September 2022

Inside Havergal

Principal’s Message

Katrina Samson

Welcome back to the promise of a fresh start that each September brings. I’m particularly excited because it’s a year to reconnect and build back stronger after a long period of restrictions. This past weekend was a great example of reconnecting as we came together for Celebration Saturday, a day of fun where we raise awareness and support for our Community Partners and we come together united in service to others. We are carrying forward the energy from this weekend and bringing with us a sense of joy and optimism into this year.

I’m energized when I contemplate the future we’re building together at Havergal. We have a year of planning ahead and I hope our community of students, employees, parents and alumni will share their ideas as we look to build on our rich history and invest in future opportunities for our girls. As a school situated in the heart of progress, in a city brimming with creativity and ingenuity, we are always considering the capabilities and competencies our students need to succeed. This includes actively developing the right attitudes around making positive change as we prepare our girls to take on the leadership challenges they will face in whichever industry or career they choose. Relaunching the Forum for Change, for example, highlights global citizenship, which helps our students understand what it means to be strong, ethical, global leaders who can work cross-culturally, across languages and geographies. 

As we consider what shape the next strategic direction Havergal will take, I challenge us all to think about progress not as a dismantling of the past, but as building on our track record of successes and on those traditions that bind our past with our present. Havergal is known for our traditions, which create bonds in the community; I’ve seen alumni across the world find connections by reminiscing about their Havergal experiences and finding common ground. This past weekend also marked Reunion Weekend, where hundreds of Old Girls/Alums returned to Havergal to reconnect, reflect and reminisce. The sentiment I heard repeated throughout Reunion Weekend was how the values learned at Havergal—inquiry, integrity, compassion and courage—have shaped the lives of Havergalians, enabling them to make a positive difference in the world moving forward. 

As we look to shape our program, with our girls exploring everything from artificial intelligence and contemporary finance through our HC-X Micro-Credential Program, to learning life lessons on leadership, and friendship through the study of Shakespeare in our Theatre Program, I encourage you to join us in considering the experiences, opportunities and learning our girls need to graduate as young women who will lead progress and innovation for future generations. 


Message from the Board of Governors

Debbie Simpson, Chair of the Board of Governors

Hello to everyone—the Board wishes you all a huge welcome back! I hope that you and your family are well and have enjoyed some special moments together over the summer. Whether this is your first year as a part of the Havergal community or you are a returning family, I am sure you share my excitement in having all of our wonderful students back on campus. 

This year kicks-off with the return of in-person co-curricular and athletic activities and events and I am particularly delighted that we started the year off with the “People and Program” information sessions in the building! Equally fabulous was the successful re-start of Celebration Saturday, which took place on our amazing campus on Saturday, September 24. Celebration Saturday takes its roots from Ellen Knox’s famous question, What will you do? It was that question that spurred the community to create an event whose purpose was twofold—to raise funds and awareness for partners across the GTA while building school and community spirit. It is a time of celebrating our school’s mission, vision and values by bringing together our past, present and future.

The level of activity remained high throughout the summer at the school as faculty and staff worked on some very exciting updates around campus, including the updating of the Boarding School with new furniture and décor; a refresh of Brenda Robson Hall with new paint, blinds and baffling; as well as the opening of the new Grad Lounge for our Grade 12 students to enjoy. The Senior Leadership Team has been working hard to ensure that safety remains our top priority and we thank you for your ongoing support of our health protocols. Now that we have the opportunity of being back inside the buildings and walking the halls, you will be able to see and appreciate these new and updated spaces that the students are already enjoying. 

I will close by wishing everyone continued good health and encourage you all, new and old, to be active members of our vibrant community. There are many ways for you to participate in school life, including the Havergal College Parents Association, Havergal Old Girls Association, the Foundation, the Board of Governors or its committees. We appreciate the time you devote to our community.

Warm regards,


This Month

Thank You for Joining Us for Celebration Saturday! 

CelSat—Community Partnerships—House Stalls—Cookiegrams—Cotton Candy—Wristbands—Pet Rocks—Haunted House—Bake Sale—Silent Auction—Shifts—Musical Performances—Beading. This has been the language of Havergal for the past couple of weeks. On Saturday, September 24, Havergal hosted its first Celebration Saturday in three years! For many students, parents, faculty and staff who have joined our community recently, this was a new event, and for many it was the return of a time honoured tradition.

