Category Archives: Just for fun!

Get to Know Your Prefects: Lucie U. ’20

Meet Lucie ’20 – a boarding student, who calls Gooderham West her home away from home. Read about all the opportunities and life-changing moments she experienced during her first year at Ridley and what she hopes the final year of high school holds for her.

Why were you most excited to attend Ridley when you first started?

My family proposed the idea of going to Ridley, so that I could gather more life experience, since my previous school was very small. I went to class with the same nine people throughout my entire life and that is why Ridley was such a great opportunity to meet new people. Suddenly I knew so many people and I was forced to get to know new people, which was not only very exciting, but is an important experience to have. 

In addition to this, I knew that Ridley has several options when it comes to developing new skills. All these sports, activities and clubs were a great opportunity to try out new things and maybe even find different hobbies.

What makes you proud to be a Ridleian?

Ridley College has a very unique school culture. Ridley really values traditions and legacies, but also principles innovation and positive change. Additionally, Ridley has an amazing reputation and history to be proud of. I am proud to be a Ridleian because it makes me part of a community, which is very special to me and which nobody will be able to take from me.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

The aspect of Ridley that I like the most is the boarding. We, as boarders, and also day students, become a part of this wonderful community. I love this idea of living with friends, developing independence but also experiencing this alternative way of living. Especially the late-night conversations with friends, the spa nights or simply the sharing enhances this experience.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?

I have made an enormous number of great experiences and memories in this past year, but one of the most incredible, is the service trip to Malawi. In addition to learning so many things and creating remarkable memories, this trip taught me a lot about life. It also helped me to create unique relationships with some of the students in the Jacaranda School, from our trip and with some of the adults and teachers of our trip.

What is the best part of being in your boarding House?

Throughout the past year, I got to know a huge number of incredible girls in my boarding house, Gooderham West. The diversity in nationalities, talents and much more, is not only extremely inspiring but it makes each of us unique. I found so many friends in my house, but I can’t call them friends anymore: many of them are now my sisters. We live through every phase and emotion together, we support each other and if that means staying awake till late at night to comfort somebody you might not even be close friends with, so it is.

Being in a boarding house together just creates this connection and community. We are a big family and even though we might not know each other perfectly, it is comforting to know that there is this supporting light in some darker times.

What has been your greatest accomplishment at Ridley?

I found a lot of new friends at Ridley and I got to know so many amazing and talented people. For me this is a personal accomplishment, since I came from a small school and never got to know many people. 

Also, I feel like I finally found a relatively balanced lifestyle that is suitable to my environment. 

Lastly, I developed many skills that I would have never dreamed of. If you had told me two years ago that I would actually enjoy playing ice hockey, a sport which is not very popular in Germany, I would have never believed it. But I tried it, and even though I am very far from good at it, I count it as a new skill and activity that I enjoy.

Who is your favourite faculty or staff member and why?

I really enjoy being around so many of the faculty and staff members in different departments. From the cleaning ladies in my house, the security ladies, the sewing room ladies to all my teachers and other employees I have gotten to know, I feel like I established the most wonderful relationships with them, even if it is nothing too major. This is especially true with our former Assistant Head of House, Ms. Delaney, who helped me through a lot of personal and academic challenges and she was there for me whenever I needed a friend.

Also, several of my teachers, specifically Ms. Covent, gave me a lot of power and self-esteem throughout the year. She was very supporting with whatever I needed, and she taught me a lot of things, that are not only useful in our end-of-year exams, but life.

Lastly, I am very grateful for the health center team for being this steady rock of help whenever we students need it. They care so much about us students, not only physically but also mentally.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?

I am very excited about seeing great outcomes of certain events such as the organization of Snake Dance, some of the other dances or maybe even simple weekend activities. I am also extremely excited about working together with new departments of the school, that I am unfamiliar with until now, in order to make positive changes and see great outcomes.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

The biggest thing that Ridley prepared me for is that it encouraged me to take on challenges. Ever since I am in Ridley I am much braver, even about the most minor things, but this is an important life skill that Ridley gives to us by presenting us with so many opportunities. A good example of this is public speaking, which was a skill I simply just did not possess before, but now I challenge myself more and more and I try to overcome my fears.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

Don’t order too much food, even though everybody goes through that phase. It’s nice in the moment but your money is gone in a heartbeat!

