The Senior School prepares students to be globally-minded, confident and resilient decision makers who are able to adapt and thrive in complex and changing environments.
Community & Global Partnerships
Providing opportunities to make the world a better place.
Building self-confidence, sportsmanship and commitment.
Develop skills for students to become leaders of tomorrow.
In the Senior School, each student assumes increasing responsibility for the decisions that shape their future. They are guided, mentored and inspired by experienced faculty and staff who ensure that all students are successful at Havergal. Mentoring relationships help Senior School students expand their network and to connect to opportunities close to home and across the globe. As a result, each student acquires the confidence and initiative to find their own way.
Post-secondary planning plays an integral part of our Senior School program, through our Guidance and Teacher Advisor programs. Havergal students graduate as informed and responsive global citizens, ready to take the next step whether that is studying at a university in Canada or abroad or taking a path less travelled. With the arrival of Boarding School students in Grade 9, the Senior School is enriched by different perspectives and worldviews.Our graduates (100%) study at the university of their choice, including prestigious institutions around the globe.
With the largest girls’ independent school campus in the city, Havergal’s 22-acre campus features a natural protected tree-lined ravine, green playing fields and a combination of heritage and modern architecture. Our new double-height Art Studio and outdoor sculpture area provide bright, light-filled spaces to spark creativity. New classrooms are positioned to foster greater collaboration between departments and encourage inspiration and imagination among students.
Meet the Faculty & Staff
Our exceptional faculty and staff are what sets Havergal apart from other schools. They keenly participate in the life of the school as coaches, advisors and mentors, and show our students every day that they care. Meet some of our team members:
Head of the Senior School
Sanna Ansari Zubair
Social Sciences Teacher
English & Drama Teacher
Art & Design Teacher
Director of Wellbeing
Head of the Senior School
Before joining Havergal, Ms. Timusk held a variety of leadership roles at Upper Canada College including the Assistant Head of Operations and Strategic Projects, Director of Service and International Trips, Chair of Mathematics and Senior House Advisor. She brings extensive experience leading programs for Upper School students and faculty and a particular passion for leadership opportunities for women. Ms. Timusk’s positive attitude and ability to see both the big picture and the small details that allow students to find connections impressed the interview panel throughout the process.
As Head of the Senior School, Ms. Timusk is responsible for promoting wellbeing practices, ensuring that each student is known and has access to the diversity of experiences in the Senior School. She oversees the co-curricular programming including the support and mentoring of student leaders and the House program.
Ms. Timusk is keen to begin to learn about Havergal, the student body, faculty and staff who support them. During her tenure at Upper Canada College, she developed the insight that each school is unique and that culture and tradition can be successfully coupled with innovation that serves the school and the students well.
Sanna Ansari Zubair
Mrs. Ansari Zubair joined Havergal in 2021 after having moved from London, United Kingdom in 2020 (yes, during the pandemic). She has earned a Master of Science degree in Mathematics, a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education in Mathematics and a Bachelors in Financial Mathematics from London universities. She has taught mathematics in the United Kingdom for a number of years, with a focus on pastoral care for girls needing additional support, creating strategies for school-wide behaviour management and mentoring colleagues.
Questions drive Mrs. Ansari Zubair’s thinking and learning. She believes in creating a classroom environment where students realize and accept they may not always get everything right the first time. Learning occurs at the point of challenge and talents can be improved through effort and actions.
In addition to teaching mathematics at Havergal, Mrs. Ansari Zubair has also worked actively as a lead with the Muslim Students Affinity Group and the BIPOC Students Affinity Group. She actively pursues avenues to include social justice into her mathematics teaching as well as contributes to wider social justice work within Havergal.
Mr. Caplan joined the HC-X team in September 2020 with eight years of experience in the independent school sector. In addition to being an educator for students in Grades 1 to 12, he also held the position of Technology & Teaching Coach at a local all-girls independent school. He embodies the notion of the professional learner in how he pursues knowledge, what he practises and how he networks. Mr. Caplan’s learning has focused recently on future-readiness, leading to his interest in earning formal certificates in Design Thinking and User-Design. He is currently working toward a Certificate of School Management & Leadership at Harvard and a Masters of Education at OISE/UT.
Through his work as Coaching Mentor for Cohort 21 and co-founder of the CIS Ontario Coaching Collaborative, Mr. Caplan has extensive experience working with faculty to navigate complex change. He believes in building strong relationships to enact positive shifts in culture and launching school-wide initiatives. He is passionate about Integrated Arts programs and is interested in how digital wisdom serves humanity. His thoughtful curiosity and professional coaching inspire many at Havergal.
Social Sciences Teacher
Mr. Menzella joined Havergal in September 2014 as a teacher with over 15 years of experience in the independent school system, including a year of teaching abroad at the Canadian College Italy. His academic background includes a Bachelor of Science from Carleton University, a Master of Arts in Regional Planning and Resource Development from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor of Education from Brock University.
