Havergal Launches New Strategic Direction
Extended Closure of Campus – Message from the Principal
The final stretch is upon us; what a year it has been! This time of year is bittersweet for the staff and I. As we look at the girls faces and feel pride in what we have witnessed over the past year, we are proud of what they have achieved. But we also see faces that we know will not be returning next year and that knowledge gives us a little pain in our hearts. We have 18 graduates who we have watched grow in to young women. For Ms. Maki and I, we have seen nine of our Grade 12s blossom and develop over the past three years that we have been at Havergal. The staff and I have grown close with all the Grads and are tremendously proud to see them heading off on new journeys. Furthermore, we also had quite a few one-year students this year, which is again a bittersweet end as we have formed such positive and close relationships with these girls. We wish our one-year Boarders the best of luck finishing their final years.
There are only few more weeks left until exams. Units are coming to an end in the classrooms and students will be busy reviewing their courses by month’s end. Many of the girls have been participating in sports this term and enjoying the spring weather. At the end of May, some of our Grads will be attending prom. We are hosting our Boarder Farewell Dinner on Monday, May 9. This year’s theme is Time Travellers Ball.
A few housekeeping items to keep in mind for end of year: if you have a daughter departing Havergal who is not returning in September and you live relatively close by, it will be helpful to start to move her belongings slowly over the next month. The last week of Boarding is full of activities and it is hard to move belongs during that time. Please note that we do not allow Boarders to move out on Graduation Day between 1 and 4 pm. You may, however, move your daughter’s belongs before and after that time.
As some of you may remember from last year, girls are to depart the school 24 hours after their final exam. If they have a conflict and need to write an exam on Conflict Day, we ask that girls move out 24 hours afterward. We do this to ensure that the girls who are trying to study for exams can focus. I realize that flights have been booked; we hope that guardians will be willing to accommodate the girls while they are waiting. However, I also understand that there are unforeseen circumstances and that the girls may need to stay. If this is the case, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An additional note for Grade 12 parents: you should be receiving a parking pass for Graduation Day later in May, which the Guidance Office sends out. If you do not receive your parking pass, it may have either come directly to me if we know you live out of the country, in which case I will give it to your daughter closer to the date. It may also have been sent to another address if we have two on file for you. Grade 12 parents should have received my invitation for the Boarder Parent Tea that we have annually the day before Graduation. We hope that you all can make it on Thursday, June 16 if you are attending Graduation. It is a chance to mingle with other parents and spend a little time with your daughter before her big day.
Lastly, I want to congratulate the the newly elected and returning Junior Dons who will be taking on the Boarding leadership positions next year. It was a very close election with so many outstanding girls. A letter with greater detail will be coming out soon to inform you of when your daughter needs to arrive back to Havergal in the fall for the Junior Don retreat, but please note that she should be arriving back by Friday, September 2 after 6 pm to be ready for the next morning. Please contact me if you have any questions.
The Boarding team and I look forward to seeing you all at the end of the year. Until then, have a great month.
Head of Boarding
On Sunday, April 10, Grade 10 Boarders partook in our first grade-specific event: we went to a Japanese restaurant called Kinka Izykaya, just off of Bloor Street West. It was quite a chilly day, with some snowfall. Considering that we also got lost on the way, it was quite a challenge to get there. But the girls took on that obstacle while looking stylish. Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were welcomed by a parade of loud and attentive servers, which really accentuated the warm and cozy atmosphere. We then proceeded to remove our shoes as we prepared to dive into a cultural immersion experience. We sat at our tables and were given menus to order. It was quite a sight to see a bunch of girls struggling to read a menu that was mainly in Japanese! However, the taste of the food truly paid off. For the rest of the dinner we all enjoyed hearty conversations while sharing a delicious meal. We laughed, took pictures and some of us even braved experimental food choices. It was a great time to bond outside of the Boarding walls. I would also like to thank Ms. Vice for being the Don chaperoning this trip; she really made it more fun. As the dinner came to an end, we embarked on our journey home. Overall, I believe the night was amazing regardless of the challenges that we had coming and going to and from the restaurant. I was pleased to have spent it with all of the amazing Grade 10 Boarders. I can’t wait to see what the next trip has in store.