Looking at a broader scope; always keep your spirits lifted and don’t get pulled down by something relatively insignificant, which won’t affect your life in the long term. High school tends to have a lot of unnecessary drama, but it is important to learn from it and overcome it.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Christopher H. ’20

Meet Christopher ’20 – a boarder from Barbados, who is truly grateful for his brothers in Merritt South and the caring environment the House has provided him. Read more to find out how Ridley’s diverse community has prepared him for the future.

Why were you most excited to attend Ridley when you first started?

I had never lived away from home before and I really enjoy being put out of my comfort zones to try new things. 

What makes you proud to be a Ridleian?

I am proud to be a Ridleian because there is a sense of community throughout the school that I was very welcome to. I also really like how involved everyone is with activities and helping out around the school.

What is your favorite part of Ridley life?

My favorite part of Ridley is living so close to my friends, so that I can see them on weekends and participate in events together.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?

My favorite Ridley memory was camp at the beginning of the school year, when I was able to meet so many new people and take part in the activities.

What is the best part of being in your boarding House?

The best part of being in Merritt South is that the people are really great and it’s a very accepting and relaxed environment.

What has been your greatest accomplishment at Ridley?

My greatest accomplishment at Ridley has been becoming Prefect!

Who is your favorite faculty or staff member and why?

My favorite faculty member is my Assistant Head of House, Mr. Stephenson, because he is very funny and helps me out with advice whenever I need it.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?

I am most excited to be able to be around the firepit at Snake Dance, and to be involved and help out with all the school events. 

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has prepared me for my future by allowing me to interact with so many different people of different ideas and cultures. These interactions open my mind to different ways of thinking and let me experience diversity as well. I also now have a taste of what it’s like to live on my own.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

I would advise that although you may be afraid to live away from your family, enter a new school or even move countries, don’t be. If you put yourself out there and try new things, you’ll have so many new memories and even more opportunities. 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Brendan N. ’20

Meet Brendan ’20 – a proud member of Arthur Bishop East, who has embodied what it means to be consumed in service and knows the impact that giving back can have on someone. Read more about his passion for service, the arts and athletics.

Why were you most excited to attend Ridley when you first started?

Coming to Ridley, I was most excited about moving to the St. Catharines community because although my family roots are from Canada and we always spent summer vacations here, I had lived and gone to school overseas my whole life. When I first started, I was most excited about being part of the diverse and multicultural environment at Ridley.  Also, I knew I would be able to continue to pursue my interests in sports and music, but at the same time be challenged by a rigorous IB academic environment.

What makes you proud to be a Ridleian?

As a Ridleian, I am proud of the contribution that Ridley makes to the community, and truly lives by its school motto, Terar Dum Prosim. I am very proud of the positive impact I have had on the children and community during the service opportunities I have had in Guatemala and Malawi over the past three years, and how well-respected Ridley was in contributing to their community.

What is your favorite part of Ridley life?

My favorite part of Ridley life is definitely the athletic programme. Soccer has been my lifelong passion and having been a part of the First Boys soccer team for the past three years has been very important and beneficial throughout my Ridley experience. It has strengthened my friendships, my technical skills, as well as my resilience and determination. Furthermore, the integration between academics and athletics has been one of my favorite parts of Ridley life, as being able to balance both is an integral part of life at Ridley.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?

Most of my favorite Ridley experiences come from school trips such as camp, service trips, sport tournaments and conferences. If I were to choose one, it would be the service trip to Malawi. For spring break in my Grade 10 and 11 years, I travelled to Malawi, Africa to help out at the Jacaranda School for Orphans. Not only did I feel pride in representing Ridley and embodying our school motto, but I was also able to learn a lot about life in Malawi and grow as a person.

What is the best part of being in your boarding House?

The best part of being a part of my boarding house is being able to have a place to call home and a group of housemates to share and relax with outside the school environment – my Ridley family. There’s a lot of positive recognition and support within the House. There is so much comradery within the House, and my favorite activities are the House competitions. Although they are friendly competitions, everyone wants to do the best to help their House achieve and win.  

What has been your greatest accomplishment at Ridley?

Since I came to Ridley in Grade 9, I feel like I have had numerous accomplishments, whether it be in sports, academics and arts. However, I believe being chosen to be Prefect and represent the student body and school is the greatest achievement. I am gratified to be selected by peers and faculty as a leader in the community and hope to live up to my potential as a prefect. 

Who is your favorite faculty or staff member and why?

Throughout my years at Ridley, I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with faculty and staff across many areas such as academic, athletics, arts, and service. In each of their specialisms, they all excel in what they do, and they are always so open to sharing their thoughts and guidance with me to help me achieve my full potential. 