Celebration Saturday is a community event where faculty, staff, students, parents, Old Girls/Alums work together to celebrate our community and raise awareness and money for other communities—namely our community partnerships. We work together in Houses, led by our House Captains to plan stalls and activities for others to participate in. 

Celebration Saturday may be a day of cotton candy and face paint, but it is also about living our mission and values as a community. As we prepare young women to make a difference, we work collectively to make a difference for others. We take time to come together as a community, build relationships with each other and care for others.

This year’s Celebration Saturday is in support of the following community partnerships:

  • Art City
  • Water First
  • Youth Without Shelter
  • New Circles
  • North York Harvest Food Bank
  • Resources for Youth in India
  • Grenoble Homework Club

The total amount raised for our partners will be announced at Upper School Prayers later this fall.

We would like to thank all of the students, parent volunteers, faculty and staff who worked together to build back this wonderful community event and make it a tremendous success.

Discover HC-X, Havergal’s Centre for Innovation

The letter “X” has long evoked a sense of wonder, exploring the unknown and intersecting ideas. For Havergal, the “X” represents the mindsets, strategies and learning experiences that will be a differentiator for Havergal students and faculty.

Guided by research from within and beyond the educational sector, HC-X designs and experiments with learning experiences and programs that promote, provoke and allow our girls to practise these future-ready skills. Digital Wisdom, our first major project, is now in its third year, engaging students from Grade 5 to 8 in examining, questioning and critically thinking about their identity and relationships in a digitally mediated world. HC-X continues to lead the development of Havergal’s distinguished Blended Learning Model that prioritizes student agency. In this model, faculty intentionally use digital tools to present developmentally appropriate choices to our students in how, when and where they learn. Students make these choices, learn to take responsibility for their learning and reflect deeply on who they are developing as a learner.

Most recently, we launched our Digital Micro-Credentialing Program. This is a distinctive, unique-to-Havergal offering for students in the Upper School to pursue a new learning pathway in areas outside of traditional offerings. Partnering with Old Girls/Alums, current parents, Harvard Student Agencies and Inspire AI, we are offering 20-hour courses on Contemporary Finance, Pre-Med studies and Artificial Intelligence, respectively. Each of these courses have “sold out” for this first term and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, both from our students and from our partners.

For more information you can visit:

HC-X Introduction
Digital Micro-Credentials

OISE/U of T Digital Wisdom Course Evaluation

When HC-X launched Digital Wisdom, we knew it was uncharted territory for JK to 12 education. It’s a course that isn’t entirely about internet safety, nor entirely about technology skills; rather, Digital Wisdom is focused on equipping students with the skills, mindsets and experience to critically question their relationship with all things digital while trying to develop their identity, friendships and personal goals. Given the unique nature of this course, we felt it vital to partner with a program evaluation to ensure fidelity with the purpose of the course and the strategic direction.

In 2020, HC-X partnered with OISE/UT to conduct a four-year program evaluation. The Program Evaluation of the Digital Wisdom course examines not only the content of the course and the student feedback, but also the pedagogy and assessments we have designed.

Digital Wisdom for students in Grades 5 to 8 is now in its third year running and in year two of program evaluation. The feedback we have been receiving has been so valuable in ensuring the course grows and is responsive to the needs of our girls. Read more about the Program Evaluation here.

Exploring Global Learning Through the Forum for Change

The Forum for Change (F4C) is the global heartbeat of Havergal College. It serves as the hub of global learning, community partnership programming and social innovation work. The F4C supports students in learning different service approaches to making a difference in their world locally and globally.

This dynamic department builds bridges and networks to support incredible opportunities for our girls to learn new perspectives, meet people and discover their cultures. This sense of exploration is reflected in our new branding. One of our newest partnerships to highlight is with Round Square. Round Square values are captured in their IDEALS (Internationalism, Democracy, Environmental stewardship, Adventure, Leadership and Service); this alignment means more opportunities for our students to engage in global projects, conferences and connections beyond our ivy walls.

The F4C stretches and challenges our students in ways that support their academic learning, development of identity and sense of self, with a disposition to action. Global Exchanges, International Learning Service Trips, our Community Partnership Program and the Global Learning & Leading Diploma (GLLD), equip students to make a positive difference in the world with a focus on global mindedness; these programs provoke students to broaden their cultural fluency, and make an impact through deep and meaningful learning experiences.

