Category Archives: Ridley News

Musicians Come Together for Annual String Fling

Melodic notes filled the halls of Ridley College last week, for the second annual Spring Fling workshop and concert. Young string musicians from Ridley and the local community joined together for workshops on both February 2nd and 3rd, and performed a spectacular performance to conclude the event.

The workshops – led by special guests, Dr. Metro Kozak and the Walker String Quartet – were an opportunity for the students to synchronize, while preparing for the Friday night concert. Each session was specialized for the group of students participating and which ensemble they were a member of: String Fling Orchestra, String Fling Quartet, Chamber Orchestra or Junior Chamber Strings.

After an enlightening two days of musical training, the students were ready to showcase their talents during a performance in the Mandeville Theatre. Over 60 students who filled the stage had the chance to play alongside professional string musicians and workshop mentors, The Walker String Quartet. Ten songs were performed; ranging from historic pieces by Mozart, to cinematic songs from major motion pictures. Our special guest, Dr. Metro Kozak led the students gracefully through each piece as their conductor, while the audience remained captivated in their seats.

“The students at Ridley were very open to new concepts and were cooperative. Many of them were relatively new to their instruments and made terrific strides in their abilities. All in all, an exciting event.” – Dr. Metro Kozak

This musical experience gave our students a chance to bond with individuals from our local community, while learning from professionals. It was also a wonderful opportunity for our Lower School students to collaborate with students from the Upper School.

Ridley’s dedication to the arts is ever growing. There are endless opportunities for students to expand their artistic education. These opportunities don’t end when school is out, nor are they limited to Ridley students. Our Summer Programmes offer a wonderful opportunity for art exploration of all kinds.

This summer, students who are interested in learning more about music can register for the Summer Symphony Boarding Experience at Ridley. This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance your musical skills, make friends and explore the Niagara region! For more information, visit our website.

See photos.
View video.

Prefect Brings Light to Niagara First Nations

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Prefect, Shaun Donnelly ’17 discovered a passion for service and saw her CAS Project as an opportunity to make a difference for First Nations peoples of Niagara.

During the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, each student is required to complete a project that focuses on one of the CAS components – creativity, action or service. Students are encouraged to focus on one aspect and topic that they have a passion for. For Shaun, her ambition was serving and aiding First Nations peoples in our local community. After seeing the struggles and obstacles that this population has had to endure over the years, Shaun decided she wanted to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

“I wanted to provide some service to them; mainly because I’ve developed a passion for helping First Nations peoples as I’ve learned about their issues, past and present. So, I decided that I wanted to take this opportunity to make a difference.” – Shaun Donnelly ‘17

Shaun began with her research. She knew she needed to understand more about the First Nations before she would be able to begin formulating ideas and solutions to help those living in her community. Shaun explored the culture, while diving deeper into topics relating to healthcare.

Nearly a year later, Shaun was ready to put her research into action. She met with the Executives from Niagara’s three major hospitals, in hopes of shedding light on how healthcare practices align with First Nations culture. Shaun’s seminar was also attended by some of Niagara’s frontline healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses and key stakeholders.

“The purpose of the seminar was to educate them on First Nations culture so that they could more appropriately treat their first Nations patients and be aware of any differences and preferences that the First Nations people might have because of their culture.” – Shaun Donnelly ’17

During the seminar, Shaun discussed First Nations peoples’ culture and their views on birth, death and natural healing. She also introduced First Nations customs into her seminar by creating and utilizing a Talking Stick – an item used during council meetings. The seminar lasted nearly three times longer than Shaun was intending, and the individuals in attendance were engaged and interested from start to finish.

Although her CAS project had reached its conclusion, Shaun intends to continue educating both herself and her peers. Since completing her project, she began a First Nations advocacy committee on campus – known as TRUE (truth, reconciliation, understanding and empathy) – that aims to raise awareness of First Nations culture and the struggles they are facing. While it is still a new club, they have generated a lot of interest from their fellow Ridleians.

