THE GRYPHON THE MAGAZINE OF ABERDEEN HALL 2019/2020
PHOEBE PRICE-ROBERTS FROM ABERDEEN HALL TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY PAGE 08
TEACHING EXCELLENCE | INSPIRING FUTURES | SHAPING CHARACTER PAGE 1
IN THIS ISSUE
ALUMNI UPDATE ......................................................
I BELIEVE IN DRAGONS .............................................
GROWING A CARING COMMUNITY IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL .............................................
MEANINGFUL CONNECTION AND MENTAL HEALTH .........
HEALTH & WELLNESS AT ABERDEEN HALL ....................
FAST FACTS .............................................................
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP .......................................
LIFE-LONG BENEFITS OF TEAM SPORTS ........................
FROM ABERDEEN HALL TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY...........
THE ATHLETICS AND WELLNESS CENTRE .....................
INSPIRING FUTURES IN INSPIRED FACILITIES ...............
ABERDEEN HALLâ€™S INAUGRAL SERVICE LEARNING TRIP - GUATEMALA 2019.............................
PARTNERS IN THE JOURNEY .......................................
AT HOME AT ABERDEEN HALL ....................................
FAST FINANCIAL FACTS ..............................................
Photo credit: Melissa Carl Photography
FOUNDED IN 2004
ABERDEEN HALL FAST FACTS
30 CLASS SIZE 17 AVERAGE
HONG KONG, GERMANY, CHINA, JAPAN, MEXICO, USA, COSTA RICA, AND KAZAKHSTAN
Junior School Teams
Senior School Teams
Chris Grieve Head of School
• Cross-Country Running
• Cross-Country Running
Lisa White Director of Finance and Human Resources
• Track and Field
• Track and Field
Casey Turnpenny Junior School Vice Principal, Academics
• Ultimate Frisbee
Lindsay Grieve Director of Operations
Grant Ozechowsky High School Principal, Deputy Head
Susanne Raye Junior School Principal Paul Bienvenu Middle School Principal Braeden Pistawka Middle School Vice Principal
Christina Ullyot Director of Admissions
Sean Ayers Director of Development Steve Acree Senior School Vice Principal, University Guidance
Jaime Hill Senior School Vice Principal, Student Life Crystal Kolodziej HoS Assistant, Director of Parent Communications Tiffani Weaver Assistant Director of Preschool
• 130-seat multi-use theatre
• Drama presentations
• Digital design studio
• Music performances
• Digital recording studio
• Annual BuskerFest
• Drama studio
• Speech arts competition
• Art studio
ACCREDITATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS British Columbia Ministry of Education Independent Schools
Simon Fraser University
University of Victoria
St. Norbert College
University of Waterloo
Blanche Macdonald Centre
St. Francis Xavier University
University of Arizona
Thompson Rivers University
Vancouver Film School
University of Alberta
Acadia University Capilano University Dalhousie University Emily Carr University Guelph University
Federation of Independent
STUDENTS IN THE CLASS OF 2019
SAT Testing Site
GRADUATING CLASSES TO DATE
Our graduates have been accepted to:
Schools of BC (FISA)
FACULTY & STAFF
McGill University Mount Allison University Mount Royal University Okanagan College Queen’s University Ryerson University
University of British Columbia University of British Columbia Okanagan University of Calgary University of Lethbridge University of Northern British Columbia University of Ottawa University of Regina University of Saskatchewan University of Toronto
Royal College of Surgeons
Belmont Abbey College
Queen’s University Belfast
St. Andrews University
University of Buckingham
University of Exeter
University of Edinburgh
University of Liverpool
Parsons School of Design Post University
Other International: Tokyo University PAGE 3
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP ENHANCING THE HEALTH OF STUDENTS AND STAFF By Tyler Bollhorn, Board Chair
As Aberdeen Hall families, we have a
ideas and information to help us make
lot to be thankful for. Great teachers,
Aberdeen Hall even better.
an amazing campus in a great city and
What struck me this year was the
school leaders who strive to improve the experience at Aberdeen Hall every day.
emphasis that the conference placed upon the health and wellness of
One of our school’s realities since
students, particularly mental health.
inception has been the need to construct
The two keynote presentations focused
new buildings and facilitate the growth
on topics relating to mental health
of our student body. We are currently
and happiness, demonstrating how
planning our next build, the Health and
important an issue this is for schools
Wellness Centre, which will include a
great new gym. Not only is it an exciting
There are many ways in which a
new project, but it also emphasizes an important theme for Aberdeen Hall – the health and wellness of its students and staff. Recently, I joined Chris Grieve at a conference for Heads of Schools and Board Chairs put on by the Canadian Association of Independent Schools. This annual conference provides PAGE 4
school can enhance the health of its students. We strive to serve healthy food and promote water consumption
Physical exercise is an important component of the curriculum, and Aberdeen has made a “Culture of Kindness” an over sugar-based drinks.
important initiative because it benefits mental health. There is another important pillar that can easily be overlooked in our busy and fast-paced world, dominated by electronic screens. For this article, I want to highlight some of the things that I have been learning about sleep. One of my favorite pastimes is listening to podcasts. In fact, Mr. Grieve has now taken to calling me “Mr. Podcast”, possibly a cynical pleading to stop showering him with the trivial information that I gather from the weekly episodes that I take in on health and wellness. In 1942, the average person slept 7.9 hours a night. Today, it is 6 hours and 31 minutes. Recognizing that no one likes to be told how to raise their kids, my aim here is
not to preach to anyone. Instead, I want
from 7:30am to 8:55am lowered the rate
is done twice every year when we move
to save everyone some time learning
of car accidents among teen students
our locks forward for daylight savings.
what scientists are discovering about
by 70%! Thankfully, Aberdeen Hall
At this time, hospitals report a 24%
something that may be an epidemic
already has a relatively late start time
increase in heart attacks. The day our
in our society – a lack of sleep. It is
for Senior School students.
clocks are turned back, and we get
particularly important when we think
Most parents have their suspicions
that extra hour of sleep 21% fewer
about maximizing the health and wellness of our children. The points that I share below come from several interviews with world-renowned sleep expert, Dr. Matthew Walker (check out his TedTalk on sleep, it is excellent) by one of my favorite podcasters, Dr. Peter Attia (his podcast is called The Drive). I also read some other sleep focused studies referenced by these interviews. In the 1960s, school generally started at 9am. Start times were moved up as society shifted to one in which both parents worked, and the school schedule needed to reflect the needs of parents. Today, many schools start classes much earlier, and this has had a particularly negative impact on teens. I was surprised to learn that it is natural for teens to stay up late at night and sleep in longer and that we should accept it. As a teen, my parents told me it was because I was lazy. Researchers have found that teens need to sleep 9-10 hours a night, even when 16 – 18 years old. Only 11% of teens get that much sleep and, on average, only get 7 hours of sleep. Yet 72% of parents think their teens are getting enough. Numerous studies have found that moving toward later start times for schools has positive impacts on performance, attendance and health. In one study, simply moving start times
about the negative effect that our
phones and tablets have on sleep.
