see it in action
Head of School
you’ll read about
What distinguishes St. George’s is a fierce commitment to our Founding Principles - living words that form the basis of our character and identity as an institution. Each and every day these closely held beliefs are reliably transformed into concrete, tangible actions that continue to move us forward. Innovative programming and purpose-driven community engagement are just two examples of this phenomenon you’ll notice highlighted in the stories collected on the pages that follow.
Three years ago we inaugurated the CORE5 resiliency program - a natural extension of the mission, philosophy and ethos that has defined our school since its inception almost ninety years ago. While academic research into the importance of social and emotional learning is a relatively recent discipline, St. George’s has always been way ahead of its time in this regard.
In this edition of Dragonlink, the methodology behind the CORE5 programming, and get a chance to
at the Grade 1 and 2 CORE5 sleepover retreat held in February of this year. It is such a privilege to witness and contribute to our students’ cultivation of skills and habits that will enable them to thrive, overcome obstacles, and pursue meaningful and fulfilling lives.
At the very beginning of this month, St. George’s High School held its first ever For years, Earth Day events at the Elementary School have inspired and unified our community of students, teachers, and parent volunteers, and so it comes as no surprise that a similar celebration of sustainable practices and environmental awareness would be so well-received at the High School.
Truly remarkable was the leadership role that so many of our students readily assumed when faced with the prospect of organizing an Earth Day Summit. The Summit provided an invaluable platform for student activists; as workshop facilitators they channeled a contagious energy into igniting a similar passion and sense of urgency in their peers and teachers. It is thanks in part to these students that our school as a whole continues to make tangible strides towards realizing the collective strategic goals we have set out for ourselves.
As Head of School I continue to be amazed by our students, teachers, alumni and extended St. George’s family – day after day I am moved by the resolve to find new ways of living our Principles. After reading the Summer 2018 edition of Dragonlink, I am sure that you will be too.
Earth Day Summit.
Our cover photo features our Elementary School Campus students enjoying their Earth Day activities.
Dragonlink Summer 2018
2 | Letter from the Head of School
4 | St. George's Strategic Plan
5 | What's New
9 | Alum Shares Insights at Math Contest
10 | St. George's Parent Explores Marketing Trends with Grade 11 Students
12 | A High School First: Our Earth Day Summit
14 | Our CORE5 Resiliency Program
17 | Legacy 21 Campaign
19 | Homecoming Weekend
22 | Alumni Mentorship Meet-Ups
23 | Alumni Reunions
27 | Alumni Today
32 | Alumni Executive Committee
33 | Planned Giving: A Lasting Legacy
The Strategic Thinking Plan Core Group
Sharon Klein, Cheryl Wood, Nathalie Bossé, Louise Anne Poirier, James A. Officer, Madeleine Bonnard
We are pleased to share with you the St. George’s School Strategic Thinking Plan.
It represents a portrait of our school’s identity and its envisioned future.
Strategic thinking at St. George’s has been an ongoing collaborative process. This process was driven by a core group composed of Cheryl Wood, Sharon Klein, Nathalie Bossé, Louise Anne Poirier, and Madeleine Bonnard, as well as James Officer in the early stages. This group sought input from the Leadership Team, faculty, board members, and other constituents of the school community.
The Board of Directors formally approved an internal version of the Strategic Thinking Plan in April 2017. As part of the school's branding initiative, Firebrand for Education worked in collaboration with the core group to produce a web-based microsite version of the plan, which was presented to the Board of Directors earlier this year.
The Strategic Thinking Plan is a “living document”. In this format, our community can actively engage and interact with the materials, and the plan can be updated and revised as necessary. As you will see, the plan aligns with the school’s mission, with sustainability at its core and woven throughout four pillars: learning, culture, space and resources. An in-depth look at each pillar can be found by clicking through each area. The upcoming revamped St. George’s website will feature a prominent link to this microsite.
We invite you to explore:
We are excited about our school’s new Strategic Thinking Plan and the actions being taken towards its implementation. If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with one of us.
What's New Around the School
Robotics Club Scores Touchdown
at Annual Competition
We had a blast hosting our third annual Montreal Round of World Scholar's Cup this past January 19 & 20!
We welcomed 245 scholars to Canada's biggest ever World Scholar's Cup. After a rousing Opening Ceremonies, which of course included the ceremonial tossing of alpacas into the crowd (not real alpacas), teams competed in events over two days, including: Collaborative Writing, Team Debate, Scholar's Challenge the Scholar's Bowl and Debate Showcase.
