The Power to Enrich

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Passion Inspires Action

Posted by karengirard February - 5 - 2014 1 Comment

Guest Author: Karen Girard, Career Advisor at Cochrane High School – Losing the spark for what young people love – that really WAS my story. I was a creative child – painting, sketching, and writing poetry. When I look at my work, I am amazed at how talented I was at such a young age (even if I do say so myself!). I haven’t drawn or painted in years. I  [ Read More ]

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Will You Choose To Care?

Posted by ashleylepage February - 4 - 2014 1 Comment
Global citizen

Guest Author: Ashley Lepage, Grade 8 teacher at Ralph McCall School – Last year, the Grade 7 and 8 teachers at Ralph McCall School sought to plan a project that would engage students in meaningful and authentic learning in the last couple of weeks of the school year…not exactly an easy task! The Grade 7 students participated in a project designed around environmental stewardship. In the hopes of having students  [ Read More ]

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New Beginnings With RVS

Posted by donhoium January - 7 - 2014 2 Comments

Guest Author: Don Hoium, RVS Superintendent of Schools/CEO – Dear Rocky View School Community Members, Happy New Year and best wishes for a highly successful 2014! It is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve as your Superintendent of Schools and I look forward to meeting you at our school and community events over the next several months. In Rocky View Schools, we are very fortunate to have a  [ Read More ]

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New Transitions for the New Year

Posted by susanwilliams January - 7 - 2014 1 Comment

Guest Author: Susan Williams, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources – Happy New Year Rocky View! I am pleased to extend a very warm welcome to our new Superintendent of Schools, Don Hoium. Don brings a vast array of experience and wisdom to his role as our new Superintendent and I truly look forward to working with him in the days and years ahead! A new year brings with it reflections  [ Read More ]

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Coins For Christmas

Posted by rockyviewstudent December - 17 - 2013 21 Comments

Guest Author: Sarah C, a Grade 3 student from R.J. Hawkey School – At Christmas people need to spread the joy. That’s why at R.J. Hawkey we are doing two fundraisers that will help to make other people have a very Merry Christmas. The first fundraiser is Coins for Claus. We have decorated tins for each classroom to donate money. Students scramble to check their piggybanks and ask their parents  [ Read More ]

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Fundraisers For Friends

Posted by rockyviewstudent December - 17 - 2013 4 Comments

Guest Authors: Terri Lee White, a Manachaban School teacher, and Manachaban School students – This year, one of our classes decided they wanted to do something special to help others. We have been writing to a Grade 5 class in Kabale, Uganda. We learned that they do not have computers at their school, but their teacher is able to borrow one occasionally, and we email back and forth. The Ugandan  [ Read More ]

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Empowering Students To Do Great Things

Posted by nicolatysowski December - 9 - 2013 2 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Nicola Tysowski, Teacher, Bert Church High School – Robert Frost once wrote that  “[he is] not a teacher, but an awakener.” This quotation reflects and embraces what teachers at Bert Church High School (BCHS) have been transforming into over the last few years. With the high school redesign initiative at the forefront of BCHS, grade nine teachers have embraced this idea fully as they work towards becoming  [ Read More ]

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Educational Leadership: The Next Step

Posted by fionagilbert November - 13 - 2013 0 Comment

Guest Author: Fiona Gilbert, RVS Trustee for Ward 6 – On Monday September 23rd, I put my name forward as a candidate for School Board Trustee for Rocky Views Schools (RVS).  In the four weeks leading up to the election, and the three weeks since being elected, I have been asked by many different people that all-encompassing question of “Why do you want to be a Trustee?” Sometimes, the question came  [ Read More ]

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A Whirlwind Of Learning

Posted by toddbrand November - 12 - 2013 1 Comment

Guest Author: Todd Brand, RVS Trustee for Ward 3 – It has been an insane couple of months in my life! From the time I filed my papers to submit my name as trustee candidate, through a busy month of campaigning, into election night, and then actually starting the work of a trustee… it has all been a whirlwind. Make no mistake, I am thrilled and excited, but I wish  [ Read More ]

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Developing Skills through Leadership

