Category Archives: Ridley News

Get to Know Your Prefects: Michael S. ’17

Introducing Michael Steier ’17 – a Prefect who is looking to have a Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 1.19.27 PMpositive impact on the school and the student body in his final year at Ridley.

Why did you choose Ridley?

I came to Ridley in Grade 5 because my brother had come three years earlier. My brother has been a big influence on my life and I followed him to Ridley. I had seen him mature in the three years since coming to Ridley and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

Before coming to Ridley I went to a Montessori school, so when making the transition, I felt I was better prepared than most kids. However, the Ridley lifestyle is so unique that it took a bit of adjusting.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

My favourite faculty member is Mr. Clarke. I never had him as a teacher, but he was my Grade 9 golf coach and that’s where I got to see the real Mr. Clarke. He was the Head of Upper School, so he always seemed intimidating, but on the course, we would talk about sports and anything but school. We were able to talk to him like he was a teenager, like us, which is why he is a favourite of mine. I think it’s really important that the faculty are able to connect with their students outside of the classroom and on a personal level.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge at Ridley has been adapting to the Ridley schedule. Learning how to balance all my different commitments and learning to prioritize things can be difficult… It took a while getting used to the fact that you won’t be getting home until 6:00p.m., or later, when your friends at other high schools are coming home at 3:00p.m. Even though it was difficult getting used to, it did help me manage my time much more efficiently.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

My greatest accomplishment at Ridley has been becoming Prefect; not because I’m one of the leaders in the school, but because of how I have changed over the past year. Grade 10 was a tough year for me and to be seen as a leader in the eyes of the faculty and my peers again was a great relief. I worked really hard to rebuild my relationships… and to be chosen was a great achievement.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?

My favourite part of my Ridley experience has been how different it is from other high schools. The diversity of the people at this school has exposed me to different cultures, that I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. I now have friends from all over world, that speak all different languages. The other part that I love is the lifestyle. Fellow Prefect, David Xue ‘17 said “Ridley isn’t a school, it’s a lifestyle”. This quote really carries a lot of meaning because when you’re a student a Ridley, you don’t just come to class and then leave. Ridley keeps you involved beyond the classroom, whether it be on a sports team, or in the dorm. Ridley really does keep you involved in every way possible.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

My favourite part of Ridley life has been the friends I have met. All of my close friends are people that I met through Ridley. I met them all several years ago and are still very close friends with them today. What Ridley has also allowed me to do is to make friends from around the world. I have friends all over the world that I am now able to visit if I am ever travelling. It has allowed me to expand my network of friends and my exposure to people all around the world.

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

I am really excited for being able to speak for my peers. I have been a student in Upper School for three years and have seen many Prefects. I have also had many ideas and suggestions throughout my years and I now have a good opportunity to voice those opinions. I feel I am qualified to speak for the student body because I have been in their position for the past several years. I know what students want, what they like and what works for them. I feel, now given this position, I am able to make an impact.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

The biggest thing that Ridley has given me to prepare me for the future has been my time management skills. I have been managing my busy schedule for the past three years with balancing my athletic, social and academic life. It has also prepared for a college workload and how to write a college research paper. All of these things I can take with me to the next chapter in my life.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on going to university somewhere in the United States. Both of my parents went there and my brother is currently in school there, so I would like to follow in my family’s footsteps. I feel Ridley has prepared me for the next step.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

My advice to prospective students is if you’re considering Ridley as an option, take your time to make the decision. Ridley is a challenging place and if you decide to attend, then you need to be prepared to fully immerse yourself in the Ridley lifestyle. I highly recommend attending because of how much you can learn and how you can develop as a person. Ridley has a lot to offer and the doors it can open are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ridleians Use CPR Training to Save Lives

This summer, two former Ridleians found themselves at the forefront of life or death situations and thanks to their physical education at Ridley, they knew exactly what to do.

Ridley’s physical education programme aims to contribute to the healthy development of our students physical, mental and social well-being. A part of that means discovering how students can contribute to the well-being of peers and their community. Among their lessons, students are taught how to appropriately respond during an emergency situation, to better prepare them if someone is in need.

Upon entering Upper School, our students are taught basic life-saving skills during their physical education classes. By Grade 11, students are certified in Basic Level CPR, Standard/Emergency First Aid and are taught how to operate AED (defibrillator) units. The students have the chance to further enhance their training if they choose to pursue their National Life Saving (NLS) certification as a co-curricular activity.

