Get to Know Your Prefects: Hannah J. ’16

Hannah is a boarding student from Arizona. She is a GEast Croc and on the hockey team. She is also taking the International Baccalaureate Programme.

  1. Why did you choose Ridley?Hannah

I chose Ridley because after looking into a lot of other boarding schools I found that Ridley focused on all of the things that are important to me. Ridley is not only concerned about academics and grades, but also values athletics and co-curricular activities.

  1. Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

Truthfully I was not fully prepared coming to Ridley mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know anyone and had never lived on my own before, but once I got here I was immediately welcomed and didn’t feel out of place at all.

  1. What are your plans after graduation?

I hope to continue my schooling in order to pursue my career goal of working in the medical field.

  1. What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge so far has been leaving home for a year. I was always so close with my family and leaving them was a very difficult thing for me to do. I also had a tough time balancing my time between school and sports. The IB program is very demanding as is being on the hockey team, so at times it was tough to get everything done while still having some time with friends.

hockey

  1. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

Besides becoming a Prefect, my greatest accomplishment at Ridley was becoming the person I am today. I came to this school last year very shy and reserved, but now after just spending one year here my confidence and maturity have increased more than I could ever have expected.

  1. How has Ridley prepared you for your future?

Ridley has allowed me to learn how to best manage my time. You never have a boring day here; you are always doing something, whether you are in class or at sport you are always busy and there is always something to do. This has taught me how to make the most of the time I have and learn how to get everything done when it needs to be.

  1. Who is your favorite faculty member and why?

My favorite faculty member would be my Head of House, Mrs. McCourt. She makes sure she is always around and there for you when you need her, and is like a second mother to every girl in our house.

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  1. What has been your favorite Ridley experience and your favourite part of Ridley?

My favourite part of Ridley would be being able to play on the hockey team. I was nervous coming into this year not knowing anyone, but being on this team allowed for me to make some great, long lasting friendships. I went from not knowing anyone to feeling like I’ve known these girls for years over the course of only a few weeks.

  1. What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

Get involved. Coming into a new school can be very overwhelming, but once you try new things and put yourself out there you will realize how accepting everyone here is.

Ridleians of Distinction: Thomas ‘Tawgs’ Salter ’94

It’s Wednesday which means we are celebrating our alumni! Today we are featuring Thomas ‘Tawgs’ Salter from the class of 1994. It’s no secret that we have some pretty talented musicians who currently attend Ridley and also who have gone on to do some amazing things in the music industry once they have left the Ridley gates – Salter is no exception! Read on to learn more about today’s Ridleian of Distinction:

‘Tawgs’ Salter is a Canadian musician, songwriter, producer and recording engineer. His Ridley College alumnus Thomas 'Tawgs' Salterextensive body of musical work includes a vast array of artists ranging from Josh Groban, Lights and Lenka to Chantal Kreviazuk, Fefe Dobson, Midway State and USS. Salter has also worked alongside Grammy-winning writer/producer Walter Afanasieff, Salter’s music, production and collaborations have been featured on numerous television shows, including Vampire DiariesGrey’s AnatomyAmerican Idol and The Simpsons – as well as films. Salter’s writing and production of the soaring pop ballad You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up), Josh Groban’s first single from his multi-platinum selling third studio album Awake, reached #9 on the Adult Contemporary Billboard chart. The song was sung by Lisa Simpson on the television show The Simpsons.

On December 15, 2009, Canadian singer-songwriter LIGHTS was acknowledged with two No.1 song awards by SOCAN, alongside writing partner Salter, who helped her pen her smash hits Drive My Soul and SaviourDrive My Soul reached the top spot on MuchMusic Countdown on January 8, 2009. In 2012, Salter produced Drive, the debut song of American actor and singer Cheyenne Jackson.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Top Ten St. Catharines Hot Spots for Ridleians

Ridley College is located in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. It is a beautiful city with lots to explore. As a former Ridley College day student, our summer student Liz has an insiders view on the top ten places to hang out in St. Catharines- enjoy getting to know the city!

  1. Pen Centre

The Pen Centre is the largest mall in the Niagara region and is about a 10 minute drive away from Ridley. It has 180 different stores and services – everything from American Eagle to HMV to L’Attitudes Salon. There’s also a food court and movie theatre (Landmark Cinemas) in the Pen Centre. Since it’s such a popular weekend destination for Ridley students, the school sends a movie/Pen Centre shuttle bus on Saturday evenings.

