Support for Students

Need help? We’re here.


Where Do I Start?

Asking for help is an important first step. At Havergal, you are encouraged to reach out to any trusted adult at the school; we are all here for you. You also have a specially trained Student Support Team (SST) here to help at any time. Your SST includes Guidance Counsellors, Wellness Centre Nurses, Learning Support Specialists, the school Social Worker and the Chaplain. You can reach us confidentially by sending an email to studentsupport@nullhavergal.on.ca. You can also access free and confidential services through Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868 or www.kidshelpphone.ca). Look for the SST posters positioned throughout the school.


What Do I Say?

The better that you are able to describe and explain your concerns, the more likely that the right kind of help can be found. Ask yourself:

  • What’s on my mind? How am I feeling?
  • What are the most serious challenges that I’m facing?
  • What or who has helped me in the past?
  • What would be one thing that, if it changed, could make a positive difference in my life?


What If I Don’t Know What Kind of Help I Need?

It is okay to be unsure. Once you have shared your concerns with a trusted adult, it will be their responsibility to help you find the right kind of support. Sometimes, you might work with a team of two or three adults to make sure that your personal and school needs are met. But, most importantly, you won’t be left to deal with things on your own anymore. We are here to help.


Your Student Support Team

Michael Simmonds

Vice Principal School Life & Student Wellness

Michael Simmonds

The VP School Life & Student Wellness provides leadership and strategic oversight for the day-to-day operations of the Upper School (Grades 7 to 12), which includes the Boarding School (Grades 9 to 12). The VP School Life & Student Wellness also works collaboratively with the School Nurse, Social Worker, Guidance Department, Head of Junior School, Head of Middle School and Head of Boarding School, and Head of Senior School to ensure that students’ social, emotional, health and wellness needs are addressed from JK to Grade 12. Havergal’s approach to supporting the wellness needs of students is to establish a circle of care that places the student at the centre. The VP School Life & Student Wellness also works collaboratively with SST members to ensure that students’ physical, social, emotional, spiritual, cognitive, health and wellness needs are addressed from JK to Grade 12.

Seonaid Davis

Vice Principal Teaching & Learning

Seonaid Davis

The VP Teaching & Learning provides leadership and strategic oversight for academic programming and Ministry compliance from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. Learning support specialists, Junior School Curriculum Coordinators and Upper School Department Heads work closely with the VP Teaching & Learning to align the teaching, learning and assessment vision of the school.

Kate White

Head of the Junior School

Kate White

Ms. White is responsible for overseeing the social and emotional lives of students in JK to Grade 6.  She works closely with students, core and specialist teachers, learning support specialists and parents to support students in a collaborative environment. Parents with questions or concerns regarding their daughter’s engagement in school life or about any aspect of the co­-curricular program are invited to contact Ms. White.

Why would a student see Ms. White?

  • To talk about getting involved at school.
  • To talk about family, friendships and other relationships.
  • To talk about challenges in class
  • When you don’t know who to go to! Ms. White can help you find other people who can help in different ways


JJ Patterson

Head of Middle School

JJ Patterson

Ms. Patterson is responsible for overseeing the social and emotional lives of students in Grades 7 and 8. She also works closely with faculty, Form Teachers, the Middle School Guidance Counsellor, the Athletic Director and the School Social Worker in monitoring student engagement in the co-curricular program as well as monitoring student behaviour and using progressive discipline, as needed. Parents with questions or concerns regarding their daughter’s engagement in school life or about any aspect of the co-­curricular program are encouraged to contact Ms. Patterson.

Why would a student see Ms. Patterson?

  • To explore co-curriculars, leadership opportunities and other ways of getting involved at school.
  • To talk about family, friends and relationships.
  • To give ideas or ask questions about the Form Program.
  • To talk about challenges at Havergal, and ways to address them.


Lindsay Norberg

Head of Senior School

Lindsay Norberg

The Head, Senior School oversees the delivery of the Teacher Advisor (TA) Program for students in Grades 9 to 12. The TA Program operates within the House system, which plays an essential role in keeping Senior School students connected to teachers through small, informal, cross-grade, House-designated groups that are led by House Advisors. The Head, Senior School also ensures the school’s progressive discipline framework is judiciously enforced. Finally, the Head, Senior School oversees the Grade Lead program, a Senior School initiative that aims to create grade-specific programming throughout the school year in collaboration with grade-specific Guidance Counsellors and elected student leaders.