However, one teacher that I feel has played an important role during my time at Ridley is Mr. Burke. I have had Mr. Burke as a math teacher for 2 years, in addition to have gone on the service trip to Malawi with him twice. Through experiences in and out of the classroom, Mr. Burke has taught me an incredible amount.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?

From when I started at Ridley, I have witnessed many great ambitions of Prefects. As an upcoming Prefect, I am excited about starting new initiatives and continuing traditions. However, I am most excited about the Snake Dance because in my opinion, this ceremony marks the beginning of a new school year and brings the entire school community together for a unique Ridley tradition. It’s always very fun and allows all the students to be themselves and have a great and memorable night to start off the school year.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley’s focus on well-roundedness through academics and a rigorous IB Diploma Programme, focus on health and fitness through its strong athletic programme, and opportunities to experience the arts has prepared me well across all facets of life. More importantly, the friendships and network that I have built will last a lifetime, and I know as a Ridleian, these connections will be invaluable. Ridley has also truly given me the opportunity to flourish both in the areas that I am already strong in, but also helped me develop my other skills.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

I would tell prospective students that Ridley provides you with so many opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and try new things that you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience. Take advantage of that, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Build a strong network of diverse friends that will provide you with support throughout your years here and beyond. 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Angela D. ’20

Before the bells chimed for the last time, the Prefect team for the 2019-20 school year was announced, allowing for celebrations to take place and planning for September to begin. These student-leaders took the time to share a little about themselves, so that over the summer months, Ridleians, both new and old, would have a chance to get to know the Tigers that would be guiding them through the year.

Up first, is Angela ’19 – a Mandeville Duck with a remarkable voice that she uses to not only perform for her fellow Tigers, but to speak up for those in need and to spread awareness for causes near and dear to her heart. When she isn’t on stage or singing in the Chapel, she can be found on the volleyball court or the rugby pitch. Check out the interview below to see what makes her proud to be a Ridleian.

Why were you most excited to attend Ridley when you first started?

I had never been in a boarding house before Ridley, so I was really excited to be introduced to that type of environment. As well, entering Ridley as a freshman was a bit nerve racking because I had also never been in high school before. I was mainly excited to try new things, put myself out there and enjoy the high school experience.

What makes you proud to be a Ridleian?

I am proud to be a Ridleian because of all the things this school stands for. Whether it be through its awareness-raising initiatives, its work to give back to the Niagara community, its conscious effort to acknowledge diversity and spirit. This school always endeavors to be better and as a result, all those who interact with each other here (including myself) are made to be better, more socially-aware people, who are truly prepared to enter the real world and be consumed in service. 

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

For me, it’s a tie between sports and the arts. As much as I love performing and expressing myself (through artistic means), nothing can beat the communal experience of being on a sports team. As a team, you win and lose together and playing sports is just another way that Ridleians can form relationships with those that they otherwise would not interact with as much. In the same breath, the performing arts are my passion and this school has presented me with a lot of opportunities to express myself through singing, acting, public speaking, etc. 

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?

My favourite Ridley experience was definitely my first time at camp in 2016. To me, that whole experience was just an incredible introduction to the spirit and sense of community that this school has. At camp, I made a lot of great friendships with girls in and outside of my House. It was a judgment and care-free environment and laughter-filled experience that really set the tone for a great first year at Ridley. 

What is the best part of being in your boarding House?

The best part of being in Mandeville is the girls. They are all my sisters from other misters! Every year, I meet more charismatic, diverse and intelligent girls and I get to learn a lot from them. Although we may have our challenges, I can positively say that I’ve formed some beautiful relationships with a lot of the girls in my house and I’m so appreciative of my school family.

What has been your greatest accomplishment at Ridley?

I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot at this school. As I said before, I’ve been exposed to a lot of opportunities that I otherwise would not have had the luxury of experiencing. My accomplishments range from being in academics to being in co-curriculars (cadets) and in sports (volleyball and rugby). However, I think my greatest accomplishment has been learning to take risks, mainly putting myself out there despite my fear of judgment. As I’ve spent more years at Ridley, I’ve learned that judgment will always be their (just like in the real world) and the only person who can let that judgment impact me or limit me is myself. So, even though I’m not fully there, my greatest accomplishment at this school has been being unapologetically authentic in the manner I choose to present myself to the school community. 

Who is your favourite faculty or staff member and why?

