history in the making
history in the making
The hanging noose, the swinging pendulum
I watched her body fall onto the floor
To put her down was all my maximum
But shadows tell me “Could have done much more”
Her screams and cries do scratch my back at night
I can’t live life when Life is living dead
Forgive myself is not a path in sight
Her wings are spreading does it shine or shred?
But voices in my head ‘sit real or fake?
Grade 12 Visual Arts students stepped into the role of professional illustrators with authors from the Grade 12 English and Writer’s Craft classes serving as their clients. The artist, Seiina Li, was assigned a poem and then met with the author, Brian Jiang, to discuss its meaning to generate ideas around the imagery that would effectively convey the message and tone of the poem.
The spears it sends will not go through my chest
She wouldn’t want me dying for her sake
So, there’s no point for me to be depressed
Regret and grief will be my fuel to fly
So I can rise above the sullen light
Over 2,000 years ago, the youth of Athens pledged an oath “to make the world greater, better and more beautiful” than they had discovered it. This message—the importance of caring for and preserving our world—is perhaps more true now than ever before. Though you won’t find these exact words in any of the later pages of this edition of Pillars, this spirit and the Quaker values that align directly with our mission as a school are ingrained throughout. Indeed, our mission to instil in each individual the ability and responsibility to make the world greater, better, and more beautiful is woven into the very tapestry of school life at Pickering College.
It is this set of values that drew me to Pickering College—the notion that we are not just educating children but rather, through our work with the youth of today, we are shaping the future. This edition of The Pillars marks my very first address to the Pickering College community and records all the pursuits and achievements of our incredible students across the past school year, as well as the development of programs and academics at the school.
The theme of this magazine is “History in the Making,” and, while I am very excited to build upon the exceptional academic program at Pickering College, I am also thrilled to be joining the school at a transformational time. We will be breaking ground this year for our new academic building, “West Lake House,” and everyone at the school is positively buzzing with ideas and plans for the new opportunities that this remarkable new learning space will afford us. I know that this project has been a long time in the making.
Within these pages, you will learn how our Junior School students explored interactive lessons in the natural world and extended their knowledge of Indigenous and Francophone cultures. Meanwhile, Middle School students dissected the four Pillars (faith, freedom, friendship, and fun), participated in a nationwide poetry competition, and met with guest speakers about cell biology and the experiences of First Nations societies. In the Senior School, the students hosted a spirited Winterfest event, crafted and pitched solutions to global issues, and engaged in virtual coding workshops. The programs, across all grade levels, include integrated outdoor learning, relevant and supplementary to the themes of their units of study. What a wonderful experience for students to engage in experiential and hands-on learning that deepens their appreciation for the natural world and challenges them to become change agents of their own.
The Pillars also showcases the stories of an expert student fencer, a dancer who finds belonging through her art, as well as student volunteer initiatives and other projects. For instance, the ‘JEDI’ club champions inclusion and celebrates diversity at Pickering College through whole-school events, games, and presentations in an effort to draw our community even closer together.
Reading through this edition, I am awe-struck at the exceptional grit, perseverance, and creativity of our Pickering College students. I am inspired and cannot wait to see all of their ideas and initiatives in action throughout the year. I hope that you join in our community events. I am looking forward to getting to know you and becoming fully integrated into the school community.
Every step taken here by both students and staff is truly history in the making!
“Pickering College, as a community, is so diverse and we want to bring people closer together. We want to embrace differences instead of being dissected by them,” says Rosie Xuan, new graduate of PC and the chair of JEDI during the 2021-2022 academic year.
As chair, Xuan wanted to create opportunities for the students in Senior School to connect, especially after a year where a significant portion was spent online due to the pandemic. One of the activities the club introduced at the start of the school year was a human bingo game, where students had to speak with one another to find out more and try to get a ‘bingo.’
“It was questions like ‘find someone who has travelled to five different countries,’ or ‘find someone who can speak three different languages,’” she explains. “It was a great activity for people to start talking to each other—I saw many make their first friend group there.”
Pickering College’s diversity club is not one to shy away from tough conversations. The members of JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) have been expanding the scope of the issues they tackle, which has resulted in thoughtful presentations at Morning Meeting, deep conversations and fun activities to help everyone understand each other better.
In addition, JEDI presented topics at Morning Meeting that took a deep dive into issues such as the importance of Orange Shirt Day, Indigenous history and reconciliation, as well as Black History Month. They also introduced a new event to Senior School—Multicultural Day—which celebrated PC’s diversity. Multicultural Day provided students in JEDI club with the opportunity to interview Senior School students about their favourite part of their culture along with what they have learned from other Pickering College students’ backgrounds. These interviews were made into a video that was shared during Morning Meeting. Afterwards, the club gave a presentation about cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation, the rise in hate crimes, stopping Asian hate and educating people about how to call out microaggressions.
“It was great because we can demonstrate to each other the beauty of diversity,” Xuan explains. “In boarding, I was surrounded by fascinating people from diverse backgrounds which has helped me open up my world view—I am able to understand so much more.”
Xuan is so passionate about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, she linked her Capstone project to her work with JEDI, focussing on normalizing the sharing of personal pronouns as they represent how people wish to be addressed.
a school is progressing. JEDI keeps up with the times and we really care.”
Joshua Armstrong, Director of Teaching and Learning at Pickering College, applauds the work of JEDI and notes the club’s alignment with helping Pickering College’s students understand social justice and take action.
“JEDI club is integral to facilitating student-led initiatives that take on educating our students allying with 2SLGBTQ+ communities, understanding systemic racism, supporting
“Creating a community where people are respectful in addressing gender identity will reduce assumptions around anatomical sex and remove the stigma around various forms of gender expression,” she wrote in a message to faculty and staff, one of the action steps she took for her Capstone project.
Xuan also worked with Sheri Simon in the Guidance Office to bring in guest speaker Tommy Mayberry, executive director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at University of Alberta, for a presentation on pronouns to Senior School faculty and students. Mayberry spoke about the history of pronouns and how if you share your pronouns—which is not very difficult to do—it would make people feel more comfortable sharing theirs.
Xuan called upon faculty and staff to show their inclusivity by creating an environment where students feel comfortable and empowered to share and have open conversations, guided by teachers as role models who take the first step.
“The message is simple: it is so easy to be respectful and supportive, sometimes without even realizing, a small mindful action that you take might light up someone else’s day,” Xuan says. “My generation is reinventing a lot of things—we are rewriting our own history. We’re all progressing, like Pickering College as
reconciliation efforts and more,” says Armstrong. “The club is led by enthusiastic students who are looking to make change in our Pickering College community and in broader contexts, too. In 2022-2023, the club will be chaired by Behrad Sharghi, the vice chair is Siobhan Bonerath, the public relations chair is Shianne Liang and the secretary is Wendy Wu. With this incredible team, I am looking forward to the amazing initiatives they will support at our school.”
Behrad Sharghi, chair of JEDI for 2022-2023, says his goal is to promote student empowerment and increase awareness of diverse issues. In addition, he says JEDI members have an opportunity to develop and improve their communication skills in addressing individuals and large groups. “I believe that students should join JEDI because the networking opportunity available at the club will help all members make valuable connections which will create a safe space to interact with others, making our community even greater.”
As Xuan begins university this fall, she is confident that JEDI club will continue to grow and have a positive influence on Pickering College in making people feel welcomed, respected and included.
“A lot of people in JEDI want to be changemakers and I think that really goes with the Pickering College values, to leave the world more beautiful than they discovered it.”
“My generation is reinventing a lot of things—we are rewriting our own history. We’re all progressing, like Pickering College as a school is progressing. JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) keeps up with the times and we really care.”
Rosie Xuan ’22 (she,her)
West Lake House is an important milestone in the school’s history. We are creating an environment that supports our unique approach to teaching and learning. This will be an environment where we can inspire and equip our students by delivering a challenging and engaging program that reflects the continuous pursuit of academic excellence and one that nurtures and develops leadership, creativity and social responsibility.
This is a transformational time in the school’s history. We thank those who have supported us to date and look forward to speaking with all members of our community about your support in helping us realize West Lake House.
Thanks to our generous donors, the Light The Way campaign has raised over $20 million. However, we know that costs are rising in the construction trades, and we are in a volatile market right now. While we had a third-party cost consultant review our building and prepare a market estimate for our hard construction costs, we are seeing the tenders come in higher than expected. In consultation with our project manager, construction manager and members of the campus master plan committee, it is apparent that no one can consistently predict when the market will adjust to more regularized costs.
