Dear St. George’s Community,
Happy New Year! I hope this edition of Dragonlink finds you well. Here at school, students, teachers and staff have returned from Winter Break, refreshed and ready to take on the second half of the academic year.
Near the end of 2018, my intention to move on from St. George’s following the 2018/2019 school year was announced to our community. The five years that I have spent immersed in the St. George’s world, as a part of your family, have been deeply rewarding. I feel immense gratitude for my experience here and look forward to taking so much of St. George’s with me as I begin my next chapter. In the meantime, the months ahead will surely be bittersweet. With each passing day, my appreciation of the things that we have accomplished together, as a school and as a community, only deepens.
One example that comes to mind is the way we are leading the charge to tackle the growing concern of digital distraction. This in particular has really begun to actively take shape in recent months. As you’ll read in this issue, our approach echoes the very same ideas of developing group-consciousness that were inherent in our school’s founding. We are cultivating within our community a willingness to engage in meaningful examination of patterns of behaviour that may inhibit building healthy interpersonal relationships.
I am so fortunate to have also been involved in the development and launch of CORE5 - St. George’s social and emotional learning program, created in-house. This past autumn, parents were invited to a series of workshops designed to complement and build on the student programming. In the pages that follow, you’ll get a glimpse of what happened in those sessions.
In November, Giving Tuesday gave us an opportunity to share and celebrate all of the different kinds of “giving back” that take place year-round at St. George’s, both on campus and beyond. A photobooth prompted students, faculty and staff to reflect on causes that are important to them, and to share why they give their time as volunteers and advocates. An impactful collection of snapshots resulting from this initiative is featured on page 6. You’ll also get to hear the unique perspectives of our younger students, in a video documenting last year’s holiday food drive.
These are just a handful of the meaningful and forward-thinking things that happen here, and that draw you in. As I read this edition of Dragonlink, I can’t help but reflect on how thankful I am to have been captivated by St. George’s myself, and to have spent these years with you. I look forward to seeing what the coming months hold, and invite you to read on.
Head of School
Reflecting on Five Years
Dragonlink Winter 2019
Our cover photo features our Elementary School Campus students enjoying our annual Red & Blue Spirit Day.
2 | Letter from the Head of School
4 | What's New
8 | Beliefs Into Action
9 | Dealing with Digital Distraction
11 | CORE5: Not just for Students...
12 | A Global School: Homestay Families Needed
13 | Alumni Mentorship Meet-Ups
14 | Homecoming Weekend
18 | Legacy 21 Campaign
20 | Alumni Reunions
23 | 90 Years Young
25 | Alumni Today
26 | Alumni Executive Committee
27 | Planned Giving: A Lasting Legacy
Follow us on Instagram
stgeorges.qc.ca is getting a new look!
Check back soon to see our new website!
In 2017, we began a new tradition of marking Remembrance Day with a full-school ceremony in our High School gymnasium. This year, students from Kindergarten to Grade 11 came together in remembrance once again, along with all of our faculty and staff and some of our St. George's families.
We were privileged to have representatives of the NCSM HMCS Donnacona join us as honoured guests, and to have our procession formally piped in.
New Website Coming Soon
What's New Around the School
at the High School
At St. George’s, Community Service creates opportunities for students to understand how their actions can have a meaningful impact within the greater community. An important aspect of our Community Learning Program is the incorporation of these volunteering experiences into other aspects of the school curriculum.
This significant outreach is only possible by the support and commitment of more than 30 volunteers who guide and mentor our students as parent pod leaders.
Red & Blue Day
St. George's Red and Blue Day was a spirited morning of activities and jedi dodgeball (congrats, Grade 10!) at the High School, followed by a lively afternoon of exploring what it means to be a "multifaceted"
St. George's student at the Elementary School!
Thank you to the parent volunteers and teachers whose enthusiasm makes this spirit day so memorable each year!
In November we marked Giving Tuesday, the day dedicated to celebrating and inspiring generosity in our communities and around the world. Giving Tuesday follows the consumerist madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and urges individuals and organizations to celebrate community-mindedness and “doing good stuff”. Giving Tuesday fell on November 27 in 2018.