Why would a student see Ms. Norberg?

  • To talk about challenges at school, and ways to address them.
  • To give ideas or ask questions about the House and TA Program.
  • To talk about issues presenting in a grade, bonding with peers and being new at Havergal.
  • To give ideas about initiatives or events around parent education or student support.


Laura Franks

Head of the Boarding School

Laura Franks

The Head, Boarding School provides oversight and leadership for the Boarding School program, working closely with Dons and Junior Dons to create a safe, nurturing and supportive home-away-from-home for Havergal’s Boarding community. Ms. Franks is primarily responsible for the mentorship, development (academic and social emotional), wellness and overall guidance of the students and staff of the Boarding School. She also shares responsibilities in the Admissions office of student intake and travel recruitment. Ms. Franks works closely with the Head of the Senior School, Guidance, Learning Support, Wellness and faculty to ensure that the Boarding students receive a holistic approach in their Boarding experience.

Why would a student see Ms. Franks?

  • To talk about challenges in Boarding, and ways to address them.
  • To find ways to get involved and engaged in Boarding and in the Day School.
  • To give ideas and ask questions about Boarding at Havergal.
  • To get involved in student leadership in Boarding.


Wellness Centre Staff

School Nurses promote health and wellness for all members of the school community. This includes maintaining student health information, developing and maintaining school health policies and infection control, providing care in the case of acute illness or injuries, collaborating with the school Social Worker and Guidance Department to provide mental health support and health education (including first aid and CPR training for faculty and staff). School Nurses primarily oversee the health of Boarding students, are on-call outside of school hours and act as liaisons between the school doctor and Boarding School Dons and parents.

Why would a student see a nurse?

  • Boarders may spend the school day in the Wellness Centre once they are assessed by a School Nurse.
  • Boarders can also connect to a doctor, dentist and other medical professionals through a School Nurse.
  • Day Students should visit a Nurse when they feel ill, and may be advised to go home for the day after an assessment of illness.
  • All students can take questions or concerns about their overall health (physical, mental, social/emotional) to a School Nurse, who is trained to help and to redirect students to the best resources.

Sharon Miller, Head Nurse

Carm Frasca, School Nurse


Guidance Department

The Guidance Department works together to provide academic, social and emotional counselling support to students in Grades 7 to 12. Guidance Counsellors work as a team to create and implement programming and services as they pertain to student academic success and mental health and wellness. Services through the department include one-on-one and group counselling, parent meetings, academic planning, career counselling, university applications and collaborating with learning support in the Middle and Senior Schools. The Guidance team also works closely, and consults, with the school social worker.

Why would a student see a guidance counsellor?

Grade 9/10:

  • General social/emotional counselling (may remain in Guidance or be referred to School Social Worker or an outside professional, as needed).
  • Academic support.
  • Annual course selection.
  • Career planning

Grade 11/12:

  • Referral to School Social Worker or outside professionals for most social/emotional counselling.
  • Academic counselling.
  • College and university planning.
  • College and university applications.
  • Workshops to prepare for college/university applications, as well as for career and life skills.

Grades 7 & 8
Carrie Steele

Jordy Winograd

Grades 9 & 10
Kirsten Uhre

Lori Buchanan

Grades 11 & 12
Heather Johnstone, Head of Guidance

Jennifer Mandala


Learning Support

Learning Support Specialists are available to help all students (Junior, Middle and Senior Schools) understand their learning styles and to assist teachers in working with students with different learning needs. They identify students needing accommodations, review extended assessments completed by private specialists, develop strategies to meet the needs of identified students, plan for any necessary accommodations, design professional development for teachers, coordinate meetings with families and teachers to discuss accommodations and recommendations and may help coordinate out-of-school support.

Why would a student see a learning support specialist?

