September 2023

Inside Havergal

Katrina Samson

Principal’s Message

Dr. Katrina Samson

Happy September! We have been blessed here at Havergal with so many opportunities to connect with our community this fall. Our Grade 7, 8, 9 and 12 students were away at camps where they bonded as a class, developed teamwork skills and prepared for the year ahead. This past week, we welcomed back hundreds of Old Girls/Alums to campus for Reunion Week. We celebrated those Old Girls who reached their 50+ year reunion milestones at the Golden Reflections Luncheon. We welcomed back former Boarders to connect with our current Boarding students and staff at the Former Boarder Dinner. We capped the week off with the Reunion Cocktail Reception, where classes ending in ‘3 and ‘8 came together to reconnect with one another and their beloved school.

On Saturday, our whole school community came together for Celebration Saturday 2023. This is an annual event where we gather to raise funds and awareness for the important work done via our Community Partnerships. It was another beautiful day at Havergal, but even more impactful was seeing our community come together in support of local organizations that are making a difference. In short, it was a day designed to build community and to put our mission—to make a difference—into action.

I’m energized when I contemplate the future we’re building together at Havergal. We are coming off of a year of intensive planning as we worked to collect insight and feedback to shape Havergal’s next strategic direction. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll hear more about the bold plans we have to ensure that our girls are receiving the very best preparation to head out into the world and be positive change-makers. You’ll also hear about the near-term and future-term initiatives we are undertaking to continue in our pursuit of excellence as a school. I again want to thank the students, employees, parents and Old Girls/Alums who shared their ideas and hopes for Havergal, building on our rich history and investing in future opportunities for our girls. 

As we welcome this new school year, I encourage you to join us in exploring the experiences, opportunities and learning that will allow our girls to graduate as young women who will lead progress and innovation into future generations. I am filled with optimism and hope for Havergal’s future as we embark on this new school year together.


Debbie Simpson headshot

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 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.

It’s hard to believe that fall is almost upon us. As the seasons change and evolve, this is also the case for the Havergal College Board of Governors. This will be my last message to you as the Chair of the Havergal Board, as I will be transitioning to my next role of Past Chair in a few days! I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Havergal community—all of the students, staff, faculty, parents, families, extended families and friends—who have made my past three years as Board Chair, and previous six years as a Governor of the Havergal Board, so incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. The Board and I feel blessed to be a part of this beautiful community filled with wonderful people who hold Havergal very dear to their hearts.

I am excited to be transitioning the leadership of the Board to the incoming Chair, Jill Fraser (1987). Jill has served on the Board of Governors since 2018. She graduated from Havergal in 1987 and her daughter is a graduate of the Class of 2021. In her role as Board Chair, Jill will be focused on ensuring the school’s long-term strength, reinforcing the Board’s role in providing strategic oversight and supporting the school’s Senior Leadership Team in launching the new strategic plan later this fall. Jill has a legal background with more than 25 years of experience practising law and will bring her amazing expertise and leadership to her new role on the Board. Please join me in welcoming Jill as the new Chair of the Havergal Board! It is with gratitude for your support that I thank each of you deeply and share congratulations to Jill Fraser!

Have a wonderful year!


Headshot of Lindsay Norberg.

Deputy Principal’s Message

Lindsay Norberg

Dear Havergal Community,

It has been an absolute joy to welcome faculty, students and families back to campus in these past few weeks, marking the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. In the spirit of Maria from The Sound of Music, we can truly say that “The halls are alive with the sound of music.”

Each member of our community holds their unique back-to-school rituals. For some, it signifies the promise of new possibilities that await in a fresh school year. For others, it involves a trip to a school supply store, envisioning crisp notebooks and new pens. Personally, the excitement of a new school year stems from welcoming new members into our school community and contemplating how they will contribute to and shape Havergal. Every year, meeting new faculty and staff in August and witnessing their enthusiasm for the potential that lies ahead, followed by greeting new students and families and learning about their aspirations, fills me with a renewed appreciation for the Havergal community.