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 15 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Hailey, Gr. 12 student council promotions lead/secretary –I am a part of the student council at my school in the promotions / secretary position.  I can’t express how excited I am to be a part of this new opportunity with all the other students who are participating as well. I have won numerous awards that have to do with leadership, such as the Youth Volunteer Award in  [ Read More ]

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One Year to Leadership

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 15 - 2013 2 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Emma, Gr. 12 student council co-chair– It was the year my whole outlook on life changed. I went through my junior years of high school being just an ordinary kid. I only focused on sports and school, well maybe just mostly sports, and tried to fly under the radar as little as possible! It wasn’t until Grade 11 when a teacher asked me if I liked to  [ Read More ]

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Learning Politics, One Day at a Time

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 15 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Kelsey Schaefer, a Beiseker School student – An MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) is a person who is elected by Albertans to make the laws we live by. I applied to go to “MLA for a Day” based on a suggestion from a teacher. I’m not overly interested in politics but I feel it is important to be well rounded. This was the perfect chance to learn  [ Read More ]

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Embracing the “Quest” in Questioning…

Posted by suzannemartin October - 2 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Suzanne Martin, Principal, Herons Crossing – Since joining RVS just over one year ago, I have spent a great deal of time questioning my assumptions, my practice, my decisions, my beliefs, my pedagogy and more. I suppose I might always have been a reflective person, always rethinking and re-framing my thoughts and actions, but a new dimension of thought has started to emerge with my move to  [ Read More ]

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RVS Guest Author: Susan Sellan, Assistant Principal, Herons Crossing – I began my posting as a new Assistant Principal with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. A thousand questions and self-doubts raced through my head. I had come from an environment where I was highly regarded and had established many positive partnerships with other staff members. Would I be able to form those same partnerships at this new school? I  [ Read More ]

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RVS Continues to Shine

Posted by susanwilliams June - 21 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Susan Williams, Acting Superintendent of Schools – What an amazing year it’s been in Rocky View Schools! The energy and spirit of our people, combined with ‘can do’ attitudes when it comes to change and innovation, continues to lead us forward! Through the work of 1800 plus engaged employees, a team of dedicated trustees, and more than 40,000 parents who want the best learning environment possible for  [ Read More ]

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Glowing Like a Proud Father

Posted by gregbass May - 30 - 2013 2 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools – It is with a heavy heart and mixed emotions that I say goodbye to this wonderful learning organization on my last official day in RVS. It has indeed been an honor and privilege to serve our students as Superintendent of Schools for the past 6.5 years. I leave today knowing in my heart that we have moved this school system into  [ Read More ]

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RVS’ Super is Super!

Posted by dwmorris May - 30 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Dave Morris, Associate Superintendent of Learning – What has made Greg Bass a memorable Superintendent for Rocky View Schools? This week, Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) blog site, The Power to Enrich, has featured a number of blog “tails” about our soon-to-be former Superintendent of Schools Greg Bass. As many of you already know, Greg has been appointed the Deputy Minister of Education for Alberta and starts June  [ Read More ]

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Another ‘Tail’ About Greg Bass

Posted by rockyraccoon May - 29 - 2013 4 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Rocky Raccoon, RVS Official Mascot – In my first blog, “Paws to Paper”, I wrote about my adventures as the Division’s mascot. This blog tells a different ‘tail’. It’s a story about a leader who is more than just a businessman, and how his willingness to work at the grassroots level brought me to life. In case you hadn’t guessed, the ‘leader’ I’m referring to is our  [ Read More ]

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Greg Bass – A Change Catalyst

Posted by pamdavidson May - 28 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Pam Davidson, Principal, Bert Church High School – May is the beginning of graduation ‘season’ in high schools, when we take time to formally celebrate students’ achievements as they transition out of school and into ‘the real world’. As we learned two weeks ago, our Superintendent Greg Bass, is ‘graduating’ from Rocky View Schools and it seems apropos that we take time to reflect on aspects of  [ Read More ]

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Greg Bass in a Classroom Visit

