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St. Margaret’s School | for girls

where girls who want to

change the world

become women who do.


St. Margaret’s School | for girls

the subtle art of evolving our brand Since 1908, St. Margaret’s School has been recognized for our exceptional all-girls education. Our respect for tradition works in tandem with our forward-looking approach and commitment to innovation. The SMS heraldic crest has been in use since 1929, and it was registered with the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada to mark the school’s centennial in 2008. The school motto, Servite in Caritate – Service with Love, was also registered. SMS owns the crest and motto in perpetuity. As noted in Deidre Simmons’ book, Servite in Caritate: The First 100 Years of St. Margaret’s School 1908-2008: “The pointed oval shape was taken from the design of Queen Margaret’s seal. An edging of pearls (representing…the Greek origin of the name Margaret, meaning pearl) outline the name of the School and its Latin motto, Servite in Caritate.

The red centre of the crest highlights the blue ground of the Scottish cross of St. Andrew and, at its centre, a shield of St. George. Above the shield is the Queen’s golden crown, and below is a single marguerite daisy, again representing her name.”

At SMS we are open to approaching things with fresh eyes. Over the years, the school has adapted uniforms, symbols, and even buildings to suit the needs of the students and of the school itself.

In 2009, SMS introduced an additional logo that refers to the official heraldic crest and includes elements of the crest in a different graphic style.

SMS Spirit acknowledgements Thank you : Gail Bateman Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame Christine Godfrey Sally Green Laura Kaiser Jeremy Mannall-Fretwell Beatrice McAteer Ruth Squire Jeanine Stannard Mark Tustin Visions West Photography

welcome Hello and Welcome – we hope you enjoy the stories we share with you in this issue of Spirit. I am delighted to have been part of the SMS community for one year as Head of School. We have much to celebrate, with more to come. The exceptional qualities of SMS can be found in our people, in our buildings and grounds, and in our stories. We have a jewel of a campus, teachers and staff who excel, and students who exemplify the school motto Servite in Caritate – Service with Love. With our exciting Creating Special Places campaign, we are enhancing our Library, the Residences, and Alexis Hall. These fresh, invigorating spaces welcome each and every member of the SMS community – and that includes you. Come share your story with us; we can’t wait to hear it. Sincerely, Cathy Thornicroft Head of St. Margaret's School

where girls who want to

On behalf of the SMS Board of Governors, I am pleased to celebrate SMS and our girls with you. The Board has been fortunate to work with Cathy Thornicroft and the entire SMS community over the past year. We are at an exciting point in the advancement of SMS and its role as a school where girls who want to change the world become women who do. The Governors are a committed, knowledgeable and caring group. We ensure that our sound fiscal decisions provide a secure foundation for all of the school’s programs and policies. We are SMS parents, community members, alumnae – and we all know that SMS is an exceptional school for girls. After reading this issue of Spirit, we are confident you will agree. With Warm Regards, Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten Chair of SMS Board of Governors

change the world

become women who do.

Walking through Ross Bay Cemetery

Listening to the Fenwick Story

Paying Respects

The Fenwick Sisters’ Story Lives on at SMS In 1908, sisters Edith Fenwick and Isabel Fenwick established SMS as an all-girls school. By 1911 they were building on their successes, preparing to move to a different location and continue advancing the school. Then in April 1911, at the start of a steamer excursion from Sidney to Salt Spring Island, the sisters drowned. The SS Iroquois sunk after being hit by a large wave, and 21 people died. Isabel’s body was recovered, and she is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery. Although Edith’s body was never found, her name is on the monument at the cemetery and the sisters are together in spirit as they were in life. Their friend Margaret Barton, who survived the sinking of the SS Iroquois, was determined to keep the school going. She became its driving force and remained at the school for many years. Barton put her own stamp on the school and was a caring educator – a fitting way to continue the exceptional all-girls education the Fenwicks envisioned and that SMS provides to this day.

Ruth Squire, who turned 100 in September, remembers Barton fondly: “Miss Barton was a dear; she really was.” Ruth’s school friend, Muriel Flett, also a centenarian alumna, has recalled Barton announcing the end of World War I to the students. Both have many stories to tell about the earlier years of SMS. When Cathy Thornicroft became Head of School last year, she immediately recognized the importance of honouring the stories of the school’s past. She read Deidre Simmons’ excellent history of the school, Servite in Caritate: The First 100 Years of St. Margaret’s School 1908-2008, with great interest. In April, Thornicroft, along with teachers, staff, governors and students marked the centennial of the Fenwick sisters’ deaths by visiting the monument at the cemetery. This was the first time a group from SMS had made an official trip to visit the monument. Thornicroft said she was moved by the actions of the students who attended: “They put their school pins on the memorial, as a sign of

School pins mark the Fenwick monument


respect.” These are pins the girls had worn to mark the school’s own centennial in 2008. When Thornicroft told the girls that there might not be any more of the limited-edition pins available as replacements, they assured her that it didn’t matter and they wanted to leave the pins behind. Respect for tradition, an appreciation of the educational and business achievements of the Fenwick sisters, and the importance of remembering the SMS founders’ stories were all in evidence at the cemetery. One hundred years on, the Fenwick legacy is a story still being told.

