‘Tis the season of giving! Whether it’s collecting food for Feed Nova Scotia, creating care packages for kids in hospital or writing greeting cards for seniors, students and staff in HRCE schools always make time to give to others – and that’s not just during the holiday season! The ways in which our schools give back to community are varied. Each and every fundraiser, food drive and service project is an opportunity for students to learn about empathy, compassion and the importance of community. The impact is twofold! As an example, during the 2017-18 school year, 113 (of 135) HRCE schools participated in WE Schools. This program supports our educators in building the next generation of compassionate leaders through experiential service learning. Students are challenged to research and make an impact on one local and one global issue that they’re passionateabout.There are countless stories about the incredible work happening in the HRCE. A few of the impressive statistics from HRCE and WE Schools from across Atlantic Canada are illustrated above. Our young people are making a difference! In addition to the awesome work connected to WE Schools that’s happening throughout the year, I recognize that students and staff go above and beyond to give back during the holiday season. Check out page 8 for a just few of these thoughtful examples. December is also a time to reflect upon and celebrate the year’s accomplishments. This year, I encourage you to think about the educators in our system who are making a difference. Nominations for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence are open. These prestigious awards honour outstanding and innovative teachers for their remarkable educational achievements and for their commitment to preparing their students for the future. Who do you know who is actively engaged in STEM learning? Who in our system is leading and developing a culture of innovation in their classroom? Do you know an Early Childhood Educator who is outstanding? Everything you need to nominate an HRCE educator can be found here. Consider giving the gift of recognition to one of our outstanding employees. Speaking of well-deserved recognition, I would like to offer my congratulations to Dr. Stan Kutcher, Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health at Dalhousie University, who was recently appointed to the Senate of Canada! Dr. Kutcher has been an amazing champion of public education and a driving force behind mental health literacy among our educators, and in turn, our students. I look forward to watching the impact Dr. Kutcher will have as a Senator. As 2018 comes to a close, I would like to thank all of our community partners and champions of public education for the support of our work over the past year. We couldn’t do it without you! Wishing you a restful and joyful holiday season. Elwin LeRoux Regional Executive Director’s Message 2 Improving Student Achievement Equitable Education Fine Arts Programming Inclusive Education Council to Improve Classroom Conditions System Review: Transition and Expansion Instruction and Leadership Our Goals: watch for these symbols next to featured stories each month