Torch - Spring/Summer 2020

Learn about why students are flocking to Havergal’s business-focused courses and co-curriculars; how a focus on self-agency is helping students find their voices; and how we are preparing Grads for success.

Attention Readers! We will be decreasing the number of issues of Torch from two magazines per year to one. The next issue will hit mailboxes in spring 2021. Our Annual Report , which would normally appear in the fall issue of the magazine, will now be available online in December 2020. If you would like to receive a printed copy of the Annual Report , please email .


CONTRIBUTORS Danielle Bennett Suzanne Bowness Yvonne Chow Tony diCosmo Jennifer D. Foster Heather Hudson Andrew McKay Jennifer Patterson Sydney Patterson Leah Piltz Graham Powell Alyssa Schwartz Karen Sumner Anna-Kaisa Walker

THANK YOU We would like to thank all members of the Havergal community who participated in interviews, submitted articles, contributed photographs and reviewed articles.

TORCH SUSTAINABILITY Torch is printed on Forest Stewardship Council-approved paper. Please help reduce landfill waste by disposing this magazine in your recycling box when you are finished enjoying it.

PRIVACY OF INFORMATION Havergal College is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information. Havergal’s Privacy Statement is available at Canada Post Publication Number: 40050122 The information contained herein may not be published without permission from Havergal College.

Table of Contents


Principal’s Message Focusing on the Human Experience


Snapshots Photos of Life at Havergal

10 School Profile

A Nimble Approach to Business Studies 12 Message from the Heads of Schools How to Make a Difference in the World 18 Feature Story Future-Proofing Student Success 24 Students Speak A Bright Future 26 Traditions Guidance Reaches a Golden Age 28 Donor Profile Supporting Girls’ Education 30 Old Girls News Reconnections 32 Old Girls Connections Beyond the Ivy

Inside front cover photo: Upper School students study an Indigenous map of Canada.

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

Havergal College would like to thank all of Canada’s essential workers for everything that they do—they are our Havergal Heroes!



Principal’s Message

Our students do not fit into a future world, they create the future world.

—Professor Yong Zhao

Focusing on the Human Experience How Havergal is Preparing Students for the Future

By Catherine Misson

I often wonder about the need to emphasize preparing young people for the future—by the very definition of their youth, they are growing into their future. As an educator with more than 30 years of experience, it strikes me that we are in an era where the future conjures anxious anticipation, rather than an optimism of opportunity. Wisdom suggests the future must be embraced. For hope to be the defining disposition of our youth, it requires an education that highlights the human capacity to thrive despite ambiguity, uncertainty and challenge. From Aristotle to Einstein, the greatest thinkers have always underscored the unique ability of the human species to creatively navigate their generational context. They have championed the understanding that we define our opportunities, either surrendering our future through complacency and conflict or advancing our future through ingenuity and co-operation. This notion was put to the test during this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the mass closing of public spaces, and people retreating into physical isolation for the greater good of all. The unprecedented global disruption affirms my belief in nurturing the creative and expansive potential of our students through an optimistic vision. Havergal has provided girls with an education for more than 125 years, with the aspiration of equipping them with the values, skills and dispositions that enable them to confidently jump into their many life contexts. Our liberal arts curriculum provides us with the opportunity to offer a breadth of learning experiences that empower our students to flex toward the future, no matter what we

might anticipate it requires. We look forward with confidence that our heritage provides sound foundations to prepare future-ready graduates. I have been working closely with faculty to imagine the next chapter of strategic leadership. Our north star is the optimal vision for our Havergal graduates. This will be the cornerstone of our Strategic Direction 2020 , which will be published in September 2020. Our vision is a response to the best research on tertiary trends, future careers, wellbeing, cognitive psychology, digital culture and character education. Each of these domains is multi-layered, offering rich provocations for the evolution of Havergal College as the leading school for girls in Canada. Essentially, we will focus on the human experience and not be distracted by narratives about technology, artificial intelligence, redundancies of jobs and the uncertainty of everything. Our graduates will be the influencers whom all versions of the future need: able to connect, confident despite shifting norms, committed to a better future for everyone—with optimistic mindsets. At a time when we strongly need human ingenuity to advance solutions to complex issues, we will also dedicate space and time to relationships and community building. Our Strategic Direction 2020 will illuminate our understanding that no matter the challenge, when humans sincerely connect, build bridges of intentional embrace, accept fragility as a source of growth and dive into complexity, we enlarge our common future, a future we should welcome, a future in which our graduates will be influencers, leaders and trailblazers.




1. Middle School actors perform in A Simpler Time . 2. Students in Grades 6 to 9 participate in this year’s Hackergal Hackathon. 3. Junior School students speak at Prayers about the effects of plastic on our environment. 4. Upper School students perform at a lip-synch competition.











