Torch - Fall/Winter 2018-19

Learn about how Junior and Upper School students focus on appreciation as a tool for happiness, meet 2018-19 School Captain Catherine Thomas, and read about what Havergal is grateful for.

H A V E R G A L C O L L E G E F A L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 – 1 9 W I T H T H E A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 0 1 7 –1 8


CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Atkinson Jill Azis Suzanne Bowness Yvonne Chow Jenna Cowan Alison Crocker Tony diCosmo Stephanie Douglas Helena Follows Jennifer D. Foster Pearl Goodman Heather Hudson Andrea Langford Debra Latcham Lisa Massie

SUSTAINABILITY AND THE TORCH The Torch is printed on Forest Stewardship Council-approved paper and mailed in a 100 per cent biodegradable bag that is also recyclable. Please help reduce landfill waste by disposing of it in your recycling box.

PRIVACY OF INFORMATION Havergal College is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information. Havergal’s Privacy Statement is available at

Andrew McKay Tanay Naik Maggi Patterson Diane Peters Leah Piltz Graham Powell Natalia Stewart

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THANK YOU We would like to thank all members of the Havergal


The information contained herein may not be published without permission from Havergal College.

community who participated in interviews, submitted articles, contributed photographs and reviewed articles.

Table of Contents


Principal’s Message Habits of Appreciation


Snapshots Photos of Life at Havergal

8 School Profile The Pursuit of Happiness 10 Message from School Leaders An Attitude of Gratitude 13 Forum for Change Redefining Community 14 Feature Story

Gratitude: the Gift that Keeps on Giving

22 Student Awards

Celebrating Student Success

26 Students Speak

Notes of Appreciation

28 Farewell

Saying Goodbye to Our Retirees

30 Traditions

Vimy Oaks: A Legacy Takes Roots on Havergal’s Campus

31 Reunion News

Celebration Weekend 2018

32 Community & Old Girls Updates 33 Annual Report 2017–18 60 Grad Profile 2018

1451 Avenue Road Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5N 2H9 Telephone: 416.483.3519

Congratulations to Havergal College’s Class of 2018!

At Graduation on Thursday, June 21, we inducted 125 Grads into the Old Girl community.

We look forward to honouring the Class of 2019 at Graduation on Wednesday, June 19.

How will you define one-eight–one-nine?

Learn more about the Class of 2018 in our “Grad Profile” on page 60.

Principal’s Message

This ties back to many of our core values at Havergal: inquiry, integrity, compassion and courage. When we engage in habits that connect us to what we have and could be grateful for, it acts as a North Star. It guides us to cherish what has come to us and helps us pursue inquiry in a more meaningful way and with rock-solid integrity. When we have an understanding of the world and its inequities, and we stay connected to our compassion for others, we can pursue inquiry with a more balanced sense of curiosity, skepticism and analysis. Indeed, this becomes a habit itself. Inquiry can become a moral disposition, where we delve into knowledge and come to conclusions for the betterment of ourselves and others. We can find compassion for the mistakes people made in history. We can find uses for scientific discovery that help people and the planet. It’s a surprisingly complex emotion and process. I think it means a lot to all of us at Havergal who are driven to pursue knowledge, self-awareness and success in a way that’s guided by real appreciation, real gratitude. “ True gratitude is the result of both the things we do and a certain kind of thought process and reflection.

E arlier this fall, some of our girls spoke in Prayers about their work with our community partners. They shared their stories of inspiration and how these experiences helped to change their perspectives on the world. I am reminded of this Prayers in particular because this issue of Torch magazine is all about gratitude. By definition, feeling grateful is the “quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness,” and that is what those girls felt when speaking about their involvement in these community partnerships. As much as it helps them find more meaning in life, it inspires us to act, too. Working in the community and making real connections with others who appreciate your efforts, mentoring someone younger in schoolwork or in sports, these are acts of what Aristotle called “moral dispositions.” They are habits with a moral underpinning that build character by repetition. These habits help us develop a personal ethical code. They help us see the world with true gratitude. True gratitude is the result of both the things we do and a certain kind of thought process and reflection. Habits of Appreciation By Helen-Kay Davy







1. The Havergator greets a student on the first day of school. 2. Our Junior School tour guides are ready for Open House. 3. Students and Forum for Change staff present Excursion Prayers. 4. Principal Helen-Kay Davy (centre) congratulates Old Girl Award Recipients Tanya Taylor 2003 (left) and Wendy Thompson 1967. 5. Middle School students at Celebration Saturday.






6. Royal Canadian Navy

Commander Carol Bateman at Havergal’s Remembrance Day assemblies.

7. Grads write down their goals for the year at the

Mother-Daughter Luncheon.

8. A Grade 8 student goes treetop trekking as a part of the Day 9 programming. 9. Grade 6 House leaders cheer at Junior School Prayers. 10. A student sings at Upper School Prayers. 11. Junior School students get ready for Harvest Festival.








School Profile

The Pursuit of

School Captain Catherine Thomas Leads with Positivity and Charm

By Heather Hudson


I find that it’s the little things—the ones that make you happier, add spark to life and make your heart skip—that make life worthwhile.

