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IN THIS ISSUE FAST FACTS............................................................. Page 03

PARTNERS IN THE JOURNEY .....................................

LETTER FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR................................ Page 05

OUR LEADER-FUL COMMUNITY .................................. Page 21

CURIOSITY............................................................... Page 06

MEET THE JUGNAUTHS ............................................. Page 22

THE MAGIC OF MRS. LAUREN PIGHIN........................... Page 08

COURAGE & RESILIENCE ........................................... Page 24

GRADUATING STUDENTS’ VOICES...............................

Page 10

CULTURE WITH A CAPITAL ‘C’ (FOR CHINA!) ................ Page 26

JOY OF LEARNING....................................................

Page 12

THE IMPORTANCE OF VOLUNTEERING ......................... Page 28

ALUMNI STORIES.....................................................

Page 14

PARTNERS IN THE JOURNEY ...................................... Page 30

OH, DOUBLE-BREASTED SPORT COAT, WHERE ART THOU NOW?..........................................

Page 16



Photo credit: Melissa Carl

Page 20

FINANCIALS ............................................................ Page 31









STUDENTS 2018/2019

284 355




Junior School Teams

Senior School Teams

Chris Grieve Head of School

• Basketball

Grant Ozechowsky High School Principal, Deputy Head

• Golf

• Golf Academy

• Cross-country Running

• Cross-country Running

Lisa White Director of Finance

• Rugby

• Rugby

• Soccer

• Soccer

• Swimming

• Track and Field

• Track and Field

• Volleyball

• Basketball

Ashley Bryden Middle School Principal Susanne Raye Junior School Principal Casey Turnpenny Junior School Vice Principal, Academics Lindsay Grieve Director of Operations

• Ultimate Frisbee

Christina Kuhn Director of Admissions

• Badminton

Sean Ayers Director of Development

• Cheer

Steve Acree Senior School Vice Principal, University Guidance Jaime Hill Senior School Vice Principal, Student Life

PERFORMING ARTS • Preschool to Grade 12

• Art studio

• Brand new 130-seat multi-

• Drama presentations

use theatre

Crystal Kolodziej HoS Assistant, Director of Parent Communications Tiffani Weaver Assistant Director of Preschool

• Music performances

• Digital design studio

• Arts mini-festival

• Digital recording studio

• Speech arts competition


• Drama studio



British Columbia Ministry

Dalhousie University

of Education Independent Schools Association (ISABC) Federation of Independent Schools of BC (FISA) SAT Testing Site


Our graduates have been accepted to: Acadia University Blanche Macdonald Centre Guelph University Langara College McGill University McMaster University Mount Allison University Mount Royal University Okanagan College Queen’s University Ryerson University Simon Fraser University

The University of Alberta The University of British Columbia The University of British Columbia Okanagan The University of Calgary The University of Lethbridge The University of Northern British Columbia The University of Ottawa The University of Regina The University of Saskatchewan The University of Toronto The University of Victoria Vancouver Film School Western University


Belmont Abbey College Cornell University Emerson College Missouri S&T Parsons School of Design The University of Arizona


The University of Liverpool The University of Exeter The University of Edinburgh The University of St. Andrews Queen’s University Belfast

3 Royal College of SurgeonsPAGE in Ireland


Photo credit: Melissa Carl

LETTER FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR It’s a Cinderella story. The New

I have watched the school evolve and

Thanks to the drivers who show

England Patriots, led by an over-the-

grow over the 11 years that we have

patience when navigating the parking

hill quarterback that statisticians would

had our kids attending, and, now that

lots at the end of the day.

say should have retired long ago, made

I have the privilege of serving as the

it to the Superbowl this year for the first

Board Chair, I would like to extend my

time since 2018. Amazing luck.

thanks to the parents and family of

Aberdeen Hall is another Cinderella

Aberdeen Hall students.

story. A school, started by a group of

Thank you to those who painted walls

parents who knew little about running a

and drove buses when the school was

school, found a vacant school building


and had 80 kids learning just days after their previous school had folded. Today, the school teaches almost 700 students at one of the finest school campuses in Canada. Was Aberdeen Hall a long shot?

Thanks to those who volunteer with the Parent Guild, investing their time to produce the events and fundraising efforts that make Aberdeen better. Thanks to everyone who has ever donated to the Annual Fund, providing

Perhaps no more than Tom Brady’s

the money that improves the school’s

Patriots playing in their 9th Superbowl.

infrastructure and keeps tuition costs

I know more about probability than I


do about football and there is no luck in either achievement. They have been successful because of the people. It is the people involved with Aberdeen Hall who have driven its success. Hard working and resourceful parents started and funded Aberdeen Hall. They found a dedicated Head of School to run and lead it. He then hired great teachers who believed in the vision that everyone had for a premier independent school for the Okanagan. Support staff have provided the foundation for everyone to focus on teaching our kids to the highest standard. Aberdeen Hall is a community school. Started by a community of Okanagan parents for the benefit of the Okanagan community. Aberdeen Hall is our school,

Thank you to the donors who have

Thanks to all the committee and board members who provide their time, knowledge, and expertise to ensure school staff have the best resources possible to teach and guide our kids. Thanks to the faculty and staff who bring passion and positive energy to work with them every day.

