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Spirit

St. Margaret’s School | for girls

Confident girls. Inspiring women.


Red: Everyday tie worn by Grades 4-12

Purple: Turgot House Captain

Blue: Malcolm House Captain

Yellow: Christian House Captain

Green: Canmore House Captain

Red/Grey Stripes: Junior School Representative to Council and Student Government (composed of Student Council, Outreach Committee, and Cultural Unity Committee) Malcolm Tartan: Games Captain

Our School Ties Reveal Their True Colours

Navy Tie w/School Crest: All Grade 12 students

Navy Tie w/Three White Stripes: Achieved Head’s List standing for three years Navy Tie w/Two White Stripes: Achieved Head’s List standing for two years Navy Tie w/Three White Stripes: Achieved Head’s List standing for one year

Old School Tie Magazine May, 1938 dedicated to Miss Margaret Barton in commemoration of the school’s twenty-fifth Anniversary


Cathy Thornicroft, Kathy Charleson, Director of Admissions, photographed with a SMS family while on their trip to China in March, 2013.

Welcome to this issue of the SMS Spirit magazine. We have incredible student participation and initiatives here that remind me daily how much girls can achieve in our small, personalized all girl learning environment. From the extremely high rates of junior school girls choosing to run cross-country, to residence girls presenting cultural information and making global connections, to girls discovering they excel at elite levels of athletic and academic achievement, to students who volunteer to shape the face of 21st century learning at SMS through our new Strategic Plan, to girls who initiate their own education here by applying for scholarships; they all have a voice and take action. The two girls attending SMS as 2012-13 Centennial Scholars, Lista Spensley-Tagornak and Kassidy Smids-Dyk, are both self-nominated – they sought out the school website to see what we offer. When we first met their families, both families kept thanking us; we were thanking them! It’s a great balance; they are extremely deserving young women. They model what we want at SMS: they have the capacity and desire to share what they want; they seek out opportunities. Here at SMS we give girls every opportunity to be a leader, whatever their leadership style is. Teachers, peers, and girls of all ages support each other and reinforce what makes us special. We all take part.

The opportunity for families to participate in all aspects of SMS draws students, parents and community members to volunteer on committees, work at dances and fairs, coach recreational sports teams and serve on the Parent Auxiliary and on the Board of Governors. We all have a part to play in this amazing school. We can also make smart choices that show our girls that ideas of commitment, philanthropy, empathy, supportiveness and teamwork, and individual effort are not simply ideas but also principles we can put into action every day. The girls show us daily their own smart choices: time management of their academic load, physical activity to keep fit, long-term friendships that provide safe support, and environmental stewardship through recycling and composting. Clearly we are all in this together. Jeremy Mannall-Fretwell Chair, Board of Governors St. Margaret’s School

Cathy Thornicroft Head of School, St. Margaret’s School

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From learning scuba diving, to cross country running and sailing, SMS girls have lots of opportunities for participating in many different sports

Sports Participation in Action at SMS SMS Instructors give girls the support they need to participate, to achieve personal goals, to discover the world and themselves, and to acquire skills crucial for future successes. Their specialized knowledge brings the joy of learning and self-awareness to the forefront. Travis Chater, new SMS Athletics Director, coaches teams and offers insights on his blog. He works with colleagues to support and improve what the school offers girls in competitive sport and in everyday fitness activities. Travis’ job is all-encompassing, he says. “I am involved with administration, coaching, and outdoor education. That gets me really engaged.” Expansion of the junior school outdoor education program is currently underway, using community spaces and providing personalized support to SMS girls competing at elite levels. Travis and the athletics staff emphasize working to improve one’s individual and team performance, and building from one experience to the next. Travis’ blog is a platform to communicate with the entire community. “It’s a good way to wrap up each season and to tell stories as they happen,” he says. “It gives the kids a bit more recognition.”

Travis says SMS girls have competed in situations where “getting up on the starting blocks…was a success in itself. In a swim meet with over 1,000 competitors, for example, anxiety can be high for even the most seasoned athlete. Our girls swam with composure, set personal best times and improved technically. [This is] far more valuable and enduring than the ranking on the results sheet…The girls’ counted results are tremendous, but what’s even more significant are the uncounted improvements, personal bests and stories of overcoming odds that don’t make it to the headlines.”

opportunities not found elsewhere. “I attribute the strength of our athletic programs to the fact that we have instilled in our girls the knowledge that if the opportunity exists, they can participate,” she says. Opportunity and participation are crucial at every stage of a girl’s education. “Being part of a team, growing as an individual, participating and being physically fit – all of this helps in other areas,” says Travis. “Physical education is education; this is important.”