W hen Catherine Thomas slipped the School Captain vest over her shoulders for the first time, she paused to appreciate the magnitude of the moment. “It felt surreal. I’ve always admired the amazing women who wore the vest before me and I could feel all their love for the school when I put it on.” It was a fitting start for the 2018–19 School Captain. If there’s one thing Thomas wants to inspire her fellow students to do, it’s to love and appreciate Havergal as much as she does. With an effervescent personality and a determination to strengthen connections between students, faculty and staff, Thomas plans to lead in a fashion similar to one of her early mentors. “Rachelle Li was School Captain when I was in Grade 7. From the first word she spoke, my jaw dropped. She was so happy, fun-loving and charismatic. When you were around her your spirit was instantly lifted. She made you feel so great about yourself and the world. I thought, if I can have an impact on others the way she did, I would be the happiest girl on the planet.” The pursuit of happiness, for herself and others, is what motivates Thomas no matter where she’s putting her energy. “I find that it’s the little things—the ones that make you happier, add spark to life and make your heart skip—that make life worthwhile,” she says. Thomas joined Havergal in Grade 6 and instantly became involved in co-curricular activities to help her get to know herself and others better. She started with sports like track and field, soccer, volleyball and rowing, and her interests shifted over time to include music. As the head of Music Connect last year, she especially enjoyed the community partnership with 147 Elder Street. The group brought familiar music by Frank Sinatra and early Beatles selections to seniors living with dementia.

“It was the most amazing thing to see people who were otherwise low-functioning get up, hold hands and start singing,” says Thomas. It was particularly touching for her because it reminded her of listening to big band leader Lawrence Welk with her grandfather. Another passion for Thomas has been student government. Beginning in Middle School, she participated in House Executive and student/social councils, which ultimately led to her aspiration to be School Captain. “Being able to represent a greater community, communicate ideas and make a difference are really important to me; they are very rewarding.” She plans to study international business in university and has a goal of working in teams to solve problems with people from around the world. As School Captain, Thomas is looking forward to fostering an inclusive environment in which all students feel valued and heard. Her wish is for everyone to make a new connection every day, whether it’s with a fellow student or faculty member. “Reaching out, saying hi and finding out a fact about another person is an amazing way to get to know people on a deeper level. And then there will be one more person who will support you at Havergal.” Reflecting on what she’d like to accomplish this year, she can’t help but think about spirit and appreciation. “Everyone at Havergal is so supportive. When you’re younger, you don’t always see how much effort the faculty and staff put into making sure that you’re getting the best experience possible. I’m so grateful for the environment that I’ve grown up in.” What’s most important for Thomas is to make everyone appreciate the school as much as she does. “It would make my year if a student told me that I was able to show them all the great things about Havergal. That’s a huge goal for me.”


Message from School Leaders

An Attitude of Gratitude A Habit of Appreciation Slows Us Down, Connects Us to Others and Boosts Our Own Wellness

By Michael Simmonds and Kate White

anchored. Add to that our mission to prepare young women to make a difference and it becomes clear that planting the seed of gratitude helps each girl grow into her own purpose and passion. In order for that seed to take root rather than blow away on the winds of haste, our girls need practice in slowing down. We asked School Chaplain the Rev. Stephanie Douglas about the speed at which we all tend to move today, which feels supersonic at times. Her take was enlightening. “Gratitude is a spiritual discipline that roots us in the present,” she says. “Sometimes we don’t appreciate things until they have passed. We lack perspective. Daily gratitude is the antidote to that, like a corrective lens. It asks us to live in the present moment and appreciate it for what it is. It partly does that by slowing us down, so we don’t race past the goodness around us or even within us. How can we feel joy when we’re mentally on the run from one thought, event or demand to another? We really can’t.” Not only do we feel more joy in our lives when we slow down and appreciate the moment, but we also improve our health and well-being. Research tells us that small acts of gratitude, practised day to day, increase both the quality and quantity of our lives. We live better and we live longer. Since school is about more than grades, we believe in teaching gratitude as a path to social and emotional wellness. Professor Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis studies the nature of gratitude and its impact on health and wellness. According to his findings, those who practise gratitude: • experience higher levels of joy, enthusiasm, love and happiness; • are protected from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment and greed; • cope more effectively with everyday stress and have greater physical health; • have improved relationships and feel more giving toward others; • refuse to live as victims or blame others when life is tough; and • have greater work productivity and career success. In short, “Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives,” Emmons says. Studies show that expressions of gratitude have the power to increase life happiness in a way that career success or money demonstrably do not. So while gratitude can sometimes seem intangible—is it a feeling, an act or a state of being?—the changes it produces are actually measurable. That’s why we value a culture of gratitude and teach it both directly and indirectly.

Kate White, Head of Junior School, and Michael Simmonds, Vice Principal School Life and Student Wellness

H ave you ever felt gratitude for the sun? Or for this blue planet we all inhabit? Perhaps galactic gratitude feels a bit sweeping or grand. But, if you think about it, we’ve been pretty lucky. Quite a few cosmic events had to occur over the past couple of billion years to get us here. And if it’s hard to keep all that science in our heads, every sunrise and sunset reminds us of the wonder of our celestial home. We may not begin every day at Havergal with giving thanks to the sun, but we do place a premium on the role gratitude plays in our individual and community wellness. No matter their age or stage, we work as a full school to help our students build their gratitude muscles. It’s our responsibility as a school to help our girls understand the positive role that thankfulness, appreciation and gratitude play in all our lives. So where do we start? With the basics. At the heart of gratitude lies an awareness of self in relation to others. Gratitude does not exist in a vacuum. Acts of personal reflection help our students to know themselves well and see their role in the larger (perhaps not quite cosmic) world. With a genuine feeling of appreciation for who they are and what they have, they can reach out to others with compassion and take action that matters. After all, compassion is one of our enduring values in which gratitude is


