Get to Know Your Prefects: Marlize V. S. ’19

Meet Marlize ’19: a Day student who has embraced a global outlook through her Ridley experiences and her exchanges abroad. A student-athlete who is involved in a variety of co-curriculars, Marlize has welcomed all that Ridley has to offer since arriving as a Grade 1 student. Read more to learn how Marlize will be applying all she has learned during her years at the school into her role as a Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley?
I started at Ridley when I was just five, which means that I didn’t really have a say in the initial decision. However, throughout my time at Ridley, there has never been never a doubt in my mind as to whether I would return the next year – the people and atmosphere are one-of-a-kind and I’m so glad my parents made the decision that they did.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I felt as prepared as a first grader could be! The friends I made during Grade 1 and those subsequent years definitely made each new venture easier to navigate and although at times you may feel extremely unprepared for the various demanding aspects of Ridley life, chances are that everyone around you is experiencing the exact same thing – just something to keep in mind.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
It’s really hard to choose just one favourite faculty member as all of them have been amazing, but three great teachers are Mr. Ronald, Ms. Covent and Ms. Thomas.

Mr. Ronald, who teaches IB Environment, and Ms. Covent, who teaches IB Biology, are two of the most dedicated teachers I’ve ever had. They consistently go above and beyond to make sure that every student feels confident with the material. Their devotion is most accurately summarized by the fact that if you ask them for help before an assessment, they would come to school after hours just to support you.

Ms. Thomas, who teaches IB Language and Literature, is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. The discussions she prompted in class made you question everything about societal construct and expectations, and she forms genuine connections with each and every one of her students. Sadly, last year was her last year at Ridley, but she continues and will always continue to do fascinating things.

What has been your greatest challenge at Ridley so far?
IB1 was a challenge unparalleled by any other I have faced at Ridley – I knew it would be hard but I didn’t entirely know what I was getting myself into. The workload and its difficulty, along with keeping up with all other aspects of Ridley life, is intense and at times overwhelming, but I strongly consider challenges to be what defines someone’s character and builds perseverance. Therefore, I try to expose myself to as many challenges as possible in hopes of coming out a better person on the other side.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My greatest accomplishment at Ridley has been receiving the Ian Wood ’53 Summer Language Scholarship. Ian Wood ’53, a former Canadian Ambassador, generously funds an annual scholarship that allows a student to travel to any country and participate in a summer program of their choosing to better their skills in a foreign language. I chose to take part in a two-week human rights internship in Cape Town, South Africa, where I hope to bring my Afrikaans skills to a level practical in a professional or occupational setting. I’m actually writing this profile from South Africa and the experience has incredible thus far!

What has been your favourite Ridley experience?
During first term in Grade 10, I hosted an exchange student from Australia named Alex, and in turn stayed with her on a three-month exchange to Sydney, Australia during second term. It was an exciting and enriching experience to attend a school on the other side of the world and observe the students’ work-ethic and culture. It was also really fun to show Alex around Ridley and Niagara – this helped me to appreciate where I lived as well. I strongly encourage everyone to apply for exchange – it’s quite daunting but won’t be regretted. Alex and I became great friends and our families will be meeting for the first time this December for a ski trip in Whistler!

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life has definitely been the sports. I’m quite competitive, so being able to play at a challenging level has been really enjoyable. Many of the teams I’ve been on have been successful and many haven’t, but the best part of the athletic life at Ridley is the time spent with my teammates. Spending time with people outside of the classroom adds another dimension to relationships that would’ve otherwise only been cultivated in an academic setting – it’s where you can forget about the stresses of school and focus on improving yourself individually and as part a team. On the field/court is where I’ve made some of my closest friends and in turn makes all other aspects of Ridley life more enjoyable.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I’m most excited to meet new people and hear their ideas! I think Prefectship is a great platform to reach a lot of people and aid in having their voices be heard. Of course, this can be done without being a Prefect, but hopefully I can make use of the position by helping to connecting the voice of the students to the administration and make students a more prominent stakeholder in decision making where possible.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has presented so many amazing opportunities that have prepared me for life after high school, from volunteer trips to leadership opportunities to creating situations out of my comfort zone. The workload and busy schedule can, as previously mentioned, be overwhelming, but is necessary in preparing Ridley students for university and work by cultivating strong moral standards and skills such as perseverance and determination. I honestly believe and have heard that Ridley students are generally more prepared than most other students when entering university in regards to time management skills, so only time will tell if that is the case for me as well!