Without going too far into the weeds,
Studies have found that using an iPad before bed delays the production of melatonin by 50%, which moves our sleep timing forward by as much as three hours. That screen time also reduces REM sleep time which can affect us for two to three days. Perhaps the biggest effect from our phones and tablets comes from sleep
researchers are discovering that there is likely a causal link between a lack of sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. Beyond the science, he pointed out anecdotally that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were both known to shun sleep in favor of working hard. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia were part of their late lives. I am far from an expert on this and only share what I have learned from sources
The fear of missing out socially is a real
hope is that you find enough here to arouse your curiosity about the importance of sleep, especially for the young and growing minds of our children.
consideration for our teens.
We can build amazing school buildings
I like a bit of caffeinated tea in the
and hire great teachers, but if our kids
procrastination. Why sleep when you can check Snapchat or Facebook one more time? I have seen my kids set up their phones to activate the camera flash any time a new message comes through to them from social media.
morning and was surprised to learn that caffeine at 7:20am can reduce deep
that I believe are credible. My
are tired, they are not going to enjoy their best learning, health and wellness.
sleep that night by 10 – 12%. Eating as much as 3 hours before bedtime will negatively affect sleep. Sleeping in a room that is warmer than 20 degrees Celsius will lower our sleep quality. The list of common behaviours and their negative impact on sleep goes on and on. We must think about the ways in which a lack of sleep is affecting us all. Dr. Walker points out that the greatest sleep study involving millions of people PAGE 5
Head of School Chris Grieve (middle row, second from left) played Center for the Toronto Marlies (in the Toronto Marlboro Organization) in the early 1980s.
LIFE-LONG BENEFITS OF TEAM SPORTS PARTICIPATION IN TEAM SPORT TEACHES STUDENTS MANY IMPORTANT LIFE SKILLS By Chris Grieve, Head of School
It’s easy to say that you’re a team
commitment, sharing, losing, winning,
and learn to develop relationships with
player (I hear this a lot during
sacrifice, communication, respect, and
them. Understanding and accepting
interviews); however, it is another
these personalities is very helpful when
thing altogether to truly understand
Team play requires members to spend
navigating life in general. For example,
the team aspects of perseverance, PAGE 6
time with a wide variety of personalities
players can be natural leaders, show-
offs (aka- show boats or hot dogs), ego-
occurring around them. Some of these
and I think that they lost their first six
maniacs, quiet, loud, selfish, generous,
tasks are challenging and/or thankless.
games. It took about three games for
smart, less smart, etc.
For example, often a fullback gets a
them to score their first goal, but when
Through the trials and tribulations
‘fake’ handoff, which results in that
they scored that lone goal in game four,
player being hit or tackled, to ensure
the team erupted in jubilation and went
that the defence will be deceived. If
home with proud smiles on their faces.
successful, the other running back
Fast forward seven years and the team
will get the ‘real’ handoff and run
now competes competitively at the
through the hole created by the fake.
of the team experience, teammates create special bonds that can develop into tremendous friendships. Many of my closest friends today were past teammates from childhood teams. When we talk with Aberdeen Hall alumni, they speak fondly of the friendships they made while playing school sports. In fact, they often show up together to visit and reminisce. Bonds created with favourite coaches can also be an
A successful play is also reliant on linemen completing their assignments, which usually involves some type of blocking with only one or two players actually touching the ball in a given play. The success comes from a collection
influential role-modelling experience.
of assignments being completed well.
To this day, when I am presented with
The same can be said here at school.
a problem, I will often think about how
Aberdeen Hall is successful due to a
one of my favourite coaches might have
myriad of roles and responsibilities, both
worked through it.
big and small, being completed to a
Individuals with team sport experience
high level. Some of these assignments
understand that in order to find success, there are a wide variety of tasks that
are glamorous, and some are not. The organization advances when everything
must be completed in order for the
works in unison.
team to advance.
Many team sports also work with
The organizational dynamics of running
the successful implementation of a
field. When a football play commences,
For students that do not excel in the classroom, a successful team sport experience can also contribute greatly to their overall self-esteem.
there are 11 players on the field for
In some games there are ‘stars’, and
each team (NFL has 10), each with
other times there are ‘goats’. The
We are excited about the many added
a specific assignment. Some tasks
benefits gained from learning how
are detailed, some are a little more
to celebrate with grace and pick-up
general. However, the focus must be
teammates after a mistake are most
on the successful task completion of
certainly life-long. Healthy competition,
each and every participant. If the team
including the adversity of losing can
members execute correctly, the play
create resilience and build self esteem.
is successful and the team advances.
When coached properly, every outcome
Often the players cannot see the play
presents an opportunity for a positive
as it progresses. Their job is to focus
on completing their individual task to
About seven years ago we fielded our
a school (or any company) has some interesting parallels to the execution of a successful football drive down the
a very high level, regardless of what is
‘system’. These systems can be a physical flow of movement (basketball, rugby, soccer) or rely more on individual
inaugural boys’ senior soccer team
benefits that a purpose-built, state-ofthe-art gymnasium and athletic centre will add to the student-life experiences for our students. It will provide more opportunities for students to learn important life skills with the coaching we will be able to offer, build our community further by adding a venue that promotes time together in healthy activities and be a central gathering space for assemblies, performances and, of course, athletic tournaments. PAGE 7
FROM ABERDEEN HALL TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY
AFTER A GAP YEAR COMPETING INTERNATIONALLY, PHOEBE PRICE-ROBERTS IS READY TO TAKE ON THE IVY LEAGUE By Erin Jones, Director of Publications and Social Media
This fall, Aberdeen Hall alumna (2018),
Adrian (graduating this year) and Bridget
Phoebe throws the hammer, really, really
Phoebe Price-Roberts packed her
(AHPS 2015). We had the pleasure of
well. The hammer throw is one of the
bags and headed to Cornell University.
sitting down with her this past summer
four throwing events in regular track and
Phoebe was among the first students in
(the day before she left) to catch up
field, along with discus throw, shot put
our original Acland Road location over
with her and hear about her athletic
and javelin. It requires strength, balance
15 years ago. Phoebeâ€™s parents are
achievements in the year since her
and timing in an event that requires a
Nigel and Suzanne and her siblings are
nearly perfect technique. In her time at
Aberdeen Hall Phoebe single-handedly
medal in the Canadian Track and Field
Cornell University. Her future ambitions
won two Provincial titles for the school
Championships in Montreal.
include graduating university with a
and as the only senior on a fledgling
Academically, she was always a top
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering
track and field team, it really was an impressive feat. In the past year since graduation, she took some time off from academics and focused on her athletic training in Kamloops, BC. She headed to the Junior Pan Am Summer Games in Costa Rica and secured a bronze
student and after her year training with the Kamloops Track and Field Club and representing her country and province internationally, she has now embarked on the next step in her education, studying Mechanical Engineering at
and minor in Aerospace Engineering while continuing to compete in the hammer throw, with an ultimate goal of competing in the Olympics. We’re so proud of her accomplishments so far and are excited to follow along as she takes on the world.
