September 2017



Natalia Stewart
Message from the Head of Boarding
Natalia Stewart

For those of you who are new this year, welcome to Havergal College! For those of you returning to Boarding, welcome back. Our team and community are excited to get to know our new Boarders—there are 19 new girls in our Boarding families. We also welcome four new Dons this year. Ms. Muralidhar is our Senior Don. She will assume responsibilities in my absence due to travel with the Admissions department. Ms. Murlaidhar was raised in Singapore and India. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto and went on to attain her teaching degree in English at OISE. Ms. Muralidhar also has earned her yoga instructor’s certification while in India.

Ms. Fraser joins our team this year after completing her Master’s of Education in School Counselling from Boston University. Ms. Fraser spent the final year of her degree working in Guidance at a Boston public school. She knows independent boarding schools well, as she was educated at Rothesay Netherwood College, an independent high school in New Brunswick.

Ms. den Elzen is also from the Boston area, having just finished her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Wellesley. She also spent her senior years of high school at a boarding school in the United States, where she and her sister started a sustainable clothing business. Ms. den Elzen will be coordinating our DECA program in the Day School.

Ms. Vivas joins us all the way from Hong Kong. She speaks fluent Spanish, which she spoke while growing up in Venezuala, and also Cantonese, from spending the second half of her adolescence living in Hong Kong, attending an international school where she learned English. Ms. Vivas came to Canada to study at Queen’s University. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she taught in a variety of different countries. She worked on a tall ship that was also a high school, sailing around the world, and went back to Hong Kong to teach kindergarten.

Lastly, we welcome back Ms. Davis, our Weekend Don. This year marks Ms. Davis’ 20th at Havergal. We are lucky to have her wisdom and knowledge always guiding our way. She will be in the Boarding Office as usual on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday during the day.



As returning parents know, we use a software system for Boarding called REACH. It allows my team and I to track students’ locations, sign-outs and attendance, as well as to create paperless reports. An email will be sent to you from the company explaining how the system works. REACH allows your daughter to send a request for permission to go on an overnight to either their guardian’s, friend’s or parent’s house. The request will be delivered to your phone or email. Once it has been accepted or denied, it goes back to Boarding staff for final approval of the overnight stay. Girls must also use this to sign in and out of the Boarding School, whether they are going on a short trip to the corner store or on an overnight on the weekend. If your daughter is asking you to sleep over at a friend’s house, we encourage you to have a conversation about where she is going and talk to the parents of the other girl yourself. Our staff will do the same to make sure all girls are safe, even outside of the school. Please expect the REACH instructional email within the next week.



Fall sports will be starting quickly this month. Registration is now open and tryouts will start on Monday, September 11. We highly encourage your daughter to try out for a team and get involved in the community, especially if she is new. We promote active and healthy lifestyles in the Boarding School. Joining a team is a good way to keep fit and be part of the school.


Celebration Saturday

If you are in town near the end of September, please join us for Celebration Saturday on September 23. It’s an occasion when our whole community comes together on the beautiful grounds of Havergal College. There are games, activities and a whole lot of food to enjoy. Come see your daughter and the school in a whole new way.


Finally, please have a look at our Major School Dates Calendar to find information on important dates such as school closures and holidays. The Boarding School will be open for Thanksgiving and closed for the November mid-term break and Christmas. For the Family Day long weekend in February, we always run an excursion. Last year, the girls went to New York City, where they enjoyed the sights, theatre, museums and food. This year we are looking at either a museum trip to Washington, DC or a Canadian adventure to Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. We’ll let you know soon, but remember that if you would like your daughter to stay in the Boarding School that weekend, she must attend the excursion. Otherwise she will need to go home or to her guardian’s house. March Break and Easter Break fall very closely this year. If you plan on extending your daughter’s holiday over the four academic days that connects the two closures, please be sure to notify us early so that your daughter can touch base with her teachers and have a form signed by them indicating that they are aware of her absence. Her teachers will indicate what she will be missing and refer her to where she can find the assignment on Veracross.

We thank you for choosing Havergal and we hope that you feel as though you are part of a welcoming community. Please feel free to contact us at any time. For general information or questions, you can reach me and and the Dons at havergaldons@nullhavergal.on.ca. You are also more than welcome to contact us directly by email. Havergal email addresses always start with the first letter of our first names, followed by our last name. For example, my email is: nstewart@nullhavergal.on.ca.

All the best,

Natalia Stewart
Head of Boarding


Inside Boarding

Osuare Atafo
Introducing Osuare Atafo
Boarder Prefect

Before anything else, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone, new and returning, to Havergal for the 2017-18 school year. I hope that you had a relaxing summer and are excited for the fun things that we have in store for the year. I’m Osuare Atafo and I’m honoured to be Boarder Prefect. I became part of the Havergal Boarding family in Grade 9 and this is the longest I’ve ever been at a school. I’ve attended a total of 10 schools in my lifetime, the shortest amount of time being two weeks and, prior to Havergal, the longest being two years. Having attended so many schools, I can definitely say I’m glad to have spent my last few years here. In Boarding, I’ve been given the ability to develop exponentially. I have grown independently, socially and academically in ways that I could not have imagined. Boarding has given me the ability to grow in confidence and maturity, teaching me that it’s okay to take risks. One thing that I will forever be grateful for is the relationships and friendships that I have been able to build and strengthen with each passing year; connections that I know will span further than time and space itself. The girls continue to challenge my understanding of culture and diversity, significantly teaching me that unfamiliarity and new perspectives offer opportunities for learning and appreciation of things, people and places that are different.