Jeanine Stannard, senior school PE teacher, says that often girls who are the best athletes attain the highest The rate of sports participation grades. “These girls go through some among SMS girls is enviably high. tough stuff to have the discipline The majority of the junior school and dedication to take time out of a girls run cross-country. “At that age, typical high-school week,” she says. there are no inhibitions,” says Travis. “The time commitment is huge – “The teachers support the girls. it can be five to six days per week, It’s about fun, being with friends three to four hours per day. There and being outside. The placings are are weekend and evening games and an afterthought.” He credits SMS tournaments, and long seasons of teachers and coaches: “[They] promote play. Add in their academic load, sports, fitness and health. They have family life and social events, and fun and high-five the girls.” it takes a lot of character to pull Older girls continue on that path. that off. They also have to meet the “The senior school is great here physical and emotional demands because we don’t just focus on one of sport.” sport; we do it all,” says Travis. In addition to staying focused and Mary Cameron, principal of the managing their time, SMS athletes senior school, says SMS girls have SMS Spirit | 02

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“The senior school is great here because we don’t just focus on one sport; we do it all.” Travis Chater

Travis Chater, SMS Athletics Director juggles a variety of sports equipment.


Whether SMS girls become Olympic medalists, pursue individual fitness goals or play on a team, they all benefit from abundant opportunity and support.

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commit to each other as teammates and form life-long friendships, says Jeanine. When volleyball and basketball player Rebecca Coulter was injured during a season, her teammates supported her–and she them. “Even though I wasn’t playing I could still be volleyball captain and give advice to help get my team through the games,” she says. “During my injury a lot of the players in grades 10 and 11 stepped up and played to their full potential. All of them worked together and put in full effort to fill my place on the court, which made our whole team more confident heading into Islands.” “Through these teams, we have learned trust from knowing that we will always have each others’ backs, and that extends to off the court as well,” Rebecca notes. “Since SMS is a relatively small school, the support we give our friends and teammates still shows in the halls because all aspects of the school aren’t as separate as they would be in other schools.” SMS’ size means students stay physically fit. Girls who leave SMS in Grades 8 or 9, for example, do not get the same sports opportunities at bigger schools. This often means they end up not making it on to any teams at all. Jeanine says that once teenaged girls stop being involved in school athletics, they don’t go back to it. That adversely affects their lifelong fitness.

Everyday fitness activities are promoted throughout the school. Staff take yoga and other classes at lunch. In residence, girls practice yoga, aerobics and squash, among other activities. In the junior school, girls are active outdoors at lunchtime and break. Community involvement plays a large part; SMS consistently has the highest percentage of participation in the Thrifty’s Fun Run and other running events. Cathy Thornicroft, Head of School, says the passion and interest of parents and staff facilitates that community participation. “Parents and non-teaching staff volunteer and give so much time to help and support the girls.” SMS girls also participate in highlevel community athletics. Kate Harrigan is in Grade 8. Last summer she won a bronze medal and a fifth place in springboard diving at the BC Summer Games. Kate was already a diver in Ontario, and upon her family’s return to Victoria she joined a local diving club. Last summer she also joined a competitive swimming club, where Travis was one of the coaches. “Mr. Chater was a really good coach,” says Kate. Travis praises Kate’s determination and work ethic: “Kate is committed. She can balance a competitive swim program, a competitive diving program and school.” Kate trains at SMS Spirit | 05

three 3-hour diving sessions and two 1-hour swimming sessions each week. “I feel happy that I get a workout five days a week. It builds confidence,” she says. “I compare speaking in front of a lot of people to doing a new dive.” Kate’s interest in athletics is a testament to her ambition. “I really enjoy doing other sports as well – volleyball, badminton.” In future Kate wants to join more SMS sports teams, the outreach club and student council. “I have learned different leadership skills and time management here. At an all girl school you don’t have to be self-conscious.” Like Kate, all SMS girls have opportunities to train hard and be supported while competing. One alumna visited the school recently and spoke of her life as an elite athlete. Gillian Carleton won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics as part of the women’s team pursuit in track cycling. She emphasized the importance of participation and finding the right sport. “Gillian was super keen to visit SMS,” says Travis. “She was very grounded, very real. She spoke about competing and real-life interactions at the Olympic Village.” Whether SMS girls become Olympic medalists, pursue individual fitness goals or play on a team, they all benefit from abundant opportunity and support. Their success is beyond measure.


