Former police officer now school division safety officer

Richard Froese

A former police officer has joined the ranks of High Prairie School Division as safety officer.

Michael Bourguignon became the safety and health officer in March after 13 years with the RCMP.

“I consider it a rewarding experience to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other people in the division to provide a safe environment,” says Bourguignon, who served as interim sergeant of High Prairie RCMP from October 2014 until he retired in March.

He works collaboratively with schools and staff from Falher in the west to Slave Lake in the east.

“I visit the schools regularly and meet with the staff to discuss any issues,” Bourguignon says.

“Recently I met with the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service, and the principals of the four schools in Slave Lake, to complete building fire and life safety inspections.

“I also work regularly with the support departments, such as facilities and transportation, on preventative and response initiatives.”

Schools and safety have long been a passion for him.

“Staff and students should work and learn in a safe environment,” Bourguignon says.

“My mission and vision are in line with that of the school division: ‘Through exemplary teaching, leadership and collaborative partnerships, we prepare students to be socially responsible and to succeed locally and globally’.”

Trustees and administration value his commitment and experience to enhance health and safety.

“Michael will be a welcome addition to High Prairie School Division,” says board chair Tammy Henkel.

“His varied and extensive skill set will certainly have a positive impact on the division and its staff and students.”

He has considerable experience working closely with schools’ emergency plans and Violent Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) program.

The position has an overall goal to manage and co-ordinate all aspects of the division’s health and safety program.

Bourguignon leads the division safety committee and serves as incident commander for the Learning Support Centre school division headquarters.

He also co-ordinates all matters related to occupational health and safety at division sites and schools, overseeing all policies, processes, and procedures related to internal and external risk management, overseeing school/ site emergency response plans.

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