About Greg Kostiuk

Principal Father Leonard Van Tighem School Lethbridge, AB "Try to feel, at your heart's core, the reality of others."

Catholic Education Sunday

This Sunday, November 2nd, we celebrate Catholic Education Sunday in Alberta.  This year the theme of Catholic Education Sunday is United in Prayer and Grateful for Catholic Education.  Here is a video from The Archbishop of Edmonton:

Also, here is an excerpt from the letter from the Bishops of Alberta and NWT:

Everyone has a role to play in Catholic education and this includes each of us.  Keep          our Catholic schools in your prayers that God may lead them in faithfulness, wisdom        and charity; get informed about the issues; and commit to the work of advocacy to            sustain their future.  We invite you to become a positive voice in this conversation.            Your involvement will support the many parents who see religion and the Catholic            faith as an integral value in the education and formation of their children.

The future of Catholic education will be supported by your prayers, involvement, and advocacy.  Just as St. Paul advised the Christian community at Colossae to, “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2), we too, live in gratitude for our Catholic schools and are called to vigilance and prayer.

Let us work together, united in prayer and grateful for Catholic education, to continue to make Father Leonard Van Tighem School a Christ-centred learning community.  Unfortunately, I will not be at our home parish of St. Martha’s as I have been asked to deliver the Catholic Education Sunday message at St. Peter and Paul Parish.

Have a blessed weekend,

Greg Kostiuk

Our Report Card

During the last School Council, we shared our Alberta Education Accountability Report Card with parents.   Our school continues to be a very positive learning environment for our students.  This table summarizes our results:

Oct 2019 summary school.PNG

Our report was very positive.  We received an ‘Excellent’ rating in the following categories of Safe and Caring, Program of Studies, Education Quality, Drop Out Rate, Citizenship, Parental Involvement, and School Improvement.  We were slightly below in Work Preparation, but this was mainly due to the number of ‘don’t know’ responses.  Our Provincial Achievement Tests ‘Acceptable’ rating was above the provincial average, and our ‘Excellence’ rating improved dramatically.

Thank you to all the students, staff, and parents that make Father Leonard Van Tighem a wonderful place to learn.

Greg Kostiuk

Thank You

As we are ending October we want to thank everyone in our school for supporting two of our school-wide projects.  Firstly, our Thanksgiving Food Bank Drive.  Our Food Drive was an extreme success.  Here is our final total:

Food drive 2019

We had over 2000 items donated to the Interfaith Food Bank.  A big thank you to Ashley Z. from the U of L for organizing this project.

IMG-9490

Secondly, thank you for supporting our Card Fundraiser.  Our students sold just over 1000 cards and the school raised approximately $10,000 to support programs for our students.  Although we are still looking at the specifics, these funds will be going towards the following programs/projects: student clubs, co-curricular teams, student trips, school presentations, student incentives, religious retreats, and other events supporting students.

On behalf of our school, thank you for your support.

Be Mindful

popeThis summer my sister went to Italy.  It reminded me of a past trip when my wife and I visited that country.  Italy was a terrific trip filled with wonderful sites, places, foods, and people.  The highlight of our trip wasn’t actually in Italy but in the Vatican.  Spending only one day at the Vatican was not enough, but it was a memorable day that I cannot forget.  During this day I was star struck; not only did I get to hear Pope Francis, but I got to see him up-close (only 5 or 6 feet away).  This pic of the Pope was taken by me using my iPhone.  Seeing him was awesome, hearing his message was just as important.  I could try to summarize his message, but I found a much better summary by  Junno Arocho Esteves – Catholic News Service:

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—God did not choose perfect people to form his church, but rather sinners who have experienced his love and forgiveness, Pope Francis said. The Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus forgiving the sinful woman shows how his actions went against the general mentality of his time, a way of thinking that saw a “clear separation” between the pure and impure, the pope said Aug. 9 during his weekly general audience. “There were some scribes, those who believed they were perfect,” the pope said. “And I think about so many Catholics who think they are perfect and scorn others. This is sad.” Although Jesus’ love toward the sick and the marginalized “baffles his contemporaries,” it reveals God’s heart as the place where suffering men and women can find love, compassion and healing, Pope Francis said. “How many people continue today in a wayward life because they find no one willing to look at them in a different way, with the eyes—or better yet—with the heart of God, meaning with hope,” he said. But “Jesus sees the possibility of a resurrection even in those who have made so many wrong choices.” Oftentimes, the pope continued, Christians become accustomed to having their sins forgiven and receiving God’s unconditional love while forgetting the heavy price Jesus paid by dying on the cross. By forgiving sinners, Jesus doesn’t seek to free them from a guilty conscience, but rather offers “people who have made mistakes the hope of a new life, a life marked by love,” the pope said. The church is a people formed “of sinners who have experienced the mercy and forgiveness of God,” Pope Francis said. Christians are “all poor sinners” who need God’s mercy, “which strengthens us and gives us hope.”

