Our Focus on Building a Lasting Legacy
Among my duties as Head of School is the responsibility to foster growth in current students and ensure the long-term sustainability of St. George’s for future generations. To continue to thrive as an educational institution, it is imperative that this focus on sustainability guide all of our work, and so we look toward the future with a powerful lens: the lens of people, planet and prosperity. This combined focus on the needs of our students, the needs of our school and the needs of our environment not only showcases ours as a school of innovative and visionary thinkers, it will allow us to do what we do best for a very long time to come.
One of the ways we are honoring our people is through alumni reunions. Having recently attended wonderful reunions in Paris, Los Angeles and Montreal, I’m reminded of the important role you, our alumni, play in keeping our community vibrant and dynamic. Your continued commitment to St. George’s, well beyond your years in its classrooms, has enriched our community. Meeting you and hearing your stories, I’m struck by your confidence, resilience and passion for your work. I was not able to join our
1977 alumni who recently hosted a spirited 40-year Reunion in Toronto, but I look forward to meeting more of you at the upcoming Class of 1967, '87, '97, and '07 Reunions!
This year, we have tackled the issue of waste management as a full-school team to help sustain our planet. Our students have completed a waste audit, and our staff and administration have committed to running waste-free events. Our teachers have taken on specific projects to reduce waste within each of their departments and, importantly, we are prompting our entire community to embrace the responsibility of being stewards of the earth.
As a school, our greatest wealth is our students, and so we invest in them to ensure they continue to grow as lifelong learners. In addition to time, effort and knowledge, this requires financial resources. Thus our focus on prosperity (financial sustainability). Funds from this year’s Annual Giving Campaign will outfit another high school classroom with specialized furniture that enhances the space and facilitates collaborative learning. In affirmation of our founding principles, we are also continuing work on our “outdoor classroom” initiative at the Elementary Campus to allow our students additional opportunities to engage in authentic, hands-on inquiry.
In addition, we continue to build for our future through St. George’s Legacy 21 Campaign. In February, we completed a major project of this multi-phase initiative with the opening of our new Fitness Centre. This physical transformation of our old locker rooms is more than cosmetic; it also serves to strengthen connections in the community by bringing together our faculty, students and families. Whether for a workout, a seminar or a special event, this beautiful new space unites us – which brings us full circle, back to people.
I am so thankful for the insightful and inspired forethought of our school’s Founders; they started such a wonderful legacy – one now shared by all of us, forever connected through St. George’s. I am also proud of all that we have accomplished this past year, and I thank you for the part you have played in making it an exciting and fulfilling one.
Head of School
2 | Letter from the Head of School
4 | What's New Around the School
8 | Homecoming Weekend: An Annual Gathering
12 | A Daydream Come True: Head of School for a Day
13 | Keeping St. George's Strong
18 | A Lasting Legacy of Progressive Education
19 | Sheela Bal Bhavan – Celebrating 25 Years
27 | Alumni Reunions
30 | Alumni Today
33 | Faculty Updates
36 | Alumni Executive Committee
37 | Giving Year Round
39 | Planned Giving: A Lasting Legacy
Our cover photo features our new Fitness Centre which opened in February, 2017 and is an impressive addition to our High School campus.
Dragonlink Spring 2017
students are involved
activities and achieving
Here are just
a few updates
of What’s New
Read about the WSC in the Westmount Independent newspaper.
Our second year hosting the World Scholar’s Cup (WSC) academic competition was not only larger than the first, but louder, too! In January, St. George’s hosted 130 students from seven area schools (more than three times last year’s participants) in spirited and exciting competitions involving debate, writing, academics and collaborative problem-solving. While the format is challenging, the WSC can sometimes be mistaken for a pep rally because the hosts lead the students in cheers, chants and songs in-between events to ensure these kids are enjoying competing academically.
The WSC organisation is teaming with St. George’s, and schools in 49 other countries, to host regional academic competitions each year. The top achievers at each regional round qualify to attend Global Rounds to compete against the top students from around the world! Last year, our students travelled to Prague and to Yale University for global competitions, and many have qualified for this summer’s 2017 Global Round in Athens, Greece.
World Scholar’s Cup Participation
Triples in Size at St. George’s
What's New Around the School
for a Classmate and a
at the Toonie Challenge
Robotics Rolls at Annual Competition
St. George’s had another impressive showing at the annual CRC Robotics Competition at Vanier College in February, where we were represented by a total of 40 of our students on two teams. Each designed and built a competitive robot and created a website to represent their team. The websites featured videos and articles highlighting St. George’s Robotics Program.
Competing against the best high school and CEGEP robotics students in the area, our teams finished quite well! Team 1 was a finalist in Engineering Build Quality, Engineering Design, Website, and Journalism. Team 2 earned first place in Engineering Build Quality and Engineering Design, second place in the Video category, and third place for their Website. www.stgeorges.qc.ca/robotics
Liam Armstrong loved to dance and he loved cupcakes. In these ways, he was like any other kindergarten student at St. George’s. What makes Liam stand out today is his legacy. After leaving us all-too-soon in March 2014, Liam is now remembered in the school’s annual Dance for Liam/Toonie Challenge fundraiser to benefit the Liam Armstrong Pediatric Oncology Fund and the McGill University Health Centre Foundation.
On Wednesday, March 1st, students in grades K through 6 danced together in the Elementary School gym and brought toonies to donate to this great cause. In Liam’s name, students and their families raised $944.70 to help children who need medical care, just as Liam did.
Students Read Aloud for CBC Radio Crowd
Marine Biology Students Name Dive Site in Honduras
Math and Space Come Together
For the third consecutive year,
our Math Department hosted the Canadian Team Mathematics Competition (CTMC). Working in teams of six, St. George’s faced nine other area schools in the daylong series of math challenges which included a team event, a relay event, and an individual event.
The Canadian Space Agency
added excitement to this year’s competition with a presentation by CSA scientist Pierre Langlois.
Mr. Langlois’ most recognizable work was creating the software for the hand on the Canada Arm II, used on NASA’s space shuttle.
He shared real examples of how calculating math, especially involving zero gravity, can be especially challenging!
In February, Marine biology students in Grade 10 made an annual school trip to Roatan, Honduras for research and study, which included daily snorkelling to gain hands-on experience in learning about marine life and ocean habitats. Each year, our students raise funds to donate toward protecting the environment where they snorkel and research. This year, students raised more than $1,000, allowing St. George’s the honour of sponsoring a
dive site in the Caribbean Ocean.
