Reflections of Havergal: 1994-2019

In celebration of Havergal’s 125th anniversary, Reflections of Havergal takes readers on a walk down memory lane and sheds light on life at the school from 1994 to 2019. Written by former faculty member Jean Sheppard, this ebook captures the past 25 years of the school’s history, touching on topics ranging from school events and traditions, to athletics and Boarding.

Reflections of Havergal 1994 to 2019



AUTHOR Jean Sheppard, former Havergal teacher



Chapter 1: Preface



Chapter 2: Overview

87 Chapter 3: School Life 169 Chapter 4: Community 181 Chapter 5: Conclusion


EDITOR Jennifer D. Foster

PRIVACY OF INFORMATION Havergal College is committed to

185 References 189 Appendices

protecting the privacy of your personal information. Havergal’s Privacy Statement is available at The information contained herein may not be published without permission from Havergal College.

Thank You We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all members of the Havergal community who contributed to this special project, in celebration of our school’s 125th anniversary. Thank you to those who gave their time by participating in interviews, providing materials and reviewing articles to make this book possible. We are honoured by your support and hope you will enjoy reading about Havergal’s remarkable history, which you have helped to shape.

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Havergal’s First Century


Havergal’s First Century “Though I do not believe that a plant will spring where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed … Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” —HENRY DAVID THOREAU

In the early 1890s, the forward-thinking men who became Havergal’s founders were firm in their belief: Toronto needed a new school for girls. In 1894, they planted a seed they hoped would grow into a flourishing tree. That seed did send out tender shoots, and a tree did grow tall and strong, in large measure because the founders hired the formidable Ellen Knox as the school’s first principal. From the day she arrived at Havergal, it was clear Miss Knox was a woman of great strength and determination. As Havergal: Celebrating a Century tells us, she “arrived in Toronto on 25 August 1894 … [and] had just sixteen days in which to transform dusty Morvyn house, the old school Havergal’s founders had rented at 350 Jarvis Street, into a welcoming home for seven boarders and thirty-one day girls, her first students.” 1 The Havergal which I knew and saw for the first time on a hot August morning was just an old-fashioned building with furniture which had stood twenty-four years of hard school work, and, with a sandy yard at the back, practically impossible for games … Upstairs and downstairs the one spot of cheerfulness was a loaded crab-apple tree under the staircase window, making a splash of brightness in the otherwise dispiriting surroundings. 2

Havergal students eating apples, early 1900s.

Ellen Knox on the newly purchased land in 1923.

—Recollection from the new principal





decision was made for the future of Havergal. The board decided to purchase twenty-seven acres of the Anderson farm at Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue for $6000 per acre, with 20 per cent of the price to be paid in cash. 4 Catherine Steele, Havergal’s fourth principal but a student in 1923, remembered the picnic Ellen Knox was determined to have on this “glorious piece of land” 5 before building began. The picnic took place on October 4, Miss Knox’s birthday: I still have a vivid memory of Miss Knox standing on the hill … All around us as far as we could see were fields. There were trees in our ravine but no other trees on the property! Of course, Avenue Road was still an unpaved mud trail. Off in the distance we could just glimpse a couple of houses through the pine trees on Glenview Avenue. 6 That Miss Knox was a highly disciplined and highly skilled educator and administrator cannot be disputed. That she brought passion and rigour to her position is beyond doubt. What also bears noting, however, is that

The venture was, she concluded, “a perilous undertaking.” However, she had “the imagination to succeed. Taking the only positive aspect of her first visit—the crabapple tree under the staircase window— she turned it into a classroom, letting her girls perch on its branches to study.” 3 During her time at Havergal, Miss Knox painstakingly nurtured the Havergal tree. An exacting yet compassionate educator, she established traditions still observed today, but she was also a woman of vision. After presiding over two decades of expansion to school buildings on properties in the heart of Toronto, she turned her attention north and discovered farmland that would be ideal for a new school. To get Board members to agree, she drew on impressive skills of persuasion and eventually won them to her cause. She convinced the board to purchase the land on which the school now stands. She had longed for “a new school with houses circling round a central day school and all the playing fields we can use” … [O]n 11 May 1923, a

Ellen Knox with Havergal students beside Rutherford House, post 1913.


