Top Things To Do in Niagara

In a few days, the Ridley campus will once again be abuzz. As you plan your return to St. Catharines, we prepared a list of top activities for students and parents to experience.

For Students…

  1. Catch a Sports Game
Root for the home team! Check out the basketball skills of the Niagara River Lions or cheer on the Niagara IceDogs on the rink at the Meridian Centre – only a few blocks away from Ridley!

2. Take in a Movie

Visit the Film House at the PAC or head to Landmark Cinemas to catch a flick! Grab a bag of popcorn and relax as you take in some of the newest blockbusters.

3. Go Back-to-School Shopping

Head down to the Pen Centre and check out the latest fashions for grub days.

4. Visit Downtown’s Instagram-Worthy Eateries

There is something for everyone! Beechwood Doughnuts to satisfy your sweet tooth, East Izakaya for your sushi cravings, and Mahtay Café to enjoy a warm beverage, board games and culture!

5. Visit Fourth Avenue for Shops, Dining and More

With two of St. Catharines’ favourite family-owned restaurants, Frescos and Lina Linguinis, just around the corner, you can enjoy a taste of Italy or the Mediterranean in your own backyard! Not to mention, you can stock up on snacks and back-to-school supplies at the nearby Walmart and Superstore.

For Parents…

  1. Sample Niagara’s Best
13th Street Winery, Westcott Vineyards, Mahtay Café and Ma’s all have Ridley connections! Whether you’re looking to try a famous butter tart, sample Niagara wine or enjoy a nice cup of coffee, there’s a spot for you.

2. Explore Canada’s Prettiest Town

Niagara-On-The-Lake is known for its charm, its beauty, its history – and its wine! Only a 20-minute drive from campus will bring you to this idyllic town, which attracts nearly 3.5 million tourists each year!

3. Visit the Outlet Collection

Check out Canada’s largest open-air shopping mall located conveniently off the highway in Niagara on the Lake. With over 100 stores and restaurants, Niagara’s outlet collection will satisfy any shopper!
Photo: www.outletcollectionatniagara.com

4. Take in a Show

Both the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre and the Meridian Centre are only a quick jaunt from campus, and with a robust lineup of shows, concerts and sports game, there is no shortage of things to do in St. Catharines. Looking for more culture, make sure to visit the Shaw Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake! Photo: First Ontario Performing Arts Centre

5. Visit Niagara Falls

Take your children to see one of the Natural Wonders of the World! While you’re there, make sure to leave time for a little fun on Clifton Hill.

 

 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Vincent K. ’19

Meet Vincent ’19: a Boarding student from New Haven, Conneticut. Since arriving in Grade 9, Vincent has embraced boarding life, naming it as his favourite part of the Ridley experience. He believes in giving your best effort 100 percent of the time, as this will reap huge rewards along the way. Read more about this ambitious Prefect and his eagerness to take one this new role with pride.

Why did you choose Ridley?
At first glance during my tour as a prospective student, I witnessed the broad ethnic diversity, the gorgeous campus and the organized nature of the admissions process. Most importantly, a warm feeling came over me when I walked the paths of Ridley. This feeling was as if I felt at home, that this was where I belonged. At that moment, I knew, immediately that this was the school for me.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I did not feel prepared coming to Ridley. While I was excited for what was to come, I was unsure of what to expect. I remember arriving at the gates of Ridley, thinking, “Will I fit in? Will the classes be too challenging? Will I feel homesick?”. These emotions were quickly forgotten due to the friendly faces that I was met with. My new classes also resulted in a great sense of self-realization. I had to draw upon strengths I was not aware of to better myself and develop skills that were at first dormant. After the first few weeks, I was able to adapt accordingly and became aware of my initial overreaction. In other words, I was prepared,  I just did not realize it.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
My favourite faculty member is Mrs. Roud. Not only is she an amazing as the Head of Dean’s House, but also a fantastic History teacher, caring mother and the best role-model I could have asked for. She is constantly guiding me in the correct path with her wisdom and experience. I’m not sure where I would be without her!

