May 2022

Inside Havergal

Katrina Samson

Principal’s Message

Katrina Samson

As the weather warms up, we’re preparing to send the Havergal Class of 2022 out into the world. Graduation is an exciting time as it marks the culmination of all the preparation we have done together over the years and all the skills our students have gained, which they can take into their next chapters as women of influence and leaders of positive change. 

At Havergal, we continually adjust and adapt our curriculum to reflect the world our students are entering, and to prepare them to be leaders in that world. As we think of the new world of work, this research from highlights seven competencies that will rise to prominence in the next decade. Employers have repeatedly emphasized relationship-building and critical thinking as key skills that are needed for future success. Our future-ready education emphasizes learning agility and adaptability as essential in an ever-changing world. We’re all too familiar with how important these skills have been in the past two years in particular, and we watched with pride as our students and staff rose to the occasion. Despite ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, our graduates approached this year with creativity and optimism and I am confident that these skills will serve them well in their future endeavours. 

The uncertainty of tomorrow and the speed at which the world is changing are exactly the reasons why we developed Havergal’s Portrait of a Graduate. While we could not have predicted the past few years, we wanted to ensure we were instilling skills that would serve our students no matter what their futures bring. When we think of a future-ready leader, we imagine someone who is poised to take on any challenge by embracing diversity, thinking critically and being resilient. A girls’-centred education also ensures that our students are in an environment where they have multiple role models, encouraging them to grow and challenging them to practise leadership now, which will position them well to be leaders tomorrow. As I look at our graduating class, I am filled with optimism for our future and pride in their many accomplishments. 

As we say goodbye to our graduates, I want to remind them—and you, their parents—that the doors to Havergal are always open. Graduates, we hope you come back in the future to visit and reconnect. As lifelong learners, you will always be Havergalians and now, as you become Old Girls/Alums, you join a long list of remarkable women that have carved their paths and made positive change in our world. Congratulations on your achievements and we can’t wait to see what you do next. 


Headshot of Debbie Simpson

Message from the Board of Governors

Debbie Simpson, Chair of the Board of Governors

The end of another school year approaches and I find myself in disbelief that this is the last Inside Havergal message from the Board for 2021-22; how swiftly this year has gone by! Together, we navigated the school year and slowly journeyed out of the pandemic; for this, my heartfelt gratitude to the Havergal community, Dr. Katrina Samson and team—as well as the entire Board of Governors and Committee members—for their unwavering support. We are, indeed, stronger together. 

In keeping with the rich heritage of traditions, the Board invites student leaders to join the April meeting to share their perspectives on the year. This year, we were joined by School Captain Marley Melbourne and Wellbeing Prefect Erin Howard. Marley and Erin spoke of their focus on DEI, community building and wellbeing throughout the student body, and elaborated on several exciting events that took place in the year that allowed students to explore the new builds as well as develop friendships across grades. They noted some of the opportunities taken to innovate Prayers and focus on topics such as Black and Indigenous people and traditions, including reflecting on the treatment of Black soldiers and better understanding the experience of Chinese soldiers returning from war as part of Remembrance Day Prayers. It was encouraging to hear how the whole school embraced Thrive Week and the Be There Basics philosophy with an emphasis on how we support ourselves with our mental health. Having therapy dogs visit and offering morning yoga sessions were particularly well received parts of the Wellbeing Program. Renewed focus on community wellbeing gave new energy to the Terry Fox Run this year and the very special Relay for Life, which was in partnership with Upper Canada College, Branksome Hall, Bishop Strachan School and Crescent School. Marley and Erin closed by sharing their learnings this year: turning challenges into opportunities, adapting in continually changing circumstances, learning to live with uncertainty and using feedback to develop meaningful and relevant initiatives. Their passion for Havergal and their thoughtful commitment to the student body was paramount in their presentation and the Board truly enjoyed engaging with them. They reminded us, once again, that students have been and continue to be our greatest inspiration; we have much to learn from them!

This year, the school has also made tremendous progress with our donations, which would never be possible without all of you—the Havergal community. These funds enable us to build new and innovative spaces for our students to learn and grow in. We are so very grateful for this unwavering support. 

