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Reflecting Back—Moving Forward Many educators realize that the month of June is a time when a school is winding down, but also winding up as they reflect on and celebrate successes of the past year while beginning to prepare for the upcoming school year. Sometimes the tension between preserving the past, imagining the future, and living in the present can be challenging. And yet one of St. Margaret’s greatest strengths, I believe, is its ability to strike a balance between tradition and innovation to keep progressing, knowing we are creating our future every single day. As stated by Harvard University professor Dr. Vijay Govindarajan: “What you do today, or don’t do, shapes the future.” As such, SMS is intentional in its actions, respectful of its past, and definitely open to possibilities. The opportunity to share our successes with our broader community through the Spirit magazine always gives me great joy, and this edition highlights those accomplishments that will help us move forward. SMS does not rest on its laurels but rather adopts a purposeful regime of experimentation and continual learning. The focus on the redesigned curriculum as presented through the BC Education Plan is something that is embraced at SMS. The guiding principle of personalized and inquiry-based learning with a focus on core competencies is already embedded in the teaching practices here. The understanding that learning takes place anytime, anyplace, and in many different ways is the reasoning behind the expansion of our experiential programs into the community—from Service Day, Certification Day, work experience, and volunteer opportunities including the

building of partnerships that bring the industry experts to us! In addition, our focus on STEM education is helping our girls realize the contributions they can make in an increasingly technological world, where the ability to ask probing questions, work collaboratively across disciplines, and think critically in developing innovative responses to complex problems is essential. Many of those values embedded in our Strategic Plan—courage, globalmindedness, service, leadership, integrity, excellence—are practised throughout the school from JK to Grade 12. SMS is committed to our vision of creating a “school of one” where the youngest learners can look up to our senior girls, and the older students can mentor and model those attributes that demonstrate a positive growth mindset. The opportunity to reinforce the link between Foundation Years (ECE to Grade 4), Middle Years (Grades 5 to 8), and Senior Years (Grades 9 to 12), including our residence and day population, will only strengthen our learning community. In fact, this is the vision behind campus renewal. Over the past several years, SMS has enhanced many of our learning areas through the Creating Special Places initiative. Newly designed spaces include the Learning Commons (previously known as the library), Culinary Arts Centre, Environmental Centre, and, most recently, the Wellness Centre. This summer our focus will be on our Middle Years courtyard. In future, we hope to engage with our community to explore expanding our school facilities, creating new space to support our growing Fine Arts program, enhance our Learning

Cathy Thornicroft | Head of School

“What you do today, or don’t do, shapes the future.” Dr. Vijay Govindarajan, Harvard University

Commons, and create an expansive great hall that would be a place for students and staff to come together. We are very excited about the prospect of campus renewal and we hope you will join us in supporting the next chapter of St. Margaret’s success story. Like any great organization, SMS is always striving to be the best it can be and recognizes the importance of being accountable to its learning community, to be more intentional in its practices, and to constantly strive for excellence. SMS is currently immersed in the CAIS accreditation process that is designed to ensure that schools achieve two goals: full accountability and school improvement. This process combines both an internal selfevaluation and an external peer-review based on 12 national standards, and has the potential of being the catalyst for change as we strive for greatness. The school is now in the final stages of preparing its internal document in anticipation of CAIS’s accreditation team visit in late November 2016. The rich dialogue among the staff and students has been insightful and even inspiring, and will truly help us focus our time and energy on those things that matter most. Aligning “the why, the how and the what” we do at St. Margaret’s will help us realize those goals embedded in our Strategic Plan.


Written by Kevin Paul


THE OPEN CULTURE OF INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP St. Margaret’s School is always searching for better ways to educate girls: to create confident girls who become inspiring women who chart their own course and shape their own dreams. To accomplish this, the school embraces an ethos that reveres tradition, while also fearlessly seeking exciting educational innovation. And when SMS cannot find existing innovation to import —it makes its own. For the past two years, the school has been developing and piloting a unique approach to instructional leadership. The traditional model of subject-based department heads served St. Margaret’s well for decades, but the time has come to adopt a leadership structure that reflects the strategic directive to “facilitate leading-edge learning.” “We need the leadership of our educational mission to evolve in a way that supports the Strategic Plan,” says Darlene DeMerchant, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. That transition is now complete. After two years of success in the developmental stage, the leadership team has committed to full implementation in 2016.

“There is a way to do it better—Find it.” Thomas Edison


THANK YOU to the outgoing group of instructional leaders who piloted this program (L to R, back to front): Rebecca Kaukinen, Jeff Trapp, Megan Hedderick, Alia Zawacki, Bev Waterfield, Nancy Pekter, Louise Huneck, Paula Procyshyn, Lisa Ziebart, Jenn Nicholson, Darlene DeMerchant, Cecilia Penner, Harry Duimering

Furnishing the Room: The Round Table The SMS table is custom-made and handcrafted specifically for the needs of the school. Using a table as an The first level of change is Its innovative design is unique organizational symbol, or an the title. There are no more in the education world. The educational device, is not department heads. Instead, school has also decided not unique. But St. Margaret’s special the core eight members of the to make any IL seat at the design of that table certainly is. team are called instructional table permanent. As Megan leaders (ILs). It could be compared to King Hedderick, the incoming Senior Fittingly, the visual Arthur’s Round Table, where each Years Principal says, “The twoBut it goes much deeper than a representation of the new member is dedicated to a noble year appointment is a deliberate mere cosmetic name change. system is different from the quest. But the Arthurian table was attempt to stay flexible and classic linear, hierarchical The responsibilities of ILs are definitely a hierarchy, and that’s create regular opportunities organizational chart. Now the now fundamentally different. not the St. Margaret’s way. for many different teachers to ILs are joined by the senior Previously, departments were assume leadership roles.” administrators around a table, It could also be compared to administrative units composed an arrangement that is much a Harkness Table (see sidebar), of separate subject disciplines, more in keeping with the culture a method of teaching that and the focus was often limited of a “school of one,” Darlene emphasizes student discussion to the Senior School. Freed says. “The goal is to have a and inquiry. But the discussion from administrative tasks such table of equals who ensure that around the SMS instructional leadership table goes far beyond The SMS table sits within an classic Socratic inquiry of the open culture that provides Harkness Table method. terrific views of the Strategic << On the previous page: Plan. The thematic titles assigned The Harkness Table is a student-centred teaching method to each leadership area have that was pioneered at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. It is named in honour of been chosen with great care. Edward Harkness, an early 20th-century oil tycoon who gave $5.8 million to Exeter in 1930. His gift came They are organized in ways that reflect the priorities of the with the condition that the school, his alma mater, develop a new way of teaching. Exeter developed a Strategic Plan, such as Design method that was so successful it remains mostly unchanged today. Thinking and STEM Education, In groups of no more than 12, students sit around an oval table. They are expected to arrive at each class and Literacy Learning (see sidebar). fully prepared to discuss the topics set for that day. Teachers do not lecture. Rather, they assist, guide, and What does this new structure look like?

as ordering textbooks, the new ILs are expected to focus on creating collaborative learning opportunities that are both wide and deep—stretching across disciplines and reaching the entire school from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.

discussion provides a voice for every part of the school.”

Great Sightlines: Bringing the Strategic Plan to Life

use a Socratic method of questioning. The goal is for each class to be driven by the students themselves, and every student is expected to participate. The shape of the table ensures everyone is in “the front row,” and there are no corners to hide in. At SMS, the Harkness Table is located in the Collaboration Room, used for both classes and meetings. SMS SPIRIT | 4

In addition to the commitment to deep subject integration from JK to Grade 12, the school has devoted one of the eight IL chairs to what it calls “the Bridging Years.” Darlene is

adamant that this is key to the success of the new model: “We have so many transition points at our school—ECE to kindergarten, Foundation to Middle, Middle to Senior—that it became clear we needed a colleague to lead these transitions, to be the voice of the bridging years in everything we do.” Another component of the Strategic Plan that is expressed around the SMS instructional leadership table is the goal to “Implement a student-driven culture where students are actively involved in shaping the SMS experience” (Strategy #4). The chairs for Global-Minded Learning and Leadership and Service Learning exist because students insisted these areas be emphasized. Megan believes this decision highlights a subtle but critical point: “This is an opportunity to dedicate instructional leadership roles to key areas that both matter a lot to students and align with the big goals in the Strategic Plan.”

