Randy Givogue Goes Extra Mile
This amazing teacher at Thousand Islands Secondary School (TISS) is being honoured for his work as convener for the first annual Upper Canada Cup Cross Country Championships.
A veteran teacher with the high school, Givogue was the point man for the October 30 championships which attracted 1,200 athletes to Memorial Park in Brockville from schools across the Upper Canada District School Board. The outstanding cross country meet used the Sportstats chip timing system, giving competitors almost instantaneous results.
Givogue is a father of three, who coached the TISS high school cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams from 1999 to 2012. This year, he will coach the intermediate cross country teams as well as the intermediate indoor and outdoor track teams. He has been co-convener for 13 years for the TISS cross country and track meets with TISS teachers Jack Weststrate and Karen Kennedy.
In the summer, the 42-year-old Cornwall native coaches U-14 soccer in Prescott. He is a member of the OFSAA Cross Country Sports Advisory Committee, the EOSSAA Track Sports Advisory Committee, and EOSSAA Cross Country Sports Advisory Committee.
For ensuring the success of the first annual Upper Canada Cup Cross Country Championships, the Upper Canada District School Board is proud to induct Givoque into the Director’s Extra Mile Club.
Spotlight on Students
Today, I wish to shine a spotlight on the November 12 visit by Dr. Eva Olsson to Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School (CCVS). This is the third time I have seen Dr. Olsson and she continues to help us improve our attitude towards indifference, intolerance and hatred. Olsson is a Holocaust survivor who witnessed the terrors of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.
In her presentation, she touched our hearts but sent a very clear message to our souls that love is not the opposite of hatred. In fact, love is the opposite of indifference. CCVS Principal Trish Brown and I wanted the school community to address a serious issue with graffiti. As a result of Dr. Olsson’s presentation, CCVS has come out the other side as a stronger, healthier and more balanced school community.
Dr. Olsson’s presentation was witnessed by more than 200 students. Some were in tears and later came up and thanked her for her message. The people who genuinely listened and engaged intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually with Dr. Olsson left as better people.
Remembrance Day in Gananoque
I spent part of Remembrance Day at Gananoque Secondary School (GSS) attending that school’s memorial celebration. The event was organized by art teacher Judy Belanger and music and art teacher Robyn Ableson. It was purposeful, reflective and meaningful for all those who attended. The short speech on remembrance made by Captain Colin McConnell, a staff officer at the Royal Military College and father of two GSS students, connected everyone in the gymnasium to our glorious history as a nation of doing the right thing for people around the world.
When the student trumpeter played the last post, everyone in attendance knew they had just been involved in something very, very special. I was proud of the GSS students and staff and was so pleased I had gone to that high school for the ceremony.
Recently, I was listening to a radio call-in show. During the show, a number of guests had expressed the opinion that Remembrance Day should be a national holiday. Before I could call in, a young lady phoned the show and said if it was a national holiday students would treat it as a day off school. The way it is now, they are in school and are being taught invaluable lessons about Canada’s contributions to freedom, the value of remembrance and the great Canadian culture of service. I couldn’t agree more with that young lady’s argument.
New Policy Review Planned
On November 11, I led a meeting to discuss how we will review board policies and procedures and our compliance with those policies. I will work with the senior team during Strategic Council sessions to review all of the policies of the board over the next several months.
Meeting with Hockey Academy Representatives
On November 12, I met with our partners in the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland. We have a partnership with the academy in which we provide professional teachers to staff the college, and they provide the training for hockey. It is an exciting partnership, but like any new partnership, there are always struggles that we are working together to solve. The partnership is not only giving us insight about hockey academies, but is also providing a great deal of knowledge about the workings of public-private partnerships.
Meeting about Sports Dome for Prescott
On November 13, I met with South Grenville District High School (SGDHS) Principal Sandy McInnes and Craig Cullen, director of public works for the Town of Prescott. The session, held at Prescott Town Hall, discussed the possibility of another private-public partnership. We are examining the potential of building a domed athletic field on the grounds of SGDHS. The recent session was an exploratory meeting that went very well. Now we must have further meetings involving the trustees and the mayor of Prescott to determine potential opportunities that a public-private partnership would bring to SGDHS and the communities in the Prescott area.
Director Attends BCI Hall of Excellence Ceremony
On November 16, I attended the Brockville Collegiate Institute (BCI) Hall of Excellence ceremony at the invitation of Principal Bill Loshaw. Thanks so much to Principal Loshaw for the invitation. It was a real joy watching the Grades 9-11 students accept their subject awards.
Senior Team Retreat
On November 18 and 19, I supervised a two-day review of all CREW charters during a retreat with the senior team in Perth. We discussed the success of our current CREW charters, the potential for introducing new ones, as well as how current charters can be improved.
Director’s Job Evaluation on November 20
On November 20, I met trustees and a consultant hired by the Board for my 360-degree job evaluation. The results were humbling and I continue to be grateful for the support of the trustees and the people with whom I work.
Review of 2013 United Way of Leeds-Grenville Campaign
As you are all aware, I am the co-chair of the 2013 United Way of Leeds-Grenville campaign. The campaign committee members meet every Thursday morning to work on the campaign and monitor our progress. On November 21, we spent 2 ½ hours reviewing the campaign and its initiatives to determine how close we are to our $1.07-million goal and what other activities we need to sponsor to reach that objective.
I am pleased to say that in United Way campaigns across our jurisdiction, the Upper Canada District School Board is playing an important role in their success.
Dinner with Principal Brenda Beaudette
On November 21, I attended a dinner with a select group of colleagues to thank former principal of continuous school improvement Brenda Beaudette for her impressive work in the portfolio. I wanted to thank this valued employee for her contributions in that role to our Character Always! initiative, the expansion of the Link Crew program to all of our high schools, and her work with the strategic planning process. The dinner, held at the McIntosh Country Inn in Morrisburg, was also attended by Acting Manager of Communications Terry Davies and Principal of Continuous School Improvement Terry Gardiner. Congratulations to Brenda in her new role as principal at North Dundas District High School.