A Woman of Rigorous Standards and Genuine Empathy

Trilby Kent, Class of 2001

she delighted in play. Not only was she willing to seat her young ladies in the branches of a tree, but she also had a creative side that revealed itself in her fanciful embellishment of women’s headwear. Overwhelming in her hats, [she] delighted in [the creations] she made from her “box of bits” ... She worked on the principle that if one rose or feather was attractive, then several would be even better—and particularly impressive as she walked up the aisle of St. Paul’s Church, [the girls in two lines] behind her. It was always questionable whether the latest top-heavy creation would stay in place during the walk, or when she bent over to hike up her skirt and retrieve her collection [money] from her petticoat pocket. Not confining her creativity to herself, she took every opportunity to improve her mistresses’ headgear. When Miss Bryan bought a new hat, Miss Knox announced, “It will be very nice when it has been trimmed.” Sending … for her box of bits, she worked on the bonnet until it sported a bird in full flight on the front. 7 Miss Knox did not live to see the school built, but her portrait has pride of place in the library that bears her name. She is remembered with deep gratitude as an inspiring leader, who, for 30 years, devoted herself to tending to the Havergal tree. Havergal’s first century was shaped by the terrible disruptions of two world wars, but also by wide-ranging social reforms, bold innovations in science and astonishing developments in communication technologies. Throughout those years, the Havergal tree was cared for by people deeply committed to the school, by its principals and Board of Governors, faculty and staff, Old Girls and parents, and, of course, its students. A mong the assorted memorabilia of Havergal’s archives are two century-old lace collars—perhaps the most tangible connections we have to the school’s First Principal. For archivist Debra Latcham, however, it is Ellen Knox’s letters and Ludemus editorials that most vividly conjure the woman who helped found the school’s rich history and traditions. “When I started organizing her archives, I just sat and read,” Latcham says. “Her letters are wonderful—you can really sense her personality and what sh expected of the girls, tha somehow they wo d better the world.” Ellen Mary Knox arrived in Toronto on August 25, 1894, with just two w eks to prepare a new sc ool at 350 Jarvis St. for the arrival f seven Boarders and 31 Day girls. The Board of Governors’ search for a “lady principal” had led them to the 36-year-old student teacher at Cheltenham Ladies’ College—a vicar’s daughter who had earned second-class honours in History and first-class honours in English in he Oxford exams. Within days of receiving their offer, she had cabled her r ply: “Knox ccepts.” Contemporary accounts reveal an enlightened and ambitious young educator with a lively s se of humou , an indomita le pirit and an unwavering dedicatio to women’s e ucat on. She doubled Havergal’s enrolment within her first year and soon after appointed a new generation of staff, including Edith Nainby and Marian Wood. The school’s early years were, in Knox’s own words, “a perilous undertaking.” Her first sight of the school was inauspicious: “The one spot of cheerfulness was a loaded crabapple tree under the stairc se window, making a splash of brightness in otherwise dispiriting surroundings.” She adapted that tree into an outdoor classroom, revealing the can-do spirit that would see her through the setback of a devastating fire a few years later. One young male student, embarrassed by being

Knox with Archdeacon Dr. Henry John Cody, Rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Ellen Knox with Ar hdeacon D . Henry J hn Cody, Rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Churc .






Havergal’s Centennial When the school turned 100 years old, it celebrated with a party that lasted the year. The festivities began on December 13, 1993, at Roy Thomson Hall with an evening of music and dramatic performances.

100th Anniversary Celebration

Among the highlights of that year was the arrival of Havergal: Celebrating a Century , a hardcover book in which Mary Byers documented the school’s dynamic history in compelling detail. There were also productions that showcased student talent. A Century to Celebrate , a tribute by the Junior School, involved every student from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6. It depicted, decade by decade, life at Havergal and in Toronto and beyond through dramatic performances, music and dance. The Havergal Youth Theatre presented 600 Havergalians , its dramatic account of the school’s history. Larry Tayler, Middle School drama teacher and director of the production, added the following to the event program:

Havergal: Celebrating a Century , 1994.


Welcome to the Middle School’s tribute to Havergal’s Centennial! Almost every word you will hear today has been taken directly from the pages of Ludemus , the Havergal College yearbook since 1898 … Most of the selections will be introduced by the cast members themselves, with the exception of the two opening songs. The first is “600 Girls!!” [which was] for many years the sports ‘shout’ and source of the play’s title. The second is the 1908 version of the song. — 600 Havergalians Havergal girls have also been known to make special appearances at special events long after they have graduated; although, it took a time machine to get them to Koerner Hall on November 20, 2014, on the occasion of the school’s 120th anniversary celebration. The centennial year offered the chance to acknowledge Havergal’s proud history and its current success. As was clear from the 1993–94 annual report, the school was thriving. However, while that page of the annual report is a useful reckoning, it does not reveal the essence of the Havergal experience. That essence is clear from the words of Dorothy Lancaster, Principal of the Lower School, when, in December 1994, she looked back on the centennial year and made the following observations in the Junior Herald : Reflecting on the year I was conscious of the many memorable moments which we celebrate every day of every year as we share the lives of Havergal’s children. I am convinced that it is in honouring these small, significant events, as much as in the making of imporant policy and curriculum decisions, that the greatness of a school lies The hours Ellen Knox spent reading to primary children are as important as her foresight in securing for us this wonderful property. Havergal at Koerner Hall 2014—Old Girls Come Back 120th Anniversary Celebration