YOU’VE ACHIEVED SOME INCREDIBLE THINGS IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THESE ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE CAREER GOAL?
In the last six months I went to the U20 Canadian National
organization such as the Canadian Space Agency, NASA
Championships on Team British Columbia and achieved 3rd
My ultimate career goal would be to work for a space
place. I also went to the U20 Pan American Championships on Team Canada where I achieved 8th place.
WHY WAS CORNELL THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU? Cornell was the right fit for me for so many reasons. The engineering program at Cornell is one of the best in the country, the whole community at Cornell is so welcoming and friendly, not to mention the campus itself is absolutely gorgeous.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE A PART OF THE CORNELL TRACK AND FIELD TEAM? Being a part of the Cornell Track and Field Team is absolutely incredible; it’s like having a huge family away from home.
HOW DID ABERDEEN HALL PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR TIME AT CORNELL? Aberdeen Hall prepared me for my time at Cornell by teaching me valuable time management skills, but most importantly to reach out for help when you need it. This has been very important to me to know that there are tons of people there to help me when I don’t understand a concept and the availability and willingness of the teachers was vital in making me comfortable to reach out to professors and TA’s at Cornell.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR STUDENTS ENTERING HIGH SCHOOL AT ABERDEEN HALL?
The whole team is an amazing group of people that will
My advice for students entering high school would probably
come together to support anyone at anytime and has made
be to focus on what you’re learning and learn the concepts
a huge impact on the success of my first semester here. I
well rather than worrying about your grades because in the
really could not have asked to be a part of a better team, not
long run, the material you retain is a lot more important than
only are the other athletes amazing people but the coaches
the grade on paper. Also, your grade should reflect your
are all so friendly and supportive of each and every one of
knowledge on the topics, so if you show that you are putting
us it makes you want to work harder for them. It is really
an effort into your classes, your grade will reflect that.
an amazing close knit group of people who are incredibly supportive of one another and really push each other to be better people.
Thank you Phoebe for taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with us!
THE ATHLETICS AND WELLNESS CENTRE MORE THAN JUST A GYM
Aberdeen Hall is embarking on its largest and most ambitious project to date:
Head of School. “We also believe that we’re building more
A $10 million Athletics and Wellness Centre (with a $6 million
space for creativity and performing arts, but beyond that,
fundraising goal)— a space that will be dedicated to advancing the physical and mental health of its growing student population of more than 700 students and 450 families. With a goal of getting shovels in the ground by next summer, Aberdeen Hall is relying on the generosity of its community to make this project a reality. Only together can they build a state-of-the-art facility that will support students in all areas of life.
than a beautiful gym. Yes, it will provide a space for team sports and tournaments, a space for fitness and health, a it will be the heart of our school and community.” The proposed Athletics and Wellness Centre will give Aberdeen Hall the ability to host major tournaments and the ability to bring the entire campus together for assemblies and pep rallies, fostering school spirit and connection. It will also include a show court to host games and tournaments of all levels — with a spectator experience to match with retractable bleachers, and a mezzanine for bird’s eye
“We’re very excited about how the new Athletics and Wellness
viewing. It will also boast a double gymnasium, art rooms,
Centre will complete our inspiring campus,” said Chris Grieve,
a weight room, fitness studio, and a rooftop pavilion.
INSPIRING FUTURES IN INSPIRED FACILITIES WHAT WILL THE NEW ATHLETICS AND WELLNESS CENTRE MEAN TO OUR STUDENTS?
I’m excited about the new athletics
building. It will be a great place for P.E. and the volleyball team, which I want to join when I’m in Middle School. I’m also excited to go watch my older brother play basketball and cheer on our school during games and tournaments. I can’t wait for the new space!” Jaida Assam AHPS Grade 4
I think for me, the greatest thing
This new Athletics and Wellness
I am excited for the Athletic and Wellness Centre because it’s a place that brings athletics and academics together. In the Athletic and Wellness Centre I will be able to do all my favorite things like music, drama, and sports.”
Kenta Harris AHPS Grade 8
Attending Aberdeen Hall and
about having the new Athletics
Centre will provide future grades
playing sports here has opened so
and Wellness Centre is going to be
and generations the opportunities that
many doors for me. I’ve grown personally
the sense of community that comes
my grad class never had the privilege
and academically and made tremendous
along with it. The energy that is brought
of experiencing. Extra shootarounds,
progress on the court as well. This is due
to the court from cheering hometown
workouts and morning sessions, are
in large part to my exceptional teachers,
fans is amazing. Being able to host
just some of the great activities that
coaches and teammates. Building upon
tournaments and gain that advantage
will now be available in this new facility.
these existing resources will not only
is really going to bring our athletics
Aberdeen Hall has always been known
develop strong athletes but also help
program to the next level.”
for its excellence in academics and it
grow well-rounded individuals.”
Caleigh Van Leenen AHPS Grade 10
brings my family and I great joy that our school is now developing a strong
Kayur Ranchod AHPS Grade 12
athletic tradition as well.” Kristian Isa AHPS Grade 12
PEER MENTORSHIP AND THE BENEFITS OF CONNECTING STUDENTS ACROSS GRADE LEVELS By Paul Bienvenu, Middle School Principal Kenny (left) and Ryan (right) were a part of our inaugural peer mentorship program which was designed to foster connections and support student learning.
When Kenny talks about his experience
on connecting with a peer mentor, he
mentorship program, and was paired
as part of the peer mentorship program,
is practically effusive.
with another student in a one-on-
he shifts from side to side and his face transforms into a shy smile. Kenny joined our Grade 9 class last year as an international student, and over the
“Having a mentor was really good. He could teach me some things, ask me questions, teach me new English
one relationship designed to foster connections and support student learning. Cross-age peer mentorship is one part of the Aberdeen Hall way
of his developing English skills.