Celebrating & Inspiring Generosity
on Giving Tuesday
Meanwhile at the High School, a Giving Tuesday photo booth prompted students to reflect on their Community Learning experiences and the spirit of giving by taking an “#unselfie”. What's an unselfie? It's the inverse of a selfie, meant to celebrate the powerful positive role that giving plays in our communities and in our world. We asked students, teachers, staff and administrators at our High School campus to reflect on the spirit of generosity and share their thoughts or shout out their favourite causes. A complete gallery of their thoughtful responses can also be viewed on the St. G's Facebook page.
We joined the movement as a school on our St. George's social media channels, where we shared an amazing video chronicling last year's Sun Youth Food Drive initiative and its impact on our Elementary School students. Students are encouraged to bring in non-perishable foods and other household items in support of the Sun Youth Organization's holiday baskets for low income families and individuals, which reach approximately 12,000 people each year. Last year, an effort was made to capture the impact of this initiative on our students. We are thrilled to report that we had another successful Food Drive again this year!
We held our fourth World Scholar’s Cup event this January. In 2016, St. George’s became the first school in Canada to host a regional round, and the event has only continued to grow - this year we welcomed over 200 scholars, more than 70 of them St. George’s students. Teams who had a successful regional round will advance to the Global Round in The Hague, and from there the Tournament of Champions at Yale University. This past November, five
St. George’s students advanced to the Tournament of Champions - their hard work and dedication made us proud to have them representing our school!
Montreal Round 2019
WSC Yale 2018
St. George's Students represented our school, Montreal and Canada in the World Scholar's Cup Tournament of Champions at Yale University in November, 2018.
Students had the chance to interact with and learn directly from Yale students and faculty and came away knowing what it’s like to be a student at one of the world’s greatest universities.
During the scavenger hunt that took students to
every corner of Yale’s campus and the surrounding community, they encountered real alpacas (the official mascot of the World Scholar's Cup)!
Once again we extend a sincere thank you to all
of our generous supporters who have thus far demonstrated a commitment to our continuous growth through their contributions to this year’s Annual Giving campaign. Truly transformative learning experiences are realized through the active participation of the entire community, and by making a meaningful gift to the area of your choice, you ensure that this year’s campaign outcome reflects the collective engagement that has historically sustained school life at St. George’s.
With a campaign goal of $80,000, there are still many opportunities to play an essential role in nurturing the fulfillment of individual potential and the formation of original, independent, resilient, generous, and critical thinkers.
This article originally appeared in the Westmount Independent in September 2018
When it comes to technology, often the biggest challenge is striking a balance – this is especially true in the classroom, where it can be both an incredible resource and an unwelcome intrusion, depending on the context. At St. George’s, an innovative new initiative seeks to tackle the paradoxical issue.
The aim is to help students develop awareness of their own behaviours, in order to take active control of how excessive screen time may be impacting their health and interpersonal relationships. “In the past it has been common practice for teachers to police usage,” reflects St. George’s Head of School Sharon Klein. “And it just doesn’t work.”
Digital distraction is a component of St. George’s signature program – CORE5. Centred in the latest research in social and emotional learning, the CORE5 curriculum aims to nurture resilience in students through five essential elements.
Many of these elements – particularly those concerned with supporting mindful awareness of personal characteristics, behaviour patterns and attitudes, deepening the capacity to care for self, others and community, and exploring meaning and purpose through engaging with a world larger than oneself – become difficult to fulfill with devices constantly competing for attention. “It’s so hard for anyone to engage with meaning and purpose if they are digitally distracted,” says High School Assistant Head Michael O’Connor, who is part of the team spearheading the project.
The school’s leadership first sought input from the parent community, organizing a series of morning gatherings in which all attendees were first asked to consider their own device usage. Conversation surrounding the addictive nature of mobile apps – many of which are deliberately engineered to “hook” their users – has led to an approach that endeavours to empower students rather than to discipline them.
This fall, students will be at the centre of the ongoing discussion. Their perspective and ideas will guide the movement, with workshops, group discussions and one-on-one meetings planned to encourage active participation in what is truly a school-wide undertaking – one akin to other far-reaching projects tackled by our community of students, parents, educators and administrators.
The digital distraction initiative is grounded in a long-held conviction outlined at our school’s founding nearly 90 years ago: Health must come first. “By helping our students monitor and manage their time spent before a small screen, we will be helping them live healthier lives, physically, mentally and emotionally,” O’Connor says. Getting the parents on board early was important – once they’ve examined their own actions, they can help reinforce healthy behaviour patterns as positive role models at home.