600 Havergalians! , Middle School centennial production, 1994.

A Century to Celebrate , Junior School centennial production, 1994





A J.K. girl’s first trip to the office as a proud bearer of the daily attendance register; the unbelievable delight of a student who has suddenly realized that she can READ; the sound of children singing; carefully constructed works of art proudly and tenderly carried home; grade five girls in September in their new kilts; the unexpected confidence and poise of a shy girl making an announcement in Prayers; a good mark for a student who has really struggled; a grade two child wearing her ‘Wizard of X’ button; delighted demonstrations of successful science experiments; children totally absorbed in creative dance, thre is an almost magical quality in those moments when a child discovers how truly wonderful she is and how diverse her talents are. It is for this, and many other reasons, that every day is a celebration day. In “A Word from Priscilla Winn Barlow,” included near the end of Havergal: Celebrating a Century , the school’s eighth principal wrote the following:

Miss Knox said to her students in 1907: “My chief wish for each of you is that as each day comes with its allotted task you may be found at your best physically, mentally, and spiritually.” These words still ring true … [T]he ideals expressed are as deeply embedded in Havergal’s philosophy today as they were in Ellen Knox’s time … [Its] links with its roots, traditions, and beliefs help make Havergal strong as it completes its first century. This is not enough, however. We cannot just look back; we must also look forward and plan for the Havergal of the twenty-first century. [A]s we stand looking into our second century, we are aware of, and grateful for, our heritage, the firm foundation that enables us to anticipate with confidence the next century and what lies ahead. 8 And how has the Havergal tree fared in its second century? Here is our story so far.

A recreation of a vintage photo from the book, Havergal: Celebrating a Century (see vintage photo on page 4).





Introduction Strategic Plans Guiding Lights Facilities and Grounds Symbols Whole-School Traditions


Introduction “A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human.” —GEORGES ROUALT

There can be little doubt that Miss Knox would be proud of the growth of the Havergal tree she nurtured with such dedication. Certainly, her “school in a tree” provided a precious image for the community—and inspired one student to write “What the Apple Tree Saw” for the 1919 Ludemus .

“What the Apple Tree Saw” Ludemus, 1919

The symbol was also the focus of a compelling talk Brenda Robson, former Dean of Students and current staff member, gave in Prayers in the late 1990s: Havergal is like a tree. It’s a good old tree which has been growing for more than a hundred years and has good solid roots … What we see above is a vibrant, healthy, often noisy, usually happy school. There are two roots from which this school grows. The first is the root of education …The second is the root of religion. From the roots grows the tree. Our tree is a tall, spreading one with many branches representing a great diversity of people and activities. The branches are also representative of the traditions in the school. Some are old, like the Grandchildren’s Party and Graduation. Some are relatively new, like House Shout. Some are most dependent on the education root, such as the debating club. Others are dependent on the religion root, for example, Carol Service and the Candlelight Ceremony.

Chronicle , 2016 cover.





Trees on Havergal’s large campus.

It is possible to prune the branches of the tree and to allow new ones to grow. Its … appearance will change as a result, but its strength and support will not—it will still be essentially the same tree …The same is true of this school. In 1994, the centennial year, the Havergal tree’s roots were deep and its canopy lush. The program was vibrant, community support was wholehearted and, to draw on the words of the 1991 Mission Statement, Old Girls were conducting themselves with “both confidence and compassion in their professional, social, community and family lives.” However, the world beyond the ivy was being rocked by unprecedented disruption and change, with far-reaching implications for educational institutions. The early 1990s saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, the revocation of apartheid laws in South Africa, the detonation of a bomb in the World Trade Center and genocide in Rwanda. Even more far reaching in its impact was the exponential growth in the use of the Internet. As Dr.

Winn Barlow observed in the final pages of Havergal: Celebrating a Century , “[t]he world has in effect shrunk, and no individual or group can any longer live a life unaffected by the actions of others, whether they be neighbours or strangers.” 9 Given the gravity of these events and the speed of transformation, Dr. Barlow asserted the following: [A Havergal education] must give our students the confidence to manage change. We must try to ensure that they graduate from the College with a love of learning and the desire to continue this learning throughout their lives; with a wide range of skills, especially the ability to think both critically and creatively; with knowledge that roots them in their own heritage while opening them up to the new and the different; and with a strong set of the basic values that transcend all cultures. In the years that have followed, Havergal has strived to provide just that kind of education.