The summer months offer different experiences for everyone; a time of quiet reflection and rejuvenation for some, or a change of scenery for others. However, for many teams at Havergal, summer is a bustling season as we diligently work to enhance school facilities and implement planned improvements. Notably, Upper School students will observe the construction of a brand new Middle School Science Lab, the establishment of a new Grade 7 to 9 Guidance Office, restoration of the front entrance, updates to the Security desk, and the introduction of new furniture in the Rotunda, Temerty and BioWall.

One of the most cherished aspects of this period is welcoming our students and families back to campus. The Boarding Staff took great delight in warmly receiving all the Boarding students and spending time with new families, aiding them in acquainting themselves with the campus and the diverse array of programs Havergal offers. On Orientation Day, we enthusiastically greeted all new students and the Grade 7s who have crossed the bridge to the Upper School. These first few weeks are about building relationships, trying new things and establishing routines. It is wonderful to see our youngest learners become more comfortable with their school routines and build connections within their classrooms.

With the excitement of a new school year also comes new challenges. It is through these challenges that we learn and grow, but it is important to remember that we are here to support all members of the school community as they explore 2023-24. When these situations come up, we’ll address them together using our school values of integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage as our guide.

Cheers to a new year,


This Month

Celebration Saturday banner graphic

Thank You for Supporting Celebration Saturday!

The excitement of the new school year quickly turned to excitement for Celebration Saturday as students, faculty, staff and parents worked together to bring this time-honoured tradition of putting our mission—preparing young women to make a difference—into action. It was a day that celebrated Havergal’s community, the House system and (of course) our community partners, who are the recipients of all funds raised at this event. 

We are so grateful to everyone who participated, whether it was donating a silent auction item, helping out as a student or parent volunteer, being part of the Bazaar or just coming out to connect and enjoy our campus. We had another great year of fun and fundraising! Together we answered the call our founding Principal, Ms. Ellen Knox, put to all of her students—“What will you do?”—by working together to make a difference for our Community Partnerships. A sincere thank you to you all from our HCPA and our Co-Chairs Christine Spence and Kate Crokam. 

US students leading a Community Partnership.

Working Together with Our Community Partnerships

Fatima Kaba, Manager of Learning Experiences

Over the years, Havergal College has created relationships with community partners that not only benefit our school, but also have profound impacts on the broader community. These collaborations are essential for cultivating a sense of social responsibility, empathy and civic engagement among students, while providing Havergal students opportunities to make a difference. 

Each Community Partnership is founded on our “4 P” approach. We partner with people first, not necessarily organizations; we honour the place of the people and that informs our work; we seek out different perspectives; and once we have done this, can we enter into a true reciprocal partnership. One of the primary advantages of engaging in Community Partnerships is the development of empathy and social responsibility in students. Through interactions with community members and organizations, students gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and needs within their local area. This first-hand exposure to real-world issues helps students develop empathy and a desire to make positive impacts. They learn to appreciate the value of helping others and develop a sense of responsibility toward their community. Students who participate in our long-standing weekly partnerships at Grenoble Public School and Art City are immersed in a new community by sharing ideas, gaining new perspectives and developing their commitment to others.  

While the communities served in these partnerships benefit from Havergal’s ongoing efforts, the students and school as a whole also benefit from the reciprocal relationship. They gain access to valuable information, expertise and experiences that enhance the educational opportunities they offer. These partnerships enrich the curriculum and provide students with diverse learning experiences that extend beyond the classroom.

At our Community Partnership Fest on Wednesday, September 27, Upper School students will have the opportunity to learn more about our weekly and bi-weekly partnerships and sign up to be part of this incredible learning experience in collaboration with our community partners. 

The Forum for Change strives to develop and continue to grow our relationships with our community partners as they foster a sense of interconnectedness and social responsibility that can last a lifetime. 

A full list of community partnerships can be found here. Learn more about the impact of our partnerships in this video.

