After 35 years of employment within the Hanover School Division, Assistant Superintendent Chris Gudziunas has decided to retire.
“It never seems like a long time when you really enjoy what you are doing,” says Gudziunas, who began his career in 1986 after a friend he knew from coaching University of Manitoba hockey recommended him for a position in Landmark Collegiate’s physical education department.
Since then, Gudziunas indicates he has had several roles including that of a grade 4 teacher, a principal, and finally ending in his present role as assistant superintendent.
“One thing that has been consistent through all my time is that there are some really wonderful kids and some really terrific teachers in the division,” says Gudziunas.
Though the great quality of teaching has not changed, Gudziunas indicates that the division’s focus has shifted toward academic practices that inspire confidence, creativity, and critical thinking in students. He explains: “What’s changed in the last five years is the deeper learning project where we’ve identified skills, values, attributes, and knowledge that we want our kids to come away with after they’ve graduated.”
While he announced his retirement several months ago, Gudziunas says he was allowed to stay on the team and mentor the two new assistant superintendents as they transitioned into their positions this fall. He adds that his final day will be on November 8, which gives him just enough time to meet the newly elected school board before making retirement travel plans with his wife; his most loyal supporter for the past many years.
As a final message, Gudziunas encourages teachers to continue to look at students through a lens of possibility, “if you believe anything is possible when you work at it, then we have a bright future ahead of us.”