Extraordinary People

My work as a consultant is in full swing. As followers you know that I retired from Foothills School Division this last June. I took a small vacation as a newly retired free agent and went on a small adventure…. Okotoks to Campbell River to Phoenix and back. I haven’t had 30 days of vacation for a great many years. I have to say everyone should try it.

As a part of my excursions I was able to capture the following images…

Some great fishing… there’s a story behind every fish…

Bryce Canyon – a must see for anyone, a must walk for all hikers. Phenomenal!


Zion Canyon – again, a great day of hiking

Grand Canyon – we took the train… then hiked the rim…

We took in the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas as well…

I have to say it was extraordinary. I relished in every moment. From the shock of the opulence of Vegas to the magnificence of erosion and its impact on the landscape.

As the vacation initiated, I had started some work with Elk Island School Division. I tucked in digitally once in a while using Google Hangouts to have dialogue with the team and work toward some solid constructs of moving forward as an organization.

I followed the trip with an excursion to Sherwood Park to work hand-in-hand with the team. I’ll be there for the next number of months. What I’m finding is the dedication that lies inside all the educational organizations I’ve worked with. In the very short time I have been working with this highly motivated group, they have stood upside-down to move and act on the team based initiatives we’ve developed collaboratively. They put in extra time, go the extra mile and engage in difficult conversations in a healthy team-focused way. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Currently we have two main goals: 1) Develop and align a team that is able to support the explosive growth of learning technologies. 2) To build an infrastructure capable of handling that growth.

We’ve put purchasing of new end user technologies on hold, we’ve prioritized all other efforts as secondary and every day, every member has to answer this question:  what have they have done to move the efforts of the team forward on our two main goals.

The impact has been powerful. We’re unearthing issues, we’re updating systems, we’re simplifying structures, we’re building processes, we’re becoming more efficient and we’re service oriented. And we’re relentless in the pursuit of the two primary goals. The weekly updates demonstrate the progress being made and, with so many hands working on the same goals, change is not the slow process of erosion… it’s a landslide.

You consider the work that the people in the Depression put into making the Hoover Dam. It was extraordinary. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things… in the blazing heat… in a time of shovels and pick axes, and concrete and sweat. They wanted to build something that would have a lasting impact.


Kinda like the team at Elk Island… The toil is different… but anyone working in IT in education knows that it’s not easy work. It’s relentless and takes ongoing team-based efforts.

We’re building our own structure – one that will have a lasting impact on every learner in the system.

That work is being completed by extraordinary people. Enjoying every minute of these efforts.


One thought on “Extraordinary People

  1. Bonjour my son, working on a fantastic power point corrections that Jean-Marie Marquis is presenting on the history of the Guindons. Fabulous job, will definitely show it to you as he is sending a link for anyone to view.
    Nice work but none of you pictures are showing. Just thought I should let you know. I must get on with my corrections as everyone is sleeping and it is quiet here. Terry has been fantastic with my genealogy meetings and very supportive. Refreshing some of her French – with a few laughs.
    Amore, Mom

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