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“From our point of view, these are life skills that everyone should learn. You never know when you are going to find yourself in a position to help someone in need.”                                 – Jay Tredway, Director of Athletics

Retired physical education teacher, Mr. Dave Whitty, said that during his career, the students were keen to learn the skills needed to appropriately respond in an emergency situation. He also recalls numerous occasions where students and staff members – himself included – were required to take action in order to save another’s life.

Recently, two former Ridleians were put into harrowing situations where their CPR training, confidence and quick reactions saved lives.

On July 20th, 2016, 19-year-old Jarrod Camroux-Peacock ‘15 and his father Erik Peacock came to the aid of a customer and family friend, who began choking while dining. Acting quickly, Erik and Jarrod both performed the Heimlich maneuver and tried to clear the obstruction, as the man began to lose consciousness and turn blue from oxygen deprivation. Jarrod and his father were able to dislodge the obstruction from his airway prior to the ambulance arriving on site.

Soon after the incident Jarrod made a phone call to his high school teacher and basketball coach at Ridley; expressing his gratitude to him for having taught him how to react in emergency situations and for providing proper emergency response training.

Another former Ridley student, Nick Prestia ’16, has used his CPR training twice since attending Ridley. The first incident occurred in 2015, when Nick was attending a hockey training camp in Boston. A two-year-old girl was left unattended at the hotel swimming pool and had fallen into the water. Nick saw the young girl and pulled her out of the water. When he realized she wasn’t breathing, he began to perform CPR that had been modified for an infant – another skill he had learned during his physical education at Ridley. Nick managed to revive the two-year-old and alert her parents.

The second incident occurred last month on July 26th, 2016, when Nick’s hockey instructor was concussed during drill training and began experiencing seizures. The instructor wasn’t breathing, so Nick began performing CPR until someone nearby – who was also trained in CPR – came to relieve Nick. By this time, the concussed instructor had begun to breathe again. Nick too reached out to Ridley to express his gratitude for his training.

“Always remember to trust in your abilities because you never know when your actions can affect someone’s life. I’m blessed to have been able to use my knowledge of CPR to help to people and I encourage others to go out of their way to learn CPR. You never know when you might need to use it, take my word for it.” – Nick Prestia ‘16

In all three incidents, these former Ridleians sprang into action without hesitation. Congratulations to Jarrod and Nick. Ridley is proud to have had the privilege to guide these students, and many others.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Will C. ‘17

Introducing Will Cowherd ’17 – a Prefect who has seized every opportunity that Ridley has presented him, and intends on doing the same in his final year of Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 8.57.18 AMhigh school.

Why did you choose Ridley?

I chose to go to Ridley because it was always a dream of mine, ever since my sisters first attended. When the opportunity to go to Ridley presented itself to me in Grade 5, I took it and never looked back.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

I’ve been at Ridley since Grade 5, so when I first came, I didn’t really know what to expect. After starting at Ridley, I realized it truly was an amazing place.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

One of my favourite faculty members at Ridley would have to be Mr. McNiven. He has been my advisor since Grade 10 and has been a great help to me at Ridley over the years. He has helped me with schoolwork, sports and community service, on many occasions. He is always willing to help, which is why he is such a great advisor.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge at Ridley has been managing my time with all my schoolwork, sports and extracurricular activities. Ridley is a busy place and can quickly get overwhelming if you do not stay on top of all your work. This is also why Ridley is such a great place; it teaches you great time management skills and how to be an efficient worker.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

One of my biggest accomplishments at Ridley so far has been winning the MPHL championship with the First Boys hockey team. Playing on the First Boys hockey team was always a dream of mine since I started at Ridley, so winning a championship with the team was amazing.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience?

Ridley has given me the chance to experience many amazing things, but I think the best experience that Ridley has made possible for me is travel.  Since going to Ridley, I’ve gone on a service trip to Asia and an exchange to Australia. These experiences are ones I’ll remember for the rest of my life and they wouldn’t have been possible without Ridley.

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What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

My favourite part about Ridley life is exactly that – Ridley life. Ridley is so much more than just a school; it’s a lifestyle and that’s what makes Ridley so great. You do everything there – from playing sports, to going to class and eating all your meals. The best part is that you get to do all of that, while being surrounded by great people and great friends.