Beyond Boarders: Making a Strategic Difference Tiana Yang is an international student helping SMS move forward in implementing its Strategic Plan. She is one of several student voices on the Steering Committee, designed to help SMS girls shape the future of their education. Tiana comes from Guangzhou, the huge capital city of Guangdong province in China. Her family lives in China but also has a residence in Vancouver; they come to visit Tiana one or two times each year and celebrate the Chinese New Year with her. Tiana’s family discovered SMS through an agent; like many international parents of SMS girls, they were impressed with the school’s beautiful setting, academic record, and Victoria location. Tiana arrived at SMS two years ago as a Grade 9 student in T2, part of the International English Language (IEL) program at SMS. Tiana wanted to take classes offered in the English stream, so she worked hard on her skills and by Grade 10 was in an English Honours class. She also befriended Canadian students and became involved in student government. She joined the Green Club, worked as an Orientation assistant, participated in Residence activities and went camping during Outweek – all of these were new experiences for Tiana. Her determination to convey what her sister international students had to say and to feel a part of the entire school was notable. “A lot of the Chinese girls are shy; they don’t know how to tell a teacher that there’s something they don’t like,” she says.

“I feel like I’m shy, too, but I feel that I talk more than the others.” Cathy Thornicroft, Head of School, recently asked Tiana to sit on the Steering Committee. “The fact that English is Tiana’s second language is not a barrier to engagement,” says Cathy. “She is willing to share her perspective and feels safe and supported. She wants to support those girls in residence who come from other cultures.” Tiana says, “In a large school in China, I wouldn’t have thought that the Head of School would know my name. SMS gives me many opportunities to be a leader. I feel like what I say is valued. I always want to be accountable and valuable.” Mary Cameron, Principal of Senior School, says Tiana is a quiet force and the essence of positivity. “Tiana is the first to be that helping hand, to be the support to her peers, all the while balancing a heavy academic load.” Tiana provides insight into the thoughts of international students. She knows what it’s like to live in residence, far from home, and the importance of making connections here. “I really like the House Mums,” says Tiana. “In my first year I cried a lot; the House Mums hugged me and made special treats for us. They chat with me about what Victoria offers and the culture here. Diane, my favourite House Mum, has met my family and we have a relationship like a grandmother and child.” Tiana also turns her attention beyond the school’s walls. In the fall SMS Spirit | 06

Student focus groups were an important process in developing the SMS Strategic plan.

of 2012 she attended a conference in Vancouver for We Day. “The message was that we inspire children,” she says. “ If you have passion to do something, you don’t have to be afraid. I was inspired a lot by that.” “I am amazed by Tiana’s confidence, says Cathy. “It reflects on her desire to take advantage of everything SMS has to offer. She is a leader in shaping the school. In two years, when Tiana graduates, she will be leaving a mark: she will have made sure that international students have a voice in programs and the operation of the school.” Tiana is enjoying the process of acquiring planning and leadership skills through her work on the Steering Committee. “If I see that five years later my opinions have made a change, I will be happy about that.”

SMS Values Integrity | Excellence Service | Leadership Girl-Centred | Courage Global-Minded


“In a large school in China, I wouldn’t have thought that the Head of School would know my name. SMS gives me many opportunities to be a leader.” Tiana Yang

Tiana and Cathy Thornicroft reviewing SMS Strategic Plan

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... Providing a safe environment to take risks is important to creative learning, and as an all girl school SMS is well positioned to do just that.

Grade three students learn the phases of the moon through a unique and creative rap hip hop dance presentation

Students interpret the solar system and the planets through solo and group dances

The students rehearse prior to their presentation

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Siena Mizel portrays the planet Venus through a solo dance interpretation


Megan Hedderick and Mary Cameron lighting the creative spark

Darkness and flashlights provide the backdrop for a dance interpretation of the constellations

Lighting the Creative Learning Spark Creative learning is a term that’s well used at SMS. Mary Cameron, Senior School Principal, and Megan Hedderick, Junior School Principal discuss how creativity and innovation in all girl education prepares girls for the future. Mary and Megan both define creative learning as a paradigm shift in the classroom. Sometimes it means starting with a “Big Idea” that has piqued students’ interests; they generate questions they then explore and answer while also achieving curriculum learning outcomes. This can require teachers to do a tremendous amount of preparation. Two or more subject teachers may also tackle a question together, using different approaches from within their disciplines that complement and inform each other. Instead of a lecture format, there may be an instruction session and a seminarstyle tutorial. New ways of structuring timetables come into play. SMS is always examining ways to improve the timetable. Administrators, teachers and IT staff research various options and tailor the timetable to best support learning. The Steering Committee (7 adults/7 students) is also providing information through their focus group surveys on what SMS should offer and in what format.