Performing on an instrument you have no previous experience with or delivering a humorous stand up comedy routine may not sound like a usual Monday night for you and your family. However, on Monday, April 18, Havergal Boarding held their third annual Boarder Talent Show. Our small yet family-like community joined together to produce, host and perform their hidden talents to the rest of our Boarding family. Out of 53 Boarders, a total of 27 girls contributed to help create an unforgettable event. Eight outstanding groups of girls stood up on stage that night and amazed every single audience member with their talents. There was a wide range of performances, from a magnificent singing number with a beautiful harmony, to a fresh upbeat dance performance and a warm uplifting piece of poetry. Aside from the amazing performances, our backstage crew worked tirelessly that night to make sure everything ran smoothly. This special evening was a chance to discover new talents within the community as well as a last chance for everyone to get together as a family before the school year ends.
On Saturday, April 23, Havergal Boarders attended a pool party with Boarders from Bishop Strachan School and Branksome Hall. When we arrived at Branksome, students from the other schools were already there so we quickly got changed and headed for the pool. For some of the girls, the event started off a little awkward because they were unfamiliar with the other students. I had met one of them before the pool party, so it made the event a little less awkward for me. After a while, we began to understand each other and make conversation about the similarities and differences between our schools. We also marveled at the underwater speakers the the pool had, which were very cool! During the pool party, the girls got to make new friends with people from other Boarding Schools in the city, which helped us remember that we are not alone.
On Monday, April 25 we hosted the annual Havergal College and Bishop Strachan School (BSS) Dinner! Student leaders in the Boarding community had tirelessly prepared for this exciting event. It needed to be big, but also subtle with a splash of Havergal goodness. On the afternoon of the Big Day, so many Havergal-green and BSS-red helium balloons were pumped that it almost looked like a Christmas celebration. The Brenda Robson Hall was elegantly decorated with tables of green. The moments before the BSS students arrived were a bit nerve-racking, but once everyone was seated, chatter ensued and the Hall was quickly filled with laughter and friendly conversation. The scrumptious meal of steak, potatoes and salad along with fruit, veggies and cookies had our mouths watering. Attendees helped themselves to second, third and even fourth helpings. Our amazing chefs did excellent work in preparing the delectable meal. After eating, we engaged in a classic game of trivia and online Kahoot, after which the winning table received everyone’s favourite: candy! Photos were taken to commemorate this event and, oh, by the way, this year’s recipient of the cup was Havergal! Go team! This traditional dinner between Havergal and BSS was such an enjoyment for all; we can’t wait for next year when it’s our turn to go to BSS (oh wait, I won’t be here!)
On Saturday, April 23 a small group of Boarders travelled with Ms. Stewart to see the Blue Jays take on the Oakland A’s. It was very exciting, especially since it was a first for several girls. Despite the massive crowds, we were able to find our seats, which were up in the “nosebleed” section with a decent view of the game. Our section was right next to one of the larger food stands and one of the memorabilia shops, which was rather handy. Between the giant hotdogs and various other junk food, no one went hungry. I know for a fact that some Blue Jay sweatshirts made it back to Boarding. It was a fast-paced game, which was very exciting as the Jays took a fairly commanding lead in the first two innings, scoring five runs in quick succession (to the joy of fans, especially some rather loud ones behind us). Since the game was so quick, those of us who had to leave for the pool party got to see the final inning and the Jays celebrated a win of nine to three. It was a fun afternoon and a nice way to get out of Boarding, relax, enjoy some unhealthy food and just have a good time.
May 7: Toronto FC Soccer Game
May 8: Rock Climbing
May 9: Time Travellers Gala
May 11: Mexican Dinner
May 13: Event with St. Andrew’s College
May 17: Grad Tea
May 20-23: Victoria Day Long Weekend
May 28: Colour Run
May 29: Rock Climbing
Well, it’s safe to say that my journey began on a warm September day,
I stepped into this ivy building,
Oblivious to the trials that I would face as I went on my way.