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

The part of being a Prefect that I am most excited for is to be able to help younger students discover everything that this school has to offer. Ridley is an amazing place that has many amazing opportunities to explore.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has not only prepared me for the future by giving me an amazing education, but also by teaching me how to be a well-rounded individual.  From learning about cultures as a result of traveling or managing my time with a crazy schedule, Ridley has prepared me more and more everyday for the future.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

My advice for future Ridleians is to take every opportunity that Ridley has to offer you. Whether it’s travelling or playing sports, try everything that you possibly can. You don’t want any opportunities to pass you by.

 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Hannah B. ‘17

Meet Hannah Bradley ’17. This school Prefect has dedicated her Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 3.47.16 PMtime to giving back in the local community, and in her final year at Ridley, she’s hoping to give back to the students.

Why did you choose Ridley?

My mother teaches French in Lower School for Grades 6 – 8. From working at the school, she knew what a great place Ridley was and she wanted to send my sister and I here.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

I didn’t go to Ridley as soon as my mom was hired… so I was so excited when I found out I was finally going to Ridley. It was always my dream to come to Ridley and it has certainly lived up to all my expectations.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

My favourite faculty member (other than my mom of course) is Ms. Barranca because she makes everything fun. She is also a super nice and cool person. She makes me laugh all the time (not always on purpose).

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

I was always very shy as a kid so I was not highly skilled in making friends and I kept to myself a lot, so one of my biggest challenges has probably been making friends. Meeting new people each year at Ridley has helped me get used to making new friends.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

My greatest accomplishment at the school has been joining groups like Green Tigers, Positive Space Group and the Syrian Refugee Committee. I have always liked doing good things for other people and the planet, but it’s hard to know what you can do to help. Working with a group of people to make the world a better place is a lot easier and a lot more fun than doing it on your own.

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 What has been your favorite Ridley experience?

 One of my favourite Ridley experiences has been joining Film Club. I have only been in Film Club for one year, but I love it a lot. I don’t take any art courses, so it’s a good way for me to stay creative. We have a good group of hardworking, dedicated and fun students, working together to make a short film.

Another one of my favourite activities at the school is the Alzheimer’s Society activity. We go to a local nursing home and spend time with the residents there. Most of them have Alzheimer’s or another strand of dementia. It is a very rewarding experience and the residents are a lot of fun to hang out with. Some of my best friends are at the nursing home. I think they do more good for me than I do for them.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

My favourite part of Ridley life is the variety of activities offered at the school, there is truly something for everyone. There are many arts programs and lots of sports teams to join. There are also many community service opportunities. The variety of activities attracts a variety of students which creates a more diverse community.

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

I am very excited to plan fun things for the student body to do. I am also looking forward to having a chance to give back to the school that has given so much to me. I am excited to meet the new students and I am looking forward to being someone they can turn to for help in their first days at Ridley and throughout the year.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has helped me learn how to manage my time, as Ridley life gets very busy, very quickly. Learning time management will probably help me a lot in university and with adult life.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to go to university for life sciences or perhaps medical school. I am interested in becoming a doctor or a medical researcher. I might also go into neuroscience.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

The beginning of the year is nothing like the end of the year, and this is a good thing. At the beginning of the year, you’ll probably feel intimidated. You’ll have to make all new friends and you’ll be far away from home. You might even have to start speaking your second (or even third) language. All of this can make feel nervous or scared. These feelings will go away very soon. People are very friendly at Ridley, so you’ll make friends in no time. Once the year starts and you start participating in sports or activities, you’ll have something to be interested in and it’ll give you something to look forward to each day. Before you know it, the year will be over and you’ll think back to the first day of school and feel good that you accomplished so much in one year.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Hunter B. ’17

Introducing Hunter Bettens ’17; a Prefect whose dream Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.00.41 AMbecame a reality when he discovered a place he could skate, learn and grow all under one roof. Now, as he enters Grade 12, he has big dreams for his final year and his future.

Why did you choose Ridley?