Strategic Plans “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” —GLORIA STEINEM

In the 25 years since Havergal’s centennial, members of the school community have responded admirably to the many challenges posed by a fast-changing world. All the while, however, Havergal has remained steadfast in its commitment to its core values, first formally articulated as its Mission Statement in September 1991: Havergal College is an independent school dedicated to the education of young women. It strives to provide a challenging and stimulating environment in which all students may develop their maximum potential in academic,spiritual, artistic and physical growth. Rooted in a strong Christian tradition, the College strives to reflect today’s multi-cultural, multi-racial world and welcomes students from all backgrounds. Havergal College recognizes the many opportunities presented to women today. It aims to enable its students to confront these challenges and to conduct themselves with both confidence and compassion in their professional, social, community and family lives. It is expected that a Havergal College education begins a lifelong process and that its students will continue to find pleasure in learning and satisfaction in all fields of accomplishment.

A happy Junior School student.





The Mission Statement is clearly aspirational in nature, but as Dr. Winn Barlow reminded the Old Girls in the 1995 Chronicle , those values were already embedded in the day-to-day life of the school: So much of the teaching of values is not overt but is seen in what I call the hidden curriculum of a school. How do the adults treat each other? How do they treat the students? Is respect and tolerance for each other’s point of view shown? Do the adults and older girls go out of their way to help and comfort a student who is going through a difficult time? How does the school respond when some wrong is done? Do the students care for one another? … Do the students, especially the older girls, contribute to one another’s education? If these caring attitudes can be built into the ethos of a school, it helps support a moral environment in which the young can grow and develop. We certainly try to make this happen at Havergal. These values are at the heart of the crucial decisions made about the school’s future. At the 2003 Visioning Forum, Bruce Mau, celebrated designer and Havergal parent and Board member, made the following observation: “Havergal is unique as an institution in being able to think long term—very long term.” Prior to 1994, there had, of course, been long-range planning, with the Board of Governors and administrators working with representatives of key departments to prepare reports and set concrete goals. However, in 1994, Havergal entered into its first school-wide strategic planning process. A key feature of strategic plans is their backward design, and Havergal’s is no different. First comes an articulation of the fundamental vision of the school, one rooted in its values. Then come very practical decisions about the steps necessary to ensure that vision is realized. Each plan, progressive and painstaking, is a living document, and each one has helped make the Havergal tree even stronger and more vigorous.

“We are a community that moves with one purpose in all its constituencies, which is to further the education of the young.”


Strategic Plan 1994–99

In fall 1993, there was a very important announcement in Torch : Havergal was about to embark on the creation of its first strategic plan. A steering committee had been formed, and it would be ably guided by plan Co-Chairs David Taylor, Board member and parent, and Rosemary Corbett, Vice Principal and Co-Head of the Upper School. It was immediately obvious the committee would not prepare the plan in isolation. Members of the entire community would be invited to offer suggestions about the ways in which Havergal should evolve in the coming five years. When all the responses were collated, a group of 40 individuals, again representing all facets of the school, would work together to produce the first draft of the plan.


The community’s response was very gratifying because the ideas provided by each constituent were rich and thought-provoking. Students from Grade 6 and beyond were certainly invested in the process—they had a lot to say: “Should teachers vote in elections? We need to be more environmentally friendly. Let’s have a grub day once a month. Uniform rules should be more consistent. Can we have a skating rink?” Given Havergal’s commitment to its core values, it is not surprising that the plan that emerged from this process contained the following preamble: We are committed to a Havergal environment that is open and supportive so that each student is challenged to do her best, can learn constructively by taking risks, can realize her individual goals and will be encouraged to be herself. This emphasis on the individual will be balanced with experiences that require cooperation and foster teamwork. We will expand the range of opportunities to recognize each individual’s achievement, and we will encourage students to develop a balanced perspective on their successes and disappointments. Where appropriate, aspects of the Havergal program will be responsive to women’s issues and will reflect the complex roles that women play in society. Based on the educational philosophy embedded in the Mission Statement, the plan provided an even clearer sense of what it means for students to realize their “maximum potential.” The plan • clarifies key outcomes with dynamic language: students will discover, develop, assess, take an active role; • broadens the idea of community and highlights social responsibility; • emphasizes the importance of “spiritual values” and a “philosophy of life”; and • asserts the importance of superior facilities.

