About Greg Kostiuk

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

Building Community

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Earlier this month, our Jr. High students, with the support of many of our school staff, performed a very successful fine arts production called Cursed Through Time.  I have always enjoyed being part of a production, and I was excited to be the production manager, even though I didn’t know what a production manager did.  The experience did not disappoint.  Seeing the many talents of our student was amazing, and I often had to remind myself that Cursed Through Time was a Jr. High production.  Also, I witnessed how our staff shared their time and talents with the students.  I need to thank all the staff involved, but especially Miss Barr for sharing her many gifts as Director, and many other roles, of our play.  Thank you, everyone, for all you did.

CTT bowThe spring production is a terrific fine arts experience for our students, but I also see it as a tremendous community builder.  The spring production is for our Junior High students, and our whole community comes together to support this event.  Staff from division one, two, and three all get involved.  Our division two and three students were able to view the matinees.  Doing a variety of fine arts activities together, teambuilding tasks, and merely spending countless hours together builds a strong sense community among all the participants.  As we look to the future, we are already starting to plan for next year.

Building community in our educational system is essential.  Without community, we can’t build the system our students deserve and need.  Without community, we become individuals on a mission of self-learning.  As a community, we become a team dedicated to helping everyone learn.  Although the spring production had a curricular base, the students did not learn a lot of curricular objectives.  Instead, they learned and practiced a lot of skills that they need as successful learners in a community.  Some of these were:

  • Sharing Our Bounty: students were able to share their 3Ts of time, treasure, and talents;
  • Enjoy life: whether it was time on-stage or work off-stage, or just spending some time with a friend.  Enjoy life!
  • Be confident: some people love a stage to perform, others prefer to assist backstage.  No matter which role, seize the moment.  We all have gifts.  Find them and use them;
  • Be adaptive: you can try new things, like writing a play, singing a song, or managing a stage;
  • Take a risk: be a risk taker.  You may try new things.  You may fail, but if you have the proper supports, you will learn from your mistakes.  Fail forward;
  • Value diversity: we are all unique; we are all special.  We value the many gifts and perspectives of the people around us;
  • Lend a helping hand: help your friend, your neighbour, or even an enemy.  Be helpful and kind;
  • Collaborate: work together to solve a problem.  Collaboration can be a lot of work, but the reward is immense. Students are aware we are on our life journey together.  Life is not a solo mission;
  • Be creative: sometimes it is a good idea to put a lampshade on your head;
  • Time management: sometimes we can go at our own pace, but the show must go on, and it needs to go off on time. Following a tight schedule can sometimes be helpful;
  • Enjoy the moments: enjoy life.  The anticipation before the play, the quiet moments during the performance, the loud moments afterwards, and the sense of accomplishment during the bow;

This short, incomplete, list illustrates that community building projects, like our spring production, serve an educational purpose.  More importantly, they build the foundation of a community from where learning will grow.  The better the community, the better the foundation, the better the learning environment.

Respectfully yours,

Greg Kostiuk

Please Vote!

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On Tuesday, April 16 we are having a provincial election.  This election is very important.  It is not my intention or role as a principal to support any political party during an election.  I simply ask everyone to become informed and, most importantly, to vote!

Get informed.  Holy Spirit Catholic Schools, Lethbridge Public Schools and our ATA Locals are hosting an All Candidates forum on Tuesday, April 2 at Chinook High School starting at 6:30 p.m.

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To Vote – Here is a link about where you vote and gather other election information

https://www.elections.ab.ca/current-election-information/

AB Elections

For some of you, our school will be a polling station.  Therefore, when you come to school to drop off or pick up your child, you may be able to vote.  Polling stations are open from 9 am to 8 pm.  Please get informed and please vote!

Respectfully yours,

Greg Kostiuk

April Message

Stations of the Cross

During the Easter Week, we focus on the Passion of Christ’s last days; many of us reflect and pray the Stations of the Cross (Traditional or Scriptural versions).  Sometimes we forget about the most important part of Easter, the Resurrection.  After Easter, I sometimes pray the Stations of the Resurrection.  I’ve always been interested in history.  This interest includes the historical Christ.  I think that is why I enjoy praying either version of the Stations of the Cross.  These stations ground me in my faith; they are tangible proof of the historical Christ.  Although this helps me with the foundations of my beliefs, I must focus on the Divinity of Christ.  I find praying the Stations of the Resurrection is an excellent way to do this.