SMS Head of School Cathy Thornicroft loves to walk around the campus and talk to students, staff, parents and visitors. Her fitness level and ear for a great story will serve her in good stead at the school-wide walk on Thursday, October 20, 2011, to commemorate SMS’s May, 1970 walk from Fort and Fern Streets to the present location. Expect lots of community involvement and a few surprises along the way. We hope you will join us.

the sms proof Patrick Giommi, SMS Deputy Head of School and previous head of the mathematics department, teaches students with myriad abilities in math and diverging interests. He helps each girl with what she needs to succeed at math. Girls take differing paths once they leave SMS; it’s Giommi’s job to focus on how to best bring out their success while teaching to the highest standards. He’s an exceptional teacher – and so are his students. Riley Van der Linden and Lily Li both excel at math, and each uses her abilities and love of math in different ways.

Riley Van der Linden (in yellow) appears in a musical theatre production.

RILEY VAN DER LINDEN loves the arts, English literature, and writing; she also loves mathematics. The creativity of English, her favourite subject, and the precision of math both appeal to her. “Math is very in-the-box; I can solve problems, and move on.” Math also has its own rhythm, much like the musical theatre Riley embraces. She has been involved in the arts since her early days at SMS. This summer she will work long days in a company class preparing for her appearance in a theatrical musical.

Two Senior School SMS girls exemplify how the love of math can take you in different directions.

Riley grew up liking math: “I get math. You put it in front of you, you get a set of rules, work on it a couple of times, and get it.” She looks forward to her math classes at SMS this coming year: “It gets more challenging and abstract.” Riley’s work ethic has been honed during her years at SMS: “I feel really prepared for anything that’s thrown at me. [The teachers] really prepped us; they taught time management and how to work on and complete three assignments at the same time.”

and achievements in diverse subjects have readied Riley to pursue any path she chooses.

LILY LI came to SMS in January 2010 from the city of Harbin, in northeast China near the Russian border. Her family sought an international boarding school for girls, and SMS’s academic rankings, reputation and tradition impressed She is enthusiastic about the new them. They were particularly struck timetable; the new framework means by the school motto: Servite in Caritate more prep time for classes, and the – Service with Love. “You could tell rotation will facilitate ties between from the teachers and students in the the Senior School and Junior School. video and the literature that SMS is a Riley remembers having a Big Sister – good school,” says Lily. an older student who looked out for her and did activities with her. Lily’s school in Harbin was the focus “I loved spending time with her. of much attention; the 4,000-plus When she was in Grade 12 and I was students had a rigorous schedule in Kindergarten, she gave me a gift. and entered prestigious universities. I still have it.” Now that Riley is an Lily ranked second in the school at accomplished older student, she can math. While they were taught several act as a Big Sister to another young subjects intensively, Lily enjoys the SMS girl and perhaps inspire a love opportunity at SMS to encounter a of math and the arts. Riley's own more holistic approach with a younger sister is an SMS student, wider range of subjects. She does and her mother is the SMS doctor. concentrate on math and calculus. “I love the excitement I feel after I Riley has worked on the SMS student solve a problem that others have newspaper since Grade 7 and this found to be hard – and to show them year had creative control of the and help them.” Lily is modest about 16-page issue as Co-Editor. She her success in math: “It’s more a is also a strong athlete. Her postfeeling of achievement, like when secondary education plans include a I solve a really difficult problem… program at Carleton University in It always helps when you connect publication editing. Her creativity math to life situations.” Lily says her SMS SPIRIT | 6

teachers are supportive. “I love the school. Teachers are very friendly and fair. You can feel that your teachers watch every amount of effort you make. They always push you to the highest level you can achieve.” In addition to math, Lily plays competitive badminton, sings in SMS choirs and is a film buff. This summer she will attend a badminton camp, act as a Science Mentor to young students, and participate in an engineering camp. She will also prepare for accelerated courses next year at SMS and several university entrance exams: “I always prepare for everything, in case I change my mind!” Lily may pursue environmental engineering at the University of Waterloo, although other options beckon. “There is another door, and that is medicine.” No matter which door Lily chooses, she can envision her graduation from SMS: “For sure, I can see that day. This school has given me a lot of people who I will thank in Grade 12.” Lily Li knows her numbers


“Consistently, we’re evolving and changing while keeping great traditions.” Alycia Coulter