For 2018-2019, the new approach will be implemented at St. George’s High School, with plans to introduce the topic at the Elementary School this year also. “Meaningful and lasting change can only be made if we tackle this as an entire community,” Klein says, noting that this multifaceted approach to overcoming obstacles isn’t new here. She looks forward to seeing the entire school come together and rise to the challenge.
This fall we hosted a series of workshops for St. George's parents, mirroring our CORE5 student programming and focused on exploring the elements that will equip children to competently navigate their post-secondary lives.
The CORE5 objectives are:
Awareness of one’s own personal characteristics as well as patterns of behavior and attitudes supports the development of healthy and meaningful lives.
Empathy for others and acceptance of diversity are necessary for the development of constructive social behaviors and deepen one’s capacity to care for self, others, and community.
In order to see one’s life with a constructive outlook, one must consider various perspectives as well as develop specific and beneficial attitudes, behaviours, and character traits.
Struggle is an essential part of learning and growth. Perseverance is necessary in order to see something through to its conclusion even in the face of pressures to do something else or give up.
Meaning and purpose of one’s life is explored, discovered, and expressed through engagement with a world larger than oneself.
Not just for Students...
For more information about this wonderful opportunity, please contact Stefania Montuoro, Coordinator, International Enrolment at
St. George’s is proud of its efforts to welcome students from all over the world into our international program. We believe that international students enrich our community by bringing with them lessons on culture, perspective, and language, and
also extending St. George’s pride worldwide.
The St. George’s Homestay Program further demonstrates the belief that our students are not just multifaceted, they’re multi-fascinating. Our Homestay families are made up
of faculty, staff, parents of current students and St. George's graduates who have welcomed students from different corners of the world, cultivating meaningful, lifelong relationships.
or 514-937-9289 ext. 235.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Inviting others into our homes is the first step toward inviting them into our hearts.
- Christine Hoover
After the success of last year's first-ever Alumni Mentorship Meet-up event for
Grade 11 students, another group of
St. George's grads were invited back to school for an afternoon of "speed-mentoring". This year's alumni mentors represented a diverse array of professional domains, from medicine and law to radio, food manufacturing and even film production. The visiting grads gathered for lunch in the Learning Commons before being stationed in the gym, where students were able to gain insight on where their paths may lead after graduation by rotating from table to table. The afternoon ultimately led to even more meaningful connections forged between generations of St. Georgians!
An Annual Gathering
Tribute Dinner photography by St. George's Communications, Galia Siman-Tov and Julian Stamboulieh '04
Front Row L-R:
Khursheed Khursigara, Outstanding Staff Member;
Alexandra Cohen ’14, Young Alumna of the Year;
Rosalind Fisher-Labow '58 & Estelle Ritchie-Hopmeyer '58, representing the Class of 1958, Award of Distinction.
Back Row L-R:
Robert Sibthorpe, Community Champion;
Jasper Billing ’19, Outstanding Student;
Mathew Smiley ’99, Alumnus of the Year;
Zenia Dusaniwsky, Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning;
Sharon Klein, Head of School.
Another Homecoming Weekend has come and gone, with much to celebrate. From the Tribute Dinner to the Gilbert Plaw Memorial Basketball Tournament, thanks to all who came out to reconnect, share memories and have fun! We're already looking forward to next year - mark November 2-3, 2019 in your calendar!
At the Third Annual Tribute Dinner, we saw how our strong community ties and culture of giving back make St. George's the place it is. Thank you to all who came out in support of our most deserving honourees as well as our scholarships and bursaries fund! It was a privilege to spend the evening together in celebration.
Thank you to all who came out to celebrate the spirit of our community at this year's Homecoming Weekend! The Gilbert Plaw Memorial Basketball Tournament saw
an impressive turnout of alumni, students, families, staff
Please contact Patricia Lavoie at email@example.com for information on Homecoming Weekend or if you would like to be part of the 2019 Tribute Dinner Organizing Committee.
St. George’s School of Montreal is a remarkable environment where students learn to think critically, collaborate, speak in their own voice and create things of beauty. They assume responsibilities that enhance the St. George’s community and the global community, taking on leadership roles and building connections within the classroom walls and beyond. Our students set goals, measure progress, and
reflect on their learning. Everything, every day at
St. George’s is about learning, growing and evolving.