As we have always done, Pickering College’s approach is to make fiscally responsible decisions while moving ahead with West Lake House. Additional fundraising will be necessary for West Lake House as well as future capital projects. We know once West Lake House is built, future renovations to Rogers House will be necessary.
“West Lake House is the result of the vision and support of so many within the PC community. We appreciate the involvement of those who have contributed ideas and feedback that makes this a bright, innovative addition to the PC campus, and the many donors who have given their financial support to this building,” says Peter Sturrup, recently retired Head of School.
We are pleased to be working with Knightstone Capital Management Inc. as our Project Manager, Diamond Schmitt as our Architects and Eastern Construction Co. Ltd. as our Construction Manager.
West Lake House will be located on what is currently North Field. This fully-accessible building will be architecturally innovative and set a very modern tone, incorporating our approach to teaching and learning in its design. Using materials including metal, wood and glass, its design
It is not often we have the opportunity to be a part of history. Yet, each of us holds that opportunity in our hands right now.
will maintain our strong sense of community, history, and traditions, while focusing on sustainability.
Following the Quaker building principles of incorporating light, symmetry, simplicity, community, sustainability and fine craftsmanship into the design, West Lake House will give us more learning space than we have in our existing buildings.
We are excited about what this visionary build will mean for our students, our programs and for the entire Pickering College community. West Lake House will include a new Junior School wing with classrooms for Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5 and a Junior Learning Commons; it will include an Arts wing with speciallydesigned classrooms for music, art and drama; a new Theatre that will allow for theatre-style music and drama performances as well as full-school Morning Meetings; a Science wing
with classrooms for physics, chemistry, biology and robotics; and a Senior and Middle School Learning Commons that will support collaborative creative learning, research and presentations.
The main floor will feature the spaces most accessed by the entire school and our outside community, including the theatre and our CRTC-licensed radio station 102.7 CHOP FM.
This is a significant addition to our classroom and community space. We look forward to not only welcoming students and staff to West Lake house but having parents, alumni, and the broader community join us for special events and performances.
“We are eagerly anticipating the break ing of ground, and the construction of the most significant addition to the PC campus for this and future generations of students,” says Cinde Lock, Head of School.
Giving our new academic building the name West Lake House serves to remind us that Pickering College was founded by Quakers in West Lake, Ontario. The first incarnation of Pickering College—West Lake Boarding School—opened in 1842. This name provides a connection from the Quaker roots of Pickering College and highlights the role of Quakerism as unique and defining aspect of our school.
We are committed to retaining a close relationship with our Quaker heritage providing a philosophical, moral and operational framework for planning and decision-making. In a time of rapid change and uncertainty, West Lake House will continue to connect us with tradition and stability.
In addition, this name emphasizes the Quaker influence at PC today—our values-based education— which will continue to differentiate us in an increasingly competitive environment.
Using their knowledge from past outdoor education lessons, the Grade 2 class continued to learn about pollinator gardens, pollination, and the different types of animal and insect pollinators including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The students identified the important role of pollinator animals, the reasons for the decline of these animals, and how they can help by creating a pollinator garden of their own. 1
Junior School students in Grade 5 enjoyed their visit with guest speaker Gurdeep Pandher, a Sikh-Canadian Bhangra-dancer currently living in the Yukon. From the beautiful landscapes of the Yukon, he uses social media to share his philosophy of joy, hope, positivity, and
inclusivity for healing and living a more optimistic life. 2
Taking advantage of a beautiful and sunny day, our Kindergarten and Grade 4 students met as learning buddies and walked through the Pickering College Reading Trail. The students enjoyed reading the pages together and searching for the hidden animals in the pictures. Afterwards, the students went on a nature scavenger hunt. 3
Junior School students were immersed in Francophone culture during our annual winter Carnaval. We welcomed French-language educators from Quebec to enhance the Carnaval experience as they actively engaged and interacted with our students in French. 4
Grade 3 students participated in a virtual strong and stable structures workshop delivered by Scientists in Schools. Students spent the morning being structural engineers as they discovered how to design a structure that withstands both tension and compression. The students tested different materials for strength and investigated how the strength of a material can be altered by manipulating its shape. 5
During a dress down day in April, our Junior and Middle School Student Committee raised funds to support the Canadian Red Cross and Ukraine humanitarian relief efforts. With gratitude to students, families, and staff, the Junior and Middle School Student Committee was able to
bring in $1,704 in donations. Special recognition goes to Grade 5 Representatives Tristan Simpson, Sophia Mac Sweeney and Angelina Gu who rallied Junior and Middle School students to contribute to this important cause. 6
As part of a Reggio inquiry, students in Grade 1 took some time to think about what they enjoyed most about their forest and Canadian animal research study projects. Upon much reflection, the Grade 1 students were deeply engaged in their inquiry of living things as they explored and learned about trees and Canadian forest animals. They were excited to create research books and design their chosen animal using plasticine while crafting and producing an authentic forest habitat.
Competitive fencer, lover of sports and all things physical activity, Sherry Liu is an athlete down to her very core.
While she enjoys participating in a number of sports recreationally including soccer and ultimate frisbee, the now Grade 6 student’s true athletic passion lies with fencing.
“Fencing has become a big part of my life,” she says. “I train five days a week and have participated in many competitions. My proudest moment was when I won first place at the age of 8 and 10.”
Earlier this year, Sherry attended a fencing competition in Ottawa where she also placed first in the 11-year-old group category and second in the 13-year-old category.
“[One thing] I like about fencing is that it can be considered both a single-player sport as well as a team sport,” says Sherry. “I also like how you can always cheer up your friends.”
Being first introduced to fencing by one of her own friends at the age of six, Sherry discovered a newfound love for the sport that she decided to pursue it further.
“I was very passionate about it and I thought it was cool how this is the only sport that uses a sword! I also really enjoy the feeling when you get the last touch of a tie breaker,” she says.
Outside of school, Sherry enjoys robotics, coding, painting, and sketching. She also enjoys trying new activities—some of her favourite being archery, high ropes and wall climbing. In her first year at PC, Sherry joined Pickering College’s chess club and had a lot of fun competing against other club members.
“Something that fencing has taught me is that you should never give up or ever doubt yourself.”
The Grade 6 class explored the Pickering College campus in search of evidence of animals. They discovered many animal tracks including rabbits, squirrels, and other small animals. They also examined short tail shrew tunnels and were lucky enough to see a short tail shrew go from one tunnel to the next. 1
Students in Middle School spent their time participating in activities related to the four pillars of Adventure, Wisdom, Community, and Freedom during Pillar Week. In Grade 6, students developed plans on how to use social media to promote wellness. Grade 7 learned about traditional voices and skills through the art of mitten making and outdoor cooking. In Grade 8 students focused on being advocates for water access and conservation. 2
Grade 7 students worked at perfecting their French pronunciation and recitation skills by participating in the competition, Les Voix de la Poésie. This competition, held annually across Canada in both English and French, promotes a love of poetry for students in Grades 6-12. Claire Yao was selected as the school champion. Claire’s recitation of Tristan Corbière’s Le Crapaud and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias portrayed immense emotion and a mastery of oratory presentation skills. This was the first year that Middle School students have participated. 3
Grade 7 students participated in a number of workshops exploring First Nations themes, experiences and practices. During one workshop, Pickering College
invited a virtual guest speaker, Ms. Kim Wheatley, to share her experiences and knowledge. Ms. Wheatley is an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) band member of Shawanaga First Nation Reserve located in the Georgian Bay region of Ontario. She discussed how various First Nations communities within Canada do not have the established infrastructure or access to essential resources such as clean drinking water, in their local communities. After her workshop, students in Grade 7 wrote letters about reconciliation to members of the federal government, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and to the member of parliament representing NewmarketAurora, Tony Van Bynen. The students later received a response and were excited to learn that their concerns were acknowledged by federal representatives. 4
In Grade 8 science, students met two international scientists and asked them questions about their work. Both scientists gave a small lesson based on their research and challenged the students to expand upon their prior learning.
Dr. Adelyne Chan from the University of Cambridge (UK) spoke to students about her research as a cell biologist and cancer researcher. Students asked questions about cell mutations, mitosis and learned about how lifestyle choices can affect cell development. Mr. Alec Chiu from UCLA (USA) spoke to students about his work with bioinformatics and how he uses computers to analyze genetic differences and disease prevention. Students learned about how DNA is inherited and how certain traits are passed on from generation to generation.
This past spring, competitive dancer and Middle School student Sophia Di Cresce finished up her second year at Pickering College and discovered what it truly means to be part of the Pickering College community.
