Inside King's-Edgehill School

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 33

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on May 16, 2021 4:33:04 PM

Dear KES Family:

Here we are.  It is a beautiful sunny day.  Blossoms are bursting forth, grass is being cut, the new Learning Pavillion’s main structure assembled (gorgeous!), and every single test result has come back negative.  Whether it is on or off campus, staff and students or close contacts of the original positive test result, every result continues to be negative.
This morning I asked our very happy   School Nurse, Sue Cole, what this means. Her answer was immediate and simple. “It means we are awesome!” 
It means that the affected staff member was awesome at sticking to health protocols before and after learning of the positive result. (It is still a mystery where the infection was picked up.) It means that since September the cleaning staff has been awesome at sterilizing high touch areas and keeping the School safe. It means that everyone, from staff to students to visitors, have been adhering to the rules just in case we had a positive case. It means that all this effort since September was worth it. Imagine that…a boarding school with in-person classes and full daily sports and clubs programmes, has a confirmed case of COVID-19 amongst its residential faculty and no one else gets the virus.  It is awesome indeed.
Our close contacts remain in isolation but having just received their second negative test result, we are pretty confident their release to freedom on Wednesday at midnight won’t be extended.
It has been a record year for admissions. Be it Canadian students or International, we have been receiving more applications for next year than ever before. The pace has not slowed in recent weeks despite the third wave which has rushed through most of Canada. This week I interviewed a thoughtful young woman from Nova Scotia. When I asked her why she wanted to come to KES she replied: “I want my high school years to be ones that I remember with fondness and excitement, and not simply a period of time that I have to endure before I get on with my life.”
Our Head Boy this year is   Righo Etou. Before he departed this week for his new home in Montreal, he came to my office to say goodbye.  We took a moment to reflect on his journey here. “King’s”, he said, “has been my home for so many years.” 
Righo came into boarding from Congo when he was ten years old, speaking beautiful French but very little English. Despite being the youngest in his class, he was always the tallest and the gentlest and kindest soul around.  It was with fondness and excitement that we reminisced over his time. Righo had just turned 12 when we summited Mount Kilimanjaro together. He was always “up” for anything. Be it battling hard with   Mackenzie Smith  in basketball, playing percussion and rugby alongside   Jem Logan, or ordering calamari at every opportunity, Righo’s high school years were anything but a ‘period of time that he had to endure’.
Outside my office window right now is   Tammy Lazo de la Vega (Class of 2021). She leaves for Mexico soon and is taking pictures of her home: Jodrey House. Like so many students at our School, she has immersed herself into everything and created a rich and multi-dimensional experience that she will be able to look back upon with fondness and excitement.
The pandemic has changed the way we thought the school year would end. However, each one of our students can look back upon this year and be immensely proud of how much they have done despite every challenge they have faced.  From shattering all previous records for our Terry Fox Run to having the only Remembrance Day service in the province, having two theatrical performances and a spectacular Arts Review and Cultural Fair, winning Silver at the national debating tournament and placing fourth in the world in robotics, we have done things safely and to an exceptionally high standard. 
As online classes will continue into June, each day brings another departure for home.  While I am sad to see each student leave, I am proud of all they have accomplished. Keeping their friends safe is perhaps their biggest accomplishment of all.
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Topics: Joe's Journal -- Weekly Headmaster's Newsletter

Going the Distance in Distance Learning

Posted by KES Blogging Team on May 13, 2021 5:35:00 PM

We are now in the second week of our Junior School Distance Learning (DL) program, and there is no question that everyone is missing the physical connectedness of being together on campus.  Staying safe and protecting those around us remain our shared priorities. Despite the reputation of mental malaise associated with universal virtual learning, I commend our students and teachers for responding to the challenge in true “Highlander” form. 
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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School, Academics at KES

Almost, Maine

Posted by KES Blogging Team on May 11, 2021 5:34:00 PM

John Cariani, the playwright of  Almost, Maine, describes his play as "people falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend...". These are the stories of average, everyday people who experience the unexpected; just like us, currently living in extraordinary times. 