Students on a Round Square excursion to the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Student Opportunities Through the Forum for Change

Jessica Randall, Manager of Global Learning Experiences

The Forum for Change (F4C) is the global heartbeat of Havergal College, providing students with experiential learning opportunities outside of the classroom and with the world around them. Bringing Havergal’s mission to life, the F4C’s role is to support students in finding their passions and interests to make a difference in the world, locally and globally. 

Recognizing our vision for Havergal graduates, we want them to be globally-minded, confident and resilient decision-makers. We help build bridges and networks to support these opportunities so our students can learn from new perspectives, be self-directed, meet people and discover more about their cultures.

The F4C stretches and challenges our students in ways that support our Portrait of a Grad: in particular, Globally-Minded, Being Flexible and Adaptable Thinkers, and Leaning into Action. We support, through our learning experiences, their development of identity and sense of self with a disposition to action. Through their participation in these opportunities, students learn to adapt and thrive in complex and changing environments so, when they graduate, they can navigate a dynamic and uncertain world.

Opportunities include participating in the Global Learning & Leading Diploma (GLLD), travelling with our Global Exchanges and Excursions, and working with our partner Round Square. Each of these programs is designed to equip students to make a positive difference in the world with a focus on knowing, understanding and developing a practice of global competencies. These programs encourage students to broaden their cultural fluency and make an impact through deep and meaningful learning experiences. Our memberships in global organizations, such as UNESCO Associated Schools Network and Round Square, means more opportunities for our students to engage in global projects, conferences and connections beyond our ivy walls.

The F4C is the place to go for students who have big ideas, want to help those around them and learn more about the world outside of Havergal College through our various opportunities and partnerships.

Two Havergal athletes giving each other high fives.

A New Year of Athletic Opportunities

Anna Bartlett, JS Athletic Director, and Carla Di Filippo, US Athletic Director

The start of the fall season will always be full of excitement because it means sports are back at HC! For us, the Athletic Directors at the Junior and Upper Schools, there is almost no better feeling than the joy of watching our students playing sports on our beautiful 22-acre campus. Typical after school activities for our athletes include swimming in the pool; playing basketball in the gym; competing in field hockey, flag football or soccer on the fields; enjoying the on-campus disc golf course; learning tennis or pickleball on our tennis courts; or running in the Lisa Hardie Woodland Trail. We are truly blessed to be on this campus and in this space. 

This fall, the Upper School boasts 27 sports teams while the Junior School is offering 13 teams. At Havergal, school spirit runs high and we hope each student has the chance to play one sport at some point this school year. There is no better way to meet new people, learn something new and be active all while having fun. 

If you want to view some great photos and updates about athletics, please follow our Instagram page: @havergal_gators. We also publish Gator Zone, a student-led newsletter, three times a year. Gator Zone has student-written articles about various Havergal athletic topics. We are very excited for the school year and sports! As the students say: “ROLL GATORS!”

Can You Hear the Buzz?

Garth Nichols, Vice Principal, Experiential Learning and Innovation

Nestled in a fenced-off area with ample sunlight and shade is home to Havergal’s newest members of the community: honeybees. If you read the summer mailing from August, you’ll know that we have partnered with Alveole, a beekeeping company that has excellent experience in schools and organizations in supporting honeybee hives. We have our own designated Beekeeper, and hosted two “Hive to HoneyJar” workshops this month, where our students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to harvest some honey from our hive. Alveole looks after the hive and the bees, ensuring they are well taken care of; moreover, Alveole will be working with the Forum for Change and our interested students to use the data from the bees (their numbers, behaviours, as well as the ingredients in their honey) to learn about the health of our campus ecosystem and the surrounding community. We will be using our honeybees for land-based learning experiences and sustainability practices: understanding pollinator competition in the city of Toronto, and what we can do to support our pollinators and our ecosystem. Discover more about this program by reading “Learning with Honeybees at Havergal,” by visiting our MyHive page or by reaching out to me, Garth Nichols, Vice Principal of Experiential Learning and Innovation, at [email protected].