In the Junior School, teachers will often engage in mindful meditation with their girls after recess or when transitioning from one subject to another to slow their minds and bodies, acknowledge the moment they’re in and prepare themselves for what is coming next. This act helps students and faculty to recognize and appreciate the value of the moment. In addition, the norms of behaviour in the school—making eye contact, shaking hands, saying please and thank you, asking others how they are, opening doors, wearing the uniform with pride—keep the girls connected to each other by directing their attention to experiences other than their own. Recognizing others is as important as knowing what lies inside our own hearts and minds. Havergal students also appreciate others through engaging in community action. For example, as part of our Day 9 experiences, students in Grade 5 are contributing to a project called Canstruction ® , which is affiliated with one of our community partners, the North York Harvest Food Bank. Canstruction ® is an international competition that challenges designers, architects and engineers to design and build sculptural structures using unopened cans of food. Its ultimate goal is to raise awareness about hunger. Students apply their math, design and art skills to create and build structures made up entirely from canned foods and compete for titles such as Best Design, Best Use of Labels and Structural Integrity. After the competition, all of the cans are donated to the community that the North York Harvest Food Bank serves. Our girls learn about the cost of food and the economic situation of families less fortunate than their own. Equally as important, the students are challenged to reflect on what they are learning Left: Grade 5 students learn about food banks as part of the Canstruction ® project; Right: The Rev. Stephanie Douglas with Junior School students at Prayers. “ “ It becomes clear that planting the seed of gratitude helps each girl grow into her own purpose and passion. throughout the process, as well as to consider individual, group and wider world connections. Community partnerships and socially beneficial projects are found at every level throughout Havergal and are reminders to slow down, tune into the self and recognize others. At the Upper School, we provide unique opportunities to teach these habits, such as establishing device-free zones. These are places and times to put all electronic devices away and connect personally (rather than virtually) to others. Being device-free during House or while sharing meals, as examples, strengthens our personal connection to each other and reminds us to be thankful for the good company of community members. Gratitude is steeped in connectivity, which face-to-face conversations make possible in fundamental ways.


Message from School Leaders

But gratitude isn’t just for the good times when we feel most connected to ourselves and others. We asked Douglas about the moments when we struggle. “Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and connectedness, yes,” she explains. “But it is also a spiritual call independent of feelings. You don’t have to feel grateful to be grateful. You can acknowledge the blessings in your life, even in tough times. It’s a way of living, a way of being fully human. And feelings often follow action. As we practise gratitude, our feelings change. So, while we may not start out with a feeling of gratitude, we can get there through expressing it. That’s established by the research.” Practising gratitude is like learning the piano: we get better and we feel better as a result. This is why experts view gratitude as an instrument in the health and wellness toolbox, as well as a cure for entitlement. Consider gratitude and entitlement as polar opposite feelings. Because they have so many opportunities, parents often worry that their children might grow into having a sense of being owed everything. That’s why gratitude is woven into the tapestry of everyday life at Havergal. There are the big moments, some of which we have mentioned. There are also the countless small moments: the daily thank yous or the notes girls write to their teachers, counsellors and coaches. We don’t take gratitude for granted here. We practise it both openly and quietly within ourselves. We may not thank the sun for its heat, the Earth for its orbit or the moon for stabilizing our axial spin. But it can only do us good to express our gratitude for each day, person and opportunity within our own small galaxy.

Graduation is a special time when students reflect on their Havergal experiences and look outward at their community. Through their comments read at the Graduation ceremony, Grads express gratitude for the people who have helped them reach this milestone: family members, teachers, coaches, mentors and friends. They appreciate and publicly acknowledge the opportunities the school made possible both inside and outside of the classroom. Prayers is another occasion when gratitude muscles are flexed and stretched. The community comes together, three times a week, in a state of appreciation—for the joy of song and music, for each other and for the opportunities we have to better understand and affirm the school’s values and mission. The girls invariably express their thanks to those who share a message. In the Junior School, messages often focus on character education and what it means to be a member of the Havergal community. We challenge the girls to not only think about what they want to be when they grow up, but also who they want to be. Issues such as empathy, kindness and respect are discussed. Teachers, students and our chaplains give specific examples of what it looks, sounds and feels like when we are living these values, as well as when we do not. The older girls address more complex topics such as anxiousness, perfectionism and identity. Recently, Pride Week was launched during Upper School Prayers and three Grade 12 students presented. Our community listened respectfully, appreciating the courage required of each girl to share her perspective and personal story. Whether in the younger or older grades, our students readily show their gratitude for moments of courage, compassion and connection.

Graduation marks a time of reflection and gratitude for many Grads.