David Taylor and Rosemary Corbett, Co-chairs, Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

Havergal’s first Strategic Plan reflects a vision that is at once prudent and bold: “[s]ome of the plan’s goals will be met in small incremental steps and others by great leaps forward.” One such leap forward was taken in November 1995, when the Board of Governors launched Our Time has Come: The Campaign for Havergal’s Future , chaired by James C. Temerty and Helen Sinclair 1969. Its goals were ambitious and very exciting: Havergal will have superior facilities that will support all elements of the school’s academic, extracurricular and residential programs. These facilities will reflect the needs for flexible, multi-use spaces, improved physical integration of the student body, [and] easy access to information technology, and will include facilities for enhanced cultural and athletic activities. The final year of the Strategic Plan, 1999, also saw the creation of the Havergal Statement, which built on the framework provided by the plan. The result of a two-year conversation among community members, the statement articulates the distinctive features of a Havergal education: which enables





a young woman to develop to her full intellectual, creative, spiritual and physical potential through enriched, broad-based educational programs with rigorous academic standards by creating a stimulating and supportive learning environment and fostering the qualities of strong leadership, good citizenship and high character.

In stressing the value of embracing change, of seizing opportunities and taking risks, the Havergal Statement was very clear: the school was ready and eager to greet the new millennium.

Junior School students, Ludemus , 2015.


Strategic Directions 2000–03

In 1999, the Board of Governors renewed the five-year Strategic Plan approved in 1994. As explained in an article in the Spring 2000 issue of Torch , Strategic Directions 2000 was a response to: growing pressure for accountability; growing and competing demands on the College’s resources (people resources as well as operating and capital resources); and an increasingly competitive market requiring Havergal to differentiate itself and clearly define its strategic positioning. The article also detailed the ways in which the process echoed that devised for the first strategic plan: In the fall [of 1999], more than ninety community members, including Old Girls, parents, students and staff, attended a strategic planning workshop to identify issues the school faces in meeting its long-term goals. The Board of Governors and the senior administrative team used the results of this session, along with input from a staff workshop, to identify strategic objectives for the next three to five years. The enthusiastic discussions held during the consultation process reflected Havergal’s growing ambition to take its place in the national and international spheres as a stellar educational institution. Participants considered key questions linked to teaching and learning, Havergal’s traditions and values, governance, the school’s extended community, its reputation and its facilities. Particularly notable outcomes were pledges to offer students more leadership opportunities and to conduct reviews of the boarding and community service programs. Two key initiatives followed the adoption of the objectives. The first was the development of the Curriculum Framework by faculty and senior administrators. The discussions that led to its creation

Ludemus 1999–2000 cover.





began with an exploration of the following assertion by Donald Arnstine in his 1995 book, Democracy and the Arts of Schooling : Ideals keep us going when the world seems oppressive and unrewarding. They embody our values, our hopes, our deepest beliefs. Specific enough to aim at, ideals are broad enough to allow some freedom of action. While often personal, ideals can be shared with others because their breadth has room for disagreement about the actions they imply. In this way ideals unite people in common efforts without dictating what their behavior must be. The open- endedness of ideals makes it possible to share them, and thus make possible distinctively human communities. 10 The Curriculum Framework that emerged from the discussions also drew on earlier school documents, including the 1991 Mission Statement and the 1999 Havergal Statement. The framework sets out the college’s values as a set of ideals and key themes “that is a declaration of who we are and what we are striving to become as a school for girls and young women.” As such, it also identifies ways in which we can live those values and highlights the qualities of “responsible leadership.” A significant change in vocabulary also suggested a change in perspective. The word “co-curricular” replaced the commonly used term “extracurricular,” an acknowledgment of the significance of teaching and learning experiences beyond the academic classroom. Given that the ideals and key themes of the Curriculum Framework provided the school as a whole with a lens through which to assess change, it was not long before the document was renamed the Havergal Framework. One other very significant objective outlined in the strategic directions document was a new athletics wing that would be fully operational within five years. The capital campaign Setting the Pace: Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds realized its goals, and the result was an athletic centre that ensures that Havergal “will

remain on the forefront of excellence in young women’s education.” Strategic Directions 2000–2003 was ambitious in scope, but it reflected a sense of responsibility for the goals it set out, with a method of monitoring the school’s progress. The Strategic Report Card was to provide an annual assessment, both qualitative and quantitative, of the school’s success in realizing its goals.

Curriculum Framework Exceptional schools are guided and fortified by inspiring values. The values included in Havergal’s Curriculum Framework not only give direction to all our work, but also identify us as a community which strives for excellence, a community that incorporates the most promising of the new while building on the richness of the past. The framework articulates our values as a set of ideals and key themes, which constitute a declaration of who we are and what we are striving to become as a school for girls and young women: I magination D iversity E xcellence A ltruism L eadership S piritual Life