“This was the first time where I actually did something to serve people when I didn’t have to, on such a large scale, so that was really rewarding. I learned to really appreciate the satisfaction serving others.” – Shaun Donnelly ’17

Shaun’s CAS project and global thinking led her to knowledge, understanding, appreciation and service. It is our hope that each student, on their search for answers, discovers something about the world that urges them to make a difference.

 

Remembering Former Headmaster, H. Jeremy Packard

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It is with heavy hearts that Ridley shares the news that former Headmaster, Dr. Jeremy Packard passed away on Sunday, December 25th at 78 years of age.  Dr. Packard served as the school’s sixth Headmaster from 1981 to 1989 and was a beloved leader, teacher, mentor and friend to the Ridley community.

During is eight-year tenure as Headmaster, Dr. Packard made notable and significant reforms – strengthening Ridley’s academic programmes, purposefully increasing female enrollment and championing Ridley’s most successful capital campaign (“The 21st Century Campaign”) to date.

Following his time at Ridley, Jeremy and his wife, Ingrid Cronin, returned home to the United States, where Dr. Packard took post as the President of Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania. Throughout his life, Dr. Jeremy Packard showed an unwavering dedication to education, both personally and professionally, and was an active member of countless charitable and non-profit organizations. He was a true Ridleian, set an incredible example for generations of graduates, and will be deeply missed.  As Brian Iggulden OR ’67 writes in an upcoming tribute, “Jere was indeed a Ridley giant and all Ridleians are blessed that his life touched ours.”

To Ingrid and their sons, Michael, Dennis and Matthew and to Seth OR ’85 and Eliza OR ’84 (children of Jere by his first wife the late Mary B. Green), we express sincere condolences.

A memorial service for Jeremy Packard will be held on Saturday, January 14th at 11a.m. in the Kirby Center for Creative Arts on Wyoming Seminary’s Upper School campus in Kingston, Pennsylvania.

For the Ridley community, family and friends, Ridley College will host a memorial service in celebration of Mr. Packard’s life and leadership. Dates and times of the service to be announced.

Read Dr. Packard’s obituary.

 

 

TransfORming Our Globe – Bethany Pile ‘12

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For this month’s installment of the TransfORming Our Globe series, we’re sharing the story of alumna, Bethany Pile ‘12, who has found her passion and is now establishing herself as an artist, first locally and then internationally.

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Bethany began her Ridley career in 2010. She took full advantage of the many different opportunities the school had to offer. Bethany was a member of the swim team; traveling to the OFFSA championships twice. She was a school Prefect in her final year; displaying leadership and acting as a role model for the younger students. Embodying the school motto, Terar Dum Prosim, Bethany also traveled to Jamaica twice with the volunteer programme.

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During her first year at Ridley, Bethany was awarded the Barbados National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Prime Minister’s scholarship for demonstrating “the greatest potential for training and development in [her] discipline”. This, in turn, paid for the first two years of her schooling at Trinity College at the University of Toronto, where she graduated with a degree in Visual Studies and minors in Psychology and Art History. During her summers, Bethany’s commissioned works were garnering attention in her home country of Barbados. As a result, Bethany moved back home and along with operating her own art practice, she began developing and producing murals for RC Designs & Decorations.

Bethany is often motivated when she sees her paintings come to life. With as much time as some of her pieces take, the thrill of finishing a piece makes it all worthwhile. Of course, listening to what others think and feel when presented with her art also keep Bethany motivated to continue her amazing works.

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‘Tracing Time’ by Bethany Pile
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‘Treacherously Sweet’ by Bethany Pile

I enjoy creating paintings that elicit powerful responses from people. I either paint in my studio with my music, thinking about inspirations for my next piece, or I am working with Rosalie, painting murals – which is a lot more of a social experience. Especially when we were painting a public mural for Barbados’ Independence! Lots of people came and said hello or commented on our work every day. Both aspects of my work complement each other well. – Bethany Pile ’12

Bethany cites Mr. Duane Nickerson as “one of the best art teachers” she has ever had and is someone who made a positive impact on her career path. According to Bethany, she produced some of her best work in Mr. Nickerson’s AP Art class.

“He saw what I was capable of and pushed me, and encouraged me to do better.” – Bethany Pile ’12

It was her experiences at Ridley that helped Bethany come to the realization that art should and would become her ultimate pursuit professionally.