I am extremely enthusiastic about this year for many reasons, one being because of the amazing Junior Don team. They’ve been working so hard over the summer in preparation for this school year. Whether it be prepping for events like the annual drive-in movie and various special dinners, to writing messages for this very newsletter, these girls have really showed initiative in every aspect of their roles. Reason number two has to be that I have many actions lined up that I would love to implement this year in hopes of making Boarding an even better place than it already is. They include, but are not limited to, changes in the dynamics between Boarding and Day School students, reinventing the meaning of student voice in Boarding and changes in the overall flow and function of certain Boarding infrastructures. My job is to be a bridge between the student body and Boarding administration and to be another channel for the girls to come to in times of need. I plan to secure a trusting, loving, safe and supportive environment for the girls to grow and develop, ensuring that they experience what makes Boarding such a great place. The last reason is that I look forward to being a part of this great community for my final year and I can’t wait to get to know all the girls personally. I know that the returning girls will continue to make an impact within our community and the new girls will definitely be some wonderful additions. In closing, I just wanted to say: let’s make this year great!


Helen Zhang
Introducing Helen Zhang
Head of Junior Dons

Welcome to Havergal Boarding! My name is Helen. I’m originally from Shanghai, but from my three years of Boarding at Havergal, I’m proud to call Toronto my home as well. Though this is my last year here, I’m just as excited to walk amongst the ivy walls as I was on my first day and I can’t wait to share that excitement with you!

Being an only child, the transition to Boarding was rather difficult at firstfrom living with a roommate to sharing a bathroom with eight other girls. However, I would say that it’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned in Boarding: sharing and compromise. Although being surrounded by around 50 girls almost 24/7 can seem a little intimidating at first, I’ve learned to immerse myself and appreciate the culturally-diverse communityeverything from sharing funny stories with my friends to going out for dinners on Friday nights and helping each other on math problems. The life here is permeated with laughter, support and most importantly, camaraderie.

As the Head of Junior Dons (JDs) this year, I am beyond excited for another incredible year in Boarding with amazing Dons, an incredible JD team and, frankly, every single person in the community (that includes you!) This school year is one with great change and exhilarating activities and events. I hope that you will take the endless opportunities that are offered in this community, both academically and socially, to create an experience that is distinctively and amazingly your own!


Sheena McKeever and Kayla Wang
Introducing Sheena McKeever & Kayla Wang
Newsletter Junior Dons

Being elected to represent the Boarding community through the Boarding Newsletter is an opportunity that I’m looking forward to. Not only will I use this year to build new relationships, I will also strive to provide our readers with an accurate representation and array of voices in Boarding. My objective is for our readers to have an in-depth look into our everyday lives, acknowledging our achievements and talents outside of the classroom. This year our newsletter team has been keen on introducing to you our Showcase section, which will be found at the bottom of our upcoming issues and will include artwork and accomplishments from Boarders. Whether you’re new or returning to Havergal, we can all agree that this is a unique opportunity to be heard. I aim to encourage as much participation from all of our students to collectively get the most out of this year.

– Sheena McKeever

It has been a great honour of mine to be elected as the Newsletter Junior Don for the 2017-18 school year. I will use this position as an opportunity to highlight the diversity and achievements of the amazing members in the Boarding community. Boarders are welcome to share their works and thoughts in each issue to showcase their perspectives and talents. Along with Sheena, we will also try our best to provide our readers with a vivid understanding of our experience inside the ivy-covered walls of Havergal. Each issue will have a different theme according to the events taking place in Havergal, while detailed information of the events will be included as well. This year’s newsletter will serve as a bridge between our readers and students, and I hope it will be a great success with the help of all members within our community.

-Kayla Wang


Selina Liu and Kate Lunau
Introducing Selina Liu & Kate Lunau
New Girl Junior Dons

Hello, I am Selina in Grade 11. As one of the Junior Dons, I will do my best to help every new girl find her place in Boarding. I will also be willing to help them deal with any problems they might encounter—I’m a good listener and I may have been through the same situations they’re experiencing. Boarding is a loving community and this year we’ve created a buddy system that pairs new girls with returning Boarders to help them familiarize with the people as well as the school. Moreover, Kate and I have planned activities to help new Boarders get to know the city (i.e. public transit, shopping centres, restaurants, etc.) Get ready for a brand new exciting journey in Boarding!

– Selina Liu

I’m Kate and I’m very excited to be one of the New Girl JDs this year! To start off, here’s a few things about me: I’m in Grade 12 and this is my fourth year boarding at Havergal. I love makeup and my dream is that, one day, I will be a special effects artist working for Oscar nominated movies. I am stoked for my position this year because I remember how much I hated being a new girl when I came to Havergal. It was scary and tough most of the time. As the New Girl JD I am here to be that person for all of the girls here. Any questions or help needed, even if it is just a run to Shoppers Drug Mart in the middle of winter and no one else will go because it’s “too cold,” I’ll be here as you need me. A knock on my door is all it will take. So welcome to Havergal! It is going to be a sweet year.

– Kate Lunau


Boarders at Celebration Saturday
Celebration Saturday

Celebration Saturday is an annual school-wide event held at Havergal on September 23. This spirited event brings together the Havergal community, including our Junior School, Upper School and Old Girls. The objective of this event is to enjoy each other’s company while supporting our community partnerships. The Boarding School will be welcoming visitors at our own booth. If you happen to be in town, come out and support us!

Thanksgiving Cupcakes
Upcoming Events

September 9: Movie Night
September 10: Motivation Jars
September 17: Intramurals
September 23: Slime & Stress Balls
September 24: Intramurals
October 1: Intramurals, Obstacle course
October 7: Turkey Cupcakes
October 8: Hot Cocoa Jars
October 15: Intramurals
October 21: Dry Erase Board
October 22: Intramurals
October 28: Halloween Mason Jars
October 29: Rice Krispie Treats/Decorating
November 4: Remembrance Day Wreaths
November 5: Intramurals