“Dragon’s Maze” is now officially listed on the public dive site map of Roatan, a valuable resource used when deciding where to dive in this pristine ocean setting. How exciting that future classes will be able to visit St. George’s very own namesake dive site!
All of Montreal learned that St. George's students love to read!
CBC Radio Montreal invited three of our elementary students to read a passage from their favourite book, live on the air, as part of the network’s celebration of World Read Aloud Day, on Friday, February 17, 2017.
Hannelore Coppens, Grade 4, and Max Rossiter & Exilia Yamazaki, both in Grade 5, were selected by their teachers to read aloud at the request of CBC Radio Noon, hosted by Shawn Apel. A bit nervous at first, these students were very articulate, and they clearly demonstrated their passion for reading. Congratulations to our three new radio stars!
Glee Awarded Best Show Design at
Show Choir Canada Championships
More than 100 of our elementary students created the artwork for the front window display of a prominent Montreal shop, Poème, in the city’s Mile End district. During January art classes, students from Grades 2 through 6 focused their attention on this real-world challenge of designing a unique and eye-catching Valentine's display for the women's clothing store.
The children cut, folded, fanned and glued hundreds of paper flowers. They mixed colours, painted shelves and nesting dolls, mounted textures, and positioned lights. Then, the Grade 6 students installed the display in the store’s front window in time for Valentine’s Day.
“This all came together so well because our school is so open to collaborative efforts,” said Zenia Dusaniwsky, St. George’s Elementary School Art Teacher.
“I think they did it masterfully,” beamed Erin Odanata-Herbert, owner and curator of Poème.
G Major, our high school’s decorated glee club, won second place among the Non-Arts Large Ensembles competing in the Show Choir Canada Championships in April. The club also earned Best Show Design for the fourth year in a row, and Ryan Mendel, Grade 11, won Best Male Triple Threat (singing, dancing, and performance).
G Major has won its category the past three years, and last year they were named Grand Champion of the competition. This year, Candace Grynol, Performing Arts Department Head, decided to try something very different. “Every year they just get better, and this year I wanted to challenge them to a kind of movement they’ve never done before. The show is based around dolls so the movements felt a little unnatural when they first learned them,” she said. “We had a lot of discussion about how dolls would actually move if they were alive, and I am so happy that the students were able to bring my vision to life. They worked so hard and they truly nailed it at the competition. I wouldn't have changed one thing about their performance. I’m so proud of how they helped each other and worked as a team.”
Earlier this year, G Major also made a special appearance performing with Jordan Smith, champion of The Voice, at WE Day Montreal. Watch G Major’s powerful performance of Somebody to Love.
Elementary Students Design Shop’s
Front Window Display
There are so many powerful stories of members of the St. George’s Community who are sharing their talents, passions and time with others, here in Montreal and around the world. Sharing these stories and recognizing these individuals provides a new opportunity to come together and celebrate the great people of St. George’s. Our annual Tribute Dinner, hosted as the centrepiece of Homecoming Weekend, November 5th and 6th, 2016, became the perfect event for this celebration.
An Annual Gathering
The weekend began with an Inaugural Tribute Dinner held on Saturday night. This dinner brought together alumni with today’s students, current and past faculty, staff and administrators in a celebration of seven members of the St. George’s Community who were recognized for their outstanding contributions and commitment to the school.
We thank those of you who
attended to help us raise funds for
our merit-based scholarships and bursaries.
Join us at our next
Saturday, November 4th, 2017.
Sunday, November 5th, 2017.
Click here to find out about the many sponsorship opportunities available!
Nominate those who
you think should be
recognized at our
upcoming Tribute Dinner.
Pictured from left to right:
Avery Plaw (’85), accepting on behalf of Gilbert Plaw, Outstanding Contribution to Learning and Teaching;
Cheryl Weigensberg-Wood, Community Champion;
Risa Lukofsky (’82), Alumna of the Year;
Kenneth Salomon (’64), Award of Distinction;
Patricia Lavoie, Outstanding Staff Member;
Samantha Levy (’06), Young Alumna of the Year;
Ryan Antel (’16), Outstanding Student.
Inaugural Tribute Dinner 2016
Homecoming festivities continued on Sunday afternoon with a Celebration of Life and Basketball Tournament in memory of Gilbert Plaw. This heartwarming addition to our weekend events began with some shared personal tributes to Mr. Plaw and continued with an all-ages Basketball Tournament in his name.
Please contact Patricia Lavoie at email@example.com if you would like to be part of the Tribute Dinner Organizing Committee and/or register to play in the Annual Basketball Tournament.
John Dore with Sara Plaw (’89) and Avery Plaw ('85)
What would you have done if you
could have been Head of School for one day?
Daydream on that one for a second.
OK, back to reality. Because it was a reality for Charlotte Goldberg, a Grade 8 student who won that very opportunity during the live auction at St. George’s Tribute Dinner in November. Thanks to her family’s generous bid, Charlotte was in that big chair at the end of the administrative hallway on February 22nd!
Charlotte got off to an early start by joining Chantal Martin, Assistant Head of the Elementary School, while greeting families as they arrived for the day. “It was weird because I used to be one of those kids walking into school,” Charlotte said with a laugh. She took this opportunity to make the day memorable for everybody. During advisor period, Charlotte added a high school-wide Scrabble competition matching each advisor group against the others. She then went on to serve frozen yogurt to everyone in the school, the winning group being served first. Charlotte says she added this activity because “every day we go to advisor and spend time with some people in your grade that you’re not in a class with. So I wanted everyone to spend time together in a fun way by playing some games.” Her favourite part? Declaring 3rd period as a free period for all of her Grade 8 classmates so they could play in the gym and munch popcorn.
Charlotte is a lifer. She’s been at St. George’s since pre-K, so this day also gave Charlotte the opportunity to think about how St. George’s has changed her during nine years as a student. “The teachers have helped me change my learning styles. It used
to be if I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t want to go in (to school). Now, I enjoy learning
and going to classes and I really like my teachers. So now, if I’m not feeling my best,
I power through it.”
When all was said and done, Charlotte got a true feeling of what it can sometimes be
like when you’re the big cheese. “It feels kind of different because lots of people are talking to me who don’t usually talk to me,” she said honestly. No, she didn’t give everyone the day off, she didn’t abolish homework, and she didn’t reverse the roles
of students and teachers (were any of those on your list?). But there’s no question, Charlotte made the most of this day, for everyone.