“My favourite thing about Pickering College is how inclusive it is,” says Sophia. “Everyone is constantly telling you how much of an addition you are to the Pickering community and it really shows just how much everyone cares about each other.”
One of Sophia’s favourite memories was during her first year at Pickering College. “At the end of Grade 6, they handed out online certificates for random things like math wizard and best artist. I got picked for the most compassionate and that made me feel so good because that means people saw me as a caring person that also cares about everyone else!”
Last year, Sophia enjoyed spending her time studying science and history—specifically in an intimate class setting. She loved learning about different organisms and ecosystems, as well as the fur trade and the voyagers’ journey across Canada.
This year, Sophia looks forward to participating in the interesting academic projects throughout the final year of Middle School. She is also excited for the fun activities that take place at the end of the year.
Looking forward to Senior School, Sophia hopes to seek out leadership opportunities and would like to join next year’s Student Committee.
Outside of school, you can find Sophia dedicating most of her free time to dance including jazz, ballet, acro, tap, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary and open.
“Dance has taught me not to worry about what other people think because when you move freely, you just need to focus on what you’re doing in the moment, nothing else matters.”
“Pickering College has helped me understand who I am as a student and as a person.”
“Pickering College has helped me understand who I am as a student and as a person—it has also helped me with kindness.”
Grade 10 history students braved the frigid temperatures to discover our campus by snowshoe, experiencing traditional skills that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people of Turtle Island taught early settlers. 1
Senior School Student Committee hosted a Winterfest event complete with bonfires, hot chocolate, BeaverTails and pizza. It was great to see so many students enjoying rides around campus in a horsedrawn wagon, racing each other in tubes down the Memorial Field hill, and spending time bundled up against the cold, while
socializing and laughing. 2
Five Grade 12 finalists made their pitch to a panel of judges after developing an innovative solution and implementing a measurable action plan for an issue of local or global significance.
Congratulations to Michaela Morra whose Capstone action plan focused around improving quality of life for dementia patients through a sustained music therapy student volunteer program. Special mention also goes to finalists David Fu, Ruby Tomlinson, Jake Wu, and Emma Zhang. 3
The Senior School Student Committee held a Spirit
Week where they planned a variety of dress-down spirit days and activities. The week was kicked off with a Valentine’s Day-themed dress down day, followed by pop culture, where students dressed up as a famous musical artist or actor. In the following days students dressed as their favourite Disney or Marvel character and finished off the week with fan day where they wore their sports teams’ swag overtop of their uniform. 4
In STEM math, students in Grades 9 and 10 participated in a virtual coding workshop where they explored the
connection between wellness sectors and computer programming. They learned about the basics of programming and were then challenged to code a wearable device that could help them to live a more active lifestyle. 5
Some Grade 9 students had the opportunity to apply their newfound knowledge of survival skills in a local forest. Using what they learned throughout the semester, students ethically and sustainably foraged ramps, also known as wild leeks, and used every part of the plant to make potato and wild leek soup. This
experience allowed students to continue to foster a deeper connection with their natural environment.
Grade 9 students entered the Puma’s Den to present their culminating Global Leadership Program assignments in May. Their task: to research, design, and market an eco-friendly
and innovative outdoor education facility for Blue & Silver Farm. The “winning” group—Learn to Grow—presented a clear vision statement that reflected the needs of the Pickering College outdoor education program with a multifunctional facility design to foster creativity and productivity
of students. The highlight of this design was the raised garden feature. Their overall plan contained ecofriendly and sustainable materials with great consideration taken in how the structure works with the natural environment.
Congratulations to Jake Scherre, Miranda Munoz, Kayna Matsumoto,
Emily Zalewski and Sofia Pantano for your winning presentation. 7
Pickering College hosted its third TEDxYouth event, welcoming youth from schools from around the globe virtually to spread messages with a direct focus on “Voicing the Foundation of the Future.”
Member of the Co-curricular Council, Youth Action Organization (YAO), and current day co-chair on the Senior School Student Committee, Grade 12 student Jessie Li looks forward to introducing a number of new and creative activities for the student body this school year.
“I want to explore options, plan new events, be a role model, encourage people to try new things, inspire new experiences, and motivate others to become future leaders,” she says. When joining Pickering College in Grade 8, it did not take Jessie long to find her place here on the Hilltop.
“Before [the pandemic], I was part of many sports teams such as basketball, volleyball and the ultimate frisbee team. Since Grade 9, I have been a part of YAO, the Co-curricular Council, and I also joined the Student Committee last year as senior social convener.”
Last year, Jessie was also one of the speakers at our TEDxYouth event where she focused her speech on perfectionism and how the differences that exist in each of us is what makes us who we are—it’s what makes us human.
Looking back at some of PC’s past Student Committee chairs, Jessie is grateful to have had the opportunity to be guided by many of these student leaders. “They really showed me what leadership was truly about and now I want to take what I’ve learned from each of them and try to be a leader for the student body—I want to be a voice and an advocate.”
Throughout her time at PC, Jessie has seen herself grow both as a public speaker and as a student, and credits much of that growth to Pickering College. “That’s what helped push me to run for the student body and integrate myself into many humanity-like activities and clubs such as YAO and the Co-curricular Council.” This year, Jessie is most looking forward to collaborating with members of the Pickering College community and the Student Committee. “We have a really great team, everyone’s super invested and excited so that’s just a plus,” she says. “I like helping the community here at Pickering College and I’m so excited that I get to do it for another year!”
When she’s not working on a new school initiative, Jessie enjoys spending time with family and friends, studying law, playing basketball, painting and reading.
“At Pickering College, we centre around community and that’s the best part about PC. We’re all super integrated, everyone is friends with one another and it’s just really nice to see everyone get along creating an entire family dynamic.”
Shared lived experiences during this time in our history have resulted in strong bonds within our boarding community
Friendships change over time but there is one thing about friendships that is true and that is they are different than many of our other relationships. Friendships are unique because they are the relationships we choose and they lack a formal structure. In boarding, lifelong friendships are formed. We hear that sentiment over and over again from alumni who talk about the friends they made in boarding and how they still keep in contact.
Friendships formed in boarding are different. There are not many friendships made in the formative years that are the result of spending months living and learning together without the in-person support of your family. The boarding students enter boarding alone, anxious, excited and have in front of them so many opportunities.
In boarding, one of the first things we do is plan activities that allow the students to get to know each other. These activities are called “mandatory fun” and while adolescents will continually rebel against anything that adults classify as “mandatory,” they attend because we insist … and they almost always have fun. At the beginning of the year much of our planning centres around helping students to transition into boarding and get to know each other.
When students arrive to boarding, they are entering an unknown world. Many are leaving the comfort of home for the first time. Many have never had a roommate and if they did it was likely someone they knew. They are filled with so many emotions and there is a transition time. Our Proctors help to make this transition easier. As leaders in the boarding community, they ensure that every student feels welcome and act as a liaison between the new and returning students.
The past two years have seen friendships form more quickly. During COVID, students arrived at various times throughout the year as travel and paperwork would allow. It didn’t matter when a student arrived, they were greeted and supported throughout their isolation and integration into boarding. It is through these shared experiences that many of the students found their common connections and made friends.
For the better part of two years, boarding was “like a bubble” and the students had each other. Many could not travel home for the long breaks in December and March and stayed on campus. It was an opportunity to get to know those they live with in a completely different way. Weekends, long weekends and holidays were spent with the “boarding family,” and we engaged in many on-campus activities including snow tubing on Memorial Field hill, skating and playing hockey in the arena, learning new skills (knitting and painting), and trying out new games like bingo and trivia.
I believe the pandemic has been the catalyst to encourage deep relationships in boarding and it is hoped that these friendships continue to grow throughout the years. The time spent ‘during COVID’ at Pickering College boarding will fondly be remembered as the time in history where the friendship was born and developed.
American ballet dancer Misty Copeland is quoted as saying, “anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” This was never truer than during the 20202021 and 2021-2022 school years. Aside from family (many of whom live in various corners of the world) our boarding students had the support of each other.–Laura Mason, Director of Boarding & Health Services
As a science enthusiast with an ever-growing thirst for knowledge, Grade 12 boarding student Fred Shao seeks out as many opportunities as he can to further expand his understanding of the world around him.
With a particular passion for both physics and mathematics, Fred has not only excelled in these areas academically, but he has also accomplished a number of incredible achievements outside of the classroom.
