Category Archives: Awards

Old Ridleian Begins Post-Secondary Journey as a Loran Scholar

Photo by Humans of St. Catharines
Photo by Humans of St. Catharines

In February of 2016, Ridley was proud to announce that Grace
Lowes, from the Class of 2016, was awarded the prestigious Loran Scholarship, that each year, only 30 individuals
receive. The scholarship includes a renewable undergraduate scholarship, valued up to $100,000, for the duration of the recipients’ four years of post-secondary education. Inaddition to the monetary support, these scholars receive the opportunity to intern abroad for three summers, receive residency support and are connected with a mentor for the duration of their educations.

During her time at Ridley, Grace was an active member of the Ridley community. She co-founded the Model U.N. group, formed a Days for Girls charitable activity on campus, joined clubs such as the Syrian Refugee Club and Positive Spaces Group, and helped lead the school, during her final year, as a Prefect. When we sat down with Grace last year, she expressed a profound feeling of gratitude when asked how receiving the scholarship felt.

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“With the Loran Scholarship and with Ridley, I’ve had so many opportunities to be educated at the highest prestige and it’s just such an amazing privilege and it is something I will never take for granted.”

Grace graduated in May, and has since spent her summer preparing for the start of her post-secondary education. As part of her Loran Scholarship, Grace had the opportunity to partake in a Loran Scholars Foundation retreat, that would provide opportunity to strengthen her leadership and team-building skills before her first year of university. The retreat began with a canoe excursion through Algonquin Park with other scholars.

“It was extremely outside of my comfort zone, but was an amazing opportunity to meet some of the students that had also been awarded the scholarship. It was also an extremely physically and mentally challenging trip for myself. During the canoe trip I had to spend a 24-hour period completely alone in the woods, equipped with only a handful of granola, a sleeping bag and a tarp. This was a highlight of my trip. I found it to be an extremely valuable time to reflect and be thoughtful.”

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The second portion of the retreat took place in Guelph, Ontario. Scholars like Grace – who were just beginning their post-secondary journeys – were able to meet with those who were in different stages of their four-year scholarships. This gave Grace the opportunity to converse with likeminded individuals and see what her future as a Loran Scholar might have in store.

Her biggest takeaway from the retreat was the advice she received about the importance of gratitude.

“Everyone advised me that during the school year things will be hard, they will be overwhelming and that I will likely feel stressed, but to remember what a privilege it is to be educated and even more so what a privilege it is to be educated without fear of financial hurdles. I thought this is great advice. Being thankful and appreciative all the time is so important.”

This September, Grace begins her post-secondary journey at McGill University, where she will study politics and philosophy. Grace says she is most looking forward to getting back in touch with some of her favourite things – like writing and playing music. With the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is the Loran Scholarship, Grace will also have the chance to explore some of her passions in the coming summers. The Loran Scholarship allows each scholar to spend three summers on paid internships, all over the world. We look forward to seeing where Grace goes; on both her internship, and her future.

Grace has spent her summer immersed in gratitude and has been reflecting about past, present and future opportunities. To the students who are just beginning their Ridley journeys, Grace says this:

“I would give the same advice as what I received. Being educated at Ridley is a luxury. Don’t forget that. Soak in everything you learn and take advantage of every opportunity you are given and be grateful for all of those things. Always say thank you, not just with your words but also with your actions.”

Good luck to Grace at McGill and good luck to the Class of 2016 as they too begin their post-secondary journeys.

 

Ridleian Competes at Canada-Wide Science Fair

“Don’t worry about what people will say. Just trust your instincts and do what you’re passionate about.”

– Syni Solanki ‘21

Ridley ensures that our students have ample opportunities to pursue their passions, develop grit, overcome challenges and build foundations for flourishing lives. Our school’s curriculum provides students with the ability to pursue their passions, while participating in an enriching learning experience. Projects like the Community Action Project and the PYP Exhibition, allow students to choose what area they’d like to focus on, thus giving them to opportunity to align their passions with their academic courses. This freedom to choose evokes curiosity in each student and they develop a desire to learn.

In January of this year, the Grade 7 students fused their passion with science at Ridley’s annual Lower School Science Fair. These students spent months gathering research, conducting experiments, and discovering answers to their own questions. One student in particular, Syni Solanki ’21, set out to discover a cheap and efficient way to desalinate water, which is the process of removing minerals from salt water, leaving fresh water behind.