Head of School for a Day
A Daydream Come True:
True to one of our founding principles,
“Health Must Come First,” the space that formerly housed the student lockers has been transformed into a state-of-the art Fitness Centre.
Featuring over 2,500 square feet of exercise space,
the Fitness Centre’s multi-level design allows for
multiple activities to take place simultaneously
including cardiovascular training, weight training,
yoga, Pilates, dance, martial arts, and wrestling.
The Fitness Centre was outfitted with only top-of-the-line equipment (sourced by Mr. O'Connor, of course) and includes six cardiovascular training machines (treadmills, elliptical, spinning bicycles), two mirrored walls, a Matrix weight-training station, free weights, a TV monitor, USB charging stations, and a sound system that can deliver a pulsing workout music mix or the soundtrack for a Glee dance rehearsal. What’s more, a boys and girls locker area with private showers will ensure that students can participate fully in gym class without having to worry about returning to class while still sweaty.
Families most involved in helping make this centre possible, as well as our Board of Directors, turned out for the Grand Opening ceremony.
At the event, Head of School, Sharon Klein spoke about how the new centre will strengthen the school’s commitment to health and wellness.
“At St. George’s, we have long recognized the importance of a healthy body and mind,” she said, “This facility has a huge impact on our entire community and will allow for new programming – both physical and social-emotional. It is a space where all of our St. George’s Community members can come together and benefit for years to come.”
“It’s not just a workout facility,” she continued, “our new Fitness Centre represents a key component in strengthening the culture of health and wellness at St. George’s. This vision could only be realized through the generous support of our donors, and we could not be more grateful to have this new learning space that will enhance all aspects of our school.”
In only a few months since its opening, the Fitness Centre has already become a hit with students, staff, and faculty.
Drop in and check it out for yourself!
State of the Art Features
Boys and Girls Locker Area with Private Showers
Functional and Sport Specific Resistance Equipment
Matrix Weight-Training Station
65" TV Monitor
Sound System and USB Charging Stations
of it All
Valentine’s Day was a fitting
date for our Grand Opening
for our students.
In front of a full-school assembly, three senior students, Cassandra Forzani, George Garneau, and Lily Macdonald, spoke about how the Fitness Centre will not only help our athletics teams keep pace with our other schools, but also about how it will benefit the overall well-being of the entire student body. The Fitness Centre remained open the entire day for student and family tours.
The Fitness Centre was made possible through the generosity of our parents, staff and faculty, and alumni, and its opening marks the completion of the second phase of the Legacy 21 Campaign (the first being the renovation of the High School lobby and hallway).
This transformative campaign will ensure St. George's students and teachers are equipped with optimized learning spaces and resources to align with our progressive and innovative educational model.
The next phases of the campaign will feature the renovation of the High School student lounge and core area;
a biophilic expansion complete with a wellness centre; and the restoration of green space by converting the parking lot into a courtyard with designated areas for relaxation, recreation, and learning activities.
“We see St. George’s as a microcosm of the possible,” noted Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations, Donna Boyd. “And we’re moving forward to create this living model of a sustainable environment that will help shape our graduates as engaged, connected and healthy world citizens.”
A Lasting Legacy of
By Samantha Levy ('06)
St. George's has been associated with CanServe Canada since 1992 and to Sheela Bal Bhavan (SBB), a home for girls in India, since 1995. We have sent over 100 students to visit the home during the past two decades and has raised thousands of dollars to pay for the girls' school tuition fees. The impact has exceeded expectations, both for the SBB girls and for the
St. George’s Community.
Sheela Bal Bhavan – Celebrating 25 Years
Students visit the Taj Mahal, shop in the jewellery markets of Jaipur, and ride the infamous India rail system, but the highlight of the trip is invariably the visit to Sheela Bal Bhavan, a privately run, not-for-profit home for girls in India that emphasises the importance of education as a means of self-sufficiency.
It was started by Joti and Sheela Bhatnagar, a retired husband and wife who wanted to make a difference in the life of orphaned and abandoned girls by providing a home where they could dream, aspire, and achieve their ambitions. To date, SBB has become the adopted home of more than 40 young women, many of whom have lived there since they were infants. Of these girls, six are currently studying in university, while six others have already received bachelor and/or master degrees. Several of the girls are financially independent, while others are now married and have started families of their own.
Financial support is provided by Canadian sponsor families (many of whom are parents of former St. George's trippers), as well as by our own students, who raise money for the girls' private school tuition and university fees through fundraising events such as the walk-a-thon and penny war. In this way, the
St. George's community directly impacts the lives of 40 women and girls halfway across the world. To these girls, St. George’s is part of their extended family.
Thanks to student fundraising efforts,
St. George's has transformed the lives and opportunities for over 40 girls across the world. 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of
St. George’s association with Sheela Bal Bhavan. To honour the occasion, we relive these experiences through the eyes of our students. past and current students who have shared their experiences visiting the home.
The partnership of St. George's and CanServe is more like a relationship, and it began under the stewardship of Principal, Mr. Bahadur Bhatla. The school began sending students to visit the home in India in 1995 thanks to the efforts of Head of School James Officer and teachers Caroline Manzer and Bill Nevin, who led the trips for several years.
Samantha Levy (2006)
In December 2004, while most of my friends were spending their winter vacation skiing in the Laurentians or laying on a Caribbean beach, I boarded a plane to India along with a dozen classmates and Bill Nevin, our fearless trip leader. At 16 years old, it was my first time overseas and I was not sure what to expect, but over a decade later, the India Trip remains one of my most formative life experiences.
I am forever grateful to St. George's for providing me with the opportunity to travel overseas at such a young age and to get involved with an organisation that is making such a tangible difference in the lives of women and girls. As an alumnus, the school's commitment to SBB is an immense source of pride for me.
St. George's students enjoy an incredible amount of privilege, which is often difficult to contextualise within the comfortable walls of our small school. I believe that it is invaluable for students in our community to be exposed to other children who are born less fortune, to be able to navigate cultural differences, and be encouraged to become active agents for change.
These are already core tenets of the St. George's Community - but nowhere are they more obvious than in the school's relationship with SBB. Here, both the girls of SBB and our students come away with so much more than they expect.
And nowhere is this stated more clearly than in the words of our “trippers”.
In honour of the 25th anniversary of the relationship between St.George's School of Montreal and Sheela Bal Bhavan, we include the following testimonials from several former “trippers” as we celebrate the school’s continued commitment to the girls of SBB.