Stations of the Cross – Traditional                                                (Events of Christ – Easter Week) Stations of the Cross – Scriptural                             (Events of Christ – Easter Week, based on Scripture) St. John Paul Stations of the Resurrection                                  (Events of Christ between Easter & Pentecost)
1.       Pilate condemns Jesus to die

2.       Jesus accepts his cross

3.       Jesus falls for the first time

4.       Jesus meets his mother, Mary

5.       Simon helps carry the cross

6.       Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

7.       Jesus falls for the second time

8.       Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

9.       Jesus falls for the third time

10.    Jesus is stripped of his clothes

11.    Jesus is nailed to the cross

12.    Jesus dies on the cross

13.    Jesus is taken down from the cross

14.    Jesus is placed in the tomb

 

1.     Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

2.     Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested

3.     Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin

4.     Jesus is denied by Peter

5.     Jesus is judged by Pontius Pilate

6.     Jesus is scourged at the pillar and crowned with thorns

7.     Jesus bears the cross

8.     Jesus is helped by Simon the Cyrenian to carry the cross

9.     Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

10.  Jesus is crucified

11.  Jesus promises His Kingdom to the repentant thief

12.  Jesus speaks to His mother and the Beloved Disciple

13.  Jesus dies on the cross

14.  Jesus is placed in the tomb

1.    Jesus rises from the dead

2.    The finding of the empty tomb

3.    The Risen Lord appears to Mary Magdalene

4.    Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus

5.    Jesus is known at the Breaking of Bread

6.    Jesus appears to His disciples in Jerusalem

7.    Jesus gives the disciples the power to forgive sins

8.    Jesus strengthens the faith of Thomas

9.    Jesus appears by the Sea of Tiberias

10. Jesus tells Peter to feed His sheep (Primacy of Peter)

11. Jesus commissions the disciples on the mountain

12. Jesus ascends into heaven

13. Mary and the disciples wait in prayer

14. The Holy Spirit descends at Pentecost

As we finish our Lenten journey this year, I ask you to remember and pray for the historical Christ.  Also, do not forget about the Divine Christ, and please consider reflecting, praying, and celebrating the Stations of the Resurrection after Easter Sunday.

Lenten/Easter blessings on behalf of the staff,

Greg Kostiuk

 

2019-20 Student Registration

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Thank you for being part of our learning community.  The 2018-19 school year has been terrific, and we are now planning for the 2019-20 school year. Returning your form right away will ensure placement for your child at Father Leonard Van Tighem School and helps us prepare for the coming year. We would appreciate the registrations being returned to the school office as soon as possible, but please ensure they are returned by March 29, 2019. If your child will not be attending this school next year for any reason, please indicate this on the form and also return it to us. Please see instructions below for filling out your registration as there have been some changes to our student information system.

Alberta Education requires that parent/guardians complete a registration update form annually.  To accommodate changes within the software, we have been updating the new contact area in PowerSchool (our student information system).  Previously each contact was a separate entry for each student. As a result, each contact was entered multiple times into the system. Now each contact will be in the database only once and potentially tied to many students.

As this is still a work in progress, we need your assistance in ensuring that we have accurate contact information in our software.  When reviewing and updating the registration update form, we ask that you confirm that all the following contact information is completed:

  1. Both a home and mailing address is entered for parent/guardians. Addresses will be displayed for additional contacts if you have provided it or if that contact is also a parent in our database.
  2. Please enter the home, work and cell numbers that are available for each contact.  We require at least one phone number per contact.  We also request that you provide the best daytime phone number for each contact.
  3. Do not combine multiple people into one contact line. Please have only one person per contact entry.  We now can enter an unlimited number of contacts so if you require more than the five spots available, please attach a list with the additional contact information.
  4. Please ensure your contacts are in the priority you would like. Please renumber the order with contact priority if needed.
  5. If the relationship has ‘Not Set,’ that indicates that the information has either not been provided or has not been entered.  Please record the relationship.
  6. Please check all information on the registration form and make any changes as necessary. Please also ensure you check off the proper boxes for the annual declarations (Aboriginal status, Francophone eligibility) and sign and check off all areas on the flip side of the registration.