Forum for Change

Redefining Community My Q & A with Deisha Paliwal

By Tanay Naik

I n my first few months as Director of the Forum for Change, I have been inspired by Havergal’s commitment to progressive education and developing strong, lasting and, most importantly, authentic relationships with our local, national and international communities. One student in particular who I have had the opportunity to work with is our Community Prefect Deisha Paliwal. What impresses me most about Deisha is her genuine belief that the work she’s doing makes a difference. At the Forum for Change, we are committed to seeing those differences come to light by supporting Deisha’s continued engagement in local and broader communities. For this issue of Torch magazine, I sat down with Deisha to talk about her goals and ambitions as Community Prefect. Q In your busy first few months as Community Prefect, what has been the highlight thus far? Why? A  There have been so many. If I had to choose, I’d say Celebration Saturday was the highlight for me! As a school, we all gathered together to support our community partners, which filled the air with spirit and unity. Not only was the school able to contribute through donations, but we were also able to forge lasting connections. Each year, we work toward strengthening the ties that bind our school to our community partners; Celebration Saturday was the perfect start to this. Q What drew you to the Community Prefect role originally? When did this journey start for you at Havergal? A  My time at Havergal has been spent defining and redefining my understanding of community. My journey started not with a love for participating in the community, but with little to no knowledge of what it actually meant to be an engaged citizen. Participating in community partnerships, namely Grenoble and AIM Jumpstart Camp, transformed my misconceptions into understanding. The Community Prefect role presented itself as an opportunity to learn more about the communities I had not yet had the chance to explore.

Tanay Naik with Community Prefect Deisha Paliwal.

Q What is the most significant learning that’s come out of your involvement in the community? What has it taught you about yourself and about the broader Toronto/global community? A  The most significant learning I’ve gained from my involvement is that everyone has a story. Each individual brings with himself/ herself a unique set of experiences and circumstances that result in a distinct perspective. Immersing yourself in a community has taught me to never make assumptions. I should never presume to know the needs of other people; a comprehensive understanding of a community’s identity involves engaging directly with the people within it. I have learned to recognize the diversity of Toronto and the broader global community, not only in terms of ethnicity, religion, ability and sexual orientation, but also in the ways in which people approach situations and the platforms they have to contribute. Q What are your goals this year for yourself (both individually and as Community Prefect) and for the Forum For Change? A  As an individual, I hope to learn more about the perspectives that exist in communities that I have not yet engaged with; to grow as a citizen, you must first be aware of the diverse experiences, viewpoints and cultures that exist. As Community Prefect, in conjunction with the Forum for Change, I hope to work toward strengthening the school’s place in the municipal, national and global community. At Havergal, we are all working to understand the multiple perspectives on issues that exist within the school; however, it is also important that we engage with perspectives in the larger communities that we belong to.


Feature Story


ratitude is one of those concepts that keeps going by association: once you think about one thing, it makes you think of another related thing until your mind is brimming. As Havergal’s Chaplain, the Rev. Stephanie Douglas, puts it, gratitude is “a good habit of the heart,” a gift that gives back. “As we practise gratitude, we find ourselves blessed in turn,” she says. Even as you ask members of the Havergal community why they are grateful for a particular aspect of Havergal, it’s often the case that answers will spill over into other areas. Community. History. Traditions. Campus. For the school itself, which is on the brink of celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019, there are so many things to be thankful for. Here are the top 10 things Havergal College is proud of after more than a century of preparing young women to make a difference.

A Strong Community Feeling

A Sense of History that Grows

Strank, who likes attending her gym and language classes, practising gymnastics and playing piano, is a House leader this year. She likes the opportunity to learn about other people and help the younger kids. “Being a House leader brings the whole community together. We do a bunch of fun things like House breakfast and cheers,” she says, adding that she’s looked up to House leaders herself for a long time. “I remember when I was in Grade 1, I would always look up to the Grade 6s; now that I am a Grade 6, I really want to be a good role model,” she says. Gupta, who’s enthusiastic about math, writing and social studies, says she really likes being in Marian Wood House, especially since it’s the same one that her older sisters Nisha (in Grade 6) and Maya (in Grade 8) belong to. “Everyone from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 at Havergal is in a House. In the Junior School, the Grade 6 students teach us the cheers and we get to make friends from different grades,” she says.

Even though Ayla Strank is in Grade 6 and Sara Gupta is in Grade 3, they still have something in common: last year they were paired together as Haverpals. If they see each other in the hallway, they’re likely to give each other a smile or a wave. Both are grateful about the program that pairs older and younger students each year and are eager to do more with this year’s Haverpals program. Already, Strank knows that her younger Haverpal partner for this school year, Jillian, shares her love of the colours blue and pink, pizza, swimming and writing. Gupta knows that her new Haverpal partner, Rachel, shares her love of dogs, movies and pasta. Rachel is new to Havergal this year, which means that even though Gupta is the younger of the pairing, she’s the authority. “I told her about a lot of things and she said that she’s happy to have a Haverpal because she finds it nice to meet new people,” says Gupta.

You only need to gaze at the timeless stone buildings, resilient ivy and well-kept wood finishings to be reminded that history is integral to Havergal’s identity. But it’s also a living element, present in the similarities in stories told by Old Girls who may have attended Havergal in completely different eras: a common love for a House, a memory of a special Prayers. From Havergal’s official history headquarters, Archivist Debra Latcham reports that she regularly hears expressions of gratitude from alumnae pleasantly surprised at just how much information she can supply about a mother or grandmother or Old Girl. Latcham says she, in turn, is grateful for the alumnae who have funded its growth and donated so much material that the archive has tripled in size since its opening in 2006. Latcham is also grateful for the dedication of her three volunteers. As an example of


The campus has grown from those early days in 1926.

— Lisa Massie

Facilities Director

Rendering of the future Learning Commons, currently under development.