A Little Too Avant-Garde? There have been questions, of course. First, is the new structure too radical? After all, change of this kind, on this scale, is difficult and scary. In order to truly embed innovation into the organizational DNA of the

school, everything must be open to scrutiny. Sometimes that means doing fun things like encouraging inquiry learning science projects. Other times it means doing difficult things like reviewing and renewing the internal structure. Even though this new approach meshes beautifully with the school’s mission and values, and aligns its organizational structure with the educational vision, is it still risky to venture so far out on the leading edge?

In fact, like all great ideas that actually work in the real world, this one is quickly finding a wider audience. Darlene can’t help smiling when she talks about how other schools have been approaching St. Margaret’s to learn how they can implement something similar. She is open about the school’s response. “We’re happy to share what we’ve done because we know we will learn much from them in return.” SMS

“Ideas move fast when their time comes.” Carolyn Heilbrun, Mystery novelist and pioneering English professor at Columbia University

Alia Zawacki, newly appointed Middle Years Principal, says that the team could find nothing similar in place elsewhere or discover any discussion of it in the academic literature. “Darlene and I tried every kind of search we could think of.” The second question was about the BC Ministry of Education. Does this new setup conflict with the rollout of the redesigned curriculum? The answer to both concerns is “no.” No, the new IL model is not too venturesome. No, there is no conflict with the revised curriculum. In fact, the philosophy underpinning the new curriculum (see sidebar) is very much in line with the St. Margaret’s approach to leadership of student-centred inquiry-based learning.

Instructional Leaders 2016–2018 INSTRUCTIONAL THEME INSTRUCTIONAL LEADER Literacy Learning

Jennifer Nicholson

Global-Minded Learning

Lisa Ziebart

Design Thinking/STEM Education

Carly Macris

Leadership and Service Learning

Donna Holmwood

“Today we live in a state of constant change. It is a technologyrich world, where communication is instant and information is immediately accessible. The way we interact with each other personally, socially, and at work has changed forever. Knowledge is growing at exponential rates in many domains, creating new information and possibilities. This is the world our students are entering. British Columbia’s curriculum is being redesigned to respond to this demanding world our students are entering. To develop new models, the Ministry consulted with experts in the field. They suggested that to prepare students for the future, the curriculum must be learner-centred and flexible and maintain a focus on literacy and numeracy, while supporting deeper learning through concept-based and competency-driven approaches.”

Creative Pursuits Louise Huneck Wellness (Body, Mind, Spirit)

Introduction to BC’s Curriculum Redesign

Jeanine Stannard

Bridging Years Bev Waterfield


Foundation Learning TBA


Written by Jennifer van Hardenberg


As is tradition, all the girls join their hands in a circle to close the session. They clap hands once, slap the desktop, and then chant together, “Break!”

by Jennifer van Hardenberg Communications Coordinator (Editor)

through Connection

As part of its focus on girls’ leadership development, St. Margaret’s School seeks to develop, embolden, and amplify girls’ voices. Every opportunity is taken to allow girls to flex their leading muscles, both through the school’s purposeful leadership curriculum that runs from JK to Grade 12 and the structure of our extracurricular program, where the students are certainly teacher-mentored, but the activities are very much student-initiated and student-led. Student government is a place where student-led culture really shines. Sitting in on one of their meetings or attending a school assembly, you soon see why student governance at SMS is truly unique. Incredulity is the reaction that council’s mentor Donna Holmwood often witnesses in colleagues from outside the school. “‘How can you do that?’ they ask me, or ‘Kids can’t do that,’” says Donna, when she explains that all the school assemblies are entirely studentplanned and presented.

Drop in to a council meeting and here’s what you won’t see: one leader conducting the meeting, a teacher assigning deadlines or duties, committee members refusing tasks because it’s not their role. Here on council, there’s no hierarchy. The girls sit in a circle, respectfully speaking in turn, and taking turns to lead the discussion or take notes at the whiteboard. No one leader dominates the discussion. In fact, from an outsider’s view it would be impossible to tell which girl holds which position. When it comes time for assembly, different council members lead the presentation each month, and the strength of this team is especially apparent as they tackle special projects—from fundraisers, to large, multi-age activities like dodgeball tournaments, to whole school carnivals, to Big Sister/Little Sister events.

Head Girl. “Getting the skills and confidence to stand up and present in front of your peers— that’s an opportunity, and it shouldn’t just be the Head Girl who gets it.” This is a truly democratic approach to governing. In fact, it’s more than that. It is a perfect reflection of the theme our council chose for their year in office: family. Every initiative undertaken by council this year was designed to forge familial bonds and sisterly connection between different age groups, roles, and cultures. The theme was chosen for its universality. As explained by one council member, “Family is quite a simple word, but with a deep meaning. It was important to choose a theme that would have the same meaning across many cultures and languages. Family means the same thing no matter where you’re from.”

“Once you join council your title and position disappears,” explains In a round-table discussion with council, a touching commentary one council member. emerged as they reflected on the “It’s important to share the year’s initiatives. opportunity,” chimes in this year’s SMS SPIRIT | 6

Gratitude “This really has been the perfect team. I am so thankful,” commented one council member. In addition to a keen awareness of the opportunity they’ve been given, a highlight of the year for the girls was their teacher appreciation initiative. Coined “muggings,” girls dressed up as mascots and surprised faculty and staff with gifts (including mugs, hence the name). They would play music, dance with the recipient, and the audience present would cheer and clap. It was a chance to turn the spotlight on the teachers and staff, and thank them for giving so much of themselves to their students. The girls feel proud when they see people congregating around the muggings board; the initiative has become an engaging conversation piece.

Sisterhood and inclusion “More than a community—SMS is a family first.” The girls all spoke of their sense of connection despite differences in age or background

or culture. In council, the girls support each other’s ideas with the hope that this family-like model will radiate out to touch all members of the school. They also spoke of wanting to link outlying groups into that notion of family, from the parents that live overseas to support staff like the groundskeepers who work in the background, and even extending to alumnae.


“Once you join council your title and position disappears.”

It is clear that this group takes their role very seriously and has thought deeply in choosing initiatives that would have a lasting impact on their school and inspire future student leaders. They acknowledge a shared responsibility that is not limited to student governance: “You don’t have to be on council to make change in your school.” “The growth has been huge in this group of girls,” says Donna. “Many of these girls were terrified when they made their election speeches. But look at them now: they’re able to think on their feet and are totally at ease leading their peers. It’s quite amazing.” The girls are proud of the impact they’ve seen—more interactions between individuals who wouldn’t have previously connected—and have even observed their theme taken up by individuals and in classrooms. “We’ve heard people say, ‘We’re going to do this as a family,’ or ‘That’s what families are for, right?’” On the eve of student elections, this team will soon be disbanded, but they seem confident in passing the torch, sharing this opportunity with a new group of girls. Their connection as a “family” is sure to last long past the end of their tenure. SMS

OUTGOING Student Council 2015/2016

INCOMING Student Council 2016/2017

Head Girl: ALEXA BRYANT Deputy Head Girl: JELLY GUO Games Captain: MAYU SHIOZAKI Canmore House Captain: ALICE BROWN Christian House Captain: YVETTE LAM Malcolm House Captain: MINNA CAI Turgot House Captain: HILDA XU Secretary: MERRY BEST Treasurer: KELLY NG Publicist: PEGGY SUN Social Convenor: SARAH ELLMANN Grade 10 Rep: GIRIJA BHATNAGAR Grade 9 Rep: VICTORIA LEE Grade 8 Rep: HASRUT BRAR Residence Rep: ROLA YAO