Click here to see the CTV footage from
the CRC Robotics Competition.
Our robotics club participated in the CRC Robotics Competition at Laval Senior Academy in February, where they were awarded first place for robot construction and design.
They also placed high in
the kiosk, journalism, website and programming categories.
The giant Wild Migrations floor map charting the migratory routes of 20 different North American species at risk, came to St. George's! Elementary School science classes took full advantage with special hands-on activities illustrating migration patterns, food sources, and the impact of human interaction.
Thanks for making this possible, Canadian Wildlife Federation and Canadian Geographic!
The Wild Migrations Map Was Here!
The Annual "Dance for Liam" Toonie Challenge fundraiser, in aid of the McGill University Health Centre and Montréal Children's Hospital, was a great success!
The money raised benefitted the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well as the Liam Armstrong Pediatric Oncology Fund, named for a St. George's student who passed away in March 2014. Liam loved to dance, and so each year St. G's students dance to honour his memory. His parents and siblings join us for the event each year.
Dancing for a Cause
Head of School
for the Day
Harvard Challenges St. George's
Harvard Graduate School of Education and Making Caring Common have issued schools everywhere a challenge: to take action to help prepare young people to be constructive community members and citizens who create a better world.
St. George's accepted the challenge! Through our CORE5 program, we draw from research in social and emotional learning to ensure that our students develop resiliency, a tool that will enable them to navigate day-to-day challenges and lead meaningful lives.
The goals of the Caring Schools Common Good campaign are in perfect alignment with our CORE5 objectives - particularly those which advocate for the deepening of students' care for others and their communities, and reducing excessive achievement pressure. We committed to allowing these goals to guide us through our next phases in developing and implementing the CORE5 program.
Grade 5 student Kamryn had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to act as "Head of School for a Day", a privilege that was auctioned off at our Tribute Dinner earlier this year. The Honorary Head negotiated to make a few special adjustments to the school day during her tenure – serving popcorn to all Elementary School students during an extended afternoon break was one of them!
Four shows, 31 songs, 68 performers, and countless individuals making things happen behind the scenes. This year's Glee production of "Georgia's Diner" was more than well-received
- the show's remarkable energy and professionalism drew the audience into the story night after night. The bar is set sky-high for next year's 10th anniversary of the Glee program at St. George's.
Congratulations to our Grade 11 Class of 2018!
Congratulations to our Grade 6 Graduates!
Alumnus Gavin Affleck '76
and Working in STEM
at Canadian Team
St. George’s hosted the Canadian Team Mathematics Contest (CTMC) for the fourth time this April. A total of ten teams each representing a different QAIS school rose to the challenge, convening in our High School gymnasium for the event.
Once the day’s competitive elements were completed, St. George’s Class of ‘76 grad Gavin Affleck delivered a keynote address, which proved to be a major highlight. Affleck gave participating students an introduction to the early origins of modern architecture, relating it to the real-world applications of mathematics we can take in around us every day in our urban environment.
As a founding partner of Affleck de la Riva Architects, he contextualized the foundational concepts students encounter in their secondary math classes. For the contest participants, many of whom are poised to graduate into the wider world of higher education this spring or next, Affleck’s insight on one possible path to a career in the fields of science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) was invaluable.
“It was a good eye-opener for what’s out there in terms of careers,” said Grade 11 student Camilla Djamalov, who helped the St. George’s team earn a third-place finish in the contest. The alumni network has proven to be an invaluable resource for senior students considering their next steps: a sprawling legion of interesting individuals eager to share enthusiasm for their fields in a way that is both relevant and exciting. For Camilla and her teammates, the opportunity to hear from this
St. George’s grad represented the possibilities of exploring math-related disciplines, “not only in school, but in the outside world.”
This year for the first time, secondary schools in Quebec were required to incorporate a Financial Literacy program into existing Grade 11 curriculum. St. George’s took a unique approach, implementing a pilot program that involved a week-long intensive session: five full days of activities, guest presenters and workshops designed to leave students with a better sense of how to navigate their personal finances and make informed decisions. Through the program, students were privileged to hear from Mitch Joel, a St. George’s parent who also happens to be a prominent authority on digital marketing.
“Mitch is obviously a very experienced speaker who offers insightful commentary on the role of digital media and marketing,” said Brian Foote, who works in St. George’s Centre for Learning Enrichment, referencing Joel’s multinational marketing agency and many high-profile speaking engagements.