Strategic Directions 2004–08

Because Havergal’s strategic planning process takes the school’s ideals and values as its starting point, each document is both aspirational and inspirational, with an openness to innovative ideas that has served the school well. Strategic Directions 2004–08 was no exception. As explained in “Welcome to the Future,” an article published in the Fall 2004 Torch , the 2004 plan is a logical evolution of our previous efforts. However, led by Celia Hitch 1976, the Strategic Renewal Advisory Committee of the Board started off quite differently this time. Bruce Mau, a Havergal parent and Board member, led an enthusiastic group of about 100 parents, Old Girls, staff and Board members through a Visioning Forum in 2003. Based on this initial session, input was sought from the Board, staff and students over the fall and winter. Following these input sessions, the Administration Board held a number of working sessions facilitated by Susan Wright Gooderham 1974 to further develop the objectives and strategies for 2004 to 2008. Of the central objectives set out in the document, some reflect the “historic underpinnings of Havergal,” but others are new. This page from the Fall 2004 issue of Torch makes clear the weighty plan: At the urging of Dr. Sue Ditchburn, Havergal’s ninth principal, one striking result of this particular Strategic Plan was the decision to develop a long-term, school-wide initiative that would reflect Havergal’s commitment to its ideals of imagination, diversity, excellence, altruism and spiritual life. In the Visioning Forum, Bruce Mau presented participants with a very intriguing task: “[L]et’s imagine projects to which we can truly apply the commitments of Havergal, projects with the longest possible time frame … projects that will define the school, that will become its unique signature in the world.”

“[L]et’s imagine projects to which we can truly apply the commitments of Havergal, projects with the longest possible time frame … projects that will define the school, that will become its unique signature in the world.”






The Institute’s mission is to enable the Havergal community to understand the complexities of the world and, grounded in that understanding, to make a difference in the world through our commitment to building human capability both at home and abroad. In 2006, the school welcomed Ann Peel as its first Director of The Institute, and it was quickly clear that she appreciated its potential. As she explained it to Wendy Reid for her article in the Fall 2006 Torch : Havergal has the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of a new approach to promoting the welfare of the human race, which is the very purpose behind our commitment to making a difference. This approach operates from people’s strengths, a recognition of our shared humanity and the knowledge that effective change comes when we actively support individuals to be agents in their own lives. Our vision is that Havergal students will be bold and intelligent leaders for such change. This is the essence of the capabilities approach to human developments which will guide the work of The Institute. Strategic Directions 2004–08, like the plans that preceded it, showed that Havergal deserved its reputation as an exemplary educational institution and as a leader in the education of girls and young women.

“The Institute at Havergal College: Leadership through understanding” by Wendy Reid in the Fall 2006 Torch explains the final decision of the Board of Governors: After reviewing six potential initiatives, the Board ultimately approved the establishment of The Institute at Havergal. Explains Bruce [Mau], “Havergal College’s history is that of a pull between the forces of tradition and innovation. The challenge for the school is to continue to enable its students to navigate a complex world and to become leaders of the future.” The ambitious goals of The Institute at Havergal answer the profound question posed to students by Havergal’s first principal, Ellen Knox: “What are you going to do?” As the article goes on to explain,

Torch , Fall 2006 cover.


Strategic Plan 2009–14

The starting point for Havergal’s 2009–14 Strategic Plan was, as always, the school’s mission—preparing young women to make a difference for good in the world—and, once again, the whole community was invited to help discuss and debate the way forward for the school during a time in which it seemed the nature of change itself was changing. Those crafting the new plan, Creating a Culture of Capability 2009–14 , chose to concentrate on what is at the heart of the school: the individual student and the faculty and staff who support her. As the plan makes clear, the focus in each of the coming years would be on two qualities Havergal wants to ensure its students develop: The first is self-efficacy—a person’s belief in his/her ability to accomplish a task, realize a goal or deal with any of life’s challenges. The self-efficacious possess deep and broad knowledge, they are adept at critical thinking and problem solving, and they are self-aware, good communicators, curious, resilient, adaptable and confident. The second goal is global capability, which is defined as the ability to be effective anywhere, anytime and with anyone. Havergal students, faculty and staff need to be globally aware and possess the knowledge and skills to lead effectively and sensitively in an increasingly interconnected world. To help the community support students as they endeavour to develop these qualities, the Strategic Plan also provides two interconnected strategies, The Whole Girl, and Faculty and Staff as a Competitive Advantage. The concept of the whole girl was neatly articulated in Havergal’s 2013 report to Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS):

Havergal’s Strategic Plan 2009-14: Creating a Culture of Capability.