5. Folksinger Craig Cardiff makes music with Junior School students. 6. Exchange students perform at Prayers. 7. Students cheer for our Hockey team at the annual hockey game against Bishop Strachan School. 8. Grade 11 students dress

in blue to compete at this year’s Grade Cheeroff.









9. Primary students perform at a music assembly. 10. Head of Junior School Kate White listens to a Grade 6 student presentation on space. 11. A Junior School student earns a Pi Day 2020 certificate for reciting many digits of Pi. 12. Panellists speak about gender issues at an International Women's Day assembly.




School Profile

From left: Denise Hartford, Economics teacher; Gordon Grisé, Social Sciences teacher; Wendy Hendry, Business Studies and Accounting teacher.



C areers in the banking and financial industry have historically been associated with ambitious young men. But as the industry changes, so, too, do the demographics. A number of exciting classes and transdisciplinary programs at Havergal are ensuring that our students will be well prepared for a career in business. “According to research group, directorships for women have almost doubled from 2010 to 2017 in Canada,” 1 says Economics teacher Denise Hartford. “That represents a significant change. Students now are graduating into a different environment with different opportunities than even two years ago.” The Business Studies program, embedded in the Social Science department, comprises three main courses: • Introduction to Business (Grade 10, open to Grade 9 and 10 students) • Accounting I (Grade 11) and Accounting II (Grade 12) • Economics (Grade 12, open to Grade 11 and 12 students) Whether or not they take business courses, all students are welcome to participate in co-curricular opportunities designed to introduce them to the world of business—and gain valuable experience—both in the Middle and Senior Schools. Havergal also has relationships with external organizations that focus on encouraging females to enter the world of business. These outreach programs are offered by Women in Capital Markets, TD Securities and Royal Bank, including job-shadowing opportunities and meeting professional women in the field. “Old Girls are also part of our program,” explains Hartford. “We have a lot of former students who find themselves in interesting careers and they come back to tell us about it.” “This is only a sample of what’s offered at Havergal,” says Wendy Hendry, a Business Studies and Accounting teacher. “The list is constantly changing based on what students are interested in. For example, we are looking at participating in the Knowledge@ Wharton High School (KWHS) Investment Competition as part of our Introduction to Business course.” Judging by the student appetite for Business, both courses and co-curricular opportunities, it’s ripe for expansion at Havergal. “Students seem to really enjoy the business experience. They’re curious about what their parents do for a living, how the world works, what a mortgage is and see how business ideas connect to their everyday lives. I’m really encouraged by the kinds of questions they’re asking in lessons and their interest in actively seeking out ways of learning more,” says Social Sciences teacher Gordon Grisé. Hartford agrees. “Our courses come back to the recurring idea of building knowledge that is flexible in the 21st century and can be applied in a variety of contexts and changing conditions. Adaptable knowledge and skills will help our students succeed in politics, business, art and so much more.” With experiences like those available at Havergal, their voices will be just as strong outside our walls. 1 Catalyst. “Women in the Workforce—Canada: Quick Take.” May 28, 2019. Accessed on March 1, 2020, via workforce-canada/.

Business Co-Curricular Opportunities in the Upper School

DECA A competitive club with approximately 100 participants in Grades 9 through 12. Students deliver case study analyses to judges at regional competition. Many also qualify for provincials, where they compete against more than 8,000 students from across Ontario. This year, 46 Havergal students qualified for provincials. Investment Club A Middle School initiative that began this academic year. Students invest in an online stock market challenge and learn the best ways to invest their money. Rotman School of Management Boardroom Case Competition Groups of four students work together to demonstrate a bold vision, creativity, technical insight and business leadership, while solving a business case focused on the issues of tomorrow. Last year, the Havergal team came in second place. Rotman School of Management Trade Simulation Students in Grades 11 and 12 have the chance to travel to the trading floor at Rotman to participate in a market simulation. Bay Street Deconstructed® The brainchild of Eileen Jurczak (1993), Hartford and Heather Johnstone (Head of Guidance) helped to develop the activities designed to introduce students to careers in financial services. Havergal served as the pilot for the program now rolled out coast to coast. Students learn about personal and commercial banking, corporate and investment banking, sales, trading, equity research, investment management, insurance and more. Ivey Case Competition Hosted by the Ivey Business School, inter-school teams of students work with current Honors Business Administration program student mentors to tackle complex business challenges using the case study methodology. Students experience team problem solving and judges provide constructive feedback in real time. Global Ideas Institute Grade 11 or 12 students tackle a real-world challenge, scaling an existing solution so that it’s practical and financially sustainable. Run by the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, it places students into university-like settings once a month for lectures and seminars, culminating with a final symposium during which students receive feedback from a cross-disciplinary panel of experts.


