This year, thanks to the hard work and creativity of many people both in front of and behind the scenes, we reimagined our annual Celebration of Community. Our extraordinary music teachers – Dawn Haylett, Ellie Jung, and Benila Ninan – designed two distinct concerts that would allow us to gather together at the school to enjoy wonderful performances from our talented students across all of the grades.
Julie Rousseau, our Head of School, began each concert by inviting parents, grandparents, relatives, and friends watching in the gymnasium to reflect on the shared experiences, journeys, and stories that define our community.
Thank you to our students, for sharing their creative talents with us on the day and giving us a reason to come together in the spirit of joy and celebration. There were so many inspiring and heartwarming performances in each of these shows.
We are grateful to so many behind the scenes including our Facilities & Maintenance team, our A/V and Technology team, and our Communications team, who worked tirelessly to transform our gymnasium and create some holiday magic.
If you were unable to attend this year, you can view some highlights from both concerts in this five-minute video.
An absolute highlight of this past week was our launch of a Women and Leadership Speaker Series at YHS on Tuesday, November 30. On this day, Dr. Indira Samarasekera and Dr. Martha Piper joined our Grade 10-12 students and faculty for a rich conversation about their book, Nerve: Lessons on Leadership from Two Women Who Went First. They spoke with our Senior students about stories, experiences, lessons and growth as leaders of two public research universities in Canada. Among her many achievements, Dr. Samarasekera served as the President of the University of Alberta and is a current member of the YHS Board of Governors. Dr. Piper served as the President of the University of British Columbia. We are fortunate to have had them join us in lively discussion about finding the nerve to step up and lead.
Canadian leaders, co-authors, and dear friends, Drs. Samarasekera and Piper engaged in a lively interview with three YHS student leaders. Sophie, Finny, Diya had read their book ahead of time, prepared questions, and facilitated a dynamic conversation that inspired much conversation in the hallways afterwards. We learned about Drs. Samarasekera and Dr. Piper as teenagers. We learned of their very different journeys to leadership. If you know them, you will know they are fine storytellers who share insights in very relatable and human ways. Students, faculty, and administrators have spoken of how animated and human the experience was, and how privileged we are to have learned from these two prominent leaders in Canada.
A very special thank you to Dr. Samarasekera and Dr. Piper for joining us this week. Thank you, also, to Sophie, Diya, and Finny for your fine leadership this week. Please stay tuned for future speakers in this series who will engage students across the school and families as well.
Assistant Head of School