Torch - Fall 2013

F or these Havergal mothers—Joanne Gooding 1982, Today, as moms of teenagers, their lives are sometimes hectic and often full of surprises as they manage their households and volunteer their time and expertise at Havergal and at other local organizations that are close to their hearts. You can tell that Joanne, Elizabeth and Mary absolutely love Havergal, and over the years, their commitment to the school has continued to deepen. Volunteering seems second nature to these women, who have each assumed various leadership roles at Havergal, culminating in holding the position of Chair of the school’s parent association, the Havergal Community Committee (HCC): Joanne (2012–13), Elizabeth (2013–14) and Mary (2014–15). “Volunteers are an important part of the community. Parents bring different perspectives that enrich the overall school experience,” says Louise Yearwood, Executive Director of Advancement & Community Relations, who oversees the HCC. “Collectively and individually, they [Joanne, Elizabeth and Mary] are tremendously strong leaders for the HCC.” The HCC is a committee of 30 parent volunteers who act as liaisons between the parent body and the faculty, staff and students at Havergal. The HCC keeps the school’s ties strong throughout the year by organizing community-building events including the Father Daughter Dance, Parent Luncheon, Staff Appreciation Lunch, Used Uniform and Textbook Collection and Celebration Saturday, along with ongoing support of horticulture and the Elizabeth Seger and Mary Whitelaw—leaving the workforce was a decision that was right for their families.

Green & Gold Shop. The HCC’s Grade Rep Convenors manage the large network of more than 50 Grade Reps from JK to Grade 12 who provide communications support between parents and their respective grades. “The HCC brings together parents who want to make a difference,” says current HCC Chair Elizabeth, who will be passing the torch to Mary, the current Vice-Chair, next school year. As Chair, Elizabeth runs monthly HCC meetings, participates as an ex-officio member of the Board of Governors and, along with Mary, represents the HCC at many school functions. Elizabeth adds that more than 250 parents volunteer with the HCC each year to support the school and their daughters. For parents who are new to the community, she encourages attendance at parent socials and coffee mornings to learn what’s happening at Havergal, and suggests that being a Grade Rep is also a great way to get to know other parents. And just as parents want their daughters to get everything out of the Havergal experience, the HCC encourages parents to do the same. “Determine how you want to participate in the school—whether it’s helping out at a single event, signing up for a weekly shift at the Green & Gold Shop, volunteering a few hours at the annual Celebration Saturday event or serving on the HCC. Just get involved,” adds Elizabeth, noting that all parents are invited to attend HCC meetings. In their leadership roles, these ladies are role models for their daughters. “I hope that at whatever stage of life, my children feel compelled to give back to their community,” Joanne says. “Children learn by example. What you teach your kids at home is how they balance things in life and how they become good citizens.”


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