Ally Week

ally-week-profile-pic_new_500_1Ally Week was held at the Senior School from October 11-14.

“Ally Week is an opportunity for students to engage in a national conversation about the meaning of allyship. Ally Week is for everyone: straight and cisgender allies to LGBT youth are encouraged to learn about what actions they can take to support their LGBT peers, while LGBT youth can learn about how to support one another’s overlapping, intersecting identities.” (GLSEN)

Rainbow ally stickers and safe space posters were disseminated throughout the school, as visible support can make a big difference for students who are LGBTQ+, questioning, or who have people in their lives who identify as LGBTQ+. Additionally, students could sign Ally Week Pledge forms showing their commitment to inclusive, safe schools. The highlight of the week, though, was a poignant, funny, and heartfelt speech by GSA Head Elise, Gr. 12, who spoke about her own coming out journey in celebration of National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11).

More info about allyship and Ally Week can be found here. And for a bit more info about why safe schools are especially important for LGBTQ+ youth, see here.

Your GSA

Employee Spotlight: Ross Petersen

We are pleased to introduce our new Employee Spotlight section where you have an opportunity to read from some of York House School’s newest additions.

Meet Ross Petersen, Science Teacher, Senior School

Ross Petersen, Science Teacher, Senior School
Ross Petersen, Science Teacher, Senior School

What has impressed you most about the students at York House School?
The girls are appreciative of the efforts educators and staff make to enrich their learning. A “thank you” goes a long way in life, and demonstrates humility. At the end of every class, the girls pass on a “thank you” to the teacher. Positive feedback is under-emphasized in society, and when combined with great work habits and integrity, is quite progressive.

What inspires you most about the subject that you teach?
Everything! As you read this sentence, infinitesimally small chemicals are shutting across infinitesimally small cellular spaces in your brain, enabling you to translate these words, form ideas about the writer, and reflect. Science is about the pursuit of truth and meaning, and unraveling the mysteries of nature. The forever-discovery nature of science, when combined with the tranquility and inspiration of being in nature, makes science a seamless and inspirational fit pour moi.

What are you most looking forward to at York House in the coming months?
Building genuine relationships with staff and students. This is perhaps the best part of being an educator. Morning coffee, a casual high five, or smile in the hallway over a shared experience. I’m also excited to integrate these humanistic qualities with compelling activities and discussions in and out of the classroom. Last but not least: as per the grade 8s, “some more explosions” too.

What is something that people might not know about you that you would like to share?
Bowl cut, freckles and an Indiana Jones… leather… fanny-pack. Go team.

What is your favourite book of all time and why?
The truth is, I have read one traditional book in my life. I believe it was called “Terror at the Zoo.” I read it in Grade 5 as a choice read in a mandatory reading block. But yes, I do read non-fiction in the form of academic research papers. At some juncture, I may become the novel type. Maybe. But for now, hiking and science journals bring me inspiration.