There are many faculty members at this school who I admire for the different ways that they have impacted me. This includes my past and present teachers, coaches, activity leaders, Head of House, duty team members and the Assistant Head of House. Nevertheless, if I had to pick one person, it would have to be my advisor, Mrs. McNiven. She is the most giving, caring and understanding person I’ve ever met, and she does so much for the girls and I without acknowledging the gravity of her impact. She also knows how to set me straight when I need it and despite how much I may act like I hate it, I love her sarcastic wit. 

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?

I’m most excited to see what goes into planning the communal events that we have at this school. I know it’ll be hard balancing academics, activities, sports and my personal sanity. Still, Prefectship is another learning experience I am more than willing to take on. I’m also really excited to give my chapel talk because I will be speaking about a topic that matters a lot to me and that (I hope) is applicable to the experiences of many others at Ridley.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Time-Management! Our schedules are packed at this school and I think that is very fitting because that’s how it is going to be when we all get jobs and/or go university. Ridley teaches you a lot about self-discipline and the importance of having routine while embracing change and acknowledging your physical and emotional capabilities. 

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

To me, being at Ridley has been about never saying “no” for selfish reasons. It’s perfectly okay to take a step back and acknowledge when you need to have some time to yourself. However, I would say that you should never let your fears of judgment of criticism limit your actions. Take risks, don’t be afraid to fail and share who you are with the members at this school because it will all be a learning experience about the world around us.  

The Gross National Happiness of Bhutan: A Case Study

Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, India and Southeast Asia, Bhutan is a small country with a distinct national identity. Intrepidly focused on the well-being of its citizens, instead of measuring gross domestic product to gage national progress, they measure gross national happiness.

Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a philosophy that steers the government of Bhutan and was first coined by the fourth King of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuk, in 1972—a concept that implies that “sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to the aspects of well-being.” Since then, the idea of GNH has influenced Bhutan’s economic and social policy, and most recently has become engrained in the school system through positive education.

The leading authority in Positive Psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman, identified Bhutan as the most enabling environment to promote well-being as a whole nation. Because of this distinction, Seligman and his team approached Bhutan’s government to launch a pilot programme: Education for Gross National Happiness, which focuses on integrating positive psychology tactics into the school curriculum. Bhutan’s government was eager to participate and adopt positive education into its larger community.

Seligman and his team began their mission by identifying what the most relevant skills were for determining happiness within the Bhutanese culture and how these could be transformed into life skills.

The following ten life skills were identified:

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Decision making
  4. Communication
  5. Creative thinking
  6. Empathy
  7. Problem solving
  8. Interpersonal relationships
  9. Resilience
  10. Self-awareness

From this, 18 secondary schools were randomly assigned to receive the new GNH curriculum. Prior to implementing the curriculum, baseline measurements (based on key indicators from the 10 life skills) determining the well-being in every student, teacher and staff member at each of these schools were completed. During the next 15 months, the GNH curriculum was taught with much seriousness, having one period solely dedicated to Life Skills and Positive Education.

After the programme’s completion, follow-up tests were completed that indicated a significant increase in participant well-being—an outcome Seligman and his team had predicted. What wasn’t expected, however, was that there was an increase in standardized test scores, better physical health and decreased absenteeism. As a whole, there was a higher satisfaction with the entire school experience from both students and faculty.

What this points to is that the curriculum established a ‘well-being ecosystem’—a community of people confidently interacting with one another through positive activities and communication. Since these results, Bhutan has rolled out the programme on a national level.

Gross National Happiness values and principles have become deeply embedded into the consciousness of the youth in Bhutan through this holistic approach to student development, led by principals and teachers as key change agents.

For more than five years, Ridley has been a leader in positive education and focused on creating a positive ecosystem for students and employees alike. In 2012, the school developed a unique strategic vision to ‘inspire flourishing lives’, which calls upon Dr. Martin Seligman’s PERMA model and the S.E.A.R.C.H. framework of Dr. Lea Waters’ Visible Wellbeing Programme. Our two full-time social emotional counsellors continually partner with internal change agents to ensure our community is adopting thoughtful strategies.

 

True Grit: The Road to Ironman

An Ironman Competition is widely considered to be one of the most challenging and physically demanding single-day sporting events in the world. Comprising a 3.8 km swim, followed by a staggering 180 km bike ride and topped off with a full 42 km marathon, it’s easy to understand why.

Despite the competition’s fearsome reputation, longtime faculty member, Giles Campbell, made it his mission to complete his first Ironman over the summer and accomplished this feat on August 19th in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Read on to hear (in his own words) how he used grit and perseverance to carry out this incredible achievement.