Head Girl: SARAH ELLMANN Deputy Head Girl: RICA RABANG Prefect Council: GIRIJA BHATNAGAR, YVETTE LAM, CAROLINE LIANG, & FINALE YAO Games Captain: ALICE BROWN Canmore House Captain: LAUREN ROBERTS Christian House Captain: KANA YAMAMOTO Malcolm House Captain: COLETTE REIMER Turgot House Captain: CAROLINE XU Grade 9 Rep: LINDEN GIRARDEAUX Residence Rep : PEGGY SUN Outreach Co-chairs: MARY DANESH & NATASHA SMYTH Multicultural Co-chairs: LUCIA REN & LEECHEE ZHANG




Intro by Jennifer van Hardenberg with Darlene DeMerchant, Director of Curriculum and Instruction


Teachers are first and foremost learners themselves. Innovation in the classroom comes from teachers who engage in constant reflection and rigorous collaboration to support their peers and ultimately to spread innovative ideas. The knowledge-sharing aspect of innovation, “ideas worth sharing,” as TED coins it, is key to evolving educational experiences. At a recent Federation of Independent Schools of BC professional development conference, astronaut Chris Hadfield spoke about some of the ways that responding to the need for innovation in education are still very much a work in progress. Tools like interactive whiteboards or fleets of iPads are great, but technology alone does not an innovative classroom make.

In the following pages you’ll find a small sample of the innovative practices pursued by our teachers this year. Some are brand new, while others are just hitting their stride. All of them demonstrate the ways our faculty are responding to research on best practices in girls’ learning, anticipating the changes coming in the redesigned BC curriculum, innovating to challenge convention, and collaborating to draw on the strength of our teaching team. These examples leverage critical thinking and inquiry-based learning. They are project-based and often multidisciplinary, they are grounding girls in the fundamentals while preparing them for the future, and they demonstrate the school’s commitment to creating new ways of delivering learning experiences. The results are engaged students excited about coming to school, rising to the challenge of forming deep questions and then finding their own answers, and ultimately learning to learn for life.



IN HER SHOES: Historical Women Project


Marissa Boyce, SMS teacher since 2013, Middle Years Teacher (Homeroom Grade 8) What is the project? Our Historical Women Heritage Fair was an inquiry-based project involving research, writing, and drama. Each student worked independently to research a woman in history who inspired them personally and who had changed the world somehow. This included writing powerful thesis statements and well-organized paragraphs with proper citations. Students also created “Fakebook” profiles, presenting themselves as the historical women on social media. Some names were familiar, such as Harriet Tubman—but some I hadn’t even heard of before! Which grades or classes are involved? This was a Grade 8 project, including many IEL learners, which was wonderful because we learned about historical figures from all over the world. Where did the idea come from? Lisa Ziebart and I had attended an ISABC meeting on the redesigned curriculum and decided to do more cross-grade groupings and concept-based projects. Sarah McLeod, our teacher-librarian, introduced the idea of a heritage fair. I also wanted to use some tools I had been exposed to at a recent conference. From all these seeds of ideas we landed on the theme of historical women because we’re an all-girls school. What is involved in the project? What are the goals? It began with an example from our community: SMS alumna Dr. Frances Kelsey. We learned research techniques by summarizing information from the article on Dr. Kelsey in the Spirit magazine (spring 2015) and looking at the dedication panel in our science wing. As a class we considered the impact she had and how she changed the world through her actions. An important element was looking at these historical figures as whole people: in Dr. Kelsey’s case, she was a doctor and a scientist, but she was also a wife and mother. One aspect of the redesigned curriculum is considering perspective in historical thinking. So the goal here was to understand the perspective of the historical women. Because women’s history is often not recorded, the girls had to think critically and research deeply.

COLLABORATORS: Jane Leavitt, Lisa Ziebart, Sarah McLeod, Kathy DaSilva

How does this differ from the traditional way of teaching this course or subject? We introduced some new elements to change up the learning. We invited Jane Leavitt to lead drama workshops for the students to learn to “become” the woman being researched. Later we had a drama in which the girls acted as the historical figures attending a party together. They had to think what the characters would talk about if they had met. They even chose costumes to look the part. Instead of doing your classic character monologue, they took turns interviewing each other in character in a talk-show format, which we presented to an audience of mothers for International Women’s Day. The social media profiles were built using a platform called Fakebook. The purpose was to get into the character and post updates and comments, all toward the goal of developing empathy for these women and understanding the perseverance it took to overcome the obstacles they faced. Ultimately, this project was a way to explore historical issues that I didn’t have to teach. The girls learned through their own inquiry, discovering something new by following their own interest. That’s true inquiry. How has it impacted girls’ learning? I think the biggest impact was learning through dramatic arts; the chance to integrate drama into this project was wonderful. The girls discovered they love drama, and now we’re writing plays in term three. Also, integrating current technology—social media in the form of Fakebook—gave them something they could relate to. It was a wonderful tool. With campus renewal looming, how could new learning spaces benefit this project and girls’ learning? We could use more room for integrating multiple classes. I also think we need to move away from traditional tables and desks and get furniture that is more collaboration-friendly. My years of teaching in Italy taught me to first create the space, and then the learning comes out of the space. That’s why I painted my desks with whiteboard paint this year. Space and environment define culture.



Lisa Ziebart,

SMS teacher since 2012, Senior Years Social Studies What is the project? The Bank of Canada recently announced that it would be featuring a woman on a new bank note. Now the search is on for who that woman will be, and SMS has been chosen to sit on the selection committee. The girls will prepare a persuasive “elevator pitch” for a candidate and ultimately help decide which woman should appear on the new bank note...or at least, that’s how we pitched it to the girls. Which grades or classes are involved? Grades 5 to 10, and the Transition Classes (International English Language Program students) are involved. From the original list of 120 nominees on the official Bank of Canada list, the girls voted to advance three names per class to create a long list. Each candidate has been adopted by a girl to research. Next, all four grades will meet to present what they’ve learned and decide on the short list, which will then be presented to Grades 5 to 12 students and teachers and put to a vote on May 18. Where did the idea come from? We were inspired by the opportunity to involve our girls in a realworld event connected to important women in Canadian history. We were also influenced by the changes in the redesigned curriculum, and in social studies in particular. One aspect of this project was teacher professional development: workshopping a new idea together and walking away with new knowledge and skills.

COLLABORATORS: Marissa Boyce, Bev Waterfield, Meaghan Thompson, Sonny Wilson, Sean Holland, Kathy DaSilva How does this differ from the traditional way of teaching this course or subject? The traditional approach would be more lecture-based, with the teacher at the front. With this project, we are allowing students to choose which women they are interested in, and we are giving them the space to present in any way they want, instead of telling them what they have to do. We’re giving them choice while guiding them in how to inquire. How has it impacted girls’ learning? My hope is to expose the girls to some names that do not appear in social studies textbooks. When girls learn about historical events or see something happen in the news today, I want them to at least be curious about what women were involved. For our international students, I was concerned they would have a harder time connecting with Canadian historical figures, but there were so many they were able to relate to. The nominations were so varied, not just Euro-centric, allowing for deep discussion. One of the nominees was a murdered Aboriginal woman, which led to a meaningful conversation about real-world issues affecting Aboriginal women today. That is the beauty of social studies and girls’ learning: there are so many stories for girls to connect to, and the research shows that’s really how they learn best. With campus renewal looming, how could new learning spaces benefit this project and girls’ learning?

Doing this in the Learning Commons is a tight fit, so having bigger We worked from existing templates of performance-based tasks, spaces to bring people together with smaller breakout spaces nearby which are a form of project- and inquiry-based learning, and then for different types of work and with reconfigurable furniture will looked at the redesigned curriculum for a fit. In a performance-based be great. task the students play someone else—they have to put themselves in somebody else’s shoes and complete inquiry within given parameters. What is involved in the project? What are the goals?


