Tag Archives: Canadian boarding school

Trendy Tigers: Ridley College Uniforms  

Alumna Geena Prestia ’21 shares some of the top-ranked uniform items, available at Hanks, that students can wear both in and out of the classroom. 

By: Geena Prestia ’21

Wearing a uniform allows our students’ personalities to shine from within while strengthening our community through a collective sense of belonging. Not to mention, it makes our students’ morning routine as easy as one, two, three!  

Last year, we unveiled our new uniform, which has a look that feels like Ridley. They brainstormed new styles that incorporated the Ridley orange and black, whilst still maintaining a fashion-forward look. Over the course of the year, our students have added their own personalities to their uniforms by mixing and matching their favourite pieces.  

Are you a new student looking to learn more about how to add spice to your new school fit? Fear not, Hank is here to help!  

Our campus store has more to offer than just tasty snacks and stacks of textbooks. So, make your way down to Hank’s and use this Trendy Tigers list to help you find all the student favourites that will be sure to elevate your on-and-off-campus style.   

Here are some of the top-ranked items that students can wear both in and out of the classroom. 

Bucket Hats  

Starting off with one of the trendier pieces offered in the on-campus store, bucket hats are a huge hit with our Tigers! They are offered in different styles and, although not acceptable to wear during class, are perfect for our outdoor activities in the Spring term. Try one out and stay protected from the sun when running around A Squad.  

Plaid Kilt  

A staple piece in the new uniform design, the plaid kilt is the perfect blend of sophisticated and stylish! This item is typically worn by female students during the school day, and pairs nicely with the new black and orange blazer for Chapel. The plaid kilt can be worn year-round, as Hank’s offers nylons and kilt shorts for our Tigers to wear underneath during the cooler months! 

Winter Accessories  

Speaking of the chillier months of the year, Hank’s has tons of options for students to keep warm. Whether you’re tobogganing on the back fields or watching our Prep Hockey team at a spirit night, a Ridley tuque and pair of gloves are the perfect accessories!  

Cadet Sweater Coat  

One of the longest-standing articles of the Ridley uniform, the cadet sweater coat is the perfect layer for any occasion. This piece can be worn with the cadet practice uniform, as well as in your wardrobe outside of school. Many alumni return to campus in this iconic sweater during the homecoming season. So, head down to the sewing room and start adding on your sports badges and cadet pins until the back of your sweater is covered in Ridley pride!  

With such an incredible team of designers, the Ridley brand has been seamlessly incorporated into the school uniform this past year. Ridley is dedicated to keeping every Tiger looking funky, fresh and fun. We cannot wait to see you rocking some of Hank’s favourite pieces on campus!  

Finding Wellness Through Healthy Eating

At Ridley, we want our students to feel good and do good. As a leader in positive education and wellbeing education, our educators intentionally teach the habits of mind, body, and spirit so that students are primed for learning and success — now and long after graduation. An integral part of training the habits of mind, body, and spirit is the teaching of healthy eating and sleep habits, which features prominently in our health and physical education programming, itself guided by the belief that a healthy body is the pathway to a healthy mind.

A number of recent studies seem to confirm these claims. As physician, author, and former Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. Eva Selhub explains, “what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.” However, not all food is created equal. High-quality foods, that is, foods high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourish the brain and provide fuel for the body, while conversely, low-quality foods (e.g., processed or refined meals) can impair brain function and worsen the symptoms of mood disorders such as depression. With regards to academic performance, another study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that students who eat clean and are physically active “tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behaviour.”

Each day at Ridley, our students are nourished with a considerable selection of healthy and delicious food options, which are served in our inspiring gathering spaces, Williams Hall and The Great Hall, and prepared by the expert staff at Chartwells Canada. Chartwells’ dedicated chef and kitchen staff strive to ensure that Ridley students, faculty, and staff alike have access to healthy and delicious snack and meal options each day. At Ridley, snack breaks and meal times are built into the day, allowing students to refuel and nourish their bodies for maximum performance. Additionally, these daily experiences allow teachers to develop deeper connections with students while also modelling and teaching appropriate table manners and etiquette.