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
The greatest challenge that I have faced at Ridley has been balancing every aspect of my life in an organized manner. Being an active member of Ridley College results in one’s schedule to be almost entirely booked. As you can imagine, excellent time management skills are a necessity for like-minded individuals. As time progressed, I was able to perfect this skill. Although, it came along numerous obstacles to overcome. Despite this, it was a fantastic learning experience for me and I now know how to deal with similar circumstances in the future.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
The reality is that I have experienced a range of success and failure at Ridley. I know that I am not perfect. Yet, I am able to realize that I have seized every opportunity that has come into my path. Most importantly, I don’t regret a single one of them. Over the past few years, I have come to realize that it is okay to fail. Failure is key to growth. This has resulted in my time at Ridley being exceptional, as I have grown immensely as an individual. So, when I look back at my Ridley journey, I am pleased, as I feel that I have so far made my time worthwhile. I believe that this is my greatest accomplishment.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My favourite Ridley experience was with the Ridley Soccer team, when we travelled to Vancouver for the CAIS 2017 Tournament. While we were unable to win the gold medal, the close-knit bond and experience with the team was unforgettable.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life is being a member of Dean’s House. Through our ups and downs, I have had the privilege to be beside those who I consider family. These brothers of mine have supported each other in times of need, and have rejoiced in our accomplishments. While the Dean’s boys may come and go through the years, the spirit and culture nevertheless maintain.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
So far, the experience that I have had at Ridley has been phenomenal. While a great part of this is due to my willingness to challenge myself, the opportunities that Ridley has offered me have shaped me into the individual I am today. This is why I am eternally grateful to Ridley as a whole. With the support of Ridley, I am excited to do everything in my power to ensure that others will have similar experiences to mine.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
At Ridley, you are a result of your circumstances. Didn’t receive that position you applied for? Tough luck! Received a bad grade on mock exam? Too bad! The reality is your outcome is mostly a result of your actions. This is an idea that can be difficult for some to face. It definitely was for me. Yet, as time progressed, I realized that the tools needed to succeed were present the entire time. This taught be to be more self-reliant and confident in myself. Most importantly, these are qualities that I will carry for the following years to come.

What are your plans after graduation?
My plan is to attend a university in Toronto or Vancouver, such as University of Toronto or University of British Columbia with a Business major. I also plan on continuing to work as a marketing and sales assistant at Cloudsmart, a data center and hosting service, during the summer. I am currently considering playing soccer in University as it is a passion of mine. Finally, I would like to contribute to preserving the environment and raise awareness for global warming.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
Be open to new opportunities. Ridley offers you the chance to have experiences of a lifetime and you only have one chance to take it. In other words, take advantage of what is available.

Be kind. Positivity can go a long way.

Try your hardest no matter the task. Whether it’s a Chemistry test, Cadet Inspection, or a Rugby game, give it your all. You’ll never regret giving maximum effort!