“I competed in the York Region Sci-Tech Fair 2021 and finished with a silver medal, finished the Physics Bowl Contest with an exceptional score of 33/40 in May this year, and my [independent] thesis, entitled ‘A New Method to Reduce Near-Infrared Data of Palomar Observatory’ has been accepted by the 2022 12th International Conference on Applied Physics and Mathematics.”
For further enrichment, Fred joined Pickering College’s Math Club and participated in the 2022 Euclid and Hypatia math contests earlier this year, earning a spot in the top 25 per cent for both. But along with his STEM interests, Fred also values the importance of stewardship and is currently a member of the Senior School Student Committee as New House Head Proctor—a significant leadership role within the boarding community.
Now in his fourth year at Pickering College, Fred has integrated himself into the vision and mission of PC and wants to help guide others both academically and socially. As Head Proctor, Fred plans to reach out to his fellow boarding students throughout the year and offer support when needed.
look forward to participating in the Pickering College Student Committee as it truly gives me the opportunity to foster skills like leadership, communication, teamwork, organization, and public speaking,” says Fred.
also help me effectively collaborate with others and use empathy
guide me while making decisions.”
pursuing physics or mathematics, Fred enjoys going
participating in sports such as hockey, soccer, and
The Senior Girls’ Volleyball game at Bayview Glen School marked the first inter-school competitive athletic event for a PC team in nearly two years. Fueled by excitement and pride in representing our school, PC successfully defeated Bayview Glen in three straight sets.
The COVID-19 pandemic ground competitive sport to a near halt since March 2020. In February 2022, with a change in the government regulations for school sports, the CISAA (Conference of Independent Schools Athletics Association) put together a shortened schedule of interschool games so that student athletes finally had an opportunity to play. In the winter term, Pickering College’s basketball and volleyball teams participated in a shortened season that followed all COVID-19 safety protocols including a requirement of full vaccination for all school athletes.
After the March Break, the spring co-curricular program launched with a more fulsome menu of activities including recreational sports, clubs and competitive athletics. With teams participating in CISAA leagues for Ultimate Frisbee, Track & Field, and Badminton, PC students had a taste of a more “normal” school year through return to play while still following all health and safety protocols. Though no championships were won this year, the joy of being part of a team and competing was evident.
The year in athletics wrapped up on May 30 with the event students look forward to all year—Sports Day! For the first time since 2019, the entire school gathered outside to participate in this highly anticipated school tradition, marking the conclusion of the athletics season and the 2021-2022 House competition. For many of our students and staff, this was their first Sports Day and it was so lovely to see our community spending time together competing, having fun and enjoying the sunshine. Congratulations to Silver House, the 2021-2022 House champion!
I have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, teachers’ qualifications from Queen’s University, and am currently completing a professional master of education at Queen’s University.
What is your current role at Pickering College?
I am the Director of Teaching and Learning, as well as a social sciences and English teacher.
How long have you been teaching at Pickering College?
I have been teaching at Pickering College since September 2016.
What are four adjectives that would best describe you?
Imaginative: I enjoy imagining big ideas that encourage my students to become articulate agents of change in the world. I like supporting other leaders to dream big and implement ideas that make our community at PC a vibrant place. I have been doing this with our student committee over the last few years.
Determined: I like setting distal goals that either use innovative ideas to solve problems or that inspire others to cooperate to achieve the goal. I also like to take on challenging projects. Throughout my life, I have broken down large goals into manageable sub-goals that I pursue consistently until achieved. I hope to share this approach with my amazing colleagues as we work together to do great things in the years to come.
Ethical: I have strong values that align with our Quaker values at PC. I believe in creating an equitable society and behaving in a manner that creates trusting and honest relationships. These values are core to the decisions I make and my approach to life.
Approachable: I believe in being an approachable person who builds relationships. I’ve always operated by listening to my students and colleagues. I value the opinions of others and strive to use their ideas to better our community.
What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
Outside the classroom, I enjoy maintaining an active lifestyle and getting outdoors as much as possible. At the University of Toronto, I played varsity football so I love athletics in general. Today, that translates into challenging myself each day in the weight room and meeting new running goals such as completing half-marathons.
I am also an advocate and fundraise for multiple sclerosis research, a condition affecting my family that reminds me of the importance of living each day to the fullest and taking care of both our physical and emotional well-being. When time permits, you will find me in a canoe with my family as we portage through Algonquin Park.
What is something you are proud of when it comes to your teaching?
I have had many students go out of their way to reach out to me years later after taking my courses to say that they used the writing techniques I taught them to excel in their university
The best thing about my job is working with the students and staff in the PC community. My colleagues are incredibly talented educators and our students are passionate future leaders.”
programs. I want my students to feel confident that they can express their ideas professionally and engage in academic discussions with ease after working through my courses. I am always excited to see my students grow and challenge themselves to new understandings as they prepare themselves to make a difference in our world.
What is it that drew you to teaching?
I always enjoyed discussing social science and English literature topics while I was in high school and university. I find it energizing to see people debate about complex problems. The subjects I teach allow me to engage students in conversations that grapple with difficult problems facing humanity. I felt my place to affect change was in a classroom where I could guide students to show leadership on finding solutions to these issues. I am optimistic that our students will make a difference in the world by boldly facing these challenges. Beyond that, I enjoy building relationships with teams. The classroom is a wonderful place to build meaningful relationships.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is working with the students and staff in the PC community. My colleagues are incredibly talented educators and our students are passionate future leaders. I’m so fortunate to be part of this amazing community.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
In many respects, I am an environmentalist at heart. I love interacting with the natural world through gardening, hiking, and camping. I draw a lot of inspiration from observing birds and animals at peace in their natural habitat. I care a great deal about preserving these spaces so that our children’s children can enjoy our connection with the land in future generations.
What are you currently reading for enjoyment?Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
If you weren’t following this particular career path, what would you be doing?
I always enjoyed advocating for others and helping people and teams meet goals on their way to personal growth. This translates into coaching sports, personal training, and guiding trips. Many careers that involve working with groups of people and planning for big goals would have attracted me. PC’s commitment to experiential education through the Global Leadership Program has always allowed me to use these skills. Our Quaker values connect us to community goals where we can make a difference.
I know I could have used my skills to make a difference in so many community organizations but now I am excited to think about how our curriculum and PC students can create authentic connections with the community.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
A big part of my life growing up was teamwork. I played football in high school and at the varsity level for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. I was an offensive lineman, which is not always the most recognized member of the team. I didn’t score touchdowns, but my contributions were an integral part of a larger plan. Playing a sport where team members have vastly different roles helps teach you to recognize that everyone has an important role in a team’s success. We all have different talents and skills that help build our community. I am looking forward to working with our community to help people use their special gifts to build us all up.
On Tuesday, June 14, our seven Senior Kindergarten students graduated at a ceremony attended by their families, friends and teachers. Each student shared their fondest memory of their time in Kindergarten and what they would like to be when they grow up, before receiving their diplomas. Congratulations!
On Wednesday, June 15, we celebrated the achievements of our Grade 8 students as they graduated from the Middle School to the Senior School. The students received their diplomas, and a number of awards were presented for academic achievements, athletic achievements, school involvement and more.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022, as they make their way into the world as creative, innovative, and courageous agents of ethical and positive change, true to Quaker values. This year’s graduates hail from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea and Vietnam.
Our graduates exemplify and live the Quaker values of social responsibility and service leadership, and Pickering College is proud of their accomplishments.