“Water is everywhere, but is it fresh? One-third of the world’s population does not have access to clean drinking water, so I attempted to find a cheap and efficient method to bring fresh water to everyone in the world.”

– Syni Solanki ‘21

After being inspired by two news programmes – one on graphene (which is a carbon based material) and the other on water scarcity –  Syni saw a possible connection between graphene and the desalination process.  After extensive research, Syni discovered that graphene can in fact desalinate water, and it can be done using an efficient and cost-friendly method. She found that by creating a reusable graphene sand mesh, she could remove minerals from salt water.

On January 29th, Syni presented her experiment at Ridley’s annual Lower School Science Fair. Members of the Ridley community were impressed by Syni’s theory, and she was awarded First Place, but her scientific journey did not end there.

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Along with four of her classmates, Syni then competed in the Niagara Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NRSEF). The NRSEF is an annual event, where young students from the Niagara region can demonstrate their scientific theories in a stimulating environment. Syni confidently displayed her findings, as local scientists, business professionals and engineers quizzed her on her research. During the NRSEF Awards Ceremony, Syni was awarded the Brock University Chemistry Award, The Waldie Fast Memorial Trophy and placed second in the Junior age category.

Photo courtesy of http://www.niagarasciencefair.org/wp/
Photo courtesy of http://www.niagarasciencefair.org/wp/

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Due to Syni’s impressive project and her results in the Junior age category, she was asked to represent Niagara in the Canada-Wide Science Fair. This science fair celebrates Canada’s brightest young minds, featuring participants from across the country. This year, a total of 415 students travelled to Montreal, Quebec for the 2016 Canada-Wide Science Fair, being held at McGill University. The six-day event included more than just a gallery walk displaying Canada’s brightest scientists, but guests and participants could also attend keynote speakers, demonstrations and learn about the impressive research being done by the University.

Up against 162 participants in her category, Syni confidently displayed her work and earned the Bronze medal and a $1000 entrance scholarship to Western University – a truly astonishing accomplishment.

Congratulations to Syni! It is clear that with such dedication, passion and talent, Syni will flourish during her education and beyond.

Read the Niagara This Week article. 

Student design competition produces the newest Ridley accessory

For more than 125 years, Ridleians have displayed their love for our school by wearing items with official embroidered insignia. Whether for music, arts, academics or even the Houses of Ridley (that many come to call ‘home’), a number of motifs have been designed and sported over the years to honour these facets of our school’s culture.

In the fall of 2015, Board of Governors member, Mr. David Carter ‘88, decided that the Board should also sport a custom necktie and scarf of its own. Ridley’s Board of Governors, made up of 14 dedicated members, who ensure that our school continues to grow and flourish, has become an invaluable addition to the Ridley community and thus, were well deserving of this dedicated accessory.

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The 2015-2016 Board of Governors

Mr. David Carter requested that a tie and scarf be designed by a current student and that the ultimate pattern only be recognizable and understood by Ridleians. The top three students competed for a chance to make history – with the winning design being made into a tie and a scarf to be worn by the members of the Board– and were also vying for a monetary prize.

This was not only an opportunity for the Board to collaborate with the students, but also a chance for the students to express their creativity. A process such as this one required research, traditional art skills, the use of computer design software and of course, a connection to Ridley and the community.

Fifty students submitted their drawings that symbolically represented life at Ridley College. Of those 50 designs, three were chosen as finalists by Mr. David Carter along with Board Chair, Ms. Georgina Black and Headmaster, Ed Kidd. The designers of these three patterns were brought on stage during assembly to be recognized in front of their peers by Headmaster Kidd.

As each design was projected onto the big screen in the Mandeville Theatre, it was clear that each member of the audience felt a connection to the images and that these three judges had selected designs that truly evoked a sense of pride.

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In third place was Sarah Wang ‘18, with her design depicting the Marriott Gates, an iconic landmark of Ridley College. Sarah explained, “I wanted to draw something that would represent Ridley in the most simple way. The gate may not be the most obvious structure that shows the Ridley campus, but a gate indirectly suggests direction for the future and the welcoming nature of Ridley.”

In second place was Paddy Yang ‘18, with his design depicting a roaring tiger. Paddy says, “You can see the tiger was howling. It shows our bravery. I would like to say thank you to my teacher, Mr. Campbell, I couldn’t have done this without him. He helped me a lot and during the process he gave me many useful suggestions.”