If we are to continue to thrive as the leader in progressive education in Montreal, it is imperative that we focus our efforts on the future – and the needs of our students and the planet for generations to come. This is the essence of the sustainability vision guiding all decision-making in our school. From operations to finance and from teaching to learning, the notion of social, economic health and balance is at the core of all of our choices.
To this end, the Legacy 21 Campaign has been launched to build our capacity for sustainability. When we build capacity, we build abilities, relationships and values that enable our entire community to flourish.
The new biophilic design for the High School campus is a deliberate attempt to translate the benefits of connecting with nature to promote learning and well-being. Together, we will create the unique environment that will shape our graduates as engaged, compassionate, healthy world citizens and serve as a living model of a sustainable environment. Join us as we embark on this transformative journey – securing the legacy of St. George’s through inspired and innovative spaces. Our school is a microcosm of the possible – sustainable by nature.
Join us at our East Coast Alumni Reunion in Toronto on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Hosted by Richard Diamond '77
Fall in XO with TO
For more information or to RSVP, contact Patricia Lavoie
Stay tuned for more details and follow us on our Alumni Facebook page for the latest alumni news!
St. George's is heading to Toronto in 2019!
10th Year Reunion and 5th Year Reunion
Friday, August 24, 2018 at the High School Campus
How to Organize a St. George's Reunion
Class of 1998
20th Year Reunion
Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the High School Campus
Class of 2008 & 2013
Class of 1973
Interested in getting together with your classmates? Curious as to what St. George’s High School or Elementary School looks like now?
The Alumni Office can help coordinate a wine and cheese reception or a weekend brunch at the school for you and your fellow classmates.
For more information, contact Patricia Lavoie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
45th Year Reunion in Toronto
Saturday, September 29, 2018 – Hosted by Jill Golick '73
Getting Back Together
Milestone Reunions in 2019
The Alumni Office takes great pride in organizing alumni reunions. Let us help you plan your milestone reunion. They are a great opportunity to reconnect with your classmates and former teachers and rediscover St. George’s School.
This year, we invite members of the following graduating classes to join us on Homecoming Weekend to celebrate exciting milestone anniversaries! Homecoming takes place the weekend of November 2-3, 2019. We hope to see you there for your reunion!
For more information on organizing a reunion, please contact Patricia Lavoie, Alumni Relations Coordinator at email@example.com or 514-937-9289 x206 or visit our website at www.stgeorges.qc.ca/reunions.
We look forward to celebrating with you!
Photo from Archives:
Pre-school class photo
(3 year olds) with teacher Miss Fran Whiter
Photo from 2018 High School Carnival:
Grades 6-11, with parent volunteers and teachers
Photo from 2018 Community Learning Fair:
Volunteer Pod Leaders
Photo from 2018 Tribute Dinner:
Volunteers on the Tribute Dinner Committee
At St. George’s, we are fortunate to have a caring and committed community whose members consistently demonstrate their generosity through the donation of their time, talent and/or resources that benefit the school and its students.
We are getting ready to launch our new volunteer program, and we’d love for you to be a part of it! There are a number of ways to get involved.
Please click here to learn more!
Obituary and photo originally published on July 4, 2018 in the Montreal Gazette.
St. George's Alumni
"Supreme Court of Canada guarantees voting rights for expats"
It is with great sadness that the family of William Wright Badger announces his passing on July 1, 2018, at the Institut universitaire gériatrie de Montréal. He is survived by his wife Carolyn, his children Stacy (Réal), Jill (Cash), Willy (Sumie), and Robyn Badger; and his stepchildren Christy (Tom), Gregory (Eglantine) and Natalie (Bill) Lavers. He is survived as well by eleven grandchildren and step-grandchildren: Thomas, Hugh, Sho, Kai, Ruby, Callum, Jasper, Edwin, Maxwell, Cary and Jonathan. Bill was preceded in death by his brother Barry (David) and is survived by his brothers Bryan (Janet) and Brandon (Rosemary), nieces, nephews, friends and the mother of his children, Janet Rattray Matthews.
Bill was the much loved and respected patriarch of the family who was known for his kindness and humour right to the end. In addition to his family, music and athletics brought him joy throughout his life. He was a fearless athlete who played many sports. Bill was raised in Sherbrooke, Quebec and educated at Royal Military College and Bishop's University.
He inspired young people as a teacher of mathematics and as a
pioneer in the teaching of computer science for over thirty-five years
at Bishop's College School, St. George's School, and Selwyn House.