After a long COVID-19 break and an overwhelming shift to remote work and learning, Chartwells’ staff found themselves asking how they could re-engage members of the community with new healthy food initiatives as the pandemic halted to a close. “We started with a blank slate wall, then asked ourselves, ‘how can we incorporate nutrition and wellness into this picture?’” says Maggie Bartold, Director of Operations for Chartwells at Ridley College.

This formerly empty canvas has evolved into a rich tapestry of initiatives which promote healthy eating and wellbeing across the Ridley community—two of which are detailed in the sections below.

Healthy Paws

In November, Chartwells officially launched its Healthy Paws programme, which teaches the foundations of Canada’s Food Guide and the different food groups represented within it to our Lower School students.

Far from simply explaining the groups, these weekly sessions, led by Chef Grant Spencer, engage students through compelling imagery and storytelling. Each food group is symbolized by a leaf on the “Tree of Growth,” itself modelled upon the Chartwells logo, with each weekly session dedicated to the respective food groups. Appropriately, these sessions began with water—an essential facet of growth, both for plant and human life. From there, the groups will proceed through the food groups, with students walking away with the knowledge of how to build a healthy plate and nourish their minds, bodies, and souls through food.

An additional symbol in this programme is the figure of Hank the Tiger (Cub), adding another dimension to the nourishment piece. By starting with Hank as a growing Tiger cub, the children can identify with him and watch him grow as he is “fed” over the course of the year until, at the end of the school year, he is fully grown, providing a valuable lesson about the advantages of healthy eating. Together, these two images create a powerful visual for our Lower School children, providing a simple and colourful message that will keep them engaged and interested while providing the necessary foundations for them to lead healthy and sustainable lives in the future.

The “Snack” Programme

There are a number of reasons we get “snacky” at nighttime. Studies suggest these cravings sometimes come as the result of overly restricted food intake in the daytime. They can also arise from habit or boredom and, in some cases, have been linked to various eating disorders. Regardless of the cause of these urges, it is imperative that when we choose to eat late at night, we make healthy choices.

With the rapid expansion of online food delivery platforms, such as Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats, and Doordash, the temptation to opt for fast food late at night can be overwhelming. To empower students to make good choices, Chartwells and Ridley have implemented a late-night snack programme in our boarding houses.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Chartwells staff delivers and stocks our boarding house kitchens with healthy, balanced snacks—items such as fruits and veggies, yogurt, freshly baked items, etc.—in order to ensure that students have what they need to stay healthy and develop good habits. These snack deliveries consist of five snack options each run and are currently on a three-week rotation, at which point students and Heads of House are consulted and asked to let us know what they would like to see next. In addition to deliveries, Café Nights run twice a week, every Monday and Wednesday, in the Great Hall.

Eating healthy should not feel like a punishment, so we are delighted to work with our community members to best provide them with delicious, nourishing fuel for their busy lives!

Chartwells will continue weekly Teaching Kitchens with Chef Grant on Saturday mornings, with its Fit+ balanced plate initiative at the core, as well as continue to drive and expand local food and sustainability initiatives on campus. Keep an eye on our blog for more stories about these exciting events in the future, as well as on the Chartwells website, which contains vital information about the organization and its various initiatives.

Why Ridley? Spirit, Service, Students

What makes Ridley College exceptional? In our latest blog post, young alumna, Geena Prestia ’21 explores three areas pivotal to Ridley life—spirit, service and student life—and how they contribute to an extraordinary Ridley experience. 

By: Geena Prestia ’21

Spirit and service and student life, oh my! Ridley is well-known for the stellar academic curriculum it has to offer; however, there are a vast number of opportunities for students to try new things and develop useful skills outside of the classroom.

This blog will explore three areas pivotal to Ridley life—spirit, service and student life—and how they contribute to an extraordinary Ridley experience.