A Network of Old Girls That Inspires

a variety of sports, was a Prefect in her senior year and took on the role of editor of the Ludemus , the school’s yearbook. She also became active as a volunteer when her daughters attended: as a Class Rep for several years, on the Board of Governors and now with HOGA. While she keeps up with friends from her own graduating class, Stoate says that a benefit of volunteering was meeting new people. “It was an opportunity to reconnect because there were other parents who were also Old Girls,” she says. “You have not only your own generation in common, but you also have connections with other generations.” Thanks to long-standing traditions, Stoate says that Old Girls have something in common even if they attended at quite different eras. “There still is that connection that binds us, something common that they can all relate to and talk to, although they may be 18 and 88, which is kind of neat to think about.”

the generosity of alumnae donations and volunteer time intersecting, she mentions a current project to transcribe the lively letters of Boarder Gwen Weaver, who graduated from Havergal in 1925. “They’re fabulous! She sent letters home every week and talks about the school and her friends and Toronto and life in Boarding,” says Latcham. Following the donation, a volunteer is helping Latcham make the most of the letters by not only transcribing them, but also putting last names to all the girls Weaver mentions. The volunteer has even visited the archives and the local church around the Weaver family’s hometown in southern Ontario. The enthusiasm has spurred the family to further donate the letters sent by the mother and they’re looking for letters from Gwen’s sister as well. “I’m grateful for my volunteers, they go above and beyond on everything!” says Latcham. And that’s just one of many stories from the Archives.

Edwina Stoate 1975 may be this year’s Havergal Old Girls Association (HOGA) President, but one of her best stories about the benefits of the Old Girl network comes from her own household. Stoate’s two daughters Sarah (2005) and Katharine (2002) both attended Havergal. When Katharine was deciding on a career path to combine her passions for biology and genetics, she reached out to the Old Girls network to ask about careers based on her interests. A couple of Old Girls responded to say they were studying genetic counselling. Katharine continued to communicate with them, asking them questions about the field and even meeting with one of them. That’s the field she’s in now,” says Stoate. Back when she was at Havergal, Stoate was an active student herself: she played


A Campus with Room to Grow

Faculty and Staff Who Nurture

future Learning Commons, a large student gathering place. “These new additions are going to be gorgeous,” says Massie. “It’s a three-storey atrium and it will have a BioWall [made of plants].” As with other major construction projects at Havergal, Massie says that this one arose from thoughtful consideration about the school’s needs. “We realized that we had average art facilities in the Upper School. We were doing great art programming, but in sort of very typical classrooms,” says Massie. “We decided to build some custom-made classrooms for this wonderful programming!” Yet another goal is to improve sustainability: green roof spaces, solar panels, stormwater management and LED lighting are all in the works. Havergal is targeting LEED® Gold, a top environmental standard for buildings. Not bad for a campus that’s been around for almost a century. “When you look at it, it’s sort of almost every 20 years when you come along and do something big,” says Massie. “The campus has grown from those early days in 1926.”

Although most faculty and students express their gratitude for the 200,000 square feet of magnificent buildings on the 22 acres that Havergal calls home, Director of Facilities Lisa Massie is the expert on where the campus is going. Hired in 2012 to take responsibility for the school’s buildings, grounds and security, Massie is at the helm of the campus build project. Now underway, the campus build project will add more than 48,000 square feet to the Junior and Upper Schools. At the Junior School, the project will create a new art studio, music classrooms and a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math-focused) classroom, plus a full dining room and kitchen facility. The renovation will also free up space for a full-sized gymnasium again. At the Upper School, the plan is for a three-storey addition focusing on art, design and technology. Five art studios, several technology classrooms and additional classrooms are in the works, along with the

Regardless of the school you attend, everyone remembers the kindnesses and inspiration of a favourite teacher. At Havergal, where the community is much more closely knit, students are quick to express gratitude for the impact of a kind mentor. Lulu DeLuca, a Grade 8 student whose favourite subject is social science and who likes to play soccer and badminton, remembers the kindness of Ms. Garland, who worked in the front office at the Junior School and would chat with her when DeLuca’s mom dropped her off early before school. “Ms. Garland noticed that I was coming to school early every day, so she chatted with me and gave me little jobs to do and we became really good friends,” says DeLuca. Soon they discovered their shared Polish heritage. When DeLuca said she’d dug up some of her mom’s old Polish folk dancing costumes, Garland agreed that she would also wear hers for Halloween!

Faculty and staff with students at Celebration Saturday 2018.


Not surprisingly, faculty and staff also find it rewarding to be part of the Havergal community. Antonietta Mirabelli, Havergal’s Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, says there’s something unique about working in a community like Havergal. “It’s a marvel every day to see the care and love for our students that faculty and staff exude in everything they do. Not everybody gets the chance to wake up every day and come to a place where they are integral to not only the community, but also to the delivery of the experience,” she says. Havergal is also the kind of place where employees have long-standing careers, with more than 55 per cent of its workforce dedicating more than 10 years of service and several who have even been here for more than 30 years! As her tenure at Havergal grows, Caven Ortved sees why so many stay for as long as they do. “As a 15-year employee, I think the opportunity to contribute to the life of the school, to work with people who are committed to excellence and to be part of this caring and compassionate community are why we see long-term service for so many.”

it connected to a unit she’d taken in her Grade 5 social studies class, DeLuca told Ms. Lockington about the book, who then used it in her class. DeLuca was grateful for the chance to contribute. “It was really great how she took me seriously and listened to my ideas,” she says. While faculty may be top of mind when thinking about a school, Catherine Caven Ortved, Havergal’s Executive Director of People and Culture, says that she’s also grateful for the staff who make up half of the school’s 235 employees. “Working diligently behind the scenes, this is the group that helps define our community. They are especially important to our students, particularly our Boarders, as this is the group that makes the school their home away from home,” she says. From Facilities to Security to Food Services to Housekeeping, the familiarity of their faces and their genuine interest make the girls feel a part of the Havergal community beyond the classroom. “They contribute tremendously to the heart and soul of this building and they keep it ticking 24-7.”