This project focuses on many skills: developing an argument, persuading in both speech and writing, collaborating with a team, and assessing significance, which is a historical thinking concept from the new curriculum. Social studies is being used as a lens for inquiry. Students were tasked to seek out information and present their ideas and connections effectively. The research skills—critical thinking, media literacy, establishing credibility of a source—are important to teach in our Google Search–driven age. SMS SPIRIT | 11

Viola Desmond * Nellie McClung Dr. Leone Norwood Farrell Laura Secord * *Tied as SMS Finalist choice





Lisa Reid,

SMS teacher since 2013

What is the project? In the Stock Market Challenge, students are given $100,000 (virtually, of course, not real money) and have a six-week window to buy and sell stocks, trading only within the exchange’s open hours. Throughout the six weeks, students can log in to the online portal and compare their results with other classmates at SMS, as well as students from schools in Victoria, BC, and across Canada. Students really seem to buy in because they feel that the money is “real.” On the first day they were a little nervous to invest, afraid of losing all their money. Which grades or classes are involved?

Senior Years IEL teacher + Money Matters/ Intro to Investing

money because they can look back and see where they could have made a different decision, or they can consider what was going on economically or geopolitically in that moment that affected stock prices. This makes for great in-class discussions. At the beginning of most classes, I pull up the S&P/TSX and the DJIA to see what levels they are at, and we look at what’s happening in the news to explain some of the fluctuations in stock prices. We also look at stock bubbles, including those in the energy sector. All of this is going on alongside the simulation. How does this differ from the traditional way of teaching this course or subject? The project does begin in a traditional manner, with students completing a short quiz to test their knowledge of stocks, but after that there are no formal tests. They are evaluated on their participation and their performance in scenario-driven activities.

This is our second year running the project in Introduction to Investing 11. Where did the idea come from? The program is an initiative of the Junior Achievement (JA) Investment Strategies Program. JA is very responsive in supporting their participating schools. It’s a valuable resource to introducing students to the world of investment products and how to make smart investment choices. What is involved in the project? What are the goals? Before beginning the simulation, students learn about investment vehicles, products, and strategy, so they are fluent in these concepts, including stock market terminology, before undertaking this project. Students are amazed the first time they log in to their online portfolio and start entering ticker symbols to call up stocks. They see all the stock information in real time, and can track daily the price of that stock. We also had a guest speaker in—a local entrepreneur and friend of one of the school’s financial advisors. She herself had been inspired early by a course taken through JA and is now working toward launching an IPO in the near future. Ultimately, the goal of the Investment Strategies Program is to make money. In fact, there are national prizes awarded by JA for students who manage to earn the most in the simulation. However, I have found that the students learn more from losing

Each student acts as an advisor and recommends an investment portfolio to a staff member who has been given an imaginary investment profile (key demographics like age, employment, financial goals, etc.). Students are evaluated based on their responses to the profile and demonstrated understanding of investment terms and strategies. By the end, students should have a sound understanding of personal investing, including the risk involved in day trading. How has it impacted girls’ learning? How have students reacted? Traditionally, investing was “a man’s world,” but all that has changed. Strong financial decision making and policy shaping is more equally shared than ever, with women clearly making up for lost time. Investment students learn to think critically, rather than just parroting information that they’ve come across, and to approach decision making in a new way. The most rewarding moment for me was coming across a student in the hall bent over her laptop. I expected to find her looking at a YouTube video or checking social media—the usual sort of thing. But instead I saw that she was madly trading stocks and quite concerned about it. To me, that was a telling sign that the students were really engaged.


and networked inquiry

at the core of bee blog


Sarah McLeod,

At SMS since 2014, Teacher-Librarian What is the project? Using a system called Closed, a private blogging platform, we tackled online journaling. What is a blog? Who is a blogger? Who reads a blog? Why write in a blog instead of a personal diary? We also talked about Internet safety. We were completing a guided inquiry about bees. The girls researched and wrote about bees, and posted comments and questions on each other’s blogs. Which grades or classes are involved? The bee blog was a Grade 2 project. However, Deb Secco’s Grade 3s used the same approach for their unit on character studies, and Pam Campbell’s Grade 4s went a bit deeper to tackle Internet security and digital citizenship. Where did the idea come from? I was inspired by an example online, and I worked from a variety of sources including education blogger William Ferreter, and resources like “The Blogger’s Pledge” and “Etiquette in Commenting” to explain integrity online. I collaborated closely with Grade 2 teacher Rose Proudfoot to use digital media as a way of skill-building and to learn different methods of presenting information. Like in the beehive, this idea spread fast and I ended up working on blogging projects with several teachers this year. What is involved in the project? What are the goals? The primary goals were to practise research and writing in an inquiry-based process, and to build awareness of different presentation tools. Blogging is an alternative to fast-paced classroom discussion because it gives time to read, reflect, and inquire. We also talked about digital citizenship and the notion of a “digital tattoo” to understand that what is posted online is difficult to get rid of. We covered etiquette in commenting, maintaining integrity in an online persona, and being aware of where the information is going, all in an age-appropriate way. We also engaged with other resources: our two beekeepers in the Grade 2 class, Paige and Quinn, and local author Merrie-Ellen Wilcox who has a new book on bees. These presentations kicked off the unit of study. The first lessons were an overview about bees, and then the kids partnered to tackle 12 topics to research and blog about.

COLLABORATORS: Rose Proudfoot and others

Sharing writing digitally with a wider audience relates to knowledge creation in the inquiry process. The advantage of this technique is being able to engage the reader through comments and questions. How does this differ from the traditional way of teaching this course or subject? Students could easily have done most aspects of this project with pencil and paper, but blogging allowed them to research a topic of interest while trying out a new method of sharing knowledge. Students were introduced to the idea that the permanence of the virtual world is different from a piece of paper that you can tear up and throw away. How has it impacted girls’ learning? How have students reacted? At first the girls only posted comments like “Great work!” “Awesome!” “Love it!” We challenged the girls to think deeper, ask questions about what had been written, or comment on ideas. Developing these skills takes time, but those thoughtful comments are coming. Blogging has made students more focused on finding new information and new ways to present it. The blog gave them a sense of community, developing skills and strengths together, and creating information sources for each other. They thrived on working together toward a common goal. The girls were very engaged. They moved from learning about bees, to working together to find answers to almost all our questions, to becoming more aware through the blog about issues affecting bees. Now they have all this information and know that bees are dying, there’s a challenge to change behaviours offline. With campus renewal looming, how could new learning spaces benefit this project and girls’ learning? More plugs. To use technology you need access to charging stations. Otherwise, the Learning Commons already is an ideal space for this type of learning with space to work together and break out into small groups or even split off to work independently. It’s so easy to integrate technology and other sources on our networked campus.



HIVE MIND: Collective intelligence




Nancy Pekter, SMS teacher since 2001, Senior Years English Teacher and Instructional Leader (2014–2016)

ORIGINAL COLLABORATORS: Sean Holland, Lisa Richardson, NEWEST COLLABORATORS: Louise Huneck (art), Lisa Ziebart and Sean Holland (social studies), Sue Batson (chemistry), Harry Duimering (physics), Michie Habuchi (Japanese), Kirsten Livingston (English)

What is the project?

How has it impacted girls’ learning? How have students reacted?

My colleagues and I were frustrated that some of our Grade 12 students were producing lacklustre research papers. We needed a better way to help them acquire the skills they would need in university. We came up with the idea of having students write one really brilliant paper for all of us instead of one per subject.

The project lends itself to small-group work, discussion, and individual attention, all of which girls respond to well. Also, normally a student wouldn’t want to reveal her topic in case another student wanted to use it too. With each girl writing on a unique topic that’s close to her heart, there’s more support between the girls as they share and grow ideas.

