Category Archives: Upper School

Ridley College: Art and Design in New York City

The annual Grade 12 Art and Design trip to New York City was another fast-paced, eye-filling, brain bending experience for students who had the opportunity to see a wide array of visual culture spanning contemporary and historical practices. Since the mid-1940’s, New York City established itself as the epicenter of avant-garde visual art practice, and work on display today in museums and in commercial galleries attests to the fact that this bold vision is still alive in the city that never sleeps.

The first stop after arriving in the city was a journey to the top of the Rockefeller Centre, one of New York’s most historic art deco skyscrapers built in 1930. On Saturday students spent the morning at the Museum of Modern Art, the world’s most comprehensive collection of Twentieth century art. In the afternoon, the design students travelled to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and the art students travelled to the Whitney Museum and then on to Chelsea art district to tour commercial galleries. As our hotel was located just steps from Times Square, students spent the evening exploring the buzz of Broadway.

On Sunday we travelled to the northern tip of Manhattan Island for a guided visit of the Cloisters, a 13th century monastery built from the ruins of various monasteries in France at the turn of the century. We then headed back downtown to St. John the Divine, and neo-Gothic cathedral that claims the title of the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. After experiencing the awesome spectacle of the interior of the cathedral, we travelled to the Metropolitan Museum, home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of fine and decorative art. After the MET, we spent our last reserves of energy touring the Frick Museum, a more intimate space with an astounding collection of 17th and 18th century paintings and furniture.

The trip wrapped up on Monday morning with a subway ride to the southern tip of the island, a ferry ride past the Statue of Liberty and an hour shopping for souvenirs on busy Canal Street. At exactly 1pm we boarded the bus and were off on the long journey back to Ridley, totally exhausted and reveling in memories of a city that still serves as the epicenter of art.

As told by Mr. Nickerson

Ridley Students Compete in World VEX Robotics Championships in Disney!

The world VEX Robotics championships were held in Orlando, Florida this year and the Ridley College robotics team qualified for the second year in a row to compete against 416 teams from 20 countries for the title! Here is a first hand account of what happened as told by coach Rodney Reimer:

Team 1509, piloted by John Hejzlar and built by John, Steve Docherty, and Enoch Ho, was the only team in the world that sported a double-claw design that allowed the driver to both descore an opponents ring while scoring their own in record time. Taylor Petrick programmed this machine and Steve was responsible for designing and building.  The team was awarded the Create award for design and ingenuity for their work, one of only four teams to receive this award at the tournament. John went on to finish 8th overall in the round-robin tournament (out of 104) and had a 7-2 record even though on two occasions his partner in the alliance failed to score a single tube! He also finished 12th in driver skills out of 416 machines at the tournament.

Team 1509R, driven by Tyler Porter and built by Tyler Porter, Igal Flegmann, Enoch Ho, was programmed by Igal Flegmann. It competed with 1509 in the toughest division, the division that produced the eventual world champion. It was the only machine at the tournament that could score and descore well, load bases and stick them under the central ladder to lock up points, and perform the complex process of locking itself to the ladder and hanging 1/2 meter off the playing surface; this in less than 10 seconds! Tyler stubbornly stuck with this challenging design and eventually made it all work! 1509R became an announcers favourite but was plagued with mechanical problems in several of the round-robin matches. A broken motor (cracked gears) contributed to losses in two matches but in the remaining contests, Tyler managed to guide 1509R to 5 wins and 2 losses.


Team 1509B had the greatest success at the tournament result-wise but was in many ways the simplest machine. It was very fast and was guided by James Curtis, and designed and built by Steve Docherty, Taylor Petrick, Enoch Ho and Jacob Eschweiler. It became a fan favourite in the Technology division because of a large picture on the front with a picture of Charlie Sheen. James and Steve named the machine the “Ma-Sheen”, much to everyones delight. One of the reasons it was so effective was the intense use of sensors and countless hours of programming dedicated to it by Taylor Petrick. If it were not for a field problem that the VEX engineers could not specifically nail down, 1509B could well have been the tournament champion. As it ended, this machine finished 10th in programming skills and tied for 5th in the world in head-to-head competition. An outstanding feat for the “ma-Sheen”.