Message from the Heads of Schools

How to Make a Difference in the World Step One: Raise Girls to be Active Agents in Their Lives

By Laura Franks, Lindsay Norberg, Jennifer Patterson and Kate White

M uch of what we value in life cannot be quantified. A loving family, friends who have our backs, a sense of belonging, confidence in our own abilities, attachment to a greater purpose and so many other aspirations are difficult to measure, but keenly felt in their absence. Studies show that measurable items like income, material goods or formal accolades play only a small role in our life satisfaction. Those aspects most difficult to measure are also those most significant to our happiness and wellbeing. The same is true in education. Some elements of learning and development are easier to quantify than others—through assignment grades and test results. Academic scores have an

important role to play in school, but grades are not the measure of a young person’s character, resilience or enthusiasm for living well. You’ll notice, for example, that our school values are intangibles. Integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage can be practised, seen and felt. They certainly connect us to ourselves and one another. When we’re at our best, they guide our thinking and inform our decisions. But they do not express themselves well in percentages and letter grades. This is also the case for the development of student agency, which is the ability and inclination to take action. Students who believe they have the power to positively influence their lives and the world

From left: Head of Boarding Laura Franks, Head of Senior School Lindsay Norberg, Head of Middle School Jennifer Patterson and Head of Junior School Kate White.



From music to medicine, Upper School Club and Community Partnerships Heads promote their co-curricular passions at Club Fest.

around them have agency. In short, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) education initiative called Learning Compass 2030, student agency is about: acting rather than being acted upon; shaping rather than being shaped; and making responsible decisions and choices rather than accepting those determined by others. 1 While it’s difficult—perhaps impossible—to measure and quantify, agency can be modelled, supported and taught. In fact, in many ways, it’s the primary purpose of education. Preparing young women to make a difference means providing the teaching, learning and living frameworks that develop this core competency. A 2015 Harvard University education study states that the development of agency may be as important an outcome of schooling as the skills we measure with testing. Why? Because young people “with high levels of agency do not respond passively to their circumstances; they tend to seek meaning and act with purpose to achieve the conditions they desire in their own and others’ lives.” 2

Based on data collected from 16,000 Grade 6 through Grade 9 classrooms, the Harvard study identifies what it calls agency dampers and agency boosters within schools. For example, the researchers illustrate that schools dampen agency when they coddle and overprotect students. Teachers who engage in off-topic classroom conversations and provide too much problem solving and clarification for their students also dampen agency . These approaches send the message that students are not capable, which then diminishes effort and undercuts confidence. What are agency boosters within schools? Below, we’ll take you through a handful of practices here at Havergal that align with the OECD Learning Compass 2030 and the Harvard study. Each of them develops a girl’s ability to chart the course of her own life and shape her world.

1 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030.” Accessed on January 28, 2020, via 2 Ferguson, R.F. “The Influence of Teaching—Beyond Standardized Test Scores: Engagement, Mindsets, and Agency.” The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University. October 2015. Accessed on March 1, 2020, via


Message from the Heads of Schools

This year’s Forum for Change Prefect speaks at Prayers about what motivates her to get involved in positive change in the world.

Voice and Choice From our youngest learners through to our graduating year girls, we encourage students to share their perspectives and develop self- direction. We always want our girls to say what’s on their mind— even (or especially) when their thoughts may be uncomfortable to themselves or others. As a result, girls learn that what they think and say have the potential to shape their world. What does it look like when girls use their voices? It looks like student-directed initiatives, like when two Grade 4 girls expressed concern about garbage in the Kindergarten yard and then launched into problem-solving mode with the younger girls to find a solution. Or when a group of Grade 5 girls designed a new system to ensure all equipment used at recess is put away properly. Or when the Junior Dons in Boarding created social opportunities or promoted wellness workshops with the help of their peers. In all cases, these girls understand that agency begins with their voice. On the school side, it is our responsibility to be agile and responsive to their desire to make good things happen. Respecting students’ perspectives also means allowing for choice in their learning and development. In order for girls to become skilled

at influencing the world, they must first be able to influence their own lives. This begins as early as Kindergarten, when girls are asked to choose from one of five learning areas at the beginning of their day. With their teachers as guides when needed, these children learn how to make good decisions through practice. In the Middle School, girls have more freedom before school, during lunch and after school, which means more opportunities to practise good judgment and understand responsible decision making. Our Boarders learn how to make good choices during their evening study period, which is self-directed, and also later in the evening and on weekends, when they have the freedom to decide how to use their time. Throughout the whole school, girls make increasingly independent choices about their co-curricular clubs and activities, deciding what to pursue and how to balance their commitments. By Grade 11 and 12, their education plan is also largely self-directed, as students customize their course options to meet their personal goals. If interested, these senior girls may also complete the AP Capstone program, comprising one year of AP Seminar and one year of AP Research focused on a real-world issue of their choosing. Making responsible decisions is an agency booster and an important part of a Havergal education.



