Albert Talks Spring/Summer 2023

Spring/ Summer 2023

Albert’s Global Connections

6 The 5 ‘A’s in Action 12 Bermuda, a Longstanding Tradition 28 Albert’s International Alumni 34 Class Notes

The Evolution of Albertalks

Albert Talks is the annual magazine of Albert College, connecting our alumni, parents, staff and friends worldwide.

HEAD OF SCHOOL Mark Musca EDITOR Anita Nadarajah CONTRIBUTORS Melanie Barrett MJ Gorn Anita Nadarajah Lisa Noel

DESIGN Clear Space

PHOTOGRAPHY Ian Patterson AC faculty and staff contributors

1973 The first edition of Albertalks appears in June 1973. The publication was only four pages long, and featured an article about a student trip to Greece, London and then-Yugoslavia.

1985 The magazine sees a brighter design featuring the AC green and gold. Then-headmaster Roy Napier wrote an inspired piece on the benefits of Albert College maintaining its independent status.

1990 Albertalks becomes a newsletter. One piece, on AC’s German students reflecting on the recent reunification of Germany, was written by a Belleville Intelligencer journalist.

CONTACT Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Please email us at communications@ 160 Dundas Street West

Belleville, Ontario, Canada, K8P 1A6 613-968-5726

2001 Albertalks evolves into a full-length school magazine. This edition highlighted an alumni reunion, with receptions held in Belleville, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa and Bermuda!

2022 The final edition using the name Albertalks is published in 2022.

1997 This edition shines a light on the growth of enrolment at the Junior School. The current Parrott Junior School would not be built until 2003.



Albert College




What’s Inside


Message from the Head of School Mark Musca talks about a fresh start for Albert College. 2

4 Board News

Bermuda, a Longstanding Tradition A look at the history and close connections we keep in this island nation.

Welcoming new members of our Board of Governors. 5 Alumni Reunion A magical weekend to remember.


18 Where Our Grads Go How the guidance program influences the student journey towards post-secondary success.

32 Shewfelt Lecture A message of hope presented by featured speaker Michel Chikwanine. 28 Albert's International Alumni Current students connect with alumni from around the world.

The CAIS Accreditation

Sharing our accreditation report, which helps shape Albert College’s future.


22 Convocation 2023 The Class of 2023 enjoys their day in the spotlight.

26 Staff News Celebrating retirements, staff service and professional development.

34 Class Notes An update on our alumni, near and far.

The 5 ‘A’s in Action A selection of this year’s highlights in Academics, Arts, Athletics, Active Citizenship and Adventure.








A Fresh Start

This past fall I had the pleasure of joining Heather Kidd, Director of Enrolment Management, on an admissions and alumni visit to Bermuda. Finally post-pandemic, this felt historic to me, both personally and as Albert’s 19th Head of School. It was my first time on an Albert College recruitment trip, my first time meeting our Bermudian alumni and parents in person, and my first time in (mostly) sunny Bermuda. In addition to the many wonderful conversations I had with the AC folks there, I was really impressed with the long-running, deep global connections we have. Bermudian students have been coming to Albert since at least the early 1900s. As a history teacher, it had my mind racing about what that experience must have been like through the decades for those students and their families. Our international communities make Albert College what it is today, and these relationships help keep us vibrant and diverse as a school firmly planted in Belleville, Ontario. Just as I love learning about Albert College’s past, as Head of School, I am very aware of the steps we need to take to stay current, to look to the future and be a school that is constantly evolving. With that in mind, I am thrilled to introduce you to the new Albert Talks magazine. It is a bold new look that helps us leap forward in how we present Albert College to the world. I hope that our alumni, young and old, parents far and wide, and the students and staff who walk these halls each day, see themselves reflected in the pages that follow.






Board News

Albert College welcomed two new Board of Governors members in fall 2022

Marcus Thomson ’97 attended Albert College for three years, as did his sister, Shanna (Thomson) Zebarth ’98. After Albert College, he completed bachelor and master of science degrees at Queen’s University in his hometown of Kingston. He also attended the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and holds a PhD from the University of California. His career and that of his wife, Liyam, have taken them all over the world, where they have lived at points in Egypt, Oman and Austria. Marcus completed his postdoctoral research on climate change and sustainability at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California, and was a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Marcus is a data scientist at Sequoia Climate Foundation where he helps experts in climate policy use computer models to maximize the leverage of philanthropic giving to lower greenhouse gas emissions. He and Liyam live in southern California, not too far from the beach. Marcus is a proud Albert College alumnus and we are thrilled he is now a Board member.

Leslie Pallant has been an engaged Albert College parent since 2009. With a broad professional skill set in human resources, insurance and banking, Leslie is also active in the Belleville community, serving on the Children’s Foundation board. She holds a bachelor of science from University of Toronto as well as a human resources certificate from Toronto Metropolitan University. While her life revolves around her three daughters and she works closely with her husband, she has also carved out a niche as a semi-professional baker. Leslie has worked closely with our Development Office volunteering on several committees over the years including the Parent Liaison Committee and chairing the Gala Committee in 2022. Leslie has an adventurous spirit, which encouraged her to live in Boston, and to backpack extensively in Europe. We are pleased to have Leslie join us at Albert College as a member of the Board of Governors.