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, if plans remain steady, I hope to undertake degrees in Law and Globalization overseas, and pursue a Masters degree afterwards, which I’m unsure of at the moment. Once I’m done, I’d like to internship and potentially work in Pretoria, where my family is from, in human rights or to help fight governmental corruption – wherever I end up, I want to have a job that is fulfilling and meaningful to me in which I can help others, no matter what the job title is.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?Take every opportunity that remotely interests you and go for it. If I hadn’t gone on service trips, I probably wouldn’t have been applying for the university courses I’m applying to, and if I hadn’t gone on exchange, I probably wouldn’t be studying overseas – these opportunities have not only changed my academic course but have made me into a more educated, aware, and well-rounded person, which applies to every aspect of life (not just academics). My point is that high school is where you find what interests you, what you enjoy, and what problems you want to solve in the world – finding that passion here is only possible when you try new things.

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.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Jordan M. ’19

Meet Jordan M ’19: a Prefect who spent his Lower School years overseas. Upon joining the Ridley community in 2014 as a Grade 8 student, Jordan completely immersed himself into a range of athletic and co-curricular activities. With a keen interest in film and digital media, Jordan continuously flexes his creativity both in and out of the classroom. Read more about Jordan here:

Why did you choose Ridley?
My parents are teachers at the school, but previously they worked overseas in the international school community. As a family, we decided we wanted to move to Canada to connect with the country my parents grew up in. When searching for private schools in Canada we fell in love with Ridley, its beautiful campus, and its vision in preparing students for the future.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
To be honest, at first I didn’t really know what I had gotten myself into as it was my first time going to school in Canada and I didn’t know what to expect. But I quickly felt welcomed into the community and it soon became my home.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
It’s hard to name just one faculty member because there are so many dedicated and caring faculty at the school that are here to support me. However, even though there is a bit of a conflict of interests, I would say my amazing parents (Ms. Anderson and Mr. Mitchell) are my favorite faculty members at the school. They are always there to support me through thick and thin and have led me through a ton of challenges.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
So far, my greatest challenge at Ridley has been doing the IB Diploma. It really makes you develop your time management skills, as well as challenges you in the classroom. With this being said, there is a great support system that has helped me through the first year of the program.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
To be honest, being a Prefect has been a great accomplishment and honour. I am proud to be recognized by my peers and members of the community as a leader, and I hope to make the most of it in the coming year.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
Although I have had a plethora of truly amazing experiences at Ridley, I would have to say that the Jacaranda service trip stands out. During spring break, in both Grades 10 and 11, I went on the trip to Malawi to help at the Jacaranda School for Orphans. It was a life-changing trip and not only did it feel amazing to be able to help the people there, but I was also able to learn a lot for myself and grow as a person.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part about Ridley is how diverse the community is. There are students from all corners of the globe and it’s amazing being able to learn and hear about these various cultures from my friends and classmates.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I’m most excited about being able to develop my leadership skills in a way that will be able to better the community around me for both me and my peers. I am really looking forward to working with the great group of fellow Prefects in a way that will hopefully create positive changes to the community, as well as promoting student life and making everyone feel welcome.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has prepared me for the future in numerous ways. To begin with, I believe the incredible education and support at the school will be great in preparing me for university programmes. I believe the values I have learned at the school are just as, if not more, important, and will prepare me to go out and make a change in the world. Whether this be the balance it has taught and well roundedness, global mindedness, acceptance, or any one of the other values that Ridley teaches on a daily basis.