I chose Ridley because of hockey and the education. Since I was young, I always dreamed about attending a private school and playing hockey at the same time. I felt Ridley gave me the best of both worlds; a great hockey schedule with many opportunities to showcase yourself, and a challenging academic schedule that I feel is really preparing me for university and the real world.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

Mentally, I always wanted to attend a private school, so I knew what it was going to take and I had the right mindset coming to Ridley. The thing I didn’t expect is that I didn’t decide to come to Ridley until a week before school actually started! I came to school with the mindset, but everything sort of hit me in the face so quickly! I had to buy supplies, I had to leave everyone home in a hurry, and I needed to adapt. So in the physical aspect, I definitely didn’t feel prepared. However, within weeks of meeting new people and getting used to Ridley, I eased into a routine and got very comfortable, which abled to me to overcome any unpreparedness I had going into the school year.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

Even though each faculty member at the school is unique and each relationship between each faculty member is different, I would have to say my favourite faculty member is Mr. Park. I love geography, and this was the first time I could ever take an actual geography course outside of my own curiousty within the subject. In taking this course, my teacher was Mr. Park, and he shares the same passion for geography that I have, as well as being a person who loves and appreciates sports. When I am away for hockey, Mr. Park always jokes about how I missed a very important lesson, or that I missed some crucial piece of information that was only discussed on the day I missed. But besides the jokes he always asks me how the games went, and that is something for me that never goes unnoticed and is why he is my favourite faculty member.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley would definitely have to be Math. I am from Nova Scotia, and the math course I took in Grade 10 was to prepare a student who was taking Grade 11 Math the following year in Nova Scotia. However, I clearly didn’t stay in Nova Scotia for Grade 11; instead I came to Ridley. My parents and I discussed that the IB Programme would really challenge me and that it would be best for me to do. When we came to Ridley for orientation day and the time came to pick my courses and IB Math came up, a prerequisite credit for the course was Grade 11 Functions from Ontario, which I didn’t have. However, I was let in to IB SL Math. Accompanying IB, I receive an OSSD credit for Grade 12 Advanced Functions, so, I went straight from Grade 10 Math in Nova Scotia to Grade 12 Math in Ontario. So, balancing other courses, hockey and other things, finding time to catch up in math was and still is difficult, however, with the help of Mr. DeVellis and my tutor Ms. Sendzik, I was determined to fill in those learning gaps.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

My greatest accomplishment at Ridley thus far would definitely be balancing my busy schedule. Going into the year I knew it would be very difficult and demanding, but I ended up managing my time very well and was able to accomplish my goal this year of balancing my academic schedule with my hockey schedule.

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What has been your favorite Ridley experience?

My favourite Ridley experience would have to be Chapel. Coming into Ridley I knew that we had to go to Chapel three days a week, but I wasn’t upset or worried, I was actually curious to how these Chapel sessions were going to go, because looking at the schedule, I thought that the time we spent there was short compared to what normally goes on at a church. But I was blown away. Chapel has been nothing but a positive experience for me. Yes, you have to get up early but it doesn’t matter, you will be woken up by the hymns that the entire school sings together. Chapel really brings the whole school together, and when you are in there during a hymn you really feel the power that the Chapel has to put all of Upper School into one room, and to make each individual in there feel like they are part of the Ridley community.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

My favourite part of Ridley life would have to be boarding. You get to become more independent, such as doing laundry, going to Wal-Mart for shampoo and toiletries, all the stuff that for the most part, is typically done for you at home. But the cool thing about Ridley is that you’re becoming more independent with the people who are in the same boat as you. My roommate from China and I always tell each other when a washer is open, or tell one another if one goes to the store if they could pick something up. These situations might seem simple, but it is a completely different experience than you figuring it out on your own at an apartment as compared to figuring these things out with your new friends from Nigeria, China, or Jamaica. Boarding also makes friendships even stronger, you really get to know people because you are with them 24/7, and you cherish these moments that you spend so much because one day, you will graduate and you won’t be able to spend as much time with these friends you have made.

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

I am most excited about being able to be there for the students. I love helping people and hope that I can deliver on that. Some people will have issues while at school, almost everyone does, and I am excited to be able to help those people with any issues they may have. Hopefully students will feel like they can approach all the Prefects next school year, and that each and every one of us can be there for them.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has matured me and gave me the tools to interact with people on many different levels. For me, being taught the principle of being able to network with a multitude of people early on in my life is important, as I am potentially going to pursue a career in business, and to have this skill is essential. With the help of our great Guidance team at our school, they make the career and university talks much easier, and honestly, without them, I don’t think I would be half as prepared as I am for the future. Being able to have good conversations with them, made me really narrow down university choices, as well as career paths. Many aspects of Ridley come together to really prepare each and every one of us for our future.