Ridley College independent school in St. Catharines
Shopping at the Pen Centre
  1. Mahtay Cafe

Located on St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines, Mahtay Cafe is a great place to grab a coffee or bite to eat and relax with friends. It offers organic, fair-trade coffee and tea as well as vegan and gluten free options. In addition to its gallery featuring local artists, Mahtay often hosts local bands and other performers in the afternoons and evenings, making it a dynamic destination for the St. Catharines community.

Mahtay Cafe in St. Catharines - Ridley College boarding school top ten places in St. Catharines
Mahtay Cafe
  1. Beechwood Doughnuts

Beechwoods Doughnuts is a relatively new business to the St. Catharines area but has already proved to be a hit with students and staff alike. They serve a variety of fresh, tasty doughnuts – from the standard glazed and cinnamon sugar to more unique flavours like strawberry basil and samoa. Every doughnut is so decadent that it’s hard to believe they’re vegan!

Ridley College boarding school
Doughnuts – need we say more?
  1. Wind Sushi

Another downtown hot spot, Wind Sushi is a Japanese and Thai restaurant and a popular choice for Ridley students to enjoy a nice dinner. It features take-out a la carte options in addition to the dine-in all-you-can-eat menu. There are tons of options for vegetarians and the place is always buzzing with happy diners.

Liz ordering sushi on an iPad
Liz ordering sushi on an iPad
  1. Port Dalhousie

Port Dalhousie is a historic community in the north end of St. Catharines, about a 10 minute drive away from Ridley. The city’s most popular beach is located in Port at Lakeside Park, which also includes a marina and a beautiful antique carousel that is still only 5 cents a ride. Port is also home to Martindale Pond, the renowned Royal Canadian Henley Regatta course. Rowers will become very familiar with Henley Island, the location of the boathouse, and Ridley spectators will also enjoy watching races from the grandstands on Main Street.

Port Dalhousie Marina
Port Dalhousie Marina
  1. Fourth Avenue Plaza

The Fourth Avenue Plaza is the closest major shopping centre to Ridley. Since it’s within easy walking distance from campus, the shops at Fourth Avenue and Martindale are frequent after school destinations for Ridley students. This area has several large multi-purpose stores including Walmart, the Superstore, Canadian Tire, Homesense, Best Buy and Dollar Tree as well as specialty stores like Hallmark, Ardene, Outdoor’s Oriented, and EB Games. There are also a number of coffee shops and restaurants in the plaza such as Tim Horton’s (a Canadian classic!), Starbucks, and McDonald’s.

Liz at the Great Canadian Superstore trying on some Joe Fresh sunglasses
Liz at the Great Canadian Superstore trying on some Joe Fresh sunglasses
Ridley College starbucks
Liz holding a Canadian mug at Starbucks
Tim Hortons
Liz getting ready to order at Tim Horton’s – a Canadian staple – try a Timbit!
  1. IceDogs

The newly-built Meridian Centre arena downtown is home to our local Ontario Hockey League (OHL) team, the Niagara IceDogs. Tickets are around $15 and the team plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (and some Sunday afternoons) from September to March. Taking in an IceDogs game is a fun way for Ridley students to relax and unwind at the end of the week.

Meridian Centre2
The Meridian Centre – home of the Ice Dogs
  1. St. Catharines Market

Another unique and interesting downtown destination is the St. Catharines Market. In addition to high-quality local produce, shoppers will find baked goods and fresh bread, European meats, seafood, chicken, beef, Lebanese and Mexican foods, honey, fresh cut and potted flowers, gourmet spices, homemade jams, preserves and jewelry. It’s open year round on Saturdays (as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays) from 6am to 2pm, making it a great place for Ridley students to grab lunch and shop around when they have some free time on the weekend.

St Catharines Market
Liz checking out the freshly picked cherries at the St. Catharines Market
  1. Garden City Productions

Garden City productions is the longest running, non-profit community theatre organization in Niagara and we’re lucky to host their musical productions right here at Ridley! GCP uses the Mandeville Theatre in the Second Century Building to present their shows, and tickets are only $5 for high school students. For any Ridleian interested in theatre, GCP productions are an excellent way to enjoy a show without even leaving campus.

