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April 5, 2013

Volume 16 Issue 9

SENIOR BASKETBALL: AN EXCEPTIONAL YEAR his was an historic season for the Senior Basketball Team. Their accomplishments speak for themselves and will hang in our gymnasium for years to come.


November to March we wear the Crescent jersey first, end of story. And to that end I want you, the student body, to know that these young men represented you brilliantly.

I want to again thank the Upper School faculty for their support of the team. Your willingness to meet these young men before school, after school, during your preps to help them stay on top of their academics in the face of our gruelling schedule was paramount to our success. It important to know that our team average this year was 81 per cent, and I defy you to find another Division 1 Senior Basketball Team in the city, or province for that matter, that played as many games as we did at such a level, and met that standard. That is as much your accomplishment as theirs. Thank you.

The Crescent name rang out from Niagara to Vaughan to Scarborough and every gym in between. Before we took the floor at the St. Mike’s Tournament a coach from the west end turned to the

What I would like to share with you is more of a philosophical view regarding what this team represents to me. I use the expression “together” as our motto. While there is room for individual accomplishments, in the end, either we all win, or we all lose. In such a system there can be no personal agendas, or entitlements, or divided loyalties. From

convenor of the event and said, “Who are these Crescent kids? I’ve never heard about them before. Who are they?” To which the convenor replied, “You’re about to find out.” And they did. I am going to conclude with pieces of my final speech to the team after we were eliminated in the quarter finals at OFSAA at 10:30 p.m. on a cold night this March, in Markham: I am extremely proud of you, my team. Not because you won the CAIS National Tournament, or that you repre-

sented CISAA at AA OFSAA, or that you played almost 50 games this year, and won 32. These are just rewards born out of a larger process. I am proud of you, my team because you risked greatness for yourselves, each other, and this School, and accepted that such risk can bring, as it did in our case, historic rewards, but also terrible defeats and you met both challenges equally. I am so very proud of each of you seniors. Think about how far we have come. I have been hard on you and laid some significant challenges at your feet. I have demanded that you shatter some of you preconceived notions about what is owed to you. I have asked that you sacrifice what short time you had in your final year at Crescent so that others may rise. I have been your harshest critic as well as your biggest fan. More importantly, it has been an honour bearing witness to your growth as young men. What you have learned and demonstrated here, in the crucible of this sport, regarding your resilience, determination and character will go with you towards whatever success you choose to imagine. —Ari Hunter, Senior Basketball Coach, MS Faculty

CPA NEWS GARAGE SALE: SPECTACULAR COMMUNITY FUNDRAISING PROGRAM Our annual Garage Sale is right around the corner. The following Q & A will provide you with some insight on the event. Q. When and where is the event? A. This year the Garage Sale will be held in the Field House on Saturday, April 20 from 8 – 11:30 a.m. Q. Who purchases items from the Garage Sale? A. It is open to the PUBLIC, with customers coming from all over the Greater Toronto Area. It is well known in the community and line-ups start as early as 6:30 a.m. Q. What can I donate and how do I get it to the School? A. Starting Thursday, a collection truck will be parked in the traffic circle. Better still (and kinder to your back), we encourage you come directly to the Field House on Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19 from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. We will have volunteers to help you unload your donation items there. Q. What can the sale NOT take as donation? A. Baby strollers, car seats, booster seats, high chairs, gates or playpens/cribs, children helmets, stuffed toys, electronic appliance that don’t work, HDT TV, VHS cassettes, outdated skis, large or heavy equipment (treadmills), large furniture. We try our best to offer items that are safe to buy, although buyers acquire things at their own risk. The cost for garbage disposal is expensive so please help us minimize garbage expenses. Q. What items does the Garage Sale sell? A. We have nine different sections: Toys, Sporting Goods, Electronics, Clothing, Furniture and Bedding, Housewares, Accessories, Books, and a special Treasure and Designer Label area. Designer Label is new this year, primarily for ladies handbags and shoes. Q. How do volunteers assist with the sale? A. In less than a day and a half (April 18 and 19) our volunteers will turn the Field House into a bazaar. Last year, we had over 200 volunteers. Our volunteers set-up more than 150 tables, sort donation items, distribute to the sections, organize the items for display, price, sell and help with clean-up. We also have student volunteers from Crescent who distribute donation items to different sections, help with directing visitors, assisting with purchases, and help to clean up after the event.