Most of all, thanks to every one of you for choosing to send your children to Aberdeen Hall. Sincerely,

Tyler Bollhorn

given the capital and assets that have funded the growth of our inspiring campus. Thanks to the Gala attendees who raise their hand or a pen to buy an auction item, often while skillfully balancing a libation in the other hand. Thanks to the parents who help our youngest students change for swimming or lace their skates. Thank you to the parents who hold open a door for a hurried student chasing a friend. Thanks to anyone who has ever picked up a wayward textbook or backpack.

one that we can all be proud of. PAGE 5


I have no special gift, I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein. PAGE 6

As a child, Albert Einstein was quiet and reserved. One day when Albert was ill, his father Hermann gave him a compass and, as the story goes, the behaviour of the compass needle amazed him and created a great deal of curiosity. Albert could not understand that regardless of what he did, the needle would point in the direction of true north. This made him ponder that perhaps there were greater forces “out there.” It had a significant impact on his curiosity and is credited for increasing his desire to learn. One could argue that curiosity is one of the most powerful drivers of education. A keenly curious individual is also someone who is prepared to learn, because the two go hand-in-hand. When I was a young teacher, I had a fantastic opportunity to train at the NASA Space Centre in Huntsville, Alabama. During one of the presentations, a NASA engineer said: “Teaching students how to ask good questions will result in meaningful learning”. When teaching, I worked hard to create an atmosphere of curiosity in my classroom. One of the best ways to create curiosity is to have a memorable demonstration at the beginning of a lesson. When done correctly, it creates a “wow moment’ for the students and can serve as a great hook for the lesson. I fondly remember one of my favourite science teachers in high school lighting things on fire and blowing things up to

father talk about his son’s “would you rathers”. His 6-year old boy is going through a stage of presenting scenarios such as: “Would you rather drive off a cliff or into a river? or…., Would you rather eat a worm or a snail?.... His father tells me that these are endless and wide ranging! From my experience, this is completely natural. Casey Turnpenny, our Junior School Vice Principal Academics, is spearheading a structured curriculum to incorporate inquiry-based learning. The following is from an article that she wrote last year: “Inquiry – concerns itself with the creative approach of combining the best methods of instruction, including explicit instruction, small-group and guided learning. This is an attempt to build on students’ interests and ideas, ultimately moving students forward in their paths of intellectual curiosity and understanding”. ….A simple way to support Inquiry learning at home, is by going beyond the proverbial “What did you do today?” conversation, We can use modeling reflection and questioning: • Tell me about some of your learning goals today, • What was challenging; how did you handle that? • What are you wondering about?

impress us and increase our curiosity!

• Where could we find more information (library, speaking to an “expert,” internet source, newspaper or magazine)?

Can we teach students to be curious? Of course we can!

• Does this topic remind you of something you have read or heard about in the past?

As many parents and teachers know first hand, young children are innately curious. Recently, I enjoyed hearing a

• How could you teach others or take action in the community based on what you’ve learned? “

In discussion with Ashley Bryden, our Middle School Principal, she explained that in our Middle School Social Studies units, the students contribute to the creation of a “Driving Question,” which is visited regularly and serves to create ownership and guide the learning. One of the goals of the unit is for the students to create a more discerning approach to the incredible amount of information available online. Our individual social media profiles can become quite narrow, and this exercise will hopefully teach the students to sift and interpret data in a more logical and objective manner. The link between curiosity and learning is not always linear. Unfortunately, there can be this thing called confusion that sneaks in between the two. Managing, and in fact, learning how to embrace confusion can often lead to a very successful learning profile. When I attended a Tony Robbins seminar, Tony would have the room cheer loudly when someone admitted to confusion. This was quite humorous and had a way of inviting confusion into the learning process. In the primary years, students explore the concept of numbers increasing and decreasing with the basic operations of addition and subtraction. When we introduce a new operation such as multiplication, it can be confusing (and upsetting). With sequencing from the concrete to the abstract, and practice, we work through the confusion and eventually find clarity. This can often result in a satisfying ‘aha’ or ‘eureka’ moment.

Appreciating and celebrating these moments is also very important and, in fact, assists students with their learning. PAGE 7

THE MAGIC OF MRS. LAUREN PIGHIN By Christina Kuhn, Director of Admissions

For fifteen years, Grade 1 master teacher, Mrs. Lauren Pighin,

new location on Academy Way in 2009, Lauren continued

has been sprinkling magic and shaping young minds in her

to work her magic. From initiating house team systems to

Grade 1 classroom at Aberdeen Hall. Teachers, parents,

being an integral team member of the original Character

and students alike have described her as a true magician,

Counts programme, Lauren helped create the foundations

showcasing endless positivity, unconditional generosity,

of student life and outreach at Aberdeen Hall.

and boundless energy - all whilst inspiring others through her humble leadership.

Lauren emanates the qualities of a creative, passionate, warm, caring, and fun educator: all things one dreams of when

Lauren Pighin began teaching at Aberdeen Hall in 2004.

drawing up the list of quintessential primary school teacher

She was hired as a Grade 1 teacher at the Acland Road

qualities. Each time you walk by Lauren’s classroom, you are

location and has remained dedicated to teaching Grade 1

either welcomed in with a big smile and wave or magnetically

ever since. The school population was much smaller, with

drawn to her window to view the most engaged group of

approximately a dozen students in her class and 70 school-

six year olds. Stepping into her lessons, you immediately

wide. Likewise, the resources were limited, and Lauren “made

find yourself humming along to her mathematics raps, being

magic” with what she had. When the school moved to the

transported through storytelling to a medieval castle long


ago, or leaving in awe of her ability to capture her young

Hala A. (Grade 6) How would you describe Mrs. Pighin?

audience’s attention with a simple clap of her hands. She

Fun, caring, super energetic, supportive, helpful. She always

organizes Junior assemblies, runs Student Council meetings,

planned fun activities like Egg Drop off the Junior building.

plans the annual Read-a-Thon, and works with community

She has so much House Team Spirit - like, LET’S GO!!!!

partners on countless charity initiatives (Terry Fox, Jump Rope for Heart, and the Rainforest fundraiser, to name a few). Lauren’s desire to give back to her students and community is strong, and her school spirit is even stronger (we’re convinced she bleeds ‘Aberdeen Hall orange and blue’!)

Mr. Grieve (Head of School) How would you describe Mrs. Pighin?