“It was really nice to have someone else from the school check in with me. We would smile when we saw each other in the hallways.”
However, when he shares his thoughts
Kenny was part of our inaugural peer
students in need of academic support,
first few weeks at school he found it a challenge to connect with peers because of the language barrier. Even today, he admits that he sometimes comes across as a somewhat shy, reluctant to speak, and a little unsure
words,” Kenny grins.
of developing a caring and connected community. The program provides opportunities for a senior student to be a consistent and affirming presence in the life of a younger student. Initially conceived as a way of supporting students transitioning to the school, or
SOME FACTS ABOUT PEER MENTORING: • Over 15% of our Senior School is involved in our program, as a mentor or a mentee. • Mentors receive training through multiple workshops on topics Some of our 2019-2020 Peer Mentors from Middle and High School.
the program also targets students who
As a mentor, you aren’t just there to
might benefit from developing their
discuss academics, but to get involved
organizational systems, their time
in their life.”
management skills, or those for whom
Our mentors are supported by several
social interactions with their peers are difficult. For Kenny, the positive effects of connecting in a consistent way with a mentor were obvious. “The program was really helpful,” he says with a huge grin. Being a mentor isn’t easy, and it requires a commitment of hours of time given to developing a relationship with a mentee. “It’s worth it,” says Grade 11 student-
teacher sponsors, who provide them with training, guidance and feedback throughout the year. For the senior students involved, the program is an opportunity to build positive bonds with another member of their community. Many of our mentors have remarked upon how rewarding it is to see their mentee develop and grow, and how they enjoy feeling like leaders in their
“Getting to connect with the younger grades is a real opportunity. Teaching other people is a great way to learn yourself.”
This is Ryan’s second year as a peer
Our mentors and mentees also show
mentor Ryan Riopel.
mentor, and he is happy to talk about why volunteering his time to help others is not only a great way to develop his confidence with academic material, but also a way to build a sense of community for the school. “As a peer mentor, the emphasis is on being more than just a tutor. You develop a bond with a younger student, and you feel like you are really helping this person.
While research into the effectiveness of peer-to-peer mentorship programs is limited, there is consistent evidence regarding the benefits of school-based cross-age peer mentoring programs:
such as empathic listening and are regularly supported by dedicated teacher sponsors. • Mentorship goals are different for each pair- senior chemistry support, guitar tutoring, binder organization and oral language skill development are some examples. • Some mentors use their mentorship position to fulfill volunteer requirements while working towards a Duke of Edinburgh Award or to build a rounded portfolio as part of their applications for scholarships. • Middle School students also take on the role of mentors, as they join the Jr. School students in a weekly “Buddy Reading Program”.
they improve a sense of connectedness. an increased level of confidence in their own abilities, and report feeling more competent after spending time working with their peer. Whether it be confidence, competence or connection, it is clear that Aberdeen Hall students benefit from having the opportunity to build a meaningful relationship through the peer mentorship program.
AT HOME AT ABERDEEN HALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENT HUGO SHARES HIS EXPERIENCE By Elaine Crebo, International Coordinator
Hugo (Back row, far right) with his 2019-2020 Senior Boys Basketball Team.
Smart. Great sense of humor. Athletic. Motivated. Respectful. Meet Hugo Liao, a Grade 10 international student who made his mark - literally - by diving into the Jr. Boys rugby scrum just weeks after arriving from his hometown of Hangzhou, China. His 6’4” frame was a welcome addition to the team and despite never having seen the game – let alone played - Hugo’s PAGE 14
efforts contributed to the Gryphons winning the Valley championships. According to his coaches, Hugo’s got great potential and will be a force to be reckoned with. It’s been quite the adventure for this young man who traversed half way around the world to join his classmates from Aberdeen Hall’s partner school, Greentown QinQin Yuhua in the city of
Hangzhou (pop. 7.5 million). Hugo found himself immersed in a completely new lifestyle which included a new school, a new family, a new language, new food and with snowboarding, kayaking ….and doing the dishes among the many ‘firsts’ he experienced! The Aberdeen Hall daily schedule is a big change from the 6:50 am – 9:30 pm school day that Hugo left behind and
with no weekend academic classes in Kelowna, there’s been plenty of opportunity for Hugo to expand his horizons. His host family finds Hugo a delight and he’s become a much loved member of the transplanted Brits. Having lived in a boarding school prior to coming to Canada, sitting down for
twist, Hugo’s host brother George Smalldridge happens to be a teacher in the Junior School. While the daily trek home after school allowed Hugo plenty of time to decipher Mr. S’s British accent, what Hugo enjoyed best about this arrangement was the bakery stops along the way!
Since Hugo has been attending Aberdeen Hall, he has learned to live and think independently. His host family is amazing, they provide our son with delicious meals and support him in all his transportation needs. It is apparent that Hugo fits right into their family dynamic, which as a parent, makes me very happy. My son’s English has improved significantly since he’s been attending Aberdeen Hall. I’m so happy that my son has had the opportunity to broaden his horizons at Aberdeen Hall and in Canada. Weijun Liao, Hugo’s dad
Hugo (right) supporting one of his rugby team mates catching a high throw.
studies, Hugo’s advanced level of math is not unexpected given several years of successfully competing in the Mathematic Olympiads in China. Hugo’s father Weijun Liao, expressed that since Hugo has attended Aberdeen Hall, he has learned to live and think independently, more like an adult than a middle school student and he credits the supportive school environment and his amazing host family for giving his son the opportunity to broaden his horizons. We’re all proud of Hugo and know that his early accomplishments are just the beginning.
Hugo (right) with his host brother and Aberdeen Hall Junior School teacher, Mr. Smalldridge.
a family dinner every evening was a new experience – as was having new vocabulary to learn, texted to him daily by his host mom! In a rather novel
Hugo is enjoying life at Aberdeen Hall and finds the teachers kind and helpful. While his work ethic has resulted in a steady progress in his
ALUMNI UPDATE Alicia in front of the Christmas tree in the Kellogg’s Head Office Lobby where she is currently on a 14-month internship.