Garden City Productions 'Annie' at Ridley College Mandeville Theatre
Garden City Productions ‘Annie’ at Ridley College Mandeville Theatre
  1. Frescos

Another great place to eat within walking distance of Ridley is Frescos, a local restaurant featuring a variety of European food. There’s something for everyone, so it’s a popular destination for boarders to bring their families for a meal when they come to visit. Additionally, Ridley houses, sports teams, and the cast and crew from dramatic productions will often hold celebratory dinners at Frescos.

Ridley College is a co-ed boarding and day school for students in JK to Grade 12. Since 1889, Ridley has shaped the lives and futures of students living around the globe with a strong focus on academics, arts and athletics.  Recognized as one of Canada’s premiere independent schools, Ridley offers students individualized learning, enrichment activities, university prep and the International Baccalaureate programme.  Scholastic excellence is balanced by a broad choice of athletics, pastoral care, and exploration of all the creative arts, to fully develop the potential of every student.  To learn more about Ridley College, please click here

Get to Know Your Prefects: Preston ’16

Preston is from the United States. He has been involved in a number of things at Ridley including the 125th Anniversary Committee, the choir and Habitat for Humanity trips.

1. Why did you choose Ridley?
The main reason that I chose to come to Ridley was for the IB program. I was interested in taking on the challenge and learning in a different way. I knew that Ridley was implementing the IB program so that definitely drew me to the school.

2. Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
The greatest challenge at Ridley is time management. I had a busy schedule before coming to Ridley, but it was nothing in comparison to the schedule that I have had in grades 9-11. I felt slightly unprepared for my time management but I was ready for the work and life in the dorm.

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Preston at the Ridley College school-wide 125th Birthday party

3. What are your plans after graduation? (i.e. university, college, gap year…degree of study, city you plan to live in, extracurricular pursuits)
After graduation I am interested in pursuing international relations, hopefully at the George Washington University in Washington DC. I am very interested in foreign service and non-profit work and this a great program for that. I also hope to continue to play squash while in college.

4. Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
My favourite faculty member is Mr. Martinez. Mr. Martinez chaperoned my Habitat for Humanity trip to El Salvador and we really connected. This past year he taught my IB Spanish class and it was one of my favourite classes. He is definitely a faculty member that I can go to with problems and we often have funny conversations.

Preston volunteering in El Salvador
Preston volunteering in El Salvador

5. What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
Coming to Ridley in grade nine was a difficult challenge because I missed all my friends and family. I struggled to fit in at first and had trouble making good friends. It was challenging to feel comfortable but after a few months I began to feel at home. I made many friends and succeeded in and out of the classroom.

6. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
I feel that my greatest accomplishment at Ridley thus far was turning myself from a homesick grade nine student into the person I am today. I struggled to make friends at first and all I wanted was to go home. Instead, I immersed myself in Ridley by getting involved and working hard. I have since made many great friends and had great success in my schoolwork and extracurriculars.

7. How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has taught me how to properly manage time and balance my schedule. It is very difficult to make time for everything at Ridley but that teaches us how to stay organized for college and for our future careers.

8. What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favourite part of Ridley (chapel, rowing, your house)?
My favorite part of Ridley is definitely the houses. My house, Dean’s House, has really become a home for me. The friends that I have made over the last three years have become my family. We spend so much time together it causes complete strangers to become brothers. Having my brothers in my dorm with me makes the Ridley experience unforgettable.

Preston at camp
Preston at camp

9. What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?
The most important thing that I have learned from my time at Ridley is to value every part of life. These past three years have gone by incredibly fast and it’s important to realize what a blessing it has been to be at this school. I have learned many things both in and out of the classroom and have made amazing friendships. This experience has been unforgettable and it has taught me to always remember what a blessing it has been.

10. What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
I would advise prospective students to be open-minded during their time at Ridley. Ridley gives you the opportunity to try so many new things and meet people from all over the world. This can be scary but it is important to immerse yourself in this school and get the most out of it.

Ridleians of Distinction: Josie Ho ’90

Throughout the summer, we will be profiling Ridleians of Distinction every Wednesday! Many of you may wonder what happens to our Ridley graduates when they leave the Ridley gates. We can tell you that Ridley graduates are living all over the world and are doing amazing things. We are very proud of all our Old Ridleians!