Joel was invited join the Grade 11 class for an afternoon to share his wealth of experience and answer questions about marketing, advertising, and how to be an informed consumer in a media landscape undergoing dramatic change. “He provided great answers to students’ questions that actually generated more questions and promoted deeper thinking.”
The talk easily sparked the interest of the Grade 11 students, who are members of a generation that is growing up surrounded by the largely unregulated influence of modern social media. They were engaged in a lively discussion exploring the benefits and drawbacks of social media platforms’ primary function: to provide advertisers with a direct line to consumers. He also answered questions about the importance of critically assessing the content presented on these apps and websites.
The result was a fascinating conversation that emphasized the relevance of being financially literate - and a reminder of the many interesting people of diverse backgrounds and experiences who make up the St. George’s community. “His presentation and the spark it created was a highlight for many.”
Earth Day is a pretty big deal here at St. George’s – but you probably already know that. In past years the Elementary School had been our Earth Day hub, and it’s an occasion usually marked by a day of action, sometimes involving the execution of elaborate urban agriculture projects. Students who have come through the Elementary School share fond memories of joining together with classmates, teachers, and parents to work towards a common goal.
This year, the Earth Day tradition debuted at the High School with the first ever Earth Day Summit. On May 4th, more than 50 of St. George’s 266 secondary students were involved in facilitating workshops for their peers and teachers, engaging the entire learning community in action for a sustainable future.
Click the image above to view the Earth Day Summit teaser trailer.
The Earth Day Summit is an organic addition to the annual calendar of events at the High School campus – last year students executed a waste audit in an effort to maximize recycling and composting practices at every level of the school’s operations. Student activism is the driving force of an ongoing sustainability movement generating school-wide enthusiasm for taking concrete steps to achieve collective goals.
“I think our school specifically is very action-oriented,” said Julieta Lozano Ramsay, who led a workshop on guerilla gardening. “It really shows that students do care; leadership is being taken. I hope people gain a deeper understanding of what they’re doing, and what they can do.”
The fifteen student-led workshops covered topics ranging from water purification and sustainable farming to food security.
Resilience, the ability to take on challenges and overcome obstacles to reach a goal, has become a buzzword in education circles. Studies show it has a positive influence not only on academic performance but also on social and emotional well-being.
At St. George’s School of Montreal, students at all levels will have access to classes, exercises and workshops to help them develop the five essential qualities resilient students are found to possess. They also address an alarming societal trend: the rise in anxious, stressed students.
“When I began teaching 33 years ago, it was rare to hear of a child that suffered from stress and anxiety,” said Sharon Klein, head of school. “Today, this is common; these numbers have risen dramatically.”
This article originally appeared in the Montreal Gazette on September 2, 2017
Click the image above to view a video about the Grade 1 and 2 classes' Kindness Retreat
St. George’s School of Montreal inaugurates CORE5, an innovative program to build student resiliency
St. George’s CORE5 program is unique in that was developed in-house and engaged the school’s community – students, educators, administration and professionals – in the process. Most educational institutions turn to outside experts or organizations to provide courses or programming. “Eventually CORE5 will be entirely embedded in the regular curriculum and we are naturally seeing these core skills cross over into our athletics and arts programs from kindergarten to Grade 11,” Klein said.
The first Core focuses on intrapersonal skills. Students build self-awareness, learning to identify their intrinsic characteristics and attitudes. Doing so leads to more confidence and mindful choices. Students move on to building interpersonal skills in the second Core. Through the exercises, they learn how to cultivate healthy relationships by developing qualities like empathy, respect and appreciation. Students also learn about accepting diversity and resolving conflicts appropriately. These two Cores go hand in hand, according to Hannah Hershman, associate assistant head of St. George’s Elementary School.
“The question ‘What makes me unique?’ naturally leads to ‘What makes other people special?’,” she said. In elementary school, that might involve storytelling or other exercises where children first tell about themselves, then about a friend’s individual qualities. Lessons get more involved as they progress through school. “So by the time they reach Grade 11, they hopefully are better equipped to take responsibility for their own actions,” Hershman said.
Core three is about realistic optimism, which might appear to be a contradiction. The basic lesson here is that an adaptive, strength-based approach to life leads to more constructive results. And that is important as early as elementary school, where some students experience stress in the face of certain school subjects or social situations, Hershman explained. “We find that students with an open mindset, looking at the world through a realistic yet optimistic lens, are much stronger and successful in their progress through school and life.”