Q. How do I sign-up as a parent volunteer? Parents volunteers should go to the Green Room, click on any of the Garage Sale links or on the rotating image. Various slots within this range of hours is available to fit your schedule: • April 18 from 9 – 3 • April 19 from 9 – 4:30 • April 20 (day off) from 7:45 – 1:30 Q. Can a Middle School boy volunteer? Yes, student volunteers from Middle School, please sign up with your mentor or with Mr.Young. You are welcome to help the afternoon of the 18th, which is a half-day for Middle School. Q. How can an Upper School boy earn community hours? Student volunteers from Upper School are welcome to help on Saturday, April 20 to earn community hours. Sign-up by emailing Ivy Chan at Q. Can I bring a non-Crescent friend to volunteer with me? A. The Garage Sale is a School event so it only allows volunteers from the Crescent community. Q. Where do unsold items go? A. There are a number of charities benefitting from our donations: Canadian Diabetes Association, Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy, and Matthew House. Contact Ivy Chan at, or Karen Tang at for more information.

Men of Character from Boys of Promise



n 1913, Crescent School was established by Jimmy James—the founder, owner, headmaster and sole employee. Today, there are 140 staff members at Crescent: teachers, coaches, musicians, technicians, administrators, facilities and kitchen staff! Each and every one of them play an integral part in the development of our Boys of Promise into Men of Character. To honour their dedicated work, the CPA held its annual Staff Appreciation Day on February 21. The day began with a catered breakfast. Those in attendance received a Centennial Tie and a chance to win one of 40 raffle prizes. In addition, each staff member, whether or not they were able to attend, received a personalized Thank You card and “gold star” pin. Later, the Staff Room was filled with trays upon trays of home baked goodies for an afternoon treat. Thanks for everything you do, each and every day!! —Liz Kennedy , CPA School and Community Chair

Men of Character from Boys of Promise


SCHOOL MESSAGES From the Lower School


he Centennial Speaker Series has arranged for the world famous animal and environmental activist, Jane Goodall to visit Crescent School and speak to the Lower School and Middle School students. This incredible opportunity is scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, April 24. Dr. Goodall is known to be the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees, and is perhaps best known for her research of the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. Remarkably, Dr. Goodall’s love of animals began when she was one year old. Her father gave her a toy chimpanzee, to celebrate the birth of a baby chimpanzee born at the London Zoo. Despite fears from family friends that such a gift would cause young Jane nightmares, Jane adored the toy and named it Jubilee. She carried it everywhere she went, and her love of animals and their well-being was born. I am sure Dr. Goodall has seen many things during her time as a scientist that would cause her to despair; yet she cites her four sources of hope in her literature on the Canadian Jane Goodall Institute website:

1. The Human Brain: Our actions do matter. We make a difference. 2. The Determination of Young People: They are changing it (the world) already. 3. The Indomitable Human Spirit: We inspire those around us. 4. The Resilience of Nature: Let hope be our guide. We will be informing the boys about Dr. Goodall and her work ahead of her talk and, I am sure, many discussions will follow her presentation. The opportunity to hear Dr. Goodall speak to us in person, and at our school this month is enough to make one catch his/ her breath. Please watch my Friday File messages and the Green Room for more details about her visit and to what extent family members may be able to attend. Her words are sure to inspire and leave an everlasting impression upon those present. —Dr. Boyes, Head of Lower School