Spirit  

Go Blacks Go! One of the many beloved Ridley cheers sung at spirit events, where our student body is full of orange and black pride. No matter how athletic or artistic you are, there is always a place where you belong at Ridley. As a tight-knit community, the Tigers always look forward to exciting school events such as Snake Dance and Pep Rally, where school spirit is at the forefront of it all. “Some of my favourite memories from my time at Ridley were spent decked out in orange and black gear with friends; we always had a blast cheering and dancing at spirit events,” said alumna, Geena Prestia ’21. This school spirit will stick with you long after you leave the Ridley campus. Once a tiger, always a tiger!  

Service  

At Ridley, there are endless opportunities for you to serve our community, as well as those outside of Ridley. From the Santa Claus Parades across the Niagara region to weekend dog walking on campus, or even March Break service trips, Ridley provides several options for students to choose from. “I went on a service trip to Guatemala in grade nine, and it was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had,” said Geena. We are so fortunate to belong to a safe and welcoming community at Ridley, and this we recognize as we encourage our Tigers to give back to those less fortunate.  

Students  

Our students bring life to campus. Ridley facilitates an environment beyond just a school; for most, it is a second home. With over half of the Upper School population being made up of boarders from all over the world, the students truly rely on one another for support and fun at their home away from home. “Even as a day student, I always found the students at Ridley, especially the girls I spent most of my time with in G-East, to be like my second family,” said Geena. At Ridley, it doesn’t matter what your favourite sport is, how many instruments you can play or if you know how to spell International Baccalaureate; every student has a place where they can be themselves and share that with their peers. The bonds our students make at Ridley are long-lasting during their time at the school and in the years to come.  

When she reflects on her eight years at the school, Geena said, “Ridley is a special place, and I know that I will always have a home there.”  

Why Ridley? Because it is where you belong.  

Headmaster Kidd’s Summer Reading List 2022

There’s nothing like curling up with a good book on a hot summer day.

Is there anything more gratifying than relaxing in the shade or sprawling out on the beach with a crisp paperback in hand? Or an eReader, if that’s your thing? Or even an audiobook?  

No matter what the medium, storytelling is a fundamental part of our humanity—it is what connects us to other people and the world.

Stories can transform how we see the world, and the world itself, while also conveying the culture, history and values that unite us. By appealing to our emotions, stories help us to build empathy and gain a deeper understanding of other people’s experiences, as well as our own. Studies show that listening to stories read aloud during childhood plays a significant role in memory construction and can even trigger positive emotions later in life.

And with more than 1.6 million books published globally in 2019 alone, there is certainly no deficit of quality reading material to consume!

But with so many new books in the marketplace, how do you know what to read? We can help with that!

Each summer, as part of Ridley’s ongoing commitment to flourishing and personal growth, our stalwart leader, Headmaster Kidd, curates his aptly titled Headmaster’s Reading List—a short programme of transformative texts that captivate and inspire while also supporting our flourishing and wellbeing initiatives.

This year, Headmaster Kidd solicited suggestions from members across the Ridley community and narrowed the list down to these five electrifying titles:

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain

In her latest masterpiece, Susan Cain, author of the bestselling phenomenon, Quiet, reveals the power of a bittersweet, melancholic outlook on life, and why our culture has been so blind to its value. Here, Cain employs her signature mix of research, storytelling, and memoir to explore why we experience sorrow and longing, and the surprising lessons these states of mind teach us about creativity, compassion, leadership, spirituality, mortality, and love.

As an accompaniment, Cain has also included a special Book Club Kit, which includes a letter from the author, discussion questions, writing prompts, a list of takeaways, and a Bittersweet playlist!

Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion by Dr. Wendy Suzuki

Hundreds of millions of people suffer from everyday, low-level, non-clinical anxiety. Popular science suggests that this persistent anxiety is detrimental to our health, performance, and wellbeing. But what if our preoccupation with avoiding anxiety is costing us something? What if we could learn how to harness the brain activation underlying our anxiety and make it work for us, turning it into superpowers?