DeLuca remembers the photo of them wearing similar dresses. Years later, when Garland retired, DeLuca spoke at her Retirement Prayers. Arriving at Havergal last year, Xintong Lu is in Grade 8, loves art and math and participates in figure skating. She appreciates the fact that teachers always make time for her. “They always pull time from their own busy lives before school, during lunch or after school to work with me on subjects that I need extra help with. When I leave the room, I feel more confident about my learning,” she says. Maya Gupta is also in Grade 8 and likes art and English and participates in badminton. She also likes that the teachers are willing to give extra help, especially with math. “Miss Coleman really helped me understand math,” says Gupta. “She had some good learning strategies that I still think about today.” DeLuca recalls another time when she heard a radio program about a kids’ book on residential schools. Realizing how well

India Tory (middle left) and friends.


Traditions Big and Small

While occasions like Prayers and Celebration Saturday come to everyone’s mind when they hear the word “tradition” at Havergal, smaller moments can also resonate. For former Head of English Linda Goldspink (who retired in 2012), hot chocolate with her students at Christmas was a personal tradition that she cherished. Ordering hot chocolate and cookies, Goldspink would book the Ellen Knox Library or the Temerty Commons, or, if they were reserved, she would draw a fireplace on the board in her classroom. Then she gathered all her students for a reading of ’Twas The Night Before Christmas . “And they would know some of the lines, so they would join in,” says Goldspink, adding that when it came to say “Merry Christmas” she would go around the room and have the students chime in with the wishes from their traditions, from Hanukkah to Kwanza. “That was a neat way to start the season.” Asked to name her favourite formal tradition at Havergal, Goldspink is torn to choose just one. Celebration Saturday, Carol Service (the school’s Christmas service), Founders’ Day and Graduation are all among her favourites. “I think the power of it is that it provides security and comfort because you know what to do, who you are and where you are in the context of the tradition,” she says. She also recalls fondly the tradition of House cheers. “We go out on the hillside to the beautiful green field. Each House gets up and does its routine. It’s a great time and we all have fun,” she says. A favourite weekly traditions is Prayers. “It’s sort of the quieter moments in an extremely busy place. You can actually focus and be quiet yourself and engage in the singing, which I loved.” Since retirement, she enjoys attending reunions for former staff, which is a special Prayers every fall. “It’s a good time to reconnect with former colleagues,” she says. She adds that four years of retirement have allowed for reflection on the Havergal experience. “The traditions of the school, layered in with my love of and appreciation for education and my very strong support of empowering young women,” she says when asked about what makes her grateful about her tenure. “Havergal is very good at bringing everybody into a sense of community.”

Carol Service is a long-standing tradition at Havergal.

Students Who Are Welcoming

very welcoming. I felt like everyone really made an effort to help me feel comfortable,” she says. Today, India is in Grade 11 and loving her classes; she is focusing on maths and sciences. She plays golf competitively and is on the Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee teams. She also does robotics, is Head of the Mandarin Club and is a member of student council. She says her gratitude for Havergal’s spirit has only grown. “There’s a big sense of school spirit, which is something that I find interesting because I’ve never been to a school like that before.” Now that she’s been here a year, she feels a sense of pride herself. “We were at Hockey Day and I was struck by the strength of our school spirit! Havergal girls want to win, not only for themselves, but also for the school. It’s impossible not to get into school spirit when everyone is cheering.”

Havergal may be a friendly place, but when you’re new, any environment can be intimidating. After living abroad in Hong Kong for six years, India Tory wasn’t sure what to expect when she arrived at Havergal last year. But then something happened on her third day to make her realize things would be all right. “I had nowhere to sit at lunch and I didn’t know what to do. I walked into the cafeteria and a girl whom I had just met said, ‘India, come sit with me and my friends.’ I really think that summarizes how nice all the girls were to me when I was a new student,” she recalls. Further reassurance came from her peers in House. “They were super excited to meet me, interested to learn about me and were


On Day 9, Senior School students participate in a Robotics workshop and Kindergarten students learn how to code.

