May 2022

Gator Gazette

headshot of laura franks

Message from the Head of Boarding

Laura Franks

Dear Parents,

It has been amazing to finally experience Havergal College in the spring for the first time ever for me. With the lockdowns of the past two years, our experience had been a quiet one; aside from a few security and facilities personnel, Boarders and Boarding staff were the only ones in the building.  

How times have changed! The school is humming with activity⁠—from in-person classes, to full Upper School attendance in Prayers in the Brenda Robson Hall and extracurricular activities on the school grounds (Beatstock, the Junior School A-Mazing Race, golf lessons), there now is rarely a quiet moment on campus!

Boarders have been working hard, completing AP exams and getting ready for their end-of-year assessments and assignments. They have been able to appreciate some downtime, with many enjoying the trip to Canada’s Wonderland earlier this month, as well as doing volunteer work such as the Upper Canada College (UCC) Car Wash that raised money for the Red Cross held on a warm Saturday in May. They are looking forward to our final excursion of the year on June 3 to Medieval Times as well as our Farewell Dinner on June 13.

As we head into summer, I wish to thank all of our Boarders and Boarding staff, especially our Boarder Prefect, Jamie Wu, our Head Junior Don, Mathilda LaBrash White and all of the Junior Don team, for all of their commitment to making our Boarding program so successful this year. Despite starting the year off with many pandemic restrictions in place, we all worked together to navigate cohorts, masking, vaccinations and we are now happily back to the kind of Boarding experience we remembered from a few short years ago. 

Stay well and healthy and enjoy the summer holidays.

Laura Franks 
Head of Boarding

Inside Boarding

Grad portrait of Jamie W.

Message from the Boarder Prefect

Jamie W., Grade 12

As my experience at Havergal College comes to an end, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Boarding community at the school. This past year has been a ride⁠—from lifting mask mandates to being back at school in-person, it has genuinely tested our abilities to adapt and persevere through hard times. Our Boarding community has demonstrated both and it was definitely a year to remember. With the help of our amazing Dons, Junior Dons and Ms. Franks, Boarders enjoyed a wide range of activities, both on and off campus. Bimonthly basketball games, baking sessions and game nights have been a blast. I’m proud to say that the feedback was nothing but positive. 

In the past few months, numerous workshops were organized for Boarders to expand their networks, both within and outside the school community. We were fortunate to have had members from the Havergal Old Girls Association (HOGA) join us in our weekly on-campus workshops where we made delicious chocolate chip cookies along with non-alcoholic Piña Coladas. Chatting with experienced Havergal alums and listening to their life stories have filled our afternoons with endless laughter and fun.

Outside of the Havergal bubble, we’ve had the chance to connect with Boarders from other COSSOT schools such as UCC and Bishop Strachan School (BSS). In addition to the trip to Canada’s Wonderland in October, the annual UCC x HC Car Wash was held the other weekend with massive success. With volunteers from both schools putting in their sweat and tears, we raised a total of $1500 for the Canadian Red Cross. 

I still remember joking with my roommate at the start of the year about how we were going to be part of HOGA next year. Stepping into the last few weeks of Grade 12, I cannot believe the time has finally come. As much as I am excited about the new adventures in the coming years, it is definitely not going to be easy to say goodbye to the Havergal Boarding community. I will miss the Netflix marathons that run 24/7 in the common room, not to mention the endless girls’ talks in the Boarding School Office. I’ll also miss going on the Yukon Striker roller coaster once a year with my best friends and decorating gingerbread houses every Christmas. My Boarding journey at Havergal might be coming to an end, but the friendships I’ve established and the fond memories I’ve created will forever live close to my heart.

The Incoming Boarder Prefect poses with two other Boarders.

Message from the Incoming Boarder Prefect

Lara U., Grade 11

Hello everybody! My name is Lara and it is my great pleasure and privilege to be your Boarding Prefect for the 2022-23 school year. I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey and decided to move to Toronto last year to attend high school, making this my first year both in Canada and Havergal. Next year, I will be working with our new Junior Don team consisting of Boarders from Grades 9 to 12 who will be taking on various roles such as arranging special dinners like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, as well as organizing the publication of this newsletter. I will also be working closely with Kerry, our Head Junior Don for the next school year, who will collaborate with me to organize any upcoming events and run the Junior Don meetings. During these meetings, the Junior Don team and I will be coming up with and brainstorming any new ideas and event organizations. 

When I first became a part of this community, the idea of even running for the position of the Boarder Prefect would not have crossed my mind. However, as I spent more time with my fellow Boarders as well as the Dons, I realized how much I appreciated the organization process and the leadership that goes on behind closed doors. Becoming more and more integrated within the Havergal College community as the months flew by, I came to the realization that it would be a great opportunity to take on a leadership role to pay this amazing program back.

Homesickness is very common, especially among international Boarders, and when I first came to Havergal, I missed home a lot. However, there was a community here waiting to show me their undying love and support. And therefore, with the help of my friends in Boarding as well as the Boarding staff, my transition was handled very well. After the leadership election results were announced, I walked into Boarding and was greeted by warm hugs and congratulations from fellow Boarders, further proving the supportive nature of this community. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic is⁠—hopefully⁠—coming to an end, I look forward to helping the Boarding program get back to normal. These past two years have been really hard on the entire Havergal community, but especially Boarding. That is why next year, the Junior Don Team and I are excited to plan an extensive roster of excursions. Having been a new girl myself this year, I also look forward to personally making sure that the new Boarders feel welcome and comfortable. We are building a true community in Boarding and a part of this culture is establishing a “home away from home.” I am excited to ensure that the incoming Boarders feel happy and well-integrated into our community as quickly as possible.