  • To receive tools and strategies for understanding themselves as a learner, and optimizing their academic work.
  • To create individualized work for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) following a Psycho-Educational Assessment.
  • Referrals to outside professionals for learning needs, as required.

Cheryl MacKinnon (Junior School)

Jodi McGeown (Junior School)

Ashley Fawcett (Junior School)

Nancy Palarchio (Junior School)

Carrie Steele (Middle School)

Jordy Winograd (Middle School)

Nicole Klement (Senior School)


Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care is a model of emotional and spiritual counselling and support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. As Havergal is a school in the Anglican (Christian) tradition, pastoral care is offered and provided by the Community’s Chaplain for those of all faiths (and none).

Why would a student seek pastoral care?

  • To talk confidentially and receive support about any aspect of their life.
  • To ask questions about our weekly Prayers and inquire about speaking in that venue.
  • To speak specifically about faith-based ideas, questions and needs.
  • To attend monthly Anglican Communion Services.

Rev. Stephanie Douglas (Junior School)

Rev. Irina Dubinski (Upper School)


Social Worker

The Social Worker works collaboratively with the Student Support Team. The goal of the Social Worker is to enhance the overall mental health, wellness and academic performance of students. This is implemented through brief counselling,  intervention with students and their families and liaising with community based mental health services for students referred. Health promoting programming pertaining to mental health is delivered in the classroom, through staff education and Havergal College’s Jack.org student group–a student-led group dedicated to raising awareness and decreasing stigma related to mental illness.

Why would a student see a social worker?

  • To address social/emotional needs and challenges.
  • To explore strategies and tools related to mental health and wellness.
  • For referral to outside professionals, as needed, to support their mental health.

Caitlin Parsons


Athletic Director

Athletic Directors work to facilitate and oversee athletics at all levels within the school, from competitive teams to school intramurals. The two Athletic Directors also collaborate to create a school-wide vision for athletic engagement and participation and to provide a model of healthy, active living at Havergal.

Why would a student see an athletic director?

  • To ask questions about getting involved in athletics at Havergal.
  • To spread the news of your athletic pursuits outside of school.
  • To explore student leadership and engagement in athletics.

Anna Bartlett, Junior School

Carla Di Filippo, Upper School


Health & Physical Education

The Curriculum Leader for Health & Physical Education, the department head ensures that courses reflect the age and stage of the learner. The Health & Physical Education department has a shared goal for a program rich in variety with a focus on inclusive, active and engaging lessons that meet the needs of all students. Health education for students explores topics related to adolescent concerns, address misconceptions related to personal health and provide resources to ground our curriculum in relevant and current research.

Why would a student see the Curriculum Leader for Health & Physical Education?

  • To give ideas and ask questions about the PE Department, and healthy, active living at Havergal.
  • To be directed to resources, inside and outside of Havergal, around a healthy lifestyle.

Jeany Ellis, Interim Department Head



Qualified physiotherapists provide treatment to Havergal Upper School student athletes in the treatment room located on the lowest level of the Athletic Centre. Students needing significant treatment will be referred to support outside of the school.


Food Services

Research draws a clear correlation between healthy nutrition, physical activity and an active, engaged mind. Havergal’s food philosophy supports academic excellence by nourishing and engaging students, staff and faculty with a culture of good food that is fresh, seasonal and diverse.  Cultivating a healthy relationship with food is paramount, but it’s more about mindful eating than nutritional buzzwords. The girls are free to make their own food choices and Food Services  works to ensure there are plenty of fresh, healthy options. Students are encouraged to try out new foods if they are feeling hesitant. Vegetarian/vegan options are always available and cafeteria signage gives girls the tools to manage their own allergies and health concerns.

Why would a student see the Director of Food Services?

  • To give ideas and ask questions about food service and nutrition at Havergal.

Rauni Whiteley, Director of Food Services



Havergal has a dedicated and professionally trained Security Team that helps keep the school community and its premises safe and secure 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. The Rotunda serves as Security’s home base, which is located in the Upper School. Havergal’s Security Team has been specially trained to keep all members of the Havergal community safe, which is their main responsibility. Team members develop and implement safety protocols in conjunction with the police and fire departments to ensure the school’s emergency procedures are current.


Kids Help Phone