A Relationship with Donors

Growth Opportunities

Learning, says taking up opportunities as Harkness did is something that he sees at Havergal all the time. Some of his favourite places to witness opportunity in action are during Day 9, in which students and faculty set aside four days a year for specially designed learning (this year’s activities include learning classical Chinese dance, coding, exploring flight simulators and visiting a hydroponic farm, among others) and the new student leadership program, which recognizes the five domains of leadership. And then there’s the Forum for Change. “We are grateful for the Forum for Change because it’s a forum in the true sense. We have a phrase that we use, ‘This is a place to follow your heartbreak,’” he says, explaining that this is the place for students to explore challenges through inquiry. If they experience challenges or want to take action at a local and global level, the Forum for Change is the place to begin this journey. “It’s not about finding solutions, it’s about sitting with questions with discomfort. It’s about exploring your feelings,” says Nichols. Often students are directed toward the Students Act Now program, which takes a responsible approach to social action. Community Partnerships also help students broaden their perspective and learn more about their role in their community. For instance, thanks to a partnership with Grenoble Public School, Havergal was

Executive Director of Advancement and Community Relations Tony diCosmo has a thoughtful way of expressing the reciprocal nature of the donor relationship Havergal has with its community. “The gratitude we feel toward donors is mutual; we are thankful for their gifts and there’s also a sense of gratitude on their side in doing something that’s meaningful,” says diCosmo. “It’s actually a real privilege to be able to talk to people with shared values, in this case a strong belief that young women deserve the very best education with all the opportunities they can have, so they can go out and make a difference in the world,” he says. diCosmo feels that donors have really helped to make Havergal special. “The school is what it is today because of visionary people throughout its history who have invested in it. Havergal has been able to achieve the level of excellence that people expect and that attracts new families to the community and brings back legacy families over and over,” he says. Donor support is essential to sustaining the school’s vitality. “What our donors enable us to do is to sustain our mission and our values. Because they connect with them, they believe in them and they help us to carry the torch for them into the future.”

Jasmine Harkness says that the opportunity for leadership growth was one of the first differences she noticed about Havergal when she arrived in Grade 7. Havergal currently focuses on five domains of leadership: Community Leader, Intellectual Leader, Formal Leader, Informal Leader and Self Leader. “At the school I was at before, we focused on academics and sports, but there was nothing about being a student leader. Here at Havergal, I think it’s great that we offer those experiences because it helps you learn more about yourself,” says Harkness, who was on the Middle School Council in Grades 7 and 8 and is now on the Arts Council. Now in Grade 10, Harkness’s favourite classes include math and art and she participates in soccer and rowing. Asked about what she’s learned about herself as a student leader, Harkness speaks with confidence. “It taught me that I’m a pretty good communicator. Also, that I really like helping other people and I’m creative, so I like bringing new ideas to the table to help make better activities.” She says she learned a lot about communication and compromises through being on the councils.

Garth Nichols, Havergal’s Vice Principal of Student Engagement and Experiential


We do as much scratch cooking as we possibly can

—Rauni Whiteley Director of Food Services

Sheena McKeever enjoys Thanksgiving dinner with her Boarding friends.

The Food Services department and a group of students recently organized and ran a farmers market at Celebration Saturday. “We had hundreds of pounds of produce, everything from lettuce to beet roots to fresh corn, and we sold absolutely all of it. The girls had a great time doing it,” says Whiteley. Whiteley says working in Food Services is a great opportunity to create a sense of community, too. “We like our food here at Havergal. We make sure that what we’re offering is often simple, but with the best possible ingredients and made with love.” Food is certainly a central hub for this community, as members gather daily to break bread, collaborate on ideas and celebrate all that is special about the school. Clearly there is a lot for Havergal to be proud of and grateful for. Here’s to another 125 years of excellence.

Beyond the care that she sees staff putting into the meals, she’s also grateful for food sourcing information. “I know that Mrs. Whiteley really wants us to know where our food is coming from,” says McKeever, adding that the posters in the cafeteria on food sources have made her think more about the importance of locally grown food. To hear McKeever speak is to realize that the effort Rauni Whiteley, Director of Food Services, and her staff put into the food program gets noticed. “We really believe in using fresh, local product,” says Whiteley in describing her food philosophy. “We do as much scratch cooking as we possibly can. All of our salad dressings, our soups and sauces are made in-house, and a lot of our baking is done by our pastry chef. We try and limit processed food as much as possible.” An eight-week menu rotation ensures variety, including meat, vegetarian and vegan options. Whereas many schools use a provider, Havergal’s food program is independently run, which Whiteley says allows her to work with great vendors. “We’ve really been lucky to go and meet some of the farmers who produce the food. We’ve toured the farm that produces our beef, corn, apples and different root vegetables. It allows us to really have a connection to the food and to support Ontario farmers,” she says.

able to answer their call for help following a recent flood in the school’s library with books for a certain age group. “It’s really powerful—instead of just doing a regular book drive, we’ve got a partnership with this school. They can rely on us, we can rely on them,” says Nichols.

Good Food Made with Love

Boarding Prefect Sheena McKeever loves all her meals at Havergal, but is especially grateful for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas. “The staff put a lot of time and effort into those meals and I love seeing them set up: nice tablecloths, the big turkey dinner, the stuffing, different salads, desserts. I think it all winds down to how much care the staff puts into it,” she says. A Boarder since Grade 9, McKeever’s favourite subjects are Latin and business. She’s active in DECA and sings in both the Chamber and Senior Choirs. She says she’s met her best friends living in residence and that she also values the special relationship the Boarders develop with Food Services staff. “They really know you personally. It’s just a really nice relationship,” she says, adding that the cafeteria is also a wonderful gathering place. “It’s an environment where we all come together; it’s a big hub for conversations.”


Student Awards

Celebrating Student Success 2017–18 The Havergal community congratulates the following students for their achievements during the 2017–18 school year. Special awards ceremonies were held on Monday, June 11, for Junior School students and on Thursday, October 18, for Upper School students as a way to honour and acknowledge the many award recipients at Havergal.