Alicia Hill-Turner AHPS Alumna 2016 I am currently studying Chemical Engineering, pursuing a double minor in Biomedical Engineering and Business, at the University of Toronto. I have completed my third year of engineering and am currently on a 14 month internship with Kellogg Canada as a Packaging Development Intern. After this internship I will return to university to finish my 4th and final year of schooling. Some of my recent accomplishments include receiving a $7200 research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to be employed as a summer research student at the University of Toronto. At the end of my summer research position I presented my findings at the Undergraduate Engineering Research Competition where I was awarded 1st place for my research findings. This past month I was awarded the Canada-wide TELUS Diversity and Inclusion in Technology Scholarship, a $5000 scholarship awarded to women and minorities studying in a tech-related industry. I was ranked fourth overall in U of T Chemical Engineering this past year, based on my GPA for the academic year. In terms of extracurricular activities, I was recently elected PAGE 16
as the Vice-Chair of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineers. This accomplishment is something I have worked hard at for the past three years, and I am extremely proud of this. Next year I hope to run for Chair! Recently, I’ve been dedicating my spare time working towards obtaining my private pilot’s license. I also like to volunteer at a local elementary school for Breakfast for Better Days, a volunteer program that ensures every child starts every day with a full stomach (and it helps that all the kids are adorable and puffy in their snow suits). Overall, I am really enjoying Toronto. Toronto is such a great city to be in, there is always something to do! My friends and I love hopping on the subway or streetcar to try new restaurants or explore the Toronto streets. In the summer we like to take our bikes and have a picnic on Toronto island. I’m happy to chat with you about the University of Toronto, my courses, and university life in general.
School Homework Club, which has been endlessly rewarding. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Preschool to Grade 5, with some of my previous students now in Grade 9 and continuing to excel. I cannot believe how fast they have grown but, I have never been surprised by their ability to both develop their learning and grow as thoughtful and unique individuals.
Frances Smalldridge AHPS Alumna 2017 This September marked the start of my sixth year working in the Junior
I completed two years of my Bachelor of Biochemistry at UBCO, and this January I am fortunate enough to begin Medical School at the University of Buckingham in England. Although slightly daunting, I am exceedingly excited. I am looking to become a General Practitioner, as I like having to know a little of everything - which I realized from working as a
If you are headed to the UK for schooling next year, I’d be happy to connect.
Jordan Bates AHPS Alumna 2015
Veterinary Assistant and watching the amazing doctors have to handle all manner of situations. I also really like being the first point of contact, and find the appeal in communicating and serving my community. However, I’m open-minded and look forward to learning about all the options in medicine during my degree. Ultimately, I want to live and work in Canada, and with both my parents and brother (Mr S) still here, I plan to visit as often as possible! I can’t wait to embark on this new chapter in my life and I look forward to returning to Aberdeen to hear how all the future alumni I’ve watched develop have progressed on their own journeys!
I graduated from UBC this May with a B.Sc. in Geological Sciences, and three days later started my Masters in Management full-time at the UBC Sauder School of Business. I am in my last week of classes and will have completed my Masters examinations by December 7th!
I’d love the chance to work with innovative technologies in the global transition to utilizing alternative energy.
I’m on the hunt for jobs now and am looking for opportunities in the renewable energy sector which will enable me to integrate my specialization in geological science with business development or strategic management.
A big thank you to all the folks at Aberdeen Hall for setting me up to achieve such great things here in Canada. My time there enabled me to make some waves in the last 4.5 years!
If any Aberdeen Hall students are looking to pursue a
degree in the sciences or will be attending UBC in the fall, I’d be happy to answer any questions!
This is a photo of me and my best friend and coworker, Sarah, from my graduation in May! (She just completed her Masters in neuroscience and has her thesis defense in a week, wahoo!!)
ALUMNI UPDATE [CONT.]
Casey (back row, left) with his a cappella choir at UBC.
Casey Broughton AHPS Alumnus 2016 I chose to attend UBC Vancouver,
where I am currently a Math major in the fourth year of a five year degree. I was previously in Combined Honours in Physics and Mathematics, but I transferred out as I realized that the workload was excessive and I found pure math more interesting than my studies in physics. After graduation, I’m aiming to attend law school and become a lawyer, as the law has always interested me and I hope I could use it to do some good, possibly working in the non-profit or government sectors. Outside of my studies, I’m heavily involved with UBC A Cappella, UBC’s student a cappella choir, specifically as a lower bass with the group Choral Reef.
If you will be attending UBC in the fall or plan on
studying mathematics or physics (or participating
(It seems to be a rule that all university a cappella groups have to have punny names.) I’ve been a member since my first year of university, and I find it to be a good excuse to forget academic stress for a while and meet cool new people. Each term, we learn and rehearse 4-5 songs arranged by our members, and perform with the other groups (which have similarly-punny names) at a big term-end concert. I’d highly recommend checking out our YouTube page if you’re interested in hearing us perform, and our Facebook and website if you’d be interested in joining! Songs from our latest concert should be posted in the next few weeks.
in A Cappella!) please feel free to reach out.
I enjoyed being part of a school that cared about my success just as much as I did.” Hunter Zandee
Hunter Zandee AHPS Alumnus 2014
After High School I spent three years playing in the BCHL for the West Kelowna Warriors and the Vernon Vipers where I achieved the ‘Inspirational Leadership’ award. From there I continued to pursue my education and am currently in my third year at Mount Royal University. I plan to earn a degree in Business with a double minor in Finance and Marketing. I’m also continuing to pursue my passion for playing hockey and play on the varsity hockey team at MRU. I have received multiple scholarships for
If you have any questions about university, balancing athletics and academics or studying business, please reach out. PAGE 18
my off-ice leadership skills as well as for my individual performance on the ice and in the classroom. Over the summer, I completed an internship within the oil and gas industry and secured a sales position with Element-Technical Services when I complete my degree. I will never forget the relationships that were made at this school and the positive impact it has made on my life. Aberdeen Hall has shaped me into the best version of myself.
S A T U R D A Y, M A Y 3 0 TH D E LTA G R A N D B A L L R O O M Join us for a unique, spectacular evening in support of Aberdeen Hallâ€™s new Athletics and Wellness Centre. This new centre will create the best facilities for our student athletes and artists, while also creating a space to promote mental and physical wellbeing.
Tickets available online at:
HTTPS://ABERDEENHALL.COM/GIVING/EVENTS.HTML $250 PER PERSON TEACHING EXCELLENCE | INSPIRING FUTURES | SHAPING CHARACTER
I BELIEVE IN DRAGONS By Grant Ozechowsky, High School Principal, Deputy Head
I have always had an affinity for fairy tales. Not because I
I’m not talking about jumping on a white horse, shouldering
am particularly romantic, or because I secretly desire to live
a shield and charging headfirst into sooty battle (although
in a fancy castle. No, I think I appreciate fairy tales because
I’m not going to lie, that sounds pretty cool).
that’s where the dragons are.
No, the dragons I’m referring to are those that exist within.
I believe in dragons. Now before you write me off as a crackpot Game of Thrones fanboy, let me clarify.
I believe in the importance of facing your dragons. PAGE 20
They’re the thoughts that threaten us, the worries that hinder our progress; they’re the fears and anxieties that hold us down.