And I was okay.
But one of my fatal flaws crept up time and time again.
And one day, it soon became hard to ignore
And my hopes for the incredible things God had in store,
Didn’t seem so clear.
And life became rather bare.
But that was a while ago
I won’t lie, there’s still rough days,
Days when I just want to go home,
Days when I feel like on my own,
But it’s in those moments when God pulled me out,
And showed me what this life is truly about.
So perhaps I’m not the same girl I was six months ago,
But that’s okay,
Because perfection was merely an illusion,
And perhaps my thoughts of immense confusion,
Helped me to see,
That my affirmation and hope,
Didn’t lie in my grades or people or even in poetry,
But in God, the One who’s always been there for me.
For me, it started out rainy.
Southern part of China. Spring
was the flowers wet from the drizzle that always comes when I’m not
watching, 海棠, 杜鹃, 金银花 flowers I can’t name in English, and will never
sound as beautiful to me in English. Summer
was hot. Was salt water popsicles, was tons of homework.
Never get either of them here anymore. Fall
was not as maply and red as Canada. Winter
did not snow as much. Was wet and cold.
Those were days when I felt
safe, but always felt like I needed a stretch. Needed to
snatch up my doormat and turn it into a flying carpet.
So now I’m here, looking fly.
Now it is snow even in April?! Welcome to Canada.
Now my favourite things to say? “Life is beautiful”… or
“Ugh, I hate my life.”
Now is Havergal. Now
is trying things I’ve never tried before: NUMBER ONE
is having an annoying awesome roommate, ahem, Jala, moving on.
Now is a technicolour whirl. Ooh, and NOW is frozen yogurt.
Now…is speaking English all day. Now is calling my grandparents in China, who can’t even picture life in another language, another time zone, a Pacific Ocean away. Now is never being able to talk to them on the phone without bursting into tears but still forcing a smile. Now is like me learning to skate, careful, careful, falling, but there is always that moment when the wind and you and the ice are one, smooth, chilly but warm. Now is standing here.
Q: Tell me 10 things that I’d see when I walk in your door?
Isabella: Mengxuan, her guitar, her hermit crabs, cat wall decors, my stuffed animal froggie, my wind chime, the window, my desk, my llama, plants by the window.
Mengxuan: See above 😛
Q: What advice do you have for girls who want to room with their best friend?
Isabella: Make sure that you have similar habits and lifestyle and get ready to tolerate your roommate.
Mengxuan: Make sure you’re OK with spending basically 24 hours everyday with them without wanting to slap them in the face…
Q: How and when did you first meet?
Isabella: We first met each other in Grade 10 at our first choir meeting where we found out that we both like the same singer.
Mengxuan: We first met in choir, but I’m pretty sure we met in vocal class. I don’t pay attention to other people so I might have just ignored her.
Q: What is the most annoying thing that your roommate does?
Isabella: Sometimes she will ignore me…
Mengxuan: Every time I try to study, she always watches TV shows on YouTube and consistently but irregularly bursts into loud laughter.
Q: What is the best way that your roommate supports you?
Isabella: Just listening to my nonsense ideas and not judging me.
Mengxuan: By being by my side everywhere I go.
Q: Who is the better chef and why?
Isabella: It’s obviously me since she gave me a bowl of hot water with tofu in it and said this was a miso soup (she forgot to put the miso in miso soup!)
Mengxuan: We both don’t know how to cook, but I think I’m the better one because at least I know how to bake.
Q: What is the nicest thing your roommate has done for you?
Isabella: She remembers every word I say. I don’t even remember them myself!
Mengxuan: She’s a free private tutor for vocal exams!
Q: What is your favourite memory of being here in Boarding for the last three years?
Isabella: When Mango is playing the guitar and I’m singing with her.
Mengxuan: When I found a stray cat and tried to bring it back to Boarding. Then it ran away and I got yelled at by Security…
Q: What is something special you would like to share with younger Boarders about the Boarding community?
Isabella: Everyday in Boarding is special, cherish it.
Mengxuan: The fourth floor really is haunted… by Grads! Mwahahaha…