In Good Anxiety, Dr. Wendy Suzuki unpacks the cutting-edge science that will help readers channel their anxiety for positive outcomes—accelerating focus and productivity, boosting performance, creating compassion, and fostering creativity—transforming our understanding and experience of everyday anxiety forever in the process.

How People Matter: Why It Affects Health, Happiness, Love, Work, and Society by Isaac Prilleltensky and Ora Prilleltensky

Mattering, which is about feeling valued and adding value, is essential for health, happiness, love, work, and social well-being. We all need to feel valued by, and add value to, ourselves, others, co-workers, and community members.

How People Matter shows not only the signs, significance, and sources of mattering, but also presents the strategies to achieve mattering in our personal and professional lives. Using research-based methods of change to help people achieve a higher sense of purpose and a deeper sense of meaning, this book equips therapists, managers, teachers, parents, and healthcare professionals with the tools needed to optimize personal and collective well-being and productivity and explains how promoting mattering within communities fosters wellness and fairness in equal measure.

Rest, Refocus, Recharge: A Guide for Optimizing Your Life by Greg Wells, PhD

In a 24/7 world, it can be a real challenge to get proper rest and give your mind and body the opportunity to fully recharge.

In this new book, Dr. Greg Wells outlines how small changes in the way you rest, refocus and recharge can help you improve your mental health, prevent illness and deliver optimal results, offering simple and practical techniques that you can easily incorporate into your existing routine.

Uncommon Sense Teaching: Practical Insights in Brain Science to Help Students Learn by Barbara Oakley, PhD, Beth Rogowsky, EdD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD

Neuroscientists have made enormous strides in understanding the brain and how we learn, but little of that insight has filtered down to the way teachers teach. Uncommon Sense Teaching applies this research to the classroom for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in improving education. Topics include:

  • Strategies for keeping students motivated and engaged, especially with online learning
  • Helping students remember information long-term, so it isn’t immediately forgotten after a test
  • How to teach inclusively in a diverse classroom where students have a wide range of abilities

Drawing on research findings as well as the authors’ combined decades of experience in the classroom, Uncommon Sense Teaching equips readers with the tools to enhance their teaching, whether they’re seasoned professionals or parents trying to offer extra support for their children’s education.

***

Great teachers see themselves as great learners—and they see learning through the eyes of their students. That’s why our dedicated faculty and staff are thrilled to dive into this list, so we can model curiosity, intellectual humility, and a zest for lifelong learning for our students. But also, because reading is great fun!

We encourage all in our community to read along with us, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on these fascinating titles!

Until then—happy reading and happy summer!

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.”

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

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.”

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: Vida H. ’19

Meet Vida H. ’19: a Day student who came to Ridley in search of a diverse and global experience. Read more about how Vida plans to contribute to student engagement on campus in her new role as a Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley?
 I chose to attend Ridley because my family and I felt that it provides students with the best opportunities to excel academically, athletically and artistically, all while contributing to the development of an individual’s character through the immersion of a culturally diverse and international community. I truly believed that attending Ridley would allow me to form a global network of relationships; that belief really drove my excitement to attend Ridley in Grade 9, as someone who has lived in St. Catharines all her life.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I was pretty confident I was prepared for Ridley, from hearing stories about it since I was young – but I was wrong. In hindsight, I don’t think that there is much I could have done that would’ve prepared me for such a rigorous school system full of various commitments. While I did find it difficult at first to adapt to the schedule balancing homework, athletics, social life and others, I, like many, was eventually able to overcome such obstacles with the support of my parents, peers and teachers. In all honesty, I sometimes wake up feeling unprepared to go to school, however, it really helps to self-enforce a mentality of preparedness, which I find allows for an enriched and heightened Ridley experience.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
This is an impossible question to answer. All of the teachers have been extremely supportive and kind, and they all share one goal in ensuring each student’s success – whether it’s in the classroom, on the court or with homework in the dorms and/or tutorial. My teachers (and coaches) have all played an essential role in my growth as a student, athlete and as a person in general, upholding positivity, encouragement and endless support, while instilling a love of learning for anything and everything, for which I am very grateful for.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
My greatest challenge at Ridley was definitely transitioning into the Ridley mood and atmosphere. I came to Ridley knowing practically no one and not much about the students, etc., which was a new experience for me. I was taken by surprise with certain approaches and mentalities at this new school, which differed greatly from my previous experiences. This challenge definitely provided me with a welcomed new perspective. I am grateful for experiencing and overcoming these obstacles, with the help of my parents and teachers ,for they have allowed me to develop respect and appreciation for others for who they are, which is essentially an accomplishment in itself.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? 
I am extremely grateful for the many opportunities Ridley has provided in allowing me to excel in terms of character, academics, athletics and leadership. However, I feel that my greatest accomplishment is a personal accomplishment – overcoming my greatest challenge as mentioned above. Because it was difficult for me to adjust to Ridley, I faced many complex challenges at the time, to which I did not know the answers. As time progressed and I was able to improve my mindset and attitude, I realized that it is the biggest challenges, issues and problems I overcome that I should take pride in expressing, rather than suppress and ignore.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
I have many memorable Ridley experiences, I don’t think I can choose a favourite one. From my very first Snake Dance in Grade 9 to winning First Girls’ basketball CISAA and CAIS to receiving the Ian Wood ’53 Summer Program Language Study Scholarship to winning Co-ed Badminton CISAA and many others, I have made many memories within the scope of my personal, academic, athletic and extra-curricular accomplishments. There are so many memories that stand out to me, and perhaps I might make a new memories in the upcoming year that will stand out amongst all others!