Especially at the worlds, but throughout our time at all tournaments, so much of our excellent intelligence on our opponents and allies came via our team of scouts. As well as acting as scouts, the team of Cheryl Wong, Hayyan Kalid, Jacob Eschweiler and Rhys Patterson (joining us from Laura Secord) served to keep us up to speed on all required details and keep our batteries charged, pit area organized and ran things back and forth from the pit area to the two competition fields as needed. They were a huge factor in our success.

A special thanks to generous sponsors who made these results possible. Ridley was very supportive of our efforts but we could not have shown the world what Ridley Tigers can do without the generous help from: Ophardt Hygeine, Porter Medical Group, RMT Robotics and CTFS. Much gratitude to you.


Ridley Independent Film Festival – 3rd Annual RIFF!

Apertures, Aptitudes and Attitudes: Ridley Independent Film Festival 2011

This year’s festival showcased a collection of short films made by the students in Shelley Thomas’ Grade 12 Film Studies course.

Over the past few months, students have participated in a number of workshops to evaluate the technical and creative aspects of each other’s films, their efforts culminating in an evening of cinephilia, excitement, and felicity through film. The festival showcased an eclectic array of film styles and genres, including stop-motion photography, claymation, documentary, comedy and drama.

A number of these films have been entered in the TSFF (Toronto Student Film Festival) to be held in May 2011.  We wish our budding filmmakers well as they take their next steps in their cinematic journeys.

Enjoy the Films:

Probability- Directed by Gianni B.

I’ve Forgotten You – Directed By Owen W.

Findley – Directed by Mackenzie F.

Ana, Mia, and I – Directed by Brynn H.


The Birthday – Directed by April W. & Jonathan K.

A Lovely Silence – Directed By Briony K.

Between the Lines – Directed By Kitty C.

The Bump in the Road – Directed by Christina K.

One Bite Stand – Directed by Laura R. & Megan B.

Off the Cuff – Directed by Gianni B.

Ridley College Spirit Week

It’s Spirit Week at Ridley College! Today is sdrawkacb yad or BACKWARDS DAY! Sports and Tutorial were in the morning instead the afternoon and chapel is this afternoon instead of this morning – our normal school schedule is completely reversed.  Students are also wearing colours by grade so, Grade 9’s are wearing blue, Grade 10’s green, Grade 11’s Red, and Grade 12’s Yellow.  Tomorrow students will be donning sunglasses all day!  Thursday is Tacky Tie Day and Friday there will be orange and black as far as the eye can see as Ridleians put on all their Ridley gear to watch the rugby tournament we are hosting!

Ridley College Spirit Week from Ben Jurjevich on Vimeo.

Ridley Tradition: Cadet Ball

Friday night Ridley Students were dolled up for the annual Cadet Ball at Hernder Estates. Ladies in Grades 11 & 12 dressed in beautiful dresses and the gentlemen put on the cadet uniforms for this traditional Ridley event.   Grade 9-10 students held parties at their respective houses.  Check out some pictures from the evening:

Grade 10 Students at Princess theme house party

Mr. Fazzari Goes to Parliament

Grade 10 student Alexander F. travelled to Ottawa over March Break for the Forum for Young Canadians, read about his experience:

From the moment I arrived in Ottawa it was a very exciting time.  I had the good fortune to be in Ottawa during a week when an election was called and I had the opportunity to learn all about its process first hand.  I was able to participate in simulations and panel presentations.  I participated in a simulated election, parliament, and debates while learning how to influence public policy.  The Forum for Young Canadians is non-partisan, so that means that no matter your political leanings, you get to hear from all the major political parties in Canada.

In addition, I learned how difficult it is to make laws and how difficult it is to have your opinion align with those of others in order to get a law written in so that all those involved are satisfied.  This process taught me how to get my opinion heard during a voting simulation by debating issues that were important in a mock government.  I was elected Prime Minister of my group and I presented the group’s issues on immigration to the forum.  I delivered the speech in English and in French to the best of my ability.  For my efforts in speaking French, I received the Second Language Award!  The whole experience was amazing!

I visited the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library, and the public viewing area in Parliament.

I was able to meet and have dinner with the Welland riding Member of Parliament, Malcolm Allen, on Parliament Hill.  Also present at the dinner were other MPs, Senators, and VIPs from across Canada.  We heard speeches from MPs and Ministers about their stories.

I wanted to participate in the Forum for Young Canadians because I am very interested in law and politics and the forum gave me the opportunity to learn more about these topics.

I found the experience to be very enjoyable and informative and it helped me to make the decision to pursue a career in law.