Important Update – Extended School Closure Until the End of Year
Supporting Wellbeing Through the Arts
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It is my sincere hope that all of you had a restful holiday and enjoyed the spirit of the season together with loved ones. As we head into the new year, we will be saying farewell to one of our Residential Dons, Ms. Katie Warriner, who has accepted a full-time position teaching French at a Toronto public school, an opportunity she could not pass up. Ms. Warriner has been with us since September and has contributed greatly to our community both in the Boarding and Day Schools. She created memorable experiences for her Warriner family members and has been a great mentor for the girls. We wish her luck in her new career. Replacing Ms. Warriner for the interim will be an experienced Residential Don, Ms. Sarah Cole. Ms. Cole has previously worked with us for two years as a Don and has been filling in when needed over the last year as she continues to work on her Master’s degree in Arts and Counselling Psychology.
At the end of 2018, we had the opportunity to bask in some great announcements and achievements. For a few of our Grade 12 girls who applied for early decision for US colleges, the following were accepted into prestigious schools: Mia Xing to Columbia University, Zhengying Tian to the University of Chicago and Kayla Wang to Northeastern University in Boston. Ose Elimimian was also accepted into Kings College in England. We congratulate these girls on their successes and look forward to hearing about the rest of the acceptances to come for the Grade 12s. It has been a grueling few months for the Grads, but we know that their hard work will pay off.
A highlight to the start of the new year for the Grade 11 and 12s will be the semi-formal at the end of January. It is always a fun opportunity for the girls to get dressed up, meet boys and girls from other schools and have some fun. Our semi-formal is always hosted at Havergal and is usually well-attended by students from all around Toronto. Following the dance, on Monday, February 4, we will be celebrating the Lunar New Year with our annual dinner and presentations. On Thursday, February 14, the Boarding School will close for the Family Day long weekend, reopening on Monday, February 18. Students will be expected to head home or to their guardian’s house; they also have the opportunity to participate in weekend activities with the Dons on duty. February will conclude with our Senior School play, featuring a few of our Boarders who have been diligently rehearsing over the past few months.
One of the most anticipated school-wide events is student elections. It is an opportunity for girls to have formal active leadership positions, whether in the Day or Boarding Schools, and to contribute to and positively change the culture of the school. There are more than 170 positions available in the school, which give great opportunities for our young leaders to get involved. Many of the positions are precursors to even greater career paths beyond our ivy walls and elicit valuable skill-sets for each girl. The application process will start in March and elections will be held in April. Please take the opportunity to talk to your daughter about her interests and what she might want to explore.
I want to close by saying how proud my staff and I are of all of the girls. The first four months of school always seem to be the toughest. For girls who were new in September, it was an enormous change to acclimatize to a new country, city and school. For Grads, it has been a relentless university application process along with their studies. For the rest of the students, change is always inevitable, whether it is in their academics, social groups or athletic requirements, and adjusting is not always easy. My staff and I have seen all of the girls persevere in their endeavors and we commend all of them for their persistence.