What are your plans after graduation?
I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do after I graduate as there are a lot of things that I’m interested in, but as of now I think I want to do a programme that combines film/various digital media and business in a way. These are topics I’m quite interested in and I want to pursue them in the future.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
One piece of advice I would give all prospective students to Ridley is to be as involved as possible in the various clubs and activities that the school has to offer. Ridley has a wide selection of co-curricular activities to be involved in that you should try out. Whether it be something you’re experienced at, passionate about, or just curious about. For example, at first I was a little hesitant to join the Jacaranda service trip, however it ended up being one of my favourite experiences at Ridley and in my life in general.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Jaden K. ’19

Meet Jaden K ’19: a versatile athlete who balances sports, Cadets, academics and his personal interests in digital media. Arriving to Ridley after years in China, Jaden is accustomed to the global community that exists within the Marriott Gates. With a vested interest in pursuing leadership opportunities, read more about how Jaden plans to put his Prefect duties in action.

Why did you choose Ridley?
Although coming to Ridley wasn’t my choice, I found myself attracted to the school’s balance of history and tradition to the modern values that are taught and instilled, that create flourishing students. In addition, the campus and facilities are beautiful and the community is genuine and caring. I remember when I first visited I thought to myself how proud I would feel to be a Ridley Tiger.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
Despite the fact that Ridley was only my second school and I had never had to move, I felt confident and prepared coming to Ridley. While leaving friends was hard, I wasn’t nervous making new connections and memories. I trusted the community and embraced the culture which has led to amazing new friends and memorable experiences.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
My favourite members of faculty are the grounds crew staff. They work hard every day to keep the campus clean and beautiful, and during my walk to school in the morning they always wave and wish me a good day. They are kind and hardworking, which personifies what it means to be a Ridley Tiger.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
A challenge that I faced at Ridley was the transition between Lower School and Upper School. While my last year in Lower School was successful, I found my first year of high school challenging. The year required perseverance and grit, however, with the help of faculty, I found a rhythm and recognized my goals which led to successful transitions into further grades.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
Although being named a Prefect was a proud achievement, my greatest accomplishment at Ridley would be winning CISAA gold with First Team Boys rugby. We were a tight-knit team and had bonded over many hours of training and playing. I consider this my greatest accomplishment because it represented a season of hard work and the relationships that can be made through sports at Ridley.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My fondest Ridley experience has been camp during the first weeks of school. Camp is an opportunity to meet new students and make friends in an environment out of everyone’s comfort zone. I love the competitive nature of the activities and I believe camp introduces a Canadian experience to our international students.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite parts of Ridley life are the House activities and competitions. Whether we are competing in Sports Day at the end of the year or just a casual soccer match, I love having a community of students who are energetic and passionate about activities throughout the House. In addition to the competitions, I enjoy seeing the pride each student has for their respective Houses.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
As a Prefect, I’m very excited for the chance to increase leadership opportunities for students in junior grades as well as the Lower School. I’m passionate about creating experiences for students to expand their leadership skills and confidence as a leader. I’m also excited to have a presence in both the Lower School and Upper School, I look forward to going to Lower School chapel and lunch in my spare time.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has prepared me for the future by creating a culture of global citizens and lifelong learners. The diversity in cultures at Ridley have prepared me for a global workplace. Collaborating and learning with students from around to world have a profound in my understanding of other places and people. I also feel as though a Ridley education establishes critical thinking skills and curiosity which leads to deeper learning.

What are your plans after graduation?
My plans for after graduation are to attend university for a degree that specializes in creative direction and marketing. The schools that I’m interested in include University of Toronto, Queens and SCAD. While at university I hope to get some sort of job or internship for experience.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
Advice that I have for prospective students is to not underestimate or discredit the connections and relationships you make at Ridley. The Ridley community is substantial and spans across many continents and fields of work. I think students will be surprised by the effect of being a Ridley graduate in their future. Students will observe that Ridley is a school which grows and adapts with their current students, as well as the  alumni.

