Category Archives: Ridley News

Ridleian Published in Medical Journal

Committed to his goal of one day becoming a medical doctor, Arnav Wadhawan ’19 seized the opportunity to contribute his summer research to a peer-reviewed medical journal and presented his findings at an international medical conference.

View Online Journal co-authored by Arnav.

Grade 12 student, Arnav’s motivation to turn to the field of medicine was undoubtedly inspired by his parents, both doctors, as well as other family members who have taken on the vocation of physicians. What ignited his specific interest for research in the field of infectious diseases was his volunteer work with Dr. Rajinder Bajwa from the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, in New York. Impressed by Arnav’s proactive approach to learning and his breadth of knowledge, Dr. Bajwa, an infectious disease specialist and doctor of internal medicine, asked the teen if he’d like to assist in compiling an article on Legionellosis—a term used to describe clinical manifestations of infection caused by the Legionella bacteria, which includes Legionnaires Disease, focal non-pulmonary infections and Pontiac Fever.

Arnav jumped at the opportunity and swiftly went to work, making this journal his summer 2018 focus. Beginning in July, Arnav dove deep into research on the subject—combing through articles on “Pub Med” and even using his father’s resources as an additional tool in gathering knowledge on the disease. After nearly two months of studying, writing and editing, and with Dr. Bajwa’s stamp of approval, Arnav’s work was submitted to a number of Medical Journals alongside Dr. Bajwa’s credentials, and the waiting game began.

Once an article is received by a Medical Journal, it was reviewed by an editorial committee to assess the validity of the work, the educational value in publishing and to determine if it aligned with the topics they are circulating. Arnav and Dr. Bajwa went through the editorial committee process twice, and on the second submission they received the exciting news that their review was going to be published by Juniper Publishing.

As it was my first publication, I was extremely thrilled as I thought the journey to my dreams had begun and my hard work over the summer has brought a reward. I could not have thanked my mentors enough for their help in the process. As soon as I got the news I called my mentor and expressed my gratitude to him. This has also encouraged me to do more during my breaks so that I can contribute to the field of medicine with my research.”                                          – Arnav Wadhawan ’19

This past October, Arnav was given the opportunity to present his findings at 2018 Medical Imaging and Case Reports Conference (MICRA 2018) in Baltimore, Maryland in Dr. Bajwa’s place. The senior Ridley student once again rose to the occasion and presented a case report on the right-sided infective endocarditis. Feeling comfortable with the material, Arnav took to the stage and presented in front of the international medical community, which included representation from Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins University.

Arnav is committed to furthering his medical education, and is currently a research assistant in a study with Roche Pharmaceuticals. Through this experience, he is working on yet another publication for a medical journal. While he is unsure of what his post-secondary school of choice will be, he plans to remain dedicated to becoming a doctor. “I think what I have learned from this publication,” says Arnva, “is that time is one of the most important aspects of our lives and if utilized towards our goals it will bring us one step closer to achieving them.”

10 Inspiring Alumnae to Celebrate

Driven, ambitious and passionate are a few words you may use to describe an inherently inspirational woman in your life. Today is International Women’s Day and we’d like to celebrate a few of Ridley’s alumnae who have made their mark on the world.

Georgina Black ’85

Georgina Black ’85: As the first female Chair of the Board of Governors at Ridley College, Georgina has paved the way for young women to succeed in both leadership and governance. In addition to her role at Ridley, she is a Partner at KPMG Canada and was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2016.

Michele-Elise Burnett ’86: Michele-Elise founded the Indigenous festival, Celebration of Nations, which takes place every September. In addition, during the 18th annual Women in Business Awards this past November, Michele-Elise Burnett ’85 was recognized for her commitment to helping the arts thrive in Niagara; winning the Cultural Arts Award.

Sarah Eyton ’86: As Vice President of Fund Development at Special Olympics Canada, this alumna has dedicated her career to supporting those with intellectual disabilities in realizing their dreams of competing in sport. In addition, she serves Ridley College as a member of the Board of Governors and the Advancement Committee.

Nadine Karachi-Estrada ’87: Passionate about social justice, this alumna was appointed the Honorary Consul for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2016. In addition, she has served on a number of Boards, including Ridley College, Patrons of Contemporary Art in Mexico and MEXFAM. She was also a founding member of Camp Deen, which is a camp that empowers Muslim Canadians to be proud of their heritage.

Michele-Elise Burnett ’86 & Nadine Karachi-Estrada ’87

Wendy O’Brien ’88: This alumna started her own casting company in Los Angeles, Wendy O’Brien Casting, and has been the Casting Director for hit television shows such as: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Sons of Anarchyand Prison Break.

