Sask Rivers pays tribute to outgoing director on his retirement

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) outgoing Saskatchewan Rivers School Division director of education Robert Bratvold received a pair of moccasins as a token of appreciation from senior administration during his retirement tribute at the EA Rawlinson Centre on Wednesday evening.

Saskatchewan Rivers School Division director of education Robert Bratvold is retiring at the end of the school year and the board of education held a special event at the EA Rawlinson Centre on Wednesday night to recognize his years of service.

Bratvold said it was an honour to be recognized, especially since he didn’t know it was going to happen.

“It was a really, really nice afternoon evening here,” he said. “(It’s) friendly and informal. (We) had a program that gave a little bit of structure, (and) lots of friendliness.”

Bratvold said that it was nice that everyone was able to pay tribute in their own way.

“It was nice to hear from the trustees and senior admin and staff and Liz as the Elder,” Bratvold said.

The event was emceed by former Board Chair Barry Hollick. Current board chair Darlene Rowden spoke on behalf of the board to thank Bratvold and presented him with a gift.

Bratvold’s sons Josh and Thomas played piano for the event. His son Josh played the song “My Way” in tribute to his father.

Superintendent Jennifer Hingley presented Bratvold with a pair of moccasins as a retirement gift. Hingley told the audience that they had tricked Bratvold into tracing his hands and feet to create them.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Robert Bratvold spoke at his retirement tribute at the at the EA Rawlinson Centre on Wednesday evening.

Incoming director and current superintendent Neil Finch spoke on behalf of administration. One advantage of the way the hiring of his replacement worked out was that Finch could speak. Finch focused on Bratvold’s emphasis on teamwork and delegation as something that would be remembered and carry on after he leaves.

Bratvold said he was grateful for Finch’s comments, especially how Finch emphasized the importance of teamwork, and how Bratvold understood that..

“It was nice,” Bratvold said. “I was really thinking about it (teamwork), and he knew that. I was really thankful that it was a team thing.”

Along with a prayer, Elder Liz Settee also had kind words for Bratvold and shared some memories of Bratvold. Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne also attended as a guest.

Bratvold’s parents Edna and Keith Bratvold were also able to attend the evening.

“I wasn’t sure if they could come or not,” Bratvold said. “I was really thankful to have mom and dad out here. Mom’s a teacher. In fact, she was my teacher. I went to a one room school and she was my teacher from Grades 3 through 6.”

Bratvold is not technically done until the end of July but because of the way life worked out he will be on holidays for most of July.

“I got some holidays and that was kind of the plan, is that be sure to be present and have the school year right to the end of June and then maybe a day or two in July,” he said. “(I’m looking forward to that cause it’s busy times.”

There were many former and current trustees in attendance along with administration and staff from both schools and the Education Centre.

“I do appreciate the words and the impact from the board,” Bratvold said. “That’s really meaningful to me. We had lots of the trustees here and a couple who were former trustees and that’s really good, so we had lots of really good connection with the board and I appreciate the words that they had to share.”

Bratvold also gave credit to Hollick as emcee.

“He does a good job as emcee, a little bit of, you know, the humour now and then, but he’s also genuine and caring,” Bratvold said.