Alycia hugs Ivey at 2011 ceremony

Emma and Ivey look forward to great things

Emma’s spirit shines through

Three SMS Girls Look to the Future ALYCIA COULTER is heading to the Hill after 13 years at SMS. Alycia will begin a new job as a House of Commons Page and as a student of public affairs and policy management at Carleton University. The exceptional education at SMS made it possible for her to reach this point, says Alycia, who was 2010-11 Head Girl: “When I look back, I see that I wouldn’t be going off to do the things I’m doing today if I hadn’t gone to SMS. I looked forward to going to school every day. Teachers are invested in the students, and people really celebrate each others’ successes.” Alycia exemplifies the SMS motto Servite in Caritate – Service with Love: she volunteered at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health, at Camp Pringle, and at many SMS events. She also worked on a credit-union youth team and played competitive league softball. Alycia enjoyed her busy schedule. “I always liked filling my school days and planning activities,” she says. “I was able to be myself. SMS is a place where there were so many opportunities for me at the school, and I could always play two sports in one season. I became athletic because of basketball; I was not a first-string player in Grade 8 but it gave me a goal to eventually become a leader on the Ivey Patrick and Alycia Coulter

court.” It is typical of Alycia that she credits her success to the support of others: “We all really grew as a group. SMS is really inclusive.” Alycia is the only Page selected for the program who is an Anglophone or who attended an Anglophone school. Anita Mavromichalis and other SMS teachers helped her succeed: “The French teachers helped me with mock interviews and practice; that was the make-or-break for me.” SMS traditions matter to Alycia: “Consistently, we’re evolving and changing while keeping great traditions. You feel a part of the whole community. At alumnae events you see the strong feelings Old Girls have for the school.” Alycia’s sisters attend or graduated from SMS; her mother is the Senior School receptionist. Alycia enjoyed studying with SMS’ global family: “SMS’ strong international aspect made me want to go to Europe and to spend a year in Japan.” Opportunities, choices, transitions – Alycia is going places. Younger students face transitions as well. EMMA PEARSON is moving from the Junior School into Grade 7 at the Senior School. She is enthusiastic: “The Junior School teachers have prepared us really well.” Making the transition easier is the experience Emma gained as Junior SMS SPIRIT | 9

School council liaison and when Grade 6 and 7 classes collaborated on a Poetry Café and for math. Emma takes horseback riding lessons as an out-of-school pastime. “I love spending time with the horses. You’re the only one on the horse, so it’s individual, but everyone shows up at horse shows and so there’s teamwork as well.” Pearson has a career goal: “My dream is to be a veterinarian for horses.” Pearson can easily picture herself graduating from SMS in six years: “I’d like to be Head Girl in 2017.” Even the youngest students make big leaps. IVEY PATRICK is a Kindergarten student heading to Grade 1. “I am pretty good at reading, and I can skip rope a lot – and that is one of my happiest things.” While her career plans may change, at present Ivey would like to be “an animal doctor or a potion scientist.” Ivey enjoyed presenting Alycia with her SMS Lifer teaspoon at the 2011 Recognition Ceremony “because she was here from Kindergarten to graduation time. I want to stay here as long as her.” Ivey plans to receive her own SMS Lifer award when she graduates in 2023. The SMS tradition of exceptional education continues.

“At SMS we value the participation of every girl, regardless of the level of experience she arrives with.�

Deb Scott

“Sport is as important for fitness and recreation as it is for an elite athlete.” Deb Scott Deb Scott setting the pace

Emma Pearson races ahead

Deb Scott Leads SMS Girls to Fitness Deb Scott has spent 22 years fostering SMS girls’ love of physical activity and athletic excellence. Scott is Head of the Junior School PE program; she is also one of several Olympic or elite athletes on staff. Before coming to SMS, Scott won medals, set records, and inspired young girls. Her athletic career began when her high-school coach spotted her potential. “I had some sort of gift – high pain tolerance and endurance. I did hard work growing up on a farm,” says Scott. “I wanted to run, to see what I could do. At that point I was focusing on participating in the sport…I ended up running for 20 years.” After graduating from the University of Victoria, Scott brought her philosophy and experience to SMS. “At SMS we value the participation of every girl, regardless of the level of experience she arrives with. I was an athlete, but my perspective as a teacher is to develop each girl’s personal potential,” says Scott.

“I want the girls to develop skills and sportsmanship. I want them to gain knowledge of game skills so that ultimately they can feel good about their performances. Sports are good for acquiring life skills; there are setbacks and goals not achieved.” At SMS an astounding percentage of junior-school girls join the crosscountry program. “At the younger ages, the enthusiasm really rolls into the gym with them. As they get older, it’s a challenge to get them to want to be active. I help them to get the most out of it…I know that when I’m fit, I have all this energy and it’s natural to move. My goal is to have the SMS girls feel that energy boost that comes from being fit.”

sports teams at SMS; it fostered an appreciation for being active.” Appreciation for regular practice is paramount. “Kids can be so focused on the result, they lose sight of the process. But it’s about putting yourself on the line and not knowing what’s going to happen.” Scott recalls that after she placed eighth at a World Championships, a reporter asked her disappointedly “What happened?” Scott replied: “Well, I had an incredible race. I placed eighth in the world.” “I feel very lucky to be at SMS,” says Scott. “We have great kids, small class sizes and a beautiful location.” Scott thinks participation levels are higher at SMS because it’s an all-girls school. “The girls feel confident being physically active.”