Equally important is the fourth Core quality: perseverance – and for all grades. It involves more than just carrying through with an assignment or activity that might be challenging. Many students experience anxiety, either because they must deal with difficult life situations or fear they may arise. This was brought home to St. George’s high school student Sierra Bushey, 13, following a group CORE5 exercise.
“We learned to deal with our feelings and that there are strategies available to help get through difficult times, no matter what they may be,” she said. “You don’t have to give up.”
The fifth Core is, as yet, untitled but definitely relates to leadership. Klein said it will involve drawing upon the previous four Cores to work with other people toward a purpose. And it will reflect the fact that resilient students tend to engage with a world larger than themselves with meaning and purpose.
That may sound like a tall order, but Sierra Bushey is undaunted. She is looking forward to entering Grade 8 in September and to additional lessons from the CORE5 program. “I find the activities always relate to everyday life. They’re not just general or distant ideas,” she said. “And you get to practise what you learn in different situations and think about how you can help other people, too.”
As innovative as this new program is, Klein said its origins lie in the school’s founding principles. Since 1930, it has been dedicated to providing a progressive education for students, which includes self-discovery and acquiring a life-skills toolkit. “So we’re living our own core values,” she said. “In the beginning, it was radical; now it is universally accepted as valuable for all students.”
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.
November 4 and 5, 2017
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 an opportunity to come together and celebrate the great people of St. George’s.
Our second annual Tribute Dinner was the highlight of last year's Homecoming Weekend.
An Annual Gathering
Click here to find out about the many sponsorship opportunities available!
Second Annual Tribute Dinner
and Julian Stamboulieh
Pictured from left to right:
Tom Daly (’77), Award of Distinction;
Laurie Shapiro, Community Champion;
Lee Haberkorn (’02), Alumnus of the Year;
Beatrice Lewis, Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning;
Aaron Stamboulieh (’98), Outstanding Staff Member;
Max Shein (’13), Young Alumnus of the Year;
John Nathaniel Gertler (’18), Outstanding Student.
Tribute Dinner photography by
Join us at our next
Saturday, November 3, 2018.
Sunday, November 4, 2018.
Nominate those who
you think should be
recognized at our
upcoming Tribute Dinner.
Second Annual Gilbert Plaw Memorial Basketball Tournament
Please contact Patricia Lavoie at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on Homecoming Weekend or if you would like to be part of the Tribute Dinner Organizing Committee.
Homecoming festivities continued on Sunday with the Gilbert Plaw Memorial Basketball Tournament. Alumni, faculty, staff and current students got together on the
court and in the stands for a competitive and fun game.
Mr. Plaw would have been proud of this crew!
John Dore with Sara Plaw (’89) and Avery Plaw ('85)
Watch the video to see for yourself!
Click the image above to view a video about the Alumni Mentorship Meet-Ups
This year’s calendar of events from the office of Alumni Relations included a unique new opportunity for St. George’s grads to get involved with student life. On an afternoon in February, past grads were invited to catch up with former classmates, teachers, and administrators. After lunch, the group convened in the gym for “speed mentoring” - an opportunity for Grade 11 students to chat with at least a dozen alumni about where their diverse career paths have taken them in the years since they were in Grade 11 and anxiously anticipating graduation day themselves. The event was an enormous success.
It certainly didn’t take long to get in a “New York State of Mind” as alumni gathered at the lovely home
of our most generous host Stephanie Astic ’86 on Thursday, April 12th. What made the night even more special was the presence of past faculty member, John Dore and Head of School Emeritus, Jim Officer. The room was filled with hugs, laughter and warm conversation throughout the evening.
Those who stayed until the end of the evening can agree that the impromptu visit to the Kashkaval Garden for the ‘after party’ was the cherry on top of a spectacular reunion. Thank you to our restaurant hosts Corey Samuels ’91 and Daniel Assaf ’91.
Our sincere appreciation to all who attended. We can’t wait to return!
East Coast Alumni Reunion in New York City!
We may live on different continents but the Atlantic is no match for the bonds and friendships formed at St. George’s School.
Those present were treated to a lovely evening on the gorgeous terrace of our host, Annette Hurum ’73, on Saturday, April 28th. Thank you, Annette, for opening your home to us. The food was delicious, the weather was spectacular and the conversation flowed as easily as the wine. To quote Anouk Mukherjee ’88:
“You can talk way into the night about everything from the school’s new logo to where we liked to ‘hang out’ in the building. It’s like meeting old friends and sharing memories of the common bond which is that special place we call St. G’s.”
