Havergal Launches New Strategic Direction
Extended Closure of Campus – Message from the Principal
January has come and gone in a blink of an eye and the Boarding School is looking forward to the Family Day holiday. Thank you all for sending in your permission slips to the Boarding team. January had many quiet nights in the Boarding School study hall with students preparing for tests and, for some lucky Grade 12 students, an end-of-semester math exam. Girls are plugging away at their academics, dance, music, sports, clubs and much more.
This past month, many of the girls participated in some exciting events, which you’ll read about below. It’s always wonderful to see the girls laughing, singing and simply enjoying spending time with one another. When the weather is cold and grey, we really encourage the girls to get outside and stay active and healthy in mind and spirit. Please encourage your daughter to do just that. Since it has been a mild winter here in Toronto, most girls are taking advantage of these opportunities, but we want to make sure it continues through the end of the season.
I know that course selection has ended, but if you have any further questions, please contact the Guidance Counsellors. Additionally, there are a few other things to be aware of this month. First, I would like to send out special congratulations to Lilly Li, who is one of our Grade 12 Boarders. It was her second year organizing the successful event called The Salon, which is an art exhibit where faculty, staff and students contribute their personal works of art. The grand opening was on Thursday, January 28, and it was a week-long event that showcased 81 fabulous original works of art! Lilly will continue to develop her talents at university next year.
This week was also Spirit Week, where students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to dress in themed outfits (for days like Green & Gold Day and Toronto Sports Jersey Day) and participated in fun events with their Houses. A few of our Boarders are involved in the upcoming DECA provincials, a competition designed to develop real-world business skills in students. Furthermore, on Wednesday, February 10, online parent teacher conference booking begins at 10 am, running until Wednesday, February 24. Don’t forget that there is the ability to book time with your daughter’s teachers via Skype. Lastly, Monday, February 29 is when online registration for our spring athletic teams begins. We like to see the girls going out and trying new things, so please help to encourage them to try out for a sport this spring.
Have a great 2016 and Happy Chinese New Year!
Assistant Head, Boarding
This year’s Surprise Event was a trip to Cirque du Soleil: Toruq last month at the Air Canada Centre. It was a wonderful show! A narrator told us a story while the performers did turns in the air, dancing and doing acrobatics while suspended from ropes. The set was decorated using fabric and lighting to make it seem like there were waves, which then transitioned seamlessly to look like different scenes. There were many colours in the setting with different flowers, trees and animals. There was a scene with a river and rock that had forest sounds which were very realistic. The animals were portrayed really well by the actors and were similar to the movie Avatar, which was the inspiration for Toruk. A dragon appeared at the end of the performance. It was enormous, with big wings the colours of the sunrise. I really enjoyed the music and singing, especially the soloist who had a beautiful voice.
This Surprise Event was such a great experience as it was something new. I really enjoyed watching the show while laughing and having fun with the friends I live with.
On Tuesday, January 19, the Boarding community got to travel to Sky Zone for a fun excursion. Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline park. It gave us a great workout while we had tons of fun! This was the most attended event to date in the Boarding School, as almost half of the Boarders were there. This gave us an opportunity to expand our friendships while having time away from our regular routine. The outing lifted some pressure away from stress and work, which was relaxing. A few girls had been before, but for many it was their first time. When those who hadn’t been to Sky Zone before saw the trampolines and activities, they were a little overwhelmed. It has trampolines, a foam pit and a dodgeball zone! Throughout the night, we got to know each other better and had an opportunity to reach out to other girls we did not know so well. I’m so glad that Boarding provides these opportunities outside of Havergal to have fun with your friends and interact with new acquaintances.
February 8: Chinese New Year Dinner
February 10: Valentine’s Day Dinner
February 11: Boarding Closes at 6 pm
February 15: Boarding Opens at 12 pm
February 21: Rock Climbing
February 22: Grade 9 Sushi Dinner
Wednesday nights: Swimming
Q: Where is home when you are not in Boarding?
I am from Orillia, a small town north of the city. I have a pretty busy family life with three siblings – two younger sisters, a younger brother, my mom, dad, dog and cat. My brother is a genius – he can finish a Rubik’s cube in seven seconds and he knows up to the 48th decimal points of pi. He taught me Grade 12 math and physics concepts before I learned them in school. Because my school life is so busy, I don’t get homesick that often (sorry, mom and dad), but I am always looking forward to going home for the holidays.
Q: You have been in Boarding since Grade 9. How have you changed?
I’ve grown to be more independent because I’ve had to learn to take care of myself. This includes learning to care for my emotional well-being, such as managing stress, workload and prioritizing my time. I think, in general, I have grown to be more mature as well. University is going to be such an easy transition for me because of my experience living away from home already.
Q: What program are you pursuing in post-secondary education?
I am applying to business schools all over Ontario. I honestly don’t know what I want to do after university, but I’ve always excelled at my math and business courses so I thought a business degree would be a good foundation. Hopefully I am going to stay in Toronto for university; I have grown to love the city through Boarding and there is still so much more to experience here!
Q: You are a Junior Don this year. What are some things in Toronto that you want to share with the girls in Boarding?
My best experiences in Toronto have been simply exploring the city. I want the girls to know that they don’t have to have something planned when they go out, they should grab a friend and get on the subway and experience this amazing place. The Junior Dons have awesome events planned all the time such as ice skating downtown, archery tag and Sky Zone, but the best thing about Toronto is that you can simply explore the little neighbourhoods such as Kensington Market or Queen West.
Q: Why is being a Junior Don important to you and how do you have an impact on girls in our community?
Being a Junior Don is important to me because it’s a role where I am able to give advice to girls in a casual way. Even simply doing bed checks is a way to get a glimpse of how a Boarder is doing when I wouldn’t normally talk to them on a day-to-day basis. I hope to impact girls in our community by simply voicing their opinions and concerns to the Junior Don team and Dons. When I was in Grade 9, I definitely felt as though my opinion didn’t matter as much because I was so new. I don’t want Grade 9s to feel that way now. The Junior Don team acts as a bridge between the younger girls and the Dons, and it’s a neat relationship to have, to feel like you’re making a positive difference in the atmosphere of Boarding.
Q: As a soon-departing Boarder, what kind of wisdom would you pass on?
I think the most important thing to know in Boarding is that you are always allowed to be yourself. Boarding is a group of girls with different personalities, ethnicities, backgrounds and family lives. If anyone knows anything about diversity, it’s us. Don’t waste your time trying to fit into a mould; rather, spend time with people you enjoy and figure out who you are. I didn’t truly learn this until Grade 11, but I’m so glad I did because it really is the best way to go through high school. It sounds super cheesy, but high school is about having fun and being silly and learning about yourself and the best way to do that is just to stop caring about what other people think of you.