• 89 per cent achieved the
Canadian & World Studies Subject Award
Math Subject Award
Cyril Howarth Fine Arts Award
Four Pillars Award
Sean Lee Business Subject Award
Boarding “Lifer” Graduate
Student Committee Co-Chairs Award
Student Committee Co-Chairs Award
Lt. Governor’s Community Volunteer Award
Boarding “Lifer” Graduate
Pablo Serebrisky Fierro
Garratt Cane (Elwood Garratt Award)
Computer Science Subject Award
Gov. General’s Academic Bronze Medallion
K-12 “Lifer” Graduate
Newmarket Historical Society’s Award
K-12 “Lifer” Graduate
Sophia Bailey Savoy
Joshua Weinzweig Memorial Literary Award
Vocal Music Award
Visual Arts Subject Award
Zetzl Family Science Award
English Subject Award
Farmer Environmental Stewardship Award
Athlete of the Year Award
French Book Award
K-12 “Lifer” Graduate Chengru Wen
Widdrington Award Math Subject Award
Farmer Environmental Stewardship Award
Humanities Subject Award
Good Friend Award
Modern Languages Subject Award
Science Subject Award
University of Toronto National Book Award Instrumental Music Award
Chris has moved to Holy Trinity School for a new role teaching Middle School science. Chris began at Pickering College in 2012 as associate faculty and shortly thereafter became a member of the faculty, teaching Grade 8 Science and each year adding to his teaching repertoire. Chris brought his passionate and caring teaching style to the Chemistry, Data Management, Biology, and Grade 10 Math classrooms. He has always strongly promoted STEM learning in his classes and through the introduction of a Design elective for Grade 8. He also developed the popular AP Chemistry option. 1
Keith has returned to his western roots in Alberta after eight years at Pickering College. Since 2014, Keith has led the English department as an Instructional Leader. Keith is a passionate educator who sought to develop a comprehensive English program that was both engaging and challenging. Keith coordinated the Joshua
Weinzweig Creative Writing Program, which features student writing through the PC Review of Writing. Last year, Keith initiated the Joshua Weinzweig Student Lounge Magazine to promote our students’ creative writing. Under Keith’s tutelage, our students have had major achievements in both writing and public speaking. 2
Lindsey (Rife) Stefanovich Lindsay has joined Kingsway College School as a faculty member in their new Senior School. Lindsey began at Pickering College as associate faculty for 2007-2008, took a year out to get her bachelor of education, and then returned to teach in PC’s Science department where she was an integral member for 12 years. In addition to leading the Science department in recent years, Lindsey worked tirelessly to support the Student Committee, assisted with countless school events, chaperoned several volleyball trips to Cuba and was instrumental in devel oping and reiterating the Grade 9 GLP program.
Alexis has introduced hundreds of children to the world of Pickering College and beyond in her role as Kindergarten teacher over the past 21 years. Throughout, she exhibited a respectful and kind manner with the children in her class and demonstrated the values held high by our communi ty. She knew each of her students and made them feel special—recognizing their strengths and tying them to the school values with her personalized certificate and speech for each student at Kindergrad. Her school spirit shone through with her involvement in many school events. 4
Savannah Tran Savannah, Digital Communications Coordinator, has left Pickering College to fulfil one of her life goals of exploring the world through travel. Over the last three years Savannah has had a tremendous impact on our school’s digital and social strategies, telling the story of Pickering College through her captivating videography
and thoughtful social media posts. With her keen eye for editing and expressive writing style, she has left her mark on numerous publications over the course of her tenure at Pickering College. 5
Maria has retired after 28 years at Pick ering College. In 1994, Maria was hired as the Grade 7 homeroom teacher and French teacher for Junior School. Within a few years, she was promoted to Director of Junior School where she developed and greatly enhanced the Junior School program. Maria is responsible for the introduction of K to 3 to the school, the Skate Canada integration with phys-ed classes, the equestrian program, Reggio-inspired learning, and Carnaval. She sought to provide experiential learning through travel and fostered a relationship with Perspectives that led to memorable student trips to Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City & Tadoussac, St. Donat, Sudbury, and Halifax. We wish you all the best in your retirement, Maria! 6
Peter Sturrup selected as 2022 Newmarket honouree
Portraits of Giving is an annual portrait exhibition celebrating York Region leaders and individuals who demonstrate social responsibility. This year Peter Sturrup was recognized for his lifetime of leadership not only as Head of school, but within Newmarket, and as a mentor and educator within the independent school community. Pickering College was happy to host the launch of the annual event. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about individuals who exhibit the character and action we hope to instil in our students. 7
Read more in the Toronto Star.
In memoriam, R. J. Currie Gardner ‘40 passed away on March 15, 2022, at the age of 103. Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Flight Lieutenant Currie Gardner proudly served Canada in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a typhoon fighter pilot during the Second World War in 440 (Ottawa) Squadron. Currie was known as the longest living Canadian Typhoon fighter pilot from the Second World War. Following the war, he graduated from McMaster University and was in the Air Force Reserve. He pursued careers at Bell, CEMA and retired from the Ontario Ministry of Health in 1983. He will be remembered as a family man whose smile, good sense of humour and comforting presence will be missed. 1,2,3
In memoriam, Allan (Digby) Peers ‘46 passed away peacefully on February 17, 2022, in Vancouver at the age of 94. After attending Pickering College, Digby attended McGill University to study pre-law. While studying in Montreal, Digby realized his true passion for music. He transferred to the Royal Conservatory of Music where he earned his Associate Diploma (ARTC). Digby later returned to PC in the ‘50s as the school’s Music Master for four years. During this time, he performed Jerusalem on the piano at least once a month. Digby hoped to return to campus one day to play Jerusalem for the school. 4
In memoriam, Samuel Stanford (Stan) Morris ‘50 passed away peacefully at his home in Port Dover on December 21, 2021 at the age of
91. Stan was raised in Port Dover in the 1930s, during the Second World War. When Stan reached his mid-teens, he attended Pickering College for two years. He ended his high school education early to follow his dream of writing and reporting on community news stories. At age 17, Stan left school to join Maple Leaf as a staff writer. He would later express that he wished he had stayed in school another year to hone his skills. Sharing this reflection with his grandchildren, he would advise on the importance of a good education. Stan firmly believed that Port Dover was the best community in the world. Over the decades, Stan performed every job involved with producing Port Dover’s community newspaper. He worked throughout his life in service groups and on local committees to help make Port Dover a better place for everyone. Stan
was recognized and awarded for his contributions to the community, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. 5
In memoriam, R. Dean Taylor ‘59 , Motown singer/producer and Canadian soul legend, passed away on January 7, 2022, at his Los Angeles home after battling the COVID-19 virus and spending the last year of his life at home in hospice care. Raised in Toronto, Dean has been credited for helping Diana Ross and The Supremes to continue their chart-topping success in the late 1960s. In his career, he produced four albums with the latest released in 2001. He enjoyed producing and co-writing multiple Billboard Hot 100 top five hits, including the song All I Need by The Temptations. It was unusual for Motown to sign artists
on as both writers and producers. He was a behind-the-scenes star that was essential to Motown’s thriving success. 6
In memoriam, Kenneth (Scott) Newman ‘60 passed away on August 26, 2019 at the age of 81. He was a beloved husband of 54 years to Frances “Elaine” Newman, and dear father of Brent, Paul, and Blair Newman. Scott will be remembered fondly by his children and many grandchildren. 7
In memoriam, Barry Stadius ’61 passed away on May 26, 2022. Barry was from Georgetown, Ontario, and is survived by his two children. Although Barry left PC before graduating, he was on the 1957 championship football team. He will be remembered fondly by his former classmates and teammates.
Brian Magee ‘62 is currently enjoying retirement and living in Lindsay, Ontario. Brian worked as a mechanic at United Rentals. 8
James (Jim) Brown ‘69, past recipient of the Class of 1842 award for his service to the community, invited the PC community to attend an event with the author of A Good War, Seth Klein. Jim and Seth discussed how Canadians can respond to the climate crisis and how employment concerns and climate change can be aligned. In addition to his passion for climate change, Jim has always passionately cared about people and his community and believes strongly that positive things happen when ordinary people believe that they can make a difference.