Hilary Caters ’89: Hilary was once an entrepreneur and marketing agency owner, until she realized her path was leading her down a different direction. Now, she is a passionate life coach and motivational speaker. During the Niagara Leadership Summit for Women in October of 2018, Hilary spoke to aspiring leaders about taking control of ones’ life and the importance of seeking and uncovering both passion and purpose.

Jane Lewis ’90: This Canadian singer-songwriter has always been involved in the arts. While she began her career as an author and editor, she shifted towards music in 2009. Since then, she has honed her skills, released a number of CDs and launched both a solo career and her band, Gathering Sparks. She will be performing at our Toronto Branch event, Curating Connections, on April 2nd.

Jane Lewis ’90

Alison Loat ’94: This alumna co-founded Samara Canada, a charitable organization that works to improve political participation in Canada. In addition, she has published several notable books, is the Managing Director at FCLTGlobal, serves on both Ridley’s Board of Governors as well as Ai-Media and has been named one of WXN’s most influential women in Canada.

Jeanette Stock ’09: This alumna is paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse tech landscape through Venture Out. Venture Out is an initiative launched by Jeanette and her peers in 2016, with the goal of connecting LGBTQA+ people, working in technology, with career and networking opportunities. In 2017, Venture Out held its first conference; welcoming over 450 individuals to Canada’s first conference for LGBTQA+ students and professionals, seeking careers in the tech industry.

Jeanette Stock ’09

Laura Court ’14: After a unanimous vote, former Ridley rower and current Brock Badger, Laura Court ’14 was named Brock University’s OUA Female Athlete of the Year—the first coxswain to receive this honour. With a number of gold medal wins behind her and a promising future ahead, it is no surprise that she was recognized for her grit, determination and skill.

 

TURNING ADVERSITY INTO OPPORTUNITY

How one Ridleian overcame persecution and earned a full university scholarship to support his ambition to transform our globe.

It was nightfall when sixteen-year-old Asmatullah (Asmat) arrived at the Vancouver border in summer of 2017. He had just undertaken a solo journey from California to reach the Canadian land crossing after learning that the United States would no longer have him as a student. Thousands of miles from his home in Afghanistan and unable to return to his family, Asmat made the bold decision to seek refugee status and hope for a better future in the ‘Great White North’.

The original plan to study in North America had begun as an exciting prospect for Asmat. As a uniquely remarkable student, he accepted a scholarship to a military academy in California for his Grade 10 year. However, when his funding and student visa were revoked, he found himself in limbo between a country where he was no longer welcomed and a home nation that would suspect him a conspirator.

“If I hadn’t come to Canada and I hadn’t crossed the border that night, I would have returned back to Afghanistan and who knows if I’d be alive now,” reflects Asmat on what might have happened if things hadn’t gone to plan. Soon after arriving to Canada, he was connected with social services and provided with housing in Ontario, but as a minor he struggled to fulfill his basic needs without a legal guardian; Once walking himself to a public high school in East York, Toronto where he unsuccessfully attempted to enroll.

Enter Cory Miller, Guidance and University Counsellor at Branksome Hall (an all-girls CAIS independent school), who upon learning of the displaced teen’s story felt compelled to act. “Asmat and I first met on a sunny day at the Toronto waterfront and I took him to a Blue Jays game,” Miller recalls about their first encounter. “From our initial conversations and [seeing] his academic records, it was clear that he was very keen to continue his education,” adds the woman who became Asmat’s legal guardian only weeks after setting eyes on him. “It was an opportunity to help someone who clearly has so much potential, it felt like a very easy decision to make. Helping a Muslim refugee in this day and age of growing xenophobia felt like my small gesture of social justice.”

Asmat and Cory meeting for the first time at a Toronto Blue Jays home game.

Partnering with Asmat and his parents back in Afghanistan, Cory swiftly reached out to her colleagues at fellow independent schools to see if anyone would be willing to welcome an additional boarder on short notice. Cory knew the school would need to be able to support Asmat’s talents and ambitions so one of her initial calls was to Julie Cameron, Director of Admissions at Ridley College who says she clearly recalls being profoundly moved by Asmat’s story because it harkened back to Ridley’s deep service-oriented mentality. “Asmat is an example of why we do what we do as educators,” Julie underscores. With the support of Headmaster Kidd, Asmat was soon accepted to Ridley College as a late addition to Dean’s House residence.

Prefect-led Pep Rally on Opening Day 2018

In less than a full academic year, Asmat began to soar. He enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, learned his fifth language, became an active member of Cadet Corps leadership, went on a service trip to Malawi, joined clubs committed to human rights, took up rowing as well as Model U.N. and Debating. It’s no wonder then that his peers voted him in as Prefect for the 2018-19 academic year.