A Magical Alumni Reunion

Alumni from the 1960s to the 2000s returned to Albert College for the Alumni Reunion weekend from April 28 to 30. It was a magical weekend, with new friendships forming and old ones rekindled all weekend long. Activities included a reception on Friday night, followed on Saturday by on-campus activities and tours, a wine tour in Prince Edward County, the Wall of Honour Induction Ceremony, dinner and dancing in Ackerman Hall, and a farewell brunch on Sunday. The AC love was tangible. Melanie Barrett, Director of Development, was thrilled to hear the stories (and tall tales) shared on a full-day all-request radio show on County FM hosted by Pat Larkin ’89 and co-host Kevin Balmer ’90, who called in from Oregon. “We hope our alumni enjoyed being back at Albert, catching up and reminiscing with fellow alumni, no matter what the decade,” she shares. Plans are already in the works for more events to help alumni re-connect with their alma mater. We were pleased to welcome John Barritt ’68 to the Wall of Honour at Albert College, and to recognize Carly Heffernan ’03 for her induction in 2020. Our honourees were formally inducted into the Wall of Honour during a special ceremony on the Saturday evening of Reunion Weekend. The Alumni Wall of Honour inspires current students by featuring alumni that have been recognized for outstanding achievements or accomplishments in their careers. The wall also includes an archive display of our annual whole school photo, a tradition dating back to 1857 that continues to take place to this day.

Congratulations, Wall of Honour Inductees!

Carly Heffernan ’03 and John Barritt ’68, Wall of Honour recipients.





The 5 ‘A’s in Action

Photo credit with thanks: Iain Morton ‘80




Hosting the IESAA Soccer Tournament Athletics On May 31, students from

Grades 4 to 6 participated in the annual IESAA (Independent Elementary School Athletic Association) track and field event with several local schools. Twenty of our Junior School athletes finished in the top five for their event in their age category, including William, Grade 5, who placed first in the high jump, and Brody, Grade 6, who placed first in the 200-metre dash.

Orientation Camp Adventure

Cheese, Quackers and Brightbill Academics This spring we welcomed three ducklings to the Junior School. Over the course of a few weeks, students observed the duckling hatching cycle. They also learned important terminology, why some ducklings are not able to hatch, and how to properly handle and care for our fuzzy friends. On May 26, the students said their goodbyes as the ducklings headed off to their forever home on an egg-laying farm.

As long as we can remember, Albert College students have started each new school year at an orientation camp. Adventures at camp range from the athletic – rock climbing, kayaking, archery and more – to the artistic activities such as arts and crafts and student- led drama performances. However, the real adventure at camp is students getting out of their comfort zones and participating. Orientation camp is where students earn their first adventure points and is often the start of their journey in achieving their Adventure A Pin Awards or even their Duke of Edinburgh International Award.

Ice Cream Day Outing Adventure

Pre-Kindergarten students took an adventure walk to the main campus to enjoy the Parent Liaison Committee’s Ice Cream Day in May.





Inclusivity Mural Active Citizenship

Our student-run ACT (Activism, Community service, Team building) committee came together to create an inclusivity mural, designed and made by students. At the start of the school year, while at camp, the school community pledged to celebrate diversity and inclusion, cementing our values. Each handprint on the canvas, in the pattern of the progress flag, represents each student’s pledge to celebrate others’ differences. The ACT committee is proud to have the mural hung in the Albert College Resource Centre, reminding us of our commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

The Five ‘A’s Trip Adventure

The 5 ‘A’s trip was a two-week adventure during March Break. Twelve students from Grades 9 to 12 ventured across British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, engaging in a wide range of activities across the Albert College 5 ‘A’s. Our adventurers learned about various Indigenous cultures, camped and hiked in beautiful forests, went downhill and cross- country skiing in the Yukon, learned the art of glassblowing, and volunteered to plan and facilitate workshops at a B.C. outdoor school.

Grade 6 Leadership: Getting Ready for the “Big School” Active Citizenship

Climate Change Acceleration Team Active Citizenship

When students arrive at the Senior School, they can join a wide range of clubs and committees that make a big impact on our school and community. The Grade 6 leadership program is an opportunity for our younger students to hone their skills, before entering the “Big School.” Each year, the Grade 6’s take turns being a part of the Assembly Committee, the Action Committee, and the Green Team. These young leaders have already kicked off initiatives such as collecting used batteries for recycling, and raising funds for the Grace Inn Shelter in Belleville.