To those beginning their next academic or professional journey, Bethany has a simple message: do what you love. In addition to capitalizing on something you are passionate about, she also suggests enrolling in a diverse set of classes as you begin university – “there is the opportunity to dabble in many subjects that can either streamline or completely change your career choice”. For Bethany, this solidified her decision to study art and become an artist. While her parents worried at times that she may soon embody the “starving artist”, it is clear Bethany has made significant steps towards her goal of becoming an internationally acclaimed artist.


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.

 

Board Chair Named One of Canada’s Most Powerful Women

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Georgina Black ’85, Ridley’s Chair of the Board of Governors and Old Ridleian, was recently and unequivocally named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2016. Launched in 2003 by Women’s Executive Network, this award has been showcasing the accomplishments of professional women in Canada and has celebrated 939 inspiring individuals to date.

In light of this most recent achievement, we wanted to celebrate the profound impact Georgina has had on both Ridley and the globe, since her time on campus began in 1982.

“We are very proud and grateful to have Georgina as an active and engaged member of the Ridley family. As the first female Chair of the Board, parent and alumna, she is continually offering her leadership, guidance and support. Georgina is a shining example of what it means to be a Ridleian and we congratulate her on this incredible achievement.” – Headmaster, Ed Kidd

As a student at Ridley, Georgina excelled in academics, athletics and co-curricular activities. She engaged in new experiences and broadened her horizons at every opportunity. By the time Georgina had entered her graduating year, she had built friendships, learned the importance of gratitude and discovered what it takes to be a leader.

Georgina went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and her Certified Management Consultant designation. She also graduated from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Currently, Georgina is a Partner and the National Industry Leader of Health and Life Sciences at KPMG. While her career has led her down a path of great success, she has not since forgotten about Ridley.

Nearly two decades after her own Prize Day ceremony, Georgina found herself once again immersed in orange and black, when she joined the Board of Governors in 2005. After nearly a decade serving on the Board of Governors, Georgina was named the 19th Board Chair in 2014; which was a historical year for Ridley, as our school celebrated 125 years and it saw its first female Board Chair in history. Now, halfway through her term in this notable role, it is clear that Georgina has already left her mark on Ridley in more ways than one.

Georgina Black ’85 was paramount in building of Ridley’s Strategic Plan, that focuses on enhancing the student experience, mobilizing Ridley’s mission and strengthening our community. Though the Strategic Plan was officially launched in 2014, Georgina’s efforts did not end there. She has since been an active member in our community, her own community and has taken action in communities abroad. A perfect example of her dedication to Ridley’s motto, Terar Dum Prosim, was her recent service trip to India in 2016, where she chaperoned a group of Ridleians and helped build a home for a family in need. After this experience, she expressed feeling not only gratitude, but also pride for having witnessed the leaders of the tomorrow, our students, making a difference in the world.

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“As an OR, parent and Chair of the Board, I was so proud of our students… Each one demonstrated grit, perseverance, kindness and a commitment to serving others with tons of Ridley spirit.” – Georgina Black ’85, March 2016

Outside of her duties as Chair of the Board, Georgina continually displays commitment to her alma mater, by frequently attending and hosting school events, judging student competitions, and acting as a Ridley ambassador at international receptions.

While her dedication remains steadfast, it is her drive, passion and success that will live on at Ridley, inspiring students for years to come. This recent recognition does not come as a surprise, but Georgina’s appointment as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2016 solidifies her embodiment of our school’s mission and vision, as she is truly living a flourishing and meaningful life, while transforming the world in which we live.

“I think it is important for the future female students of Ridley to be able to look up and see a woman’s portrait among the rest of the school leaders. There’s a first for everything, and the women who are the first to do something are brave and necessary role models for young girls everywhere.”                          – Hannah Bradley ‘17

We congratulate Georgina on her inspiring achievement. It is our hope that the Ridleians of today and tomorrow will follow in her footsteps, and face their challenges with the same determination, confidence and grace.