I have personally worked with over 200 teachers and can tell you than Lauren Pighin is second to none. Lauren has an impressive mix of talent, dedication, care, and most of

Lauren Pighin recently announced her retirement effective

all - an incredible sense of humility. One of the greatest

June 2019. We all agree it is hard to put into words Lauren’s

“leaders by example” that I have ever met. If we were able

tremendous contribution to Aberdeen Hall. She will be

to bottle and sell her magic, we would all be very wealthy!

missed, but we all look forward to celebrating Lauren’s final half year of teaching Grade 1 at Aberdeen Hall. We know that magicians can’t share their secrets, but in honour of Mrs. Pighin’s retirement, we’ve asked students past and present to shed some light on the “magic” of Mrs. Lauren Pighin and what they loved most about Grade 1. Axana M. (Grade 12): How would you describe Mrs. Pighin? The sweetest woman I’ve ever met. Always singing at the carpet. Kind, welcoming, makes you feel comfortable. She

Mrs. Pighin: What do you love most about teaching? I love so many things about teaching. First of all, I love the interactions with the students. The joy, enthusiasm, curiosity and imagination they bring to each lesson never ceases to amaze me. It is so rewarding to see their faces when they grasp a concept, master a skill or achieve a goal. I also love the fact that I learn so many things from my students. Their unique experiences and perspectives along with their desire to acquire information, allows me to learn new things each

is like another mother to me.

day. I appreciate that I am able to teach at such a beautiful

Kirsten O. & Casni G. (Grade 12): What do you remember

my colleagues and the parent guild. I am truly blessed to

most about Grade 1?

The Rainforest Pop Up Book! Does she still make those? We loved Grade 1. Even though we’re not in the Junior School anymore, we still see her and talk to her.

facility with the ongoing support from administration, parents, be a teacher at Aberdeen Hall.

“It is important to remember that we all have magic inside us.” JK Rowling

Chloe E. (Grade 9) How would you describe Mrs. Pighin? Sweet, enthusiastic; she always took us on field trips. Brandon T. (Grade 10) What do you remember most about Grade 1?

She was incredibly aware and always prepared! To this day, I still remember how to spell ‘because’ (babies eat candy apples…) because of Mrs. Pighin. She also made Show & Tell a big deal. Matthew I. (Grade 2) What do you remember most about Grade 1?

Learning how to count by 5s, 10s, 25s and Tug O’ War! Mrs. Pighin is amazing.




Though many teachers at Aberdeen Hall have made a

I have been attending Aberdeen Hall for nearly

lasting impact on me over my 14 years at this school,

10 years now, and I have been enrolled in several

one teacher that I will never forget is Mr. Pistawka. When

courses of different disciplines. However, it became

he taught me Math in Grades 9 and 10, it changed the way

evident to me in around Grade 11 that my future would

I viewed the class.

most likely focus on a science-related subject. This interest

Watching someone teaching as passionately as he did made me start to really value and enjoy math. He always made sure to engage all of us, and you could really tell he wanted to see us succeed. Grade 9 was the year that I first decided that I wanted to pursue a business degree, and I can honestly say that Mr.

was fostered by Mr. Bosdet’s Physics 11/12 semester class. As Grade 11 progressed, we dove into the complex depths of the mechanical universe (including subjects such as kinematics, dynamics, circular motion, gravitation, electrostatics, etc.).

face in the hallways, and

The material was by no means easy, but what fascinated me was Mr. Bosdet’s natural understanding of the concepts and apparently superhuman ability to complete mathematical calculations to the nearest hundredth.

I know that I will always

This innate comprehension of his motivated me to continue

remember the passion

pursuing sciences relating to the physical world. I have

that he taught me to have

decided to pursue a Bachelor of Applied Sciences at UBC,

towards something you

and my decision to do so is most definitely influenced by


Mr. Bosdet’s constant support and wealth of information.



Pistawka had a very large effect on this choice. Even though he doesn’t teach me anymore, unfortunately, he has always been a friendly


Growing up, Science was always my least favourite subject. Not only was it difficult, but I was simply never interested in the topic. This opinion persisted throughout a large part of my youth, until I enrolled in Ms. Lauren Cross’s Biology 12. Despite my simple initial desire for Grade 12 credits, I uncovered a deep passion for biology that lied within. Ms. Cross combines her cheerful attitude and a perfect dash of sass to create a warm and didactic environment that I genuinely looked forward to participate in. Every lesson was not only superbly-taught, but designed

From a lab involving exploding gummy bears, to a human reenactment of the digestive system, crackers and digestive juices included, Ms. Cross’s biology was truly riveting. However, Ms. in a manner to genuinely interest her students.

Cross is not only an incredible teacher, but an amazing human being. She speaks to you as though you are her equal, not

inferior, and makes you feel as though what you have to say truly matters. She cares about her students’ education, but more importantly, their well being. Ms. Cross is by far one of my favourite teachers that I have ever had, and also one of my favourite people that I have ever encountered, and it is chiefly due to her superb teaching that I plan to pursue a career in nursing today. Kaitlyn

that class. She made sure every little case study was done, and I didn’t often finish, but I knew a teacher that held me accountable was the best thing for me. I can’t say I have met a teacher that pushed her students to do so well and cared about a students learning like Ms. Cunningham did. I could say she actually cared about our marks and learning. This isn’t to say other teachers don’t, but something about the way she did was rather inspiring. She gave off the impression that she came to work because she loves what she does, and she cares about our marks and us. She made cupcakes for us after a hard unit, went over tests to make sure we took something away from the class and constantly connects

She just showed me how much she values teaching us, and more importantly, how we learn. Ms. Cunningham made that class for me, she added her own twist, had fun assignments and gave valuable criticism on my work. She is the class to the real world and so much more.

I had to be persuaded by my homeroom teacher, Mr. Acree, to take Law 12, but I can say it was well worth it. You know how they say the teacher makes or breaks the course? Well I can definitely confirm this. I had Ms. Cunningham for my Law class, and at first, I thought I was not going to pass. Ms. Cunningham held us accountable in

someone I hope will still be teaching when my kids go here. Lukas PAGE 11

JOY OF LEARNING By Ashley Bryden, Middle School Principal

A Day in the Life of an Aberdeen Hall Middle School-er The joy of learning can be cultivated in many ways, but in the

interesting are that it is a bit of a challenge, and the teacher

Middle School, we think one of the most important steps is

(Mr. P) is really enthusiastic. Even though the class is hard,

to get to know our kids well, so we can stoke their individual

he makes sure we understand by being really thorough when

learning fires! Whether it’s homeroom time or basketball

he teaches and having us do projects and assignments that

practice at the end of the day, we approach each moment

help us understand. Mr. P also shares his tips and tricks

as an opportunity to connect with our students and ignite

to help us break down hard problems, and we practice on

their passions. To give you a better sense of how the joy of

whiteboards, so that our mistakes aren’t permanent. All in

learning is cultivated in our wonderful school, read on for a

all, I really enjoy this part of my day because it’s challenging

snapshot of a typical Aberdeen-er’s day.

and fun at the same time.