If desired, donations can be made in Bill's name to the Institut universitaire gériatrie de Montréal. A heartfelt thanks to the
exceptional and compassionate team on four east at this hospital.
Roanne Weisman '69
I have recently moved back to Montreal
after 40 years in Boston as a science/medical writer and author. These two websites have some examples of my work:
Caroline Bloomberg '97
I live in Manhattan with my husband Andrew Eisen and my three daughters. I recently joined Natixis, the international arm of Groupe BPCE, as Head of Emerging Markets Sales North America. I have previously worked in EM Sales positions at Nomura, UBS, Lehman, RBC and HSBC.
Jamie Duong '00
I attended St. George's from Grade 5 through 9 in the mid 1990s. For the past eight years I have been involved in a legal battle with the Canadian government over voting rights for expats:
Tiffany Brasgold '08
I am working in my field of study within the film and television industry in Montreal. I so enjoyed the opportunity to connect with old friends at our high school reunion in August!
Thank you for taking the time to consider this request, we look forward to hearing from you!
Alumni Relations Coordinator
The current committee is composed
of the following individuals:
Adam Greenberg ('04)
Samantha Welscheid ('99)
Matthew Aisen ('12)
Young Alumni Representative
Lee Haberkorn ('02)
Member at large
Patricia Klein ('88)
Member at large
Risa Lukofsky ('82)
Tribute Dinner Co-Chair
Kenneth Salomon ('64)
Member at large
The Alumni Executive Committee has the following vacant positions:
Strategic Initiatives Position
Background in marketing, communications, business management and social media
Research and champions new innovations in alumni engagement and outreach
Attends school events, reunions and meetings
Community Representative (Past or Current Faculty Member)
Participates in the organization and recruitment of milestone reunions and out-of-town reunions
Key contact for alumni faculty and staff engaging them in school events/activities
Attends school events, reunions and meetings
Assist in the recruitment of possible mentors to create and develop a mentor/mentee programme
Assists with the engagement of Alumni Guest Speakers and recruitment of Alumni in Career Fairs
Big Brother/Big Sister - matching alumni with current students and matching alumni faculty/staff with new faculty/staff
Attends school events, reunions and meetings
from Your Alumni Executive Committee!
In addition to alumni-related activities and initiatives, we are also busy at work on next year’s Tribute Dinner and are already planning for the School’s 90th Anniversary in 2020! Can you believe it?
We are looking to all alumni to help us identify people to complete the committee. The list of open positions and their descriptions are outlined below. The Committee meets monthly at the school.
Please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us, or if you know of classmates who you feel would want to be involved.
For many people, charitable giving is an integral aspect of their life. The act of planned giving can help take philanthropy to the next level, but this requires careful planning, negotiation and counsel. Donors who want to see maximum value in a long-term gifting relationship with their favourite charitable organization should consider planned giving. With proper planned giving, money, investment capital, and other assets that donors give to their preferred organizations can provide them with a great sense of satisfaction, happiness and purpose.
Planned giving is a method that enables philanthropic individuals to consider larger gifts than otherwise possible from just their income alone. It utilizes estate and tax planning techniques in order to maximize gifts to St. George’s School of Montreal and/or minimize its impact on the donor’s estate. The planned gift is made in someone’s lifetime or at death as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate plan, and helps individuals achieve their philanthropic, tax and financial goals all at once.
With a little planning, the donor can create a lifetime of honour in memory of a special person in their life which will establish a truly lasting legacy for generations to come.
An increasing number of families are reaching a point in their lives in which the questions of transition, wealth transfer, and philanthropic planning need to be addressed. Families with a long-term vision strive to ensure future generations will benefit from successful enterprise. This vision is not always complete without engagement in philanthropy.
If you are interested in learning more about planning a legacy gift, please contact Donna Boyd, Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations, at (514) 937-9289 (ext 275) or email@example.com.
A Lasting Legacy
Writers (in addition to those identified):
Donna Boyd, Patricia Lavoie,
Editors: Donna Boyd, Rebecca Riordon
Cover Image: Luisa De Armas
Back Cover Image: Victoria Dobbin
Photos: Luisa De Armas, Victoria Dobbin, Patricia Lavoie, Rebecca Riordon, St. George’s School of Montreal, plus those submitted by
Dragonlink is a publication
of the Advancement and
Alumni Relations Department
of St. George’s School of Montreal