Torch - Fall 2013


Parents ’ Journey In their early days as Havergal parents, Joanne, Elizabeth and Mary got involved with the school in order to meet other parents and to get to know the school, faculty and staff better. Since then, their involvement with Havergal has grown and evolved. Although their future plans are still in development—after their children graduate from high school—they will keep active in their community and continue to investigate new opportunities to learn and grow. Mary adds: “If you don’t get involved and give back, you’ve missed out on the greatest gift life has to offer.” Joanne Gooding: With the instability in Toronto public schools in the 70s, Joanne’s mother (who attended a girls’ school in Winnipeg) wanted her to attend an independent school. With a chuckle, Joanne recalls that she “did not want to go to private school.” Starting at Havergal in Grade 8, she grew to love it. Joanne’s family legacy continues, as her daughter Jillian started at Havergal in Grade 1 (she’s now in Grade 12). However, it wasn’t until Jillian was nine years old and her son, Charlie, was five years old (now at Sterling Hall in Grade 8) that Joanne decided to leave the workforce after working for 18 years in market research with the CBC (both she and her husband, Brian, travelled a lot for work back then).

welcoming, and that makes parents feel connected and part of the community. If you get involved with the school, you’ll have a better understanding of the education process, how an institution is run and what your daughter is experiencing. You’ll get to meet great people, some of whom you may not have normally encountered as they are outside your daughter’s circle.” Elizabeth Seger: When the Seger-Rhamey family grew to four children under the age of six, Elizabeth and her husband, Peter Rhamey, made the decision for her to designate more time at home, leaving her 15-year career in the finance and venture capital sector. A graduate of Toronto French School (TFS), her four children attended her alma mater . Her oldest daughter Anna is now in her second year at university. Elizabeth’s middle daughter Karen took it upon herself to apply to Havergal and was admitted for Grade 7 (she’s now in Grade 12); her youngest, Claire, started at Havergal two years ago (she’s now in Grade 9) and her twin brother Michael attends TFS. Over the years, Elizabeth has come to appreciate what makes Havergal so special for her family. “Havergal is a place of traditions and academic excellence. The facilities here are unbelievable and the teaching support has been great. I enjoy being a part of the community. Volunteering allows me to put my mind and skills to work. It’s rewarding in a different kind of way,” says Elizabeth, who was a Grade Rep for several years before taking on the HCC Vice Chair position in 2012–13. For the last three years, Elizabeth has also been a presenter for Scientists in School, which merges her passion for science and enjoyment of teaching. Mary Whitelaw: It was a big decision for Mary to stay at home to start a family and leave her position at IBM. And when it came to decisions about schooling—having attended a private school herself—Mary wanted her three children to have a similar experience. Mary and her husband Brian’s appreciation for higher education at Havergal began when Daniella entered Grade 7 (she’s now in Grade 11). “It was time for Daniella to begin her journey at Havergal. The school is such an amazing and fabulous place for young women,” says Mary, noting that she also volunteered at her sons’ (Matthew and Nicholas) school, St. Andrew’s College, on the Parents Guild. Her sons are currently second- and first-year university students. “Having the time and ability to give back is very important to our family.” Mary has chaired the Father Daughter Committee and volunteered at Celebration Saturday. As well, she continues to be a Grade Rep and a member of the Rowing Committee. This year, she’s volunteering at the Green & Gold Shop and as the HCC Vice Chair. “It’s the possibilities that draw me to be involved with the school. Through volunteering, you are able to meet wonderful parents and faculty who have the same drive and dedication to Havergal,” Mary says. “It’s the joy of the end result. When students give you a hug and say thank you—it’s the greatest gratification you can receive.”

14 HAVERGAL COLLEGE Joanne being at home gives the Gooding household the flexibility they need. Volunteering allows Joanne to give back to the school that afforded her a great education. Her volunteer path started with her being a Grade Rep for several years, taking on one of the Grade Rep Convenor positions in 2011–12. She also ran the Havergal Golf Tournament in 2011 (proceeds were endowed in May 2011 to establish the HCC Bursary Fund) and assumed the Chair of the HCC last year. “It’s been so interesting, exciting and fulfilling to be involved with the school over the years,” Joanne says. “The school is always The school is always welcoming, and that makes parents feel connected and part of the community. —Joanne Gooding “

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