Morning Homeroom: It’s 8:20 am and time to get sorted for

Block 2 ~ Advisory/Homeroom: Charlie Fisher (Grade

the day as kids head to lockers and check the class schedule

6) - Some things I like about Homeroom are that we have

before walking into homeroom. Homeroom teachers greet

anonymous class meetings to discuss any problems or any

students with a morning smile and hello while everyone

things that we feel should be recognized, so that everyone

gets settled in to finish some final homework tasks or read a

feels included and respected. I also like it because you can

small chapter in their current favourite novel. At 8:40, focus

practice studying for midyear exams or on any assignments.

shifts to preparing for the day as students and teachers run

In Homeroom, we also get to spend time with our homeroom

through upcoming events, chunk out larger projects or test

class and our homeroom teacher and do fun activities. For

preparation, and share stories. 10 minutes later, students

example, once we played hide and seek outside, and when

are off to their first classes!

you found someone you would pop their balloon because

Block 1 ~ Math: Soren Crumb (Grade 8) - In Grade 8, there

we were learning about suspense. Overall it really helps kids

are a couple of options for math class, and you can choose to

out with their day and their lives.

do the accelerated Math 9 course if you are into it. I like this

Morning Break: A quick morning break moves students

class for a lot of reasons, but two of the things that make it

outside to get some fresh air and stretch their legs on the


new Sports Court and Great Hall Plaza. You might see students playing a quick 3-on-3 basketball game, running in a game of tag, or hanging out with their crew. Block 3 ~ Social Studies: Rubal Bansal (Grade 7) - First of all, Social Studies is the best because Mr B is the best! He makes everything fun, even when we need to do notes, because he will make up videos or slideshows that we can use instead of just listening and copying the teacher all of the time. I love Social Studies as it is always interesting, mostly because the examples of what we are learning are related to us and connect with our own lives. For example, our Egyptian unit was really fun since even though we had to take a lot of notes and do a lot of work, we got to choose how we showed what we learned. Even the test was fun because we did it orally instead of by writing so we had a lot of ways to word our answers and it was different from the usual ways of doing things!

got to decide how we would complete our actual robot build to prepare it for competition. SumoBots competition was cool because all of the robots that we made got to compete in the battle, which was super exciting. In the competition, we could see how different code programs stood up against other ones, and we had to quickly adjust our code between battles if something wasn’t working well. Everyone was super

Lunch: Sharing lunches at communal tables with peers

loud for the final battle, and it was really intense!

is a special part of the day as students continue to build

Afternoon Homeroom: At 3:10, it’s nearly the end of the

community with people outside of homeroom or usual class groups. Sitting down to a meal together is a relaxing part of a busy day, and playing outside after gives an unstructured outlet for students to just be. Recharged and ready to take on the rest of the day, students head off to their Block 4 class.

school day and time to head to homeroom again. During this time, Homeroom teachers help students organize their schedule for the rest of the day by recording homework, identifying how long homework tasks might take, and modeling prioritization and efficiency techniques.

Block 4 ~ Arts:

Homework Club: With a minimum of two teachers per day,

Art - Sajana Sandhu (Grade 7) - Art class is awesome because

Homework Club is the spot to be if you want to get your

not only do we get to do the usual “art” stuff like drawing and

homework or studying done right after school ends. By

painting, we use computers and digital programs to create

having different teachers rotate through Homework Club,

different types of art. I always made mine super colourful and

students get exposure to different personalities and teaching

fun because art class is a place for relaxing and enjoying.

styles and learn how to efficiently prioritize and maximize

Block 5 ~ ADST: Robotics - Josiah van Leenan (Grade 7) - I

their time by getting their tasks out of the way before the

enjoyed the fact that we had a lot of choice in Robotics class.

rest of their evening starts.

We got to choose what type of code we wanted to use and

Basketball Practice: 4:30 - 5:30 pm: Felicity Byrne (Grade

decide what programs to include in our code to make the

8) & Abby Herbert (Grade 8) - Being on a school sports team

robot do different things and respond to sensors. We also

is super fun because you get to play the game with your friends, which isn’t always the case on outside-of-school teams. Plus, even though we take it seriously and practice hard, up to Grade 8 everyone who wants to play can play, so you don’t have to be super talented to be on the team. Everyone supports you to get better, and the coaches are there to teach you to improve and have fun instead of putting too much pressure on you. Also, tournaments are kind of a bonus because you get to hang out and travel with friends in a new place. PAGE 13




Being part of the Aberdeen Hall community, I believe, was a privilege. I have many people to thank for giving me the opportunities that got me to where I am today. Aberdeen Hall gave me structure and helped me mature and get ready to excel into my college years.

It meant a lot to be part of the school, and looking back I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had and the friends I made for anything. I am a recent college graduate from a Division 2 school in North Carolina, Belmont Abbey College. With the work ethic instilled in me in high school, I was able to be a student-athlete all 4 years of undergrad. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and Aberdeen Hall prepared me for college, for being a collegiate-athlete, and for the real world. After graduating from college, I wanted to continue to reside in the US, and I now live in Pennsylvania with my fiance Mia. I landed a job straight out of college with a real estate company named Redfin, a combination of a real estate brokerage and a tech company. This company, and working in corporate America, has taught me many things in the business world as well as life lessons I thought I’d never receive. I currently work as an Associate Agent for the Philadelphia team and hope to move up the ladder as time goes on into a Lead/ Senior agent position for Redfin. I am fortunate to say that I love my job and love the company I work for and am grateful for the opportunities I have had. PAGE 14




Since graduating from Aberdeen Hall, I decided to pursue higher education at the University of Victoria. I am currently completing the last semester of my BCom degree on the island, where I am specializing in Service Management. I believe that the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, in tandem with my time at Aberdeen Hall has helped form many functional skills that I will take with me in my professional career. Following my undergrad, I plan on pursuing a Master’s degree, either close to home in Western Canada, or overseas in the United Kingdom.