Which grades or classes are involved? All Grade 12s complete the multidisciplinary paper, so just shy of 180 students have completed the project so far. Where did the idea come from? Mostly the idea came from discussion and collaboration with other teachers. It made sense. Why do something mediocre three times instead of having the chance to learn to do it really well once? What we truly wanted was all of our girls doing thoughtful, interesting research, drawing equally on concepts from multiple disciplines, and converting that into well-developed papers. What is involved in the project? What are the goals? The paper has to be five pages minimum, properly referenced, and include a bibliography. Students have to write the paper for English and at least one other subject of their choice. We English teachers become the supportive, familiar coaches, while the teachers in the other disciplines take on the specialist or elite coaching role. They also have to use at least one book as a reference. We work with our teacher-librarian, Sarah McLeod, and go to the University of Victoria library where students learn to go into the stacks, find sources, and take out books. When it comes to historical subject matter, the good stuff is still on the shelves; it is not digitized. Students discover it’s much easier to find cool resources doing a shelf read than searching through Google. How does this differ from the traditional way of teaching this course or subject? The girls find it challenging to figure out how to ask a question and formulate a thesis that will work for different disciplines. Every student is responsible for finding an area she is interested in that will fit the requirements of each course. That requires problem solving and critical thinking. We end up having very rich discussions that we likely wouldn’t have if we, the teachers, had provided the question or topic.

All the teachers involved spend time on the mechanics: how to work with a timeline, how to research, how to write a paper and revise it based on feedback, and how to use style guides. This instruction gives the girls confidence and a real sense of accomplishment. While they love to hate the “MDP,” as they call it, students soon realize it’s a good experience. Our grads tell us that the process has given them a huge advantage over most of their peers in university. With campus renewal looming, how could new learning spaces benefit this project and girls’ learning? Rolling and reconfigurable furniture is key—that and spaces that are big enough to bring everyone together while still allowing girls to break out into other formations for group work and discussion. It’s so important for girls to be able to all see each other, so that no one is looking at the back of her classmates' heads during discussion. Examples of paper titles from the past three years: • “Refuge in the Peaceable Kingdom: American Draft Dodgers Find Native Soil in Canada” • “Why Teenagers? The Story of Adolescent Consumers” • “The Physical and Psychological Effects of Poison Gas on Soldiers in WWI” • “Feng Shui: A Beneficial Theory Used in Modern Architecture That Enriches Lives” • “The Chinese Gatsby” • “An Alternate History of WWII: When the Allies Lost Dunkirk” • “Mach Numbers: Effect on Aerodynamics” • “WWII in Canada: The Unjust Treatment of Japanese Canadians” • “Leonardo da Vinci: Art Based Science”


Meet Kathy Tarnai-Lokhorst. She’s an instructor at Camosun College in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is currently completing her doctoral studies at Royal Roads University. SMS physics teacher Harry Duimering and his Grade 11 class have partnered with Kathy this year, whose study hopes to improve outcomes for graduating female students into STEM fields. Kathy is in search of an answer to a puzzle close to her heart: why aren’t there more women in engineering? How did you choose engineering for your own career path? I wanted to be a singer, but my father told me I needed a career that paid well. Since I found math and physics enjoyable, engineering was a perfect fit. Have there been any challenges you had to overcome as a woman in this field? I started working during the time of affirmative action. I was one of three women in a group of seven new hires for my first position. My first challenge was overcoming the perception that I got that job only because I was a woman. After a few months, however, I proved myself and the comments ceased. Today, I am the only woman in my department, and that becomes very tiring, sometimes. That being said, I have immense support from the rest of the organization. What inspired your doctoral topic? I began to question the reasons for the low enrolment of women in engineering. I discovered that 40% of the Camosun College student population who had successfully completed Physics 11 since 1975 were women. When I probed to determine which programs these women first registered in, I was surprised to see that 75% were either choosing business or were undecided. I chatted with some of those women, who reported they didn’t think there was much left to discover in physics or they couldn’t see how to use physics to make the world a better place. Something had to be done to change these perceptions.

Mind the Gap:

Physics 11 participates in Royal Roads University STEM study What’s involved in the study? Five Physics 11 teachers from the Greater Victoria region joined me to help design lab activities that incorporate engineering principles and language to test my theory that the way physics concepts are taught can actually impact outcomes for women entering the field. I deployed a survey before and after the in-class activity to explore self-efficacy in specific topics, feelings of belonging and inclusion, and other factors. The survey measures whether any of these factors were influenced by the introduction of the new lab activity. Approximately 250 students are participating in the study, 53% of whom are female. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of women who register in post-secondary engineering programs. Any advice for girls aspiring to engineering? For girls who are interested in physics and math, I would say that engineering provides the skills and knowledge necessary to really make things better in the world. For girls who are still wondering what to do when they finish high school, I would ask them to reflect on their passions. Is there something in that area that could be improved or made better? Engineering can help you find a way to make a tangible difference in the world. Anything else our parents/readers should know? Many girls who express interest in engineering are deterred by the high level of enthusiasm counsellors and parents exude in response. I would ask parents to be aware that our excitement may very well end up pushing girls away. We need to curb that excitement and calmly encourage them to pursue their passions.




News from around the web on inquiry-based learning in action, empowering girls in STEM, and a variety of related topics in science, technology, engineering, math, and all the many cross-curricular connections beyond.

Calling all Coder Girls: Check out our Summer Camp for inventive girls who want to use technology to change the world—offered in partnership with Girls Learning Code & Science Venture, with funding from Actua.

We had a great visit with Rosemary Chapdelaine, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Canada. We really enjoyed the chance to show Rosemary around our STEM program, including visiting with our robotics students and our pioneering JK program, and our

students enjoyed hearing a bit about Rosemary’s career path. She is a mechanical engineer and certified program manager who has worked in helicopter mission systems, aircraft avionics, and human factors engineering. /saintmargarets

Girls Learning Code (@llcvictoria) We’ve got a full group of girls ready to learn #Ruby this morning! Thanks to @st_margarets for hosting #llcyyj 


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SaanichNews Feb 17 @st_margarets competition makes robotics a snap. A first for the Island: St. Margaret’s is the new partner for FIRST LEGO League and host for the provincial championships.

Congratulations to Colette Reimer, Grade 10, winner at the Canadawide Science Fair: Bronze Medallist in two categories for her fuel vapour engine design.

@DrJillRoberts Apr 15 My daughters go to an all-girls #STEM school where coding is taught & #ScienceFair is celebrated. THX @st_margarets! 


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@LaurenSHudson: We <3 STEM! Your daughters have been oceanographers imagining new ways to explore the ocean in Explorations. 


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@st_margarets Mar 11 #MakerDay was about building empathy, inclusivity & prototypes. Design thinking = beautiful chaos. Thx to the Intercultural Association (@ICAVictoria) and UBC Innovative Learning Centre for leading today’s thought-provoking sessions! UBC Innovative Learning Centre (@ChildsElizabeth Amazing cross-curricular thinking in action @st_margarets middle school Maker Day @UBCOILC



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Experience for the Future: Immersing Students in the Workforce Written by Suzanne Ives, SMS Guidance Today, in order to navigate changes in the labour market and the world, youth need to be prepared not only to find work they are interested in but also to demonstrate core competencies such as resilience, adaptability, problem-solving skills, and a strong work ethic. Since Christmas 2014, we have successfully placed 29 students in diverse fields and positions with employers in Victoria, Vancouver, or here on campus. Each placement is linked to the student’s interests in her future studies, carefully selected and planned so that she is trained and actually works in many aspects of the job. During their placement, students keep journals to reflect after every shift on what they are learning, and when it’s over they complete a self-evaluation. The employer also completes an evaluation, providing thoughtful and supportive feedback. In Guidance, we work

closely with these students before, during, and after their placements. Students gain a better sense of their strengths, passions, and work ethic and have a good start on learning how to market their skills. It is really wonderful to see students’ confidence, leadership skills, and selfawareness grow during the course of their work experience. Some university faculties look for work and volunteer experiences on student applications, as well as how deeply students reflect in their supplemental essays on how meaningful the experience was. These experiences certainly augment students’ opportunities for university entrance, scholarships, co-op placements, and part-time jobs on campus. (Student testimonials have been edited for length.)