Josie Ho '90 in the American film 'Contagion'
Josie Ho ’90 in the American film ‘Contagion’

Josie Ho ’90 is from Hong Kong. She has played many roles since entering show business as a pop singer in 1994, followed by her acting debut in Victory. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in both the Golden Horse Award and Hong Kong Film Award for Purple Storm, but won her first award at the 9th Golden Bauhinia Award for Forever and Ever. In 2000, she won Best Supporting Actress again for ”Naked Ambition” in the 23rd annual Hong Kong Film Awards. Ho has also acted in American films, “Contagion” and “Open Grave.”

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

What Will My Room Look Like? What Should I Bring to Boarding School?

Hello newly enrolled students! We hope you are getting excited for September – we are looking forward to your arrival! As the summer weeks roll on we thought you might be starting to wonder what your room will look like and what you should bring for your room. Not to worry! Our summer student Liz is here to help, below you will find a video with a few tips on what you might want to bring on move-in day!

Get to Know Your Prefects: Arwyn ’16

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Arwyn volunteering in El Salvador

Arwyn is very involved in life at Ridley. She has been a member of the Ridley family since Lower School, she is part of the debating team, plays field hockey and has been a part of a two service trips with Habitat for Humanity.

1. Why did you choose Ridley?
Being as I am a local student I’ve always been aware of Ridley. I knew it was a school, that it required a uniform and I knew that the mascot was a tiger. As a 8 year old the latter was all that mattered to me. I dragged my parents out to have a tour of the school thinking I’d leave with a new stuffed animal tiger, but left with a love for the campus and Ridley itself. After that tour I began looking into all the Ridley had to offer and set my heart on accepting the challenge that Ridley would be. I wanted to push myself academically, but also as a person, to ensure I was well rounded and knowledgeable. Ridley offered challenge but also opportunity and so it was the school for me.

2. What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I’m hoping to major in International relations with a minor in history and then pursue a law degree. I’m still looking at various universities both in Canada and the United Kingdom and trying to work on narrowing down my list of choices.

3. Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
Ridley is full of wonderful teachers who care about their students and who have helped to shape the young lady I am today. However my two favourite courses have been History and English as I’ve had teachers in these courses who have not only challenged me, but have brought me joy in learning. In these subjects I’ve had three teachers that have truly pushed me to reach my full potential.. Mr. Templeman, Mr. Dunkley and Mrs. Roud have all been teachers that have had a true impact on me as a student and have allowed me to be the best I can be in these areas of study.

4. What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
Ridley, at times, becomes a balancing act between sports, school, social life, clubs, and extracurricular activities. My biggest challenge has been finding a healthy way to involve myself in as much as possible at the school without going completely insane. Ridley has so much to offer and one of the hardest things is accepting that you can’t do it all. Although Ridley really encourages involvement at some point you have to realize that one person simply can’t be in every single part of Ridley and that in itself has been a real challenge for me.

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Arwyn debating

5. What has been your favourite Ridley experience?
I’ve had a fantastic experience with Ridley’s service program. Ridley has allowed me to prepare myself for my own future through these trips. In Grade Nine I traveled to El Salvador for a Habitat for Humanity service trip with a small group of Ridleians and upon leaving I actually felt as if I had made a difference in the lives of the people we built for. These trips allow students to let go of selfishness and see how gratitude can be the greatest gift. To truly engage in service like this has allowed all of us who participated to better understand what it means to meaningfully and selflessly transform our globe. Through this opportunity I have experienced the real world and have gained some new perspectives and understandings of our place in this world and how we can further bring justice to those who most need it.

6. Favourite part of Ridley?
One of my favourite things about Ridley is the house system. I love Leonard house and I have so much spirit and pride for my house and the girls in it. This is one of my favourite aspects of Ridley as it brings us closer as a community and broadens the experience we all have here.

Leonard House Girls at Sports Day
Leonard House Girls at Sports Day

7. What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
The best advice I can give to prospective students is to join our community. It is not a choice you will ever regret. Whether you join us for 1 year or 7 like me, Ridley will change you and your life for the better. There are so many opportunities to grasp and so much to be involved in. Ridley will challenge you in ways you didn’t think possible, but at the same time will support you the whole way through, which is why it is the right school for everyone. Coming into my senior year I can honestly say I am a different and better person for coming here and I wouldn’t be the same if Ridley hadn’t been a part of my life.

Arwyn tackling versus The York House School
Arwyn tackling versus The York House School