In memoriam, Ronald (Ron) Farber ‘70 passed away peacefully on October 26, 2021, in his 71st year after a short battle with aggressive cancers. Ron was a cherished husband of Barbara Amis for 34 years, and devoted Dad to Jessica and Eric Switzer. He will be missed by his sister Jane and brotherin-law Frank Tizel, the Tizel nephews, great nieces and nephews, and many Farber and Danson cousins. In keeping with Ron’s wishes, his final resting place will be in northern Ontario. 1
In memoriam, Andrew (Andy) Fasken ’72 passed away on June 11, 2022, with members of his family by his side after a brief battle with cancer. Andy attended PC with his brother,
Mitch Fasken ‘74. Andy earned the Widdrington Award for his notable contribution to school life at Pickering College. After attending PC, Andy supported the school’s early alumni engagement and fundraising efforts, including a successful phonathon. Andy had a great love of nature, campfires, and flying his single engine beaver. A nature lover and accomplished pilot, Andy would jokingly admit his two favourite sounds were the call of a bird and the sounds of his plane engine firing up. 2
Tom Everson ’84 joined Morning Meeting virtually last November to share his experience from the Rogers House Fire of 1981 and the resulting
changes at the school in the aftermath. Tom’s speech shared valuable perspectives with the students about how the school community can survive, thrive, and stay positive in moments of great hardship. In June, Tom recently celebrated 34 years as a product advisor for Toyota in Cornwall, Ontario. 3
In memoriam, Kevin Allan ’88, affectionately known as ‘Droopy’ by his PC classmates, passed away July 13, 2022, at home after a two-anda-half-year struggle with pancreatic and liver neuroendocrine tumors (NET) and acinar cell cancer. He died as he lived: on his own terms. Kevin always looked out for others and was there if you needed him. He found
happiness beyond belief when his wife, Erin, came into his life. The two of them were a match made in heaven. He played rugby and made lifelong friends at PC, including Keith Singer ’88 and Rob Wiss ’87. Kevin loved to share stories about his days tree planting and following the Grateful Dead. Dropping out of Trent University, Kevin used his student loan to fund plays. This led to Kevin being a founding member of the Fourth Line Theatre and the Union Collective. 4
Earlier this year, Keith Singer ‘88 visited the Hilltop to collect photos of campus to share with former classmates. He documented the necessary structural changes that have made room for students and
classrooms. Keith was surprised to see how New House has changed since his time at PC in the 1980s. 5
Congratulations to Quinn Ross ‘94, who was nominated in the changemaker category for Canadian Lawyer magazine’s “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.” Quinn has shaped the conversation in the legal industry for two decades and leads the first law firm in Canada to introduce a four-day work week where employees are paid for five. As Managing Partner and CEO of the Ross Firm PC, he has made a name for himself and his firm within the legal community with his disruptive, humanfirst approach to work-life balance. 6
Kurt Richardson ‘02 recently moved from Ajax to the Trail Capital of Canada, Uxbridge, with his wife and children. We are excited to have Kurt closer to PC as we plan upcoming alumni events. The school would like to thank Kurt for his contributions to the Risk Management Committee of the Board and as a member of the Pickering College Corporation. 7
Congratulations to Samantha DarvayCanavor ‘08 and her husband, Tim Campbell, on their marriage. Sam and Tim met at Queen’s University while refereeing co-ed volleyball. Tim will later admit that he did not know much about the rules of volleyball and Sam would admit that she could always
tell this was the case. Sam found his confidence and effort endearing. The couple tied the knot at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, with friends and family. Sam, Tim and their dog, Bailey, live on the Danforth in Toronto. While attending Pickering College with her siblings, Adam DarvayCanavor ‘13 and Isabelle DarvayCanavor ‘17, Sam was recognized for her athletic abilities and artistic contributions to the school. Sam continues her artistic craft, working as a senior interior designer in the Greater Toronto Area. 8 (pg 37)
Congratulations to Alysha De Souza ‘08 on her marriage to Joshua Mynttinen. After COVID-19 delayed their wedding, they celebrated with a small ceremony with close friends. They plan to host another celebration at a later date. Alysha and Joshua recently welcomed their son, Max, to the world on February 16, 2022. The couple currently lives in Whitby, Ontario, with their two huskies, where Alysha also works as a top-producing realtor with RE/MAX. 1
Congratulations to Natasha Krstajic ‘13 and her husband, Liam Devlin, on their marriage. Natasha and Liam were married in a small ceremony at home with close friends and family. Natasha is working as the press secretary and parliamentary advisor to the Honourable Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario. 2
Congratulations to Ioana Pop-Otrocol ‘13 on her engagement to Andrei Csaki. The couple bought a home in Oakville, Ontario, and have been together for
six years. Ioana is working as an inside wholesaler at Industrial Alliance.
Fernando Casanova ‘14 was in town in the spring, catching up with many of his former teachers. After meeting up with alumni coordinator, Adam Darvay-Canavor ’13, he shopped at the Hilltop Shop to pick up some PC gear to send back to his mother and his brother Raul Casanova ‘12, in Mexico.
After graduating from PC, Lottie Funk ’14 attended Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in South Florida
and obtained a degree in biology and psychology. Lottie then went on to complete the next step of her childhood dream to become a veterinarian. Lottie has now graduated from St. Matthew’s University, School of Veterinary Medicine and is moving to Miami, Florida where she will begin working in a small animal, general practice. She will live close to her sister, Heiki Funk ’11, who is working in Miami as an accountant. The sisters are looking forward to finally living in the same place once again and getting to spend more time together!
Do you have an alumni story idea or something to share in The Pillars?
We’d love to hear from you!
Please send your updates, ideas and high-resolution photos to the Alumni office at alumni@ pickeringcollege.on.ca or call 905-895-1120 ext. 257.
Connect with fellow alumni through our Facebook Group: https:// www.facebook.com/groups/ PickeringCollegeAlumni or through the Pickering College page on LinkedIn.
Josephine Kanu ‘16 knows the importance of adaptability. At just 23, she has lived in seven countries already, and hopes to add to that number. And though she was once an active athlete, multiple injuries and surgeries as a teen left her unable to play sports. But she has drawn important lessons from everywhere she has gone and all she has experienced.
“I’m always looking for new things to challenge me and grow and develop as a person,” Kanu says. She hopes one of those future challenges will be attending medical school: Her plan is to begin applying in 2022. “I always knew that I wanted to be a medical doctor… [but] over time, my interest in where I want to focus on healthcare has definitely changed,” she says.
Her own experiences sparked an interest in becoming an orthopedic surgeon, helping other athletes come back from injuries similar to her own. But while earning her undergrad degree in Biology at the University of British Columbia, Kanu took courses on maternal health that raised her awareness of the urgent need to improve outcomes in that field, especially for Black women like herself. That learning only amplified what she saw and heard during a weeklong school trip to Inuvik, NWT, while studying at Pickering College. She and fellow students had the chance to speak with local Indigenous people about their culture and learned about the continuing impacts of historical events on their communities and health outcomes.
“Being someone from a marginalized community as well, seeing that play out in Canada, and how it’s all hidden in the history—I’m glad that Pickering College gave me that opportunity for me to go beyond and learn,” Kanu says. “Not everyone gets that opportunity.”
So what type of medical career will she pursue? “Right now I’m on the fence … I’m learning other professions and other streams in the healthcare industry,” she says. For now, she works as the BC provincial research coordinator for the Canadian COVID-19 ED Network, a physicianled project that is creating a nationwide database on emergency department admissions of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. The role is allowing her to explore clinical research, just one of the many other things that interest her. “It’s supposed to help doctors and health care policy-makers make informed decisions about the pandemic and for us to learn more about how the pandemic is affecting marginalized communities, how it’s affecting the nation and the different provinces as a whole.”
Kanu’s embrace of new challenges means every day of work is a steppingstone to whatever comes next. “Taking things one step at a time, dealing with them as they come… I think that’s definitely going to help me in the future and in my career.”
“I’m always looking for new things to challenge me and grow and develop as a person.”
Canada’s National Volunteer Week theme of Empathy in Action gave us cause to reflect on the personal and societal benefits of volunteering. Volunteering not only is an act of giving to others, and a way to contribute to our community, but it is a way for us to build connections and truly understand other individuals and issues. Through volunteering we have the opportunity to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, expanding our views. It can build our capacity to work collectively and contribute to an inclusive society.
Volunteering gives each one of us the opportunity to live out the PC mission and vision:
Our mission is to instil in each individual the ability and responsibility to make the world greater, better and more beautiful than they discovered it.
Our vision is to develop innovative, courageous and compassionate global citizens who take action, true to Quaker values.
At Pickering College there are many ways students volunteer and learn about the world around them through community involvement. We are grateful for the students, staff, faculty, parents, past parents and alumni who all contribute their time to Pickering College, and to our own communities.
As part of Pillar Days, some of our Middle School students volunteered at a local community garden.
Volunteering for various Pickering College events and PCA committees is our way of giving back to the community that has given so much to our family.
Patti and Kevin Wietzes, PC parents and volunteers
Throughout the year there are many opportunities for students of different grades to be able to interact with each other, demonstrate leadership skills, and volunteer. reading buddies is always a favourite part of the week.
My mom introduced me to volunteering at a young age and although I have continued to volunteer since then, my motivation and rationale for doing so has not always been the same. At different times, volunteering has related to my studies, professional development, personal growth and understanding about our world, or to a certain perspective.
From an empathy in action viewpoint, ‘righting a wrong’ has been a strong personal motivator. Aiding those in need to escape danger, achieve a level of self-empowerment, and to make life-altering changes has given me the greatest satisfaction. For me, volunteering is part of life; it’s our individual and shared responsibility to contribute to positive change within our own community and beyond.