“A key part of innovation is to spark the flame in the students,” says Mary. “We encourage their interests and curiosity while not losing sight of the learning.” Adds Megan, “Things are moving quickly. We’re trying to be at the forefront.” Blurring lines between curricula and drawing upon community contacts, resources, services and organizations are all good strategies, says Megan. Mary points out that students want to link learning to their lives. “We need to make learning more relative to daily living and show girls how to incorporate that into their personal lives, careers and health.” Providing a safe environment to take risks is important to creative learning, and as an all girl school SMS is well positioned to do this. Girls are encouraged to enter the SMS science fair, for example, and to use creative approaches. They explore their freedom to experiment, to ask questions that may contain an element of risk and to answer them. It’s not only what girls learn, but also the skills they acquire while doing so, that will determine their success in their post-secondary futures. Girls need to graduate with adept minds and the ability to use technology as a tool to advance ideas and change. “Universities are looking for citizens who will SMS Spirit | 09

build communities,” says Megan. “Education is no longer simply about the acquisition of knowledge.” SMS instills leadership, citizenship and global awareness in students. These attributes all come into play in creative learning, too. The ability to make meaningful connections with others is something SMS girls already do. “We take it for granted that our senior girls can speak in front of more than 300 people,” says Mary. “Our girls do such a magical job that they make it seem easy, but it’s not.” While some of the strategies and ideas involved with creative learning may seem new to some, innovation and the idea of personalized learning that prepares girls for the future have a long history at SMS. Edith and Isabel Fenwick, who founded SMS in 1908, wrote: “It is the aim of the School to consider the special requirements of individual girls, and to give each one as much attention and consideration as possible.” The next leaders in the world are going to be creative and by preparing girls to face the future with an excellent foundation, Mary and Megan and their colleagues are themselves employing creative strategies and demonstrating the importance of innovation in education.


Naomi, Nina, Vivien and Alex CORWIN

Clockwise from left Siena, Shanda, Sera and Naomi Mizel

Clockwise from top left: James, Isobel, Stephanie, Sadie and Chelsea Neilson

Emma, Louise, Hayley and Gracie Wong

A Dozen Reasons to Choose SMS SMS girls come from myriad backgrounds and experiences; they thrive in the all girl environment. Four families have an especially profound commitment; each has three daughters here. This year’s Grade 1 class has one girl from each of the four families. We invited all four families to share their experiences. The CORWIN Family (Vivien & Lucas; Alex, Nina & Naomi) “It wasn’t the all girl environment that brought us here, but now I am totally passionate about it,” says Vivien. “We are committed to the opportunities the independent school system provides,” she adds. “There is the ability for teachers to focus on teaching; they all have been absolutely excellent.” The Corwins note the advantage of having all their daughters here: “They will go all the way through with each other, even up through Senior School. We love the school’s engagement with technology, focus on science, and attention to arts and music.” The MIZEL Family (Shanda & Marty; Siena, Sera & Naomi) Shanda went to an Ontario all girl school. “I experienced firsthand the benefits of an all girl education,” she says. Shanda worked at SMS before bringing her daughters over from a local school; she now runs the school store.

“We saw the warm, safe, nurturing environment where our girls would get attention. There are so many opportunities for them at such a young age.” Shanda and Marty appreciate that SMS goes from preschool to Grade 12. “The Big Sister-Little Sister program fosters a nurturing environment, as do the all-ages Explorations activities,” says Shanda. “My girls are so happy about their day when I pick them up,” she adds. “I support [Head of School] Mrs. Thornicroft’s leadership and vision. She believes in the school.” The NEILSON Family (Stephanie & James; Isobel, Chelsea & Sadie) “I found the ECE program using Google,” says Stephanie. “I saw its flexible 3-, 4- or 5-day options. That led to my looking at the SMS website videos.” James notes that ideas from Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People are integrated into the curriculum and that younger girls interact with international students. He also pays attention to what older students are saying: “They are clear spoken and can express themselves. They use unaffected language and seem more candid.” SMS Spirit | 10