Written By Giles Campbell

In a rash moment back in September 2017, I signed up for my first Ironman competition in Mont Tremblant. I’d been racing the sprint distance (750 metre swim, 20 km bike and a 5 km run) for several years, but always thought I’d like to try something more extensive. To get a taste of what long distance racing is all about, I entered the Welland Long Course—a 2 km swim, 56 km bike and a 15 km run.

Training for an Ironman is tough and requires endurance. Some can prepare for the race in six months, but I felt I needed a head start. I gave myself a year to train, starting in September 2017. I ran, biked and swam several times a week. At first, the training lasted between six and eight hours a week, but by Christmas it went up to eight to ten hours a week and by summer I was training for about 17 hours a week. It was exhausting and I burned many calories each day. On one five-hour bike ride in the summer I burnt 5,500 calories in one shot! I loved the training and spent many hours preparing with members of my tri team, TryForce Niagara.

The Ironman triathlon has been running since 1977 and was founded in Hawaii by U.S. Navy Commander, John Collins. It started with three separate events – the Waikiki Rough Water Swim (2.4 miles), the Oahu Bike Race (112 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles) that a group of military athletes were competing in individually. As the story goes, Commander Collins dared them into competing by saying, “Whoever finishes first, we’ll call him the Iron Man.” The races were combined in 1978 to form the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon and is now known as ‘Kona,’ the Holy Grail of triathlons. Of the 15 competitors who started the race, only 12 of them crossed the finish line that first year.

My race took place on August 19th in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. I was surprised just how big the competition was with 2,272 racers competing with me. On race day, I rose at 4 a.m. to eat breakfast and ready myself. I was at the course by 5:30 a.m. full of jitters but confident that all the training had prepared me for the race—I was ready! Fireworks went off and the Canadian Air Force jet flew over the start line indicating the beginning of the race. We had a rolling start so not all 2,272 athletes started in the water all at once! The water was warm and fairly calm, and I was pleased with my time—I finished the 3.8 km swim in one hour and 14 minutes.

The bike route was laid out as a 90 km loop that we all did twice. The first loop was fine as I ate my nutrition and hydrated well. At about 120 km, however, I was hurting. My neck and back ached as I was in the hunched over aero-position on my tri-bike for four hours. When I made it to the turn-around corner I was re-energized knowing that the end of the bike section was coming soon. All I wanted to do was get off my bike! Mont Tremblant is very hilly with some extremely steep ups and downs to contend with. The biking portion took me six hours and 19 minutes to complete and as I returned to the transition area, I was amazed I had no cramps and that my muscles actually felt good.

Heading out into the run with the thought, “Okay, I’ve just ridden 180 km and now it’s time to run 42 km” was daunting, but I clicked into my metronome pace and took the road head-on. There were lots of aid stations, so I kept myself hydrated and continued to eat my energy gummies, ice chips and a few cups of salt water. The course was similar to the bike route, as you had to complete two loops. The first loop runs just beside the finish line and it’s quite hard to turn left for another 22 km and not right to finish. I had my wife, Fiona, and many friends cheering me along, which further motivated me to keep going.

The second loop of the run went well even though I was very tired. All day I’d felt that at some point, likely during the run, my body would begin to seize up, but thankfully it never did. So, as I approached Mont Tremblant Village, the reality that I was going to finish really hit me. Up the last hill and into the village, the route became about a metre wide with thousands of people cheering and ringing cowbells. You simply can’t get enough cowbell! 

“The finish line was amazing, lights cameras and the announcer saying over the speakers, ‘Giles Campbell, you are an Ironman!’”  – Giles Campbell

An absolutely amazing and an emotional finish—I could not believe it! I finished the run in four hours and 10 minutes the whole race in 12 hours, 6 minutes and 44 seconds. As I entered the ‘finisher tent,’ I realized I had prepared so much to get over that finish line that I had forgotten to prepare myself for what comes after — intense pain, uncontrollable shivering, hunger and thirst — but then you get a great medal and the congratulations from loved ones, plus for me a big mug of tea!

Here are my stats:

106th out of 332 of the men in my age group – M45-49
577th out of 1,669 men in the race
687th out of 2,272 competitors


With one Ironman under his belt, what’s next for Giles? He is considering entering the Lake Placid Ironman or the Niagara Barrelman next year. On top of that, he is in the process of recruiting his brother-in-law to join him in the competition with a two-year deadline. For Giles, the road to Ironman is ongoing and he plans to keep challenging himself in this mighty competition.

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.