LPSD ends year on high note

By Jessica Dempsey

July 4, 2017 2:44 PM

Jacob Adams, Megan Kort and Timothy Onofrychuk were ready to finish their school careers at the Lloydminster Comprehensive High School, and are excited to see what the future holds. Jessica Dempsey/Meridian Booster

The 2016-17 Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD) year came to a close last week, and with that, came reflection on the notable year that it was.

A significant marker of the year was when the Government of Saskatchewan’s governance review of Kindergarten to Grade 12 report was released, and possible changes to the education system were discussed.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support we received from our community, how they rallied behind us, how they reached out to their MLAs and the government. (They) spoke very positively about what Lloyd public does, and who we are,” explained Todd Robinson, director of education.

As well, budgets were a challenge throughout the Prairie province, and Robinson added cuts and reductions happened across the board.

“I think it’s safe to say the burden was shared by all, and I think that’s an important aspect when you’re working as a team. We will have about two per cent less resources than we had last year,” he explained.

With the reduction, there were some staffing cuts, which ultimately led to less staff going into the new school year.

However, LPSD overcame the trials of the year, and core services to families and normal operating services will remain unchanged.

“Like anything else, it takes a team effort to pull together to get a good resolution, and a good landing,” added Robinson.

Throughout the last year, LPSD was able to implement new programs, notably a Cree program at E.S. Laird Middle School.

“One of the really neat pieces was celebrating the sense of belonging that some of our students are feeling … we are really excited about that work,” Robinson said.

Going into next year, LPSD will be offering an ECO9 program at E.S. Laird, as well as reshaping the hockey academy and offering a Junior Kindergarten program.

“I can’t say enough about how proud I am of staff, that in the light of difficult circumstances, we are still looking at ways to meet the needs of students and families within our city,” said Robinson.

Another highpoint and celebration of the year was when Avery Outreach School graduated a record number 48 students.

“All of whom are extremely proud of achieving their high school status, and we couldn’t be more proud of them, (and) more proud of the work the school does … great job to all involved there,” added Robinson.

As well, on Wednesday, 271 students from Lloydminster Comprehensive High School graduated and walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

“Just an amazing group of kids, and everything we do throughout the year culminates in today, and we are really excited about celebrating the great work of these students and the staff over the course of the last year,” said Robinson. 

Valedictorian Timothy Onofrychuk was ecstatic to be graduating with his friends, and mentioned this was his favourite memory out of his high school career.

“Just being in it, being surrounded by everybody, everybody having a common goal and having achieved something together,” he said.

With high school finally finished, he said the feeling was surreal.

In the fall, Onofrychuk will be attending the University of Saskatchewan, where he will be studying biomedical sciences, and his hopes are to become a pediatrician.

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