“I have a concern about how girls are portrayed in society,” says Stephanie, “but I see the older SMS girls and how they dress, speak and interact. They are intelligent and appropriate.” Both parents cite the girls’ spirit of philanthropy. “SMS accommodates the third child,” says James. “The fee structure is very beneficial in that regard. It shows a real commitment to large families here.” The WONG Family (Louise & Rex; Emma, Hayley & Gracie) “Rex and I remember hearing about the quality of education at SMS when we first lived in Victoria,” says Louise. “When returning from Singapore, we chose SMS because the girls were used to an academic school…the academics, discipline and traditional values all attracted us.” Louise, a teacher-on-call, says SMS offers a secure learning environment where girls are challenged academically and beyond. “It has made a huge improvement in their levels of confidence and maturity. There are many opportunities to take on leadership roles,” she says. The commitment to invest in three girls’ educations at SMS is well worth it, says Louise. “It is not difficult to be involved in a school that promotes the values that we, as a family, believe in.”


Each of the families have a girl in grade one! Clockwise from the top are: Isabel Neilson, Sera Mizel, Gracie Wong and Naomi Corwin.

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All twelve girls, four sets of three sisters, in the SMS Library,


Kevin and Kimberley enjoy time in the playground

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“SMS isn’t resting on its reputation; they are always striving for more” Kevin Davis

A Unique Father and Daughter Bond Daughters and granddaughters of alumnae often attend SMS. Their mums and grandmothers go to Old Girl events and keep in touch with sister alumnae over many decades. The young girls hear their stories about being a girl at SMS in times past. For current student Kimberley Davis, daughter of a parent who attended SMS, things are a little different: her father is the alumnus. Her father, Kevin Davis, attended SMS in 1980-81, a time when the school admitted boys for Kindergarten. Kevin and his wife, Victoria Davis, have always known they would send Kimberley to SMS. Kevin remembers a few things about his Kindergarten class: climbing ropes in the small gym, sitting in a circle singing Frère Jacques, and racing near the tree line in sacks and wheelbarrows on Sports Day. He also had his dramatic debut at SMS: “I had a crucial part; I was a tree,” says Kevin. The girls outnumbered the boys in the Kindergarten class, and the boys stuck together. Kevin’s mother liked the school’s scholastic record. The natural environment of the campus also appealed to her. “The setting is still a big draw today,” says Kevin. Kimberley says her favourite part

of school is the outdoor program, playing on the monkey bars, and the nature classroom. “We’ve taken Kimberley outside as much as possible since she was a baby,” says Victoria. “She helps Kevin in the garden, and she enjoys the nature walks at school.” Both Kevin and Victoria appreciate the opportunity to start Kimberley’s SMS education at such a young age. “We were really happy that Kimberley could attend SMS at the age of three and that the school goes through to Grade 12,” says Victoria. “This gives Kimberley the chance to engage now with the older girls, who are fantastic with the little ones and with each other. They have developed selfesteem, and it’s neat to see that. We want girls to go where they want to go in the world. We want Kimberley to be level-headed, to communicate well, and to be a person who respects others.” The effects of attending SMS were immediate. “We noticed a difference in Kimberley in the first couple of days. Her vocabulary improved in the first week. I knew she had that in her, but I was surprised that her progress was so fast,” says Victoria. Kevin attributes much of that to the size of SMS Spirit | 13

Kevin in his Kindergarten SMS uniform 1980-81

SMS and what it offers girls. “We like the class sizes at SMS; there is more opportunity for one-on-one throughout the school day,” he says. “She has four teachers every day.” “The teachers are not just teaching to the kids,” adds Victoria. “They are engaging them, and the girls are working to their potential.” “SMS isn’t resting on its reputation; they are always striving for more,” says Kevin. “The school motto (Servite in Caritate – Service With Love) is what it’s all about, and asking what we can do for the girls to make them better citizens of the world and better for themselves.” As a second-generation SMS student, one with her education at the school ahead of her, Kimberley Davis is well positioned to become a woman who makes a change in the world. With the support of her parents and of the school, it will be a joy to see her do just that.


The SMS Cooking Team ready for action!

Serving with Love: Raj Baidwan’s 35 Years at SMS “It’s Butter Chicken Day!” When that phrase reaches students and staff lined up for their daily lunch at Alexis Hall, faces light up–and with good reason. Each year, in yearbook write-ups and at graduation ceremonies, SMS girls mention that they will miss the Butter Chicken. The story behind the signature dish is that of SMS’s longest-serving employee, Raj Baidwan.

As head of food services at Alexis Hall, Raj is responsible for feeding hundreds of people every day. Students, staff and guests enjoy food cooked by an international staff who bring the taste of home to boarders and global flavours to day students. Raj’s commitment to buying from local producers demonstrates SMS’ commitment to nurturing healthy girls inside and out.