Albert College is one of 15 pilot schools selected to participate in the Climate Change Acceleration Program. This three-year commitment will focus on green initiatives within the school and the community. The Climate Change Acceleration Team at Albert has already successfully launched initiatives within our school, such as Meatless Mondays in the dining hall, with the help of Food Services staff, Earth Hour on March 31, and a Back to the Sea fundraising campaign in April, sparking curiosity and conversation about marine life and the need to protect our oceans.




Too Much Noise! Primary Production Arts

Students from Grade 1, 2 and 3 staged two wonderful performances in early March. The musical Too Much Noise! is an adaptation of an Eastern European folktale about appreciation. It features a family who complains that their small house is too noisy. Wise villagers cleverly teach the family to be grateful for what they have, singing and dancing all the way.

A Conversation on Discrimination Active Citizenship In honour of Black History Month, Albert College invited Mourasia Duffus, Albert College parent and former member of the Board of Governors, to speak about discrimination with our Senior School students during a Chapel presentation. Drawing on personal experiences, she spoke of what discrimination is, how it feels and looks, and gave thoughtful strategies on how to stand up against racism.

Senior School Drama Production Arts After a two-year hiatus, the Senior School drama production, The Internet is Distract-OH LOOK, A KITTEN! by Ian McWethy, was a delight for audiences. This new-age technological comedy is a cheeky view of the distractions many face online. The production experience for the cast and crew is about more than just acting. The students rehearse for months in preparation, and they are involved in every aspect of the production. This includes stage management, marketing elements such as press releases, radio spots and poster design, as well as design elements such as hair, makeup and costuming, and technical elements such as sound, lighting and projection. Over 35 students from Grades 9 to 12 were involved. Congratulations to the cast and crew on a very successful run!





Middle School French Immersion Trip Adventure

The Middle School students had a wonderful experience during their French immersion ski trip to Saint-Donat in January. This annual trip is offered through Perspectives, a French cultural outdoor education program based in Saint-Donat-de-Montcalm, Québec. The students get a feel for life in a French community, and share an experience together using the French language. A bonus this year was that snow conditions were perfect for downhill and cross-country skiing, night trail skating and snowshoeing.

Conspicuous Service Awards Athletics What makes an athlete a great team player? The Conspicuous Service Award highlights Grade 12 players who contribute to the synergy of their team, are consistent and dependable, and most importantly, bring their own unique positivity to every interaction on and off the fields and courts. This year, 15 awards were given to student- athletes in soccer, track and field, basketball, volleyball and field hockey.

Chess Champions Academics In April, the Junior School hosted a chess invitational, inviting students from the Quinte region to compete. Thirteen students qualified for the Belleville District Championship, which was held on April 20. Each student played five games, and each grade group had 20 players. Four of our players finished in the top three in their grades, including Andre, Grade 3, who placed first.




Computer Science Club Academics

New this year at Albert is the Computer Science Club, pioneered by three ambitious students – Allen N., Allen X. and Mark – who want to inspire a love of technology. With 14 members, the club learns and works together on projects such as game development. Members have also participated in competitions like the North American Computational Linguistics Open and the USA Computing Olympiad, where Allen X., a Grade 11 student, placed second. The club is not just for experienced students; it is also a safe space for beginners to develop their skills.

Mock Trial Champions Academics

Our Grade 12 law class travelled to the Belleville courthouse in May to compete in the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) and Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) Hastings Mock Trial championships. Thirteen Albert students won all four trials they took part in and were named the 2023 Hastings Mock Trial champions. This local tournament is a part of the OBA/OJEN competitive mock trials, which are held annually across the province.

Regional Win for Science Project Academics

A group of Grade 9 students presented their science projects at the 2023 Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair. Our winning duo, Ella and Isabella, placed first in their division for their project, Do Colours Affect People’s Immediate Reaction to Fear? The project compared reactions between older and younger students, which the judges were fascinated by. Ella and Isabella went on to compete at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Edmonton.





Bermuda, a Longstanding Tradition

St Catherine's Point

Achilles Bay

Gates Bay

Tobacco Bay

Retreat Hill

Building Bay

St George


St George's Island

Ordnance I.

St George's Harbour

Smith's I.

Lovers' Lake

Smith Soun

Atlantic Ocean

Whale Bone Bay

St David's Island

Coney Island

Bermuda Intenational Airport


Castle Harbour

Nonsuch Island

Church Bay

Castle Islands

Castle Island

Castle Roads

Hall's Island


Tucker's Town Bay

Shark Hole

Charles Island

Trunk Island

Shelly Bay

Tucker's Town

Harrington Sound

Ireland Island North

Gibbet Island Flatts Inlet

Trott's Pond

North Basin

Devil's Hole

Mangrove Lake

Gibbons Bay

Grassy Bay

Flatts Village

North Lagoon

Town Hill 76 m

John Smith's Bay Gravelly Bay

Ireland Island South

South Basin

King's Point

Cobbler Island

The Lagoon

Spittal Pond

Clarence Cove

Boaz Island

Somerset Long Bay

Mangrove Bay

Daniel's Island

Watford Island

Daniel's Head

Somerset Village

Scotts Hill

Devonshire Bay

Somerset Island

Cavello Bay


Stowe Hill

Hamilton Harbour

Long Island

Pitt's Bay

Saltus I.