We appreciate you taking the extra time to review and complete this vital information.  If you have any questions, please contact the school.  Thank you again for being part of our learning community.

Respectfully yours,

Greg Kostiuk

Principal

Don’t Be Nice

Ash WednesdayOn Wednesday, March 6, we begin our Lenten journey as a community with our Ash Wednesday Service. Two common themes connected to lent are ‘fasting’ and ‘being a better person.’ The second theme reminded me of a specific personal experience.  Once a week, I take part in a Pray and Play prayer group.  We meet at St. Martha’s Parish, pray the Rosary, and then we go to play hockey. Pray and Play is a great opportunity to gather as part of a faith community.  After one game, I was greeted by a homeless man at the arena asking for money.  I politely declined, as I truly did not have any spare change on me.  Soon after, the homeless man asked me for a ride to the homeless shelter.  I made an excuse that I was driving in the other direction.  I was not ‘being a better person.’

I often ask students to be nice.  Some have described me as a nice guy.  When did Jesus ever mention being nice to others?  When did Jesus ever ask us to be a nice?  I once read:

God does not say: “I was hungry, and you felt sorry for me.  I was naked, and you felt embarrassment.  I was sick, and you had feelings of sympathy toward me.”  All of which would have been simply nice. (Author Unknown)

Jesus does not want me to be nice to my neighbour; he wants me to love my neighbour—all of my neighbours.  He wants the hungry fed, the naked clothed, and the abandoned cared for.

pray-and-play-blogNow, back to my post-hockey experience.  I was polite, but I was not even nice. Had I given the homeless man money, that might have been a nice gesture; but I do not think that could be called love. A ride to the homeless shelter?  We all have to make decisions and safety must be a factor, but on that night I did not exhibit love.  How hard would it have been to ask one of my fellow Pray and Play members—members of a faith community—to join me in giving a homeless man a ride to a shelter?  In my opinion, Jesus would have supported loving actions even more than prayer.  For my inaction and my cowardice, I asked forgiveness.  Faith must be a verb that demonstrates action.  During Lent I want to take up the challenge of ‘being a better person.’  I need to do this, not in a polite way of being nice, but in a challenging form of showing love.

During our Lenten journey, I invite everyone, with God’s help, to become better people.  Our three traditional practices during Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving can help us fast and feastbecome a better person.  During his Sunday sermon, Deacon Michael reminded us we could fast from certain things and to feast on others.  On example he provided was we can “fast from judgement and feast on caring.”  This Lent, I will fast from merely being nice, and feast on loving action.  This Lent, I hope to ‘become a better person’ by going above and beyond being nice by showing loving actions to my neighbours. All my neighbours.

Lenten blessing,

Greg Kostiuk

Exciting News for FLVT

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We are excited to announce that Alberta Education has approved Holy Spirit Catholic Schools request for additional space at Father Leonard Van Tighem School.  Two modular classes will be added to FLVT for the 2019-20 school year.  Thank you to our Board of Trustees and central office staff for advocating for our students.  Once we have more details we will share them with our school community.

Great news!

Greg Kostiuk

Asking Our Parents: The Results

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In January, in order to help give our parents a better voice, we conducted a parent survey called ‘Asking Our Parents.’  We were pleased to have 65 parents respond to the survey.  Some of the survey questions dealt with our School Council and those results will be shared at our School Council meeting on February 12 at 7 pm.  Here are the results of the other questions and the planned action:

Indoor Recesses Days

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Action: We will continue to use -15C as our guiding temperature for indoor recesses.

 Virtue Vouchers

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Action: We will be continuing this positive incentive program.

Class Lists

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Action: We plan on posting class lists before school starts.

 ‘Away During the Day’ Student Cell Phone Policy

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Action: We will be continuing ‘Away During the Day’ policy.

School Photos

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Action: We will be looking at changing to LifeTouch for next year.

 School Communication

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Action: We will be continuing, but trying to improve current school communication practices.

Our parent survey is helping to give parents a voice at Father Leonard Van Tighem School.  We hope to continue to use this strategy.

Thank you for your insights,

Greg Kostiuk