A Tangible Difference
Patrick Park (2012)
“My experience with the St. George’s India Trip was incredibly moving and unforgettable. It was an opportunity to learn about and open my mind to culture, empathy, privilege, and friendship. It’s a very unique opportunity to step outside the world you know with people you trust and feel safe with and really get a new perspective of the world. For me, it was the incredible and inspiring women of Sheela Bal Bhavan that made the trip so special.
Meeting each girl and getting to know them personally and to feel the love they unconditionally give to each and every student that goes on the trip is the major highlight. My classmates and I became family with people we had only gotten to know and see over the course of two weeks. Leaving them felt like leaving home and literally had every single one of us in tears.
There are a lot of charities and organizations in the world that need attention, but rarely, especially for students in high school, do we really get a chance to see how much a difference we can make in the world. Since that trip, I have not experienced anything like the India trip and I’m not certain I ever will.
It was an experience that left me with a new way of seeing the world and my own place in it. It was an essential part of my high school experience and my adolescence. I cannot stress enough how important the trip was for myself and my fellow India Trippers and I’m sure we could all agree that it’s an experience no one should miss out on, one that people genuinely need to have.”
Zoe Frank (2014)
“My experience on the St. George's India trip was no doubt one of the most significant and powerful experiences I’ve had to date. It is vital that as people we can look outside of the bubble that we live in, and view the world through the eyes of people who lead utterly different lifestyles. It is also important that we do more than just be aware, but truly understand, communicate and bond with people who live under the same sky as we do, no matter how different we may seem.
The girls at SBB allowed me to create incredibly valuable friendships. I was able to understand that once we look past our living and cultural differences, we have so much in common; the same universal love and curiosity for the world around us. I believe that the India trip is one of
St. George's’ biggest strengths, as well as one of the most valuable outlets for learning beyond the walls of a classroom. The experience I gained in India continues to manifest in my life, even three years later.”
Hardial Rosner (2007, Currently living in Hangzhou, China)
“I participated in the India trip when I was 16, in Grade 11. Since Pre-K, I had known that I wanted to go to India with my school. It far surpassed my expectations. My time at Sheela Bal Bhavan was wonderful, and getting to know the girls was an incredibly special experience. From morning prayers to meal times and playing outside on the lawn or roof, we shared wonderful memories.
I still communicate through Facebook and e-mail with many of the girls
I met then, and it is amazing to see how we have all grown together. We have graduated high school and university, some have gotten married, and all are happy. The India trip was the most important and significant part of my high school career, and it inspired in me a love of travelling and culture-sharing that
I am still fulfilling today.”
Will Ward (2014)
“I feel like anything I could say about my experience at the home won't do it justice. My short visit was so special to me that it was as if I was in an ecstatic haze that would only fade months later. I still can’t really describe the feeling; ‘ecstatic haze’ doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
For the few months after the trip, though, I felt how I imagined a truly happy person would feel. I can still remember this fleeting connection with the world that came from our short visit with the girls and their aunties that still has that bittersweet effect on me; happy that it happened but sad that it’s over. It was the simpler activities that we did with the girls that I think had this profound effect on me – staying up and dancing around the living room with the television blaring Bollywood lyrics in the background or drowsily sipping vats of sweet, milky masala chai in the cold mornings.
Years later, writing this and remembering Jaipur, the girls and the mornings has put me in a very good mood; I think I’m going to try (and fail) to make some chai. I have since come back to my daily routine, but those two weeks in Jaipur were some of the best in my life and I will never forget them.”
Angelina Kioussis (2017)
“Going to India definitely opened up new views on life for me. Going to India is an experience on its own, but being able to go on this adventure as a teenager was really special to me because of the close bond I was able to make with so many of the girls. When you're young, you tend to take advantage of so much or you don't take the time to admire things.
This trip allowed me to really be able to appreciate the life I have. This trip was so beyond amazing and enlightening, I strongly recommend that more students take the opportunity to go to this place. It will forever be the most memorable and special two and a half weeks of my life.”
Joanna Kolb (2003)
“I can say without exaggeration that my experience on the St. George's India trip in '98-99 changed the course of my life. At a young age of 13,
I was exposed to the highest heights of beauty and the lowest depths of desperation. I came home from that two-week trip with a brand new set of values and priorities. I spent the next ten years dreaming of a return to India, and in 2009 I travelled back to the magical subcontinent.
I volunteered at Sheela Bal Bhavan for one month and went backpacking through the country for another five (as long as my visa would allow!). My experiences at SBB shaped my worldview, and I have remained dedicated to the plight of women and girls ever since. I now hold a masters degree in social work with a specialization in international and community development, and I work at a shelter for women and children affected by conjugal violence. I continue to be involved in social justice movements through community engagement, outreach and advocacy.
I credit those two weeks, led by Bill Nevin and Carolyn Manzer, as the catalyst that put me on this path; and for this, I am ever grateful. I hope that St. George's students continue to have this immense opportunity - both for the enrichment it brings to Canadian youth, as well as the girls and women of SBB.”
Amanda Deckelbaum (2014)
“I went to India in my graduating year of high school, after Bill Nevin (my math teacher) basically hunted me down telling me I needed to go. Little to say he was right. India as a place is so impactful that it is almost impossible to come back to Canada without seeing major differences. But what is so important about going to a place like India is the impact it has on your overall understanding of yourself. This sounds really cliché, but I mean it in the most sincere way. Being around so much movement and overwhelming senses forces one to reflect. Reflection becomes like a safe haven amongst a whole lot of distraction. What is so magical about India is because of this, one can learn to be at peace within themselves through chaos. That is something you don’t un-learn.”
Emanuel Brazil (2017)
“My experience in India was one that I will never take for granted. Meeting the girls that I have only seen pictures of for the past four years was an unforgettable moment. For me, being able to see first hand what difference my fundraising and support over the past years has made in these girls' lives was very meaningful. Seeing how happy these girls were really touched me.
From the very moment we arrived, I felt warmth, and it feels so good to say that in SBB I found a home. This trip has honestly been the highlight of my high school experience, so with one year left at St. George's it's going take a lot to beat my India trip.”
Natalie Vineberg (2012)
“The India trip was undoubtedly one of the best parts of my time at St. George’s, which was already full of a lot of great experiences. For the first few years of high school, I didn’t think I had much interest in going on the trip, but when we started having information sessions for it, I figured I may as well go and just see what it was about, and I’m so, so grateful that I did.
I was concerned for a while that grade 10 was too young to go on such an intense and unfamiliar trip, but thinking back on it since then I’ve realized that it’s the perfect time to go.
