COLUMN: Merry Christmas from the STAR Catholic trustee

Ponoka STAR trustee Dan Svitich speaks to Christmas and the New Year

As we continue our journey through Advent and the Christmas season, the schools in St. Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic School Division are not immune to the increase in excitement that comes hand-in-hand with the season.

Just like you, we are all balancing work with the pressures of going out and getting gifts for loved ones, children, colleagues and friends, and getting ready to celebrate the holidays. But even as we prepare for the Christmas break, and the joyous coming of our saviour Jesus Christ, we remain mindful that 2019 will continue to be busy for the division.

As a board, we sincerely value what we hear from our stakeholders, and early in the New Year we will continue those important conversations on how we can always look to improve our school division.

This conversation is part of the board’s annual three year education plan. It is formed through a consultation with our school and educational partners that helps in setting the priorities for the division. The initial part of this year’s conversation has happened. We are grateful for the response and feedback received through the recent STAR Catholic parents survey that focused on catholicity, student pressures, and communication. That feedback helps shape the conversation moving forward.

The next step is talking to our students. In early January, the board will engage with high school students on many of these same issues, as we look to dig deeper. In the past, these meetings with students have always been fruitful, and the youth are always engaged and passionate about their future and the future of their schools.

Then in February we meet with a wide-cross section of stakeholders: parents to parishioners, and students to staff to bring together a full and enriching examination of these topics. Our board finds great value in this process, as we truly know that a plan is made better through the voices of our partners.

There is a lot of work to be done in 2019, but it’s through partnerships such as these that we find peace in knowing that there is true commitment and passion for the work being carried out to serve our students, families and communities. As we approach Christmas and the New Year, the board would like to thank its students, staff, parishes, parents and all partners for your continued support in making STAR Catholic a tremendous place to seek Christ on a journey of faith, learning and love.

Please enjoy your holidays, may they be spent in the joy of your family and friends. On behalf of the Board of STAR Catholic, have a safe and Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Dan Svitich: dan.svitich@starcatholic.ab.ca is a Ponoka Trustee on the STAR Catholic Schools Division Board.

Just Posted

Notley promises extra $90M a year to reduce waits in surgery, emergency rooms

Leader says she’d keep funding specialized liaison teams so paramedics can get back to work faster

New Democrats would bring in $25 daycare if re-elected: Notley

Notley said the plan would include adding 13,000 daycare spaces

Supporters rally for Jason Kenney as UCP leader stops in Red Deer

Kenney promises equalization reform, stopping ‘Trudeau-Notley’ payroll hike, trade, economic mobility

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Rimbey RCMP need help identifying vandals

Plus, GPS in stolen vehicle helps locate it and the suspect in Red Deer

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

One person dead in head-on collision near Stettler

Stettler RCMP investigate fatal collision

One Maskwacis man arrested after gun seized on reserve

Maskwacis RCMP locate loaded handgun during search warrant

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Refugee who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong arrives in Canada

Vanessa Rodel and her seven-year-old daughter Keana arrived in Toronto this week

New UMSCA trade deal getting a boost from Trump, business groups

The trade deal is designed to supplant the North American Free Trade Agreement

Trudeau says he, Wilson-Raybould had cordial conversation last week

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred regarding SNC-Lavalin and the PMO

SNC-Lavalin backtracks on CEO’s comments surrounding potential job losses

Top boss had said protecting 9,000 jobs should grant leniency

Most Read