  • White and green Havergal fleece.
  • Student wearing a black HC baseball cap.
  • HCPA member wearing the HCPA coat for sale.

HCPA Spirit Wear

Throughout the school year, the HCPA will be offering spirit wear and other items for purchase. A portion of every sale supports the HCPA’s fundraising goals, including parent engagement initiatives, and new items will be added throughout the school year. To place an order, visit

Current offerings include:

Green & White Fleece Pullovers

Back by popular demand, the HCPA is pleased to offer green and white fleece pullovers that feature Havergal’s crest. They are available in unisex youth and adult sizes (consult the size chart). Please note this fleece is not part of the Havergal uniform, but is great for travelling to and from school and showing HC pride on the weekends! 

HC Baseball Hat

New this year is a sleek black-on-black HC baseball hat. These hats are 100% cotton chino twill and one size fits all. A limited number will be available, so make your purchase soon!  

Sideline Coat

Another new item is a sideline coat that is sure to keep you cozy–whether you’re braving the elements this winter or trying to stay warm in an arena. This one-size-fits-all coat is black with a white Havergal crest. A limited number of coats will be available, so make your purchase soon!

To place an order, please use this link.

The deadline to order all three items (above) is Monday, October 2 at 9 am

Questions? As this is an HCPA initiative, the Green & Gold Shop is NOT managing pick-up or distribution. Please direct questions to Lisa Windover ([email protected]) or Mahnaz Hamidzadeh ([email protected]).

Ivy Market logo

Ivy Market

Tuesday, November 21

The HCPA’s Ivy Market returns in late November! Like last year, this much-anticipated event will include daytime shopping, a bake sale and more for both parents and students. Parents (current and past) and alumni are invited to attend an evening cocktail party where they can shop and mingle. Watch for more information and a link to purchase tickets in late October.

HCPA members standing around a table of uniform items for sale.

Join the HCPA as Pre-Loved Uniform Co-Chair

While the official nomination process for the HCPA Committee occurs at the end of each school year, we have an immediate opening for a Pre-Loved Uniform Co-Chair. Pre-Loved Uniform sales are a significant part of the HCPA’s annual fundraising efforts. 

We’re looking for a parent to fill this position—you can nominate yourself or someone else. Volunteering your time with the HCPA is a rewarding way to get more involved with both the school and other HC families, and we rely on our dedicated volunteers to support the many initiatives and events that make the Havergal community so special.  

Use this link to learn more information about this role and to access the nomination form. You can also contact Maria Puthoff ([email protected]) with questions. 

Student at an Open House booth.

Admissions Season at Havergal

Each September when students arrive back on campus, Havergal comes alive again. Throughout the summer we plan for their arrival and then, just as quickly as they arrive, the Admissions Team is already focused on the enrolment process for next year’s new students. 

Prospective families considering Havergal for their child across all grade levels have multiple opportunities to get to know the school in the fall and early winter months. As part of our Admissions process, all applicants to entry years meet with a member of our Admissions Team for their interview, which is a chance for both the applicant and the school to get to know more about each other. In addition to the interview, attending one of our on-campus events is an excellent way to get to know more about Havergal and its people, program and campus. 

Group tours are a great way to learn more about Havergal. Beginning in early October, we offer student-led tours of the Upper School (Grades 7 to 12) and parent-led tours of the Junior School (Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6). Tours are a chance to connect with current students and parents about their experiences as members of the HC community, see our facilities and get a feeling for school life. Tours can be booked online according to your schedule and run throughout the application process. 

In October, we will open our doors to prospective families who are keen to see what Havergal is all about at our annual Open House. As a community, we work to get our school ready for the volume of visitors who come to see our programs in action. Prospective families can expect a personalized tour from one of our student Ambassadors, a chance to see our facilities and the opportunity to connect and learn first-hand from faculty, administrators, staff and parents about the Havergal experience.