A whole girl is a well-rounded individual who balances a variety of opportunities, feels connected to her community and experiences personal fulfilment through the informed choices she makes …The entire focus is to enable self- directed, meaningful engagement in the world in order to build the capability of the school community and those with whom it partners … Whatever her life goals, a Havergal student proceeds with passion and confidence, knowing she possesses the academic and life skills to succeed in a complex and rapidly changing world. As Grace Woroch, school captain for the 2012–13 school year, so succinctly put it, “You don’t have to be the smartest girl or the most athletic girl in order to be a whole girl. It’s more about putting yourself out there and giving it your all.” ( Torch , September 2013)

Understanding, of course, how much students benefit from the sure guidance of passionate and talented adults, the plan highlights the importance of attracting and retaining the best faculty and staff. As mentors who monitor the girls’ progress and honour their achievements, they must be provided with first-rate opportunities for professional development. To be successful in a complex and changing 21st century, Havergal students, faculty and staff must believe in themselves. Our Strategic Plan enables us to create a culture of capability that will be deliberately and strategically embedded into every aspect of the Havergal education. By 2014, Havergal will retain its mission and values and yet be fundamentally different in how we live our vision.

“The Whole Purpose Behind the Whole Girl” Behind The Ivy ( BTI ), September 2013

The Joy of Being Girl 2013

I can be effective anywhere, anytime and with anyone.

I believe I can... engage. accomplish. contribute.

courageous confident resilient creative critical learner innovative curious risk taker problem solver ethical self-aware connected

reflect strive initiate enlist build assist explore listen recognize adapt evaluate communicate

Global Capability: It’s your approach to life that’s most important. Wherever you go, whateveryoudo,whomeveryouworkwith,alwaysbelieve inyourabilitiesandcapabilities to make a difference. Understand the key forces shaping the world. Believe in your ability and capability to influence those forces, even in smallways.Realize byworking in partnerships, you enable all those involved to reach collective goals.

Self-Efficacy: Believe in your ability and capability to accomplish a task, realize a goal anddealwith thechallengesof life.Youareyourowncontributor toyour lifestory—believe that you can make a difference. Engage in real-world problem solving, expand your understanding and knowledge,work in partnerships, and value our shared humanity.

Poster on self-efficacy.

Poster on global capability.


It took a year to elicit and collate observations and ideas from the whole Havergal community through workshops, focus groups and surveys, and the responses were a source of great inspiration for the committee of governors, administrators, faculty and parents charged with writing the plan. The framework they created reflected a vision of the school based on four core values: integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage. The plan, released early in 2016, builds on and further refines the key concepts of self-efficacy and global capability at the heart of A Culture of Capability 2009–14 . The current plan, Havergal 2020: Our Vision is Limitless , emphasizes lifelong learning and the development of self-knowledge. It also reframes in powerfully positive terms the unique needs of girls at different developmental stages, seeing a deep understanding of these distinct needs as key to the enrichment of the program.

Strategic Plan 2016–20

Havergal’s 11th principal, Helen-Kay Davy, did not have much time to settle into her new role before she took on the formidable task of guiding the school in a new strategic planning process. As has been the school’s custom since its centennial year, the planning process took Havergal’s values as its starting point. However, as Mrs. Davy in noted in her article “Focusing on Our Values” in the Spring 2016 issue of Torch , [w]e had a mission statement, but we needed to make sure it still reflected the true ethos of our school. We had a list of values, but they had not been examined in a long time. So we started a process to get these key messages working together.

Stratetic Plan 2016–20: Havergal 2020: Our Vision is Limitless.





Junior Kindergarten to Grade 4: Breaking the Marble Spell The key strategy at this stage is sparking excitement to learn through exploration and self-discovery. The approach draws on Michelangelo’s provocative image of a sculpture waiting within the stone to be freed in order to emphasize the creative energy in young children that need only be released and directed in meaningful ways. Grades 5 to 8: Minds Set Free The key strategy at this second stage is encouraging self-directed learning and resourcefulness. The executive function skills that students develop during these years will help them see compelling patterns and connections in their personal experience and in the larger world, learning that will be supported by the inter- and transdisciplinary experiences the school will provide. Junior Kindergarten to Grade 4 Students

Havergal 2020: Our Vision is Limitless Torch Spring 2016

Throughout the planning process, members of the broader school community expressed a keen desire to share their resources with students and help them forge partnerships in the larger world. The plan also recognizes the importance of developing “environmentally sustainable facilities that inspire learning and support innovative programming,” and the school has created a master plan to ensure its campus does just that. As the website devoted to the school’s latest capital campaign reveals: Havergal College has embarked on the most ambitious fundraising endeavour in our school’s history. The Limitless Campaign will help create spaces that inspire learning and support our tradition of excellence in educating young women. With a fundraising goal of $21 million, our campus enhancements will be dedicated to art, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), music, health and well-being, and environmental sustainability, offering our students interdisciplinary opportunities that will shape their journeys beyond the ivy. There is no doubt that Havergal’s newest Strategic Plan will broaden the canopy of the Havergal experience, and that the Havergal tree will continue to grow and flourish. John Naisbitt, renowned author and futurist, made the following observation: “Strategic planning is worthless—unless there is first a strategic vision.” Havergal’s impressive past speaks to the vision of its community, to its deep desire to help girls and young

Grades 5 to 8 Students

Grades 9 to 12: Exploring the Brink of the Known As students become more and more independent and begin to envision a future beyond the ivy, Havergal will provide not only opportunities for active cross- disciplinary thinking, but also for mentorship and networking.

women forge an even better future. All eyes are on the Havergal tree.