What are your plans after graduation? (i.e. university, college, gap year, degree of study, city you plan to live in, extracurricular pursuits)

My plans after graduation are to go to school, hopefully still playing hockey, but definitely going to school. I want to major in Business, and if I were to stay in Canada, I plan on studying on the Quebec-East side of the country. However, I would really like to go to a Division III school in the Eastern part of the United States and play hockey, however, I realize that things may not go the way everyone likes them to and I would be very content with studying in Canada. Following university and my potential hockey career, I plan on staying on the East Coast, and preferably living in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. But again, you don’t know what could happen, so we will have to wait and see!

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

My advice for prospective students, especially boarders, would be to ease your way into the Ridley community. Being homesick is natural, and by joining sports, clubs, or activities that interest you, these keep your attention on Ridley and not so much on how much you miss home. By going at your own pace and by not feeling rushed, you will learn to enjoy the Ridley community so much more, and you will really feel like you have developed a second home by the time you leave.

 

Get To Know Your Prefects: Anita O A ’17

Introducing Anita Obiang Avomo ’17, Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 12.57.53 PMa boarding student from Equatorial Guinea, who learned how to flourish during her time at Ridley and now hopes to help her peers make the same discovery. Read our Q&A with Anita to learn more about this Ridley Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley?

Choosing Ridley was a big decision for me. I was choosing from a wide array of schools in Canada. The reason Ridley stood out for me was because of the way I felt after the tour. For all of the other schools that I toured, I wasn’t nearly as excited as I was for Ridley. It had everything I was looking for and more!

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

In all honestly, I didn’t really feel prepared when I arrived at Ridley. This was mostly because I didn’t know anyone and this would be my first time in a boarding school, without my parents. It was very intimidating for me, but after the first week here I felt so welcomed and ready to be a part of the community.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

I would have to say that my favourite faculty member has to be Mrs. Darby. She has always been there for me, to give advice and guide me in the right direction. I have always felt that I could trust her with anything I have to say and she is always there to listen.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

One of my biggest challenges would have to be learning to balance all of my activities – from sports, to school work, to in-house responsibilities, to extracurriculars. All of that was very new for me because in all my old schools we didn’t really have to worry about that. It was a huge transition for me.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

My biggest accomplishment would probably be coming out of my shell. I used to be really shy and quiet but after being at Ridley I have felt more confident and open.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience?

Camp! Camp was one of my favorite times at Ridley because we were able to break the awkward new-student tension and focus on getting to know each other and becoming closer together, while having fun with all the camp activities.

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What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

My favourite part of Ridley life is being able to always be around my friends and always being able to see them.

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

I am most excited to create change and motivate my fellow students to be their best selves.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley had taught me a lot about responsibility and hard work, which is something that I lacked before I arrived here.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to go to university in Canada, earn a Bachelor of Science and see where life takes me.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

Make sure you are prepared for the possible workload ahead of you, but remember, it will be worth it in the end. Also, the friends you make will influence you the most, so makes sure you have a good group with you.

TransfORming Our Globe – Jordan Brock Fowler ‘05

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For this month’s installment of the TransfORming Our Globe series, we’re sharing the story of alumnus, Jordan Brock Fowler ’05, who took the road less travelled and founded his own eco-friendly business – Echo Farms.

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Jordan attended Ridley from Grade 6 to 12. During the course of his Ridley career, Jordan excelled in academics, was actively involved in sports – especially Rugby – and could often be found backstage during many of Ridley’s theatrical performances. He embraced every aspect of Ridley life, and because of that, he formed lifelong relationships, obtained useful skills and tools and built character. Six years later, Jordan found himself at graduation, addressing his classmates as the Valedictorian; on that day, he was taking home more than just a diploma.

“My time at Ridley greatly affected my career path but not in the way that you would expect. Ridley didn’t particularly help me realize my passion for agriculture, but it was integral in the formation of my character, helped me establish my hard work ethic, and prepared me for the relationship building that would be key to building my business.”

– Jordan Brock Fowler ‘05

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After graduation, Jordan attended the Toronto Film School for Film Production. He was certain that a job in the film industry would satisfy his creative drive, but it soon became apparent he was missing something. The career opportunities he found himself in left him yearning for more meaningful interactions with the environment and the people within it.