I would like to thank everyone at Aberdeen for their continuous support, as I credit my experiences at Aberdeen Hall to have tremendously contributed to my post-secondary success.


OH, DOUBLE-BREASTED SPORT COAT, WHERE ART THOU NOW? By Grant Ozechowsky, High School Principal, Deputy Head PAGE 16

There were four rows, each row with 6 individual student desks. You know the kind, with the chair welded to the table top. The bell would ring, and we would all scramble to find the “prime” seats at the back of the classroom, where we could hide from the instructor’s questions in relative anonymity. The teacher would start the day’s lesson by reviewing yesterday’s homework on the chalkboard, occasionally calling on one of the more attentive students to answer prompts, or to work out something on the board. On a good day, I could get through most of a day without having to speak once during class. Meanwhile, the teacher stood at the front, struggling to deliver course content to 30 disengaged teens whose minds were really busy contemplating lunch. What do I recall from these classes? I remember the sound of the teacher’s voice droning on. I recollect the pit that opened up in my stomach when my name was randomly called out to answer a question; I recollect that navy blue, double-breasted sport coat that seemed to be the only jacket the teacher would wear. Sound familiar? This is the stereotypical teacher-centred classroom. The teacher talks, students are supposed to listen, and learning is assessed by weekly tests or quizzes. Unfortunately, this model can be really inefficient.

Many studies trumpet the flaws of teacher-centric instructional models. Lessons that rely primarily on lectures tend to be less memorable, with students forgetting 50-80% of content just 24 hours after learning it. In short, watching even the most accomplished expert plow through an extensive Google Slides deck is not going to lead to noteworthy learning in the classroom, especially if the students are online shopping or visualizing their bologna sandwich when they are supposed to be discovering the wonders of the universe.

In our school, we have elected to adopt a personalized approach to education. Key to this model is the concept of student agency: the ability to advocate for oneself and to own our choices along our educational journey. Students need to find their voices. What this looks like can vary from class to class. However, the spirit of this philosophy involves valuing the thoughts, strengths, and opinions of the student. It requires the teacher to build trust in the classroom and establish an environment in which students feel safe. It demands that teachers understand each of their students as individuals. Our yearly traditions like our public speaking event, Science Fair, “This I Believe” speeches, and debate clubs are certainly effective ways our students can learn to develop, value, and share their voices. However, these skills do not occur on their own; they require nurturing. These are qualities that evolve in the classroom if the teacher pays attention to instructional design.

Today, if you enter a classroom at Aberdeen Hall, you won’t encounter silence. You won’t see rows of static students listening passively to a teacher’s lecture. You’ll discover lessons led by credible teachers, conducting engaging lessons where the student is at the centre. At times it might look messy, but all the best learning is. After all, school should be more than a place for fact acquisition, memorization, silence and double-breasted, blue-blazered lecturers. It needs to be a place where curiosity can be kindled, where inspiration can be nurtured, and where a student can discover their own unique voice. I am proud to say our school works hard at building student agency, and I am even more proud of the strong, confident voices our students demonstrate every day. To read an extended version of this article, please visit our website at: aberdeenhall.com



range, grass fed beef with no additives or preservatives in their hot dogs and smokies. We developed a granola bar that is high in protein, with sunflower seed butter and sunflower seeds, with chocolate chips to make it more appealing. Balancing fun meals with nutritional benefits is our goal. I aim to introduce more Making food healthy and nutritious is my passion. When I studied Hotel and Restaurant Management in Switzerland, I found I loved the hustle and bustle of restaurants, but

vegetarian and gluten free items for those who require these options, and the next menu has more vegan options for those who have requested it.

the traditional French cuisine was saucy and heavy, and I wanted to make it lighter and healthier. I took a course in natural nutrition. I became a vegan at the age of 21 when vegan options were few, and some were surviving on a diet of lettuce and fries! I wanted to make regular meals like burgers, risotto, pasta, and baking vegan and healthy. I started experimenting with nutritious ingredients to replace the “unhealthier versions” and never stopped. I went on to establish a baking company, restaurants, and then worked with numerous health food stores. I developed a “food for thought” concept, which went into schools and taught simple, healthy cooking classes. Now I find myself at Aberdeen Hall enhancing an already generous Hot Lunch Program.

My desire to make the everyday healthy drives me, and making lunches for students is the greatest challenge as they must be appealing to all ages but nutritious for growing bodies and minds. Our students are lucky to have an enhanced curriculum, and we need to sustain and nourish them through the day. Sneaking cauliflower into a classic kid favourite like mac and cheese is one of my secrets, but topping it with bacon bits makes it exciting and adds protein. Making all of our

We have started composting our food scraps both from food preparation in the kitchen as well as the leftovers from hot lunch. The students are now dividing their recycling and compost, scraping bowls into a bucket, which goes to local farms to feed pigs, chickens, and many more animals. The younger students are really embracing composting. They seem to love the idea of feeding farm animals: “Who is going to eat this? Do we feed the chickens chicken? Do they like our leftovers?” We smile and answer accordingly. We are also asking students to take home their leftovers, so parents have an idea of how much their child is eating – or it might be a perfect after school snack! As with any new program, we are working on improvements and welcome new ideas and support. Please feel free to contact us anytime. Caring about our students. Caring about awareness. Caring about making sustainable choices.

sauces (alfredo, bechamel, and tomato) in-house ensures we are avoiding unnecessary preservatives and additives. We have made healthier choices with several menu items, for example, poutine with baked fries cut in-house, real cheese curds, and gravy from scratch. No packaged gravy here. I do believe our children deserve the best, but it can be made delicious and fun. We have been working with suppliers who offer ethically sourced, sustainable, free PAGE 19


