Head Lines: Summer 2022

Dear York House Community,

In the “busy”- ness of life, we seldom take time to slow down and truly notice what is around us. As the last few months and weeks of school have gone by, and ahead of my departure for a new adventure, I made a point to notice all that surrounds us at York House School. 

Picture happy Yorkies skipping along 26th avenue in their uniform, some holding their parents’ hands, others bopping along with parents trying to catch up. There is something magical about students skipping to school and I have loved watching this play out every day for the past seven years. As Yorkies skip along, you can see their joy and love for their school, their friends and their caring teachers. I love their carefree spirit, their curiosity for learning and their boundless creativity. This energy can also be seen in the classrooms as well as recess and lunch. 

There is no doubt that the best part of being a Head of School is getting to be part of the lives of so many wonderful students. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing our Yorkies in the hallways and in classrooms connecting with their peers and their teachers. I have seen them so invested in their studies. It has been so inspiring to see students who care deeply about their learning. York House School is a place that nurtures this joy of learning and also reminds students that they can dream big and achieve anything they set their minds to.

Supported by outstanding faculty and staff, we have seen our Yorkies thrive academically, in athletics, in fine arts, and of course in service to the school community and beyond. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, we have had an outstanding year in athletics and in fine arts. The learning and social development that occurs through participation on athletic teams, choir, band or clubs truly enriches the learning experiences of our Yorkies. Thank you to all the faculty coaches and alumnae who have given of their time and energy. You truly make such a positive difference.

I leave York House School having been enriched as a leader, educator, and human being. I am extremely grateful for my seven years here at York House, five of which have been as Head of School. I am incredibly proud of our students and extremely grateful for our supportive parent community. York House is truly a special place and the sense of community that exists here is largely due to the outstanding faculty, staff, administration team and board I have had the pleasure of working with. 

I know that the school will be in very capable hands with Ms. Deryn Lavell as the new Head of School. I want to wish you all a wonderful summer ahead. May this summer be filled with sunshine, laughter, and memorable times with family and friends.

I wish to thank you all for your support over the years. I will forever cherish very special memories of my time at York House School.


Julie Rousseau

A Fond Farewell to Madame Julie Rousseau

by Kara McDonald
Assistant Head of School

This year we are saying goodbye to Madame Julie Rousseau, Head of School. As many of you know, in July she is embarking on a new adventure as Head of School at Saltus Grammar School in Bermuda. 

Madame Rousseau has served the YHS community for seven years as Director of Learning, Assistant Head, and more recently as Head of School. At YHS, she has led through times of significant educational and societal change and through a global pandemic. She has led with head, heart, and hand and has been widely recognized for her courage, strength, humour, creativity, resolve, and compassion. 

I asked staff to share how they would describe Madame Rousseau as a leader, and here is what they said:

At the Little School: “Mme Rousseau has made those students laugh! The girls love her visits and have giggles afterwards recounting the funny things she has said or done.” 

One Junior School teacher shared:  “I appreciate Mme Rousseau’s ability to bring such a vibrant energy to every situation whether it be dressing up as Miss Trunchbull for Halloween, driving around in the golf cart handing out twizzlers and bottles of water at our staff golf event, or sharing her stories with the Junior School at assembly. She is just so full of life and fun!”

A colleague at the Senior School shared: “She’s not afraid to make hard decisions, and she has navigated these with courage. She saw the pandemic through, leading a charge in redesigning all things ‘school’ with care, thoughtfulness, and principle. The safety and health of every employee and student matters to her.”

Another Senior School colleague expressed, “I’ve loved Madame Rousseau’s sense of humour, spirit, and fun, and also her humanity as she navigated the pandemic on the York House frontline with true grit and grace. I never felt like giving up because she became a true leader in my eyes.” 

Prior to the pandemic, Madame Rousseau led our community through the creative redesign of school as we knew it. And through this time, through communication with students, families, and educators, we stayed the course and continued to engage in a vibrant place of learning. She collaborated with students, families, dedicated staff and faculty to inspire our remarkable students to love learning and to pursue meaningful paths at and beyond the school. 

And from our tight-knit and caring community to you, Madame Rousseau: We wish you well as you embark on your journey to Bermuda. We are grateful for all you have contributed to our York House School community.