Turn the Page

Good Monday Morning!

Admittedly, and certainly, much to do with the significant amount of time I spend driving our Northwestern Ontario highways, dirt roads and even waterways, I also get to listen to music while in my truck. If you have ever driven between Savant Lake and Pickle Lake (if you haven’t you should at least once!!), you will discover that losing CBC as a radio signal is not just a possibility, it’s predictable. So, Sirius XM radio channels are not only helpful but honestly, necessary. And while the number of times I sing alone and along with tunes from one of my favourite channels “Classic Rewind” in my truck will remain my little secret, I often find hearing certain songs trigger thoughts and reflection. Last week, while driving back to Kenora, a favourite for many, Bob Seger came on the air; and with him the memorable chords of “Turn The Page”.

Those of you that have read my thoughts from the past few years, might recall that it is not uncommon for me to make references to particular songs that I have heard, both current and historical. Sometimes it’s because of the song’s meaning, or the video that accompanies the music, and sometimes it’s the emotions and time-stamp coming from the artist. But last week I listened to Bob Seger…

On a long and lonesome highway…You can listen to the engine…But your thoughts will soon be wandering…The way they always do…”

Now I have paraphrased the lyrics, as most of them aren’t appropriate for the purpose of this blog, nor have I ever been “East of Omaha…” although that might be something interesting and cool to do someday. However, I did find these lines appropriate both given the context of my driving alone, and for the time and place we are in.

At midnight, last Friday night, the 2014-2018 Board of Trustees ceased to exist with their term expiring, and the Board’s governance team dissolved. As required by the Education Act, we must swear in an incoming Board within seven days of the new Trustee’s term; this means December 1st of this year (or this past Saturday). As a direct result, our Inaugural Meeting means the KPDSB will see the swearing in of our new Board, the election of a new Chair, and the setting of all new official Board committees. This is all to occur Tuesday night quickly after 7:00 PM, and with it, we usher in a new chapter of the history of the KPDSB and begin a new era. If you add to this, that our current KPDSB long-term Strategic Plan (2013-2018, rev. 2016) will also expire on December 31st of this year, we have even more change. And then, the reality that a new Government is settling in in Ontario and becoming adjusted to governing and making policy and directional changes; well, then we have a lot of moving pieces. In essence, we are at a point in our history of the Board where we will “Turn The Page.”

However, these changes, these new moving parts in our midst, and this new era also represent much cause for enthusiasm, for optimism, and for a recalibration of who we are in KPDSB. More specifically, what our core goals are (which by necessity mean we need to reflect on what we stand for), what does it mean to put kids first, and ultimately how do we know we are actually true to our vision statement (see below)?? Over the next 4-8 weeks, stakeholders far and wide will be asked to submit their thoughts about who we are.  It will be important to ask all staff, families, elders, chiefs, community members, business partners, post-secondary partners, certainly the Trustees…and the kids, our students, what future they see for the KPDSB?

I have often stated without bashfulness that my pride in our Board and our schools and staff knows no bounds and is seemingly ceaseless in reach. This organization is strong and vibrant. It is innovative, youthful and full of ideas and energy; it is all of these things that will provide assured influence in determining the Board’s next Strategic Plan 2018-2023, and what it will stand for. Please get involved, and make your mark, leave an imprint on who we are and who we will be in the future….and in the process be part of the KPDSB turning the page.

Take care, and enjoy the festive spirit that December in schools can only bring!!