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life is the sense of family and togetherness that all members of the community have for each other – whether it be a student, teacher, Head of House, Residential Don, or member of staff, etc. The sense of school pride and spirit at Ridley is unparalleled; I find it especially remarkable that the entire school community can be continuously divided into smaller, tighter-knit communities composed of unbreakable relationships and bonds from housemates to grades to nationalities to classrooms to roommates; it is a very heartwarming experience.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I am most excited for contributing my efforts to building Ridley towards a more student-to-student engaged community through Prefect-led initiatives, including the highly-anticipated Snake Dance, and hopefully many more. I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to working with such a dedicated and talented Prefect team in the upcoming school year as I am sure we will all do our best to fulfill our role.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Attending Ridley has provided me with an outlook on life that no other high school could have ever given me due to the unique traits of the school. The challenges that I have overcome in my time here have been eye-opening, and from my triumphs have I gained a greater appreciation for the hard work and dedication of others. In my opinion, Ridley serves as early exposure to the real world for students: in realizing the prevalence of cultural and economic disparities, in differences in opinions, in realizing the wonders of broadening global scopes, the beauty of mutual understanding, the benefits of cooperation, and the warm familial sense of community.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on attending university. Ideally, I will attend an American school to study Political Science or Business/Commerce. If not, I intend to study the same here in Canada; I aspire to pursue a career in either international relations or law. On the other hand, whatever the school or profession I pursue, I aim to continue learning about the global community. I hope to learn more languages and immerse myself in various cultures and regions, ultimately gaining a greater appreciation for them. As for the upcoming summer after graduation, I’m hoping to travel to France and possibly other European nations.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?

    1. 1. Hit the ground running. If you don’t run (like myself), walk at a reasonable speed. From orientation week to the last exam, Ridley moves at an incredible speed. Life at Ridley will undoubtedly be busy and demanding as it is important that we fulfill co-curricular activity commitments and engage in our social lives, while embodying our role of students: completing night work, handing in assignments and studying for tests. I think it is important to realize that in order to not fall behind and become overwhelmed easily, immediate progress and effort at Ridley is essential.
    1. 2. Time management is really important! Though this phrase has probably been repeated too many times, it truly does apply. Speaking from experience, I find myself asking, “why can’t a day be more than 24 hours?” I often find that I simply don’t have as much time as I would like to have to accomplish what I want to when I get home – this is where efficiency comes in, which is generated by effective time management. Ridley is a great place to be when stress over schoolwork is minimized, and only through good time management can you properly embrace all the great opportunities this school provides!

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.