<< Mina Park (2016) on her work experience with SMS landscaper, Frances Dowling. Mina says her experience not only improved her understanding of landscape architecture­—her chosen field for postsecondary study­—but also gave her the opportunity to talk to more of the community and leave a legacy at her school by helping to design a new front garden. SMS SPIRIT | 17

Lindsay Surerus (2016) identified fashion merchandising as the occupation she was interested in prior to her work experience as a marketing assistant with a downtown Victoria studio that designs, produces, and sells unique women’s clothing. LS: What I learned about myself during the work experience was that I have the ability to connect with strangers and bring a positive attitude to everything. I would have changed nothing about the work experience; I loved every aspect of it. The main highlights were meeting all the staff, learning about the business and brand, silk screening, and writing the blogs. Over the next year, I plan to try different things until I find what I like and expose myself to different opportunities that come to me.

Eve Wang (2016) completed a work experience at Science World in Vancouver during Christmas break in 2014 and another work experience in 2015 at the Lodge at Broadmead. EW: The Science World work experience was really significant for me. It was a great opportunity for me to meet more Canadian friends and to speak more English. I gained confidence by meeting more people outside of our school and started to learn how Canadians use English to express their feelings. It was also the first time I was exposed to responsibility. When I returned to school, I was even more motivated to learn through work or volunteer experience and to speak English. I felt proud of myself. Next I completed a work experience at the MUSIC & MEMORY program [at the Lodge at Broadmead]. It took place in a seniors’ home where I listened to music with women who have dementia. I suddenly understood old people and the loneliness they experience every day… how much they want teenagers to come to the residence to visit them. It’s kind of an open window to the world. I loved the residents’ stories. What I really learned [at the Lodge] is to appreciate every moment that you spend in your life. Those seniors have so many stories and experiences.

Natasha Smyth (2018) worked here on our campus as our assembly and tech assistant from September until January. NS: It was great to experience the backstage part of assemblies and learn how to use the school’s soundboard and mic system. I [already] knew that I wanted to go into a tech field or creative industry… Now I am thinking that I like filming the best. It was a really good first work experience: the reflection-writing, self-evaluation, and the application process will be helpful for applying for future jobs.

When I consider my future, I am thinking about nutrition [as a career]. I always loved biology and I want to learn more about my body and health, and I want to help others treasure their health. That’s what I love. I want to have a job that will make me happy for the rest of my life.

Work Experience at SMS Some of the employers who have been part of our work experience program to date: UVic Faculty of Engineering

The Lodge at Broadmead

Science World

St. Ann’s Academy

Madrona Gallery

St. Margaret’s School

Aaronson’s Pharmacy

Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary

Smoking Lily


30 years of STRATH In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Outweek, the next edition of Spirit magazine will be dedicated to experiential learning. We want to hear from you: Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for alumnae stories about how going to Strathcona Park Lodge has impacted you. Did outweek encourage you to embrace adventure in your life? Did you discover a new activity or interest? Do you continue to love the great outdoors?

Julia Liang (2018) worked as an archive assistant in the fall of 2015, confirming for her that she wants to get into a program related to art and design.

Write us: 1080 Lucas Avenue, Victoria, BC V8X 3P7 Attention: Jennifer van Hardenberg

JL: The experience of working as an archive assistant for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria taught me a lot. This was the first time for me to work outside of school and it taught me a lot about work ethic: do not be late, inform your employer if you cannot complete things or will be absent, be respectful, be responsible, and be cooperative. While working with [the staff], my communication skills, organizational skills, and cooperation skills definitely improved. The things I learned from this experience have built a foundation for my future.

Photos : Strathcona through the years


At right, alumna Patti Koenig poses with the #1 uniform in Dudley’s Closet, our school store.



SMS alumna, Patti (Robertson) Koenig (1962–71) founded Cambridge Uniforms in 1994 and is the proud supplier of the Red Blazer

BLAZER SUCCESS STORY Right: a young Patti sports a red blazer on her first day of school, c. 1962. SMS SPIRIT | 20

THE ICONIC SMS RED BLAZER represents our students and the school in a bold and tangible manner, so it’s exciting to know that our uniform supplier, Cambridge Uniforms, was founded by an SMS alumna, Patti (Robertson) Koenig (1962–71).

with her clients: “They know that I will always do my best for them. My business has grown almost exclusively from clients recommending our services to others. I value this deeply.”

Koenig exemplifies the SMS motto of Servite in Caritate (Service with Love), which she has internalized since her days at the school. In conversation with Koenig, her stellar integrity shines through, as she speaks about how she values personal, business, and community relationships. She clearly asks the best of herself and of others. She has years of experience paying attention to detail, treating others well, and working to the highest level.

Koenig’s career as a clothing manufacturer and designer began after she had worked in systems management. “I have always loved design. I had studied fashion and design, and one of my goals was to be involved in the industry at some point. I started Cambridge Uniforms when I became involved in a project that included clothing design. An opportunity presented itself, and I took the project on, which led to the creation of the company.

All of these characteristics are evident in the well-constructed uniform pieces that Cambridge produces, from blazers and sweaters, to the Malcolm tartan jumpers and kilts. “From an early age I learned to be disciplined— from having a father in the military and from the grounding I received at SMS. SMS taught me that everything has a time and a place. Every commitment you make must be followed through on,” says Koenig. “Rules matter. Details matter. People matter. The relationships you build with people are precious, so value them. Always appreciate what you are given.

“I believe that anything is possible if I have an idea,” she says. “I think it through. What is the upside? What benefits are there for my customers? I also consider the downside. What is the worst thing that can happen, and can I live with that? Breaking through fear is what makes you grow. You need to grow always.”

“The school motto is part of who I am. It makes you look at what is happening around you. Always think about how you can make a difference,” Koenig says. “I admire business leaders who are innovative and who act with integrity: leaders who make a difference in the lives of others.” Koenig’s business is incredibly complex, detail-oriented, and thriving. She attributes her success to the relationships she has forged

As Koenig outlines the intricate steps involved in designing and producing garments, her love for the process is clear. It is very meticulous and technical work with many people involved—from a graphic designer to millers of wool to specialized artisans. Koenig has a strong work ethic and a lot of appreciation for others. “I love the art of business,” says Koenig. “I love figuring out how to achieve a goal, working in a team, taking feedback, making a product better, and listening with total attention to what others are saying.”

Above: Class of 1955

The History of the Red Blazer The red blazer was introduced in 1931, adding to the blue tunic that had been the uniform previously. In the fall school magazine that year it is written, “This has been a year of new things—even in dress. Nowadays S.M.S. chases away the ‘blues’; with our red blazers and berets, we literally paint the town red. In September the school, too, had a new coat— brown and white paint.” The red blazer has been supplied by various manufacturers over the years, including W&J Wilson, whose descendants attended the school, and a company named Bukta. Looking through a tickle trunk full of old blazers in the SMS Archives, you can see many small changes over the decades: embroidered crests versus applique, black to red to military gold buttons, and a variety of different wool blends (many rather scratchy). But one thing remains the same: the rich cardinal red.