Foundational Cognitive, Social and Emotional Skills

Our Class of 2030 is currently in the Junior School. What will the world look like when they graduate? Honestly, we don’t know and neither does anyone else. That’s why we don’t educate girls for a specific career or calling, though they certainly self-select as they get older. Instead, we focus on the habits of mind and skills they need to set and meet goals, reflect on their own progress, manage difficult emotions, form constructive relationships and work with others to effect change. In other words, to be agents in their lives and world. We teach our Junior School girls the importance of adopting more than one perspective and persevering in tough situations—whether their own or on behalf of others. We know that compassion and courage depend on seeing the world through different eyes and staying the course, even when it’s bumpy. Our Grade 1 students show compassion when they return to the Kindergarten class to read with their younger peers and illustrate how much they will advance as readers in just one year. They remember how they felt when they were just starting out. We see both compassion and courage in our Grade 5 Recess Rescuers, older girls who look out for any situation that doesn’t seem quite right and work with a teacher to be part of the solution. In both cases, our girls draw on their skills and values to make a difference in the lives of others.

Making responsible decisions is an agency booster and an important part of a Havergal education.

Grade 1 students read to their Senior Kindergarten reading buddies.


Message from the Heads of Schools

Boarding School students develop independence and decision-making skills living and studying abroad.

The same culture of compassion and understanding in our Boarding program spurs our older students to take action. Family meetings and workshops help girls from very different cultural backgrounds learn how to advocate for themselves, practise empathy and share decision making, among many other life skills that support autonomy and agency. Our Boarding Prefect represents the interests and issues raised by her peers when she attends Boarding staff meetings and then works with both adults and her fellow students to design responses and solutions. Boarding is a special place in the school where our girls learn how to direct their lives and shape their community for the better. Agency boosters are also visible throughout the rest of the school. In Middle School Guidance classes, our girls learn how to set and meet realistic and timely goals in response to their first report card, developing the cognitive skills needed to direct their own lives. They also learn effective communication and self-advocacy skills, critical for acting with purpose, which they practise through role-play. Once in the Senior School, evidence abounds of girls responding actively to their circumstances. Recently, one group of students designed a climate pledge agreement, stipulating specific actions to take, which

the entire class signed. Another group, seeing the need for students to push their thinking further, started a diversity committee. They established “brave spaces” in the school where girls can have real and uncomfortable conversations about race, culture, gender and sexuality. Seeing a gap, students take action to fill it. The Practice of Co-Agency Schools that encourage student agency are grounded in co-agency, which is when students and teachers are co-creators in the teaching and learning process. Our students know that at Havergal, school doesn’t happen to you—it happens with you. Each girl is an active participant, in partnership with her teachers, coaches and advisors, in constructing her education. That ability to shape her experience, practised in great and small ways every day, teaches her how to act with purpose throughout her life. It takes more than academic knowledge and skills to advance the state of cancer treatment, tackle our climate emergency or achieve gender equality in the world (see next page). It takes young women who believe in their ability to effect change and know how to do it.



When It’s Dangerous to Be a Girl Susanna Manziaris 2015 Works to End Gendercide Through Education It’s a complex problem that requires a comprehensive response at all levels: political, economic, cultural, social, collective and individual. But that complexity didn’t stop Susanna Manziaris 2015 from wading into the dark waters of female infanticide. Indeed, with the United Nations estimating that as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today as a result of targeted abortion and violence, this practice is often referred to as gendercide. In many places and in many ways, it’s dangerous to be a girl. “The documentary It’s a Girl changed my life,” says Manziaris. “Even babies who make it to their teen years or to adulthood face targeted violence from their families, their husbands and their communities in countries like India, China, Afghanistan and many others. I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing.” Instead of standing by, Manziaris stood up. “After the film, I asked myself, ‘What now? What will we do about this?’ My friends asked the same question. At Havergal, I was taught to speak up, to make a difference. I wanted to find a way to help.” In Grade 10, Manziaris founded GirlsHelpingGirls (GHG), an initiative that carries on today. Having done her research, she set her sights on education as a way to help girls and women achieve equality. Working with her sister Linda 2018, the two initially focused on raising funds for scholarships and then built three schools in Jamaica and provided teacher training in Afghanistan. Today, GHG continues this three- pronged approach of building schools, training teachers and providing scholarships, with a current focus on educating refugee girls in Greece. “I have been given a lot of opportunity in my life,” says Manziaris. “And I was always taught to try to change things if I didn’t like something I saw. Not all girls get the same messaging. In some places, their voices don’t mean much. That’s what I want to change. I want all girls’ voices to matter, and I want them to have the resources they need to become a force in the world.”

