Once again, it has been another exciting year at York House. I am particularly proud of the accomplishments of our students whether it has been in athletics, in the classroom, on the stage, or out in the community in service to others.
I want to recognize the 2016-2017 Student Executive for all of their hard work, school pride, and the maturity and leadership they have demonstrated throughout the year. They should be particularly proud of the role that they played in the introduction of pants to our school uniform. The process leading up to this decision underscored the importance of student voice and having the opportunity to contribute to conversations relevant to the school community. Students were also instrumental in the introduction of the first YHS Talks which gave students an opportunity to present on topics that they are passionate about to their peers and stimulated some important discussions.
In the Junior School, the introduction of the STEAM Program led by Jennifer Sharpe, STEAM Coordinator, has been transformational for our students and teachers. Jennifer has been working hard throughout the year with both teachers and students to create rich learning opportunities across the grades through cross-disciplinary project-based learning that encourages curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. Regardless of what grade your daughter is in, I encourage you to view some of the incredible projects that the girls have completed and shared with us this year such as the Gr. 1 Light & Sound Project, Grade 2 Arbutus Corridor Exhibition, the Grade 3 Landforms Project, the Grade 4 Exploration of the City of Vancouver, the Grade 5 Body Worlds Exhibit, the Grade 6 Biomimicry Design Challenge, and the Grade 7 Civilizations Project. I am sure you will be just as impressed as I have been by their enthusiasm, passion, and engagement in their learning that each of these projects has unleashed in these girls! It really is quite remarkable!
I want to thank all of the parents who attended our Coffee Mornings throughout the year. I truly appreciated the opportunity to get to know you better and discuss what is happening in your daughter’s grade. I look forward to continuing to get to know you better as we work together in partnership to support your daughter in her learning and development at York House School.
Our second year of our Tiger Talks speaker series welcomed leaders in education such as Dr. JoAnn Deak, Dr. Alex Russell, and Garfield Gini-Newman. I have heard from students, teachers, and parents alike that they have enjoyed the conversations that these speakers have generated. These discussions are so important in supporting our shared desire to empower our students to become confident, happy, and resilient young women.
We are sad to say goodbye this year to two staff members who have contributed a great deal to our school community over the years. Grade 6 Teacher, Christine Addison, is retiring from York House after 31 years and Lana Gustavson, who has supported our Advancement efforts over the years, will retire after 23 years. We thank them both for their dedication and commitment to the school and wish them all the best as they embark on a new and exciting chapter in their lives.
We are always sad to say goodbye to our graduates but excited for them as they begin their post-secondary careers. We are proud of all that they have accomplished in their time at the school and know that they are on to even greater opportunities. While not all of our students have decided on where they will study and some may take a well-deserved Gap year, many of our students have received offers from the universities of their choice in the USA, Europe and Canada – including Cornell, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Pomona, London School of Economics, and Edinburgh University in programs such as Hospitality, Commerce, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, Architecture – to mention just a few. Many of our students have received scholarships to various universities, including the prestigious Chancellor’s Scholarship from Queen’s University. We very much look forward to hearing how the future unfolds for our newest alumnae and all that they will accomplish!
Thank you again to our faculty and staff for all that they do to support our students’ learning as well as the role that they play in encouraging the girls to take on new challenges and discover their passions.
For those of you who enjoy reading in the summer, here are a few of the books that we have suggested throughout this past year to families and friends:
- Stressed Out Girls, Helping Them Thrive in the Age of Pressure by Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler
- Girls will be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters by Dr. JoAnn Deak
- How Girls Thrive by Dr. JoAnn Deak
- Drop the Worry Ball by Dr. Alex Russell and Tim Falconer
- Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Lisa Damour (Lisa will be joining us next year for Tiger Talks)
I wish everyone a wonderful summer with family and friends and look forward to seeing you back in the fall!
Head of School