If you know any families who are interested in learning more about Havergal College, please encourage them to register for one of our two Open Houses:

  • Junior School: Tuesday, October 17
  • Grades 7 and 9: Wednesday, October 18 

Our team looks forward to connecting with interested students and their parents/guardians throughout the Admission season. Learn more at our Virtual Admission Centre.

Inside Focus

Eve sitting on a bench outside of the school.

Unveiling Grenoble: A Journey of Service, Friendship and Impact

Eve U., Head of Grenoble Community Partnership

When people ask me about Grenoble, four things immediately come to mind: carrot muffins, uncontrollable laughter, birthday cake bear paws and endless amounts of grade 5 math homework. My decision to join Grenoble was one of the best ones I’ve made so far during high school, and being the Head of the partnership is an opportunity I’m extremely grateful to have.  

Grenoble is one of the longest-standing community partnerships at Havergal with its mission being to focus on teaching and learning together while creating connections through the understanding of lived experiences and needs. In the program, students get partnered with kids from Grenoble Public School and work with them over the course of 16 weeks. The length of the program really allows partners to bond and to get to know each other on a deeper level, which is a unique characteristic that I love. Whether it’s bonding over the combined misunderstanding of homework instructions or over silly games after we finish work, Grenoble provides endless opportunities to form connections. 

My very first day of the program was filled with nerves, excitement and a little bit of fear. The plan was to play games, get to know the kids and just generally give time for everyone to get to know each other. Surprisingly, there was someone there who seemed to be even more nervous than I was and, funny enough, this someone ended up being my partner for the rest of the year. We sat at the same table, I introduced myself to her and the rest was history. Suddenly, shy smiles turned into big grins, which then turned into endless, uncontrollable giggles. She and I got up to all sorts of things. From trying to sneak extra snacks, to her attempting to teach me cool dance moves, to struggling over math puzzles, we formed a friendship like no other. I went in expecting to be a tutor and I left with a best friend. My experience is the reason I’m excited to be the Head of Grenoble this year. I want to help create a space where partners can hopefully foster friendships like mine and have the opportunity to enjoy and learn from each other. 

Grenoble is more than just a community partnership; it’s an opportunity to make a difference, form lasting bonds and experience the joys of helping others. As I reflect on my time with Grenoble, I can confidently say it has enriched my high school journey in ways I never anticipated. So, whether it’s the aroma of carrot muffins, the echoes of laughter, the fun games after work or the challenge of grade 5 math homework, Grenoble offers a world of experiences waiting to be explored.

Meet Our Faculty & Staff

Jessica Randall's headshot

Jessica Randall

Manager of Global Learning Experiences

Our newest member of the Forum for Change is Jessica Randall, who is the Manager of Global Learning Experiences. In this role, she oversees Havergal’s Exchange program and supports our Community Partnerships. This includes working with a variety of organizations in facilitating art programming, tutoring sessions and mentoring opportunities, as well as hosting food and clothing drives. “Giving back to the community is something I am really passionate about, and being able to do that while helping students find outreach activities they are passionate about is very fulfilling,” says Ms. Randall. “I am so excited to have joined such a welcoming, friendly and spirited community.”

You can find Ms. Randall in the Forum for Change office, located in the Resource Centre (the library). Students are invited to go to the Forum for Change for advice, support and guidance on a variety of things, including finding the right opportunity for them to earn their mandatory 40 hours of community service required to graduate. She also mentors students so they are prepared for what to expect while on Exchange, whether locally or abroad, and acts as a liaison with our Exchange student guests, ensuring they feel safe and comfortable while away from home.

Whether going on a global excursion through our partnership with Round Square, participating in our Exchange program or working with different communities through our local and international partnerships, Ms. Randall is available to provide guidance to our students on their journeys. These experiential learning opportunities are excellent ways for teenagers to gain self-confidence and independence as they discover Canada and the world, meet different people, make new friends and learn about other cultures as they prepare for the future beyond Havergal College.