Head Lines: Spring 2020

I am always amazed to look at nature’s transformation as spring approaches. Spring is no doubt the season of new beginnings where fresh buds bloom, where mother nature awakens and where the earth comes to life again. 

Speaking of new beginnings, we are excited for construction to begin on our new STEAM lab in the Senior School at the very beginning of March break. As I shared with our families in the fall, we wish to provide increasing opportunities for our girls to engage in learning experiences that merge Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. It is interesting to note that girls are the most underrepresented in the T (Technology) and E (Engineering) parts of STEAM. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, women receive approximately 60% of all undergraduate degrees (associate and bachelor’s), however, they remain underrepresented in many STEM professions. While women receive 60% of biology and biomedical science degrees and 45% of mathematics degrees, less than 20% of engineering and computer science (and information science and support services) degrees are awarded to women. 

This is important for us to consider especially when technology and engineering are the sectors that represent a significant number of jobs in the future. Looking forward to the next generation of skills needed in society it is important for our girls to know how to apply design thinking principles when designing prototypes, solve problems through mathematical equations, or use scientific reasoning to deconstruct complex problems and develop solutions to address real-world issues.

I came across a quote from Marie Wilson, a women’s activist who states, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” That is why we are so focused on increasing STEAM-related learning experiences at York House School and creating increasing networks and learning experiences with community partners. Building on the success of our Junior School STEAM program we know that our girls are enthusiastic about STEAM and it is time to expand these opportunities at the Senior School. Yorkies love to get involved in projects that are social and involve collaboration and they especially care about the planet and making a social impact. We certainly are excited for construction to begin and look forward to having our new STEAM lab ready for the 2020-21 school year.

In the meantime, I want to wish all our YHS families a wonderful March break. With the globally evolving outbreak of COVID-19, we ask that you carefully consider your travel plans and hope that you have a healthy, restorative, and joyful time off with your family. 



Head Lines: Winter 2019

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner. As our Yorkies and their families head into a well-deserved break, it leads me to reflect on the powerful statements our girls have been making. 

On a daily basis, we encourage our girls to find their voice, to understand what matters to them and to put forth their best efforts in communicating their passion with others. Looking back on the past term, our Yorkies have done just that in more ways than one. 

Never in the history of our school, have our athletics teams achieved such great heights. Our Tigers brought home three banners this term including the Grade 9 Girls Volleyball Provincial Championship, the AA Swimming Provincial Championship, and the AA Provincial Senior Girls Volleyball Provincial Championship. Our Grade 8 Volleyball team also won their championship and our Senior Field Hockey team finished in 4th place overall. In addition, we have seen outstanding athletic development and accomplishments in various sports at both the Junior and Senior levels. We are incredibly proud of our Tigers and their coaches for the hard work and dedication they put forward in accomplishing such great results.

At a Senior School assembly several weeks ago, I witnessed three Junior School students address an issue that matters to them; the changing environment and the importance of sustainability. Now, the girls had already spoken to their peers at the Junior School assembly, but now they were addressing the Senior School. These determined young ladies marched up to the podium in front of 300 of their older peers and eloquently proposed their suggestions on how we might, as a community, best approach our Holiday Market in a more sustainable way. They asked the senior girls to bring their own mugs for hot chocolate, to bring a reusable bag, to consider alternatives to wrapping paper and provided other great suggestions.

The response was palpable. You could hear the audience thinking, “Of course, that makes sense… and wow, these young girls are confident and their message is powerful!” The impact this message had on everyone was significant because it came from younger peers using their voice and seeking to bring about change. Subsequently, at the Holiday Market, we witnessed a large number of students and adults with their own mugs and reusable bags as they enjoyed the festive event. Their advocacy resulted in shifting our collective consciousness and making a positive difference in our community.

At our Celebration of Community, we also witnessed our Yorkies address what can be considered as the most significant contemporary issues of our times, sustainability. If you had the pleasure of attending this year’s event, you would have felt the theme of sustainability come to life through meaningful readings and equally moving musical and choral performances. Our talented faculty brilliantly supported the girls by interweaving this powerful theme throughout the show. It was an incredible celebration of community and it brought us all together in more ways than one. The girls’ angelic voices and soothing musical pieces in one instant touched our hearts and in another moment, their impassioned readings caught our attention and had us all reflecting on our collective responsibility towards mother earth. I want to thank all our dedicated students, teachers, and volunteers who worked so hard to put together an impressive musical showcase. 

Indeed it has been a very rewarding first term and as you head into the holidays with your family, it is my sincere hope that you take time to enjoy each others’ company. I know that I look forward to some quality time with my family. I look forward to our holiday traditions but I also enjoy creating new memories with my spouse and two adult children. It warms my heart when they share their fondest memories with me. Together, we fondly cherish the memories of loved ones who celebrated with us and we heartily giggle together at the classic family bumbles and mishaps that happened over the years. Most importantly, we just love spending time together. 

My wish for you is that you create fond memories with your family as well. To our entire YHS Community, I wish you all the very best of the holidays and a Happy New Year!