Koenig has built a business that balances design, technology, and strong bonds: “If it were just a numbers game, it wouldn’t mean anything.” With that working premise, the company continues to expand, providing uniforms and registering new tartans for schools and organizations Canada-wide. As well, Koenig has Canadian clients opening international


schools in Europe and the United States. Relationships with clients are paramount, she says: “Our primary base is in British Columbia. Keeping our service primarily [here] allows me to stay very close to our clients.” Koenig and her staff wear a work uniform, too. “My staff wear a uniform of black, white, and grey. They are able to mix and match, but it must be a plain

colour, not printed,” she says. “Personally, I dress in black with the occasional white shirt. It is my uniform of choice. I do own one red dress for special occasions. The connection is so obvious to SMS and the red blazer.” Koenig remains connected to SMS through her decades-long friendships with other alumnae in her cohort. “Our SMS group goes back many years. We have all had interesting lives. We laugh. We share. We all have a love for life and a commitment to something greater than ourselves, which goes back to Service with Love. We care deeply about each other.” They also care deeply about the school, which is evident in their decision to give back. “Looking for ways to contribute is part of my daily life. Giving gratitude is part of my life. Always think about how you can make a difference.” Along with Heather Buchan (Class of ’75), Marian (Haupt) Fortner (Class of ’74), Pat (Curtis) Tancock (Class of ’74), Koenig established the SMS

Alumnae/Old Girls Scholarship. Created in honour of the first century of SMS alumnae, this substantial financial prize is one of the school’s most esteemed academic and service awards. Koenig attributes the bond the women share to the nurturing and positive environment at SMS: “There were so many wonderful teachers at SMS. The school was and is a better place because of them. And the friendships developed there were really something special. Above all, we were taught that women can do anything that we put our minds to. Obstacles are only obstacles, not something to get stopped by. Push through, ask questions, find a solution, and make it happen. “When I look at a lot of what I do now, I look back at my years here. The foundation is so solid. A big part of that is never letting anyone down,” says Koenig. The next time you see a confident SMS girl in a beautiful red blazer and kilt, think about Koenig’s dedication to excellence and how her start at SMS has come full circle. SMS

BLAZERS AND BEYOND A blazer is a complex garment. The details matter—from stitching to notions to interior elements. Patti Koenig, founder of Cambridge Uniforms, uses BC design and manufacturing talent as much as possible: “Our largest part of production is in Vancouver, and I believe in trying to promote production in Canada,” she says. International artisans play a part as well; for example, custom bullion buttons show intricate precision and artistry. Pattern pieces that make the SMS blazer Pattern piece Girls Ladies Shell fabric: 15 17 Lining: 11 13 Fusing: 5 5 Shoulder pads: 2 2 Chest piece: 0 2 Buttons: 4 4

Embroidered blazer crest Thread used: 5 colours Stitch count: 15,361 Embroidery run: 25 minutes Preparation time to hoop and scale the crest prior to embroidery: 5 minutes.

Blazer fabric: Melton, a dense, tightly woven wool blend that is felted and heavily brushed for softness.

Amount of time it takes to mill a tartan: 4 to 5 months

Average number of blazers ordered annually: 95

The Mystery of the WHITE Blazer During research for this edition, a curious clothing item was discovered in the Archives: a white blazer with red-striped trim. There is no date; there is no provenance. There was some suggestion that there may have been a Games captain or Games teacher connection, though the impracticality of wearing such a blazer while playing sports is obvious. There is now a new theory: Archives has discovered only one photo of the blazer being worn, which suggests that it may date to the 1930s and may have been a piece of alumnae attire. The photo is from a 1960s fashion show where teachers and students modelled various iterations of the school uniform from different eras. Some teachers are even shown wearing their old school uniforms from their own time as students. Among the photos is one of our Learning Commons’ namesake. The caption reads: “BARBARA (GRANT) BARRATT (1927) Our 1930’s gym mistress in her own brown tunic and sash, brown stockings, an Old Girls’ white blazer thrown over all.” Do you know the story of the mysterious white blazer? Write to the SMS Archives at or via “snail mail.”


THANK YOU to our generous donors who have given during the 2015-2016 fundraising campaign



SMS is committed to providing girls with the best possible education, and as a parent, you play a vital role in moving SMS forward and making it a better place to teach, learn, and improve. When you become actively involved in the SMS community, everybody benefits— the students, the school, and you. We are so grateful for the ongoing support, at all levels, from our SMS community. Your gifts support the aspirational goals stated in our Strategic Plan that require continued commitment.

I am very happy to report that giving at SMS is not unique to our current families. At a recent SMS Old Girls Alumnae reunion luncheon, I was moved to learn of alumnae who have chosen to provide SMS with a legacy gift. St. Margaret’s will be the beneficiary of gifts that caring individuals have provided for in their will or estate plan. These meaningful gifts provide an alternative way donors can make a difference without affecting their current finances. Thank you for your vision!

It is donations to the Head’s Fund, not tuition, that are crucial to financing the school’s capital expenditures, examples of which you will find if you take a walk around our idyllic campus. These gifts have supported our Living Wall, Athletics and Wellness Centre, Creative Commons, Learning Commons Art Gallery, BBQ Pavilion, Collaboration Room, and, coming this summer, the redevelopment of our Middle Years Courtyard. Thank you!

I am also pleased to report that our giving community continues to grow. Campus renewal is on our horizon, and planning for the future of St. Margaret’s is in progress. In whatever way you have chosen to give, your generosity is having an immediate influence today and sets a brilliant example for tomorrow’s SMS. On behalf of all in our St. Margaret’s community, thanks to each and every one of you!

We know that many of you have directed your giving to support financial aid, and confidentiality makes it more difficult to publicly demonstrate the impact of your generosity. Suffice it to say, because of your directed gifts, SMS is the chosen home to many families stretching and sacrificing to send their daughters here. Your generosity toward scholarships and bursaries means deserving girls may experience an SMS education. Thank you!

Gregg Wiltshire Director of Advancement


Anonymous (6) Diana Abbott Pamela Allan Jenna Allen Russell Anderson Sherry Arlt Lisa Banks Gail Bateman David Bedford Elaine Bell Marcello Beilin Julie Bernhardt James Best Pamela Best Sharon Bleuler Lindsay Bowers Gordon Broom Zoe Broom Lynda Brown-Ganzert Patrick Bryant Kathryn Bush Deshui Cai Carmen Campbell-Hewitt Deanna Chan Kathy Charleson Lei Che Bao Fong Chen Chaohui Chen Ronghui Chen Mark Chu Joyce Clearihue Floyd Collins Darlene DeMerchant Julie Dobranski Bing Dou Rob Ducharme Donna Dupas Deb Dykes Margaret Dykes Page Ondine Easson Marlene Ehret-Showers Katherine Evans Tom Evans Sandra Fairey Zhongwen Fan Barbara Felsing Brad Fraser Joan Gandza Yongjun Gao Christine Godfrey Rebecca Grant Sally Green Morten Guo Bonita Hallett Morgan Harker Jane Harrigan Jiang He Megan Hedderick Kathleen Johnson Doug Kelly Kathleen Kirkpatrick Anthony Lanni Nancy Lam Cory Laprade

Evan Leeson Huaizhi Li Kaixian Li Jiabing Liao Xin Yan Liu Yangwei Lou Zhehua Lou Wei Lu Jeremy Mannall-Fretwell Pat Marsh Owen Matthews Barbara McCelland Shauna McRanor Donald McKnight George McMeekin Annette Millar Ahmed Mtiraoui Stephanie Neilson Sheila Page Sara Paolo Saibish Parameswaran Nancy Pekter Philip Pierce David Poore Peng Qin Ricardo Rabang Mackenzie Rampton Ross Rampton Yongshen Ren Lucy Reus-Lanni Mary Richardson Ambere Rosborough Michael Rostad Danya Scott Lixin Shen Colin Smyth Sal Starzun Jitong Sun Zhengxi Sun Pat Tancock Davinder Thandi Cathy Thornicroft Andrew Timmis Sally Tinis Michel Turcotte Richard Vincent Joyce Wheeler Gregg Wiltshire Caijun Xu Jianhui Yang Luo Yang Shengkui Zhang Yulin Zhang Alia Zawacki Ya Zhu All Done in One Construction Benefaction Foundation Donald McKnight Law Corporation Finn & Izzy Ltd. Provincial Employees Community Service Fund Salus Systems Ltd.


Grandparent’s Day address Grandparent’s Day Mother/Daughter Jazzercise at our Girls’ Empowerment Conference for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Getting our hands dirty on Service Day

This spring’s Teacher Pro-D Day focused on Indigenous Ways of Learning in connection with BC’s redesigned curriculum. Leading the sessions were experts from University of Victoria—María del Carmen Rodríguez de France, Carol Nahachewsky and Dr. Nick Claxon—as well as Songhees elder, artist and educator Butch Dick (pictured above).