Raj started as a kitchen helper at SMS in September 1975, working the evening shift and weekends and by the second term of that year she was asked to replace an ill cook. Raj, and her husband of 42 years, Gobinder, put their daughter, Sabrina, through SMS from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Their son, Jasbir, also attended Kindergarten at a time when SMS offered co-ed Kindergarten.

Head of School Cathy Thornicroft appreciates Raj’s expertise and enthusiasm: “Raj embodies the core values of this school and of the overall ambience and working conditions. She demonstrates commitment, and she is leaving a legacy.”

When Raj started at SMS, the kitchen was in the old Junior School, where the Finance office and dance studio are now. There were 65 girls in residence, and 150 girls at the school. Lorna French, the Headmistress from 1967-76, would do the weekly grocery shopping. Now Raj oversees daily deliveries, her staff cooks in the spotless Alexis Hall kitchen, and girls eat in the recently refurbished dining room.

“The kitchen staff all do a wonderful job,” says Raj. “Patricia Mann does great salads. Joan Keller does the Canadian meals. Doris Young cooks Chinese dishes, and Akemi Akutsu prepares Japanese foods. Also, Davinder Thandi, Daljit Samra and Parveen Dhatt cook East Indian food.” Many of the kitchen staff have been at SMS for over 16 years. “Raj’s commitment to the school, and to her staff, is unbelievable,” says Thornicroft.

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Raj Baidwan’s photo from 1990-91 SMS yearbook

Once a month there is an international meal; students present a menu to Raj and her staff, who carefully prepare food for girls who are far from their family kitchens. “It’s a taste of home. We try to keep them happy,” says Raj. As a parent, Raj appreciates all that SMS offers students. “I like the environment here,” she says. “I think it helped Sabrina choose what she wanted to do.” In her Grade 12 yearbook, Sabrina wrote that she planned to pursue a career in child psychology. She did, earning a degree at the University of Victoria. Sabrina now works as a counselor with children aged pre-primary to Grade 12 in addition to raising a family. Raj enjoys going to work each day. She works Monday to Friday, and pops out from the kitchen to say hello to diners at lunchtime. “I have a nice staff working for me. They are hardworking. The teachers come, and it’s nice to feed them. I like making people happy,” she says. They are especially happy on Butter Chicken Day.


Raj serving her famous Butter Chicken

Raj’s Famous Butter Chicken for 300 Prepare 66 lb chicken breast cut into ½-inch cubes. Combine marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight: • 4 L plain yogurt • 1 ½ c olive oil • ½ c white sugar • 1 ½ c lemon juice • 2 tbsp red food color Cook onion over low heat until it is • ½ c salt soft and caramelized. Careful not • ½ c garlic powder to burn. • ½ c ginger powder • ½ c cumin powder Add garlic and ginger to the cooked onions, continue to cook over low heat • ½ c coriander powder • 1 tbsp chili powder for an hour. Cool and blend • 4 tbsp turmeric powder until smooth. • 4 tbsp Butter Chicken Masala powder Ingredients

• 15 lb finely diced onions • 2 c olive oil • 1 c butter • ½ lb finely chopped garlic • ½ lb finely chopped ginger

Add 8 cups of tomato paste, and BAKE the chicken in a single layer on cook for 10 minutes. baking sheets and cook in the oven at 375°F until done. Chicken juices should Add 4 litres of water and simmer for be transparent and the flesh white. 30 minutes until the texture of the sauce is smooth. Butter Chicken sauce • cooked and ground onions Add the cooked chicken to the sauce • ½ c white sugar and simmer for another 30 minutes. • ¼ c salt • ¼ c turmeric powder To finish, add 5 litres of heavy • ¼ c cumin powder cream. Adjust the seasoning – salt or • ¼ c masala powder spices as you wish. • ¼ c coriander powder • ¼ c Butter Chicken masala powder Serve the chicken with basmati rice • 1 tsp hot chili powder or naan bread. Mix all the ingredients together in a large sauce pan and cook for 10

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Anabelle Welke, with one of her many projects, plans to study architecture when she graduates

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Stephanie Yeo reviewing studies on an early Apple computer 1995