Get to Know Your Prefects: Vida H. ’19

Meet Vida H. ’19: a Day student who came to Ridley in search of a diverse and global experience. Read more about how Vida plans to contribute to student engagement on campus in her new role as a Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley?
 I chose to attend Ridley because my family and I felt that it provides students with the best opportunities to excel academically, athletically and artistically, all while contributing to the development of an individual’s character through the immersion of a culturally diverse and international community. I truly believed that attending Ridley would allow me to form a global network of relationships; that belief really drove my excitement to attend Ridley in Grade 9, as someone who has lived in St. Catharines all her life.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I was pretty confident I was prepared for Ridley, from hearing stories about it since I was young – but I was wrong. In hindsight, I don’t think that there is much I could have done that would’ve prepared me for such a rigorous school system full of various commitments. While I did find it difficult at first to adapt to the schedule balancing homework, athletics, social life and others, I, like many, was eventually able to overcome such obstacles with the support of my parents, peers and teachers. In all honesty, I sometimes wake up feeling unprepared to go to school, however, it really helps to self-enforce a mentality of preparedness, which I find allows for an enriched and heightened Ridley experience.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
This is an impossible question to answer. All of the teachers have been extremely supportive and kind, and they all share one goal in ensuring each student’s success – whether it’s in the classroom, on the court or with homework in the dorms and/or tutorial. My teachers (and coaches) have all played an essential role in my growth as a student, athlete and as a person in general, upholding positivity, encouragement and endless support, while instilling a love of learning for anything and everything, for which I am very grateful for.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
My greatest challenge at Ridley was definitely transitioning into the Ridley mood and atmosphere. I came to Ridley knowing practically no one and not much about the students, etc., which was a new experience for me. I was taken by surprise with certain approaches and mentalities at this new school, which differed greatly from my previous experiences. This challenge definitely provided me with a welcomed new perspective. I am grateful for experiencing and overcoming these obstacles, with the help of my parents and teachers ,for they have allowed me to develop respect and appreciation for others for who they are, which is essentially an accomplishment in itself.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? 
I am extremely grateful for the many opportunities Ridley has provided in allowing me to excel in terms of character, academics, athletics and leadership. However, I feel that my greatest accomplishment is a personal accomplishment – overcoming my greatest challenge as mentioned above. Because it was difficult for me to adjust to Ridley, I faced many complex challenges at the time, to which I did not know the answers. As time progressed and I was able to improve my mindset and attitude, I realized that it is the biggest challenges, issues and problems I overcome that I should take pride in expressing, rather than suppress and ignore.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
I have many memorable Ridley experiences, I don’t think I can choose a favourite one. From my very first Snake Dance in Grade 9 to winning First Girls’ basketball CISAA and CAIS to receiving the Ian Wood ’53 Summer Program Language Study Scholarship to winning Co-ed Badminton CISAA and many others, I have made many memories within the scope of my personal, academic, athletic and extra-curricular accomplishments. There are so many memories that stand out to me, and perhaps I might make a new memories in the upcoming year that will stand out amongst all others!

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life is the sense of family and togetherness that all members of the community have for each other – whether it be a student, teacher, Head of House, Residential Don, or member of staff, etc. The sense of school pride and spirit at Ridley is unparalleled; I find it especially remarkable that the entire school community can be continuously divided into smaller, tighter-knit communities composed of unbreakable relationships and bonds from housemates to grades to nationalities to classrooms to roommates; it is a very heartwarming experience.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I am most excited for contributing my efforts to building Ridley towards a more student-to-student engaged community through Prefect-led initiatives, including the highly-anticipated Snake Dance, and hopefully many more. I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to working with such a dedicated and talented Prefect team in the upcoming school year as I am sure we will all do our best to fulfill our role.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Attending Ridley has provided me with an outlook on life that no other high school could have ever given me due to the unique traits of the school. The challenges that I have overcome in my time here have been eye-opening, and from my triumphs have I gained a greater appreciation for the hard work and dedication of others. In my opinion, Ridley serves as early exposure to the real world for students: in realizing the prevalence of cultural and economic disparities, in differences in opinions, in realizing the wonders of broadening global scopes, the beauty of mutual understanding, the benefits of cooperation, and the warm familial sense of community.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on attending university. Ideally, I will attend an American school to study Political Science or Business/Commerce. If not, I intend to study the same here in Canada; I aspire to pursue a career in either international relations or law. On the other hand, whatever the school or profession I pursue, I aim to continue learning about the global community. I hope to learn more languages and immerse myself in various cultures and regions, ultimately gaining a greater appreciation for them. As for the upcoming summer after graduation, I’m hoping to travel to France and possibly other European nations.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

    1. 1. Hit the ground running. If you don’t run (like myself), walk at a reasonable speed. From orientation week to the last exam, Ridley moves at an incredible speed. Life at Ridley will undoubtedly be busy and demanding as it is important that we fulfill co-curricular activity commitments and engage in our social lives, while embodying our role of students: completing night work, handing in assignments and studying for tests. I think it is important to realize that in order to not fall behind and become overwhelmed easily, immediate progress and effort at Ridley is essential.
    1. 2. Time management is really important! Though this phrase has probably been repeated too many times, it truly does apply. Speaking from experience, I find myself asking, “why can’t a day be more than 24 hours?” I often find that I simply don’t have as much time as I would like to have to accomplish what I want to when I get home – this is where efficiency comes in, which is generated by effective time management. Ridley is a great place to be when stress over schoolwork is minimized, and only through good time management can you properly embrace all the great opportunities this school provides!

