There is a saying familiar to many that “it takes a whole village to raise a child”. In Education, this is the absolute truth. There are so many individuals and organizations that commit their daily efforts to contributing positively to strengthen public school education and most importantly, the lives of our children.

While I sincerely believe the efforts of these organizations and individuals are selfless, performed with the genuine interest in sincerely making a difference, I also believe that recognition for their work is necessary.

Later this week, my Public School Boards’ Association colleagues and I will be honouring a number of these worthy individuals and organizations at our Annual General Meeting. In recognizing these significant contributions, the Association is “celebrating that which is unique, valuable and attractive about Public School Education”.

For me personally, this is about “taking time to smell the roses”. I am so excited to applaud these award winners and hope you all take the time to as well.

Please join me in congratulating Cenovus Energy, Dr. Kristopher Wells, HOPE Mission, Dawn Sigumoto , Hawkins Media and South Peace News for their unwavering commitment and support for children and public school education!

With gratitude,

Arlene

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MEDIA RELEASES FOR AWARD RECIPIENTS: 
 

High Prairie School Division: Local Media Gives Voice to Public School Education

High Prairie School Division: Hawkins Media Connects School Division with Twenty-first Century Learners & Stakeholders

St. Albert Public Schools: Dr. Kris Wells Recipient of Provincial Award

Palliser Regional Schools: Sugimoto: A Voice for Public School Education

Medicine Hat School District No. 76: Cenovus Recognized for Significant Investmentin Youth Literacy

Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools: Hope Mission Recognized for their Unwavering Support to Local Students


About Arlene: Arlene Hrynyk serves as the President of the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta. She is unwavering in her commitment to always put Children First and is guided by the words of  Dr. Haley Simons who says, "children are worth our life's blood to fight for."  Connect with Arlene on Twitter.

I have been following, with much interest, the recent debate and discussion surrounding the development of policy to support LGTBQ students and staff of a separate school system.   My interest is largely because, I believe, as an individual elected by the Public, to make important decisions for children, it is my job to stay in the know regarding all social and educational matters.

You can also appreciate that this topic is now at the centre of many conversations.  I have personally received many calls and questions from those who know me as a strong advocate for children, families and community, and as a long serving, locally elected Trustee for public school education.  I appreciate the views that have been shared with me for they assist me in performing my role.

The one thing that is astoundingly clear to me, is the lack of understanding regarding LGTBQ issues, as well as the difference between publicly funded and public education. In a blog post, written by separate school Trustee Patricia Grell, a clearer understanding of this is expressed. 

It is critical that at all times, we are listening to our public and that they know their voice is necessary and valued by their public school board. 

I also know that we simply cannot please everyone in our decisions, however our ultimate priority and concern must always be based on what is best for our children.

In saying that, we must challenge ourselves to grow our understanding of each and every matter.  We must set aside our personal opinions to ensure at the very minimum, our actions are reflective of supporting and protecting our youth, while modelling the values that will strengthen our society long after our period of influence.

We may not always agree on matters, but we must always do what is right for our children. Our children are watching and they are counting on us.

-Arlene


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About Arlene: Arlene Hrynyk serves as the President of the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta. She is unwavering in her commitment to always put Children First and is guided by the words of  Dr. Haley Simons who says, "children are worth our life's blood to fight for."  Connect with Arlene on Twitter.

Welcome back!

For many, September means harvesting the crops, pulling out the garden and the changing colours of the leaves, but for us in Education, September means the time of year when our wonderful children enter the doors of our schools… but we’re sure there’s a slightly different perspective coming from each of us who are impacted by the back-to-school “season.”

For students, September means finding the perfect, stylish pair of non-marking running shoes, being pulled out of bed before 9AM, and looking at a perfectly organized locker (which we all know, can only last for so long).

For the adults in our students’ lives, it means searching for the dreaded school supply list, ensuring your child is registered in their new school and finding that unexplainably expensive calculator that your high-school student needs.

For school personnel, September means cleaning buses and organizing pick up routes, planning lessons and timetables, and preparing for the most precious assets our earth holds to enter back into our lives, and into our care.

To every Albertan family and to each and every human who has devoted their time to making a difference in the lives of our children, welcome back to school! 

I can’t wait to see the wonderful learning and passion this school year will bring and I’m also incredibly excited to bring you along on my journey this school year through this blog. 

Keep smiling, 

Arlene