St. George’s is an exceptionally open-minded place, and since graduating I’ve definitely become more set in my ways, and I worry that if someone asked current me if I wanted to go to India, or anywhere else in the world that’s “different” from our culture, that without my experience in India, I wouldn’t want to go. I think the timing of it being when you’re 15-17, and that it’s at St. George’s of all places, is crucial, because it catches you while you're still fairly naive and open.
In terms of SBB in particular, meeting a set of girls that became instantly family was truly surreal. I’m very close with my family, especially my sisters, and one of my major concerns about going on the trip was that my birthday fell in those 3 weeks and I’d never not been with my family on my birthday. While I did still miss them, I had a whole surrogate family with me, both in the girls at SBB and in my friends on the trip with me (both those I was already close with and those I got to know better on the trip).
Arriving at SBB was remarkably welcoming, and leaving was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever done. Even though we’re only with them for 2 weeks, they’re not just a homogenous group of girls. We each developed bonds with different girls and got to know all their personalities and names and interests. Each of them is truly incredible, and I can’t even imagine the situation they would be in without SBB. And St. George’s contributing to that is imperative and should be, in my opinion, beyond question. The week of touring after SBB was definitely fun, and it would be silly to go to India without seeing the Taj Mahal, but my time at SBB is what I still always think about and tell my friends about.”
Maxime Billick (2005)
“To say my trip to India and to SBB with St. George's was life-changing is simultaneously an understatement and sounds hyperbolic. I had travelled abroad before going to India, and I'd even travelled to places where the inequalities between societies are evident. India was different, though. The smoky-sweet smells and the dust and the ravishing colours and the blatant inequities ignited multiple interests and passions in me in me that have continued for years following. A love for travel, for exploration, for really getting to know people in a given place; a commitment to social equity, to evening the playing field, to helping to provide opportunities for others; a dedication to the health and well-being of women and girls, to their education and to their growth. India in and of itself is a special place. The SBB trip that St. George's facilitates is a miraculous experience that undoubtedly changes the lives of all who are lucky enough to go on it.”
Aaron Gurman (2017)
“In India, there was a much more different experience. Especially when we visited SBB. This meant experiencing a new culture as well as experiencing a new country with very different traditions than our usual home. It helps show you more of the world and more of the experiences of the world. This was definitely one of my favourite parts of high school if not my favourite part of high school. I definitely think that St. George's should still send people to India since it is an experience worth having and is certainly something that I would recommend other people to do. This experience is also great for the kids at SBB since they get to meet new people from outside the country and get to have friends who live outside of their kind of culture."
Naomi Adams (2006)
“Travelling to India with St. George's during my formative years was a gift I cherish to this day. It was so valuable to explore such a vastly unknown land and culture, within the security of like-minded peers and warm and wise leaders. Staying with the wonderful girls gave us an insider view of the culture, enabling us to understand the scary unknowns of such a vastly different place, with a grounded safety of our Indian family of “didis”. I will never forget when we arrived at SBB, and all beautiful girls and women, wearing every colour in the rainbow, greeting us with the warmest smiles, songs, flowers. The jet lag probably contributed to the starry-eyed amazement I experienced, but I learned then what I still know now: SBB is a special, unique, inspiring place. I truly hope St. George's continues to prioritise providing its students an experience to impact these girl’s lives and be beautifully impacted in return.”
Twice as Meaningful
Eugenie Officer (2014) was fortunate enough to travel twice; she went once with her father in the group photo above (front row, white shirt), and again as a St. George's High School student.
Jason Freder (2006)
“The India trip marked the first time that I left the continent, and in many ways, the first time I really left my comfort zone. I still remember getting off the plane in Delhi and feeling like I was on a different planet. There was a warm fog in the air and people in different garb flocked the street, the sound of horns filled the air, and the smell of fried foods and cow dung filled my nostrils. We quickly got on a bus and travelled through the night to Sheela Bal Bhavan.
As we pulled up, we were greeted by the girls dressed in their finest traditional clothing who welcomed us with open arms, tea, and smiles from ear to ear. Within a few minutes, I was not only comfortable but was among my extended family.
On a different note, I remember thinking how amazing it was to be able to fundraise all year at our high school and then have the opportunity to actually see where the money went. When I was in India, St. George’s’ donations covered the majority of the girls’ education. We got a chance to visit the schools that the girls attended, and it was clear that the girls were motivated and driven to succeed in what appeared to be a fairly strict learning environment.
As I continue to receive updates of the girls’ status, it is amazing to see how many have been labelled as success stories and graduate in the top tier of their respective universities in the field of their choice. The partnership between
St. George’s and Sheela Bal Bhavan is so important on so many levels including learning the value of fundraising for a meaningful cause and having an opportunity to escape one’s comfort zone (albeit with a large safety net) and learn that there is a lot to learn outside the confines of the classroom. The India trip will always remain in my top memories of high school, and the girls (read: didis) will always have a special place in my heart.”
Holly Bloomfield (2016)
“India was one of the defining points in my life. Experiencing a place like SBB and India puts everything in perspective when you get back home. It shows you that there is so much more to life than what we know.
I am so grateful to St. George's for giving me this opportunity and to the home for welcoming us with open arms and calling us family.
Going at the age I did, 16, was something really beneficial. Since I have been back, I have understood the importance of volunteering for those who need it. I have understood the happiness it brings, not only to the people you're helping but to you as well. I am so thankful for everyone that allowed this trip to be possible and the girls at the home for being such beautiful souls. The India trip was the best experience of my life thus far.”
Proud and engaged St. George’s alumni and
their families live all around the world,
and they love to get together!
Our inaugural European Reunion held in Paris is the
perfect example. Colleen and Mirko Wicha, parents of four
St. George’s alumni, hosted our reunion in Paris on March 18th.
We met in the wine cellars of Chemin des Vignes and the Wichas treated us to tastings from their private wine collection. A new tradition begins for St. George’s School!
Where will we go next year?
Viva Italia! Stay tuned for details.
Getting Back Together
European Reunion 2017
Mirko Wicha (Alumni Parent) Gabrielle Wicha ’05
Gabrielle Lazure ’74, Sharon Klein (Head of School)
Anouk Mukherjee ’88, Sharon Klein (Head of School)
Mirko Wicha (Alumni Parent)
Matthew Rossner ’98, Gabrielle Lazure ’74,
Gabrielle Wicha ’05, Romana Brezovska ’07
Bottom Left: (Back)
Left to Right :
We didn’t take the infamous “Route 66”
– but as the song goes, we certainly
“got our kicks” at our recent
West Coast Alumni Reunion!
