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Message from the Chair – March 2016

Our district begins our monthly public board meeting with a presentation called "Celebrating Education" to enable trustees and public observers to learn about some of the terrific activities happening with students and share in celebration as per the value in our strategic plan: "By celebrating the contributions of students, staff and community members, we create unity and bring joy to our work together."

Some of that joy was definitely evident in the presentation "working with wood to Celebrate SD46" at the board meeting on March 8th.  Elphinstone Secondary School Teacher Bill Clarke and students Charlie Richards and Brenan Swenson came to share the carvings they have created of various sizes of our district logo in yellow cedar.

District Principal of Aboriginal Education Kerry Mahlman gave the board a brief history of the SD46 logo and artist and carver Bradley Hunt, who designed the logo after working in our district for several years.  Working in cedar, Raven is a central figure in Hunt's work.  "In the logo, we see the Raven holding the 'Light of Knowledge' (or the world) in his beak – represented by the sun. The Raven captured it so that he could release the light to everyone. In sharing it, rather than keeping it for himself, he makes a sacrifice so that everyone (the community or world) can benefit by it.

The circular shape of the logo represents the cycle of learning and life. It means we are always learning – from newborn to elder, the process of learning never stops. In this ongoing cycle we create our future. Our learning is represented as a journey from darkness to light.

46 is our School District – but it is inside an ovoid shape – it is in the center, to represent potential or the future. This is what creativity is all about – the wonderful energy of creativity – the creativity in each one of us is waiting to be used in the directions we set it in. What we do with our potential, our creativity and the choices we make, is the essence of our lives." Thanks to Bradley Hunt for the quoted story of the logo.

Bill Clarke has worked with students designing and using equipment to carefully carve cedar logos for all the buildings in our district.  A grade 12 student programs the design and a grade 11 student ensures the wood is prepared and masterfully carved. These students can be very proud of their work and the skill and craftsmanship they have mastered.  Anyone traveling throughout the Coast and visiting our schools will see these beautifully student created wooden logos, inspired by Bradley Hunt's design and Raven's story.  Trustees were happy to be reminded of the deep symbolism of our logo and to see students using it to develop skills they will use all their lives.  What a wonderful celebration!

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