From the Middle School


y kids have this far-fetched dream of swimming with a dolphin in the wild—no trained dolphin will do. And due to the highly improbable nature of the dream I have gone along with the many conversations about what we would do if the event ever actually happened. Truth is I have what I would call a “healthy respect” for all things wild and bigger than me—my wife would call it what it is, a fear. My daughter has pointed out to me that there is no record that a dolphin has ever harmed any human. But these are highly intelligent creatures—they would have disposed of the evidence. This March Break we spent a day snorkeling whilst in Cuba. After only a few minutes in the water, I turned around to find myself staring at a dolphin. It was big, much bigger than I suspected and in the ocean, its home, less Flipper-like than I imagined. It didn’t do a flip or want to play—it was wild. My first thought was that a killer whale is really a dolphin and I felt the need to protect my kids, to warn them, to maybe even get out of the water. But I didn’t. The dolphin stayed around for a couple of pretty awesome minutes during which my kids swam with a wild dolphin—and I’m not using awesome as its colloquial overuse but rather its real meaning—it was awe-


some. One the best things I have ever done and clearly one of the best things my kids have ever done. But one I could have very easily spoiled for them. Where do we get our fears? Some we just have, for sure but some we are given. I grew up in Bangladesh and lived there until I was eight. In my memory my Mum spent a large portion of every day warning me to watch out for snakes and rabid dogs. Listening to my Mum you would think snakes were around every corner waiting to devour me, in fact the only thing saving me from the inevitable doom of a snake filled pit were the packs of rabid dogs with foaming mouths waiting patiently to get me—at least that is how I remember it. But here I am, a grown man who checks over his shoulder even after the mere mention of a snake and whose body still has that awkward, over-stated casualness when he has to pet a large dog. It’s difficult to blame my Mum. This being the lady who had a cobra drop on the floor in front of her while on the toilet and who had to help in the local hospital when the local kids came in to get the shots for rabies after getting bit.

Men of Character from Boys of Promise

But these fears were given to me. Life has a habit of doing that—our experiences, our environment, our families all conspire to create the things that we are frightened of. They also, of course create the things we love, are passionate about and take risks for.

encouragers telling our boys to remain bold, to dream big, to see life as more than grades, to see tests as opportunities to learn, not just a factor in our averages.

Adolescence is the time when we see fears win out on our boys’ lives. It’s natural, I suppose. They become socially cautious for the first time, they fear rejection, particularly from girls. They put away fantastical dreams of the NHL or rockstardom that they are scared might never happen. They can fear failure, or grades or being different.

Our Grade 8 boys particularly are approaching that time of transition. We as faculty are determined not to add to our boys’ fears as they move towards the end of the year with all that it holds. But rather maintain their natural willingness to dream big and imagine.

It is good to have some healthy fears, it’s almost Darwinian. But we also know that some fear prevents risk, or creativity or openness to new experiences and learning—good things.

We want our boys to cling to the belief all boys have when they are young, that they will do something amazing.

That being said my article about “Facing our Fears” hasn’t been written yet so please no advice about snakes right now. —Mr. Young, Head of Middle School

So in amongst this transition, it is important that there are

From the Upper School


op of the list of things that I look forward to about returning to school after March Break are my conversations with the boys and staff who experienced one of the International Outreach trips during the holiday. These chats are always engaging and frequently intense; the experience is fresh, powerful, and is still being processed so, while not always eloquent, they more than make up for lack of polish with feeling. This year was no exception. My first conversation was with a colleague in the parking lot who was euphoric about the boys on her trip: their thoughtfulness, kindness and resilience in the face of the completely new and sometimes unexpected clearly moved her.

spectacularly they respond to challenge. On reflection, I come back to the fundamentally inarticulate nature of the boys’ responses. It’s not that they don’t wish to share, but I think that what is most important in the experience for them is essentially ineffable. Mr. Pestonji shared with me a piece of writing from one of the boys on the Cambodia trip: “Whatever you think you’re going to experience there, whatever other people (including me) tell you, is only a fraction of what you’ll actually experience. What’s important is not in the itinerary.” I think he has captured the essence of it for all of his fellow travellers. —Mr. Lowndes, Head of Upper School