The winner of the Board of Governors insignia design competition was Callum Campbell ‘18. His tie and scarf design depicted the archway that leads into Upper School, “because these gates are so iconic to Ridley, I wanted to do them justice.” – Callum Campbell

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Callum’s winning design will be used on the Board of Governors tie and scarf, being produced in September of 2016. Congratulations to all the participants, with special congratulations to our top three designers.

And the Cappie Goes to…..

It’s the Tony Awards for high school productions. Last night, Ridley drama students participated in the Cappies Niagara awards gala recognizing excellence in drama and theatre criticism.

cappies1Not only was Ridley nominated for 20 awards, but we also came home with 7 wins!  On top of that, each cast performed a scene for the awards ceremony and deserves equal congratulations for their outstanding performances.

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Congratulations to the Cappies award winners:

Special Effects or Technology: Mary Sword – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Ensemble in a Play: Camp Girls – Ascension Day

Featured Actress in a Musical: Gracie Lowes – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Comic Actor in a Musical: Noel Cousins – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Supporting Actress in a Play: Cassandra Mitchell – Ascension Day

Lead Actress in a Play: Kate Wilson – Ascension Day

Best Play: Ascension Day

 

VEX Robotics – World Championships

Ridley’s three teams competed at the VEX Robotics World Championship against some amazing machines from 29 countries, the strongest teams coming from the US, China and New Zealand. From Niagara teams, Ridley’s 1509Z team was the only one selected for the elimination rounds and lost in the semi finals.

The ability to process clearly under pressure, and to demonstrate grit when hope was fading was a trait each student on the team faced and attempted to overcome. Team 1509 (Ray Gao, Nina Haag, Daniel Marcos, Elias Ancer, Javan Graham, Antonio Aspite) had the most challenging problem, finding a shorted wire buried in a metal sleeve, fixing the problem and getting back on field within an hour (for a win). On another occasion, Nina rebuilt the secondary lift between matches.

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1509E (James Gross, Heather Curtis, Ryan Schmidt, Will Cowherd, Jonah Rubin, Willem van Sittert) had the least confusing mechanical problems of any team but still managed to break motors and was forced to adjust the machine after the abuse it received during each match.

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Special thanks to Ava O’Toole. She made sure we made it to matches, that batteries were ready and charged, kept the hundreds of parts in order and kept us all amused (or tried to) when the pressure was highest.

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1509Z (Padraic Odesse, Dane Sisinni, Andy Li, Anakin Li, Nikita Bryliov, William Wang) faced the greatest adversity, shredding gears in motors, rebuilding their main lift late into Thursday evening, suffering from pneumatics failure and overcoming the demoralizing reality of a triple loss on the first day. Like all other teams, they battled through adversity and posted a winning record in their 7 remaining matches and made it to the semi-finals of the Math division.

Every year the bar is raised in terms of competition. Just getting to worlds has now become such a challenge. Our three teams represented Ridley well before a world audience.

Special thanks to all who helped make this venture possible; from parents who sacrificed time and money to support us, Chartwells, security, admin, accounting for arranging payments and financing, and for all the support from fellow students and staff at Ridley for our teams. Special thanks to my co-mentor Scott McCambley. His effort and passion for our teams is unwavering.

P.S. We even managed to find a former team member.

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OR Igal Flegmann ’13 and Mr. Reimer

 

Written By Robotics Coach Rodney Reimer

Senior Public Speaking Competition

This week we held the annual senior public speaking competition at Ridley.  As a longstanding tradition at Ridley, the public speaking awards are much sought after prizes. There are three categories for the public speaking contest: Junior, English as a Second Language and Senior.  Thank you to David Willmot and Greg Thompson from the Class of 1968, and teacher Mr. Spencer Martin for judging the public speaking competition as well as Tim Griffin ’68 for his support. These members of the class of 1968 along with Chris Carter ’68 and Brian Iggulden ’67 have been instrumental in creating a fund to promote the Speaking Arts named after ‘W. Darcy McKeough ’51.’ Please view the speeches below:

Our Senior division Dr. W.H. Merritt Memorial Prize Winner is Kaliene Jackson:

The Senior division runner-up Honorable Mr. Justice A. Courtney Kingstone Award winner was Aidan Robertson:

The ESL Thomas Kwok Award winner was David Xiaochen Xue. This is a very special award started by an Old Ridleian, Thomas Kwok ’10 who was an English as a Second Language student.  Thomas competed in the public speaking competition when he was a student and thought there should be a special category for ESL students who had the courage to compete.