JUNIOR SCHOOL GRADE 6 PRIZES AND AWARDS The Hulbert Holmes Award: Allison Caiger & Allison Tanzola The Ismay McCarrick Award: Aimee McCurdy-Franks & Charlotte Pickersgill The Mohan Award: Danielle Di Gusto & Mackenzie Johnson The Laurene Watson Award: Kasey Kim & Skylar Sanchez The Levy, Revell, Wilkinson Award: Emily Zhao PRIZE FOR HIGHEST GENERAL PROFICIENCY Grade 8: Zoë Mohan Grade 9 (Class of 1937 MacDonald Memorial Prize): Sophy Wu Grade 10 (Class of 1937 MacDonald Memorial Prize): Swanee Douglas Grade 11 (The Luella Gertrude Lovering Memorial Prize): Chen Xing The O’Rorke Middle School Music Award—Band: Abigail Stout The O’Rorke Middle School Music Award—Strings: Irene Cai The O’Rorke Middle School Music Award—Vocal: Adrianna Neretlis Dorothy Bevan Prize for Junior Mathematics in Grade 10: Hannah Zhao Dorothy O’Dell Memorial Prize for Mathematics in Grade 11: Sabrina Wong Class of 1937 Proficiency Prize in Science: Gerol Yue Fang Dorothy Symons Scholarship in Canadian Studies: Lara Ground The Louise Cholette-Rees Award: Abigail McKee Constance Pudan Prize for French in Grade 11: Swanee Douglas & Chen Xing The Marcelle DeFreitas and Elaine McGillvray Prize for Modern Languages: Ariana Seyed Makki The Yale Book Prize: Ariana Seyed Makki SENIOR YEAR ACADEMIC PRIZES The Arts—Band: Ellie Fletcher The Arts—Strings: Michelle Koshy The Arts—Grade 10 Visual Arts: Emma Margie, Lauren Rozenberg & Juliana Zhang The Arts—Grade 11 Visual Arts, Non-Traditional: Lucy Anderson & Katherine Barr The Arts—Grade 11 Visual Arts: Rebecca Henry & Bailey Tarder-Kadaner Languages—Grade 12 French: Elena Neretlis Languages—Advanced Placement French: Sarah Ho Ping Kong Languages—Latin: Megan Sharp Languages—Mandarin: Michelle Koshy Languages—Spanish: Soleil Krcmar & Deisha Paliwal Mathematics—AP Calculus and Vectors: Ariana Seyed Makki Mathematics—Advanced Functions: Lexie Hu UPPER SCHOOL ACADEMIC AWARDS The Ancerl Prize for Music: Senaida Ng

Mathematics—AP Statistics: Zhengying Tian Mathematics—Data Management: Clarissa Yu

Physical Education—Introduction to Kinesiology: Madeleine Hall Social Sciences—Canadian & International Politics: Deisha Paliwal Social Sciences—Financial Accounting Principles: Bailey Tarder-Kadaner Social Sciences—Law: Beryl Chen & Emma Gurney The W. G. Charlton Prize for Creative Writing: Chen Xing UPPER SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS The Wendy J. Thompson Scholarship—Grade 7: Kelsey Brajer & Annie Wu The Wendy J. Thompson Scholarship—Grade 9: Neha Chandrasekaran & Claire Coombs Havergal House Scholarship— Frances Ridley: Sarah Forestell Havergal House Scholarship— Agnes Hansen: Nicole Frank Havergal House Scholarship— Ellen Knox: Sydney Brajer & Jill Kiyingi Havergal House Scholarship— Kate Leonard: Bernadette Tolentino Havergal House Scholarship—Marian Wood: Hannah Chen & Zayna Imran Havergal House Scholarship— Edith Nainby: Khushi Sharma Havergal House Scholarship— Catherine Steele: Grace Bunker & Baylee Wilson Havergal House Scholarship—Mary Dennys: Jaimie Borba Havergal House Scholarship—Marcelle De Freitas: Selina Hu & Hana Nishiwaki Havergal House Scholarship—Margaret Taylor: Brooke Lobb-Macdonald The Temerty Family Scholarship—Brooke Lobb-Macdonald UPPER SCHOOL SPECIAL AWARDS The Robin Urquhart Beddis & Jean Macpherson Urquhart Scholarship: Julianna Botros Havergal College Parent Association Prizes—Grade 7: Sydney Garrah Havergal College Parent Association Prizes—Grade 8: Donna Mahboubi Havergal College Parent Association Prizes—Grade 9: Ava Mason Havergal College Parent Association Prizes—Grade 10: Madeline Campbell Havergal College Parent Association Prizes—Grade 11: Juddy Kim Old Girls’ Prizes—Grade 9: Emma McCurdy-Franks The Donald F. Hunter Scholarship—Cass McGarry The Principal’s Scholarship—Grade 9: Madison O’Brien

Old Girls’ Prizes—Grade 10: Amy Stewart Old Girls’ Prizes—Grade 11: Emily Vella The Debating Prize: Jessica Xiong The Josephine Clark Prize: Selina Liu

The Middle School Award for Leadership: Kate Davidson The Class of ’56 Mary Dennys Torch Award: Sheena McKeever The Havergal Award for Exceptional Academic Standing: Chen Xing New Girl Cup: India Tory


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