Top 10 Useful Ways to Use the Ridley College Network

In June, Ridley launched a new online platform, the Ridley College Network, that allows alumni to reconnect with former classmates, fellow Old Ridleians and the school. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a Golden Tiger, here are 10 useful ways to use and benefit from this innovative new platform.

1. Update Your Profile
We want to know what you’ve been up to since graduating Ridley! Include a recent photo, short biography, university or college degree and career information.

2. Visit the Job Board
Search for your next career move or post an opening at your organization.

3. Share an Update
Have something interesting to share? Post an update or start a discussion! It’s the perfect place to start a conversation with someone new.

4. Reconnect
Use the search function in the Directory and reconnect with an old friend, housemate or teacher.

5. Discover Mentorship
Search the directory to find a mentor or list your profile as ‘willing to help’ so someone looking for a mentor can find you!

6. Join a Group
Visit the ‘Groups’ tab and join a group that interests you; such as ‘Graduates of the Last Decade’, ‘Friends of Rowing’ or one of the branches.

7. Check Out Upcoming Events
Visit the ‘Events’ tab and find out if a Ridley reception is coming your city, sign-up for a golf tournament, or learn about other special events.

8. Stay Up to Date with Social
Visit the ‘News’ tab and see Ridley’s official social media platforms in one place. Watch the latest video, see what we’re sharing on Instagram or read the latest blog post.

9. Upload Photos
Upload Photos from your Ridley experience so that your peers can share in your memories.

10. Download the Mobile App
Open your App Store (Google or Apple) and search for ‘Graduway’. When opened for the first time, you will be prompted to enter a code (1503282). Simply log in with your credentials and you’re all set to stay connected via your personal device!

Share the Ridley College Network to increase participation!

 

 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Christian F. ’19

Meet Christian ’19: a Prefect who began his Ridley journey as a Grade 6 student in 2012. A multitalented athlete, Christian is involved in year-round sports, competing on Prep Boys hockey, First Boys rugby and the Boys soccer teams. Christian brings his leadership skills to the role of Prefect, a highly-coveted position he sought after for years. Read on to learn how Christian plans to fulfil his duties as one of the school’s leaders.

Why did you choose Ridley?
I chose Ridley because of everything it had to offer to me. My family and I heard about some of the great offerings the school had and we found that my sisters and I could greatly benefit from enrolling in the school. After visiting and learning a bit more about Ridley, it made our decision very easy.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
Initially, coming to Ridley created feelings of nervousness within me. Ridley appeared much differently than my past school and coming here seemed like a very big change. I was still rather young when I made the switch to Ridley and as nervous as I was, I would say I was still prepared and excited to start this new chapter of my life.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
There are so many faculty members that have helped me during my time at Ridley that I am unable to come up with a favourite. The entire faculty team contributes to the school in a different way and helps create a positive experience for all of the students.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
The greatest challenge for me while at Ridley has been keeping a balance between my academics, athletics, and co-curriculars. hockey and schoolwork have definitely created a very busy schedule for me. Making sure I am always on top of my academics with a busy sports schedule has definitely been difficult but has helped me develop time management and organizational skills.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My greatest accomplishment would have to be getting named as a Prefect. Over my past years at Ridley I have always wanted to become a Prefect because of the important role they play in the school as leaders. After participating in the application process, it was made very clear to me how much of an honour it is to become a Prefect, thus making this my greatest accomplishment.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My favourite Ridley experience would have to be participating in the England rugby tour this past March break. This was a 10-day tour where our rugby team participated in the Rosslyn Sevens Tournament in England. We toured around London and Bath, practiced rugby with different schools and billeted with families from Monkton Combe School, located in Bath. This trip was a great opportunity that allowed me to experience life in England, develop my rugby skills and grow closer with other members on the trip.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life would have to be spending time with people in my House. The House environment allows you to grow close with so many people from around the world and develop lifelong friendships. The House truly does create a strong connection between all of its members.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I am most excited to serve as a leader and create the best possible environment within the school. One specific part of the year I am excited for is the beginning of the school year. I am looking forward to welcoming the incoming students to the school and getting to know all of them.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has instilled several different values in me. It has taught me how to live a balanced lifestyle, how to be independent, how to be responsible, and it has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and take risks. I can without a doubt say that thanks to Ridley, I have continuously grown as a person from year to year and that I now have all the necessary skills to be successful in the future.