Get to Know Your Prefects: Marlize V. S. ’19

Meet Marlize ’19: a Day student who has embraced a global outlook through her Ridley experiences and her exchanges abroad. A student-athlete who is involved in a variety of co-curriculars, Marlize has welcomed all that Ridley has to offer since arriving as a Grade 1 student. Read more to learn how Marlize will be applying all she has learned during her years at the school into her role as a Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley?
I started at Ridley when I was just five, which means that I didn’t really have a say in the initial decision. However, throughout my time at Ridley, there has never been never a doubt in my mind as to whether I would return the next year – the people and atmosphere are one-of-a-kind and I’m so glad my parents made the decision that they did.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I felt as prepared as a first grader could be! The friends I made during Grade 1 and those subsequent years definitely made each new venture easier to navigate and although at times you may feel extremely unprepared for the various demanding aspects of Ridley life, chances are that everyone around you is experiencing the exact same thing – just something to keep in mind.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
It’s really hard to choose just one favourite faculty member as all of them have been amazing, but three great teachers are Mr. Ronald, Ms. Covent and Ms. Thomas.

Mr. Ronald, who teaches IB Environment, and Ms. Covent, who teaches IB Biology, are two of the most dedicated teachers I’ve ever had. They consistently go above and beyond to make sure that every student feels confident with the material. Their devotion is most accurately summarized by the fact that if you ask them for help before an assessment, they would come to school after hours just to support you.

Ms. Thomas, who teaches IB Language and Literature, is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. The discussions she prompted in class made you question everything about societal construct and expectations, and she forms genuine connections with each and every one of her students. Sadly, last year was her last year at Ridley, but she continues and will always continue to do fascinating things.

What has been your greatest challenge at Ridley so far?
IB1 was a challenge unparalleled by any other I have faced at Ridley – I knew it would be hard but I didn’t entirely know what I was getting myself into. The workload and its difficulty, along with keeping up with all other aspects of Ridley life, is intense and at times overwhelming, but I strongly consider challenges to be what defines someone’s character and builds perseverance. Therefore, I try to expose myself to as many challenges as possible in hopes of coming out a better person on the other side.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My greatest accomplishment at Ridley has been receiving the Ian Wood ’53 Summer Language Scholarship. Ian Wood ’53, a former Canadian Ambassador, generously funds an annual scholarship that allows a student to travel to any country and participate in a summer program of their choosing to better their skills in a foreign language. I chose to take part in a two-week human rights internship in Cape Town, South Africa, where I hope to bring my Afrikaans skills to a level practical in a professional or occupational setting. I’m actually writing this profile from South Africa and the experience has incredible thus far!

What has been your favourite Ridley experience?
During first term in Grade 10, I hosted an exchange student from Australia named Alex, and in turn stayed with her on a three-month exchange to Sydney, Australia during second term. It was an exciting and enriching experience to attend a school on the other side of the world and observe the students’ work-ethic and culture. It was also really fun to show Alex around Ridley and Niagara – this helped me to appreciate where I lived as well. I strongly encourage everyone to apply for exchange – it’s quite daunting but won’t be regretted. Alex and I became great friends and our families will be meeting for the first time this December for a ski trip in Whistler!

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life has definitely been the sports. I’m quite competitive, so being able to play at a challenging level has been really enjoyable. Many of the teams I’ve been on have been successful and many haven’t, but the best part of the athletic life at Ridley is the time spent with my teammates. Spending time with people outside of the classroom adds another dimension to relationships that would’ve otherwise only been cultivated in an academic setting – it’s where you can forget about the stresses of school and focus on improving yourself individually and as part a team. On the field/court is where I’ve made some of my closest friends and in turn makes all other aspects of Ridley life more enjoyable.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I’m most excited to meet new people and hear their ideas! I think Prefectship is a great platform to reach a lot of people and aid in having their voices be heard. Of course, this can be done without being a Prefect, but hopefully I can make use of the position by helping to connecting the voice of the students to the administration and make students a more prominent stakeholder in decision making where possible.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has presented so many amazing opportunities that have prepared me for life after high school, from volunteer trips to leadership opportunities to creating situations out of my comfort zone. The workload and busy schedule can, as previously mentioned, be overwhelming, but is necessary in preparing Ridley students for university and work by cultivating strong moral standards and skills such as perseverance and determination. I honestly believe and have heard that Ridley students are generally more prepared than most other students when entering university in regards to time management skills, so only time will tell if that is the case for me as well!