The boys spoke mostly of deepened and enriched relationships, both among their Crescent friends and with the people, and especially the children, that they met as part of their work on the trip. I heard a little about the food (especially the grasshoppers and snake in Cambodia) and I witnessed a demonstration of the many creative and surprising uses for a piece of cloth that looked to me like a more colourful version of your standard Canadian winter scarf. Of course they talked about sites visited, from the Killing Fields in Cambodia to the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania to Robben Island in South Africa; however, people, not places or things, seem to be at the heart of their most vivid memories. I heard very little about any deprivations and hardships, perhaps because, as one boy put it, “the people there have to deal with that stuff every day, so I’m not going to whine.” Teachers speak to me most feelingly about the quality of our boys and how

Men of Character from Boys of Promise


PROFILE Amy Joliat Where were you before Crescent? I started my teaching career just outside of Edmonton, Alberta in a small school called “Entwistle” where I taught Language and Phys.Ed. to students in grades 6-9. I moved to Toronto after two years out west, and spent the next 10 years at Havergal doing a number of different things – teaching phys.ed., Grade 4, Grade 6, Athletic Director of the Junior School, and Associate Director for Admissions in the Junior School. What do you teach? I teach Grade 5 Core—Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Did you have a favourite teacher? Who was it and why were they your favourite? My all-time favourite teacher was my Grade 4 and 5 teacher, Mr. Glebe. He made class so interesting and engaging for all of us by creating a connection with each and every one of the students in his class. We were one of the first classes in our school board to get computers in our school (yes, I'm that old) and I remember he built a “spaceship flight simulator” in our library where we got to program a flight simulation to take us to the moon using the computers; he actually incorporated the computers into the building of the space craft. I have such a vivid memory of the interior of that spaceship and the hours that he must have put in to create it for our class. It’s still incredible to think about it now, and continues to inspire me to go one step further for the classes that I teach. How are you liking Crescent? I love Crescent! My husband, Paul, is a dedicated old boy and Crescent has definitely been a part of my life since I met Paul. I was also fortunate to complete an internship here as I was finishing up teacher’s college. I worked with Dave Barrett in the phys.ed. program for the Upper School boys. Working at Crescent has far exceeded my expectations. Staff, families, and students have gone out of their way to make me feel like a part of the Crescent family. What’s your favorite thing about Crescent? I love the community—the boys, my colleagues and the families I spend my days with – everyone has been warm, thoughtful, and supportive from my first day on campus. It really is my second family.


What do you do in your class that is specific to boys’ learning? Relationships are very important to creating a respectful and caring classroom. I’m so interested in what the guys do outside of the classroom, and they love sharing stories about things they love. This creates connections between all of us, as we find common passions. I take those passions and incorporate them into classroom activities, and learning the curriuculum. The boys then show a greater enthusiasm and engagement in their learning. If you changed professions, what would you do? Definitely a special event organizer/planner. My girlfriends and I have always dreamed of opening our own business and even have a business plan started. We’re all pretty committed to what we are currently doing so it’s just something fun we love to talk about! Big fish in a small pond or small fish in a big pond? Small fish in a big pond. I come from a big family (three brothers and two sisters), and I’m the youngest middle child so I think I’ve truly always been a small fish.

Men of Character from Boys of Promise

Of what are you most afraid? My reflective answer is not appreciating the time I have with my children. Everyone with grown children tells me how quickly they grow, and how fast time goes by. I really don’t want to look back and realize that I missed those little moments that I currently might take for granted or not appreciate because I’m tired/too busy working. My quick answer, snakes and mice! What is your greatest joy? Spending time with my family. I have two beautiful sons, Cole and Reid. They are my pride and joy and I adore spending time with them and my husband, Paul. We’re also very fortunate to have a large extended family on both sides that we very close with. I feel very blessed. Favourite movie or book? I love to read and have many favourite books. My most recent favourite is The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott and I’m currently reading Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. If you were a professional athlete who would you be? If I were 15 years younger, I would love to be a player on Rush—the new professional Ultimate Frisbee team in Toronto. I love playing ultimate and I’m looking forward to playing again this summer.