The Junior Division Family Guild Award winner was Monica Morcous:

Rowing Coach Nancy Storrs Awarded Female Coach of the Year by Rowing Canada

StorrsNRidley College Rowing Coach Ms. Nancy Storrs was recently awarded Female Rowing Coach of the Year by Rowing Canada.  Storrs has been coaching at Ridley for 31 years.  As a rower herself Nancy is a two-time Olympian (1976, 1980), a silver medalist at the World Championships (1975), and has won numerous Canadian Henley and major regatta medals as a coach and competitor.  When asked about the award she said she owes a lot to her athletes Alison Whitty ‘12 and Madison Leitch ‘12 who helped her receive the award as it was based on results at two major regattas – they were in two of the races that won.  To Storrs the most rewarding part about coaching is the kids, “seeing their improvement and excitement with the sport, it is neat to watch kids see their own improve on water and on land.”   She always tells her rowers “do your best and have fun. It’s the people and the places that you will remember not necessarily the racing. In rowing, it’s about relationships, you are not just doing it for yourself, but for everyone in the boat – a team effort.”

Congratulations Coach Storrs!

Let Them Eat Cake! The Lower School Cross Country Race

Now you may be a bit confused with the title of this blog post as eating cake and running a cross country race don’t seem to go together, but traditionally (Ridley College is a school deep-rooted in tradition after all), the participants of the Lower School cross country race would receive a piece of cake upon completion of the annual event.  This year, the students received a brownie and fruit!

Ridley College Lower School Student

Although the treat at the end of the race is enticing, gaining points for your tribe seemed to be a great motivator as well!  Yesterday, the entire Lower School headed outside to enjoy the fall weather and get some exercise during the 111th annual cross country race. All students from Grades 4-8 ran in the race and the younger students cheered them on!

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The whole school is divided into four tribes (each student represented their tribe by wearing a specific colour – hence the sea of blue, red, yellow and green).  The tribe system was established in 1925 as a way to foster internal competition and encourage participation in all aspects of Lower School life.  In the case of the cross country race, the students were running for tribe points. The Iroquois tribe had the best overall time and was awarded a trophy. During the school year students earn points for their tribe through academic, athletic and community service achievement and at the end of the year the points are tallied and the tribe with the most points earns a trophy. Ridley College Lower School Tribe

Congratulations the following award winners:

Under 11 Girls
1. Alex N.

2. Vanessa F.

3. Payton L.

Under 11 Boys
1. Noah S.

2. Tim S.

3. Emin K.

U12 Girls
1. Gabrielle C.

2. Ella C.

3. Issy T.

Under 12 Boys 
1. Owen L. (Col. Frank Reid Trophy – first overall boy)

2. Niko S.

3. Henry L.

Ridley College Lower School cross country race

Under 13 Girls
1. Nicole C.

2. Cameryn C.

3. Marlize V.

Under 13 Boys
1. Ben M.

2. James S.

3. Gleb P.

Under 14 Girls
1. Abbey B. ( Cadeau Cup – first overall girl)

2. Emme S.

3. Sarah B.

Under 14 Boys
1. Mauricio H.

2. Roberto M.

3. Riley M.

To view pictures of the award winners and more pictures from the day, please click here.

Ridley College Prize Day 2013

The class of 2013 has crossed the stage and graduated from Ridley College.  As the name of each graduate was read so were the names of the universities they will be attending in the fall.  From Imperial College London, to the University of Toronto to The American University of Paris to Purdue University our graduates are headed all over the world to pursue their Post Secondary education.

It was a very special day to congratulate and acknowledge all of the accomplishments of our students and faculty!

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Ridley teacher, Mrs. Kristine Corolis, was chosen to receive the 2013 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award. This honor, given annually since 1961, identifies a teacher from the United States, its possessions, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Canada who has made valuable contributions to the profession and to his/her students. Criteria for the award include teaching ability, experience, inventiveness, initiative, inherent teaching strengths, and cooperativeness in the school and community.

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Andrew Pace was honoured to give the valedictorian address:

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To view more pictures from the day, please click here.

Lower School Prize Giving

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Lower School student achievement was celebrated on Friday evening with the annual Prize Giving ceremony and Grade 8 Graduation.  Academic merit was recognized as well as Tribe winners and overall school contributions.  Grade 8 Valedictorian James Gross entertained the crowd with a comical address:

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