We are very grateful to all who made the effort to join us in Roma.
Stay tuned to find out where we will go next!
European Reunion in Roma !
On Saturday, November 25, 2017 members from the Class of 1987 reunited at Hurley’s Irish Pub for their 30th Year Reunion. In addition to local alums, there were alumni from Los Angeles, Florida and Atlanta present as well as several former faculty members. Thank you to Julian Hung for organizing this reunion and for his continued support of alumni relations at the school.
Class of 1987
Getting Back Together
Join us at one of our upcoming Alumni Events.
On Saturday, May 19th, members of the Class of 1978 celebrated their 40th Anniversary Reunion at the Lord William Pub. A huge thank you to Richard Bercuvitz for getting everyone together on this milestone occasion.
Check the Alumni Reunions page on our website.
Class of 1978
Is your class having a reunion this year?
How to Organize a St. George's Reunion
Over 40 St. Georgians attended Pub Night on Wednesday, June 6, 2018! Thanks to all alumni and faculty/staff members who came out to catch up and reminisce. Alumni Pub Night is always super fun!
Alumni Pub Night 2018
Grade 11 Barbecue with
members of the Class of 2017
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 email@example.com.
The Class of 2017 joined us as we celebrated our Grade 11's, our newest St. George's alumni. Here's to the Class of 2018!
JC Sulzenko ('64)
Poetry and grand-parenting agree with me!
My life has become a triangular commute between home base (Ottawa), Toronto (where both our son and daughter live and where our daughter just gave birth to our second grandson!) and Prince Edward County, where I sit on the Board of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (www.peptbo.ca.) My husband, Andrei, hopes the winter will not have done damage to his ‘vanity’ vineyard in the County!
In November 2017, Point Petre Publishing brought out my first, full poetry collection, South Shore Suite…POEMS. Now I am working on a collaborative poetry manuscript with Carol A. Stephen, with whom I published two chapbooks, Breathing Mutable Air and Slant of Light. Check out my website for further info. and to meet my alter ego, A.Garnett Weiss, whose centos have won a few prizes.
Rob Lennard ('78)
Rob is pleased to share that he received
The Governor General of Canada Sovereign Medal last fall from the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. He is enjoying his new roles as a judge for the Governor General of Canada's History Award and Program Creator/Coordinator of The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Social Studies Education Student Award, in which six universities in Alberta are participating this year.
Robert Ballantyne ('61)
I was a producer for 10 years of the Planetarium shows in Montreal, Toronto, and 10 years as director of the Planetarium in Winnipeg, a director of communications for a museum, one year as Interim CEO of the Marmot Recovery Foundation, and now a consultant mainly to non-profit organizations. When I can, I hike or telemark ski in BC's spectacular back country.
I'd love to hear from any of the folks who shared my time at St. G’s.
Peter Gabor ('67)
Peter A. Gabor, Architect’s office has gotten several international projects, including:
• A Ski Resort in Chile
• A large new city masterplan and architecture
project in Chile
• A large new Resort in St Petersburg District in
• A large complex of high rise residential buildings in
• A road project for a mine in Indonesia
He will be rebuilding his firm and will need new employees – from junior to senior architects and planners.
Paula Wedge ('77)
After earning my Master of Laws degree concentrating in Elder Law, I opted to take early retirement from my Senior position with the Nova Scotia Government in 2015. In late 2016,
I formed Wedge Mediation Services, which focuses on providing mediation services to the elderly and their families dealing with adult family decisions such as estate planning, powers of attorney, elder abuse and end-of-life issues, etc. Estate disputes are also dealt with.
To enhance my mediation skills, in June 2017,
I completed my Certificate in Mediating Disputes at the Harvard Negotiation Institute of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. It is my hope to return to Harvard next year for advanced courses.
In my spare time, I am very involved with CARP (formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons), Nova Scotia Chapter Board and serve as Chair of the Health Advocacy Committee.
St. George's Alumni
Jodi Tkatch ('87)
I live in Montreal and have been married for 19 years. I have two lovely daughters (17 and 14). My degree in Psychology led me to become one of the first female behaviour modification agents at the Douglas Hospital where I work with aggressive adults with intellectual disabilities and dual diagnoses. I have been there for 24 years. I have also become a personal trainer and health and weight loss specialist (American College of Sports Medicine and Canfit Pro NWS).