“Coming to Ridley…everything exceeded my expectations; from the diversity in the community to studying with such an amazing and smart cohort and from the volume of opportunities available to academic intensity at the school especially with the IB programme,” he said enthusiastically about his first year at Ridley. “I felt overwhelmed in the beginning, but with support that I got from the faculty, staff and my friends, I was able to take on every challenge, thrive and have fun.”

On a promising trajectory already and working with Ridley’s University and Guidance Counsellor, Michael Maki, post-secondary institutions began to take notice of Asmat’s undeniable potential. In mid-February 2019 one university in particular stepped up to make this new Canadian’s dreams come true. While on what he believed was a Huron University campus tour and interview with its President, Dr. Barry Craig, Asmat was surprised with acceptance and a full, four-year undergraduate scholarship—the largest in the school’s history.

Hear from Asmat about his experience at Ridley and excitement for Huron University.

Beaming even days following the news and in his consistently humble way, Asmat reports that he has decided to pursue a double-major, combining Leadership, Governance and Ethics with Economics. He also plans to study photography while obtaining a business certificate in from Harvard University. “I want to get into politics [and] I’m committed to transforming our globe because I believe in equity and equity of opportunity for everyone and currently that does not exist…it’s just going to open the door for much development in this world,” the soon-to-be Ridley graduate explains. He elaborates that his intended studies are all to support his vision of one day working with the United Nations as a part of the security council or on peace-keeping missions oversees. “I think Asmat definitely has the makings of a statesman, he cares about mankind and improving circumstances for all of humanity. He has the intellectual and social skills to plan strategically, negotiate policy, and hopefully peace in the Middle East. He articulates that aspiration regularly,” Cory reinforces.

“What’s most inspiring about Asmat is not just his list of accomplishments and achievements, but also his positive outlook on life in spite of the challenges he has faced on his journey,” says Headmaster Ed Kidd, adding, “He should be an example of resilience and perseverance to us all.  As a community we are so proud of him and I am confident he will continue to flourish (and inspire others to flourish) at Huron.”

Headmaster Kidd and Julie Cameron welcoming Asmat to Ridley College.

Asmat isn’t shy in expressing his gratitude to Ridley College, Huron University (and of course, Cory) for providing him with educational opportunities he wouldn’t otherwise had. “For me Ridley is far more than just a place where I go to school. Ridley is an experience. Apart from the academic skills and knowledge that I have acquired at Ridley, my experience at Ridley has helped me grow spiritually and find my real self in many different ways. Ridley has taught me how to handle my emotions and fight till the end, until I succeed.”

“If you are looking for somewhere to flourish and grow Ridley is the right place for you.” – Asmat ’19

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.

 

Shailynn Snow ’19 Named to Team Canada Roster

It is with great excitement that we announce Shailynn Snow ’19 has been named to Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 hockey team. The 23-player roster will travel to Obihiro, Japan this coming January to compete at the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.

Hailing from Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, the 18-year forward has spent the past three seasons playing for Ridley College’s Prep Girls hockey team, which competes in the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) under Head Coach, Amanda Wark.

“Shailynn is one of the most elite student-athletes in our country, which is a result of her hard work and desire to be the best she can possibly be. Shay has the ability to single-handedly change the outcome of any game she is in. She is a great leader both on and off the ice and has gained the respect of her teammates and opponents alike. Making Team Canada is a huge honour for her, and one that she has worked for every day. To see this come true for her is rewarding for everyone involved.” – Amanda Wark, Head Coach

This is the second time in her career that Snow will proudly wear the maple leaf as she also appeared in two of three showcase games played between the National Women’s Under-18 Team and the United States Under-18 squad this past summer.

“My time spent at Ridley has not only helped me develop as a player, but also a person. The support I have received during my time here has encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I am very grateful for the opportunity to represent my country and look forward to joining my new teammates in late December.” – Shailynn Snow ‘19

Upon graduation from Ridley College this spring, Shailynn will continue her academic and athletic endeavors on a full scholarship to St. Lawrence University to compete in the NCAA.

Canada will open the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship against Sweden on January 5th at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. The schedule also has Canada matching up against the United States and Russia to round out the preliminary round on January 7th and 8th, respectively. The gold medal game is set to take place at 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT on Sunday, January 13th.

Read more about Shailynn in The Western Star.

About Ridley College:
Since 1889, Ridley College has provided enriching educational experiences focused on the arts, academics, service and athletics. With 700 students from 63 countries, Ridley is a truly international, coeducational, day and boarding school. In recent years, the school has become the Canadian leader in positive education. The Lower School offers JK to Grade 8 classes, while its Upper School consists of Grade 9-12.  Ridley is an International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school, with graduates who attend top universities and colleges around the globe.