For some of us, facing these dragons might involve walking through the doors on the first day of school, trying out for
the basketball team, or putting in some extra time studying for a challenging exam. For others, it might involve volunteering an opinion during a class discussion, or sitting beside someone new at lunch. Sometimes taking these steps can be painful, but the rewards often outweigh the risks. Unfortunately, some people’s dragons are bigger, more fearsome. In some cases, when the world seems dark and unwelcoming, facing these challenges can feel almost impossible. Anxiety, loneliness, fear and sadness have never been more prevalent. Today, the importance of mental wellness, and the ramifications of mental illness are often frontpage stories. They should
by suicide. • Surpassed only by injuries, mental
• Speak to an administrator: The
the second highest hospital care
number one priority of the principals
expenditure in Canada.
and vice principals is student safety.
• In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them. Source: Canadian Mental Health Association https://cmha.ca/fast-factsabout-mental-illness For those who are coping with the challenges of mental health, dragons are real. The everyday fears, worries and concerns can impact their relationships,
most disabling group of disorders worldwide. • Today, approximately 5% of male
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” Although Chesterton penned the phrase about a hundred years ago, the premise still holds true.
12 to 19, have experienced a major
Even the largest, most ferocious
• The total number of 12-19 year olds
dragons can be defeated. Sometimes we just need a little help along the way
in Canada at risk for developing
to do so.
depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
If you ever feel worried, scared or lost
• Mental illness is increasingly
at school, please tell someone who has
threatening the lives of our children;
steps you can take:
the third highest in the industrialized
• Speak to your advisor: Your advisor
• Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year
Nydr is available for appointments. If you want to help, seek advice, or just need someone to listen, drop by her office. • Talk to your favourite teacher or coach: Teachers and coaches can
something threatening or dangerous, or feel unsafe, report it on the anonymous “Report It” website. This site is monitored, and reviewed daily by the school’s Safer School Supervisor. https://erasereportit.gov. bc.ca. I have an affinity for fairy tales, because they remind us that our dragons can be defeated. If you need a little help coping with your personal dragons, say something, and I guarantee we will always do something.
the capacity to help. Here are some
with Canada’s youth suicide rate world.
• Speak to the school counsellor: Mrs.
• Report It: If you are upset, see
youth and 12% of female youth, age depressive episode.
we can to help.
Recently, I came across a quote from with me. He said,
mental illness or disorder – the single
seriously, and we will always do what
also help get you on the right track.
children. The Canadian Mental Health
Canadian youth are affected by a
Your concerns will always be taken
their academics, and their happiness. Gilbert Keith Chesterton that resonated
• It is estimated that 10-20% of
disorders in youth are ranked as
be, especially when they relate to Association lists the following facts:
a great first step in coping with life’s
is your school champion. They want to help you succeed academically, socially and emotionally. From arranging tutorials, to helping with a problem or conflict, your advisor is PAGE 21
GROWING A CARING COMMUNITY IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL By Susanne Raye, Junior School Principal and Casey Turnpenny, Junior School Vice Principal
Growing a caring and inclusive community is an overarching goal for teachers and administration in the Junior School. Students who feel safe, connected and valued will have the PAGE 22
mindset to learn. Also key is providing students with opportunities to develop the skills and aptitudes required to be contributing community members. These skills and aptitudes identified in
the BC Ministry Core Competencies curriculum are brought to life through the Junior Schoolâ€™s Gryphon Code programming.
The Core Competencies are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need in order to engage in deep, lifelong learning” https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/competencies The Gryphon Code lives and breathes throughout the life world of our Junior School, guiding much of the teaching and learning we experience daily. Junior School faculty have collaborated to design lessons, self-reflections, assessments and special events that help foster the traits emphasized through the Gryphon Code. Take a quick peek into each classroom and you will see the Gryphon Code proudly displayed in a central location, creating continuity for the students, and emphasizing a common approach and vocabulary from Kindergarten to Grade Five. Pop into a Junior School Assembly and watch students cheering along with their peers for those who have received coveted Gryph Certificates! During quiet moments of reflection at the end of term, observe children assessing their own work or efforts, using criteria that emphasizes creative problem solving, inquiry, and collaboration. The Buddy Program and House Teams help develop our vertical community. This year our buddies are connecting with a local seniors’ home. Working together, they are producing festive cards to be delivered throughout the year. We will also be taking groups down to the home to perform plays and
sing. House team events are always a favourite with the students. Once again we will be participating in House activities which involve collaboration and some healthy competition!
Favourites during the year are We Scare Hunger, the Readathon and Sports Day. Opportunities to practise critical and creative skills as well as collaboration are provided during project-based learning activities such as the Science and Medieval Fair, Winter Market, Titanic, and Hedgehog Houses. Our athletics program is flourishing and yet another example of how we connect students. Go, Gryphons Go!
“A community is a group of people who agree to grow together” Simon Sinek Smiling faces greeting you at the door when you arrive for the day; a classmate who teaches you how to play a new game outside; a teacher who challenges you to keep trying when something doesn’t work the first time; a project that inspires you to pursue your passions - the Gryphon Code brings our Junior School to life, creating a sense of community, connectedness, celebration and leadership! It emphasizes Core Competencies that build students’ thinking and communication skills, along with their sense of personal and social responsibility. With the Gryphon Code, we work together as a community
Our vision is
that all Aberdeen Hall students will become balanced and empathetic
individuals, keen thinkers and
communicators with a passion for life and
learning and an
enthusiastic drive to excel, enabling them to pursue
any kind of higher education and to succeed in any endeavor they may choose.
towards growing our common vision:
MEANINGFUL CONNECTION AND MENTAL HEALTH By Becca Nydr, School Counselor
In the age of technology we are
loneliness, the angst, and the need
more connected than ever, but we
At the school level, we have a policy
have fewer meaningful connections. Snapchat, Instagram, VSCO...all the ways that students are sharing content, amassing likes, and seeking validation. Yet, in my office, I hear about the PAGE 24
As parents, how do we encourage meaningful connections and how can we give our children a chance to experience true connection
for the middle school students that their phones must be in their lockers during school hours. We do this in order to give students a break and to encourage face-to-face interactions
between peers. At this age, we are
social creatures, and we are not made
When I speak to students who deal
trying to encourage the development
to live in isolation. In fact, we require
with depression and anxiety, or even
of positive social interactions. We
love, belonging, and support for our
prolonged low mood and nervousness,
also have a school wide tech-free day
survival. If you take an average person
I always ask: “Where are you
with no mental health issues and cut
connecting?”. If they aren’t connected
them off from all social connection and
or they aren’t connecting I encourage
social interaction, they are more than
them to pick something; whether it’s a
likely to sink into a depression or go
sports team, a hobby group, or a club.
mad--just ask Tom Hanks!
