Blue Water Director’s 2021 Thanksgiving Message

It is hard to believe that the Thanksgiving weekend is already upon us! As you prepare to honour your own unique traditions in giving thanks to others, I would like to share some thoughts on those for whom I am grateful as Director of Education for Bluewater District School Board.

I am thankful for the approximately 17,400 students we serve. They are our sole purpose and what drives our passion and continuous striving for excellence as a public education system. I cannot think of a more enriching and rewarding way to spend a career than to help support the learning, growth, and aspirations of our future leaders.

I am thankful for our parents/guardians and families, who are our greatest allies in student learning and well-being. Their collaboration in ensuring that the differentiated needs of all students are considered and supported is vital to our ability in carrying out our mission, “To provide a quality education for every student in a safe, accepting, and caring environment.”

I am thankful for our Bluewater staff, who have joined me on this meaningful journey to achieve our mission as referenced above. This extends to every single role, whether it is in a classroom, office, hallway, or other location. We are all directly or indirectly supporting the greater cause, and it is especially important during these times that staff know how truly appreciated they are for their ongoing adaptability, professionalism, and emphasis on health, wellness, and safety.

I am thankful for our trustees, the senior leadership team, and those in other supporting roles. Being surrounded by such a committed and caring group of individuals on a regular basis makes all the difference in the world, and I could not feel more fortunate.

I am thankful for our long list of diverse partners who support, enhance, and contribute to the work we do each day. From our local employee group representatives and provincial education stakeholders, to community organizations and media, our public education system is strengthened and given voice thanks to their involvement.

With the recent first-time acknowledgement of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, this year I also want to express special thanks to those in our Indigenous communities, past and present. As we prepare to celebrate a weekend of thankfulness, we are humbly reminded that our schools and work sites are privileged to rest on the traditional land of Indigenous Peoples. It is also important that we open our hearts and minds to learning about the history of Thanksgiving, and recognize that this tradition has a different meaning for many individuals, including those in Indigenous communities. I hope everyone will take some time to do a bit of research on Thanksgiving from an Indigenous perspective, its origins, and how it has evolved since colonization. There is much to learn.

I wish everyone a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend!

Lori Wilder
Director of Education