Susan Cooper, PC grandparent and volunteer
I always look forward to volunteering. Volunteering allows me to make a meaningful impact on my community and in the lives of others, whether it is simply volunteering for the Holiday Home Tour, or creating music playlists to improve the quality of life of a patient living with dementia. Actually, the gift I receive is a gift greater than the gift I extend. I learn so much from each situation and the individuals I meet and work with. It is incredibly rewarding to have helped others or contributed to the successful outcome of an event. This has made me confident, outgoing and happy.
Michaela Morra ‘22
While some in-person volunteer experiences were limited during COVID-19, our Senior School Committee was creative in adapting events and activities to help engage our community and keep students connected. Thank you to all the students who helped with Spirit Days, Winter Solstice, and Winterfest to name just a few.
In Middle School, students participate in Community Pillar Days, where they give back to others through service projects as community organizations. This spring, one group of students spent the day at the Aurora Food Pantry sorting donations. They learned about why people struggle to buy food and what food items are of highest need.
I want to change the world. Volunteering helps me take one step towards this goal. When I can provide for somebody else, even if I can’t change the world, my actions have a way of changing their world.
Oscar Jiang, Grade 12
Mirella Morra, Chair
Patrick Turner ‘97, Vice-Chair Stephen Barratt ‘86
Beric Farmer Thomas Kim Ailene MacDougall Kelly Mason
Riane Tse ‘07 Jason Yip
Stephen Barratt ‘86 Sal Bianco
Reuben Bonerath Vanessa Carson Susan Cooper Michael Da Ponte
Peter Dobbs ‘87 Beric Farmer Jason Foulds Jason Herod Barbara Horvath Eva Huang Trevor Hunt Thomas Kim Christopher Lane Vivian Lee Heward Lee ‘78 Ailene MacDougall Kelly Mason Olga Morawczynski Mirella Morra Daniel Nelson
Isabelle Payne ‘98 Ivan Pooran ‘82 Kurt Richardson ‘02
Krystie Robinson-Vincent Tara Roy-DiClemente Colleen Sexsmith Adam Shully ‘78
Riane Tse ‘07
Patrick Turner ‘97
Ronald Veitch ‘69 Duncan Walker ‘69
Mareena Wallace ‘13
Roger Warren ‘51 Lee Webb Kevin Wietzes Jason Yip
Campus Master Plan
Patrick Turner ‘97, Chair Sal Bianco Kevin Desforges Janet Downer Julia Hunt David Lehto Howard Lu Kelly Mason Mirella Morra Nicole Murphy Peter Sturrup
Jason Yip, Chair Vanessa Carson Susan Cooper Beth Egan
Shelley Frank Trevor Hunt Taylor Jennings Ailene MacDougall Mirella Morra Laura Padula Jessie-May Rowntree Colleen Sexsmith Peter Sturrup
Beric Farmer, Chair Joshua Armstrong Sherry Barclay Gordon Chiu Julie Clement Michael Da Ponte Peter Dobbs ‘87 Beth Egan Julia Hunt Frank Ji Mirella Morra Nicole Murphy
Varathan Pathmanathan Lindsey Stefanovich Peter Sturrup
Mareena Wallace ‘13
Stephen Barratt ‘86, Chair Kevin Desforges Janet Downer
Kyle Foch ‘13
Malcolm Mason Mirella Morra Nicole Murphy John Paterson ‘85 Peter Sturrup Patrick Turner ‘97 Mike Weiler Kevin Wietzes
Finance Thomas Kim, Chair Christina Bianco Jason Foulds Jason Herod Christopher Lane Mirella Morra Nicole Murphy Peter Sturrup Roger Warren ‘51
Riane Tse ‘07, Chair Susan Cooper Ajit Khanna Mirella Morra Daniel Nelson Neil Proudfoot ‘08 Claudia Schauer Peter Sturrup Lee Webb Karen Whetstone
Susan Cooper, Chair Heward Lee ‘78
Kelly Mason Mirella Morra Adam Shully ‘78
Riane Tse ‘07 Karen Whetstone
Sal Bianco, Chair Janet Downer
Eva Huang Thomas Kim Laura Mason Mirella Morra Nicole Murphy Ivan Pooran ‘82 Neil Proudfoot ‘08 Kurt Richardson ‘02
Jessie-May Rowntree Peter Sturrup Duncan Walker ‘69
Strategic Collaborative Partnerships Advisory Council
Ailene MacDougall, Chair Joshua Armstrong Charles Beer ‘59
Beric Farmer Barbara Horvath Julia Hunt Olga Morawczynski Mirella Morra
Isabelle Payne ‘98 Ian Proudfoot Krystie Robinson-Vincent Tara Roy-DiClemente Peter Sturrup Patrick Turner ‘97
CHOP FM BOARD OF DIRECTORS
James Waters, Chair Matthew Barbuto ‘02 Briana Carnegie ‘11 Marc de la Bastide Sarah Gardiner ‘11 Ian Johnston Nicole Murphy Brian Purdy ‘56 Peter Sturrup
Volunteering is the essence of Pickering College’s community spirit. Thank you to all those who give their time and talent in support of the school’s many events and initiatives.
CHOP FM ADVISORY COUNCIL
Alex Au Yong
Jennifer Brett Fraser
Marc de la Bastide
Keli Jay Ian Johnston
Laura Murgatroyd Brian Purdy ‘56
Gareth Sturrup ‘09 William Waugh
CHOP FM VOLUNTEERS
Tom Gordon David Haydu Wally Lennox Brian Purdy ‘56 Brad Snel Rex Taylor
PC AMBASSADORS –ADMISSION EVENTS
Katya Elizondo Celeste Frank ‘20
Ava Gu ‘23
Shyam Subramanyam ‘23 Victoria Zalewski ‘23
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM VOLUNTEERS
Janet Downer Chris Emanuel
Maarika Farmer ‘12 George Keltika
Arden Krystal Tom Lewis
Tam Nguyen ‘21
Isabelle Payne ‘98
Ruby Tomlinson ‘22
Victoria Zalewski ‘23
ACADEMIC AND STUDENT COMMITTEE EVENTS, CLASSROOM, PROGRAM, CO-CURRICULAR SPEAKERS
Thomas Bianco ‘24
Coco Cao ‘24
Samuel Correa ‘19
Tanya Dennis Tom Everson ‘84
Joanah Hao ‘24
Jonathan Knaul ‘87
Nico Macias ‘14 Isabel Shao ‘24
Kate Zhou ‘25
Krystie Robinson-Vincent, Chair
Susan Cooper Carrie Dente
Violet Gal Thomas Kim
Marcy Sanderson Kevin Wietzes Patricia Wietzes
PCA EVENT VOLUNTEERS
Julie Axford Andrew Delaney
Sheila Johnson Molly Robertson Patricia Wietzes Sara Wietzes ‘23
NISPA (NETWORK OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOL PARENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS)
LIBRARY TRIBUTE PROGRAM
Violet Gal, Chair
Carla Liberta, Coordinator
Violet Gal Venus Iu
Gail Simpson Patricia Wietzes
ALUMNI CLASS CHAMPIONS
Charles Beer ‘59
Robert Doyle ‘96
Stephanie Fillman ‘09
June Gleed ‘15
Monika Jazyk ‘95
Louis Li ‘21
Deanna MacAlpine ‘21 Neil Proudfoot ‘08
Brian Purdy ‘56
Edmund Rynard ‘70
Dag Spicer ‘80
Adam Starr ‘16
Grace Still ‘21
Thera Sze ‘21
CHARLES F. BOYD MEMORIAL SERVICE
October 2, 2021
Bilal Ahmed ‘26
Moira Boland ‘24
Kevin Chen ‘24
Tom Chen ‘23
Harrison Frank ‘24
Anzhela Gabidullina ‘23
Jaden Kim ‘24
William Kim ‘24
Selina Li ‘22
Gloria Liu ‘22
Helen Liu ‘23
Daria MacDonald ‘25
Kana Maeda ‘25
Layla McCaffery ‘22
Raul Mena Perez ‘23
Daniel Meng ‘25
Miranda Munoz Alvarez ‘25
Louisa Neustadt ‘24
Steve Nguyen ‘22
Khoi Nguyen ‘22
Krypton Ni ‘25
Kate Provkina ‘23
Pablo Serebrisky Fierro ‘22
Fred Shao ‘23
Jessie Sun ‘24
Mikhail Tcherniak ‘22 Derek Wang ‘22
Cordelia Woo ‘22
Arthur Yu ‘23 Lincoln Zhou ‘22
HILLTOP SKATING PROGRAM AND EVENT VOLUNTEER
CAREER ROUNDTABLE FOR GRADE 12 STUDENTS
November 25, 2021
Francis Fung ‘97
June Gleed ‘15
Angelica Ingram ‘03 Jamie Ross ‘91
Trisha Salisbury ‘08 Nicholas Sopuch ‘13
HOLIDAY HOME TOUR COMMITTEE
December 4, 2021 Susan Cooper, Chair Sophie Armstrong ‘12 Sonya Bonerath
Adam Darvay-Canavor ‘13
Daniel Foch ‘09
Shelley Frank Krystal Hopper
HOLIDAY HOME TOUR VOLUNTEERS
December 4, 2021
Jamie Frank Ian Johnston
Heward Lee ‘78
Lian Senior Noelle Simpson ‘28 Tristan Simpson ‘29 Gareth Sturrup ‘09 Stephen Widdrington ‘83 Sara Wietzes ‘23
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS RECEPTION