If we give our students the opportunity
Being involved in the school culture
to authentically meet with each other,
We have clubs and sports and ways to engage students that involve face-to-face interaction because our goal at Aberdeen Hall is to promote a caring community and sense of belonging. This is something that I passionately believe in because there is a strong correlation between being meaningfully connected and positive mental health. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is posited that love and belonging are necessary in order to develop positive self esteem and to reach self-actualization. If we don’t feel connected, there is a risk to our mental and emotional well-being. Humans are
is very important to me, which is why I started a number of initiatives at the
their sense of community and belonging grows.
school that aim to promote connections between students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to bond. In 2017, Jesse Berteig and I started “Art Club”, where students could spend time making art in an informal setting and make connections with students from Grade 6-12 who also love art. There are so many faculty and staff members who are involved in extracurriculars with this goal in mind: to promote belonging in our community.
WAYS TO CONNECT JUNIOR SCHOOL:
Loose Parts Play
Yearbook Club (Sr. School)
Fly Fishing Club
STEM: Beginner, Junior,
and Senior Robotics
Mountain Biking Club
Dungeons & Dragons Club
Magic: The Gathering Club
Strategy Games Club
Track and Field
Robotics Competition Club
Track and Field Club
Soft Arts Club
Body Positivity and Yoga
Wellness Group (Middle school) PAGE 25
HEALTH & WELLNESS AT ABERDEEN HALL
Q&A with Michele Hopkins, Director of Family Services at The Bridge Youth and Family Services By Christina Ullyot, Director of Admissions
at the Bridge, to present during a
observation and inspire positive role-
recent seminar with COISA (the newly
modelling for your children at home.
founded Central Okanagan Independent Schools Association). With over 20+ years working with families, Michele specializes in supportive, educational and goal-oriented counselling; focusing
Each day, at Aberdeen Hall, our talented, inspiring and enthusiastic faculty fulfill our promise of personalized attention with a ‘small school’ feel. This produces a learning environment where every student can be recognized and supported. We’re proud that our faculty are specially trained in numerous areas. One area of focus this year is the social -emotional health of our students. With digital connection increasingly replacing face-to-face human interaction, research indicates that as a society, we have inadvertently created a lonelier generation. To support our own faculty professional development, we invited Michele Hopkins, Director of Family Services PAGE 26
Michele Hopkins B.A., B.S.W., R.S.W,
on the enhancement of communication,
The Bridge Youth and Family Services
parenting education and relationship
Why do you think childhood anxiety
-building skills. The event, hosted at Michele Hopkins
Aberdeen Hall on October 23, 2019, allowed our faculty to get together and discuss ways to support mental health and wellness in our students and in our colleagues. As a team working together in the education of your children, it is our hope that we can continue to learn together how to best support children through anxious, stressful or challenging times. With Michele’s wealth of knowledge and experience, we reached out to her yet again in hopes of outlining some invaluable suggestions for parents on how to best support your child’s mental health and wellness. We promise to continue to build our own mental health toolkids to best support your children at school and hope that the questions below spark discussion, build
is steadily rising?
I think the complexity of our world has increased with access to information. Our children are inundated with world awareness, both positive and negative, and there are very few ways for them to filter that information so that they can understand it. I suspect that information is overwhelming so they become unable to plan for their future with confidence. Also, social comparison has become the norm. The ability to be unique and individual is almost gone in a way because of the range of imaging children are being exposed to. North American values are dominant, especially in the portrayal of women, and living a very glamorous, elaborate life is seen as the goal. If you are a quiet, introvert who doesn’t have a desire to skydivewho’s supporting you in that? In my
opinion, that exposure to being ‘perfect’
best to build relationships and create
or ‘extreme’ is part of what’s behind
Can you provide a list of physical
an atmosphere for open and honest
prevention and treatment tools.
the onset of mental health problems for many youth. How might a parent engage their child in talking about mental health?
indicators that children express when
conversation. This is one of your best
What is the best piece of advice you
nervousness, racing heart, general
would give to parents?
The good news is that parents are still
complaint of “not feeling well”,
You are the expert, but you may have
the number one influence.
restlessness, eating more or less, and
to develop your own expertise. It goes
First, an adult must become very clear
disrupted sleep can all be physical
back to your need to know yourself and
indicators. Anything physical is always
know your child, so you can recognize
in the realm of possibility so simply hold
mental health expressions.How to
open the space to see that it could be
Talk So Kids Will Listen is a resource
a mental health expression. It doesn’t
that stands out to me as a very good
matter so much what you’re seeing but
more so if those expressions change
I would also remind parents to stop
on who they are themselves. You need to know yourself incredibly well and know how to tell other people about yourself before learning your child’s temperament. It really is a lot of work of knowing yourself, sharing yourself and teaching your child how to do the same thing with total acceptance of who you are and who they are. For a parent to suspend their own values and resist the urge
over time. You need to know your child’s normal baseline so that any changes are more obvious. What are your “go-to” resources for more information?
to download themselves into their
children is sometimes challenging. I
understand the reason parents do that,
Canadian Mental Health Association
but when you do, you deprive them of being able to become who they truly are. Understanding and discussing temperament openly is a great place to start. What are some ways that a parent can model healthy choices that promote positive mental health?
Modelling a positive mental health culture involves being transparent about your own struggles and letting your children how you are practicing self-care. “I take breaks for myself to relax, I go to the doctor/counsellor and that helps me feel better, I go to the gym because it makes me feel calm etc.” It’s also alright to express to your children that sometimes you may choose to prioritize them but there may be other times you may need to
https://cmhakelowna.com Mental Health First Aid Canada https://www.mhfa.ca What is the most frequently asked question by parents?
Generally when parents are reaching
trying to figure out how to best parent from an “expert”. You can parent well with self-awareness, child development and temperament knowledge. Can you admit when you’re wrong? Are you a good human who shows compassion and respect to others? In my opinion, those are the qualities that make a good parent. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the Michele Hopkins. Examples and suggestions above are used in her own personal experience and are not based on experience with children diagnosed with learning differences or challenges that are behavioural in nature.
out it’s because they’re worried their child has a mental health problem. Don’t get caught up in the fear that something is wrong-get curious about what you are seeing. Write down any signs and/or symptoms with the date and duration, and take note of any risk factors. Then you have the information to share with clinicians and doctors, should you require it in future. Think about the developmental needs and temperament of the child before
assuming a problem exists. Do your PAGE 27
ABERDEEN HALLâ€™S INAUGRAL SERVICE LEARNING TRIP - GUATEMALA 2019 By Meghan Dunn, Grade 6 Homeroom & Middle School Humanities Teacher Photo Credit: Heather Knox
Mr. Acree and I had the privilege
the province, we knew this would be
Spanish, and made chocolate in the
of taking 14 incredible students to
a great opportunity for Aberdeen Hall
traditional Mayan technique. Less than
Guatemala recently, for Aberdeen Hallâ€™s
24 hours after arriving in Antigua, it was
inaugural service learning trip to Project
In October 2018 interested students in
time to depart for Project Somos.