Guest Author: Derek Keenan, Teacher, Nose Creek Elementary -  I was asked to write a blog post from the perspective of a teacher reflecting on the impact Greg Bass has had on our district, teaching and learning.  I sat down many times this weekend and tried to step back and talk district-wide, but I think something is missing in that perspective that teachers, parents and others in the province need  [ Read More ]

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The Guy with the Tie

Posted by lornareynolds May - 24 - 2013 3 Comments

RVS Guest Author: Lorna Reynolds, Communications Designer – I have had the privilege of being ‘office’ neighbours with our Superintendent of Schools, Greg Bass, for the past six years and have come to know and appreciate many things about him. This ‘guy with the tie’ arrived in Rocky View in 2007 with a vision of what he wanted to accomplish – to transform RVS from ‘good to great’ by instilling  [ Read More ]

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Bow Valley’s Leading Ladies

Posted by rockyviewstudent May - 7 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Lizzy D., Grade 11 Student – This past week, the Bow Valley High School leadership students had the pleasure of hosting 13 ladies from Big Hill Lodge Seniors Center at our school. They arrived in the morning and were greeted by some of Bow Valley’s welcoming leadership team. The ladies were given a tour of the school and were amazed by how similar schools are from when  [ Read More ]

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Life Lessons in Leadership

Posted by rockyviewstudent April - 8 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Natalie A., Gr. 12 Student – From March 22 – 26, 2013, students from the Bow Valley Outdoor Leadership 30 Class embarked on the last outdoor field trip of their high school years! We spent five days backcountry skiing (70 kilometers!) and exploring Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. During our trip, we tackled steep hills, learned snow science, and practiced avalanche beacon searches, all the while enjoying each  [ Read More ]

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Leaders Creating Leaders

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 25 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Brooke P., Grade 11 Student – On Mar. 8, 2013, Rocky View Leadership Academy’s second-year students Taylor B., Lucy E., Jordan E., Claire K., Will T., and myself  held the 6th Annual Middle School Leadership Conference (MSLC) at the Education Centre. The Rocky View Leadership Academy, founded by Bow Valley High Teachers Dorothy Karlson and Scott Thompson, is an opportunity for high school students from around our school division  [ Read More ]

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Keep Your Eye on the Ball!

Posted by gregbass March - 5 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools - A six-year old steps up to bat in T-ball and invariably her coach tells her ‘keep your eye on the ball’. Metaphorically speaking, adults use this fundamental coaching statement to convey a message of ‘focus’. Compounded by folksy literature such as, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, what we appear to be saying to one another is ‘to stay focused on what really  [ Read More ]

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The Legacy of Jane

Posted by tcardinal February - 27 - 2013 0 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Teresa Cardinal, FNMI Learning Specialist – As a parent and an educator, I often reflect back on my day and review the impact I have had on my children and on the people I work with. What legacy do I leave behind? This got me to thinking about a few women who have had an impact on me and who coincidentally are all named Jane! Jane Austen and  [ Read More ]

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A Life Lesson Relived

Posted by angelaspanier January - 16 - 2013 4 Comments

Guest Author: Angela Spanier, Director of Communications Resilience – a key to becoming an effective learner and successful citizen                          By Dave Young, Superintendent of Schools, Parkland School Division. Published January 2001, Stony Plain Reporter. When a third-grader forgets the capital of Saskatchewan, does she internalize the experience? Does she lose her appetite at lunch and fret about her mistake?  [ Read More ]

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School Leadership in the 21st Century

Posted by murraybesenski January - 15 - 2013 1 Comment

RVS Guest Author: Murray Besenski, Associate Superintendent of Schools – The demands on a school leader’s time are many and varied. Being an effective building manager used to be good enough. For the past century, principals were expected to comply with provincial and divisional edicts, address personnel issues, order supplies, balance school budgets, keep hallways and playgrounds safe, put out fires that threatened tranquil public relations, and generally ensure the  [ Read More ]

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Learning, Succeeding, and Leading