We are the Novakowskis, and this is our fourth year at

The opportunities to explore various areas of interest with

Aberdeen Hall. We have two boys - Owen (Grade 8) and

clubs, teams, and after-school programs are amazing and

Robert (Grade 6). We have lived in Kelowna for 14 years

at times there are almost too many options to choose! We

and chose it because it has proximity to family, a laid-back

also continue to be impressed with the amazing level of

feel, and a smaller-city atmosphere.

communication from staff and teachers, whether it be email,

We became interested in Aberdeen Hall during an open house in 2015, when the Great Hall was first opening. We learned much more about the school, including the low student-to-teacher ratio, the family-friendly atmosphere, and

TeamSnap, or just a casual conversation in the hallway. And finally, there is the incredible community that is fostered at the school through so many activities including house teams, guild events, and Horizons trips.

the amazing facilities. We were impressed by the number

We realize that to offer so many opportunities for our children,

of opportunities that would be offered to our children with

the school requires funding beyond the basic tuition. We

clubs, sports, and academics. Since joining the school, our

are impressed with Aberdeen Hall’s ability to continue to

expectations have been met and exceeded.

expand and improve every year. That is why we are happy

Every year, our boys have had teachers that truly care about their students and, combined with the small class size, allows for them to authentically connect.

to support the school, knowing our donation makes a difference in students’ lives. There are lots of ways to give back, through monetary donations and volunteering time and expertise. We hope that we are teaching our boys by example so that they will grow up with an attitude of giving and support to the people and causes that positively impact their lives.


OUR LEADER-FUL COMMUNITY By Casey Turnpenny, Junior School Vice Principal, Academics One of the wonderful privileges of teaching at an independent

facilitator and Google Innovator. Many of our faculty were

school is the priority placed on ongoing professional learning

quite star-struck (including myself)!

for faculty. Teachers are regularly encouraged to continue developing the depth of their skills or particular areas of expertise through attending workshops or conferences (locally or in the lower mainland), participating in online courses, pursuing post degree masters work, or obtaining specialist certifications. At Aberdeen Hall, the school sponsors two Professional Development (Pro-D) days in the fall and spring for faculty from all three programmes (Preschool, Junior School, and Senior School). Teachers enjoy a full day of in-house learning and collaboration, leaving inspired with amazing new ideas to help further bring our Strategic Plan to life and support student learning, along with innovative ways of diving into specific ideas, concepts, or content in the classroom. This past November, we were incredibly excited to host award winning teacher and author, Sylvia Duckworth, as our Keynote Speaker and workshop facilitator (https://sylviaduckworth. com/). She is famous for her Sketchnotes for Educators

Sylvia presented tips for teaching, furthered by an intensive workshop on how to Sketchnote (an interactive way of notetaking for students of all ages), and strategies to implement this practice in our classrooms. To further our learning, we took advantage of our “leader-ful� community by offering workshops on Personalization Through Technology and Resilience, led by our own teachers. We are very lucky at Aberdeen Hall to house such knowledgeable faculty -- the opportunity to learn from each other with the goal of building up our team, fostering more versatile, dynamic, and confident educators is a powerful opportunity that we must leverage and celebrate. Perhaps the most beautiful part of an inspiring day of professional development is the way in which teachers bring back their enthusiasm to the classroom, spreading the joy of lifelong learning to their students and colleagues, positively impacting teaching and learning.

publications and is also an AIM French Language Learning PAGE 21

MEET THE JUGNAUTHS By Christina Kuhn, Director of Admissions

Mastering the art of time management is something we

How has the school helped you with your hockey?

all strive to achieve. Assuming that work and children are

Aberdeen Hall has taught me to have a good mind set and

challenging to balance, lots of work and lots of children

to manage my time as well as I can. Like, for example, if

would be even more challenging to balance, so we turned

I’m done my homework, I can still be productive and do

to one of our Aberdeen Hall families for some insight.

something else like a workout.

Meet the Jugnauths: a longstanding Aberdeen Hall family of

Logan (Grade 5): What is your favourite thing about

5 children (4 boys and 1 girl), spanning Grades 2 to 9. With a larger than average sized family, demanding occupations as specialist doctors, and children living part-time at the local ice rinks, we wondered, “How do they juggle it all?” Tyson (Grade 9): What is your favourite thing about Aberdeen Hall? The teachers are really good. The smaller class sizes allow you to get 1 on 1 help if you need it. How has the school helped you with your hockey? It’s helped me get my work done efficiently. The flex programme gives me time to get homework done, and my teachers will change a test date if needed. Colton (Grade 8): What is your favourite thing about Aberdeen Hall? I like doing the higher curriculum like Grade 9 Math instead of Grade 8. The teachers are supportive. PAGE 22

Aberdeen Hall? The teachers; they care about you.

How has the school helped you with your hockey? AH has helped me achieve good grades, which will help me get into future hockey academies. Gabrielle (Grade 5): What is your favourite thing about

Aberdeen Hall? The great teachers: they help me understand everything. How has the school helped you with your skating? I have to leave early 2-3 times a week, so they help me stay on top of my work and get caught up. Brayden (Grade 2): What is your favourite thing about

Aberdeen Hall? My teachers; they’re so nice!!! They help me.

Left to Right: Colton, Logan, Gabrielle, Eleonora, Tyson, Brayden (Not featured: Anand who was operating at KGH this morning)

How has the school helped you with your hockey? PE

wintertime. This is our opportunity to relax, recharge and,

class because we do lots of running, and it makes me faster.

more importantly, spend time as a family and reconnect.

