On Friday, May 25th Ridley staff, members of the Family Guild and Board of Governor’s of Ridley College gathered to honour Jonathan and Emma Leigh. Heidi Burgess, President of the Family Guild, presented a cheque to Jonathan for $110,000 – proceeds from Hanks and other Guild programs as well as a gift for the Leighs. Artist Philip Craig was on hand to unveil his portrait of our Headmaster, much to the approval of the 270 in attendance. Mr. Leigh’s portrait will hang amongst the former Ridley Headmaster’s and Board of Governor’s portraits in the Great Hall.
In Chapel on Tuesday, Chaplain Fr. Jason A. van Veghel-Wood presented Jonathan with an image of the new Ridley Hymn Book that a group of Ridley friends organized and funded. The new hymnal contains 150 of Ridley’s favourite hymns, the school prayers, a history of the Chapel and is organized according to the cycles of the Ridley school year. One thousand copies of the book will arrive soon – it is hoped in time for Prize Day.
Today Ms. Kubu and I travelled over to the Second Century Building to join Mr. Bowen’s AP Biology class. Mr. Bowen received an interesting package yesterday, three DogFish Sharks for his class to dissect this morning.
Here are some interesting facts that I learned in AP Biology today:
1. Sharks have many compartments of muscles that all work together to allow the shark to move through the water the way it does.
2. The shark has a huge liver that contains a lot of oil which helps the shark to stay buoyant.
3. Sharks have a line of pores under their skin that helps them detect vibrations in the water.
The Ridley College school prefects have been announced for the 2012-2013 school year. If you are new to Ridley you may be asking yourself what exactly is a prefect? Before coming to Ridley I had never heard the term, so you are not alone. A prefect is a student leader who is in Grade 12 or doing a PG year. They are committed to Ridley and they subsequently uphold all its ideals and traditions. To a great extent, the Prefect group influences the atmosphere, tone and the spirit of the school. It is an honoured position. Congratulations new prefects!
Over the Victoria Day long weekend, 14 Ridley students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh program, along with four faculty from the school, spent three nights and four days camping and trail riding in the Cook State Forest and surrounding lands. Located in Western Pennsylvania in Clarion County, the area is famous for its stands of old growth forest. Cook Forest’s “Forest Cathedral” of towering white pines and hemlocks is a National Natural Landmark.
The group arrived very late Thursday night and had to pitch tents in the dark. The next morning after a breakfast heavy on bacon, the riders set out to meet their mounts and to spend the next five hours in the saddle.
The terrain was very challenging with few flat areas. The horses were very sure-footed and took care of the mostly novice riders. Everyone was stiff after that ride and we had a quiet night.
The Saturday ride was the highlight for most. We rode down and up the steep valleys in the forest, across large open meadows and forded the wide and fast moving Clarion River. The riders were warned not to look at the water while crossing and for good reason – it disoriented you. Only one rider ended up taking a swim but thankfully near the shore. We lunched beside a babbling brook and the students had a good time playing in the water, only a few soakers to report.
The Ridley students were incredible ambassadors for the school. In the campground everyone stopped to compliment the adults on the students manners and helpfulness. With prefect weather, exciting riding and good company the trip was a great success.
Our Ridley rowers travelled to Philadelphia this weekend for the Stotes Cup Regatta and to Welland for the High School Regatta. In Philly, the Senior Women’s Lightweight Double came away with a fourth place finish in their final while our Senior Men’s Eight missed out on the Gold Medal by .66 seconds.
Meanwhile in Welland, Ridley rowers came away with a gold in the Junior Men’s Single, a silver in the Senior Men’s Four, and a bronze in the Junior Women’s Coxed Four and Senior Men’s Quad at the High School Regatta.
Our Senior Men and women are now heading to Princeton to train for a week as they both prepare to meet the American crews one more time in Camden for the US Schoolboy Championships this coming weekend.
Over the course of this term Grade 10 students have been on exchange and attending schools in different countries. Currently, we have students in Scotland, Spain and Australia. We have also had students go to South Africa and Germany in the past. The students really enjoy immersing themselves in a new culture where they can learn a new language, eat the food and see the sights all while living amongst and going to school with students from the country.
Jacqueline and Corrigan are both in Spain for the term, while Shannon, Connor and Willie are in Scotland and James is in Australia.
This is Jackie on a history field trip in Spain, she is actually staying with a family that hosted her sister three years ago.
The Ridley College Track and Field team travelled to York University May 15th and 16th to compete in the CISAA Track and Field Championship Meet.
A top four finish at CISAA means an athlete advances to the Metro Regional Track and Field Meet to compete for a spot at OFSAA. Your Tigers did not disappoint. CISAA saw many of our athletes attain Personal Bests and place within the the top four spots in a number of events.
On Friday we held the May Graduation dinner. Prior to the dinner the students from the class of 2012 gathered at their housemaster’s residence for a reception where they had an opportunity to take pictures and hang out with their graduating housemates and masters on duty.
The class of 2012 came together in the Great Hall with faculty members for a delicious dinner – chicken parmesan – a favourite among the students! And for dessert what could be better than brownies with ice cream?
Mr. Park was the honoured guest speaker – an Old Ridleian, teacher and Housemaster – he had lots of words of wisdom for the graduating students.
After the dinner, the students did the traditional walk across campus to Lower School and watched an amazing fireworks display light up the sky – thanks to the McNally family. Hope you had a great night graduates!
Last night the finalists from the Grade 9 Civics classes presented their YPI: Youth Philanthropy Initiative projects. This is the second year that Ridley has participated in YPI. The Youth Philanthropy Initiative is a grant-based program where students research local, grassroots, social service organizations and compete for $5000.00 by creating presentations that aim to convince judges why their organization should receive the grant. Earlier in the term the students formed their groups, picked a local charity to research, interviewed the people who work for the organization and the people who benefit from the organization and then they made presentations to their individual class. Six groups in total were chosen as the finalists to present last night in front of parents, faculty, classmates and a representative from YPI. The groups used powerpoint, videos and persuasive speeches to encourage the judges to pick their charity. This year, the group representing The Child Advocacy Centre of Niagara was chosen to receive the $5000.00 grant. The Child Advocacy Centre is a safe place for children and youth to speak to a trained professional about allegations of abuse. All of the presentations were well thought out and conveyed the passion that the students had developed for the organization they represented. Congratulations to the finalists representing Red Roof Retreat, The RAFT, McNally House Hospice, Heart Niagara, Adolescent Support Services of Niagara and to the winning group made up of Yunlin Ji, Fiona Adams, Annie Hinan, Tamara Butera representing Child Advocacy Centre Niagara. Watch the video below to get an idea of what the presentations were like:
Cadets are a longstanding tradition at Ridley College and on Saturday we held our 105th annual Cadet Inspection. The activity teaches leadership, discipline and teamwork to the students. Cadets are the only collective activity that the whole Upper School and a portion of the Lower School participate in and the students work very hard to prepare for this special day. It is quite an accomplishment to see it all come together on Inspection day and the students should be proud of the effort they put in.
The Inspecting Officer was Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Tim Hogarth of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Regiment with Mr. George C. Hendrie ’74, Chairman of the Board.
At the end of the Inspection, the entire Ridley College Cadet Corps. sang Happy Birthday to the Commanding Officer, Shannon McNally. It was a big surprise to everyone and a great way to end the Inspection!
To view more pictures from Cadet Inspection, please click here.
Photos taken by Ms. Kubu