What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after Ridley most likely involve taking a gap year in order to play junior hockey. This would be in an effort to pursue my athletic goals of playing hockey at the collegiate level.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
The advice that I would give to prospective students is to completely immerse yourself in life at Ridley. The opportunities that this place has to offer can’t be found at many other places. Involving yourself could range anywhere from joining a club or embarking on a service trip. Ultimately, taking advantage of these opportunities will only help you grow as a person.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Isabella N. ’19

Meet Isabella ’19: a Prefect who arrived at Ridley in Grade 9 from a small school. While unsure of how she would adapt to this new, global environment, Isabella embraced the change and flourished throughout her school and House experiences. Read on to learn about how Isabella balances academics, sports and co-curricular activities, which has set her up for success.

Why did you choose Ridley?
Initially, I was looking for a private school close to home that offered an excellent education and new opportunities. I wanted to attend a school that had students who were ambitious and could provide new possibilities. I am beyond grateful that my family and I chose Ridley for my high school career. Ridley has offered me countless opportunities for both academic and extracurricular success that have allowed for personal growth.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I did not feel prepared at all. Coming to Ridley from a small school, I knew I would be thrown out of my comfort zone. This being said, I understood that it would take some time to adapt to my new environment.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
I can’t say that I have one particular favourite faculty member, but I can say that I am very thankful for specific teachers that have pushed me to become a better student and overall person. For instance, I am a proud member of Leonard House and have been blessed with a fantastic Head of House. Mrs. Steele goes above and beyond every day to ensure all members of Leonard are happy, safe, and experiencing new things.

What has been your most significant challenge thus far at Ridley?
Thus far, my most significant challenge at Ridley has been learning to balance my academics and co-curricular activities. Ridley has a rigorous learning environment, and it can be challenging to manage academics, sports and co-curricular commitments.

What has been your most significant accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My most significant accomplishment thus far at Ridley has been earning the position of Prefect. Ever since Grade 9, I made earning the position of Prefect a target for myself and am very proud of achieving this goal.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience?
My favourite Ridley experience has to be Snake Dance and going to Disneyland to attend Disney’s business and leadership workshops.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life is going to a school that has over 50 nationalities represented. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about other cultures and to make long-lasting international relationships.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited about?
I am most excited to lead the student body alongside the other Prefects. I can’t wait to welcome new and returning students in September. An event that I am particularly excited for is Snake Dance. I am excited to lead this event as a Prefect and show our new students our tiger pride.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley is genuinely a university preparatory school. Ridley has done an exceptional job teaching students the importance of time management skills. Time management is an essential skill necessary for success, and I am very thankful that I have been able to improve this skill.

What are your plans after graduation?
After Ridley, I plan on attending either a Canadian or American university where I will receive my Bachelor of Commerce. I will then further pursue an MBA and hope to land a job within the field of business.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
My advice to new prospective students is to go for it! When you first arrive at Ridley, it can be very overwhelming and a little nerve-racking. I encourage everyone to take advantage of all the opportunities that Ridley has to offer.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Ben M. ’19

Introducing Ben M. ’19: a Prefect who truly appreciates the value of a Ridley education. From a young age, Ben sought an environment where he could challenge himself and ultimately thrive. Beginning his Ridley journey in Grade 7, Ben had found the school he belonged at and immersed himself in every opportunity that arose. Read more about Ben’s Ridley story and what he has learned during his time on campus.

