and find the strength and courage we need to face the challenges before us and to make those tough, and sometimes unpopular decisions; choose what’s right over what’s easy. 

The Board of Living Waters is here to serve, protect, nurture and rightly guide, through good governance and in the Catholic Faith, all staff and students in our schools. Here in Living Waters Catholic Schools, our goal is that every child who enters our doors will graduate successfully from a faith-filled, safe and caring environment prepared for future success.

Dana Kentner
Board Chair

“…Whoever wants to be a leader among you, must be your servant…”         Matthew 20:26