Forty alumni, including past teachers Hyacinth Young and Christine Laverty, were treated to the incredible hospitality of hosts Ellen Bronfman Hauptman ’86 and her husband, Andrew.
Conversation and laughter were plentiful, and it was clear that no matter when you attended St. George’s, or how long it’s been since you’ve seen one another, the bonds are forever tethered. Among the fabulous memories of the evening – St. Viateur bagels, flown in specifically for the event by Ellen to remind everyone of their days back in Montreal.
Abundant thanks are offered to Ellen and Andrew for hosting, to Hyacinth for helping coordinate, and to all our alumni who eagerly responded to the invitation. We are very grateful to all who made the effort to join us, and we look forward to returning to the West Coast soon!
Group Photo; Christine Laverty & Hyacinth Young; David Dennick, David Hirsh, James DiSalvio & Dov Charney;
Shawn Levy & Hyacith Young; Ellen Bronfman, James Di Salvio & Dov Charney; Donna Boyd & Daniel Shapiro;
Group photo; Romy Stutman & Hyacinth Young; and Matt Smiley signing Alumni Banner.
West Coast Alumni
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.
What do members of the Class of 1988 do when they get together?
They go axe throwing (Nov. 2016)!
Class of 1988
How to Organize a St. George's Reunion
Anouk Mukherjee (Far Left), Jesse Bochner (Middle), Patty Klein (Far Right).
Members of the Class of 1987 got together for a mini reunion last year (Dec. 2016). Stay tuned for information on their 30th year reunion on Saturday, November 25th at Hurley’s Pub.
Class of 1987
Is your class having a reunion this year?
Check the Alumni Reunions page on our website.
Join us at one of our upcoming Alumni Events.
Photo L to R: Jessica Hand, Paul Graif, Evangelos Caminus, Eytan Rotstein,
Andrea Karabatsos, Dev Sharma, Julian Hung.
Laurence T. Glickman ('73)
We have been living in Port Washington, New York for the past 25 years. I am a plastic surgeon at Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, the largest and oldest group of plastic surgeons in the country. Half of my practice is reconstructive, and half is cosmetic. I am very involved in our Residency Training Program as well.
We have two boys. Jonathan is finishing his last year of his Doctorate in Psychology at the University of Denver and hopes to complete his internship in the northeast next year. My younger son, Matthew, was a ski instructor at Vail for three years and now is head of production at a marketing agency in
New York City.
My wife, Judy Lighter, is a lawyer and social worker and was involved in volunteer work after 9/11 and for soldiers with PTSD. She is a yoga instructor and therapist as well.
We have three dogs who make us smile all day.
I am in touch with many of my brothers and sisters from the St. G's class of '73 and we are hoping to get together for our 45th reunion next year. My closest and dearest friends for life.
St. George's Alumni
Michael Leysieffer (’80)
I came to Canada in February 1975 and joined
St. George’s Elementary School.
I remember it was cold and there was a lot of snow. We had a house in Westmount (Summit Circle) on Mount Royal, nice place to live. After that summer, I went to St. George’s High School and stayed until 1979. Unfortunately, my family went back to Germany and therefore I had to leave before finishing school. I liked the school and had a great time, unforgettable.
I remember playing soccer at the back of the school and was also a member of the basketball and badminton team. The teachers were really nice and motivating. My favourite courses were math and biology, but I also liked arts.
When I came back to Germany, I went to a boarding school to finish my schooling (we have 13 grades in Germany). Afterwards I started studying business administration until 1986 and then I started to work.
I worked for about ten years in the industry and then I decided to go into the consulting business, HR Consulting and Executive Search. Since 2014, I have my own company with an office in Frankfurt and Berlin. I live near Heidelberg, about 50 miles from Frankfurt.
I am married to Sabine for 23 years. We have two kids: Miriam is currently doing her Masters in in International Business and Sven
will finish school this summer. He will then start studying biology.
I will never forget the time I spent in Canada!
I travelled with my family in 2010 to Montreal and showed them all the nice places, including St. George’s. The school was closed, due to summer holiday. Here is a photo of me standing in front of the High School. This coming summer my wife and I will be visiting friends on Victoria Island.
James Martin Kirby (’60)
I am currently retired and enjoying the winter in Port Richy, Florida. My home is Waterdown, Ontario and I summer down at the lake on Lake Erie, Ontario.
I owned my own company, which I turned over to my two sons in 2006. Life is good!
Caroline Bieler-Brettell (’67)
I am still a professor at SMU and I run the Interdisciplinary Institute where I get to give out money.
I am popular! The Class of 1967 is getting together for our 50th reunion in September of 2017 in Toronto!
Risa Lukofsky (’82)
After more than 25 years working
in a multitude of different business environments (including in the
St. George's Advancement Office),
I have recently started a business
of my own called RiSource. I personally and professionally
offer organizations, medical
or law practices, a vast array of administrative, organizational, and management services on a contract or project basis. Now there are two entrepreneurs in the household.
My husband, Anthony Wolfe '80, celebrates 15 years as Executive
VP E-Commerce & Marketing at IceJerseys.com.
Howard Bilerman (’87)
As an update, Howard shared with us this lecture/interview recorded in Montreal, at the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy. goo.gl/BYhvNH
Mark Boidman (’93)
I serve on the board of the
Digital Signage Federation.
Our Green Alum
Joseph Boloten (’04)
St. George’s is proud to be working with our alum, Joseph Boloten. Joseph’s company, Cobol Industries, provides the school with environmentally friendly school cleaning supplies.
Maxime Billick (’05)
I'm finishing up my last year of medical school at McGill this spring (2017) and waiting on my residency position to start July 1st.
Anais Hausvater (’05)
I am currently a medical resident in internal medicine at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Next year I will be going to New York to do a research fellowship in women’s cardiology at NYU. My husband is currently studying at Harvard Business School. I am still very close friends with many of my St. George’s classmates.
Erin Simms (’94)
I've just completed a film called Our Souls at Night, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, that will be released this spring/summer on Netflix. I am also going into production this summer in Los Angeles on a film I co-wrote with Bill Holderman called Book Club, which stars Diane Keaton. I am living in Los Angeles and developing multiple projects as an independent producer.
Sarah Leblanc (’03)
I work in IT and I have like six cats. Fosters. But still!