Why did you choose Ridley?
I appreciate the immense value that is placed on public education here in Canada. However, as I went through my first eight years in the public education system it became evident that a regular 9am-3pm school was not the environment that I was going to be able to strive in. So, when I was offered the amazing opportunity, with the support of my family, to attended Ridley I decided to take full advantage.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I think that it is safe to say that every 12-year-old kid who moves to a new school will have some sort of angst associated with developing new relationships and getting climatized to a new environment with different expectations. However, with the support of all the Lower School staff members along with the welcoming attitude of everyone in my class, that anxiety quickly disappeared.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
Throughout my 5-year journey at Ridley thus far I have had the pleasure of being taught, coached, mentored and advised by some very spectacular people. However, the person who I have the greatest respect and appreciation for on campus is the headmaster; Mr. Kidd. In my opinion, Mr. Kidd embodies Ridley as a whole, he is caring, he is personable, and he goes above and beyond what you would expect from your Headmaster. I have had the pleasure of being coached by Mr. Kidd on the rugby team, both at the first and under-sixteen level, as well as sit on a school committee lead by him. Throughout those experiences alone, his passion for his job and for the student body is evident.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
So far, my greatest challenge at Ridley has been balancing the workload that accompanies my athletic, academic and co-curricular commitments. Ever since I started Ridley in grade 7, it was evident that life as a Ridley student was going to challenge me, but I quickly realized that perseverance, grit and time management would help me succeed. With the help of the amazing support team that every Ridley student has built in place for them on campus, I for one, can say that I am in a much better place now then I was 5 years ago.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
I am so proud to have been named to this year’s Prefect team. I feel that my greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley is to be recognized as a leader in the school community, as I go into my final year here at Ridley.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My favourite Ridley experience thus far has to be my exchange opportunity to go to the King’s School in Parramatta (border city to Sydney), Australia when I was in Grade 10. This is one of those opportunities that Ridley presents that I am shocked the entire grade doesn’t take advantage of. After hosting a student from King’s at my home in St. Catharines for three months where he attended Ridley, I flew overseas to Sydney to stay at the King’s School for three months alongside a few of my closest friends and our exchange partners. Over the course of my stay, I learned the value of independence, planning and open-mindedness. Going on an exchange has been the single most valuable part of my time at Ridley, and I am very grateful to have had that opportunity.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
Life at Ridley is filled with memorable experiences, whether it be school wide events, house specific events, events with teams or even just the little things that occur on a daily basis. However, my single favourite part of Ridley life would have to be the athletics programme. I find it amazing that every single Ridley student has the opportunity to participate in such an exceptional athletic programme every single day. Whether it be on a competitive team or in a sport for life environment, in my experience being a part of Ridley teams has provided me with some amazing opportunities and memories. 

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
Ever since I started at Ridley I have looked up to those who have dawned the white-trimmed blazers (formerly all-white blazers). Being in a leadership position I understand the very high expectations that are set for me. However, the part of being a Prefect that that I am most excited for, is doing everything in my power to meet and exceed those expectations, in order to best serve the student body and represent Ridley in a leadership position. I look forward to carrying out new initiatives and getting to know the greater Ridley population.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Although I have yet to test this theory, life at Ridley has put me in some very unique positions that I would have otherwise not had the opportunity to experience. Throughout my time at Ridley I have learned skills such as stress management, taking advantage of opportunities, respecting and learning from worldly cultures, and interacting in a formal environment. It is my hope that I can use these experiences to prepare myself for the road ahead, wherever it may take me.

What are your plans after graduation?
Although I have not set anything in stone as of yet, my plan is to go off to a Canadian university following my senior year at Ridley. It is my hope that throughout the upcoming school year that I will be able to work with the guidance department further, to come up with an academic plan that suits both my vision and my needs as a student.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
Everyone who goes to Ridley College has the privilege of attending this amazing school. However, Ridley is only as valuable as you make it out to be. Your Ridley experience is in your own hands as soon as you step onto campus. In my opinion, in order to make the most of your time as a Ridley student you must take full advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. Do so with an open mind and the comfort to get uncomfortable.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Nicole C. ’19

Meet Nicole C. ’19: a Prefect who has been at Ridley for over a decade. Beginning her experience at our school as an eager and excited Grade 1 student, Nicole has had many years to grow and learn within the Marriott Gates; making her an invaluable resource for all things Ridley. Read more about her many years as a Tiger and what she hopes to do in her final year at Ridley.