As this school year concludes, Dr. Katrina Samson completes her first school year as the 13th Principal of Havergal. I have personally enjoyed the opportunity to get to know and work with Dr. Samson and, on behalf of the Board, I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for the work she has done in her first year with us. She is a champion of Havergal’s values of integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage. As a strong advocate for the advancement of young women and children, we are already feeling the benefit of her focus on innovation, wellbeing and experiential learning. Thank you, Katrina.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to acknowledge our 2022 Grads. We are thrilled that you can celebrate your accomplishments with the meaningful traditions of this milestone and take with you cherished friendships and valuable learnings. As you embark on this next chapter, please remember that you will forever be a part of the Havergal community. As you venture beyond the ivy, know that our very best wishes and heartfelt cheers accompany you on the road ahead.

As always, no message would be complete without a polite reminder that for any donation enquiries, please reach out to Havergal’s Executive Director of Advancement, Annette Paul ([email protected]), to find out how you can participate. We are all the beneficiaries of the generosity of those who have come before us and we encourage you to make an investment in Havergal through a philanthropic gift. 

Best wishes to everyone for an amazing summer ahead!

Debbie Simpson

This Month

the globe formed in the shape of a heart

Relaunching The Forum for Change: Havergal’s Global Heartbeat

Preparing young women to make a difference happens every day at Havergal College, which is why we are thrilled to announce that—starting in September 2022—students will be able to level up their ability and opportunity to make a difference through the relaunch of the Forum for Change (F4C). The F4C provides students with local and global learning experiences that will further the school’s purpose and develop in our students the attributes of Havergal’s Portrait of a Graduate. The Forum for Change will offer Global Exchanges, International Learning Service Trips, Community Partnerships and the Global Learning & Leading Diploma. These deep and meaningful learning experiences equip students to make positive differences in the world with a focus on global mindedness. F4C programs are designed to provoke students to broaden their cultural fluency and make an impact locally and abroad.

Known as the “global heartbeat of the school,” F4C has extensive global networks and partnerships upon which to draw from, including (but not limited to) UNESCO Associated Schools and the Independent Schools Experiential Educators Network. We are also in the midst of applying to become a member of Round Square, which will provide our students with more character and leadership development. With and through these partnerships, the F4C will provide experiential learning opportunities with a focus on the idea of “learning service,” a term that is outlined by Bennett, Collins, Herschsher and Papi-Thorton in the book Learning Service as: “humble, thoughtful action designed to do no harm…where learning and service interact in an ongoing cycle, with each depending on each other. This loop is fueled by self-reflection and applying learning to future action.”(page 10, 2018) 

As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a strong call from parents, faculty and students for Havergal to reestablish these Forum for Change experiential learning opportunities that stretch and challenge our students in ways that support their academic learning, development of identity and sense of self. 

More information about F4C opportunities for the 2022-23 school year will be shared later in June. If you have any questions about upcoming opportunities or F4C in general, please contact Garth Nichols, Vice Principal of Strategic Innovation and Design at [email protected].

Grade 6 Class on a field trip

Preparing for the Journey Across the Bridge

Kate White, Head of Junior School, and Andrea Charlton, Interim Assistant Head of Junior School

As Havergal moves through its post-pandemic renaissance, we are thrilled that our current Grade 6 class can benefit by being able to “look across the bridge” to the Middle School in the most fulsome way possible. During this transition, they are being invited to consider the concrete differences associated with being a Middle School student and to recognize the skills and habits of mind they have refined while at the Junior School.

Since the March Break, our Grade 6 students have started a series of three in-person information sessions focused on what to expect in Grade 7, spearheaded by Head of Middle School, Mrs. Patterson and Middle School Math Teacher, Ms. Nichols, and enriched by insights offered by the Middle School Prefects (Zoe and Alexa) as well as members of the Middle School executive. The design of these sessions has provided the students with opportunities to learn about Grade 7 and life in the Upper School directly from students and faculty. These meetings are designed to include community building games and Q&A sessions through which the Grade 6 students have agency to ask whatever questions they have. 

Another concrete means of learning about what to expect next year involves our Grade 6 students visiting the Upper School dining room, where they will savour lunch on two occasions in this space. This will provide an opportunity for our students to gain a sense of the routine while discovering the variety of meal choices available to Upper School students.

