Friday, September 5, 2014

The New Guy in Town

No matter where you go, or whichever community you visit, there are always certain things that stand out when you see something for the first time. I was reminded of this recently, when I was driving down the streets of Prince Albert, SK, and realizing how certain buildings and homes are taken for granted, until something happens to one of them. Then we take notice.

As the new guy in town, living at the Desert Sands RV park for a few weeks until we get housing in order for me to move my family into for Sept 1, I’ve had a few observations. Small towns are as small towns anywhere. And Bassano is no exception. Whether I’m running my 5km in the morning, or driving down the street in my green Avalanche (Proud Saskatchewan Roughrider fan), I’m greeted by a friendly nod or wave followed by a smile. I am feeling welc
omed here. It also helps that Tom Rose, our friendly mayor, was one of the first people to call me back in June and welcome me to Bassano. I must say that was a first, but he and I have had many talks since, and I look forward to working with him. Then there was our local School Board Trustee, Melanie Chapman, who took my wife around house hunting while I was in meetings and made her feel right at home.

My second impression is an important one. I am thrilled with the school. We have a great school, not only the building with its shiny floors, and well groomed yard, but also from the reports I have been reading and the conversations I’ve had with the staff and community members. The previous administration has done some great work, and I hope to continue this work further.  But a school is only as good as everyone working together to make it the best.  You need to know, I’m a very community-minded guy, who will rely on each one of the parents, students, teachers, and staff to help me in this role. I don’t know if you already know this, but the most recent Accountability Pillar Results from Alberta Education paints an amazing picture of academic improvements with our students over the past three years. I think we have great teachers and a great school in Bassano.

My wife, Janice, and daughters, Maryn & Brynn, are moving here from Prince Albert, SK. We are excited about the move. We look forward to getting to know many of you over the years, and we plan to be here for awhile. If any of you have ever moved, it’s an incredibly stressful experience. So we don’t plan to do this again for awhile.

Please stop by and introduce yourself anytime. I’ve been working on the school website over the past few days trying to make it a little more user friendly. We will post lots of pictures, events, forms, announcements, policies, and so forth for parents, students and community members to see over this year. If you have suggestions, please call me or drop by for a coffee to discuss them with me.  The school motto is Respectful – Responsible – Involved, that isn’t just for the school, but a call to each one of us to practice this, live it, and teach for the betterment of the community. It looks like from first impressions, Bassano is well on its way with this motto. You’ve made me feel welcome and I look forward to working with you to take our students beyond their potential.  Thank you and we’ll talk soon.

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