In need of a change of scenery, Jordan moved to Vancouver, where he became involved with a not-for-profit organization called the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC). At the time, this organization was advocating community and school gardens in the city core. While working on a media project for the SPEC, Jordan witnessed how strongly a connection with nature can impact someone.

“The wholesome, instinctual reaction of the youth to the food they were growing was infectious. I became increasingly interested in ideas around sustainable design and the serious impact climate change was having on our environment.”

– Jordan Brock Fowler ‘05

Equipped with his new-found passion for the environment, Jordan set out to gain the knowledge he’d need to make a difference. He travelled to the United Kingdom, where he partook in a course led by a number of climate activists. It was this life changing experience at the Schumacher Institute where Jordan realized the importance of sustainable agriculture. He then studied Organic Agriculture at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

Travelling down a new path, Jordan returned to Niagara in 2010, where he began to grow a business known as Forworld Farmstead. Utilizing family owned land, Jordan experimented with organic vegetable production, community supported agriculture and began raising livestock. In 2015, after purchasing a 50-acre farm in Cayuga, Ontario, he and his wife, Whitney (Peterson) Fowler ’05, started Echo Farms.

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Echo Farms is an all-organic farm that produces wholesome, high-quality, organic produce and meat. This naturally grown food is sold to local restaurants and at markets. Echo Farms just launched its newest product, known as Minigreens™ – a packaged blend of microgreens, packed full of nutrients and flavour, that can be used to garnish sandwiches or as a salad mix. These greens are delivered fresh, each week, to grocers and health food stores in Southern Ontario, such as Grand Oak, the Good Earth, the Peanut Mill and 13th Street Winery, all located in the Niagara region.

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Wanting to continue to help in restoring the earth, Jordan hopes to continue to grow Echo Farms and shorten the supply chain between farmers and consumers.

“Working alongside nature has its challenges… I find that we humans seem to be in a perpetual war with nature, constantly searching for ways to control it. Whether it’s the miracle cure to a disease caused by environmental degradation, playing God with genetic engineering or dowsing our food in chemicals, it is our reluctance to change which keeps us from unlocking Mother Nature’s vast wisdom – a wisdom cluttered by modern conveniences.”

– Jordan Fowler ‘05

Although his journey was long and winding, Jordan was able to uncover his passion and with it, grow a business; one that is giving back to the community and to the earth, one seed at a time.

To all those who are on their own winding journey through life, Jordan says this:

“Remember what it means to be a positive part of a community. Don’t get caught up trying to clamor to the top. Build strong supportive relationships with your peers and your competitors, think globally, act locally.”

TransfORming Our Globe is a blog series where we share the exciting stories of alumni who are leading flourishing lives and changing the world. It is important to Ridley College to support our alumni and share the stories of Old Ridleians, who discovered their passion and found success and happiness down the path of their choosing. 

Do you know of any classmates that are living flourishing lives or transforming our globe? Email any suggestions for the TransfORming Our Globe blog series to development@ridleycollege.com.

 

 

 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Amelia R. ’17

Introducing Amelia Ritchie ’17, a Ridleian who has truly immersed herself in all that Ridley has to offer – from sports, to academics, to extracurriculars. This fall, Amelia begins her final year at Ridley. Read our Q&A with Amelia to learn more about this Ridley Prefect.

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I chose Ridley because I loved the environment, and I realized how many things Ridley could give me, as opposed to a regular, public high school.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?

I did feel prepared coming to Ridley. I was definitely nervous, but I also felt ready to take on a bunch of different activities.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?

I can’t pick just one, however, my top three would have to be Miss Blagona, Mrs. McNiven and Mrs. Darby, because all three of them have supported me so much, in multiple different ways. I always love seeing them in the halls and having them there to talk to!

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?

My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley has probably been realizing what is actually important for me to be focusing on. When so many responsibilities are piled onto you, and there a lot of things you want to do on top of those, it’s hard to realize what is really important and to keep your eye on the prize.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?

I think my greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley has been taking advantage of the activities and extracurriculars. I have been in a lot of different activities over my three years, and I have managed to find my niche within those.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience?

My favourite Ridley experience…wow it’s hard to pick just one! If I had to choose one, I would have to say Snake Dance. The amount of school spirit everyone has is awesome to see and be a part of! I also really enjoyed OFSAA basketball in the fall of 2015!