Junior students in computer lab 2000

Brent Lee, Director of Information Systems and Technology

Technology: A Blueprint for the future Teaching girls to use technologies in creative, useful and forwardthinking ways starts early at SMS. Using technology as a tool to enhance learning and provide new, personalized opportunities is always being expanded and improved. SMS girls are busy working on skills that will serve them well when they graduate and embark on post-secondary education leading to diverse careers. Brent Lee is the Director of Information Systems and Technology at SMS. When he taught computer science at university, Brent saw perhaps three female students per year. ”This was a huge problem,” he says. “At SMS I am on the pathway of getting girls into computer science. It’s a very important value to me.” In addition to introducing technological innovations throughout the SMS campus, Brent also encourages girls of all ages to use technology to set and achieve goals, work together on projects and assess information as they learn. Projects in all classrooms help girls refine practical and theoretical skills.

girls were mostly building animals, and it’s been cars pretty much since then. They are working on a robot challenge.” Girls of different ages work together, offering advice and support. Anabelle Welke, a Grade 6 student, enjoys spending time with the youngest girls. “I like to get the little girls off the games and to have them use Google SketchUp. They build little houses, sometimes doghouses,” she says. “They learn so much so easily. It makes me happy to know that I’ve helped them learn new skills.”

Anabelle is currently mapping the junior school in 3D in SketchUp Pro; it’s part of her project of modelling the entire campus in three dimensions in order to put it on Google Earth. She will be finished by the end of her Grade 8 year. “I was looking at the school’s blueprints today; it’s all 2D. They’re huge!” she says. Anabelle will put this project in her portfolio. “It will help me get a reference for architecture at a college or university. I definitely want to be an architect. I also like interior design; I’m pretty good at that too.” She has also designed commercial websites and has The Tech Girls club meet twice a week a student AutoCAD license. to work on robotics and computer projects. There are two groups: one Participating in Tech Girls is useful, for younger junior school students, says Anabelle. “I’m better at geometry and one for intermediate and older now, and better on the computer than girls. “The focus is on spatial issues I was before.” Anabelle came to the and assembly,” says Brent. “At first the SMS Spirit | 17

school on her own initiative, asking her supportive parents if she could attend SMS. “I wanted to go to an all girl school. It’s calmer here, and easier to learn. I’m really happy here. I like having small classes.” Teachers and staff are supportive too, says Anabelle. “Mr. Lee loves teaching Tech Girls. He’s so happy when he’s walking around and engaging with the little girls. He is a very positive influence and offers good critiques.” Another group, Engineering Girls, is gearing up to compete next year. This club composed of senior girls will gain experience at an IT conference and will be exposed to professionals, other students and teachers. Brent says that a new group, Junior IT Girls, will represent students at some IT department meetings next year to offer input and take on some tasks. Cathy Thornicroft, Head of School, says “At SMS we’re looking at technology in its role as a tool of equalization. We recognize that currently most scientists, engineers and architects are men. This shapes our world. We get girls ready to be scientists, engineers and architects, and we get girls ready to be future entrepreneurs.” From Kindergarten to Grade 12, SMS girls are working on it – and they have the right tools.


Gillian running cross country in 2003

Gillian at Sports awards 2002

Gillian in Grade 11 2006

Gillian at SMS Junior School 2012

Olympian Gillian Carlton Returns to SMS and Inspires the Girls Each alumna of SMS has many stories to tell. But every once in a while an alumna’s story develops in the public eye and inspires younger girls to find and pursue their passions. Gillian Carleton is an Olympic medalist, a committed teammate, a true sportswoman and a role model to girls at SMS. At the 2012 London Olympics, Gillian and her teammates Jasmin Glaesser and Tara Whitten won the bronze medal in women’s team pursuit track cycling. At the time Gillian had only recently started competing in track cycling; she had also suffered serious injuries in a racing crash not too many months before her Olympic achievement. Gillian visited SMS and spoke to students in the fall of 2012. At a senior school assembly, surrounded by students and her former teachers, she watched her Olympic performance on screen for the first time. She shared how she had felt at the starting line of the Olympic races, her thoughts as she stood on the podium, and her excitement at being part of the athlete’s Olympic village. Gillian’s SMS Little Sister, Mina O’Neil-Bains, now in Grade 11, presented her with a photo collage that teachers and staff had assembled from personal and school archives.