Along with the specific information they are receiving about Grade 7, our Grade 6 students are also being invited to look ahead with confidence by thinking about the special tools they have already gained that will assist them with “crossing the bridge.” This reflection is nurtured through their personal narratives, as they showcase an aspect of their identity along with their own abstract art pieces created during “studio days,” which were led by Nancy Macdonald, a former Havergal parent and founder of Art Studio for Children (

Our hope is that, by offering them key information and inviting them to take stock, our Grade 6 students will be ready to navigate the exciting adventure awaiting them upon reaching the Middle School. We look forward to hearing about all their new discoveries when they return for visits.

Group photo of all of the Marguerites with the Principal.

Celebrating Our Marguerites and the Class of 2022

Lindsay Norberg, Associate Head of School, and Maggie Houston-White, Executive Director of Strategic Enrolment Management

On Thursday, May 12, Havergal honoured the Marguerites of 2022—17 students who joined the school between Junior Kindergarten and Grade 1—and their parents at a special reception. As Dr. Samson noted in her remarks to the group, these students were putting on their kilts and white running shoes for the first time when Barack Obama became President of the United States, Modern Family aired for the first time and Instagram was launched. Students and families were able to connect with the Junior School faculty and reminisce on their time together as they enjoyed photos from the Archives of their grades throughout the years of how they have grown up together. 

We are grateful for all of our families who make the commitment to work together with Havergal to help prepare young women to make a difference. The Marguerite families have watched their children grow into graduates ready to take on the next challenge and partnered with us throughout the years to continue to move Havergal forward, better tomorrow than we were yesterday. 

As we approach the end of the school year, we are looking forward to celebrating the Class of 2022 at events such as Prom, Grad Prayers, Candlelight Ceremony and our Graduation event on Friday June 17 under the white tent on Ratcliffe Field. 

The school spirit our Graduating students have embraced this year certainly lives up to the motto: “21-22, find the Gator in you!” The faculty, staff and entire community wish them all the best in their next chapters, wherever their paths take them; they are well prepared for life beyond the ivy and to make a difference for good in the world. 

Graphic with the attributes of the Portrait of a Grad

The Portrait of a Grad and the Future of Work

Garth Nichols, Vice Principal Strategic Innovation and Design

The changing nature of the future of work has been described in many ways, including psychologist and Harvard Business Review contributor Robin Hogarth’s theory that defines two areas of learning environments: kind and wicked. Hogarth’s philosophy on the future of work is highlighted in David Epstein’s New York Times bestseller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World as leaning toward “wicked learning,” whereas machines may be leveraged for the more “kind learning” environments: “In wicked domains, the rules of the game are often unclear or incomplete, there may or may not be repetitive patterns, and they may not be obvious, and feedback is often delayed, inaccurate or both.” (Range, David Epstein, pg. 21) 

As a way to address the realities of the future of work, Havergal has developed educational experiences through our contemporary liberal arts program. HC-X initiatives and Forum for Change offerings are designed to prepare our students with the skills and mindsets that allow them to practise in these “wicked learning” environments. 

In support of Havergal’s mission to prepare our students for whatever the future holds, we developed the Portrait of a Graduate (POG), a well-researched project thanks to the incredible work of our faculty, as well as with research from within and beyond the educational sector (including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Economic Forum and UNESCO). Using Havergal’s mission, vision and values as a guide, the POG articulates the attributes our students develop during their time at the school. This contemporary and aspirational framework supports the growth and learning of our students toward this dynamic future of work.

The Portrait of a Graduate is defined by eight aspirational attributes: globally-minded; empathetic; future-ready; flexible and adaptable; self-directed, lifelong learners; inspired to action; digital navigators; and leaders with integrity. Each of these attributes reflect a process, not a product, and each is a signal that affirms, guides and inspires our faculty and students in the creation of learning experiences. For example, we cannot expect our students to master all things digital; however, we do support and develop their skills in navigating the digitally mediated world responsibly and ethically. Through our Five Domains of Leadership, we support our students in the practice of how to lead with integrity. With HC-X programming, we challenge our students to unlearn and learn anew with innovative concepts and design thinking. These are just some of the attributes outlined in our POG, where our whole community is pulling in the same future-ready direction.

HCPA logo

A Dedicated Parent Community

Alnar Meghji and Lisa Windover, HCPA Co-Chairs

Resilience, perseverance, ingenuity and dedication. These are some of the character traits we use to describe our family of volunteers on the HCPA, as well as the Upper and Junior School Grade Rep teams. 

For the past two years, we have experienced aspects of school and home life we never expected. We thought of ways to stay connected and we thought outside the box with an end goal in mind, which is to keep our school community connected and engaged. 