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?

My favourite part of life at Ridley is the sense of community it gives. It’s not just that we are living in such close quarters, it’s knowing that everyone else is doing the same things as you are and feeling the same things as you are.

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

The part of being a Prefect I am most excited for is having the platform to meet every new person who comes to this school and being to have conversations with them and learn interesting things about them. I am also looking forward to potentially being a mentor to those who want/need one.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?

Ridley has prepared me for the future by teaching me, through the opportunities presented and through a need for time management, that I can do whatever and however much I want to do. It has given me a taste of my full potential.

What are your plans after graduation? 

I plan on going straight to university after graduation. I’m not yet sure which university, however, I think I want it to be in a big city and I would like to pursue law and international relations.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

Don’t be nervous, and don’t be afraid. Those two emotions limit the things that a lot of people partake in at this school, and they stop people from doing the things they really want to do – not just what activities and sports they do, but also the classes they take, the friends they pursue, and the fun they have. Remember everyone is in the same boat as you are, everyone is feeling what you are feeling. It’s the people who overcome these feelings that feel like they got the most out of their experience.

Ridley’s Unique Playscape Supports Physical Literacy Goals

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Ridley’s all-natural playscape, which officially opened in late 2015, is at the forefront of physical literacy promotion by encouraging creative play, risky behaviours and fundamental movement skills, prescribed in Sport Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) plan.

The concept of physical literacy came to Ridley College through Brock University and Dr. James Mandigo and it has long been promoted by Sport Canada and Sport for Life. Physical literacy is the mastering of fundamental movement skills, such as running, skipping, jumping and throwing. In practice, varying sets of skills are introduced to children at appropriate ages and stages of development. For years, Ridley has drawn upon leading physiological and psychological research on the topic to promote physical literacy; which is also pivotal in mental and social development.

Since this model was introduced at Ridley, our competitive sports programmes have experienced phenomenal success, while Lower School physical literacy programmes have been implemented to improve overall fitness, health and well-being through increased active play. This paradigm helps students develop a lasting relationship with physical activity and better prepares student athletes for successful long term athletic careers. Active play, of which our younger students enjoy three times a day for 20 minutes, has also been linked to notable cognitive function and development.

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The all-natural playscape – which was a part of the 2014-2015 annual giving campaign – is a very tangible example of how Ridley is maintaining its leading edge on physical literacy promotion in independent schools. The idea for the playscape was born from students’ International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition projects and Ridley decided that a unique, topographical landscape with obscure apparatuses would be the ideal way to encourage active play and reach school-wide physical literacy goals. The playscape creates a far more engaging and creative experience than the traditional, manufactured playgrounds and also enacts our objective to be more environmentally conscious.

“Our challenge was to create a Lower School playground that encouraged more open-ended and creative play, while at the same time, promoting a connection with nature.”

– Mrs. Hanna Kidd

Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, a Canadian playground designer and builder, brought forward the perfect solution – a playground constructed of all-natural elements, that could be designed to fit the needs of the students. Founded in 1982 by Adam Bienenstock, Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds aims to bring nature back into the lives of children, so that they can develop an appreciation for the environment, while engaging in active play.

“Over time, somehow what we thought was fun disappeared from kids’ lives. Their roam rates dropped right down, their world got smaller and their screens got bigger, and the need for this [type of playscape] grew.”

– Mr. Adam Bienenstock, CEO and Founder of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds

It was clear that Bienenstock’s values aligned with Ridley’s, and the common goal of educating students on the importance of environmental conservation made for the perfect fit. After consulting with Bienenstock and receiving input from Ridley’s faculty, staff and students, the Playscape construction officially begun. Ridley was able to select playground elements that would challenge the students, encourage curiosity and creative thinking and be utilized at each age and stage of development.

The Playscape officially opened in December of 2015, but has since grown and has already become the perfect place for students to have fun, get active and even relax. It currently includes a number of large elements, such as a tree fort with a rope bridge, a rock climbing wall, a multipurpose amphitheater (outdoor classroom) and gaga ball court, tunnels, log clusters, a barrel swing, a willow dome and a sand area that includes a water feature and slides. As time passes, Ridley hopes to add several new elements, while the current elements continue to grow and evolve.