Gillian receiving a photo collage from her SMS little sister Mina O’Neil-Bains

“I thought it would be meaningful; we’re the only ones who can do this for her,” says teacher and coach Deb Scott. Deb recalls Gillian’s athleticism and positive attitude at SMS: “Gillian was a great role model in class; she had the physical gift, good sportsmanship, and an amazing work ethic.” “Being an athlete is not an easy road. It takes persistence and stamina,” says Deb. “Gillian dealt with injury with great perseverance. She had an intrinsic drive to do the best that she could. She had a desire to achieve.” Cathy Thornicroft, Head of School, says Gillian inspires young women. “She was able to avail herself of the abundance of opportunities that helped her to learn and grow, to look at what was possible, and to believe that anything is possible.” Gillian also spoke to the girls in the junior school. She answered their SMS Spirit | 18

questions about what it feels like to wear specialized racing gear, whether a body hurts after a race, how to stop at the end of a race, and what the cycling track feels like to ride on. She spoke about training days when she rode five or six hours on a track and then went for an afternoon bike ride outdoors. She encouraged the girls to keep participating in sports until they find the one they love and that is right for them, whether as a competitive pursuit or for everyday fitness and health. “If you like going fast, try cycling!” “I got a lot out of attending SMS, and I tried all the sports at the school,” Gillian says. “I was supported to do anything. I never felt like I couldn’t.” Gillian wanted to earn an Olympic medal in part so she could talk to young girls about women in cycling and raise awareness of the sport. “The thought of being able to do this afterwards kept me going,” she says. Gillian’s willingness to share her stories, to encourage girls to participate in sports, and to expand the field of women’s cycling showed SMS students what it means to be a champion. Gillian continues to compete in cycling, both on the track and back out on the road. SMS girls will find inspiration in her stories as the next chapters unfold.


“I got a lot out of attending SMS, and I tried all the sports at the school.� Gillian Carlton

Gillian with her Olympic medal at SMS 2012

SMS Spirit | 19


“There are so many neat things going on, lots of small components. Recycling and reusing materials have become part of the culture at SMS.� Donna Holmwood

SMS Spirit | 20


In the fall of 2012 the girls in Donna Holmwood’s life skills classes transformed used kilts and blazers into useable, fun items like book bags, pencil cases, and Christmas stockings. The school uniforms were no longer suitable for formal school wear but there was life in them yet, proven by the popularity of the items at the Christmas craft fair.

Excelling at the Three Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle The culture of SMS comprises many elements, from the way school days are structured to the enthusiasm generated by walking through hallways of lively girls engaged in discussion or tasks at hand. One consistent activity is recycling, no matter where one goes on campus. Wee girls in the junior school empty blue bins and wash out food containers. Senior students haul soft plastic, mixed paper and other recyclables to designated stations. Residences offer many recycling opportunities for boarders. Teacher areas and public spaces all have recycling bins. There’s an incipient flower and vegetable bed in the senior school courtyard, where leaves and cuttings from the grounds will encourage new growth. A greenhouse awaits plantings that will in turn be used in the school’s culinary centre. Composting at Alexis Hall has reduced garbage output by 70 percent.

discussion and thoughtful progress among the girls, who turn their ideas into action. “Donna is the perfect example of a quiet leader who empowers girls to lead from their hearts. She talks about principles, then lets the students explore ideas,” says Head of School Cathy Thornicroft. Donna is quick to point out that the ideas and projects come from the girls themselves. Every year brings something new, she says, and sometimes students revisit and revive old methods and projects. Students who move on to higher grades often continue their recycling responsibilities. “For example, student Maria Hoffmann was assigned a bin in Grade 7, and then she just kept going. I never have to check; I know she has done it. She takes responsibility, and this is one way to express her interest in the world.”

Donna’s confidence in her students shows how strong student-teacher bonds enrich the girls’ learning. She Donna Holmwood encourages SMS trusts their abilities and ideas. “Donna girls to turn their concerns and plans works behind the scenes to promote for the future into environmentally the students. She teaches them to be responsible initiatives. In her empowered. It takes a very skilled leadership and life skills classes in the senior school, Donna sparks SMS Spirit | 21

teacher to guide them to such a place,” says Mary Cameron, Principal of Senior School. Mary describes Donna as creative and supportive. A thoughtful approach to reusing items occurred last fall when Dudley’s Closet wondered if some old kilts might be of use. “I took them into the sewing class, and the girls learned how to pick out pleats. They were deconstructing the kilts, not tearing them apart,’ says Donna.” They were amazed at how much material there was in each kilt.” The students made book bags and zippered pencil cases. Christmas stockings were another idea, with material from old blazers trimming the kilt fabric. These items were sold out at the Christmas craft fair. “There are so many neat things going on, lots of small components. Recycling and reusing materials have become part of the culture at SMS,” says Donna. “Every little piece helps.” Donna embodies the principles that make SMS a place where girls who want to change the world become women who do, one thoughtful project at a time.


Spirit

St. Margaret’s School | for girls

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

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

SMS Spirit 2013 Spring  

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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