Why did you choose Ridley?
Being so young when I came to Ridley, the decision was entirely up to my parents. However, I’m sure the diverse, welcoming, and rigorous environment appealed to them. My older sister came to Ridley a year before I did and going to the same school was ideal.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
Being the humble age of six, it’s difficult to remember how prepared I was feeling at the time. I was young and excited for what Ridley had to offer, entering the Ridley community with a childlike excitement that has stayed with me throughout the remainder of my years at the school.

Of course, the Ridley lifestyle is unique and required some adjusting. However, making the transition to a different school wasn’t nearly as daunting when having a handful of close friends – most who I had known practically since birth – to do it with.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
Having attended Ridley for such an extended period, it would be impossible for me to settle on only one favourite faculty member. As I have grown and time has passed, different faculty members have impacted and supported me in different ways.

One that I think deserves to be recognized for his commitment to his students and passion is Mr. Ronald. A Ridley icon, he has always been kind, patient, and empathetic towards others– myself included. He has continued to support me long since he taught me Grade 9 Geography, and his endless encouragement and friendly-nature will always be something I can rely on.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
Ridley comes with many challenges – it is a bustling environment in which every student has to juggle countless deadlines, commitments, and responsibilities. Maintaining a balance within these obligations while also making sure I still have time for myself has been my greatest challenge. Ultimately, however, this challenge has helped me grow into a better and stronger person.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My most significant accomplishment was probably being the recipient of the Dr. William Hamilton Merit Memorial Prize for public speaking. For someone who finds public speaking a challenge, I was terrified to present my speech in front of a large audience. It was tough for me to gather up the courage to speak.

The bravery that it took to present marked a critical moment of personal growth in which I could suddenly see how I have changed and grown throughout my time at Ridley. Looking into the crowd and seeing some of my closest friends supporting me made the experience even better, making it a moment which I will always look back on.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
Nothing is as exciting and entertaining as Snake Dance is at the beginning of the year. It is one of my favourite experiences. The fireworks, the bonfire, the music – the amount of school spirit at that moment is insane.

When the whole school comes together for the event, it really feels like one united community. From the roaring bonfire to the students milling around in black and orange paint, it is one of the most exhilarating events of the entire year.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley is the constant change and growth I experience. Being an international school with a diverse range of students and faculty, I can always look forward to learning something new and exciting each day. There are so many different clubs, activities, and sports offered, so there are always opportunities to interact with new people. I love the uniqueness of the Ridley community and how that uniqueness is embedded in the daily life of each Ridleian.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I am looking forward to representing the school and suggesting positive change, while also meeting new students and learning more from those around me. I hope to be a friendly and positive face in the school and am excited to help welcome and integrate new Ridleians into the community.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley is a place like no other. Truly a global community, Ridley has already given me the chance to interact with different cultures, traditions, languages, and personalities from all around the world. Our world is continually growing and diversifying, similarly to how the Ridley community does. The curriculum itself has also made me grow stronger as a person. The rigorous learning environment has resulted in me becoming more open-minded, reflective, and a better problem solver – all skills I know will be beneficial in my future.

What are your plans after graduation?
At the moment, I’m not sure what my plans are. I have yet to decide my field of study but know that Ridley has prepared me well for my future endeavors. After graduation, I am planning on attending university in the fall, though I haven’t decided where. Regardless, I am excited to continue to pursue subjects I am interested in and continue to seize new opportunities.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
Ridley is a stimulating but rigorous environment – it’s meant to be one. The school offers countless different opportunities for any student and taking advantage of these is really what makes it worth it. You get out of Ridley what you put in, so embrace the challenges you face, be open to new activities, and enjoy the time you spend here.

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