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, if plans remain steady, I hope to undertake degrees in Law and Globalization overseas, and pursue a Masters degree afterwards, which I’m unsure of at the moment. Once I’m done, I’d like to internship and potentially work in Pretoria, where my family is from, in human rights or to help fight governmental corruption – wherever I end up, I want to have a job that is fulfilling and meaningful to me in which I can help others, no matter what the job title is.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?Take every opportunity that remotely interests you and go for it. If I hadn’t gone on service trips, I probably wouldn’t have been applying for the university courses I’m applying to, and if I hadn’t gone on exchange, I probably wouldn’t be studying overseas – these opportunities have not only changed my academic course but have made me into a more educated, aware, and well-rounded person, which applies to every aspect of life (not just academics). My point is that high school is where you find what interests you, what you enjoy, and what problems you want to solve in the world – finding that passion here is only possible when you try new things.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Tomi J. ’19

Meet Tomi ’19: a member of the Prep Boys basketball team, who grew out of his shell during his Upper School years at Ridley. Managing a full IB schedule, sports and friends, Tomi recognizes that it was consistently stepping out of his comfort zone that lead to such a positive and full Ridley experience. Read more to learn how Tomi plans on building his relationships between both students and faculty during his role as one of this year’s Prefects.

Why did you choose Ridley?
I chose Ridley because, firstly, I was looking to attend a boarding school to start gaining the independence that would be required in the future. I wanted to go somewhere where I would have to do things for myself and not rely on my parents for everything. I also wanted to go to a school that had a good balance of academics, athletics, co-curricular activities, etc. I wanted to attend a school with many opportunities for me to step outside of my comfort zone. Something that also drew me to Ridley was the fact that I would be able to interact with people from many different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, etc. I am also very grateful to my parents because they were reluctant to send me here at first but they decided to take a chance and support me in everything I do.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I felt somewhat prepared for Ridley because my old school, Sterling Hall School, helped me prepare for the rigours of high school, especially an independent school like Ridley.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
This question is very hard because there are a few faculty members at Ridley I like. But for this question there is a tie between Mrs. Roud and Dr. Des Vignes. Mrs. Roud has been my Head of House since I first entered this school and she has been like a mom to me. She has not only ensured that my house (Dean’s House) is a comfortable and positive environment, but she has also encouraged me to challenge myself and take on leadership roles that I never would’ve thought would be fit for me. She has also been encouraging to my parents as they always seem to have separation anxiety when I not at home. Dr. Des Vignes has also been involved in my school life since I was in Grade 9. I first met him when I played on the U16 basketball team, as he was the coach, and ever since then he has also been like a parent away from home. He has tremendously helped me especially in terms of balancing my academics and basketball, as I found it challenging in my first two years at this school. He has encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone in all that I do.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
My greatest challenge at Ridley has either been the transition from Grade 10 to 11 or the balancing of academics and basketball. The transition from Grade 10 to 11 was difficult as the intensity and volume of work increased tremendously as I took five IB courses and an online course as well. Balancing academics and basketball, especially in Grade 11, being a full-time member of the Prep Basketball team was challenging. My academic schedule was already intense but on top of that I also had a very busy basketball schedule as we had a lot of away games and we also travelled to the United States a couple times. It took immense concentration and self-motivation to stay on top of things and not fall behind.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My greatest accomplishment at Ridley has probably been getting through Grade 11. Firstly, the transition was difficult as I mentioned before. Secondly, I went from being on the U16 basketball team and only playing up a few games with the Prep team to becoming a full-time member, which meant an increasingly busy schedule. I also had a few things going on in my personal life. Balancing everything was like a juggling act. I was able to handle all the pressure, have the best year of basketball I’ve ever had in my life, attain an honour roll average and, as a result, became a stronger person.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My favorite experience at Ridley has been playing on the basketball team and meeting lifetime friends. Coach Tarry, Coach Bett, Coach Brad, Coach Mark and Mr. Tredway have done a good job in helping me grow as a player, which has benefitted me as I have begun to pick up interest from Division 1 schools in the U.S. thanks to all the work they put into my development. The guys on the team have also become brothers to me and I am excited to work with them in our final year together to complete some unfinished business. I have also created friends in this school that I can confidently say are lifetime friends. Friends that I am able to share my joys and pains with.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
The housing system at Ridley is my favourite part of  school life and I have been blessed enough to be part of a house that fits my extroverted personality. The boys in Dean’s have become family to me and I’ve created bonds with them that cannot be broken. Anytime I’m having a bad day, I can go back to the house after school and my mood would instantly be rejuvenated. I would not give up being in Dean’s House for anything