Even today, despite her background, Manziaris sometimes hesitates to speak up at work. “Should I ask the question I have in mind? Or wait to see if someone else does? The answer is, ‘I should ask it.’ Agency is an ongoing practice. You have to keep making the choice, even when you have doubts.” Having graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a degree in finance, Manziaris now works as an analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City. In a hyper-competitive and male-dominated field, she has been impressed with her workplace. “Banking is changing. It’s less rigid and traditional. My team at Goldman Sachs is very diverse, with Black and Hispanic members and a majority of women. Industries are learning that diverse teams are more effective, that multiple perspectives lead to better outcomes.” Now living in Manhattan, what does Manziaris do for fun? “I work about 92 hours a week, so that’s a tough question,” she laughs. “But it’s a great city. I love the energy, the feel of it. I love that people like me come here to pursue their dreams.” Thanks to people like Manziaris, girls around the globe can pursue their dreams, too.

Susanna Manziaris 2015 (centre, left) with sister Linda 2017 (centre, right) and parents after receiving Havergal’s Innovation Award in May 2013.


Feature Story

FUTURE-PROOFING STUDENT SUCCESS: Re-envisioning Education for a Brave New World

By Alyssa Schwartz



he world today looks a lot different from the one Old Girl Lauren Epstein graduated into. When Epstein left Havergal in 2003, there was no Facebook. It would be another six years before journalist Tina Brown coined the phrase “gig economy,” and even the iPhone was a glimmer in Apple’s eye, still four years from market. And yet, it’s almost uncanny how much Epstein’s career to date reflects the future of work. For starters, there’s her current job, spotting and cultivating the next big things in tech. As an associate with OMERS Ventures, Epstein works on the forefront of innovation, identifying high-potential start-ups and working closely with those companies’ founders to help their businesses grow. Then there’s the path by which she got there, by way of job experiences such as a communications consultant for the Ontario PC Party, a year as a judicial law clerk for the Ontario Court of Appeal and several more years working as a commercial litigator for a boutique Bay Street law firm—the sort of non-linear trajectory analysts predict will increasingly become the workforce norm.

“I’m not sure I ever had any idea of where I would end up,” Epstein laughs when asked about her career journey. “I’ve never been a person with a long-term plan, which would probably surprise a lot of people, because I’m extremely Type A. But I’ve always pursued multiple things at any given time. That was definitely true of my time at Havergal, where in addition to my academics, I was on the Swim team, I was also in Orchestra and the Choir, I was on School Council and I sat on committees. One role that has become much more significant in my career was my role as Head of the Computer club, as well as my participation on the Robotics team.” At the time, Epstein says, she decided to participate in such a breadth of co-curriculars purely out of interest; after Havergal, she pursued a BA in government at Harvard and then earned degrees from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and Rotman School of Management ’ s combined JD/MBA program, thinking she’d probably end up in politics. But she credits her varied activities, and the tools she developed as a result of those Havergal experiences, for setting her up to succeed for whatever the future may bring next.

1 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “The future of education and skills—Education 2030: The future we want.” April 5, 2018. Accessed on March 3, 2020, via Position%20Paper%20(05.04.2018).pdf. 2 RBC. “Automation to impact at least 50% of Canadian jobs in the next decade: RBC research.” Cision. March 26, 2018. Accessed on March 3, 2020, via releases/automation-to-impact-at-least-50- of-canadian-jobs-in-the-next-decade-rbc- research-677900483.html. From the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other international bodies to private consultancies such as McKinsey and PwC, thought leaders are virtually obsessed with ongoing seismographic shifts driving workplace change. According to OECD’s The Future of Education and Skills 2030 project, there are three key forces at work. The first is environmental, encompassing the effects of climate change on natural resources. Economic forces include rapid-paced innovations in science and technology, as well as financial aspects such as globalization, and data privacy and security. Lastly, the world is also being reshaped by social factors such as urbanization, migration, politics and trends such as eroding trust and confidence in governments and institutions. 1 While some of the effects of these forces are already apparent, how they will ripple and evolve in years to come is much harder to predict. What might they mean for the future of work? To start, one RBC forecast predicts automation will disrupt at least 50 per cent of Canadian jobs within the next decade. 2 A rise in remote work and telecommuting will fuel productivity and save billions of dollars, but will also heighten requirements for collaboration and

Lauren Epstein 2003 works on the forefront of innovation as an associate with OMERS Ventures.


Feature Story

Garth Nichols, Vice Principal of Strategic Innovation and Design, works with a student on her self-directed passion project for a tech conference for Toronto teens.

communication skills and technology. 3 And, as global futurist Rohit Talwar has famously predicted, over the course of their lifetime, a child today might hold 40 different jobs that fall under 10 different careers 4 —a dramatic departure from the linear, long-term employment patterns that have been the norm for generations (between 1983 and 2010, 65 per cent of Canadians held their jobs for 12 or more years, and nearly one in five for 25 or more years, according to Statistics Canada 5 ).