Personal Development Beyond Academics Through the Junior School Co-Curricular Program

The Junior School’s passion for learning goes far beyond the walls of our classrooms. Students in Grades 1 to 6 are encouraged to explore new interests through the Junior School Co-Curricular Program as a way to develop skills in a variety of fields, make friends outside of the classroom and build confidence in a supportive environment.

Designed to meet the interests of every student in Grades 1 to 6, the Junior School Co-Curricular Program aims to enrich the Havergal experience and provide students with new activities and pursuits they may not have considered otherwise. Our students are encouraged to explore, investigate and develop new passions through a variety of clubs, athletics and the performing arts. “A robust co-curricular program is a fundamental component of a liberal arts education,” says Head of Junior School Kate White. “These opportunities are carefully designed to complement what students are learning in class while providing a plethora of opportunities to further enhance their intellectual, social, moral, creative and physical development.”

Co-curriculars are run after school by Havergal faculty and staff, as well as by outside coaches for athletics and instructors for clubs. We encourage all students to get involved in something outside of their academics, whether it be dance, cooking, discovery lab, soccer, strings, chess or choir; there’s something for everyone! It’s just another way the Junior School faculty and staff instill and encourage lifelong learning as a part of personal development.

Upper School Fall Used Textbook Return

Tuesday, October 18, 7:30 to 11:30 am

Did you miss the spring Used Textbook Return? Or perhaps you have new textbooks you wish to return because of a class change? If so, the HCPA has arranged for the Canadian School Book Exchange (CSBE) to be at Havergal on Tuesday, October 18, to accept your donations and to facilitate your returns.

Students and parents will be able to drop off their new or used textbooks in the Ellen Knox Library. 

When your book is 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!

For those planning to return a new textbook due to a course change, please follow these instructions:

  1. Visit the CSBE website
  2. Log into your account and navigate to “My Orders.” 
  3. Locate the order with the item you wish to return and click “View/Edit Order.” 
  4. Click “Request a Return” to return items that are in policy for a return. Select “Yes” for the item you wish to return and “No” for the items you are keeping. 
  5. Click “Create Return.” 
  6. When complete, a Return Authorization Number will show on screen and you will receive an email with further instructions. 
  7. If you are returning your textbooks at the school, place the Return Authorization Number and/or QR code slips in a sealed box and bring it to the Ellen Knox Library for drop off on Tuesday, October 18 between 7:30 and 11:30 am.

You may also call CSBE to obtain a Return Authorization Number and instructions at 1-800-335-5043. These textbook returns should be brought in a separate sealed box from used textbooks with the Return Authorization Number inside.  

For those who wish to sell gently used textbooks, please follow these instructions:

  1. Visit the CSBE website
  2. Log in to your account and navigate to “Sell My Books.”
  3. Click “Intake/Drop Off.”
  4. Print the QR code.
  5. Place the QR code in a sealed box with the used textbooks you wish to sell.
  6. Drop off the box at the Ellen Knox Library. 
  7. You may also click “Print & Ship” and follow the instructions if this date does not work for you.

Please ensure your books are placed in a sealed box with the Return Authorization Number and/or QR code slips inside. For multiple boxes, please place a printed copy of the QR code in each box.

Ivy Market: Save The Date

Mark your calendars: you’re not going to want to miss the fun at the HCPA’s Ivy Market on Tuesday, November 22! This brand new event will feature daytime shopping for parents and students, with products from external vendors and HC alike—and will see the return of our always popular bake sale! Ivy Market will end with an evening cocktail party where parents can shop and mingle.

Tickets for the parent cocktail party will go on sale next month. Stay tuned for more information! 

Collibri Canada Fundraiser image with products

Go Green with Colibri

Colibri Canada is offering the Havergal College community an exclusive opportunity to order reusable and washable bags in different sizes and patterns. The bags are tested and certified, ensuring they meet both FDA and Health Canada standards for food safety.

Colibri bags are great for snacks of all sizes, lunches, pet treats and even wet swim gear and gym clothes. They also offer terrific reusable straws. The HCPA’s Colibri fundraiser runs until Monday, October 3. Select “Havergal College” when checking out. 