Hungry Bay

White's I.

Hawkins' Island

Great Sound

Nelly Island

Marshall I.

Ports Island

Wreck Hill

Hinson's I.

Burt Island

Cobb's Hill

Granaway Deep

Main Island

Grace Island

Darrell Island

Cedar Hill

George's Bay

Warwick Pond

Morgan's Point

Burnt House Hill

Little Sound

Jews Bay Riddell's Bay

Evans Pond

Evan's Bay

Five Star Island

Whitney Bay

Frank's Bay

Warwick Long Bay

Camp Hill

West Whale Bay

Stonehole Bay

Horseshoe Bay

East Whale Bay

Cross Bay

Sinky Bay













Contrary to what one might expect, Albert College and Bermuda share many similarities – a friendly community, historic architecture and Bermuda shorts, as part of our summer uniform. Although the pink sand beaches of Bermuda cannot be found in Belleville, the connection we share is one that is cherished and will continue to be celebrated for generations to come.

paid it forward by establishing the Waheed Brown ’98 Scholarship for Charitable Bermudians in 2020. The scholarship provides additional opportunities for Bermudians who are seeking their own Canadian experience at Albert College. Skye, a Grade 10 student, shared some of her reasons for coming to Albert College from Bermuda. “I was ready for an adventure, ready for more independence and looking for a new experience.” Skye is also a recipient of the Frederick Sydney Smith ’31 Scholarship. In her first year, Skye has been involved in the school’s drama production and choir, and delved into painting watercolour castles in visual arts class. Skye competed with the school’s volleyball team, and at a national tournament with the basketball team. Skye joined Albert College because it felt like it was the right place for her. “It is really diverse here, and I am living with people who speak so many different languages and share their cultures,” she says. Skye has also brought her Bermudian culture to Canada, giving a presentation to students about the celebrations like the Good Friday kite festival that she loves so much about home. The connection between Albert College and Bermuda is a family affair. For example, John Barritt ’68 attended Albert College for three years, as did his sister, Jennifer (Barritt) Johnson ’64 and brother, Mark Barritt ’70. After Albert College, John attended Trent University where he earned a bachelor of arts and met his wife, Sharon. He then received his bachelor of journalism (honours) from Carleton University, and bachelor of law from

Town Cut

Higgs' and Horseshoe Island

Paget Island

h's nd

Lighthouse Hill

Ruth's Bay

Ruth's Bay Point

Annie's Bay

Long Bay

net Rock

Students from Bermuda have been travelling to Belleville for over a century to receive a first-class education at Albert College. Wenona Robinson sailed from Hamilton, Bermuda on the SS Bermudian, arriving at the port of New York in 1905 at the age of 14, en route to Albert College. Wenona graduated in 1908 with an honours diploma in elocution, and her sister, Pauline, graduated the same year from Albert’s domestic science program. After returning to Bermuda, she became a respected teacher, co-founded the Sunshine League, a children’s home, with her sister Agnes, was a women’s rights activist and a long-serving Girl Guide leader. Bermudian Frederick Sydney Smith ’31 attended Albert College from 1928 to 1931. Smith was the son of Hammond Reeve Tucker Smith and Essie Mabel McCallan. Born in 1911, in St. David’s, Bermuda, he was known as a quiet and unassuming gentleman of few words. He was an accomplished sailor of fitted dinghies – a family tradition he notably carried on as the

skipper of “Victory 11” for over 25 years. He was a life-time employee of A-1 Grocery from which he retired in 1975, after more than 40 years of service. Smith passed away on December 4, 1978. His experience at Albert College was so meaningful that a scholarship and bursary fund was established in his name in 1992. The Frederick Sydney Smith Scholarship provides scholarships and bursaries for Bermudian students to attend Albert College, granting from $5,000 to $40,000 each year. The committee, comprised of Bermudian alumni, meets annually to determine the recipients. For 230 Bermudian students, an Albert College education was made possible thanks to this scholarship and a man’s dream to share his experience with his fellow Bermudians. The Frederick Sydney Smith ’31 Scholarship also inspired other Bermudian students to give back to Albert College as he did. Waheed “Ali” Brown ’98, who attended Albert College on scholarship himself,