The girls emulate Scott’s focus on personal wellness. Alycia Coulter, who is heading to Carleton University, Achievement, wellness and a healthy has slotted daily activity into her respect for the process are all goals demanding first-year schedule: Scott helps SMS girls attain. As “We learned about having a healthy Scott says, “Wherever passion lies, lifestyle. I came to athleticism to achieve excellence requires a through the opportunity to be on sense of awareness of yourself.”

Deb Scott – a record of excellence

•26Canadiantitles,Canadianrecordsover five distances •competedinthreesummerOlympics,four Commonwealth Games, one Pan-Am Games and 2 world track and field championships •top10finish1,500m1984Olympicsin Los Angeles

•goldmedal1985WorldIndoorTrackandField Championships in Paris •silvermedals1,500mand3,000m1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh •silvermedal1,500m1987Pan-American Games SMS SPIRIT | 11

•top12finish1987WorldTrackandField Championships in Rome •topeightfinish1981cross-countryworld championships in Spain •twotop13finishesatotherworld championships •victoryinthefamedNewYorkMilein1982 •Victoria’sFemaleAthleteoftheYear4times

“When I make a change, I want to be in the change.” Cathy Thornicroft

Cathy Thornicroft in the Junior School garden

Cathy Thornicroft – Telling Stories When CATHY THORNICROFT became SMS Head of School last summer, she set the goal of learning every student’s name by the end of first term. She introduced herself to each Senior and Junior girl, drawing out their stories and telling her own. Cathy pays attention to what people hold dear. She makes connections through storytelling – forging links between tradition and innovation, alumnae and current students, SMS and the community, Senior and Junior girls and families. Her hands-on approach has led to respectful changes and robust, mindful action. This dynamism builds on SMS’ reputation as a place of exceptional education. “When I make a change, I want to be in the change,” she says.

their own passions as well. The timetable will also create improved opportunities for girls in the Junior and Senior schools to participate in activities together. A pilot project in September will see all Grade 4 girls using iPads to research, explore and expand

SMS excels at,” Cathy says. Examining comprehensive survey responses over the past year showed Cathy what SMS girls and families want and need. From that came both long-term and immediate action. The Creating Special Places initiative is underway, beginning with the revitalization of the school library

“Increasing opportunities for independent directed study allows girls to pursue their own learning… it personalizes the learning; that’s what SMS excels at.“

Cathy is excited about the new timetable that will begin this September. A committee spent long hours devising a flexible, dynamic timetable to best serve the school. Senior girls will take more subjects as in-timetable courses and pursue

the curriculum. Teachers will show girls how to use emerging technology in support of building solid academic skills. “We are increasing opportunities for projectbased learning. Teachers and students can create new lesson units together, drawing from the interests and passions of the class, and it personalizes the learning; that’s what


and the Alexis dining hall. The library will have dedicated teaching space, larger reading areas, and realigned stacks. Gallery space will be available for students to hang artwork. Library hours have been expanded, and the school archives will be housed in the same building as the library. Alexis Hall will be a gathering place for SMS social events as well as a dining room.

Reflecting on students’ success

Thornicroft clears the path

Listening carefully to students’ stories

and Taking Action “We strive for locally produced food in our dining room,” says Cathy; by commissioning maple furniture made up-Island, SMS makes connections between thoughtful ways of eating, of supporting local businesses and of combining beauty and function.

see how it is connected to the stories of others.” This year Cathy added a meaningful new detail for girls who attend SMS from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Known as “Lifers,” these girls have long been presented with a silver teaspoon at Closing Ceremonies;

when going out.” International students who complete the full SMS international requirements will receive a pearl bracelet. Alycia also applauds the school’s move to a progressive, functional timetable. “I love Mrs. Thornicroft because she is keeping traditions but also making

One instant action arose from an unexpected source. As she was driving some Residence students to a downtown volunteer event last December, Cathy asked the girls about life on campus. Habin Gu, also in her first year at SMS, replied that the chair in her Residence room was so even girls presently in Kindergarten practical, smart changes.” uncomfortable it made studying talk about receiving their spoon. Cathy enjoys working in an alldifficult. Within days, girls in Now, Lifers will also be given a girls environment. “SMS is here to Residence were issued well-designed pearl necklace to recognize their support girls and bring forth their chairs, obtained by Cathy at a time at the school. Alycia Coulter, a potential. We have diversity within government-surplus auction. Habin 2011 SMS graduate – and the first the student population, and we offer was ecstatic and touched that her recipient of the new Lifer necklace – a strong bursary program to ensure comment had made such a difference. appreciates how Cathy connects the that any girl who pursues excellence “It’s really important to speak up,” past with the present and the future. can create her story here at SMS.” She Habin says. “Even one single word Alycia says she will treasure her sees her job as one of engagement, you say can help.” Cathy says it’s all teaspoon, along with her SMS school with storytelling as a vital component: part of her philosophy: “We give girls ties and pins; as well, she was excited “Stories become the foundation of a voice in a positive way.” The details and surprised to receive the necklace. where you are going.” matter to her: “If you take the time “[Graduates] can wear them at alumnae to listen to someone’s story, you will events, at job interviews and even

“If you take the time to listen to someone’s story, you will see how it is connected to the stories of others.”