What changes have you seen during your career? Or do you expect to see? In the schools I’ve been privileged to teach in, I have noticed an increasing shift in educators to focus on the process rather than the product. I love this mindset and do my very best in my classroom to have the boys reflect and appreciate the thinking that goes into each activity they engage in. The product continues to be celebrated, however the process and thinking behind the finished assignment is where students truly learn and develop. When students are able to reflect on how they worked through challenges that came up along the way, they are becoming more aware of their strengths and areas for growth. If you could change one thing about Crescent, what would it be? I would love to see more opportunities to gather as a whole school to celebrate occasions and boost School spirit. I know the guys in the Lower School really look up to the older boys, and always appreciate the time with them. Describe the perfect day at Crescent. It would definitely be a casual dress day so I could wear jeans. Butter chicken would be on the lunch menu, and there would be no snow or ice, and, of course, the sun would be shining and the temperature would be in the 20s. Can you tell I've had enough of winter?!

great pictures! Crescent’s fourth annual Race for Dignity

Men of Character from Boys of Promise




n February 5 had you been walking by Mr. Young’s office around lunch hour, you might have noticed a film crew filming the sealing of the Centennial Time Capsule. By interring the capsule before February 11 , 2013 and opening it after February 14, 2048, it will have been both sealed and opened in a Lunar Year of the Dragon. This is just one of the reasons why the Centennial Time Capsule “newsclip” filmed that day was shown to the boys at the annual Lunar New Year Assembly on February 14.

more about the past than objects. As a result—we did not fill a tomb with iPods, voice recognition devices or other such symbols of life in 2013—but rather something at once both timeless and old-fashioned; a collection of essays.

The Centennial Time Capsule came to being after meetings in the spring of 2011 which saw the creation of a committee of parents interested in working on various aspects of the centennial celebration. When most people think about a time capsule, their minds conjure up images of boxes filled with things that current users thought would offer insight to future historians.

The essays were written under the direction of our English teachers—in response to age-appropriate writing prompts developed by the teachers and the boys for the purpose of the time capsule. As such, in 2048, almost every Centennial year student’s voice will be heard when the time capsule is opened—discovered to be a book, and read.

But the Centennial Time Capsule Committee learned through research that the written word tells future historians

So…the Crescent School Centennial Time Capsule is a very large book! It is a collection of almost 700 written submissions (small essays if you will) speaking about the current lived experience of our boys, and their ideas as to what the future may hold.

If you had the time to read all of the essays—from Grade 3 to Grade 12—you would get an interesting view of the jour-

ney a Crescent boy takes in his tenure at the School. The Lower School boys often referenced their favorite teachers and lunch options, but also showed insight beyond their years when penning their predictions. Middle School boys talked a lot about technology, athletics and what new buildings the School should consider. A number of Upper School boys ceased to discuss things, and instead reflected on their experiences. It is often said that age is a very strong predictor of behaviour. The contents of the time capsule would certainly seem to support that adage. Crescent School’s boys of promise will become men of character and the world will no doubt be interested in what they had to say when they were young. Statistical trends assure us that several of the 702 centennial year students will be industry leaders in their chosen fields when the time capsule is opened in 2048. Who will surprise us the most? Only time will tell. Wherever our boys land as adults, they are likely to recall in varying degrees their formative years in a school that had already stood the test of time for a century! To their future wives, children, colleagues and employers—the Centennial Time Capsule illustrates what they looked and sounded like in 2013. —Karen Holland, Chair, Centennial Time Capsule Committee

The bound book of essays (above) before it was wrapped in a specially designed paper by art teacher Harriet Wynne-Jones (see in wall). Crescent School | 2365 Bayview Ave. Toronto, ON M2L 1A2 | 416.449.2556 |

Crescent Times  

Volume 16 Issue 9

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