Erik Stamboulieh ('02)
While in Boston on Saturday, February 17,
Erik Stamboulieh proposed to Diana Marmur and she said yes!
Congratulations to the
Matthew Smiley ('99)
Things are moving along rather well here in Los Angeles. I'm in the midst of preparing for The Other Art Fair by Saatchi Art in Brooklyn this upcoming May, along with a charity fundraiser in Cannes. I recently exhibited at the Waco Wearable Art Gala honoring Beyonce and Jay-Z's mother, Gloria Carter.
Paul Graif ('87)
On April 19, 2018, Paul Graif married Melanie Ryan in Keene, New Hampshire.
Congratulations to the
Sarah Leblanc ('03)
I am performer, dancer, and entertainer, kind of by accident.
I suffered a prolonged, serious depression which had reached it's apex by summer 2017 and I rediscovered painting as a way to improve myself and my mental health, in addition to appropriate and supervised medical treatment.
I am a high impact large format action painter that works predominantly with acrylic. I broadcast the whole painting process live at www.twitch.tv/SaRRRaaaRgh and hope to make my artistic endeavours my main source of income within a few years. Every time someone does something cool, they get "Two Claps", so thank you,
Naomi Adams ('06)
Naomi recently got engaged to Kristoff Duxbury. Here's a photo of the engagement that took place in Ethiopia! Congratulations to the happy couple.
Aidan Nulman ('05)
I'm actually working on a new venture, and am about to launch a free 6 week online cooking course, to help beginner + novice home cooks level up so they can impress mom with a 3-course gourmet meal for Mother's Day.
Ghislaine Bourbonnais Phoenix
St. George’s School recently lost a treasured member of its community with the passing of Ghislaine Phoenix on May 15, 2018.
Mme Phoenix was hired in 1971 to teach Kindergarten and moved on to become Elementary School Vice Principal retiring in 1986.
Our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time.
Samuel Kasirer-Smibert ('10)
Recently, my work has been published in T600 journal based in Toronto, as well as my next solo painting show coming up in 2018 at La Recreation. These are photos of my work on display in New York City at Van Der Plas Gallery from January.
John Plant, Retired Elementary Music Teacher
Dominic Desautels, principal clarinet of Symphony Nova Scotia and acting principal clarinet with the Canadian Opera Company, did me the honour of commissioning a sonata for clarinet and piano. I decided that the sonata would be a sort of homage to Ursula Le Guin, whose novels have been a source of inspiration and wonder to me ever since I first discovered her 'A Wizard of Earthsea' over forty years ago. My Earthsea Sonata had its premiere performance here in Halifax last November, with Dominic and pianist Tina Chong, a splendid musician from San Diego. I had written to Ursula Le Guin to tell her of my intention to write this work; she kindly expressed great interest and requested a recording of the premiere. Shortly after I mailed her the CD, I received news of her passing. In addition to the loss of this great writer, I was sad to think that she had never been able to hear the sonata. But two days later I received a handwritten card from her in the mail, written just days before her death. It said: 'Dear John Plant, Thank you for the recording of your Earthsea Sonata. - The music is beautiful, and the performance is stunning. It's a treasure.... Many thanks for your music - may you keep making it." You can imagine how moved I was to know that she had heard the Sonata during her last days on earth, and that it brought her pleasure.
My current project is a work commissioned by the wonderful Montreal percussionist Marie Josée Simard, for her to perform with the superb pianist Louise Bessette: Echoes of the Odyssey, for percussion and piano. So far I have released Odysseus from his captivity by Calypso, shipwrecked him, and brought him face to face with the Cyclops.
St. George's Former Faculty & Staff
For information on classmates, alumni reunions, school events and great photos, like our Alumni Facebook Page and join our LinkedIn Group.
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
Attends school events, reunions and meetings
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!
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
Jasper Billig ('19)
Co-Chair of the Student Leadership Team
Claudia Lighter ('19)
Co-Chair of the Student Leadership Team
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Lasting Legacy
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, Patricia Lavoie,
Editors: Donna Boyd, Rebecca Riordon
Design: Victoria Dobbin
Cover & Back Cover Image:
Photos: Donna Boyd, Luisa De Armas, Victoria Dobbin, Patricia Lavoie, Rebecca Riordon, St. George’s School of Montreal, plus those submitted by our community!