Grades 9 to 12 Students


Art installation at Havergal. Photo courtesy of Carolyn MacDonald.





The Board of Governors

In fall 1994, Renie Chow, an enterprising Havergal student reporter, was curious about how tuition fees were allocated, and so she interviewed Havergal’s Controller Peter Lewis. Her findings were published in BTI that December, at the end of Havergal’s centennial year. Were a similar investigation to be carried out today, the figures would, of course, look very different, but, as in the past, they all would have been rigorously examined by the impressive women and men who, as Governors on Havergal’s Board, generously devote time and energy to ensure the welfare of the school, convening regularly as a group and taking on the tasks of its committees (Advancement, Finance and Audit, Governance, Marketing and Master Planning). The Board’s mandate reveals that the responsibilities they assume and the challenges they face are not for the faint of heart: The Board of Governors is responsible for the overall stewardship of Havergal College. The Board sets broad policy directions through strategic planning and goal-setting and ensures the financial sustainability of the school. The Board is responsible for appointing the Principal, to whom it delegates authority over the administration of the school and matters of curriculum and staffing. The Board oversees the school and remains at arm’s length from the administration. Two other bodies have also attracted the expertise and goodwill of volunteers: The Havergal College

A plaque of The Board of Governors since 1894.

Foundation, which receives and invests donations intended for Havergal College infrastructure, student assistance and other program, and The Havergal College Educational Foundation Inc., which was incorporated in 1977 to allow U.S. donors to make gifts to Havergal. The role of Board Chairs comes with its own responsibilities, but it is clear from a sampling of their responses that the work they have done for the school has been satisfying indeed.



Guiding Lights “The task of the leader is, of its essence, moral.” —DR. SUSAN DITCHBURN

A guiding light is someone who inspires and supports an individual or a group, and Havergal has been blessed with a succession of exemplary leaders, each one understanding well the responsibilities that came with their positions. During her tenure, Dr. Susan Ditchburn, Havergal’s ninth principal, succinctly defined the role of leaders at the school: The task of the leader is, of its essence, moral. As a leader, I am required to intervene in the lives of others. I must constantly consider questions prefaced by “should” and “ought,” to engage others in questions of “what if?” As a moral enterprise, relationship with members of the Havergal community is central—the ethic of care, trust, and integrity must undergird relationships that constitute our community. On her first appearance at an Evening with the Principal, held in the Ellen Knox Library early in fall1997, Dr. Ditchburn invited members of the audience to consider some of the paintings of the principals on the walls of the room.

A plaque of Havergal’s Principals since 1894.





Principal Portraits Commentary by Sue Ditchburn, former Principal

What do the portraits reveal? If we look at the portraits first of Ellen Knox and Catherine Steele, we are struck by their presence—imposing, reflective, somewhat imperial. The portraits suggest strength of character but tell us little of the personal. Think, then, of the portrait of Mary Dennys—situated in a comfortable chair, her open and welcoming expression, her constant companion on her knee. Then, our most recent principal, Priscilla Winn Barlow, portrayed in home surroundings, albeit the school residence, but suggestive of entertainment—welcoming people in the more personal surroundings of her home whilst at Havergal. The change in the nature of the portraits reflects a change in our expectations of leaders—that in the 1990s we expect leaders to be more approachable, and we understand that there are other dimensions to their lives. However, while some aspects of our expectations have changed over time, the history of Havergal demonstrates some strong and persisting character similarities. These women displayed grit, vision, commitment, strong personalities, fierce determination and an abiding loyalty to Havergal. Havergal: Celebrating a Century 11 tells the stories of the women who cultivated the Havergal tree during its first 100 years. Those stories show them to have been faithful stewards and bold visionaries. The same is true of Havergal’s guiding lights in its second century.

Priscilla Winn Barlow, Havergal’s eighth principal.

Priscilla Winn Barlow, 1992–97

Early in 1992, Havergal’s Board of Governors received the report of the search committee that was charged with the task of finding the school’s eighth principal. The committee’s conclusion was a robust endorsement of the candidate: Your Committee believes that Priscilla Winn Barlow has the qualities of character and the capacity—as evidenced in her references and as perceived by the Committee— to lead Havergal with imagination and vigour into its second century. [Dr.] Winn Barlow’s intellectual depth and breadth and her proven ability to lead a large, multi- faceted organization make her admirably suited and eminently qualified for the demanding and complex job ahead of her.


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