Julian Stamboulieh ('04)
Benjamin Warner ('04)
After the founding of our production company, Beanduck, we went on to create a successful two-season web series entitled LARPs, which received over a dozen awards internationally, as well as +4 million views under the Legendary Digital Network. Since then, while pitching larger “dream projects”, we’ve relaunched our own YouTube page of short films with the goal of establishing a self-sufficient platform. All of this while maintaining our immature sense of humour.
Sercan Berk Demirtas (’12)
I am currently in my final year at McGill in the Honours Investment Management program where I co-manage a $3 million student-run investment fund. In July, I will be joining the American investment bank, Goldman Sachs, in the firm’s London office as a private equity analyst.
Jake Shtern (’15)
I am completing my last semester at Dawson College in Arts & Culture. I have applied to various Universities including Ryerson, McGill and Concordia. My dream is to move to LA in order to pursue my singing/music career.
I released my second single, Love Drug, in February and it is being played on various radio stations across Canada.
My mom, Nathalie Shtern, has opened up a gourmet donut shop called DoughNats. Her business is doing incredibly well and, since their opening in September, has been featured in many blogs as one of the top 10 things to do in Montreal.
I plan on furthering my singing career and I am in the works of creating/recording my first EP which will, hopefully, be released shortly.
St. George’s has taught me the importance of chasing your dreams. The teachers and staff members have had an enormous impact on my life and have all made me want to thrive and succeed beyond the classroom. Every part of who I am today has come from St. George’s (and my mom, DUH) and has allowed me to embrace and love who I am.
Naomi Adams (’06)
I am still working as a Registered Clinical Counsellor at Honey and Garlic Health Studio in Vancouver, and in hopes of making counselling more accessible to a broader population in our community, I am selling all my artwork to fund clients who cannot afford counselling. 100% of the proceeds will go to clients in need.
My appreciation for art and sense of creative freedom developed in the
St. George's art class, and I have taken art classes everywhere I have lived since then. If more people had the opportunity to experiment with
art in such a supportive setting like the one at St. George's, I think people would surprise themselves with what they could accomplish!
If anyone wants to buy a piece to donate to the cause, they can find pictures of the art, under "photos"
on my professional Facebook page.
For information on classmates, alumni reunions, school events and great photos, like our Alumni Facebook Page and join our LinkedIn Group.
In addition, in the past few years, I've written new music for string quartet, piano quintet, voice and piano quartet, and male choir.
My wife, Jocelyne, has retired from singing, but has become quite passionate about percussion, and made her impressive debut as a percussionist in a recent Halifax concert devoted to my music.
My former students will not be surprised to learn that I have remained active as a missionary for opera. Three or four times a year, and sometimes more, we present a DVD of an opera in our home and invite the community, with snacks, wine and discussion at half time. As there is not much to do on Saturday night in our small fishing village, we are usually full! And I am the pianist for Coastal Voices, a local men's choir.
Anyone interested in learning more about my music is cordially invited to visit www.johnplantmusic.com
St. George's Former Faculty & Staff
John Plant – Retired Elementary School Music Teacher
My Faustus: A SaxOpera, a concerto for alto saxophone and large wind ensemble (34 players), received its first performance in Boston on October 6, with Jennifer Bill, soloist, and the Boston University Wind Ensemble conducted by David Martins. It was a commission from World-Wide Concurrent Premieres Commissioning Fund, whereby a consortium of ten performers/ensembles fund the work, and thereby gain a years' exclusivity; each performance is considered a 'premiere.' The first Canadian performance was on February 10 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, with Tristan de Borba and the Acadia University Wind Ensemble under Mark Hopkins. Next in line was San Diego on March 11, with Michael Couper and the SDSU Wind Ensemble.
Michael Couper commissioned and premiered my Insomnia, a setting of poems by the early 20th-century Russian poet, Marina Tsvetaeva, in my own translation, for soprano voice, alto saxophone, and piano, at Carnegie Hall on October 31, 2014; my New York debut. I've been really blessed to have this trio (Jennifer, Michael and Tristan) of amazing saxophonists in my life.
My opera, I Will Fly Like a Bird, about the tasering death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, received its stage premiere at the hands of Opera Nova Scotia in the spring of 2015 (it had been performed in concert, unstaged, in the presence of Dziekanski's mother, at the 2012 Scotia Festival).
Serge Rousseau – Retired - École Secondaire – Professeur de Français (1974-2007)
J’ai quitté St-Georges en juin 2007, ça fera bientôt dix ans. Je garde un très bon souvenir de ma longue carrière au département de français, de mes collègues dévoués de tous les départements et des nombreux élèves qui ont peuplé ma salle de classe et qui m’ont fait évoluer comme enseignant.
Dans mes premières années à l’école, comme je parlais cette langue, M. Bhatla m’a demandé si je n’accepterais pas d’enseigner l’espagnol en plus du français. Après réflexion, j’ai refusé cette offre, car je préférais me concentrer sur le français, ma langue maternelle. Depuis ma retraite, l’espagnol est revenu en force dans ma vie. Je me suis remis en contact avec la langue, la littérature et la culture non seulement de l’Espagne, mais aussi de l’Amérique latine. J’ai donné des leçons informelles, j’ai approfondi mes connaissances, j’ai lu et j’ai découvert avec joie des villes aussi riches culturellement que Mexico D.F. et Quito, Équateur.
Since I left St. George's in 2009 to move to the Ottawa area, I spent six years teaching science & math in the Western Quebec School Board. In the summer of 2015, my husband got transferred to Vancouver, B.C., and I was fortunate to start work in September 2015 at Crofton House School, a prestigious all-girls private school in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood of Vancouver. Aside from teaching senior-level Mathematics, I'm one of the teacher chaperones for the girls' Vex Robotics team, and this March I led a group of 22 girls on a Me to We service trip to Kenya. The photo above is from last year's Me to We trip to India! I think of St. George's often, and I'm lucky to have formed many lasting friendships there.
Au cours de ces dix années, j’ai aussi développé mon intérêt pour la photographie et l'écriture. Je continue toujours à m’intéresser à la musique, particulièrement à la musique ancienne. Depuis plusieurs années, je fais du bénévolat au sein du Festival Montréal Baroque. Cette implication me permet de faire des rencontres enrichissantes tout en me faisant découvrir des oeuvres inspirantes.