“The future is getting more complex and less predictable,” says Garth Nichols, Vice Principal, Strategic Innovation and Design at Havergal. “It used to be that when we asked the question ‘What will the future look like in five years?’ we might have been able to map backward and look for changes in the last few years and then imagine them forward. But we are not wired to see exponential changes: linear change, yes, but the type of change we are seeing now—what it looks like to transfer consciousness

to a robot, what happens when a fully autonomous vehicle pulls up as your next Uber. “These are things we can’t really grapple with yet,” Nichols says. “But while we tend to fear that because it’s so unknown and complex, our role as educators is to prepare students with mindsets and skills in order to understand and engage with that future.”

3 Harnish, T., Lister, K., “WORKshift Canada: The Bottom Line on Telework.” April 2011. Accessed on March 3, 2020, via calgaryeconomic 4 Slawson, Nicola. “Children today could work until they are 100, predicts futurologist.” The Guardian . October 7, 2015. Accessed on March 3, 2020, via 5 Statistics Canada, Longitudinal Worker File. “Longest observed employment duration over the 1983-to-2010 period.” Last modified on November 27, 2015. Accessed on March 3, 2020, via


engagement. In this capacity, student leaders are responsible for both creating and executing visions, including setting agendas and running meetings, building consensus among their peers and working with faculty. Equally important, Informal Leaders use other channels to make an impact, championing change among their peers, building bridges and supporting formal leaders in other ways. Developing Leadership of the Self is about building young women’s self-concept and self-confidence, developing social emotional skills, resiliency and an ability to accept and integrate feedback, while Leaders in the Community learn to seek out and listen to different perspectives and create productive connections and partnerships with others. Intellectual Leadership is less about acquiring specific knowledge than it is developing the tools for lifelong learning: it’s about growing a sense of curiosity and a practical understanding of how to gain reliable and actionable knowledge with problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. These domains map to growing bodies of research that suggest that the skills of

the future are human, multidisciplinary and collaborative. “Data indicates a continued massive deficit of social and emotional capabilities in today’s workforce,” says a new report from Deloitte entitled Closing the employability skills gap . 1 Meanwhile, OECD’s Future of Education and Skills framework emphasizes the importance of cultivating student agency, deep thinking and reflection, and flexible skills and knowledge that can be learned in one context, but applied in myriad others. unknown future, I automatically go to empathy,” says Nichols. “I go to creative confidence, I go to embracing ambiguity, I go to an iterative mindset. … I also go to what (journalist) David Epstein calls range, which is this idea of having an agile, flexible set of skills where we are not getting entrenched in our disciplines but instead we are open-minded in the truest sense. 7 We seek answers from outside our specialties and seek people who disagree with us and know how to engage with them effectively and with kindness and generosity.” “When I think about the qualities that best prepare students for an

More than 125 years ago, Havergal was established with the mission of preparing young women to make a difference. But while best positioning students for fulfilling, successful lives has always been an ultimate goal of education, according to Nichols, as the world shifts so, too, must educators’ approach. “Education has been on a trajectory of change for the last 20 years,” says Nichols. “Content is still important. But while legacy tactics placed a high priority on transmitting existing knowledge—whether that’s mathematical or scientific theory, history or language— the new imperative on educators is to help students cultivate tools that will allow them to deftly navigate the unfamiliar and ambiguous situations the future will bring.” “I firmly believe the fundamentals of education need to persist in this world of novel and exciting possibilities. But at the same time, we need to build mindsets and allow students to practise these mindsets,” Nichols says. Two years ago, he introduced Havergal’s Five Domains of Leadership as a framework for developing these vital mindsets. These encompass Formal and Informal Leadership, Leadership of the Self, Leadership in the Community and Intellectual Leadership. Formal Leadership can be described as working within known channels such as School Council to drive positive 1 Bordeaux, C., Hatfield, S., Radin, J., & Schwartz, J. “Closing the employability skills gap.” Deloitte Insights. January 28, 2020. Accessed on March 3, 2020, via insights/focus/technology-and-the-future- of-work/closing-the-employability-skills- gap.html. 7 Epstein, D. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. New York: Riverhead Books, 2019.

Miriam Davidson, Head of Art, works with students on a quilt project.