Interview with Eleonora & Anand Jugnauth

What are your top 3 recommendations to find balance

How has AH helped support your busy family life? All

very different than what would work for others. I would say

the children have been at AH since Preschool/Kindergarten. AH and the teachers have been instrumental in the kids’ success academically and, more importantly, emotionally and socially. The kids feel as if the teachers at AH truly know them and are invested in their future successes. The teachers are approachable and frequently carve out extra time in the day/week. Where can we find the Jugnauths during the week? Our days start around 4:30 am. At least one child is on the ice by 5:30 am on most days. After school for kids and work for parents, we do the usual drop off at multiple rinks and pick up at various times of all kids. All hands on deck with multiple drivers and vehicles required. What is your favourite activity to do as a family? We love family trips, the highlight being our trip to Hawaii in the

in life? I am no expert in this field, and what works for us is that to try to find “balance” is a moving target. Some days/ weeks are better than others; however, key elements include:

1. Finding a spouse/significant other that is a total equal when it comes to sharing everything from finances to parenting duties to household chores.

2. Concentrating on what is important to you and your family and accepting “good enough” in other aspects of your life.

3. Ensuring you and your partner have a strong, loving, respectful, and supportive relationship. The two of you are the foundation of your family. Without this strong bond, it is difficult to build and maintain a strong family unit.

4. Ask for help when you need it, and do not feel guilty that you cannot do it all yourself… you are not meant to do it all. PAGE 23

COURAGE & RESILIENCE By Susanne Raye, Junior School Principal PAGE 24

As educators in the fast-paced, ever changing twenty-first century, we recognise that one of our goals is to help students develop courage and resilience. Courage: “the ability to control fear and to be willing to deal with something that is dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant.” (Cambridge Dictionary)

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. Begin each day as if it were on purpose. Mary Anne Radmacher

Resilience: “the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened.”

During the school year, we work on providing students

(Cambridge Dictionary)

with authentic moments in which they need to call upon

Observing students who are more willing to engage in

their courage and resilience. Our science and medieval

difficult and challenging situations highlights attributes to be taught and developed in children, including the ability to set realistic goals, a hopeful outlook, high self-worth, the ability to problem solve and make decisions, and to view hardships and obstacles as challenges rather than stresses to be avoided.

How can we teach these attributes? As educators, it is important that we model these attributes. We let students know we are frustrated or challenged by a task, but that we persevere and find a solution. Even if we fail, showing that even in failure there is opportunity to learn. In Grade 3 Social Studies this year, I challenged the students to build Maasii roundhouses. I provided the materials and general instructions but wanted the students to think creatively and problem solve. Well, there is only so much creative problem solving Grade 3s can do! We

fairs, drama, music and speech arts productions, and Horizons Week trips certainly provide opportunities for our students to challenge their perceived fears. The importance of knowing our students and their capabilities is crucial during these times. Knowing when to push, so they can be their best selves, but ensuring that the push does not damage their self worth is crucial. This can often be seen in the differentiated goals and outcomes for students.

Self reflection after these types of events is extremely valuable. For children, understanding what circumstances induce a fearful reaction and what makes them feel like giving up can help them change the thought process from, “I can’t do this” to “I can try to do it”. They can also begin to recognise their areas of weakness and vulnerability while also seeing their strong points and talents.

didn’t give in, but we did decide to recognise the skill of the Maasai women, and that we needed to practise at lot more if we were going to achieve a solid house. I openly showed my frustration and appreciation of the skills I didn’t yet possess. We laughed together and made the best of it. When it came to building our Mauri houses, we were mentally prepared and ready for the challenge.


CULTURE WITH A CAPITAL ‘C’ (FOR CHINA!) Ashley Bryden, Paul Bienvenu, Elaine Crebo

Primed with 6 weeks of noon-hour Mandarin classes taught

brought our students into their homes, their school, and

by our international students, a group of 14 students in Gr.

around their beautiful city.

7 - 9 set off on an educational and cultural experience of a lifetime. Travelling to Hangzhou, China, they spent the 20+ hour journey ablaze with questions, curiosity, and excitement. The anticipation was not in vain and for the following 10 days, our students were immersed in an incredible, colourful, and eye opening experience of exchange and cultural exploration.

The highlight of the visit was representing Aberdeen Hall at the International Education and Cultural Festival, where our students attended cultural events, watched demonstrations of martial arts, sports, music and dance, and built friendships with their Chinese counterparts. Many of our students took part in a flea market fundraiser, selling items brought from

Our partner school, Greentown Qin Qin Yuhau School, whose

Canada to raise money for local charities, while others

14 students were hosted by our school and Aberdeen Hall

participated in a Student Leadership Forum alongside

host families in May, 2018, returned the warm welcome and

students from around the world. Living with a Chinese family


while participating in such a large and energetic festival was an opportunity for our students to broaden their horizons, exercise flexibility, and develop an awareness of Chinese culture. One of our students remarked that the experience gave her a new appreciation for what our international students experience in coming to Canada. Our experience in China was also expanded through the exploration of one of the largest cities in the world: the modern metropolis (pop. 24 million!) of Shanghai. Our group travelled from Hangzhou by a maglev bullet train and experienced the surreal feeling of travelling at 350 km/hr. Our time in Shanghai was highlighted by guided exploration of Yu Gardens, a fullday excursion to Zhouzhuang Water Village, a temple visit and an incredible evening boat tour along the Bund. Oh, and a stop at the World’s largest Starbucks!

Throughout the adventure, our students were excellent representatives of Aberdeen Hall, modeling a spirit of curiosity, respect, and desire to grow – qualities that our school aspires to instill in every pupil. The journey was an opportunity to develop confidence, inspire friendships, and encourage students to expand their horizons. Without a doubt, it was a fantastic success. Stay tuned for our 2019 exchange programme! PAGE 27


When our family first joined Aberdeen Hall in 2013, we were

positively interacting with peers and co-workers are some

pleasantly surprised by how much the school involved

of the values I hope my children will learn from seeing me

parents and that there were parent events like the Gala and

volunteer at their school.

the Holiday Social. This is where we quickly made many close friends in our new town.

5 ½ years later, I am proud to say that many people I call close friends came from relationships made while volunteering

I attended a parent guild meeting in my first year and found myself just offering to help someone at an event they were involved in. This has since led me to help out with many events and even organizing some, which I am fortunate to have the opportunity to do.