I want to thank everybody for believing in me and electing me as your Boarding Prefect for the next school year, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us as we strive toward reaching our fullest potential as a Boarding community!

Headshot of Kerry L.

Message from the Incoming Head Junior Don

Kerry L., Grade 11

I am Kerry, the current New Girls Junior Don in Boarding and your 2022-23 Head Junior Don (JD)! May 1 was the day that the election results were going to be announced. As Ms. Krotz had said that the results would be emailed to everyone at 5:30 pm, I began refreshing my email at 5:28 pm⁠—just in case she sent it out early. After numerous scrollings of my inbox, I finally saw Ms. Krotz’s email come up. Excited, yet scared, I opened the email, glanced through the list of names, stopped and found “Kerry” on the list. What was parallel to my name was “Head JD.” I could not believe it.

Why is that? As a Boarding student who has been at Havergal since Grade 9, I have learned that the role of Head JD holds a great level of influence. The Head JD serves an important role in bridging the needs of Boarders with the Boarding staff. Indeed, the Head JD and Boarder Prefect collaborate to make the Boarding community a home away from home. In addition, the Head JD helps to communicate with the teachers, thus giving the teachers a better understanding of Boarders’ needs. The Head JD and Boarder Prefect also encourage Boarders to share their input to make the Boarding community a better place. 

One of my goals for next year is to make everyone in the Boarding community feel included. In 2019, I was a crybaby due to homesickness. For instance, on my first day of school, as soon as I finished my classes, I sprinted up to the Boarding School, ran to my room, shut my door and cried on my bed. A few minutes later, both the Head JD and the Boarder Prefect knocked on my door, comforted me with snacks and talked about their experience with homesickness. Ever since then, I wanted to be part of the JD team, to become the one to comfort others when needed. I can’t wait to collaborate with Lara to create a vibrant Boarding community for the 2022-23 school year!

Leviathan roller coaster.

Memories of Boarding

From a Grade 12 Boarder

  • Playing poker with jam in the Common Room.
  • Watching movies in the Common Room.
  • Gingerbread decorating.
  • Canada’s Wonderland.
  • Making Christmas TikTok videos in Grade 11.
  • Late night chats in the Common Room.
  • Meeting my best friend Vicky.
  • Late night Common Room talks and hang outs in my friend’s room.
  • Decorating my room with my roommate.
  • I liked how we went on so many outdoor excursions this year. My favorite memory was obviously going to Canada’s Wonderland for the first time and getting to go on all the rides. I had heard of the infamous Yukon Striker and Leviathan roller coasters and it was fulfilling to actually get to ride them. But to be honest, I made so many wonderful memories within my short two years at Havergal, just from talking to people in common rooms or watching movies; not a day goes by in Boarding that I would consider boring.
  • Going on the Leviathan after my friend forced me to.
Boarders pose for a selfie at Canada's Wonderland.

Canada’s Wonderland

On a PD Friday, Boarders went to Canada’s Wonderland! Heading to Canada’s largest theme park was a super fun and exciting experience. Boarders were able to hang out with their friends from different grades and go on thrilling rides.

Boarders wash cars at Upper Canada College.

Annual UCC x HC Car Wash

On a fine and warm Saturday, May 14, Boarders participated in the annual UCC Car Wash, which successfully raised $1,500 for the Canadian Red Cross. This was a great opportunity for Havergal Boarders to connect with other COSSOT school students, such as BSS, Branksome Hall and UCC Boarders. Volunteering to wash the cars also helped Boarders to be physically and mentally healthy!

A Boarder wearing a Heather grey hoodie with "Havergal College" on the front in green block letters.

Boarding Merch

A Boarding hoodie is available for the 2021-22 school year! This hoodie idea was developed by the Junior Don team and our fellow Boarders contributed to the design. Boarders loved it so much that everyone from Grades 9 to 11 started wearing their hoodies immediately on the day they were delivered to our rooms! The Boarding hoodies can now be seen everywhere in the school.

Three Boarders bake mug cakes.

Baking with the Havergal Old Girls Association

Boarder families made mug cake with members of the Havergal Old Girls Association! Andrea Thompson and Andrea Bejar were on Zoom supporting Boarders as they baked. Boarders were happy to be with their Yellow, Red, Blue and Purple families, getting spirited and making yummy mug cakes. The results turned out to be very delicious and the Boarders enjoyed the process with their friends.

Upcoming Events

Students in white gowns throw graduation caps into the air.

June 3: Medieval Times Dinner Excursion

June 10: Swan Lake Ballet Excursion (Grade 12 Boarders only)

June 13: Boarder Farewell Dinner (Boarders & staff)

June 15:  Grad Boarder/Parent Tea (4 to 6 pm, Grade 12 Boarders & parents)

June 15:  Grade 9 & 10 Boarders Move Out Day (by 4 pm)

June 16: Candlelight (6 to 8 pm, Grade 11 & 12 Boarders only)

June 16: Grade 11 Boarder Move Out Day (by 6 pm)

June 17: Graduation (1 to 5 pm)

June 17: Grade 12 Boarders Move Out Day (by 6 pm)