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According to Lower School faculty, instances of playground conflict have dramatically decreased with the opening of the new Playscape and the Athletics Department has already observed instances of creative play, risky behaviours and fundamental movement skills – elements that are viewed as positive markers in physical literacy studies.

The Playscape offers the perfect place for our younger students to have daily physical activity, while exploring movement and improving their social and emotional well-being. “The natural playscape will continue to help our students develop an appreciation, curiosity and respect for their world, leading to better physical and mental health.” – Mrs. Hanna Kidd

This Playscape was made possible with the support of generous donors. It is with this continued support that will Ridley be able to grow our school’s arts, academics and athletics programmes, and continue to provide students with the opportunities and tools necessary to live flourishing lives.

THE NATIONAL POST: REPORT ON PRIVATE SCHOOLS, June 4th, 2016

Ridley College earns a rare scholastic distinction

Iris Winston

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Ridley College, already one of the best-known independent boarding schools in Canada, now has a prestigious new designation.

Early this year, Ridley became an International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school. It is the only boarding school in the country to have achieved this distinction and one of just 15 schools across Canada to offer the world-class international programme. Only two other independent boarding schools in North America offer IB continuum programming.

Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968, the International Baccalaureate Organization is a non-profit educational foundation that offers “highly respected programmes of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Schools must be authorized, by the IB organization, to offer any of the programmes. Schools usually develop the IB continuum over time, adding programmes as the school grows.”

“Ridley has been on a six-year journey with IB,” says Ridley’s headmaster Ed Kidd, who returned to Canada to take the position with Ridley four years ago after 14 years at the Shanghai American School, where he was also involved with and taught the IB programmes.

Developed for students from three to 19 years of age, the IB framework comprises three segments: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), and the Diploma Programme (DP). Holistic in style, they all encourage individual learning styles, open communication and compassion, as well as cognitive development and international thinking.

Ridley has run the PYP and DP programmes for the last five years. It was certified for the MYP programme earlier this year, completing the rare designation as an IB continuum school.

The PYP, designed for students aged three to 12, focuses on encouraging inquiring minds, inside and outside the classroom. Using an inter-disciplinary approach, the PYP focuses on teaching students to see the connections between subject areas.

The MYP, designed for students aged 11 to 16, focuses on intellectual challenge and encouraging students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. It aims to foster skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement, crucial for success in the 21st century.

The Diploma Programme is for students ages 16 to 19 and focuses on intellectual breadth and depth. Through all three programmes, students are challenged to excel in intellectual curiosity and development, personal growth, empathy and high ethical standards, while working through a broad curriculum. As described in the background material, the aim is to develop “internationally minded people with a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond intellectual development and academic success.” This leads to greater success at the post-secondary level and eventually in the students’ professional lives.

“IB is meant to teach students how to think from a very young age,” says Kidd. “Rather than a curriculum — although we are still using the Ontario K to 12 curriculum and offer an optional Ontario Secondary School Diploma — it is an approach to learning, a pedagogical philosophy that incorporates the best of 21st-century education.”

He describes IB as “student-centred, inquiry-based, inter-disciplinary and international,” noting “it brings the world and global-mindedness and global competency into the curriculum.”

Kidd points out that every aspect of the IB approach, which is “founded on taking action and service to others,” is in line with the philosophy and internationalism of Ridley College.

“We have Canadians from all over the country and a long history of bringing students from around the world to the school. Currently, 44 different countries are represented. The IB philosophy also fits in with our commitment to service.” The Ridley College motto is Terar dum prosim  (May I be consumed in service.)

Most of all, he says, “it’s good teaching. The IB framework makes learning a rich and rigorous experience. We’ve adopted a world-class approach to teaching and learning that allows us to prepare students from around the world for living in an increasingly global society.”

All this augurs well for the future success of IB students. Their training places them at the forefront in their post-secondary studies, as well as putting them ahead in the selection process at top universities around the world.

Established in 1889 as a boys’ school, and co-educational since 1973, Ridley is one of the oldest and most prestigious independent schools in Canada. From the beginning, Ridley, which is located on an attractive 90-acre campus in the Niagara region, has combined high academic standards, a wide range of extra-curricular activities, a service commitment and internationalism.

This story was produced by Postmedia Content Works on behalf of Ridley College for commercial purposes. Postmedia’s editorial departments had no involvement in the creation of this content.