Labels ad that says "New" Split Name Label Pack"

Keep Track with Mabel’s Labels

Help avoid confusion and keep lost and found visits to a minimum by affixing labels to everything from uniform items to lunch bags. Mabel’s Labels has personalized label options for the whole family, from cute and cuddly to sophisticated. Shop Mabel’s Labels and type “Havergal College” in the search field or select “Havergal College” as the fundraising partner at checkout. This fundraiser is ongoing through the year. 

Havergal student wearing a puffy coat.

HCPA Puffer Jackets and Vests

The HCPA is thrilled to announce that Havergal puffer jackets and puffer vests will be available on the HCPA Marketplace, but for a limited time only. We know how much everyone loves to layer up and stay cozy! We are delighted that these versatile black jackets (child and adult sizes) and vests (adult sizes only) will be available with the Havergal crest embroidered in white on the chest. 

Jackets and vests are available for purchase from September 24 to October 15. You can order yours online here. What a wonderful way to show your HC Spirit!

Give Back with FlipGive

FlipGive is an easy-to-use fundraising app that supports the HCPA’s annual fundraising commitment. You can buy e-gift cards at your favorite retailers while earning fundraising dollars for the HCPA. Or you can fundraise like a pro by purchasing everyday items from over 700 brands, including Starbucks, Indigo, Athleta, Esso, Sephora, Sport Chek, Lululemon and Apple. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Click on the link:
  • Click on the “Teams” heading.
  • Scroll down to “Find a Team” and enter “Havergal College” to start shopping for e-gift cards for restaurants and retailers you use all the time (e.g., Starbucks, Best Buy, Indigo, Loblaws, Sobeys and Rexall).
  • Turn pro and start shopping for your everyday items and earn fundraising dollars.

You do not need to sign up with FlipGive to purchase gift cards or shop online. 

Inside Focus

Havergal Launches New Advertising Campaign

Working in partnership with the school’s Agency of Record, Angry Butterfly, Havergal’s Communications & Marketing Department launched a new advertising campaign this fall with the goal of motivating bright students to apply to join the school community in September 2023.

Inspired by the school’s modernized renovated spaces, the ads strengthen Havergal’s position as the leading girls’ independent school in Canada while promoting our outstanding teaching practices and confidence-building programming. “It’s about highlighting what progress looks like in a caring community and how Havergal students use their values to help guide their goals and aspirations,” explains Angry Butterfly CSO, Graham Candy. 

“There is a boldness with this new creative that differentiates us from our competitors,” says Antonietta Mirabelli, Havergal’s Executive Director of Marketing & Communications. “It’s less about being edgy; rather, the ads underscore the conviction our students have in themselves, their abilities and their dreams. This new campaign honours them for who they are, and that feels good.”

You can find Havergal’s newest advertising assets in the October issues of Toronto Life, The Walrus and Post City Magazine; in the Toronto Star (September 23) and Globe and Mail (October 7) Private School Guides; throughout Billy Bishop Airport (from October 3 to November 30); on bus shelters north of Highway 401 (from October 3 to November 30); and on a variety of digital and social media sources as a part of our digital campaign (September 12 to November 30).

In mid-August, a handful of students participated in photoshoots for this series of four advertisements; we cannot thank them enough for returning to campus in their uniforms during the summer break! We would also like to extend our gratitude to their parents/guardians for their assistance in bringing these ads to life. Thank you to all of our Havergal Ambassadors for their green and gold pride!

Meet Our Faculty & Staff

Fatima Kaba

Manager, Learning Experiences

Fatima works in the Forum for Change (F4C) office, particularly overseeing the Global Learning and Leading Diploma (GLLD) program. The F4C serves as a hub of global learning, community partnership programming and social justice work in efforts to support students develop outlooks and approaches that make a difference in their world.

Fatima graduated from York University’s Concurrent Education program with a double major in English and Psychology. After teaching English and Physical Education in the public system for three years she travelled to London, UK to complete a double masters program from the University of London, UK. Fatima has been in the field of education for over 15 years, both in the public and religious education systems. Her roles have varied from classroom teacher, curriculum design to ethics based research analyst and global mentor. Fatima’s keen interest in leadership and personal growth prompted her to complete a certificate in School Management and Leadership from Harvard Business School.

Fatima is committed to serving her community and is an active volunteer within the Shia Ismaili Muslim community, where she continues to support the religious education system. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors with family and friends and just recently picked up the game of golf. Fatima is an avid traveler and looks forward to her next international adventure.