Tag Archives: Living Sky School Division

Next week’s paper preview

Well … first of all, a warning that there is a sad mistake on the front page of the June 23 Unity Wilkie Press-Herald. After 105 years, Landis School closes its doors at the end of this month, never again to hear the laughter and chatter of children echoing down the halls.  Unfortunately the photos of the current staff and students, and the compilation of memories from former students, is headlined Luseland Memories.  Our apologies to staff and students of the Landis and the Luseland schools!

Despite, the error in the headline, the Landis School memories are well worth reading! Along with those, enjoy:

  • a profile on Unity United Church minister Louise Robson, who is retiring after 20 years as an ordained minister;
  • a look at this year’s Unity Minor Ball softball teams;
  • coverage of the Sask Seniors Assoc. rally held in Unity May 22;
  • a report on the Luseland pool opening.

The June 23 issue is also the annual “grad issue” – look to see which kids you know are already graduating from high school! In addition, students from all three area high schools went to Battleford June 12 to be recognized at the Living Sky School Division Student Hall of Fame banquet and we have listings of the award winners.

UCHS with Natalie Krill

UCHS students pose with Natalie Krill, centre, at the Living Sky School Division Hall of Fame banquet. Krill, a stage and screen actress and NBCHS alumna, was the guest speaker.



Students learn about workplace bullying

After guest speaker Blake Fly of Toronto, Ont., concluded his presentation to assembled students from Unity Composite High, McLurg High, Luseland and Macklin schools, Feb. 4, a panel discussion on bullying, harassment and the use of social media in the workplace took place.

(For more information on Fly’s presentation, see the February 10th issue of the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald or http://unitystories.com/judger-or-nudger/)

Panel members were local lawyer Ken Neil; human resources personnel for both the Unity Credit Union, Alan Zimmer, and Living Sky School Division, Brenda Vickers; Lana Mabbett from Heartland Health; local business owner Mike Wismer; RCMP Cst. Eric Macdonald; and Living Sky’s superintendent of schools, curriculum and instruction, Brian Quinn.

UCHS presentationUCHS student Zoher Rafid-Hamed posed questions to different panel members in turn. Responses and comments made by panel members included the following.

Quinn talked about a specific incident in a Living Sky school where an inappropriate comment was made to a student and other students immediately stepped in to tell the offending student it was inappropriate. “No tool is as powerful as peers stepping in,” he said, telling the students that, more and more, “who” you are is more important than the talents or skills you have.

Zimmer reinforced that statement when he explained that, even before someone is hired at the credit union, they try to weed out people who will not fit in. For example, a potential new employee will be asked specific questions about how he or she deals with conflict.

Vickers echoed Zimmer’s comments about the hiring process. She added that, at the school division, reference checking is done not only to confirm skills and abilities but also to ask questions about relationships and how a person solves problems.

In any organization, Zimmer said, “you have a responsibility to everyone in that organization.”

He was referring to workplace bullying and harassment at the time, but that responsibility holds true to the use of social media as well – no matter whether an employee is at work or at home.

Vickers said, even when at home, if you are talking about someone from work online, the employer can take action. Mabbett added, even when you are off duty, you still represent the place you work.

Mabbett cautioned students to establish a positive digital footprint or they may even find themselves not being able to be licensed in the field for which they studied. She gave the example of seeing a photo of a surgeon drunk at a Saturday night party – would she want that doctor operating on her Monday morning?

A video of the panel’s entire presentation is available online at http://streaming.lskysd.ca/, under the heading Social Media and Respectful Relationships.

Judger or nudger – which are you?

Blake Fly came from Toronto, Ontario, to Unity, Saskatchewan, to motivate, inspire, challenge and encourage.

Fly, author, speaker and music maker, spoke to Grade 7 to 10 students from Unity Composite High, McLurg High, Luseland and Macklin schools, at Unity Comp, Feb. 4. He had students clapping, hissing to imitate a snare drum, making suggestions, cheering and listening intently during his presentation on how to make going to high school a better experience.

Blake FryFly used his own high school experiences to illustrate his lessons.

One lesson was to focus on quality of friends, not quantity. Having at least one really good friend is especially important today. “There is no separation between life at school and life outside of school because your online life trumps both.”

Fly talked about surrounding yourself with nudgers as much as possible. Nudgers are people who encourage you to move towards your dreams and goals; judgers stomp on your dreams. Hanging out with judgers “makes for stress and drama and stuff you don’t need.”

Surrounding yourself with nudgers, on the other hand, makes you feel good and can help you achieve your goals. Peer pressure can be amazing “as long as you are pressuring amazing things,” Fly said.

He encouraged the students to become nudgers. “If you want to make your life in school about getting attention and hurting people in the process, okay, I can’t stop you. But … you can still get attention but make people feel amazing in the process. And with technology, when you add that into the mix, that is like just this massive machine to make people feel special if you choose to use it that way.”

Fly asked the students if there was something they loved to do outside of school that could contribute to school. Change and improvement doesn’t have to be all at once.

“When you want to start something, it’s not so much about like changing the world and getting everybody on board. Rather it’s about getting somebody’s attention in some small way, even if it’s totally random, and then doing something with those people – moving them towards something that might improve their own school experience, their own social life, their own outlook on this thing called life.”

When you start to share your passions, “people start to pay attention and then they connect you to opportunities so you can do more of it and maybe actually get some credit for it.”

Fly gave students a specific example of how to be a nudger, how to get attention for making people feel good rather than bad – by converting prank phone calls into thank phone calls.

“Pranks are awesome, some people think, but they often come back to haunt you and they hurt someone in the process,” he said. Making a “thank” phone call, on the other hand, still lets the caller be excited about surprising someone, but by making someone else feel good instead of bad.

After the students voted on who he should call, Fly demonstrated a thank phone call, calling his girlfriend Amanda on speaker phone. The call went to voicemail and he left a message thanking her for being his girlfriend and letting her know how much he appreciated and loved her.

“You can get attention by making people feel amazing, not just by putting people down,” he concluded. Even something as simple as a second of eye contact in the hallways, instead of always looking at your feet or your phone, can help someone feel validated and recognized – “so they know you know they exist.”

The video of Blake Fly’s presentation is online at http://streaming.lskysd.ca/ (copy and paste link into your browser bar).