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.

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