Senior Girls Soccer SMS SPIRIT | 24

Dorothy and the good witch Glinda in The Wizard of Oz

This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s musical was a visual feast in a masquerade rendition of The Wizard of Oz, featuring student designed costumes

Admiring a unique carving The Junior Choir in We Are Monsters, the musical

Students enjoying some outdoor activity

The yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz

The SMS choirs outdid themselves at the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival


the m o r f s Letter ILBOX: s

A ion SMmSmuMnity connect

& co

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. Letters to the Editor: SMS SPIRIT, c/o 1080 Lucas Avenue, Victoria, BC V8X 3P7 | | /saintmargarets |


3 n o s a Pand ANDAS 1-2-3-P

undays, on Fridays, S e m ti g in st inve letes can coaches are that the ath er g so nity. g a ts h sw ig e n th e toria commu it gam seen ic d e V n v r a a h te a y a re G S m e SM spir th You sent SMS in ing for their ring their red tt re a e e p g w re re rs a e y ls ir la etball p on SMS g nd other asketball of SMS bask The reputati ue officials a the panda b g a h it le w y s b ie n ip e d v o sh o n re players basketball h ing event, o , some SMS nd sportsma a rt n o io it sp d a d t a e a In s, th rs and e. pu nt quality playe ms is positiv hirts represe logo on cam a s ts a te a s e e lv sw se 13 se m o U t. Th ing the basketball e U11 and on the stree are establish t the Fab 50 the pride th a d d ly n n a d a u it ir m ro a p sp te S y est Middle eir communit represent SM me of the b feel about th so s rs e se y a la c p w ll o a sh SMS basketb camp, which . on the Island rs e y l. la p , rs ry a schoo e lle Y u MS from other S arent, Matt M p te S ra a M S p n se a in , g o s n ti s are Five years ag portunity for the athlete lop Initially opera nd U13 basketball team e p v o a ure of de identified an ams, the U11 s part of the athletic cult n of fun and te to a e h v it a h W 7 to ized a tive spirit. , a teacher Grades 4 to now recogn ma Glasgow and competi ntr y fees s m ill E r sk a ll e a y tb st e a her time e their bask SMS. This p S, dedicated bsidizing the M S su r S 11 fo M t U S n a f e o d d e Middle u te the support and co-op st all, Matt crea nected only coach th ch the t tb o e n sk a to B s e ill u g sk a all at has con o help coa for Night Le and basketb team but als ll program th le a e d of u tb id g e a M sk le e a l b th o o one example rs sch ears to is a and U13 Y e is n Y h o T ti a s. d n m u a e Fo U13 te layers to connect. athletics in th SMS U11 and iddle Years p ntals, nd a school M a , se ts o n e th d u w o st e , Years and n ing fundam how parents S U11 and MS S rs. By coach a y e rl Y a r e io who the SM se n o e w S o th n t, k ri the ’t g n d o n c awards anship, a success of If you still d to the athleti e Do you m o c , good sportsm rs will contribute to the re our red a U13 Pandas laye es dressed in y the n s o m e a th te ll e a b have a story, tb basketball p ’ll b e ske ceremony. W dies. Or better yet, drop be nd Senior ba the Junior a o ill o testimonial, or h w e d n w a T-shirts school where future. r t e e o ft th n a o y in d a s d ri m F topic you’d like to etball tea gym on a and U13 bask e athletic culture 11 e work! U S M S see addressed e h T putting in th rs to th e y s la e p h e c a th o t c nts and or to share? just connec connect pare o ls a nts and y e th , S at SM ebruary pare F to r e b to c O We want to to SMS. From

hear from you!

Contributed by Morgan Harker


Left to right: Kathleen Rowlands, Pam Hill, Heather Baird, Katherine Alexis, Marilyn Mair, Sally Barraclough, Suzanne Jennings, Wendy Packard, Grace Huson, Liz Gowan, Diana Gilbert. Not pictured: Lindsay Jones and Bonita Robbins.

Class of 1966 Class of 1966 reunion: Many thanks for such a lovely afternoon at the Old Girls Alumnae lunch last Saturday. What a wonderful way for the 1966 girls to celebrate their 50th reunion and reunite with old friends! The atmosphere, decorations, and superb menu were wonderful and an excellent time was certainly experienced by all! Please extend my congratulations to everyone involved in making the event such a success. Their efforts were certainly very much appreciated! Marilyn Mair on behalfof the graduating Class of 1966 1965-66 Cardinal, page 18, Form VI-A

Loved catching up with these Class of '75 ladies, and enjoyed to hear a bit of their story: the friendship spanning Canada and Mexico, all the great times, how hard it was to say goodbye, the move from our Fort and Fern Street campus in 1970... Thanks for a lovely visit, Heather Sloat and Lydia M. Gil del Rincón!

Supporting Role Model A neat connection was made at a recent Gilbert and Sullivan production of the comedic opera, The Gondoliers. Shortly into rehearsals one of the lead actresses playing the Duchess, ed herself as an SMS Merissa Cox (Class of 2000), introduc ). Merissa was super alumna to Olivia Burbee (Class of 2017 e which ran for two supportive throughout the performanc tre and McPherson weeks total at the Mar y Winspear Cen University of Playhouse. Merissa is a graduate of the formed extensively in Victoria’s music program and has per rs with the Victoria the Victoria music scene for several yea others. Merissa was Operatic Society, Victoria Opera, and was a pleasure to work very encouraging of Olivia’s work: “It cer and I hope she will with Olivia. She is a very talented dan iety in the future.” work with the Gilbert and Sullivan Soc


A lively group of 1990-1991 Mexican alumnae gathered at a reunion in Corregidora, Queretaro, hosted by Diana Sancen and her husband Jaime Alvarez.


TO LIFELONG LEARNING The school’s vision, “Confident girls. Inspiring women,” stems from the belief that our graduates have the confidence, skills, and drive to pursue their goals, and deserve acknowledgment for their commitment to ongoing education. In recognition of all BC day students enrolled in our Senior Years program (Grades 9 to 12 ), SMS is proud to offer each qualifying graduate funds to begin the next phase of her learning journey. Every BC day student will automatically accrue $1,000 for each year of high school to use in their 1. Awarded upon graduation to support her continuing education: • Tuition at a post-secondary • Job training or vocational program • Gap year travel

Grade 12 year or to be presented upon successful graduation from SMS. For example, a student who completes Grades 9 to 12 at SMS would be eligible for $4,000, students completing Grades 10 to 12 would be eligible for $3,000, and so on. The first set of Passport funds are being awarded to graduates of the Class of 2016 and will be presented at the Closing Ceremonies in June. In the future, students will be able to choose to access their scholarship in one of two ways.

2. Access funds in Grade 12 to participate in a SMS global learning trip: • Service trip • Cultural exchange • Educational tour


CONTRIBUTORS AND SPIRIT TEAM Jennifer van Hardenberg – Communications Coordinator (Editor) Gregg Wiltshire – Director of Advancement Cathy Thornicroft – Head of School Laurie Darrah – Refinemark Print Design Ltd. Contributors: Kevin Paul, Lisa Langford, Suzanne Ives Christine Godfrey & SMS Archives Volunteers

John Yanyshyn – Visions West Photography Additional Photography: Jennifer van Hardenberg, Jeanine Stannard, Ron Mutch, Suzanne Ives and other SMS staff and community members Ruth Wilson – West Coast Editorial Associates Hillside Printing

St. Margaret’s School 1080 Lucas Avenue Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8X 3P7 T 250.479.7171

Indicia here The Spirit magazine is a publication for the entire SMS community: our students, parents, staff, alumnae, and friends.

Spring Spirit Magazine | St. Margaret's School  

A semiannual publication by St Margaret's School for girls. This magazine is for our community and all those who care about girls' education...

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