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Director's Message - December 17, 2019
It is with an air of bitter sweetness that I share this year’s holiday message with you.  At the December 17, 2019 Regular Meeting of the Board, my upcoming retirement from Bluewater District School Board was announced.  This has been a difficult personal decision; however, I feel that the time is right to step away and pursue other opportunities and adventures.  My last day with Bluewater will be August 31, 2020.  A media release regarding my retirement has been issued, and the Board of Trustees will soon begin the search for a new director with details to come.

It has been an amazing career serving the students and families of Bruce and Grey Counties over the past 38 years.  As I am sure you can appreciate, my humble “thank you” list to all whom I have had the pleasure to teach, learn from, and work with is too extensive to include here.  My deepest gratitude lies with so many supportive and talented individuals, whose unwavering dedication to student success and excellence cannot be quantified.  I feel so proud to be an employee of Bluewater District School Board and am eternally grateful for the many opportunities that I have been privileged to pursue throughout my career.  As I prepare for my departure, I have every confidence that our small but vibrant school board will continue to grow and excel into the future.  When I observe the unbridled enthusiasm and impressive skill sets of our current complement of students and staff, I have no doubt that our leaders of tomorrow will serve us well!  

In the meantime, it brings me great pleasure to join you one final time in celebrating the arrival of the holiday season.  In Bluewater, the season of giving is always a special time as we get to witness our students and staff selflessly participating in food drives, sharing their talents in holiday themed school concerts, and joining together for festive school community dinners.  Our school councils, families, volunteers, and community partners, whose hard work and generosity contribute to these initiatives, are also deserving of our recognition for all that they do at this time of year.                 

As 2019 comes to a close, it is important for us to reflect on the excellent work and accomplishments achieved in Bluewater over the past 12 months.  From our expansion of skilled trades and Indigenous learning, to our continued efforts to promote student and staff mental health and well-being, we have so much to be proud of.  A snapshot that exemplifies some of this work is featured in the Director’s Annual Report, which is being made available once again on our board website.  The report also includes an introduction to our newly revised Multi-Year Strategic Plan, which will carve out Bluewater’s future path and focus in 2020 and beyond.

In closing, I would like to extend my deepest thanks to our students, staff, trustees, families, partners, and communities for an amazing year of learning and success in Bluewater.  I would also like to express my sincere thank you to the local media who regularly share the important happenings from our board meetings and our schools.  I hope that the next few weeks will allow you all ample opportunities to relax and give thanks among those with whom you are closest.  Regardless of your traditions and what you choose to celebrate, my thoughts and wishes are with you and yours for a very safe, peaceful, and joyous holiday season.  See you in 2020!       

Alana Murray
Director of Education

Follow me on Twitter:  @BWDSBDirector

Image of Director of Education Alana Murray