Feature Story

regardless of what problem we’re trying to solve.” As one example, Pounder cites Grade 12 Social Science classes in which students learn about the Rwandan genocide. “Whether they’re in Politics, Economics, History or Law class, every course looks at the same content,” he says. Through this, they uncover overlaps and learn transferable skills. “They also realize the different perspectives these different disciplines take on the same topic. Politics might look at the nature of the government and why the civil war was happening, law would look at what international institutions could have become involved, geography may look at how overpopulation contributed, economics might look at the role of coffee prices, history could look at the colonial legacy. Each of these lenses offers a different set of tools that, regardless of what you go on to do in the workforce, you can leverage in different ways.” In another Grade 10 History project, for which Pounder and Upper School History teacher and Havergal graduate Lori Buchanan 1994 won a Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching, students learned to appreciate different perspectives by comparing their own relatives’ stories about moments in Canadian history to official narratives. Though the idea of future-proofing might first evoke technology and STEM studies in particular, Head of Arts Miriam Davidson says the value of the “mental agility” social sciences and the arts help to develop cannot be discounted. “In art, there are no real answers as there might be in other subject areas,” she says. “That’s why, if you go into a classroom, and every piece of art looks the same, that’s not good.” Instead, Davidson says Havergal’s Art curricula are designed to teach students to become careful observers and to draw on other sources and information to connect the dots. She recalls how when one of her Grade 12 students wanted to design her own fabric for her year-long

What this looks like in practice is creating opportunities for students to tackle more complex and ambiguous scenarios—both in and out of the classroom. Whether it’s open-ended, self-directed learning units or an extracurricular blockchain “hackathon,” where students were presented with a global problem related to UNESCO’s sustainable development goals and then spent three days researching, designing and pitching a solution based on blockchain technology, a Havergal education isn’t about being spoon-fed. Rather, it’s about teaching girls to use what they know—and to identify gaps in their own knowledge, skills and resources—to define the problem and design a plan to achieve their desired outcome. “All of our classes have a lesson question to which there’s not a definitive concrete answer. We employ various thinking skills—political thinking skills, legal, geographic, historic—to deepen students’ thinking about the problem,” says Adam Pounder, Head of Social Sciences. “For example, we ask ‘why’ questions a lot in history—why did this happen, or why did this event affect the future. Those aren’t simple answers. “We don’t want students to just say it happened because X or the consequence was Y. So, to help the students dig down in more nuanced ways, we’ll give prompts like, ‘Are there political causes, are there social causes, are there economic causes? How are they interrelated—does one cause the other, for instance? If you took away a cause, would that thing still happen?’ This helps give them thinking routines

self-directed art project, she came upon some roadblocks. After having several conversations with teachers and classmates about her challenges, the student arrived at the idea of using a laser cutter newly purchased for her Communications Technology class to create a highly refined stamp, which helped her achieve her goal. “It’s exciting when things like this happen,” says Davidson. But she thinks it’s also important when students’ art projects don’t go well. “What’s the worst that can happen? You make a bad work of art, you let it go, you start again.” This helps make students more comfortable with risk and failure. It also imparts a sense of perseverance Old Girl Mostin Hu says has been invaluable since



Head of Social Science Adam Pounder helps students discover overlaps in learning and how to transfer learning in his classes to other subjects, such as Economics and Law.

starting medical school at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Hu, who qualified for direct entry into the program after graduating from Havergal in 2018, says that while she knew medical school would be challenging, “I never expected it to be so hard.” “The biggest challenge I’ve faced during medical school is the sheer amount of subject matter that we need to know— I’d go to Bio class, and the content that would be covered in an entire unit [at Havergal] would be covered in one lecture. But then it occurred to me that the feeling wasn’t that foreign.” She recalls starting her Grade 12 alter ego project for Art class and feeling unsure of where to start. “I started to see all these parallels to this time, and it was

this feeling of familiarity that brought me comfort in my first year—I knew that all I needed to do was put down the first mark, then the second mark and then things would start to come together. I thought back to those moments and I realized they taught me the skills to stay motivated when the work you’re putting in isn’t paying off immediately. “It’s only now that I realize the skills I learned at Havergal aren’t taught to everyone,” says Hu. “When I see how my peers at medical school get stuck on a concept and don’t know how to formulate questions or where to look for answers, I find it surprising. That’s what I value most from my Havergal education: the knowledge of how to learn and ask questions. These skills will benefit me for the rest of my life.”

Mostin Hu 2018 uses the tools she gained in various classes at Havergal to help her navigate her studies in medicine at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.