David K. Carter ’88 Elected 20th Chair of the Board of Governors

The attributes of a great leader are often listed as integrity, influence, commitment, innovative thinking and clear communication. An effective leader inspires action, cultivates relationships and has a passion for a cause that is bigger than themselves. For Dave Carter ’88, that cause is Ridley College and for this loyal alumnus, all of these qualities (and more) ring true. Having contributed to several facets of Governance and proven his profound care for our school over several decades, Ridley College is honoured to welcome David Carter as the Chair of the Board of Governors, made official at the Annual General Meeting on September 21, 2018.

Dave’s relationship with our beloved school began in 1981 when he arrived to Lower School as a Grade 7 boarder from Oakville, Ontario. He admits that his first term at the school was challenging, but he overcame homesickness and made the most of his Ridley experience by forging friendships and becoming entrenched in a variety of activities. Over seven years, these included rowing, theatre, choir, harriers, working on Acta Ridleiana, Cadet Drill Team, and serving as a school Prefect in his senior year.

“[My parents] wanted me to have more peers around me, and it really did turn out to be some blind wisdom,” Dave says, reflecting back on his lasting connections and his seven years as a domestic boarder. For him, Ridley was the beginning of great things to come.

An accomplished business leader, Dave earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Western University and later completed his CA and CPA designations. According to him, it was the work ethic and self-discipline he gained from rowing, Cadets and his Prefectship that have propelled him in his career. After university, he was hired by Deloitte Canada to do his articling and ended up as a forensic investigator, where he worked nearly 10 years in both Toronto and Grand Cayman helping to litigate asset recoveries inside one of the largest global cases of bank fraud in history.

Returning to Canada, Dave pivoted into Business Process Innovation in healthcare, before being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. He has since exercised proficiency in finance, strategic communications, health care, and technology by partnering in and managing different ventures across multiple sectors.

Despite his varied interests, Dave has always made time to give back to Ridley. Terar Dum Prosim resonates for him and is what inspired him to get involved with Ridley’s Board Committees in his early thirties. First joining in 2000, and eventually chairing, the Finance Audit and HR Committee, Dave was formally elected a Governor in 2009. He proceeded to volunteer additional time to Chair the Monarch Gala, and as part of the small Headmaster search team in 2011. Having been nominated as Board Chair-elect, he became Vice Chair in 2017.

“My work with the board has been continually stimulating…but the fundamental reason is to serve. Our motto couldn’t really be more appropriate in my thinking. If you have that first, chances are that the other dividends you require in life will come.”              – Dave Carter ’88

For the next four years, Dave will lead our school as the 20th Chair of the Board of Governors, the office held by Georgina Black ’85 since 2014. When approached to consider this significant position, Dave recalls, “I was humbled. I think Georgina struck a path and was transformational for many things at Ridley…and she has served honourably.” As he weighed the decision, Dave reflected on how he felt he could contribute to the school’s strategic vision, mission and succession planning. He turned to his wife Hilary, who he notes has always supported his commitment to the school—both she, and Dave’s children Angus and Clare, know the degree to which he values his relationship with Ridley. With their support, Dave could proudly accept this new role and responsibility.

In addition to bringing expertise and enthusiasm, Dave is focused on assisting school leadership to secure Ridley’s prosperity, while maintaining the importance of positive education, flourishing, and student-centeredness.

“I think one of the strengths of Ridley’s recent past has been the supportive and trusting relationship between the Head and the Chair – there is a lot of literature suggesting that this parternship is a key indicator of school strength and stability.  I have been blessed to work closely with two excellent past Chairs, and now look forward to sustaining this strength under Dave’s leadership.  He has proven himself a devoted servant to Ridley and a wise counselor to me and the management team.” – Headmaster, Ed Kidd

About Headmaster Ed Kidd, Dave notes, “being part of the search for this dynamic Headmaster was a source of pride for me, and fulfilled the Board’s most important mandate—the securing and sustenance of a Headmaster to lead the school. I’ve been proud to watch his leadership evolve and the energy and commitment he brings. The Board and I have the utmost confidence in Headmaster Kidd to continue steering Ridley through the next era.”

As he takes his seat as the leader of our community, Dave states that what he’s most energized about contributing to is solidifying Ridley’s strong position: “I want to make sure that the hard work of the board is relevant in helping the school deliver against the solid path we are on. It is a team effort, and there is no one individual who can accomplish this alone,” he says, “I’m most looking forward to seeing the school enter an exciting next chapter.”

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.

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: Tomi J. ’19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to Know Your Prefects: Kyoko T. ’19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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