Posted by rockyviewstudent January - 9 - 2013 4 Comments

Guest Authors: Emily and Skye, Grade 4 Students – At our school, we are respectful leaders. We use the 7 Habits of Happy Kids to improve our good habits. Be proactive: Making our own choices and THE RIGHT choices. Leaders at our school always try to be proactive. We dress warmly when we go outside, we are quiet and respectful when someone is speaking or when we are in the  [ Read More ]

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Equity in Education Equals Success for All

Posted by raganjohnson December - 12 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author: Ragan Johnson, Assistant Principal, Chestermere Lake Middle School – Over the past few months, I have spent countless hours reflecting on how leaders working within a culturally diverse school can ensure equity and education for all. Initially, this thought process focused on how to create an environment where students and staff felt safe and valued, where all stakeholders were engaged in meaningful ways, and where everyone’s voice was  [ Read More ]

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Investing in Yourself

Posted by lynneshemko November - 29 - 2012 11 Comments
Butterfly Metamorphosis

Guest Author: Lynne Shemko, Executive Assistant – Years ago when I worked at Ralph McCall School, I received a book from the school’s former Principal Bill Bell to read for a staff professional learning session. That book was the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Although I did my best to finish the book, I found it to be a hard read as it was difficult to  [ Read More ]

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Building Sustainability One Project At A Time

Posted by stephaniebennett November - 27 - 2012 2 Comments

Guest Author: Stephanie Bennett, Teacher, Cochrane High School – The Cochrane High School Sustainable Development (CHSD) Committee ( has a longstanding history of implementing projects that pertain to sustainability in our school. The mandate of the CHSD Committee is to have its students bridge the gap between knowledge and action on issues related to sustainability in the school community. We recognize the impact of our activities on the environment, on  [ Read More ]

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We’re Bringing Nature Back

Posted by Jen Friske November - 14 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author: Jen Friske, Teacher, Prairie Waters Elementary – From Nov. 5 – 8, 2012, a team of three of my colleagues and myself were fortunate enough to attend the Cenovus Energy Environmental Education Leadership Clinic, hosted and facilitated by the Alberta Council for Environmental Education. Before I can share with you what we came out of the Leadership Clinic with, I need to give you a little back story  [ Read More ]

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Expedition Elisa

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 22 - 2012 5 Comments

Guest Author: Natalie A., Gr. 12 student - Elisa Neven-Pugh is an ambitious Grade 11 girl, who I am proud to share the hallways of my school with. On Sept. 22, 2012, we invited Elisa to join our Outdoor Leadership 30 class, and a few other students from different facets of the school, for a hike up Larch Valley, near Lake Louise. No big deal right? Just a hike. Elisa was simply another  [ Read More ]

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CSLC 2012: Igniting a Passion for Leadership

Posted by ambermoore October - 9 - 2012 1 Comment

Guest Author: Amber Moore, Teacher, Bert Church High School – The Bert Church High School (BCHS) team has just returned from Canadian Student Leadership Conference 2012 (CSLC) in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and the conference was undoubtedly ‘flat out’ fantastic! The first full day of the conference was a wonderful blur of bouncy castles, live music, spirit groups, a dazzling parade of delegates through the city of Weyburn, and loads of cheering.  [ Read More ]

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Teaching Citizenship – Beyond Rules

Posted by shannonwiebe September - 25 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Author: Shannon Wiebe, Parent, Airdrie – Being a parent volunteer is no easy ride over at École Edwards Elementary School in Airdrie.  If you’re willing, as I was last year, you might find yourself working on (and learning through) school wide leadership projects with students and teachers. Have a look at the Leadership on Location Posters École Edwards Elementary students and teachers developed and posted around their school.  If we  [ Read More ]

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Who Are You Following?