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I am excited to be the intermediary between the students and administration of the school. I really want to be someone that people can comfortably come to with their needs and wants and what not. I am excited to build up that relationship with the school body that will allow me to be that type of person.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has equipped me with excellent time management skills. At times I had to learn how to manage my time with my busy schedule the hard way, but it has left me wiser. I have also gained good interpersonal skills. Before I came to Ridley I was timid and somewhat scared to interact with people I didn’t really know. Now when people first meet me, they would never believe that I was like that in Grade 9. I enjoy interacting with a variety of people that come from different places. Ridley has also opened my mind to a variety of perspectives that I have never really seen before.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan to go to America to play Division 1 basketball as I have picked up interest from universities in places like New York, Connecticut, California, etc. I would like to go to a school with a good basketball program but I would also like to go to a school that has very good social science program as my ultimate goal in life is to become a lawyer.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
DO NOT WAIT. That is a mistake I made when I first got here. I waited to step out of my comfort zone, I waited a while before I started getting on top of things, I waited to take opportunities. Do not wait because if you wait, it may be too late when you decide to start stepping out of your comfort zone as some people may beat you to a certain opportunity. As soon as you step foot onto Ridley, begin your pursuit of ways to step out of your comfort zone. Be quick to take that bold step no matter how hard it may be for you. I also encourage you to have fun. Though a large portion of your life at Ridley requires a serious attitude, set some personal time for yourself as well. Whether it is going to the mall with your friends or having a fun game of futsal in the gym, down time is needed. Although many parents may argue against it, down time also helps your performance as everyone needs time to relieve stress and maintain their sanity. High school is the last few years of you have to be a “kid” before things get real so enjoy every moment of it.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Kyoko T. ’19

Meet Kyoko T. ’19: a Ridley Lifer who instantly felt welcomed into the school community upon arriving as a Grade 4 student. With an appreciation for the multicultural environment Ridley celebrates, Kyoko has expanded her horizons to studying abroad during her summer holidays. Read more about Kyoko’s open-minded nature and how she intends to get involved in school events as a Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley?
As a 9 year old, I didn’t really know what it meant to come to Ridley. My parents decided that I needed a school that would better challenge me academically and had a diverse co-curricular programme.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I wasn’t feeling unprepared, but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what Ridley life is like. Ridley is so different from my previous school, and its multicultural community is unique. It took me a little while to get a feel for the community, which was very welcoming.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
Ms. Barranca would have to be my favourite teacher at Ridley. I’ve only had her for one year in IB Film, but that class is amazing. She goes so far beyond what is required of her as a teacher, and she genuinely cares for all of her students.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
Ridley is very different from other schools, with a different approach to learning and life. It is a very multicultural school with students from many different countries. Being in the Ridley environment has challenged my thinking culturally, about myself and about how I approach problems and so on. Adjusting to a new way of thinking, and learning how to be a true Ridleian has been hard, but rewarding.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My greatest accomplishment at Ridley is winning the Ian Wood ’53 Summer Language Scholarship. I had applied twice, though I was unsuccessful the first time. I decided to take my experience from the first round of applications and do everything I could to improve, so I could achieve my goal of going overseas to study Japanese. All of my hard work paid off and the feeling was wonderful.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My favourite experience at Ridley so far was going to camp in my Grade 11 year. It was the first time I had gotten to be a cabin leader, and the experience helped me to meet more new students. I made some really great friends at camp that year, and it was a great way to start Grade 11.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
As a Prefect, I am most excited to be able to make events happen for the rest of the school. In the past, Prefects have organized activities that have raised school morale, which have been a lot of fun. I can’t wait to follow in their footsteps and try to bring a little bit of excitement to the students.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has definitely taught me how to manage my time well and set reasonable goals. Both of these skills have been useful more times than I can count, and will be an asset for my future.

