There’s an expression that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. It’s hard for me to sum up my first impression of Parkland School Division in just 250 words. Ironically, it’s a three-letter word that comes to mind first, “Wow!”.
If I’ve learned anything in my first four weeks on the job it’s the fact that this is an exciting time to be a part of our education system. My wife’s a teacher so I’ve seen a small part of the ‘system’ on visits to her school as she sets up her classroom or as she brought home marking or report cards to work on over the years. I had no idea about the transformation underway and what an opportunity that lies before all of us as we shape the future of our small part of the world and beyond. I am a big fan of our tagline – Where the World Opens Up. It’s so true.
When you think about it, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. There were jobs and careers in fields that I interviewed candidates for in my previous line of work that didn’t even exist 5 or 6 years ago! That pace is only quickening and that pumps me up every time I step foot into one of our schools
I can proudly say that I’ve now been to every one of Parkland School Division’s schools thanks to some tours and special events as our 2013-14 winds down. I’ve met volunteers who used to babysit for some of our Superintendents and still give their time daily to read to students. I’ve seen technology at work with students video conferencing live across the province in face-to-face conversations with our government’s decision makers. (With a real-time social media conversation running simultaneously….love it!) I’ve also witnessed:
• Kindergarten students leading assemblies
• State-of-the-art Career & Technology study facilities
• A Learning Coach and Principal help a nervous student conquer his fear of an upcoming assessment
• A ‘Cup Song’ go viral
• Grade ones growing their own vegetable gardens, enjoying the fruits of their labour and discovering how easy it is to eat healthy
This list only begins to scratch the surface. I’ve also learned that when the rest of the province is looking for trail blazers and leaders in all parts of the education ‘system’, they call Parkland School Division first. Part of my job as Director of Communications is to tell our story. I can already tell on just my 25th day on the job, this is going to be a lot of fun.
Thanks to all for the warm welcome.
Jordi Weidman is the Director of Communications for Parkland School Division.