CTR school division begins educational year with new superintendent

Having welcomed their new Superintendent of Schools to the school division in June, Christ the Redeemer is excited to start the new educational year with Andrea Holowka at the helm.

Holowka said this year marks her 29th serving in the education system. Of those, 26 were spent with the Calgary Catholic School Division as a teacher, principal, and as Calgary Catholic’s Superintendent of Instructional Services and, later, Human Resources.

She served two years as superintendent of school improvement at the Calgary Board of Education prior to taking the lead at Christ the Redeemer.

“The ability to start in the middle of June gave me the opportunity to tour around all of our schools and communities, and then this summer I went back and attended all of our communities and parishes and attended mass with the trustees, and some of the parishioners and some more of our staff,” she said. “That gave me an understanding and a bit of a foundation of what the community’s needs are.”

She added part of the draw for her to join the team at Christ the Redeemer was the overall strength of the division, the high academic results, and the already existing supports available for students.

Holowka said she feels like there are already a host of good things she is looking forward to building on and looking at a theme of continuous improvement throughout her tenure.

“All of our schools are ready and eager. We have done a tremendous amount of work both at the division level and at the school level to prepare for our students coming,” she said. “We have had orientation with our new teachers … we have spent time in the schools, our administrators working with teachers helping them out to learn about how to support the students. Teachers of course are very busy getting their classrooms ready and getting excited.”

A large part of her job, Holowka explained, is to be present in the schools and working alongside principals within the division.

The goal is to develop a strong understanding of how goals and processes within the division impact schools at the classroom level and how operations can continue to improve and support student success.

Holowka said she will be working with division principals right out of the gate to conduct a thorough review of data received from upper education, looking at the information across the schools, as well as at the level of individual facilities in order to address needs and further develop the leadership process.

Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools began their educational year as of Tuesday, Sept. 5.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times