Grades 8-10 submitted applications to
After a windy bus ride through the
be a part of this trip, went through an
Guatemalan countryside, we arrived
interview process, and were selected
and were met by Heather, Greg, and
to come to Guatemala based on an
2 of their dogs, Tika and Kila. After
established set of criteria.
checking into our rooms students began
On November 15th 2019, the highly-
their orientation. We learned about the
Somos. The Project, as it is commonly referred to, is located in the Mayan highlands of Guatemala. With stunning panoramic views of volcanoes, and lush greenery, Project Somos provided a stunning backdrop for an experience that was even more beautiful than its breathtaking scenery. 14 months ago, I began planning a trip that I would later describe as being one of the most impactful experiences of my life. My step-sister Heather Knox, and her husband Gregory Kemp began Project Somos in in 2011, as a way to support indigenous families and children living in extreme poverty in rural Guatemala. After talking with dozens of people connected to the project, reading student and parent testimonials, and discussing the benefits of service learning at Project Somos with other teachers and administrators across PAGE 28
anticipated departure date had finally arrived. Our group travelled via Mexico City to Guatemala City, and after a tiring 18 hours of travel, we stepped into the tropical humidity and excitement of our new destination. We were immediately transported 40 km west to UNESCO
importance of sustainability, where the Project gets its water, how not to waste any resources, and how to clean and disinfect our dishes. The students took on these life lessons with gumption, clearing every dish and crumb after every meal, while always laughing and
World Heritage Site, Antigua. It was
joking over a sink of dishes.
beautiful. Historic colonial architecture,
After a delicious meal grown on site and
panoramic volcanic views, and the
prepared by local cooks, we sat down
beautiful bright fabric indicative of
together and learned about the harsh
traditional Mayan weaving made
realities of life in Guatemala. We learned
Antigua truly a sight to behold. During
about the school system, the lack of
our time in Antigua, we observed a
qualified teachers and classrooms with
flower festival, learned how to barter
zero resources. We learned that young
at open-air markets, improved our
girls are often married and pregnant by
bus full of very excited 4-14 year old
local children. We walked them down
Our last day at Project Somos was
to the school and playground, where
bitter sweet. We had the culmination
we rotated through stations. Students
to our special week, entitled “navidad
squealed with delight as they learned
en noviembre” in which we taught the
how to play California Kickball, made
children about Christmas in Canada,
slime, watched the eruption of a tinted
watched a holiday movie, made them
sucrose Coca Cola and Mentos volcano,
special wood-fired pizzas, sang songs,
formed and baked holiday ornaments,
and said our goodbyes. Walking them
baked muffins, harvested vegetables
up to the bus on the last afternoon was
from the finca (farm) and much more.
very difficult, and it was obvious that
me that I can CHANGE something if I set my mind to it. Words cannot describe the impact that Project Somos and the kids had on me. I feel that it has made me a more considerate person. One thing that stood out to me the most was that no matter how little the kids had they always showed up with the brightest smiles! If there is one thing I want to say to my peers, it is that always be grateful for what you have.”
That night, our students wrote in their
our students were incredibly impacted
journals about their fulfilling and tiring
by their connections, and humbled by
On Saturday, November 24th 2019, our
day of giving to others.
a powerful week of new friendships,
The next few days included sports day
seeing the many faces of poverty, being
their mid-teens. We learned about how
petting zoo. Heather Knox of Project
difficult it is for families to access quality
Somos writes “For [the local] kids, each
education and the poverty cycles that
of these activities is a huge gift. Their
persist when children cannot learn.
lives are not easy. Their families live in
Monday morning. After a delicious
extreme poverty. There is often violence.
breakfast of tropical fruit, yogurt, granola, homemade bread, and preserves, we walked up to meet a
mornings, in which students did relays, played Mission Impossible, did a tug
At Somos, we offer opportunities for learning, eating well, and happy play. When volunteers are here their world
disconnected from technology, and contributing to something so simple yet
of war, and much more. Our students
so meaningful in a child’s life.
planned and facilitated all of these
Molly Small, a Grade 11 student writes
activities, and had the opportunity to
“I can honestly say that since I came
also work in the fields, prepare snacks
back from Guatemala, my outlook on life
and meals in the kitchen, and perform
has changed. The children at the Project
cleaning duties. Our evenings consisted
had nothing but joy and appreciation for
of playing the guitar, numerous games of
everything they had. This appreciation is
chess, as well as educational activities,
something that we can all lose because
such as an impactful documentary
of the materialistic society that we live
and discussion about Guatemalan
in. This experience taught me that I
migrants seeking a better life, and a
can make a difference as an individual
heart-wrenching evening with a local
and as a member of a community by
mother who bravely shared her story
putting myself in the shoes of others and
working to get involved in organizations
On Thursday we took the Somos
like Project Somos.”
children to the Iximché Mayan ruins
Jashanjot Khun Khun, Grade 9, also
where we watched a traditional Mayan
reflected on her experience by saying
Fire Ceremony, learned about our Mayan Nawales, and visited a nearby
trip came to an end. How did it go by so quickly? After lunch in Antigua, we made our way to the airport in Guatemala City for our red-eye flight home. All of us, tired, a little dirty, but always laughing. A new appreciation for life, and the deeper and more meaningful friendships that were created amongst our group - our most cherished souvenirs. As a group, we are forever changed by this experience. We got to be part of something so special, so meaningful, and so life changing. We will never forget our time together, we will never forget Project Somos, and we will never forget the children of Guatemala.
“This experience has taught
PARTNERS IN THE JOURNEY Thank you to all those who supported the school in 2018/19. Your generosity makes a significant impact on the experiences and opportunities available to Aberdeen Hall students.
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This list reflects those who donated to the school between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019. 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.
FAST FINANCIAL JANUARY 2020 FACTS 11%
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FACULTY AND STAFF
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YEAR ROLLING FINANCIAL PLAN
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STUDENTS FOR EVERY TEACHER
Salaries and Benefits
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The Magazine of Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School. Aberdeen Hall is a non-profit, coed, non-denominational, independent university preparato...
Published on Jan 29, 2020
The Magazine of Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School. Aberdeen Hall is a non-profit, coed, non-denominational, independent university preparato...