What are your plans after graduation?
After Ridley, I plan to go to university, to double major in Asian Studies – history specifically – and Film.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
To any new student: there is no right or wrong way to experience Ridley. For some students, their lives will revolve around sports or academics. You should choose the opportunities and activities that you want to do, and genuinely interest you. The point of being at Ridley is to make the most of your experience, and not anyone elses.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Jordan M. ’19

Meet Jordan M ’19: a Prefect who spent his Lower School years overseas. Upon joining the Ridley community in 2014 as a Grade 8 student, Jordan completely immersed himself into a range of athletic and co-curricular activities. With a keen interest in film and digital media, Jordan continuously flexes his creativity both in and out of the classroom. Read more about Jordan here:

Why did you choose Ridley?
My parents are teachers at the school, but previously they worked overseas in the international school community. As a family, we decided we wanted to move to Canada to connect with the country my parents grew up in. When searching for private schools in Canada we fell in love with Ridley, its beautiful campus, and its vision in preparing students for the future.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
To be honest, at first I didn’t really know what I had gotten myself into as it was my first time going to school in Canada and I didn’t know what to expect. But I quickly felt welcomed into the community and it soon became my home.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
It’s hard to name just one faculty member because there are so many dedicated and caring faculty at the school that are here to support me. However, even though there is a bit of a conflict of interests, I would say my amazing parents (Ms. Anderson and Mr. Mitchell) are my favorite faculty members at the school. They are always there to support me through thick and thin and have led me through a ton of challenges.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
So far, my greatest challenge at Ridley has been doing the IB Diploma. It really makes you develop your time management skills, as well as challenges you in the classroom. With this being said, there is a great support system that has helped me through the first year of the program.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
To be honest, being a Prefect has been a great accomplishment and honour. I am proud to be recognized by my peers and members of the community as a leader, and I hope to make the most of it in the coming year.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
Although I have had a plethora of truly amazing experiences at Ridley, I would have to say that the Jacaranda service trip stands out. During spring break, in both Grades 10 and 11, I went on the trip to Malawi to help at the Jacaranda School for Orphans. It was a life-changing trip and not only did it feel amazing to be able to help the people there, but I was also able to learn a lot for myself and grow as a person.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part about Ridley is how diverse the community is. There are students from all corners of the globe and it’s amazing being able to learn and hear about these various cultures from my friends and classmates.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I’m most excited about being able to develop my leadership skills in a way that will be able to better the community around me for both me and my peers. I am really looking forward to working with the great group of fellow Prefects in a way that will hopefully create positive changes to the community, as well as promoting student life and making everyone feel welcome.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has prepared me for the future in numerous ways. To begin with, I believe the incredible education and support at the school will be great in preparing me for university programmes. I believe the values I have learned at the school are just as, if not more, important, and will prepare me to go out and make a change in the world. Whether this be the balance it has taught and well roundedness, global mindedness, acceptance, or any one of the other values that Ridley teaches on a daily basis.

What are your plans after graduation?
I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do after I graduate as there are a lot of things that I’m interested in, but as of now I think I want to do a programme that combines film/various digital media and business in a way. These are topics I’m quite interested in and I want to pursue them in the future.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
One piece of advice I would give all prospective students to Ridley is to be as involved as possible in the various clubs and activities that the school has to offer. Ridley has a wide selection of co-curricular activities to be involved in that you should try out. Whether it be something you’re experienced at, passionate about, or just curious about. For example, at first I was a little hesitant to join the Jacaranda service trip, however it ended up being one of my favourite experiences at Ridley and in my life in general.