Students Speak

We asked students: ‘When you think of the future, what are you most hopeful about?’ Here are their answers:

“ When I grow up, I hope to be a scientist and I want to have a planet named after me. ” —Serena Yang, Grade 1

“ I am hopeful that people don’t use as much plastic in the future, so it doesn’t end up in our oceans. I think in the past our oceans were cleaner. I hope they can be once again. I want to see animals within the ocean have a clean place to live. ” —Bella Da Rosa, Grade 3

“ I am most hopeful about being an inspiring leader to others. I want to give confidence to others, so that they are not afraid to try new things. I also want to help others achieve goals that might seem too difficult. ” —Zoha Imran, Grade 4

“ When I think of the future, I am hopeful for a green planet and an environment with safe and thriving individuals and communities. Last, but not least, I am hopeful for equal rights for women. ”

“ I am excited for the future. There isn’t one specific thing I feel eager about, but I feel a sense of confidence going into the future, because I have the tools to make decisions in the moment and simply go with the flow. ” —Olivia Kellner, Grade 7

—Marilena McConnell, Grade 5



“ When I think of the future, I’m most hopeful about being a part of something bigger than myself and contributing to my community. I want to continue to meet people who inspire me to be the best version of myself and friends who support me, no matter what. ” —Syndey Garrah, Grade 9

“ I look forward to working hard and focusing my mind to achieve my goals. I am hopeful that opportunity will always present itself. ” —Brianna Melnichuk, Grade 8

“ I am hopeful that we will be able to create a world where everyone has an equal chance to pursue whatever they are passionate about. ” —Mackenzie Johnson, Grade 8

“ When I think of the future, I am hopeful about advances in medicine and science that could greatly benefit society. It’s exciting to imagine that my generation can play an important role in these developments. ” —Leila Agil, Grade 9

“ Thinking of the future, I hope that my generation influences a positive change in society— targeting world issues out of the goodness in our hearts. ” —Claire Coombs, Grade 10

“ I am most hopeful about the technological advances that bring us together to solve some of the serious issues our world faces. One problem that affects many countries is contaminated water sources, but, through technology, affordable sanitation is being created to solve this issue and help save lives. I can’t wait to see what’s next! ”

—Katie Taub, Grade 10

“ I’m not sure what exactly my future will look like, but I hope that, no matter what, I will be proud of what I accomplish. ” —Jilly Menikefs, Grade 12

“ I look forward to exploring opportunities that are not available in high school and

challenging myself to reach my full potential. Life is not always successful, and there will be many obstacles that give us a feeling of doubt and despair, but as Helen Keller said, ‘Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.’ ” —Sae Furukawa, Grade 11



Guidance Reaches a Golden Age Helping Girls Find Their Path in Life is a Rich Tradition at Havergal

By Suzanne Bowness

E ver since Havergal has been educating girls, it has also been advising them on how to use that education. Even in the early years, when women’s futures often included roles as homemakers, Havergal Grads pursued careers as doctors, nurses, teachers and more. Guidance formalized at Havergal with Mary Dennys, who spent seven years as a Havergal student (including a role as Captain of Marian Wood House in 1940) and became the school’s first Guidance Counsellor alongside her role as teacher of English, French and Religious Studies courses. She would go on to become Principal in 1975, retiring 10 years later. 1 By the late 1980s, formal career advising started as early as Grade 9. 2 Today, Havergal’s Guidance department features a staff of six counsellors led by Heather Johnstone, who has been in the role of Head of Guidance since 2007. Formalizing Services in the 1980s and ’ 90s By the 1980s, the Guidance Office at Havergal was a bustling place. Lori Williams, who worked in Guidance for 16 years (1986–2001), recalls being brought on to support the Guidance team, under the leadership of Guidance Head Jilla Williams. “It was Jilla’s vision to expand the services, and much is owed to her for her forward thinking,” recalls Lori. This expansion included a classroom-based program for students in Grades 9 and 10 to work on soft skills. “We also wanted them to begin the process of self-awareness,” she adds, noting that interest and aptitude tests, along with discussions, helped the girls to realize their strengths. Later, programs related to social and emotional learning skills were also added at this age.

We are age and stage specific. It,s a really great model, because it allows counsellors to be specialists—the needs of the Grade 9 student are very different than the needs of the Grade 12 student.

—Heather Johnstone

Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion In the Senior School, Lori notes that the in-class emphasis shifted to educational planning. Counsellors focused on helping students with course selection, making sure that they had the right prerequisites. “Our biggest problem was always getting access to the girls, as any time we were given was taken out of regular classroom time,” recalls Lori. “We packed in as much as possible when we did get them!” When students entered Grade 13—formerly known as the Ontario Academic Credit (OAC) program, which is now defunct—Lori and her colleagues were meeting with girls every Tuesday morning to take them through the university application process, letters of recommendation and scholarship applications. By this time, many students were applying to many American and British universities, requiring familiarity with different application systems. The team also managed school visits from university admissions representatives.

Mary Dennys 1940 was Havergal ’ s first Guidance Counsellor. She became Havergal’s Principal in 1975.

1 Sheppard, J. Reflections of Havergal: 1994–2019. December 2019. Accessed on March 9, 2020, via Havergal-1994-2019/208/. 2 Byers, M. Havergal: Celebrating a Century . Toronto: Havergal College, 1994, pp. 161, 182.


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