SMS forest

SMS campus

Sunny Quay with his plum tree

A Legacy Blooms Where it is Planted The SMS campus is an absolute gem. Sited in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Saanich, the 22-acre property is notable for its landscaping, treed areas, open fields, chip trail, and the West Coast feel of its buildings – including the 2006 Junior School with its prestigious LEED environmental designation.

building, the gym, the Junior School – none of it was here,” says Quay. Some plants from the old agricultural property remained, however. “The old rhododendrons by the front office, and that dogwood, were there.” Quay’s philosophy was simple: “I wanted the landscaping to blend into the setting.”

SUNNY QUAY recently retired as SMS Head Gardener after 21 years. During his time at SMS he did the landscaping, planted trees and created an overall feeling of lushness and protected space throughout the grounds. Quay started out at SMS as a groundskeeper. “After a few years, I started landscaping and planting flowers. I used my sight. I kept working and working, improving the place,” Quay says. He established a relationship with a local nursery and studied aspects of landscaping: “My brother was a horticulturalist, and I read a lot of books. I used my imagination.”

The towering firs near the front of Alexis Hall were small when Quay planted them about 15 years ago. “One year I bought a Christmas tree that had its roots,” Quay says, and he continued doing so. “I also decided about ten years ago to plant a couple of fruit trees so that the staff could enjoy fruit in the summer.” The Italian and yellow plum trees now provide shade at school barbecues, and their branches are a favourite perch for smaller students. He is also proud of the thriving palm tree he planted near French House. “It has been a long many years,” says Quay. “Everything takes time, bit by bit.”

Quay also had a primed canvas upon which to work. The property, purchased by SMS in 1969, was very open and many of today’s buildings were not yet constructed. “Imagine it 20 years ago. The administration

Others have also contributed to making the SMS grounds beautiful. When the Junior School was built in 2006, the architect’s vision included sustainable planting and a rainwater swale. Signs educate visitors about


important aspects of the environment. As the years have gone by, Margaret Leeuw, recently retired as Head of After School Care, and students have constructed cheerful flower sculptures that welcome visitors. The SMS Residence Buildings, the newly renovated Library, and other buildings are all sensitively situated in the grounds. Students enjoy using the tennis court, chip trail and playgrounds. The quiet, expansive and very special setting is a vital part of the exceptional experience SMS offers girls. If you would like to visit the tranquil and spacious grounds of SMS, we would love to meet you. Contact Cathy Thornicroft, Head of School, at 250-479-7171. We welcome you to become a part of the SMS community.

OnedaySunnyQuaymetaformer SMS parent out on the trail at the further end of the property. The gentleman, who was from Japan, said he had always enjoyed the grounds when his daughter was a student. He had come back to see them once more while visiting Victoria. Quay later learned that the appreciative visitor had made a substantial donation to the school.

MARGARET LEEUW’S legacies as Head of SMS Afterschool Care make an impact outside and indoors. The beautiful large paintedwood flower sculptures made by Leeuw and her young charges provide a colourful welcome outside the Junior School. Inside is a wellorganized, happy place where girls spend afterschool- and summer hours exploring, creating, and having fun. “The MultiPurpose Room is a beautiful space; it’s very versatile,” says Leeuw. She is pleased that the craft library – books Leeuw has collected over the years – will remain for others to use. Previously a Kindergarten teacher for 23years,LeeuwjoinedSMS 12 years ago. She is retiring to Qualicum Beach with her husband, where she will golf, arrange flowers, and work on many creative projects. Leeuw especially enjoyed going on theme “cruises” with the girls in summer daycamp and fondly remembers the day she surprised each girl in Afterschool Care with their individual favourite dishes to eat – all at the same time. “It’s just planning,” says Leeuw of her many organizational feats. “What a fabulous job; it has been lots of fun.”

The Pacific Swift, with its sparred length of 111 feet, is Siobhan’s home away from home.

