Neil Finch is in his first year as director of education for the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division.
With the holiday season around the corner, Finch had a chance to look back on the first months of his time as director.
Since joining Sask. Rivers as education director, Finch said his primary focus has been the Strategic Plan and its five main areas of focus: Learning and Innovation, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Governance and Leadership, Inclusion and Cultural Responsiveness, and Citizenship and Relationships.
“I would say early on we’ve had some successes around (those goals) Finch said. “(I) think we are remaining focused on those things that we’ve set out in our strategic plan to be important.”
Learning and Innovation includes focus areas such as technology and innovation and engagement in early learning. Some focus areas in Mental Health and Wellbeing include culturally relevant mental health and supports and physical activity and wellness. Inclusion and Cultural Responsiveness focus areas include the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls for Action and Metis and First Nations Students Success. Citizenship and Relationships focus areas include financial literacy and community education. Governance and Leadership focuses include communication and transparency and fiscal responsibility.
Finch explained that they had made progress in each area during his term.
“We think that we’re doing well in making strides in the right direction with that” Finch said.
Finch did a check in interview with the board during the final meeting of 2023 on Monday, Dec. 11.
“We had a bit of that conversation,” Finch said. “I would say that part of our hope and our plan is that we are committed to student achievement and we want to make sure that we’ve got renewal and refocus on our strategic plan.”
Finch had previously been employed as a superintendent in the division so he did not come in as someone unfamiliar with how they operate.
“It’s been going really well. We’ve got such a fantastic team that I get to work with. And that helps us stay focused on what we need to do for students,” Finch said.
Finch replaced Robert Bratvold who retired at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.