Depuis mon départ de l’enseignement, j’ai consacré et je continue de consacrer beaucoup de mon temps aux soins prodigués premièrement à feu mon père lorsqu’il était très malade et maintenant à ma mère que je contribue à maintenir à la maison. Il y a beaucoup d’apprentissages à faire en accompagnant un être cher vieillissant et perdant son autonomie. Comme vous le constatez, les années passent et elles sont très remplies. En terminant, je dois avouer que la nuit, dans mes rêves, il arrive encore souvent que je me trouve dans une salle de classe et que j’enseigne. Merci à toute la communauté de St-Georges pour toutes ces années de partage.
À Quito, Équateur
Erica Cameron (formerly Muzzerall)
– High School Math Teacher 2007-2009
Share Your Story with Us
We'd love to hear from you! Tell us what you've been up to by contacting Patricia Lavoie, Advancement & Alumni Relations Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Joey Feith – Elementary School Physical Education
In December, I was invited to keynote the 2016 Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Conference in Galveston, Texas. I spoke on how we can raise the bar for physical education by being purposeful about the way we design our curricula and by always keeping the life-long development of our students' physical literacy in mind.
I also published a chapter in a book titled Digital Technologies and Learning in Physical Education: Pedagogical Cases. In the chapter, I shared my experience with using social media as a tool for ongoing professional learning and development. My pedagogical case was then analyzed by various experts through four different perspectives: a teacher education perspective, a Foucauldian perspective, an anthropological perspective, and a pedagogical perspective.
This summer, I have been invited back to speak at the Elementary Physical Education Workshop at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, CA. From there, I will be traveling to Asheville, North Carolina to keynote the 2017 National PE and School Sport Institute. After two weeks of speaking, I'm looking forward to camping in Newfoundland with my wife!
Today's Faculty & Staff
Beyond the Classroom
Caroline Bilhete - High School Science Technician
The lovely Caroline was married on October 1, 2016.
We wish Caroline and her husband
the very best.
The Alumni Executive Committee has the following vacant positions:
Young Alumni Representative
Ensures the participation and the roles of Alumni Class Coordinators and that active modes of communication are in place
Brings perspective of someone who has recently graduated from the school
Brings forward new innovations that they may have participated in at their post-secondary education
Attends school events, reunions and meetings
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
The current committee is composed
of the following individuals:
Adam Greenberg ('04)
Samantha Welscheid ('99)
Leah Benabou ('17)
Co-Chair of the Student Leadership Team
Cassie Forzani ('17)
Co-Chair of the Student Leadership Team
Risa Lukofsky ('82)
Kenneth Salomon ('64)
Member at large
Patricia Klein ('88)
Member at large
In addition to alumni-related activities and initiatives, we are also busy at work on this year’s Tribute Dinner and are already planning for the School’s 90th Anniversary in 2020! Can you believe it?
We formed the Alumni Executive Committee last year, and we are looking to all alums 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.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this request, we look forward to hearing from you!
Samantha Welscheid (’99)
Vice Chair, Alumni Executive Committee
from Your Alumni Executive Committee!
Wander through the facilities at St. George’s and no matter where you turn you’ll see first-class learning resources in action: a soccer field at the elementary campus, tiered and cushioned high school theatre seats, ActivPanel touch screens in classrooms, and TRX and Matrix exercise equipment in the newly opened Fitness Centre. Upgrades like these are only possible through the generous support of our community members, including current and past parents, staff and faculty, and alumni.
One of our school’s keynote fundraising initiatives is the Annual Giving Campaign, which enables us to fund projects like these that immediately enhance and enrich the student experience. This year’s Annual Giving priorities have been identified as the purchase of additional flexible, dynamic furniture for the High School and the launch of the second phase of the Outdoor Classroom at the Elementary School.
Creating Modern Learning Spaces with Dynamic Furniture
A recent article in University Affairs praising the virtues of ergonomic classroom furniture demonstrates how St. George’s was once again ahead of the curve having transformed two classrooms into modern learning environments last year. Chairs on wheels, modular desks, and Smart Boards enable new forms of teaching and learning. One of our high school math teachers, Jeanne Gan, explains how this comes to life in her classroom:
“I love the flexibility of the new furniture in my classroom. This new, bright environment allows students to learn in a non-static space with ergonomically designed chairs that can swivel and move when needed. The furniture also allows us to easily reconfigure the classroom to form groups for various types of interactions and discussions. The mini-white boards give the students an opportunity to share their work within groups and display it to the class.”
Help us build our Outdoor Classrooms
and provide Dynamic Classroom Furniture
Outdoor Classrooms Cultivate Opportunities for Learning
The launch of the second phase of the Outdoor Classroom dovetails into a community-wide initiative at St. George’s to be a leader in sustainability. The Outdoor Classroom will enable students to participate in hands-on learning projects and will use nature to bring classroom discussions to life.
Research shows that playing and learning in a natural outdoor environment brings a wealth of benefits for children including increased resiliency, academic achievement, and participation in self-directed, authentic learning. Danielle Delhaes, Coordinator, Community Learning and Sustainability Programs, explains the value of outdoor learning:
"At St. George’s, we believe in providing students with the best learning environment to support their development and growth as responsible and engaged citizens of the global community. The creation of our outdoor classrooms serves not only to provide a naturalized, and often edible, play and study area for students, but they also offer an oasis to local wildlife.
As such, our playgrounds are rich in biodiversity and offer numerous opportunities for teachers and students to inquire about their world in an authentic and multidisciplinary context. For example, Grade 4 students are learning to self-regulate and manage their stress through breathing techniques and aromatherapy. They enjoy growing and collecting organic herbs to make their own aromatherapy sachets, which they keep at their desk and use as needed.
Grade 3 students also learn about the Iroquoian society as part of their Geography, History, and Citizenship Education program. They will now be able to understand the brilliant interdependency model of the traditional native Three Sister’s garden as they design, plant and care for their own garden of squash, beans, and corn in their own playground.
From the perspective of sustainable living, when a school playground is naturalized and cultivated to offer quality opportunities for learning and inquiry while supporting life and beauty, the whole community benefits."
Planned Giving: A Lasting Legacy
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.
Dragonlink is a publication of the
Advancement and Alumni Relations Department
of St. George’s School of Montreal
Writers (in addition to those identified):
Donna Boyd, Scott Cross,
Patricia Lavoie, Jonathan Goldman
Editors: Leigh McCarthy, Sharon Picard,
Design: Victoria Dobbin
Photos: Donna Boyd, Scott Cross,
Victoria Dobbin, Patricia Lavoie,
St. George’s School of Montreal,
plus those submitted by our