Siobhan at work at the S.A.L.T.S. boatyard

Learning Life Lessons at Sea At the end of June, SMS Grade 11 Siobhan reads books in her downtime student Siobhan Semadeni went when sailing; she recently finished sailing. She didn’t board a sailboat Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. As a Christian, or catamaran; rather, she crewed on Siobhan values the philosophies a tall ship – the square topsail of the S.A.L.T.S. organization. schooner Pacific Swift. The Pacific Swift, She also values the crew’s onboard with its sparred length of 111 feet, is conversation and camaraderie: Siobhan’s home away from home. She “Talking with the crew and watching works on the ship as a volunteer crew them has helped me to broaden my member and as a trainee. religious beliefs.” The June voyage was the first of several Siobhan made this summer as a volunteer member of the Sail And Life Training Society (S.A.L.T.S.), a local registered charity with enduring ties to SMS in the form of muchanticipated annual school sailing trips. For the June trip, organized with the B.C. Children’s Hospital, the Pacific Swift crew welcomed a group of young people who have cancer or who have received treatment for cancer. During the school year, when she’s not studying or appearing in SMS dramatic productions, Siobhan goes to the S.A.L.T.S. boatyard to unwind. “The crew of the Pacific Swift really are a family to me; they’re my brothers and sisters,” she says. “They are astoundingly generous people who make you believe in humanity.”

Sailing to Desolation Sound and back, a ten-day voyage, was also part of Siobhan’s work schedule this summer. Long-term projects are in the works, too: S.A.L.T.S. is preparing to build a new ship. Siobhan keeps busy completing tasks at the boatyard, crewing at sea, and making plans. Some of those plans include taking a gap year in England to work with visually impaired children, following her graduation from SMS in 2012. Then Siobhan hopes to travel in Europe. “I really love science and I really love English,” she says. She may attend the University of Victoria when she returns from travelling, possibly to earn a Bachelor of Science with a minor in English. Then veterinary school may beckon. Whatever voyage she embarks on, it’s clear that Siobhan loves the call of the sea.

Siobhan Semadeni charts her course


ANITAMAVrOMIChALIS may be retiring as Head of the senior school English department, but her love of literature is expanding to include new technologies: she used her new Kindle (a retirement gift) this summer. She also went sailing with her children and grandchildren. She may teach English to immigrants, and perhaps even return to SMS as a teacher on call or Residence relief. For Mavromichalis, whose extensive career began in Finland – sometimes travelling to schools by boat – teaching English, French, and journalism at SMS has been a pleasure. “I love teaching, and in this setting we can focus on teaching instead of on maintaining discipline. We are teaching motivated students, and that makes a difference, too.” Mavromichalis was instrumental in bringing the S.A.L.T.S. sailing program to the school.

SMS schoolgirl mementoes

Ruth Beach in costume for the school play, 1922

Ruth (Beach) Squire at home in 2011

Muriel Chadwick in her SMS tunic, 1920s

Muriel (Chadwick) Flett in the 1990s

Centenarian Alumnae

An SMS Story Comes Full Circle In Ruth (Beach) Squire’s album, a photo shows her in costume for an SMS production of Alice in Wonderland, standing outside the school. A few pages later, a group of girls clad in uniforms sit outside the school and gaze at the photographer. Muriel (Chadwick) Flett’s personal photos include two of Muriel in her school uniform. In one she is reading, and in another she smiles directly at the camera. Many alumnae have their own SMS mementoes, but these photos tell stories different from most: they were taken in the 1920s when the girls attended the old school on the corner of Fort and Fern Streets. Both Muriel and Ruth recently celebrated their 100th birthdays: Muriel in August, and Ruth in September. Ruth and Muriel were great friends at SMS and kept in touch after leaving the school, sending letters and Christmas cards for years. Ruth worked in Ladies Sportswear at the Bay in the 1940s; Muriel’s husband, Bill Flett, managed several departments there, including Hats and Ladies Ready-toWear. Ruth remembers when she last saw Muriel: ”[It was during] the War, walking through the Hudson’s Bay. The two girls were always dressed

beautifully, and Muriel too.” Through the years, despite family moves and busy lives, their correspondence continued. After Muriel’s last move, though, they lost touch. With the help of SMS staff, Ruth recently reconnected with Muriel and her family. When Gail Bateman, who works in Admissions at SMS, spoke to Ruth in March about an upcoming Alumnae event, Ruth asked for information about Muriel. Bateman told SMS Archivist Christine Godfrey about Ruth’s request, and the search began. “I was delighted,” says Ruth. “I got the information that very night. ” Now the letters have resumed, this time between Ruth and Muriel’s daughter Beatrice. Muriel lives in Kamloops, and Ruth lives in her home in Victoria. Ruth was married for 55 years to Aubrey Squire, who died in 1988; they had two sons, Bruce and Brian. The Flett family has a long history at SMS. Muriel’s two daughters, Beatrice McAteer and Christine Agrawal, attended SMS, as did Beatrice’s daughter, Lisa McAteer. William (Bill) G. Flett was an SMS governor and volunteered on the Parents’ Auxiliary. Muriel was active in the SMS Old Girls’ Association for SMS SPIRIT | 19