February 24, 2022 Patrice Barbanchon Donna Doyle Evan Johnston ‘22 Ian Johnston Jakin Lam Johanna Liburd Heather Suters Ellen Wells
CELEBRATING A LEGACY HONOURING PETER STURRUP
May 5, 2022
Philip Allan ‘71 Moira Boland ‘24 Ethan Bonerath ‘23 Erica Cameron ‘22 Owen Cameron ‘24 Alexander Cooper ‘24 Zack Da Ponte ‘25 Rebecca DiCarlo ‘28 Janet Downer Beth Egan
Harrison Frank ‘24
Jamie Frank Ian Johnston Jonathan Knaul ‘87
Gloria Liu ‘22
Ella MacAlpine ‘23
Nafas Massir ‘30
Mirella Morra Martha Perry
Krystie Robinson-Vincent Lisa Sturrup Heather Suters Stephen Widdrington ‘83 Sara Wietzes ‘23 Jason Yip
SPRING LUNCHEON COMMITTEE
May 11, 2022
Patricia Wietzes, Chair Maryam Atri Marnee Da Ponte Shelley Frank Violet Gal Krystie Robinson-Vincent
1842 AWARD LUNCHEON
May 15, 2022
Thomas Bianco ‘24 Moira Boland ‘24
Graydon Houle ‘24 Artem Rumiantsev ‘25 Roscoe Sze ‘24
GRANDPARENT AND SPECIAL FRIEND EVENT COMMITTEE
May 18, 2022
Colleen Sexsmith, Chair Maria Di Mambro
Shelley Frank Taylor Jennings Ellen Wells
ALUMNI TRANSITION EVENT
May 19, 2022
Sasha Au Yong ‘21
Nicholas Hansraj ‘21
Cecilia Lyu ‘21
Omar Ozturk ‘21
Grace Still ‘21 Kathy Wang ‘21
Carrie Dente, Junior School Chair
Laurie DiCarlo, Middle School Chair
Marcy Sanderson, Senior School Chair
Marnee Da Ponte
Venus Iu Claire Jones
Bobo Li Jenny Li
Daihong Wang Patricia Wietzes
Moira Boland ‘24
Heather Golding ‘24 Sarah Golding ‘24 Chloe Porter ‘24
Joelle Reid ‘24 Evan Roy-DiClemente ‘24
CHARLES F. BOYD INVITATIONAL GOLF TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE
June 23, 2022
Thomas Kim, Chair
Richard De Ridder
Shelley Frank Howard Lu
INVITATIONAL GOLF TOURNAMENT VOLUNTEERS
JUNE 23, 2022
Thomas Bianco ‘24
Moira Boland ‘24
Rebecca Brundage ‘23
Owen Cameron ‘24
Alexander Cooper ‘24
Adam Darvay-Canavor ‘13
Marc de la Bastide
Nathan Fiscaletti ‘26
Harrison Frank ‘24
Emma Furlong ‘24
Joanah Hao ‘24
Graydon Houle ‘24
Braedon Joanisse ‘22
Chantel Li ‘25
Ella MacAlpine ‘23
Nafas Massir ‘30
Jordan Odita ‘24
Cora Pataran ‘24
Leah Pataran ‘26
Eva Romkema ‘29
Gareth Sturrup ‘09
Sara Wietzes ‘23
Daniel Yan ‘24
It was a pleasure to bring golfers and volunteers back to Silver Lakes Golf & Country Club to celebrate our dear friend Charles Boyd. Alumni, parents, past parents, staff, past staff and friends of PC reconnected over fun-filled activities on the course followed by a delicious dinner and thoughtful presentations. Kim Bilous, past Executive Director of Development, gave a heartfelt toast in remembrance of Charles Boyd and Peter and Lisa Sturrup were recognized for their contributions to the event in a toast from Chris Schneider, Senior School Director. It was a heartwarming day highlighted by friendship, laughter and the spirit of the PC community. Congratulations to past parent Grant Lawson, winner of the prestigious Foster ‘46 recognition award. As the 2022 winner, Grant earned distinction for his commitment to the success of this annual event as a participant, committee member and sponsor. Thank you, Grant!Congratulations to our winning foursome: Brett Lawson ‘02, Grant Lawson, Amy MacKenzie ‘05 and Brad Lawson ‘03
Thumbs up for GOLD House, winners of this year’s golf House competition and a free dress-down day and ice-cream party for current students in their House.
Congratulations to our winning ladies foursome: Julia Hunt, Heather McDonald, Sheri Simon and Emily van Nostrand.
The “Tribute Hole” recognizes participants for their Pickering College spirit inspiring others to take part in the golf tournament and the community at Pickering College. We are grateful for their legacy. This year we recognized Brian Meharg ‘78 and thank the Lawson family for sponsorship of the Tribute Hole, which provides funds enabling young alumni to join their classmates for a memorable day on the course.
Thank you to golfers and sponsors for your support of this annual event. A special thank you to our Lead Supporters: Enginess, Terra Brook Homes, The Roman Group, and the Lawson and MacDougall families.
Thank you to our course activity supporters: ADM Design Inc., Advertek, Align Health Centre, Aramark Canada, Molson Coors, Dr. Robert MacAlpine Aurora 2020 Vision, the Kim family, The LOOK Company, Lexus of Richmond Hill, Northstar Pharmaceuticals Inc., Prep Academy Tutors, and Dr. Amber Perry York Pediatric Psychology.
Thank you to all for contributing to the success of the inaugural Charles F. Boyd Invitational—we hope you will join us next year!
The Pickering College Association (PCA) is comprised of alumni, parent, past parent, and staff volunteers who are focussed on building a respectful and inclusive community. Throughout the year, these volunteers work towards enhancing school life for our students. We are grateful to these volunteers for making a difference and thank them for their work. 2021-2022 PCA events
PCA Family Mentors worked with the Admissions team to ensure our new families felt welcome and connected to the PC community. Throughout the school year, PCA Grade Representatives and International Family Representatives established a rapport with families, serving to represent the needs of the grade and provided details on upcoming events and school initiatives. Signature Event committees worked to plan engaging events such as the:
• 2021 golf tournament, hosted at the Lebovic Golf Club;
• Virtual Holiday Home Tour, featuring five beautifully decorated homes; and
• Charles F. Boyd Invitational honouring past faculty and staff member Charles Boyd.
Additionally, the PCA planned a number of social events including the fall welcome event, book club, cooking classes, grade lunches, a Grandparents & Special Friends event, morning socials, pickleball, Saturday free skate, tai chi, virtual yoga, wine tasting, and a highly successful Spring Luncheon. The PCA also supported the Library Tribute Program and recognized faculty and staff through the Staff Appreciation committee.
Thank you to our PCA volunteers. The impact of your work is far reaching and your focus on the spirit of community is greatly appreciated.
A planned gift to Pickering College can make all the difference to the programs and people that make our school so special.
For more information on leaving a gift to PC in your will or other estate planning visit our website: www.pickeringcollege.on.ca/legacygiving
SEPTEMBER 2022 – JANUARY 2023
Friday, September 16 –
Sunday, September 18
Saturday, October 22 Open House at 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, November 2 Introduction to Senior School at 6:00 p.m.
Monday, November 7 Booker’s Run
Thursday, November 10 Full School Remembrance Day Meeting
Friday, December 2, 2022 Holiday Boutique Soirée
Saturday, December 3, 2022 Holiday Boutique & Café
Wednesday, December 21 Full School Christmas Morning Meeting
Thursday, December 22 Last day of classes
Friday, December 23 –
Sunday, January 8
Sunday, January 8
Winter Break No classes and offices closed
Boarding reopens at 9:00 a.m.
Monday, January 9 Classes resume
Wednesday, January 11 Open House at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 14 Open House at 10:00 a.m.