Mr. Menzella believes the social sciences are particularly positioned to help students develop a greater understanding of, and an informed concern for the world around them, and to inspire positive action both locally and globally. He strives to achieve this in his geography courses by working to develop innovative and meaningful ways of bringing the world into the classroom, coupled with a genuine and supportive approach to teaching and learning rooted in strong pedagogical foundations and aligned with Havergal’s values of integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage. Role playing for an international summit on Arctic sovereignty, assessing the walkability of urban communities and developing disaster management plans are just a few examples of the authentic learning students engage in.
Stepping out of the classroom to explore, serve, and learn about the ‘real’ world is also important. During his career, Mr. Menzella has organized and led a number of experiential learning opportunities for students such as field studies, service projects, and adventure treks centred around specific environmental and social issues in destinations of global relevance, including the United States, France, Italy, Greece, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Nepal and Australia. He always marvels at the inevitable transformation of students into stronger, more independent, confident and culturally sensitive people, further aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the world and abilities to make a difference.
Mr. Menzella is equally passionate about sport, health and fitness, and coaching soccer and ice hockey. You can often find him on the pitch, at the court, or behind the bench supporting our Havergal athletes. His most memorable experience as a coach was being a part of the Hockey team when it successfully defended the prestigious Hewitt Cup.
English & Drama Teacher
Mr. O’Donoghue has been teaching English, Drama and Media Studies at Havergal since 2019. During that time, he has enjoyed working with all year groups and encouraged students to look in depth at aspects of the Arts. Together with the English and Drama departments, Mr. O’Donoghue endeavours to bring literature to life, with creative approaches and lots of collaborative learning.
As well as teaching, Mr. O’Donoghue is a committed member of Ellen Knox House and loves to get involved with all the activities in which they participate, as well as other clubs and societies. Mr. O’Donoghue earned a Master of Arts in English from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education in English and Drama teaching from New College, Oxford.
Remtulla joins Havergal this year with 18 years of teaching experience in Mathematics at The York School and Upper Canada College. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Science Honours in Mathematics and Biology from McMaster, a Bachelor of Education (Intermediate/Senior) from Queen’s, as well as an Honours Specialist Mathematics and a Masters of Arts, Mathematics Education from OISE. So basically, she’s got a good math head on her shoulders.
School isn’t just the building, but what happens in and around it. Remtulla has served as a House Advisor, service trip leader, basketball coach and even found time to become a certified yoga instructor. Informal roles have included mentorship of colleagues, technology support, event planning and execution.
Remtulla definitely keeps busy in her life outside of work. You can find her cheering on the Raptors, working on her photography skills, DJing up some major tunes, listening to podcasts and audiobooks on double speed, traveling the world or searching for the best eats around the city (she has a serious French fry addiction).
One of the key factors that brought Remtulla to Havergal is the opportunity to engage with and encourage students in their transformation to becoming strong, independent and capable individuals.
Art & Design Teacher
Ms. Ulbin joined Havergal College in 2018 as an Art and Design Teacher at the Upper School, bringing with her over 10 years of experience in Experiential Learning. She has worked as an arts educator at major institutions across the GTA, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Harbourfront Centre, Lakeshore Arts and with schools across the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Prior to discovering a passion for teaching, Ms. Ulbin was a freelance artist in the film and design industry working for companies such as IMAX, Tantrum VFX and DDB Public Relations.
Ms. Ulbin believes that creative thinking and expression are integral to student growth and is passionate about preparing students to be critical thinkers. Outside of the technical competencies acquired in her visual arts, media arts and communication technology classes, Ms. Ulbin believes that creative problem solving, collaboration and communication are crucial skills that help students succeed in any subject and future discipline. Ms. Ulbin feels strongly that each student holds within them a creative spark and she thus creates a safe and inclusive classroom in order for each student to exercise this vital voice. She values working with real-world artists and exposing students to the practice of professionals by planning workshops, trips and seminars.
In addition to her teaching role in the Art and Design Department, Ms. Ulbin is a House Advisor for Mary Dennys (Go Dragons!), The Photography Club, The Salon and has previously advised the Ludemus Yearbook club. She has also enjoyed coaching tennis, alpine skiing and joining students on a number of excursions. Ms. Ulbin earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University and a Bachelor of Education, Arts Specialist and Social Science teaching qualifications from OISE.
Ms. Ulbin is also an animal lover who is always happy to share photos of her furry babies—just ask!
Ms. Wang joins Havergal this year with 11 years of teaching experience in the sciences at Upper Canada College. She will be joining the HC-X team as the coordinator of the Grade 9 Transdisciplinary course. She is looking forward to working collaboratively with members of the faculty to further develop student agency, curiosity and future readiness in our students.