I truly feel that a large part of my kids’ life is at their school. It may sound a bit funny, but things like the lunch room, lockers, hallways, and their school friends are where so many of their childhood memories will come from. I love that I am familiar with ‘their world’ (not necessarily involved or invading their privacy, but just familiar). I love that I know who they are talking about when they tell stories of classmates and teachers. When they talk about events that happen at the school, I can relate to who and where they are talking about. I worked as a registered nurse in Calgary for 13 years when my kids were little. After nursing, I took on the role of stayat-home mom while helping my husband, Kevin, grow our family business. As the girls grew older, I really felt it was important for them to see me work

at Aberdeen Hall. Events I have been involved in:

x 4 YEARS HOT LUNCH x 3 YEARS WELCOME BACK BBQ x 1 YEAR GRYPHONS DAY x 1 YEAR PICTURE DAY x 4 YEARS BAKE SALE x 3 YEARS BOOK SALE x 3 YEARS GALA COMMITTEE x 2 YEARS CHRISTMAS SOCIAL x 5 YEARS STAFF APPRECIATION BREAKFAST We all live very busy lives, and volunteering allows me to spend time with friends at the school while catching small glimpses of my children’s world and educational journey.

outside the home as well. I hope to show them that volunteering is an important role. Showing them that I take pride in everything I help out with, the importance of being professional, showing up





PARTNERS IN THE JOURNEY Thank you to all those who supported the school in 2017/18. Your generosity makes a significant impact on the experiences and opportunities available to Aberdeen Hall students.

Stephen & Jacqui Acree

Kris Ganzert & Lynda Brown

Alli McCabe & Geoff McLeary

Sammy & Neera Sandhu

Sean & Ashlyn Ayers

John & Jessica Gareau

Lane & Maegan Merrifield

Paul & Shannon Sexton

The Bannister Family

Brent & Caroline Gilchrist

Mission Group

Schueler Group Benefits

Micheal Gregory Bird

Chris & Lindsay Grieve

Derek & Tamara Moran

Peter & Brenda Sherba

Tyler & Cindy Bollhorn

Ted & Linda Hanlon

Ernie Moreau & Alexis Thomson

Sharron Simpson

Geoff & Leneigh Bosdet

Ryan Hannan

Jason & Rachelle Moulton

Chai & Danielle Smith

Mark & Ellen Brown

Jeff & Lori Hastings

Ken Mulleny

Shawn Spendlove

Ashley Bryden

Darren & Siobain Hatchard

Jen St. Jean

Justin & Becky Bullock

Matt Hauge & Carolyn Stober

Homayoun Najjaran & Mina Hoorfar

Ted Callahan

Laura Hazeldine

Cambridge Uniforms

Jerry Hesse

Bruce & Melanie Campbell

Jaime & Kyle Hill

Rob Carmichael & Margaret McPherson

Christoph Himmelstein

Kevin Carson & Tracey Thompson Reagan & Leigh Church Jennifer Clark Kevin Clark & Shawna Cruz Creative Designs Development Elaine Crebo Lloyd & Maria Cronk Lauren Cross Bradie Cunningham Derek & Frances Cutler Nathan Cutler Alan & Carol Dolman Greg & Kelli Ducharme Meghan Dunn Ryan Ennis Paul & Karen Etheridge Melvin & Holly Flinkman Yanteng & Zhiran Fu Brenda Gallagher Mike & Courtney Gammon

Jane Hoffman Barbara Hofmann Michael & Nadia Holzhey Michael Hooper Zhiyong & Jessie Huang Scott Humphreys & Stacey Butterworth Kevin & Trisha Isabey Bruce & Kimberly Knight Kevin & Erinn Knight Crystal Kolodziej Keith & Gillian Kostek Cathy & Kipp Krivoshein Christina Kuhn Garry & Lisa Lapointe Jason & Karyn Lapp Paul Larsen & Susan Skipworth Larsen Richard Leung & Katie So Chumming Liu & Zhili Li Feng Li Seigo & Masao Matsubara

Jessica Neathway Madelaine Nichvalodoff Marc & Judith Novakowski Alyson & Tom O'Connor Duane & Edith Ortynski Todd Ortynski Daphne O'Sullivan Grant Ozechowsky & Amy Splinter Brent & Corrine Peacock Peacock Sheridan Group Peigen Ye & Chun Fu Lauren Pighin Sean & Jody Pihl Garrett & Rochelle Radchenko Neelesh & Alka Ranchod Susanne & David Raye Wade & Danica Redden Mark & Samantha Reineking Leslie Ring & Trisha Rymhs Marc & Holly Riopel Jonathan & Val Robins Colin & Nancy Rothery Tyson & Sonya Russell Tonia Rutledge Ignacio Salvati & Silvina Mema

Tom Stinson Rich & Jenn Sutton Scott & Cindy Switzer Synergy Landscape Design Ltd. Shari Tambasco Rob Thomson Andrew & Jennifer Thorne Mark & Lisa Turchyn Casey Turnpenny-Sills & Rory Sills Twin Creek Media Taylor Verboom Kevin & Joanne Viau Leslie & Anjali Vincent Shawn Wang & Wei Liu Tiffani Weaver Chris & Lisa White Josh & Amy Wiesenthal David & Sandy Wiesenthal Marisa & Justin Williams Yong Xu Dwain Yagelniski & Olena Kohut Shijian Yu & Jianhua Cheng Jack Zhang & Grace Zhu Calvin Zhang & Vicky Dong Zhi Jin Zhang & Shaomei Liang Gen Zhao & Meiqin Wang

This list reflects those who donated to the school between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list. If, however, any errors or omissions have occurred, please accept our apologies and advise the Development Office at 250.491.1270.
















Financial Assistance


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Salaries and Benefits




The Gryphon Fund is an important resource that helps bring learning to life. You can have an impact. What matters is that we are all part of bringing learning to life. It’s not about how much you give, it is that you give. Aberdeen Hall has been built by a community of families coming together and doing all they can to achieve a common purpose. Help us continue that legacy.






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The Gryphon - The Magazine of Aberdeen Hall 2018/2019  

Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School is a special place - welcome to our community.

The Gryphon - The Magazine of Aberdeen Hall 2018/2019  

Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School is a special place - welcome to our community.