“Society needs more of this: women recognizing women for the amazing work that they do. Having one of Canada’s most powerful women to look up to in my community, in a world where women are not always respected the way they should be, is truly an honour. Congratulations Ms. Black!”                                 – Amelia Ritchie ‘17

 

Making Global Connections on Exchange

Making global connections is an important part of Ridley life. To not only meet and interact with those from around the world, but to also be able to experience and understand other cultures allows our students to become global citizens.

This term, Ridley welcomed ten exchange students, from Australia and South Africa. For many of our visiting exchange students, it was the first time they would be experiencing Canada and life at a boarding school. Although they are only part way through their exchanges, they have already made unforgettable memories to return home with.

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“Although Ridley originally seemed like a very intimidating school, I am now learning that it is very loving and fun environment that I’ll be sad to leave. The teachers and the students have all been very welcoming and so far, my first two weeks have been great. “

Ashleigh Bakin
Tara Anglican School for Girls, Sydney, Australia

“My last two months at Ridley have been hectic, exuberant and absolutely memorable. I still remember my first few days and weeks here vividly, it somehow seems like forever ago and just yesterday simultaneously… All the students at Ridley are diverse and individual, everyone here comes from different corners of the world, from a miscellaneous array of countries, identifying as a variety of different cultures with complex identities. I am so thankful that I received the opportunity for this exchange, without this opportunity there are so many amazing people that are now in my life that I would have otherwise never crossed paths with.”

Zara Paleologos
Abbotsleigh School, Sydney, Australia

“Making the decision to come on exchange has definitely been amongst the best decisions of my life. It has been such an amazing experience so far, and there is still plenty of time to go! Not only coming on exchange that was such a good decision but coming to Canada was too. It has been such a pleasure to get to know all of these amazing people and experience all of these enjoyable things.”

Tom Bell
The King’s School, Sydney, Australia

The experience had on an exchange can be life changing, and can open up a world of opportunities for the participating students. For the ten visiting students this year, Ridley has given them a place to make connections with students from beyond Canada, and create memories from experiences they may not have otherwise had.

In a few months’ time, our Ridleians will travel to South Africa and Australia for their exchange trips, where they will reunite with their exchange families and begin their own adventures. We wish safe travels to both our students and our visitors, and we hope they have a rewarding experience abroad.

If you’re interested in the International Student Exchange Programme or have any questions, contact Dr. Ellen Foster; ellen_foster@ridleycollege.com.

Globe and Mail Insert on Niagara Region Featuring Ridley

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By Ben Benedict
November 8th, 2016

Parents looking to offer their children a top rate education based on the principles of positive education, a legacy of intellectual rigour, and the ideal balance between academics, athletics, and the arts need only to look at Ridley College – an acclaimed co-educational boarding and day school in Niagara. Our mission is to “inspire flourishing lives to transform our globe,” says Headmaster Ed Kidd, “…and we do this by teaching the habits of mind, body, and spirit.”

Earlier this year, Ridley College became an International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school, making it the only boarding and day school of its kind in Canada to offer IB from Junior Kindergarten through to grade 12. Established in 1889, Ridley’s historic, 90-acre campus offers an idyllic setting for its learner-centred culture, elite athletics for youth from the Niagara Region and around the world.

For the 2016/17 school year, more than 660 students from 44 countries around the globe are enrolled at Ridley. With a traditional British house system, all students are provided with a sense of community and a robust support network.

Ridley’s Lower School (JK to Grade 8) offers students the IB Primary Years Programme, and the Middle Years Programme, enabling learners to become creative problem solvers at a early age. Inquiry-based learning is advanced in the Upper School (Grades 9-12) with the optional IB Diploma Programme, which produces graduates who attend top universities and colleges, including Yale, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Brown, UofT, McGill, Waterloo, Queens and UBC.

Ridley acknowledges that an independent school education can be a significant investment for some families and, this year, it offered $3.4 million in financial assistance and scholarships to students who contributed to the school’s mission.

To inquire, plan a visit or apply, contact Ridley’s Admissions Office at 1-905-684-1889 ext. 2207 or admissions@ridleycollege.com. Ridley encourages families to begin the process today, for possible enrollment for the 2017/2018 academic year.