many years and served as President. Godfrey found a poem in archived yearbooks noting Ruth’s participation in the school play, and mention of art and music awards Ruth had won. Ruth is a lively, convivial woman; she says she does not recall receiving the awards but was pleasantly surprised to be reminded of her achievements at SMS. She smiles as she remembers Headmistress Margaret Barton: “Miss Barton had a kind face; she was nice to me.” Ruth had received no formal schooling when she started at SMS at age 10, in Easter Term 1922. A few months later, her mother died. Ruth attended SMS until 1926. Muriel attended SMS from 1917 to 1927. She later provided information for a heritage data project and noted that a 1918 whooping cough epidemic, the major 1923 Japanese earthquake, and the 1924 fire at the school all personally affected the students. SMS is fortunate to have the stories and photographs of these very special alumnae. Both Ruth and Muriel are treasures; by telling their stories and resuming their tale of friendship, they have enriched the SMS legacy of girls who go on to live strong, beautiful, and connected lives.

Alycia Coulter

Mi-Reu Kim

Alicia Weng

Sangin Jae

Cherry Liu

Angela Chang

Meghan Ledger

Iris Hsu

Jenny Caws

Valeska Pan

Bethany McElvaine

Shermain Tang

The class of 2011 | Alycia COULTER will enter Carleton University in Ottawa and the House of Commons Page Program | Mi-Reu KIM is heading to the University of Waterloo to study Computer Engineering | Tzu-Han (Alicia) WENG will attend Queen’s University to study Commerce | Sangin JAE will enter the University of Waterloo Arts and Business program | Cherry LIU has been accepted at the University of Washington where she will study Business | An-Chi (Angela) CHANG is going to the Cesar Ritz Hotel School in Switzerland | Meghan LEDGER is deferring her acceptance at Camosun College to travel and work | Iris HSU will attend the California College of the Arts to study Design | Jennifer Michelle Catherine CAWS was accepted at the Royal Veterinary College in London UK and at the University of Guelph | Xian (Valeska) PAN heads to Drexel University in Philadelphia to study Business Administration | Bethany McELVAINE is heading to Carleton Universty to study Film or to Queen’s University | Shermain Leticia TANG heads to McGill University to study Psychology | Michelle LAU has been accepted at the University of Toronto to study Life Sciences | Vanessa HO is bound for the University of Waterloo to study Financial Assessment and Risk Management |


Michelle Lau

Vanessa Ho

Puja Bates

Lisa Ju

Christy Wang

Tina Zhang

Bo Peng

Jaclin Chung

Alex Orekhova

Casey McQuade-Eid

Kiara West

Angel Sun

Chloe Verrier

Marissa Patterson

| Puja Rani BATES heads to Mumbai for a gap-year internship in film and then to the University of Victoria | Han Sol (Lisa) JU will begin Management Studies at the University of Western Ontario | Ruijing (Christy) WANG will go to the University of Guelph | Tongjia (Tina) ZHANG has been accepted into Social Sciences at the University of Toronto (Mississauga) | Bo PENG will pursue Engineering at the University of Toronto | Jaclin CHUNG will pursue studies in Film and Television at the Savannah College of Art and Design | Aleksandra OREKHOVA will study Economics in McGill University’s Business program | Casey McQUADE-EID has been accepted into Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University | Kiara Whitney Catherine WEST will pursue post-secondary studies in Aesthetics and Make-Up Artistry at the Paul da Costa Aveda Institute of Victoria | Di Xin Yue (Angel) SUN will attend the University of British Columbia to study Economics | Chloe VERRIER will attend Nipissing University in Honours English with the Education option | Marissa Mary PATTERSON is heading to the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) |


“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” Pearl S. Buck, author


SMS STUDENTS received many school and external awards in 2010-11 in academics, citizenship, athletics, fine arts, music, and other areas. Some are listed below. For a complete listing of all awards received by girls in the Junior and Senior Schools, please see the school website at Godson Trophy is a combination of the year’s total points for academics and sports in the Junior School – Awarded to Canmore House Interhouse Challenge Trophy is a total of the year’s sports points throughout the school – Awarded to Canmore House Margaret Barton House Cup is a total of the year’s academic points throughout the school – Awarded to Canmore House Governor General’s Medal for Academics is awarded to the student who achieves the highest average in academic subjects upon graduating from a secondary school. Typically the medal is awarded once the mark calculations have been completed, well after graduation. The recipient of the 2009-2010 Governor General’s Medal for Academics is Kelsey Choi. The Science Achievement Award is a joint initiative of the B.C. Innovation Council and the B.C. Science Teachers’ Association. The medal is awarded to a graduating student who has excelled in four or more senior science courses, and who has maintained a C+ or better in English. – Awarded to Vanessa Ho

