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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgina Black ’85, Ridley’s Chair of the Board of Governors and Old Ridleian, was recently and unequivocally named one of Canada’s100 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.
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.
“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 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.
“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. “
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.”
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.”
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; email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Ridley encourages families to begin the process today, for possible enrollment for the 2017/2018 academic year.
Each year, the speaking arts at Ridley continues to grow, and with it, so do our students. With each debate, speech, or presentation, our Ridleians continue to develop the skills and confidence to succeed, while exploring and seeking answers to global issues. During the first debate of the year, our Ridleians put these very skills to the test, and returned home with a trophy in hand.
On November 4th – 5th, Ridley students participated in the first Fulford Cup debate of the season, hosted by Lakefield College School. The Fulford League is comprised of 20 independent schools throughout Ontario, and a number of Fulford Cup debates occur each year. These events offer students the chance to meet, compete and grow with their peers, as the year progresses.
For this most recent debate, there were two prepared rounds on the topic of whether vaccinations should be mandatory, followed by an impromptu round on whether we should continue to fund space exploration.
Junior debaters, Bart Skala ‘19 (placed 6th individually) and Jared Sloan ‘19 (placed 8th individually) won the Fulford Cup with impressive performances, placing first overall as a team. This is the first time Ridley has won the Fulford League Bryan Jones Trophy since the 1999-2000 season.
Seniors, Jack Richardson ‘17 (placed 4th individually) and Zane Gourzong ’18 (placed 18th individually) finished 5th as a team, in the challenging cross-examination category. This was the first competitive debate for Zane and an impressive start to his debate involvement. Jack demonstrated his experience by placing 4th overall, earning his second consecutive Fulford certificate. Our students represented Ridley well; demonstrating their dedication, talent and team work. The coaches, Andrew Leach, Sean MacPherson, and Paul O’Rourke are encouraged by the development of this year’s debate members and look forward to their next debate. The competitive calendar has just started and new students are always welcomed.
The Ridley Debating Society would like to take this time to acknowledge the generous support of W. Darcy McKeough ’51 and the W. Darcy McKeough ’51 Fund, which helps develop the speaking arts at Ridley – debate, public speaking, and model United Nations.
Want to support the speaking arts? The 2016 annual Upper School Public Speaking Competition will be held on Wednesday, November 30th, at 1:00p.m. in the Mandeville Theatre. We encourage all members of the Ridley community to attend this long standing Ridley tradition and cheer on the participants.
– Paul O’Rourke, MYP Coordinator, Department of Social Sciences (LS)
Ridleian, Xavier West ’20 has been a dedicated advocate for Me to We since he was only 10 years old. Me to We (formerly Free the Children) is an organization that sets out to empower youth to change the world. Once Xavier discovered Me to We, a fire ignited within him to make a difference.
When he was younger, Xavier would frequently listen to Me to We cofounder, Craig Kielburger, as he recalled stories of his service trips to poverty-stricken communities. Hearing these stories inspired Xavier to see what he could do to help. It began small; asking not for toys at Christmas, but for a goat to be given to a family in need – A goat can provide a family in the developing world with both a sustainable source of income and nutritious milk. Xavier realized that while he had all the toys he could ever want, a roof over his head, and a full fridge, there was a family somewhere in the world that didn’t share the same luxuries.
It was then that Xavier’s goal grew and he set out to complete all five pillars of Me to We giving. The five pillars are education, water, health, food and opportunity. Each pillar contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty in developing communities around the world. The first pillar on Xavier’s list was education. Xavier was determined to raise enough money to build a school in Kenya.
He remained devoted and inspired for the four years of his fundraising campaign, even attending the Take Action Camp, where he was able to interact with like-minded individuals share his story, and see where he community service could take him. After selflessly collecting cans, hosting garage sales and rallying his family, friends and the community to help him reach his goal, Xavier raised $11,000. The collected funds were used to build a school in Kenya from start to finish, which Xavier also helped build on site. For this Grade 9 student, this was a chance to see the impact he was making on these communities and gave him the opportunity to experience, first-hand, what his fundraising efforts had accomplished.
Xavier says the most touching moment of his trip was meeting a mother, who showed him and his family what life was like in her community; taking them on a water walk, showing them her goats, and taking them to her home, which she built herself.
“The way she was talking was just so inspirational…she says this magnificent house – that isn’t that big – is amazing, and yet we’re worried about the luxuries that we have, that aren’t even close to what they have.” – Xavier West ’20
When Xavier returned home, the summer was nearing its end and he was about to begin the next chapter of his life – high school. This transition is a big step for students, made even bigger by the fact that Xavier would also be beginning his Ridley journey. ¬Xavier wanted to attend Ridley for the exceptional education that the school could provide, but upon arriving, he realized that this was also a place he could further his commitment to action and service. With Ridley’s own commitment to service, each House on campus is associated with a charitable organization that they support and raise funds for over the course of the school year. Through this programme, Xavier discovered how he could impact his local community, in addition to his efforts abroad. For a student so dedicated to transforming the globe, Ridley was the perfect fit.
On October 19th, Xavier was presented with the We Charity Youth Award during the 12th annual We Day. This award is given to a child, aged 13-17, who has contributed to Me to We and the fight to end poverty in an inspiring way. In addition to his acknowledgement on stage, winning this award means that Xavier will be able to experience another service trip and he’s setting his sights on Nicaragua.
Xavier’s journey does not end there. He plans to continue to complete all five pillars; doing his part to contribute to Kenya’s food sustainability, clean water availability, health care, and income opportunities, followed by aiding all of Me to We communities.
“My end goal is to do all five pillars in every community that Me to We is associated with.” – Xavier West ’20
To students who are seeking inspiration to make an impact of their own, Xavier says this:
“Do something you’re passionate about. It doesn’t matter whether the cause is big or small, they’re all important. There are so many problems in this world and if we all help, maybe one day all these problems can be solved.” – Xavier West ’20