We planned and executed virtual and in-person events in order to bring families in our community together. We showed our staff, faculty and administrators just how much we appreciate them with several staff appreciation initiatives. We will continue to thank them for prioritizing our girls’ wellbeing, health and learning goals. 

The road ahead looks promising and when we look back at the last two years, we can be proud that we all played a part in creating and maintaining a strong link within our school community, for new and existing families and all of our girls. 

Thanks to each and every one of our volunteers!

Lastly, we would like to introduce the HCPA Executive Team for the 2022-23 year:

  • Lisa Windover and Tanuja Gupta: Co-Chairs
  • Lucie Lin: Vice Chair 
  • Laurie Melbourne: Secretary 
  • Michelle Yang: Treasurer
  • Kerry Porter: Communications Chair

We welcome all our incoming and returning HCPA members and look forward to working with all of you! 

Wishing you a safe and happy summer with your families. 

Lisa and Alnar 

Passport to Paris graphic of the Eiffel Tower

Gator Gala Online Silent Auction

Get ready to browse, bid and repeat!

The HCPA and Gator Gala Committee are excited to announce the recent launch of this year’s Gator Gala Silent Auction.

From exclusive Havergal “front-of-the-line” opportunities and Graduation Day extras to sought-after vacation bookings, hard-to-come by sports memorabilia, art, jewelry, spa items and more, you’ll find something for everyone on your list or even a little something for yourself (yes, you deserve it!).

The Gator Gala Silent Auction closes at 8 pm on Friday, June 10, so don’t forget to check back often!  

Gator Gala Silent Auction

All proceeds will support the fundraising goals of the HCPA, including our commitment to the Limitless Campaign.

image of a stack of textbooks

Used Textbook Drop Off

With another school year coming to a close, the HCPA has once again arranged for the Canadian School Book Exchange (CSBE) to collect used textbooks at Havergal College on Wednesday, June 15 from 7:30 to 11:30 am.

Families will be able to drop off their used textbooks directly into the CSBE truck, which will be parked in the North Parking Lot of the Upper School. Click here for detailed instructions.

When your books are sold through the CSBE, a percentage of the sale will go back to you and a percentage will go toward the HCPA’s fundraising efforts. It’s a win-win!

Graphic that says "Donate - Recycle - Make Use - Reuse - Remake - Swap

Used Uniform Collection

Go Green (and Gold)!

The HCPA will be collecting your preloved skirts, kilts, tunics and blazers. Curbside drop-off will be available in the parking lot of the Junior School and the North Lot of the Upper School on June 15 from 7:30 to 9:30 am

In addition, drop-off bins will be located in the Junior School Lobby on June 15 and 16 and the Upper School Rotunda on June 15, 16, 20 and 21 until 5:30 pm each of these days.  

A Used Uniform Fundraising Sale is being planned for the fall. It will be a great way to stock up on backup pieces for those inevitable lost uniforms items. More details about the sale will be shared at a later date.

In addition to supporting the HCPA’s fundraising efforts, it’s a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle!

Inside Focus

banner with "Class of 2022"

Thank You Havergal!

Marley Melbourne, School Captain

To the Students, Parents and Teachers at Havergal College:

The time has come for my class, the Graduating Class of 2022, to say our goodbyes. 

Students—it has been an absolute pleasure to be surrounded by the most spirited group of peers in the city! When we bonded together to win the Toronto Mascot Award this fall, we simultaneously established ourselves as an enviable student body. We’ve supported each other on the athletic pitches, in the theater, on the stage and in our classrooms. There is no better group of people to learn and thrive with. You are the best friends and the best cheerleaders a student could ask for.

Parents—thank you for giving the gift of Havergal. It is an immense privilege to attend a school where we are supported and challenged, uplifted and independent. Your continued support of all of our academic endeavours is thoroughly appreciated. We remember the early morning drop-offs, the after school help with homework and the consistent words of encouragement. Although we can never say it enough, we can try: Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Teachers—you are truly the glue that holds this school together. Thank you for always doing more than what is asked of your role. When we express confusion, you clear your schedules to provide extra help. When we express curiosity, you enhance the coursework to allow us the freedom to explore. When we express achievement, you are there to cheer us on. It is a joy to know you not only as teachers, but as mentors and inspirations. Havergal teachers are unmatched!

Thank you!

The Class of 2022