As part of our faith plan, we are challenged to ‘be mindful and be prayerful’ throughout the year.  Pope Francis’ words make me mindful of God’s unconditional love, mindful that I am a sinner, mindful of God’s mercy, and mindful of every present hope of a new life in Christ’s love.   As a teacher and principal of Father Leonard Van Tighem School, and as a member of the Catholic faith community of Lethbridge, I will be using Pope Francis’ message to be mindful of God’s presence.

Also, I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving as we thank God for the many gifts we have received.

Greg Kostiuk

Sleepless

PhotoFunia-1567366231

Last night my son told me to get some sleep and then laughed.  He reminded me that I never sleep before the first day of school.  My sleeplessness to not due to anxiety about the start of the school year, but a feeling of excitement, joy, and passion for beginning another year; my 50th first day of school either as a student or educator.  I welcome all the members of our learning community to the 2019-20 school year at Father Leonard Van Tighem School.

Thank you to Mr. Wensveen, Mrs. Danylchuk, and Mrs. Maniedao for their hard work in making the school ready for us.  All the shiny floors look great.  We are excited to welcome new students, families, and staff to our school this year.  New or returning teaching staff include Mrs. Lawrence (Gr. 6), Miss Gabruck (Gr. 8), Miss Loman (Gr. 8), and Miss Tkach (Gr. 7).  Also, we welcome back Mrs. Ehlert (Educational Assistant), and we have Mrs. Walcheske joining us in our Early Learning Program.  Finally, we have two University of Lethbridge PSIII students, Miss Matthews (mentored by Mrs. Alvarez) and Miss Hemstreet (mentored by Mr. Templin).

The first School Council Meeting will be on Tuesday, September 10th.  I encourage all parents to attend.  School Council plays a vital role in our school community.  Our Welcome Back BBQ and Family Blessing are on September 19th.  Father William will start the evening with a family blessing at 5:30 pm, BBQ hamburgers will be served after the blessing, and families will be able to ‘meet the teacher’ in their classrooms or the gym starting at approximately 6:30 pm.  Also, Jennifer from St. Martha’s Parish will be there to provide information on Sacramental Preparation.  We look forward to seeing everyone to celebrate the beginning of a new school year.

The focus of this school year will continue to be on growing in our faith and experiencing the richness of Catholic Education, developing literacy and numeracy skills that will prepare students for a changing future, and helping First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students achieve equitable educational outcomes.  Also, we are excited about the first year of our new Faith Plan called Making Our Mark: Journey of an Intentional Discipline.  This year’s faith theme is Beginning the Journey.  The primary focus of Beginning the Journey is a focus on being mindful and being prayerful.  I am looking forward to us integrating our new faith plan with the Van Tighem Virtues of Honest, Accepting, Wise, Kind, Spiritual.

We are getting bigger, both physically and in numbers.  Our new portables are not quite ready; we hope to be in them before the end of September.  Some of our class sizes are getting large, and we are hopeful that once the provincial budget is brought forward in October, we will be able to address this issue.

Like last year, you can pay your school fees and other fees online.  Please click on this logo for more information:

kev   Online Payments

To help with communication, here are some social media links (please click on the logo):

facebook   FLVT Facebook

hawks-logoandwordmark_teal_eye[1]  FLVT Website

Twitter-Download-PNG   @GregKostiuk

remind   Remind enter 587-600-0226 and text @flvtscnews or email flvtscnews@mail.remind.com  We may be using Remind less this year as there has been a change to the Remind program.  We are looking at other texting options.

Twitter-Download-PNG   @flvthawks

We look forward to working with you to continue to make Father Leonard Van Tighem School a special place.  On behalf of our staff, I wish everyone a successful school year.

Greg Kostiuk

 

One to One Initiative

Last June we piloted a new project for our Grade 8 and 9 students called ‘One to One Initiative.’  We are happy to announce we are doing it again this September for our Grade 8 and 9 students.  Please see details below:

Sept 11 pg 1Sept 11 pg 2

Please click on this link if you want to submit a request form to purchase a Chromebook:

https://forms.gle/LyzTotqsiBosxeRn6

Just a reminder that this does not include the case and the Chromebooks are different than the Edwin Pilot Chromebooks our Grade 7 students used last year.

Please contact the school if you have any questions regarding this exciting project.

Greg Kostiuk