Outside the classroom, Ms. Wang has extensive experience coaching debate on the regional and national level. Ms. Wang believes in building an inclusive and safe environment for students to explore topics through curiosity-led investigations. She is excited to meet the Havergal teams and looks forward to case preparations and judging debate rounds.
Ms. Wang’s love for plants has bloomed during the pandemic. Known as a plant parent or plant enthusiast, you might just find her contemplating the species of the Philodendron genus and looking for variegated plants at the BioWall!
Director of Wellbeing
Dr. Yarmey is an insightful clinician, researcher and educator with more than 20 years of experience in higher education and the private sector. Her background includes research and evaluation, health promotion and clinical treatment, and various leadership capacities within the mental and behavioural health and wellbeing sector. In addition to a PhD in Social Psychology from York University, her academic credentials include a Master’s of Social Work in Clinical Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier, a Master’s degree in Community Psychology from the University of Toronto (OISE) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Guelph.
Dr. Yarmey has worked at the forefront of mental health leading content development and the monitoring and evaluation framework for the campus-wide Mental Health Literacy Certificate at the University of Waterloo. In addition, she has worked as a therapist at the University of Waterloo providing crisis, single session, individual and group sessions to undergraduate and graduate students, a Mindfulness-Based CBT therapist in private practice, an adjunct faculty member in the department of psychology at several Universities across Ontario and as Research Consultant. Her exemplary research background, combined with extensive subject matter expertise and experience, positions her to integrate wellbeing research and practice within our school setting.
Built with intention, HC-X–Havergal’s innovation hub–is designed to support students and faculty through new contemporary programs and innovative future-ready learning experiences.
How will my child develop their leadership skills in the Senior School program and what opportunities are available?
Students of all ages should have opportunities to develop their voice, and in doing so, discover and build capacity in their ability to be a leader. In the Senior School, students are given opportunities to build and develop their leadership skills with purposefully-created formal and informal opportunities. Formal leadership opportunities are provided through elected student positions. Grade 12 students can run for Prefect, House Captain and Senior Year President. Opportunities available for all Senior School students include Club Head, Community Partnership Head, Grade Representative, Member of Council for Sports, Arts, Wellness, Sustainability, Admissions, Social and Student Councils.
A formal leadership title is not necessary in order to make a difference and lead and not all Senior School students are interested in holding a formal leadership role. These students are therefore encouraged to get involved with informal and community-based leadership opportunities such as becoming Spirit Week Grade Representatives; engaging in excursions and the Exchange Program; participating in public speaking opportunities; and organically volunteering and supporting other school programming and initiatives.
In the Senior School, students have an hour of dedicated wellbeing programming each day. That time may be spent in Prayers, athletics or arts activities, guidance sessions, advisory groups, clubs and many other opportunities. The aim is to provide balance in students’ lives, attending equally to their cognitive social, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Students explore individual wellness topics in depth, such as stress management, conflict resolution and mindfulness. Students develop self-awareness and a sophisticated wellbeing vocabulary. Knowing themselves and being able to express who they are equips them to become agents in their own lives, increasingly able to guide themselves in their academics, relationships and life goals. Grade 12s also focus on university pathways and applications.
Practising the skills of wellbeing helps our students to engage in a healthy way with present and future possibilities and be prepared for the unexpected. They gain the ability to be strategic–to assess patterns, shift perspectives, weigh options and calculate outcomes. With a reliable framework for making decisions, they are equipped to be proactive throughout life. For our students to thrive in life they need to understand and apply the skills that build health and wellness. With that preparation, they are ready to make a difference as individuals, citizens and leaders.
Senior School students are encouraged to share their perspectives and develop self-direction. Students make increasingly independent choices about their co-curricular clubs and activities, deciding what to pursue and how to balance their commitments. By Grade 11 and 12, their education plan is also largely self-directed, as they customize their course options to meet their personal goals. Students may also complete the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone program, comprising one year of AP Seminar and one year of AP Research focused on a real-world issue of their choosing. Making responsible decisions increases student agency and is an important part of a Havergal education.
In Grade 9, the focus of Guidance classes is on building community, learning to consider other opinions and voicing opinions respectfully. In Grade 10, students continue to build strategies to add to their academic toolkits. Finally, in Grade 11 and 12, the program focuses on post-secondary investigation and planning. All of this is to ensure students are prepared for what lies before them outside of Havergal, while also feeling empowered to make choices about their futures.
When students graduate from Havergal, they will be ready not only to succeed, but also to make a difference as a leader in their chosen pursuits. Graduates have the academic credentials and the intellectual curiosity to excel at university and beyond, with 100% of them studying at the university of their choice. Our graduates are empowered to chart their own course for the future.
Located in the Upper School, the Boarding School provides unique experiences with opportunities for students to learn, grow and make lifelong friends.