the University of Calgary. Now happily retired, John has a wealth of experience from multiple careers. He began his career as a journalist in Bermuda including stints as a weekly newspaper editor, radio and TV broadcaster and talk show host from 1972 to 1981. He enjoyed a varied law practice in litigation, conveyancing, trusts and estates. John was also a politician and an elected member of parliament in Bermuda for 18 years, having served as Cabinet Minister, Whip, House Leader for the Opposition and Leader of the Opposition upon his retirement in 2011. John joined Albert College’s Board of Governors in 2009, in roles that included Vice-Chair, Chair and Past Chair, and member of the Governance and Executive committees, to name a few. During that time, he was a dedicated leader until his retirement from the Board in 2021. John and Sharon live in Bermuda, have two children and four grandchildren who are, he says “the devoted objects of my attention and affection these days.” John credits Albert College for turning his life around when he was 14 years old. John shared that, “when I arrived at Albert College in 1965, I not only matured quickly, but I also developed self-confidence and self- discipline and began to believe that I could be successful at whatever I wanted to be. While I was at Albert I also realized, in ways that I did not fully appreciate at the time, that there was a whole world of opportunity beyond what the eye could see in Bermuda. Albert was very much a stepping-stone for me. The caring staff and teachers saw to it that I was able to succeed not just academically, but in every way possible.” John’s wish is that every young person in Bermuda could attend Albert College as he did. “It was a life- changing experience for me, and still is for those who have followed me.” His tremendous career accomplishments earned him a coveted spot on the Wall of Honour in Alumni Hall at Albert College, where he was inducted in April 2023.

“It is such a huge decision to make when considering sending a child overseas,” remarks Heather Kidd, Director of Enrolment Management. “Due to our long association with Bermudians, those families have no problem entrusting their children in our care. Since Albert is such a small and caring family school, our students instantly feel right at home.” And the hospitality extends both ways. Since Heather has been travelling to Bermuda every year for over 25 years, she is affectionately referred to as a “Bermuda Onion” by the locals. Bermuda has a special place in her heart and will always be one of her favourite destinations for finding Canada-ready students to join our community.

When I arrived at Albert College in 1965, I not only matured quickly, but I also developed self-confidence and self- discipline and began to believe that I could be successful at whatever I wanted to be.”





Heather Kidd, Director of Enrolment Management, with Stanfield Brangman, father of alumna Shawnette Brangman ’05, and Maureen Eddy ’70 (past parent and employee, former board member, former Chair of Frederick Sydney Smith Scholarship) in Bermuda. Pictured in this archival photo of the Commercial students are Wenona Robinson, middle row at right, and her sister, Pauline, front centre-left. Both graduated in 1908.





In June 2022, Albert College received an important, long-awaited document: the CAIS (Canadian Accredited Independent Schools) accreditation report. As a CAIS independent school, Albert College participates in a rigorous accreditation process every five to seven years. The process serves as an arm's-length peer review of the school, while also enabling Albert to be accountable to its constituents, from the Board of Governors and leadership team to students, parents, staff and alumni. Ultimately, the CAIS accreditation helps Albert College be the best school it can be for its students. Kudos from CAIS How Accreditation Helps Albert Thrive

How does it work?

The process includes three steps: an internal evaluation, which was written by Dianne Purdie, Assistant Head – Senior School, with school- wide input; a visit by a CAIS committee with expertise in each of the 12 standards, resulting in a 70-page report; and finally, Albert’s response to recommendations, which outlines the school’s plans to address the committee’s areas for improvement. While the internal evaluation can be a challenge to prepare due to its depth and breadth, Ms. Purdie found the experience constructive. “It is a very reflective process and is valuable to everyone at the school,” she shares. “Looking at our school under a sort of microscope gets us thinking about our strengths and ensures that we do not ignore areas that we need to develop.” Normally a one- to two-year endeavour, Albert’s accreditation took much longer, due to a change in Head of School with Mark Musca’s arrival in 2019, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-day visitation by the committee was virtual, which was no small feat in itself to organize. That said, they met with staff members, students, parents and board members, and were even led on student tours by cell phone. “The committee was so impressed with our students, the way they truly live and breathe Albert College,” notes Ms. Purdie. “They meet with teachers and students, and they want to see that authentic learning is going on, and what the learning environment looks and feels like. We were a bit worried that the small school feel would not come across, but it really did.”




Connecting the dots from accreditation to strategic plan

How did we do?

Albert College’s strategic plan, Small School • Open Minds • Bright Futures, is in its final year, and the Board of Governors will be launching the new plan in fall 2023. Are the CAIS accreditation report and the strategic plan connected? Mr. Musca says that the timing was perfect for one to feed into the other. “CAIS looks at our strategic plan and they want to see that we are implementing what we committed to,” he adds. Two new roles at the school, that of Dr. Suparna Roy (Coordinator of Teaching, Learning and Innovation) and Jennifer Fagan (Health and Wellness Counsellor) were both created during this strategic plan, to address students’ academic and wellness needs. The CAIS report has served as a key document as the next strategic plan was being developed. If the purpose of the CAIS accreditation process is for a school to “discover its strengths, areas for growth, future strategy, and examining how well its program fulfils its mission,” the future of Albert College following our accreditation appears to be well in hand.