Head of Boarding
Hello, I am Catherine Feng, one of the Special Dinner Junior Dons this year. I moved to Canada to live with my parents and my newborn sister when I was in Grade 3. Despite having lived in Canada for exactly half of my life and being technically Canadian, I still find eating Chinese food to be the most familiar and comforting thing to me. I love my role because I am able to plan and carry out dinners that are special to my fellow Boarding sisters and the Boarding staff. This role allows me to work with Boarders from many different backgrounds to host dinners that represent their cultures. My favourite dinner is definitely the Holiday Dinner because of the wide variety of dishes from different countries from around the world. I think Boarding is a very special place because of the all the girls and Dons. As a result of the frequency that Boarders see each other, I think we form a very special bond knowing that there is always someone who has your back, no matter what. Beginning in February, I am planning to organize bi-weekly dinner outings to restaurants suggested by Boarders. Hopefully through these dinners, girls attending can form even closer bonds and try new foods while learning about different cultures. I am very excited and looking forward to the rest of the year. – Catherine Feng
Hola! My name is Tze Vivas and I’m so glad to be back in Boarding for a second year. It has been a great start to 2019 so far and I am always delighted to hear about what the girls got up to on their December breaks. Part of what makes my job so enjoyable is getting to hear about all the different experiences that our Boarders have and all the parts of the world they have set foot on during their time away. I love having discussions with the girls about their cultures and backgrounds and being able to share a bit about my own experiences as a multicultural and multiracial woman navigating life in Toronto. My hope is that by having real conversations about race, class, gender and identity, our girls will continue to embrace themselves and celebrate their cultures, regardless of differences. It is those differences that unite the Boarding community and bring some spice into Havergal. I believe that the role that I get to play as a Boarding Don who is a visible minority and identifies as both Venezuelan and Chinese is such a privilege. It is so important to have representation and I love being able to have conversations with our Boarders in our mother tongues because it can be tiring to think in a different language all day. It’s the little things that I believe make all the difference and I am honoured to be a part of making our girls feel a little more at home. Havergal Boarding is truly a place that unites young women from all backgrounds and cultures and I learn something new from Boarders every day; I wouldn’t change our Boarding family for anything!
Salam everyone! My name is Fidan Sadig and I’m the first Boarding student from Azerbaijan, which is is very well known for its oil, ancient people’s settlements, beautiful cities and hospitality. That hospitality is the central element of our culture, which has been built over the years and credited with being a bridge between Asia and Europe on the Great Silk way. For hundreds of years, Azerbaijan was home of thousands of merchants; in the country you could find hundreds of Karvansarays (little hotels), where Azerbaijani people learned about hospitality. Nowadays, the feeling of hospitality is in the hearts and DNA of every Azerbaijani. When you visit someone’s home, you will find a big table of the homeowner’s best food, sweets and dishes and, most importantly, a tea table with a variety of jams will be waiting for you—be sure about it! When there are local holidays where everyone visits each other’s houses, there is even a competition for who has the best table. Today it is a habit for everyone to do their best whenever they have guests. A homeowner may even give you some treats to take with you as a sign of respect and love. Hospitality became the central part and very instinctive behaviour for everyone in Azerbaijan. We always welcome guests and are ready to take care of them with high standards and our finest things. If you decide to visit Azerbaijan, you won’t regret it! If you want to learn more about Azerbaijani culture, please find me, I will try to answer all of your questions. Çox sağ olun!
Class of 2019 Grad Family Reception
To celebrate the final year that the Grads of 2019 will be spending at Havergal, Boarding Dons, graduating Boarders and the rest of Class of 2019 were invited to dine and chat together on Tuesday, November 20.
International Holiday Dinner
One of our Boarders’ favourite events, this is a dinner that celebrates the ethnic and cultural diversity in Boarding, bringing dishes across the world from The Bahamas to China to one table at Havergal. Year after year, Boarders thoroughly enjoy the best food while they simultaneously await the holiday break and start of a new year. This year’s dinner took place on Monday, December 17.
Secret Santa has been a huge tradition in the Boarding community and it’s heartwarming to see our girls put in so much dedication with the gifts they’ve prepared, as well as the excitement and shock with receiving their own gift. This was part of our International/Christmas dinner festivities on Monday, December 17.
January 17: Parent Evening
January 19: Movie Night & Popcorn
January 21: Self-Esteem Workshop
January 25: Grade 11 & 12 Sanctioned Semi @ Havergal
January 28: Nutritionist Visit
February 1: Boarding Hide & Seek
February 4: Lunar New Year Dinner
February 11: Valentine’s Day Dinner
February 14: Boarding Closes for Family Day Long Weekend
February 18: Boarding Opens
February 25: Boarder Student Election Discussions
February 27-29: Senior School Production