The Intermediate Math Trophy is shared between Amy Wu and Esther Pan. The Hochster Intermediate Science Trophy – Awarded to Sevrenne Sheppard The W.A. Kelly Senior Memorial Trophy for Citizenship – Awarded to Maggie Fung The Bette Marshall Sportsmanship Trophy – Awarded to Alycia Coulter The Daorung Vijitchuen International Citizenship Award is presented to a student who has worked tirelessly to promote a sense of inclusion and belonging for students from all cultures. – Awarded to Habin Gu The Fiona Grant Award recognizes outstandingendeavoursataNationalor International level. This year’s winners were Gold recipients of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The five required components of this programme are service, physical fitness, outdoor adventure, skill development, and a residential project. This year the Fiona Grant Award is presented to Puja Bates, Jenny Caws, Iris Hsu, Casey McQuade-Eid, Alex Nelson and Siobhan Semadeni. The Margaret Smith Award is presented to a student who has contributed to the spirit of international citizenship, exemplified the SMS motto Servite In Caritate, and demonstrated academic effort. There are two winners this year: Miranda Schell and Catherine Van Oort


The English Immersion Trophy is presented to the IEL student who has demonstrated the greatest improvement in her English through sustained effort during the past academic year. – Awarded to Isela Burgos Hernandez The Margaret Barton Scholarship is presented to a student entering grade 12. The candidate must have achieved standing on their February report card and demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, service in keeping with the school’s motto Servite in Caritate, and extracurricular involvement. This year the scholarship will be shared between two students: Tia Wei and Maggie Fung. The Jill Krauel Mathematics Memorial Bursary has been established this year by the Mathematics Department in memory of Jill Krauel, a mathematics teacher and Departmentheadfor16yearsatSMS.This bursary is given to a student who embodies the characteristics of which Mrs. Krauel would have approved: determination to succeed, willingly and consistently coming for extra help, accepting mathematical challenges with steadfast resolve, and maintaining a positive attitude towards mathematics throughout the year. – Awarded to Natalie Shtybel

Honour Roll recipients

Cathy Thornicroft with the Fiona Grant Award winners: Puja Bates, Siobhan Semadeni, Iris Hsu, Casey MacQuade-Eid, JennyCaws,andAlexNelson

The Alumnae/Old Girls’ Scholarship was presented for the first time in our Centennialyear(2008)bytheSt.Margaret’s Alumnae/OldGirls’Committee.Theawardis presented to a returning student in Grades 6-10whodemonstratesservice,schoolspirit, extracurricular participation, academic effort, and model behavior. – Awarded to Mina O’Neill-Bains The Robertson Salver Award is presented to a student entering grade 12. The candidate must have achieved standing on their February report card and demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, service in keeping with the school’s motto Servite in Caritate, and extracurricular involvement. This year the scholarship will be shared between two students: Alycia Coulter and Alicia Weng. Grade 12 Euclid Contest Certificates of Distinction and Medal – Awarded to Vanessa Ho, Bo Peng, Lisa Weng, Angel (Anqi) Wu, Yolanda (Qian) Zhou and Yi Zhou American Mathematics Competition Pins for Grade 12s – Awarded to Cherry Liu, Angel Sun and Lisa Weng Sunlife Mathematics Challenge recognition – Awarded to Sangin Jae, Lisa Ju, Mi-Reu Kim and Vanessa Ho

SMS Mascot Dudley presents the Rocky Award

Volunteer Victoria – Certificate of Recognition Annually, Volunteer Victoria recognizes students who have volunteered over the courseoftheyear,withinoneoftheir280 member agencies. Volunteer Victoria believes, as does SMS, that volunteering is not only a healthy lifestyle choice but also provides the added benefit for students to develop skills, work experience, and personal growth. The following students received a certificate of recognition for volunteer service in the Greater Victoria community for the 2010-2011 school year: – Awarded to Aleksandra Orekhova (2), Alicia Weng, Alycia Coulter, Eva Jung, Esther Pan, Lisa Weng, Elizabeth He, Tia Wei, Cherry Zhang and Meghan Rogers

Honour Roll in Grade 12 for 2010-2011 Jenny Caws Alycia Coulter Vanessa Ho Iris Hsu Sangin Jae Lisa Ju Mi-Reu Kim Michelle Lau Cherry Liu Casey McQuaid-Eid Aleksandra Orekhova Bo Peng Angel Sun Shermain Tang Chloe Verrier Alicia Weng

The Jill Krauel Math Book Award – Awarded to Vanessa Ho

Peer Tutoring Certificates in Grade 12 for 2010-2011 Vanessa Ho Cherry Liu Valeska Pan Bo Peng Alicia Weng

The Sendall English Award for most improvement in English – Awarded to Iris Hsu and Tina Zhang The Sendall Francais Award for special interest in French – Awarded to Aleksandra Orekhova The Phyllis Davy Art Award – Awarded to Iris Hsu



St. Margaret’s School | for girls

St. Margaret’s School 1080 Lucas Avenue Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8X 3P7

Canada Post indicia

SMS Spirit 2011 Fall  

The Spirit Magazine is a publication for the entire St. Margaret's School community; our students, parents, staff, alumnae, and friends.

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