Posted by sharoncronin September - 19 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest Authors: Susan Poole, Principal, Cochrane High School & Sharon Cronin, Principal, École Edwards Elementary – We know that Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) administrators are innovative and forward thinking. We listen to many educational speakers who talk about what 21st Century teaching and learning is all about and think, hey… this sounds like Rocky View Schools! We know that change is happening all around us and so we continue to prepare  [ Read More ]

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Guest author: Angela Spanier, Director of Communications – In my early 20s I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively across Europe and into the Middle East. From the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, where 17th C convicts caught their last glint of daylight before being incarcerated, to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, whose cracks and crevices are wedged with thousands of paper prayers, my travels eventually  [ Read More ]

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Writing Our Future With Our Action Today

Posted by gregbass September - 4 - 2012 2 Comments

Guest author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools – As we start the 2012-13 year I can’t help feeling excited and optimistic. While many students, parents, teachers, and support staff are making new connections and fostering new relationships today, our work in Alberta and in RVS this upcoming year is focused. We are poised to demonstrate the most significant growth this year towards becoming a 21st century learning organization, as compared  [ Read More ]

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Deconstructing the Transformation

Posted by gregbass February - 27 - 2012 0 Comment

Guest author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools – It is time to tell Rocky View Schools’ story. Many conversations over the last six months with all stakeholders, both internal and external to our system, reveal that some people are struggling existentially with what the transformation is all about. What do 21st C classrooms look like? What are we aspiring to achieve? What is different? In RVS, and specifically in my  [ Read More ]

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Guest Author – Norma Lang, Over the last several months we have heard alot of Alberta Ed-Speak about Generative Community Governance. SO… What exactly is Generative Community Governance? What value does this vague concept hold for Rocky View Schools? And, most importantly, how would we make Community Governance real and get it off the ground in our school communities? Last night WG Murdoch Principal Greg Roberts and Associate Principal Gladys Brown started their school  [ Read More ]

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Leading in 2011

Posted by gregbass March - 3 - 2011 2 Comments

Guest author, Greg Bass – As a continuation of my last post on 21st century leadership, this post proposes a new leadership paradigm consistent with our rapidly-changing global society. I have been visiting schools recently which includes meeting with the principal or administrative team and interacting with students in classrooms. I must say it is very refreshing to connect with students and dialogue with them as I always have been,  [ Read More ]

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Evidence Informed Leadership

Posted by johnburger February - 24 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest Author, John Burger – At the end of my first blog, I concluded that building general leadership capacity is dependent on a set of necessary conditions.  This blog will explore one of those conditions, i.e. the opportunities and challenges in making data and evidence-informed decision-making a central component of leadership networked across all levels of the education system. The key question we’ll consider is, what should value-added data available  [ Read More ]

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Picture 7

Guest Author, Josh Hill – In his book Drive Dan Pink re-examines motivation and I believe that his findings have significant implications for education. Pink presents comprehensive research that demonstrates that for simple straightforward tasks if, then rewards, i.e. “the dangling carrot,” work as an effective motivator, however when a task requires some conceptual creative thinking those kind of motivators don’t work. He contends that when a task requires cognitive skill the three critical factors that lead to engagement and better performance are: autonomy, the desire to be self-directed; mastery, the urge to get better at stuff; and purpose, the yearning to make a contribution to something meaningful.

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Binders Optional

Posted by lesliecollings February - 8 - 2011 2 Comments

Guest Author, Leslie Collings – Whether you call them “Millenials”, “Screenagers” or “Digital Natives”, students today are looking for and need a different educational experience.  Larry Rosen writes, “Our children and youth are immersed in technologies that give them opportunities no previous generation has enjoyed.  How will schools respond”?  We are in the middle of, perhaps, one of the biggest changes in education.  Not since the invention of the printing  [ Read More ]

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Building leadership capacity among staff and students

Posted by johnburger February - 4 - 2011 10 Comments

Guest Author, John Burger –  Effective educational leadership is one of my passions as a life-long educator.  Counting the years I spent as an undergrad student at the Ohio State University and as a grad student at the University of Alberta plus years as a school and system administrator and as a manager in the Alberta Department of Education, I now have a total of 42 years to reflect on how  [ Read More ]

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The 21st Century Leader

Posted by gregbass February - 3 - 2011 10 Comments

Guest Author – Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools – Much has been written about education for today’s learner. Articulating a vision of what we want our systems to create in terms of opportuntites for learners in our schools today is critical for success. In RVS, three years ago, after 13 months of collaboration, we launched our new three-year plan entitled “Engaging the 21st Century Learner”. We called for our organization  [ Read More ]

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