In its report, the visiting committee shared that they were struck by the sense of community and pride that shone through in their discussions with Albert staff, students, alumni and board members. The strength of the school’s mission and the 5 ‘A’s - Academics, Arts, Athletics, Active Citizenship and Adventure – were clearly lived on a daily basis, both in school and in the boarding program. The school was lauded for its academic and extra-curricular programs, its personalized approach to enrolment, and a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion priorities, as well as health and wellness initiatives. Mark Musca, Head of School, found the visit and subsequent report gratifying. “Any evaluation is nerve- wracking, whether you’re a student giving a speech, or a teacher having a principal evaluate your lesson. We really wanted to put our best foot forward,” he explains. “It was rewarding to read the final report, which reaffirmed all of the excellent work we are doing.” The committee’s recommendations included aligning our new strategic plan with a long-range financial plan; keeping our focus as a school on student and staff wellness;

bolstering the technology plan at the school; formalizing mentoring and goal-setting for faculty and staff, to support excellence in teaching; and prioritizing the school’s environmental responsibility. Keeping our community connected, through alumni events, building a culture of philanthropy and focusing on student retention were also mentioned. Ms. Purdie appreciated the recommendations on boarding life in particular. “The boarding life program was an area that needed work, and after the CAIS recommendations, we researched university and school examplars for strong programming that is more inclusive, life skills- oriented and culturally aware,” she explains. “We also found that what we needed is something very unique, and tailored to our boarders.” The recommendations were also welcomed by Mr. Musca. “In independent schools, we are constantly trying to improve, based on our own observation, trends in education and best practices of our peer schools,” he shares. “The recommendations they made were areas that we had already targeted for improvement, so in that way it reaffirmed the direction we want to go as a school.”

CAIS Accreditation Standards

1. Mission, vision, values and strategy 2. Co-curriculum and the learning environment 3. Academic program 4. School leadership

5. Human resources 6. School and community 7. Enrolment management 8. Governance

9. Finance 10. Physical plant,

health and safety

11. Commitment to

school improvement

12. Boarding





Where Our Grads Go and How They Get There

When choosing Albert College for their child, just about every prospective parent asks which colleges and universities our graduates attend. Do they go to US and international universities? The top Canadian schools? What about specialty programs?








Ethan, Grade 10, considers his post- secondary options.

From my perspective, academics, arts, athletics, active citizenship and adventure are the building blocks to making an excellent university application”


to making an excellent university application,” she explains, “because all of these experiences tell the story of our students’ time here.” For example, students can easily draw on these experiences – a Duke of Edinburgh adventure trip to Algonquin Park, a championship win in CISAA basketball or volleyball, competing in a computer science contest – and these all enhance their university applications, distinguishing them from other candidates. One of the favourite parts of Ms. Weldon’s role is developing a relationship with students and families outside of academics. “I love watching someone grow from Grade 7 to 12, seeing how much they mature and watching where they go after graduation,” she says. “It is the most exciting time of our students’ lives, and it’s often a family decision.” This is why there are workshops and classes for students, but there are also many opportunities for families to meet with Ms. Weldon to answer any questions and ensure the student is on the right track. And while it’s gratifying for her to see a grad go to the program they were aiming for, there are often challenges, too. “It’s ok for students to

students to present in front of the class, honing their communication skills in a safe, encouraging environment. With the guidance and career studies course in Grade 10, the real work begins. Students start to explore post-secondary programs and career options based on their strengths and interests. Hands-on experiences are built into the course, with students visiting local colleges and universities, and attending university representative visits on an almost- weekly basis in the fall. Albert College has connections with more than 100 representatives from Canada, the US and the United Kingdom. Using myBlueprint, an online platform, students can explore and develop individualized education and career plans, finding the pathway that leads to the post-secondary goals they set for themselves. How do AC students stand out from the crowd, especially when they are applying to a highly competitive program? Anne Weldon, Guidance and Academic Counsellor, is a firm believer in Albert College’s 5 ‘A’s. “From my perspective, academics, arts, athletics, active citizenship and adventure are the building blocks

Albert College has an impressive track record for students receiving university offers from the school of their choice. In general, 100% of our grads attend post-secondary studies, entering with well-balanced portfolios, a clear career goal and strong learning skills that help them succeed once they get to university. Their programs reflect their passions and personalities, with students pursuing degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects, business and commerce, liberal arts, medical and life sciences. The possibilities are endless! But, how do they get there? In addition to being talented and hard- working, Albert College students all benefit from the guidance program, which extends through all their years at the Senior School, starting in Grade 8. The Grade 8 and 9 learning strategies course teaches students organization, study and time management skills; gives them insight into how they learn best and what their individual strengths are; and helps them develop academic and personal goals. The course offers many opportunities for




Impressive Scholarship Win

Sarena was recognized as one of Albert’s academic leaders this year at Convocation. She held the role of Active Citizenship Prefect, was involved with this year’s drama production and was a leading member of the ACT (Activism, Community service, Team building) committee. She was a member of the volleyball, field lacrosse and field hockey teams, receiving the coach's award for each. She received the French and economics awards, the Reginald and Margaret Finney Award for English, the T.K. Franklin Humanitarian Award, and the Albert College Active Citizenship Award. She is the recipient of the Grade 12 Prize for Academic Excellence and Governor General’s Academic Medal. Sarena has received the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship to attend Queen’s University, one of only 100 scholarships awarded among more than 300,000 applicants across Canada. The Schulich Leader Scholarship is Canada’s largest undergraduate scholarship supporting Canada’s top talent in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). She will be studying physical science next year. “I am grateful for the guidance team recognizing my interest in STEM, suggesting and supporting my application to scholarships and programs across Canada and the US.”

Learning Strategies teacher, Gia Spiropoulos, helps students define strong study skills.

and uncle were a huge inspiration,” Jacob explains. “My dad really pushed me to go after this goal, especially when I lost hope of getting in.” His experience at Queen’s gave him a taste of what’s required at the university level, and he feels it set him up well for going into his dream program. “Albert College prepared me by allowing me to see what I could achieve,” he notes. “A large part of it was hard work; however, the teachers I had played a massive part in the success I was able to achieve, because they were more than willing to answer my questions, and they were always willing to offer advice whenever they could.” For Ms. Weldon, the role of guidance is part emotion and part preparation. “As a counsellor, I believe in over-preparing for the university process,” she says, “but then ultimately, I believe our students should follow their gut feelings when it comes to making any big decisions in life.” With a balance of clear goals, support from the guidance program and their own determination, Albert College students have many bright days ahead.

try things and be somewhat uncertain about their program choices, or even to receive a rejection letter.” She shares that she has seen many tears, but this is also an important aspect of finding the right fit. Recent graduate Jacob Elsayegh ’22 is a good example of perseverance paying off. He had two different pathway plans, both of them very competitive. “His plan B was to attend Queen’s for engineering,” explains Ms. Weldon, “but because of the timeline for international schools, he needed to decide on a program before hearing from his first choice in Australia.” Jacob went through two different application processes and learned a lot about himself in the process, as he was writing reflections, interviewing and completing written applications. In the end, Jacob happily enrolled in Queen’s, and mid-way through his first semester there, he received the news that he was indeed accepted to the Australian program. Now that he is heading to La Trobe University for an honours bachelor of dental surgery, what did Jacob take away from his experience? “I had a dream of owning my own business, working with my hands, and my dad





So Much to Celebrate: Convocation 2023




The 42 students in the Class of 2023 hail from nine countries - Nigeria, Mexico, China, Bermuda, Jamaica, Germany, Palestine and Cyprus; local students are from Belleville, Prince Edward County, Kingston and Toronto, among others. This year’s class valedictorian, Natalie, is an Albert College “Lifer,” who spoke eloquently about the Albert College family in her address. This portion of her message sums it up well: Friends, it’s been a long time coming, but our moment is finally here. No more lunches together, no more cookies at break, no more Graham Hall or Victoria Manor, no more House League competitions, no more high school. Accept, cherish and embrace the moment that awaits us. I will not soon forget the times we’ve shared, the trials we’ve conquered, and the memories we’ve built together. Earlier, I mentioned family being a group of people that make you happy, and that still stands. You all make me immeasurably happy, and I wish nothing but the best for you in your futures. Just remember: our Albert College family may be leaving each other, but it is never truly gone, because above all else, family is forever. Each graduate was invited to the stage to receive their diploma and any additional awards, and formally welcomed to the AC alumni community by Bruce Bates ’92, parent of graduating student Nolan.

Albert College’s 166th Convocation ceremony took place on June 17. It was a beautiful day to celebrate the accomplishments of our 2023 graduating class, and our students in Grades 9 to 11. The ceremony was filled with pride and a sense of achievement as we recognized our students’ hard work, dedication and perseverance.





Athletics award recipients Aaron, Franzi, Sophie and David.

Marsh and Howard Awards

Top Athletic Awards

Aaron received the Marsh Award for character, scholarship, leadership and recreation. An Albert College “Lifer,” Aaron attended Albert College for seven years, and in his final year, he served as our Athletics and Head Prefect. Aaron holds a bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. In athletics, Aaron was a member of the senior boys volleyball and basketball teams, receiving most valuable player and conspicuous service awards for both. He was also the recipient of the kinesiology award, the Class of ’49 Trophy for most outstanding athlete and the “Pete” Beach Athletic Award. Next fall, he will attend York University for a bachelor of science in kinesiology and health science. Sophie received the Howard Award for character, scholarship, leadership and recreation. Also a “Lifer,” Sophie attended Albert College for 14 years. This year, she served as our Chapel Prefect and will fondly remember leading the school assemblies each morning. Sophie was highly involved in the athletics program. She received most valuable player for girls basketball in Grades 9, 11 and 12, and the conspicuous service award for this year’s soccer and volleyball teams. She was also the recipient of this year’s chemistry award and the Mary Jane Haskett McCullough Award for long-term contribution to athletics. In the fall, she will attend Queen’s University to pursue a bachelor of science in life science and biochemistry.

To the Class of 2023, congratulations and best wishes for a bright future ahead. We could not be more proud. David of Mexico City, Mexico was the recipient of the McIntyre Award for outstanding contribution to male athletics. In his final year, David served on the grad class executive committee and the environmental committee. He was this year’s Bill Walker Award winner for most valuable player in senior boys soccer. He also received the Howard Purchase Memorial Award for his contributions to boarding life. Next year, he will attend the University of Toronto, St. George campus, pursuing a bachelor of commerce. Franzi received the Class of ’66 Trophy for most outstanding athlete in female athletics this year. From Braunschweig, Germany, she was a member of the track and field team, where she received this year’s coach’s award, and was the two-time recipient of the Jane Acton Award for most valuable player in senior girls field hockey. She also received the Jesse B. Tuite Award for her contributions to boarding life. She plans to pursue a bachelor of arts in management and organizational studies.




Year-end Celebrations in the Junior and Middle Schools

The Junior School and Middle School celebrated the end of the academic year while marking a milestone for Grade 6 and Grade 8 students. At the Junior School, parents were treated to vocal and instrumental performances by each grade. A highlight of the event was a photo tribute to the Grade 6 class. It was bittersweet to mark the end of the students’ time in the Junior School, but they are well-prepared for the exciting journey that awaits them in the Middle School. During the celebration, Anne Beveridge, Junior School Principal, recognized the retirement of Tatyana Haddock, our beloved Junior Kindergarten teacher who has dedicated over 20 years to shaping the minds and hearts of our younger students. It was also Ms. Haddock’s final year to congratulate the school’s Oak Tree Award recipients, Sophie, Kavi and Natalie, who have been at the school since Kindergarten. The Middle School Year-end Celebration was truly magical, brimming with excitement, achievements and heartfelt moments. We had the opportunity to recognize and honour the exceptional growth of our Grade 7 and 8 students in the 5 ‘A’s - Academics, Arts, Athletics, Active Citizenship and Adventure. The evening ended with a full Middle School photo at the front of the school, a perfect picture of a great group.

The Grade 6 class receiving their certificates.

Grade 7s (left) and Grade 8s at their year-end celebration.





Staff News

Proud mom Dianne Purdie with Liam Mawhinney ’22 at his graduation.

Tatyana Haddock with her Kindergarten students.

Dianne Purdie , Assistant Head – Senior School retired this June, after a career in education that began in 1987. After teaching at a number of independent schools, she joined Albert College in 2009. Over her impressive tenure here, Ms. Purdie was instrumental in developing the prefect leadership program, increasing learning supports for students, and strengthening ties with the Ministry of Education and our peer schools. She guided us through two Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) evaluations, and has been an active faculty member, whether it’s coaching, adventuring at camp, or supporting school events like the Terry Fox Run. A message from her son , Liam Mawhinney ’22: “My mom is one of the greatest people I know. Words cannot describe my feelings and thanks for her; she has done so much for me and for the school community. I aspire to be just a sliver of the person that she is! Growing up with her and around Albert helped shape me into the person that I am today. There is one specific group of students that I know she has touched deeply - the prefects. My mom has run the prefect team for many years, and as a member of the 2021-22 team, I know how much she connects with and means to these students. She is a very different person during those meetings than most students know her to be - she never fails to make everyone laugh - normally by laughing, but sometimes by snorting. She has been an integral part of the Albert College community for 14 years, working hard every day. On that note, I know that she is looking forward to retiring. I also know that she will miss the community that she spent so many years helping to build. Mom, you mean so much to each and every Albert student, and you will be dearly missed.”

Tatyana Haddock , Kindergarten teacher, is retiring this June after over 30 years at the school. During her long and storied career, she worked with five Heads of School and three Junior School Principals. She lived in two boarding houses, and taught at the Early Primary Learning Centre (EPLC), the Junior School and the Senior School. Ms. Haddock is the last original staff member of the Junior School team that opened the Parrott Junior School in September 2003. She also is the proud parent of three boys; Rowan attended Albert College from 2004 to 2010. Mary Almeida, Director of the EPLC, wrote: “Tatyana was one of the first AC staff members that I was introduced to, and I will always be thankful for her help during my transition into my role. Tatyana was always kind and generous with her time, and willing to share her years of experience as part of the AC family. We worked closely together when Junior Kindergarten (JK) was located at the EPLC, and the Pre-Kindergarten students were always excited to make the move to JK! From her work in boarding life, to developing and teaching the Kindergarten program, Tatyana has made a huge difference in the lives of all the students who have come into her care. This was most evident watching AC graduates receive their Oak Tree Award of Recognition from Tatyana; how fondly those students looked back on their journey from Kindergarten! This speaks to the impact that Tatyana has made on the lives of so many students during her time at Albert; under her care they have grown, developed and flourished, and been well-prepared for the years ahead.”



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