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Topics: Arts At KES, ARTS

Connect, Converse and Catch-up - Chad Wasson

Posted by KES Blogging Team on May 10, 2021 5:34:31 PM

Mr. Lakes  shares his weekly conversation with former KES student,   Chad Wasson (Class of 2010).
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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School, KES Alumni

Our Debaters Earn Silver!

Posted by KES Blogging Team on May 9, 2021 5:33:27 PM

Online debate tournaments have continued into the spring, and I'm super happy to report that 2 of ours,   William Ahern and   Thane Morgan, advanced to the final round of this past weekend's Senior Level Ontario Student Debating Union Tournament.  
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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School, Academics at KES

Almost Maine - Meet Our Cast and Crew

Posted by KES Blogging Team on May 5, 2021 4:01:35 PM

Almost, Maine  has been one of the top high school play productions for the past few years, and it offers a collection of short love scenes, exploring new-found love, long-lasting friendships that take an exciting leap of faith, or partnerships whose love has dissolved over time. With the world’s problems weighing heavily on our shoulders, our Senior School students present uplifting and inspiring stories that remind us of the good things in life. Even when faced with adversity, love will find a way.   Almost, Maine  was brought to you by enthusiastic and spirited students who are bursting with bright talent. Thank you to our backstage members   Sarah, Lily, Maeve, and  Qiaoman  for interviewing the cast and crew and for writing Newsletter articles each week. 
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Topics: Arts At KES, ARTS

We're All In This Together - Revue Finale

Posted by KES Blogging Team on May 4, 2021 4:00:54 PM

As the pandemic has us all in an altered state and searching for protected well being, there can be no better truth to the phrase,   We're All in This Together. That's how our thespians, musicians, and dancers concluded our musical revue.
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Topics: Arts At KES, ARTS

A Great Training Year for the 254!

Posted by KES Blogging Team on May 3, 2021 3:31:07 PM

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases within the province, the Canadian Cadet Organization has deemed it necessary to suspend ‘in person’ Cadet training.  Therefore, there will be no Cadet Training conducted until our COVID numbers drop considerably.  While this is not good news, I want to reflect on the great training year we had. 
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Topics: Cadets

2021 David Fry Nova Scotia Provincial Championships

Posted by KES Blogging Team on May 2, 2021 3:30:33 PM

During the first half of April, 11 clubs representing close to 300 swimmers from across Nova Scotia raced officially sanctioned meets in their home pools.  Times were sent to Swim NS, tabulated, and the results posted this week.  In our first Provincial Championship meet, KES Swimming has a lot to be proud of and plenty of reasons to be positive about our potential.
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Topics: Athletics At KES, Athletes at KES

Headmaster's Newsletter -- Week 31

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Apr 30, 2021 7:13:33 PM

Dear KES Family:

I presume like most Nova Scotians, I have watched our Chief Medical Officer of Health’s live briefings with a kind of fascination and respect. I don’t know when he started at the helm of Public Health in Nova Scotia, but he and his staff were of immense help back in 2009 when we had the H1N1 (swine flu) epidemic.
Anyone watching the news over the last year has had ample opportunity to see each province’s political and medical leaders in action. The different approaches and prioritization of competing priorities (political, economic, medical, social…), as well as the adherence to science and humanity, has been fascinating to witness.  I continue to be immensely proud of the leadership in our province. It is remarkably steadfast and consistent.
I think all Nova Scotians draw strength and direction and comfort from Dr. Strang’s leadership and the support of his team. What fascinates me is that through all of this he has maintained a personal touch, and from time to time has contacted the School directly to help guide us.
We work very hard to create an “oasis of kindness” here on campus. KES needs to be a safe and loving place where students and staff feel welcome and cared for. In reference to the pandemic, Dr. Strang has said, “And when this has passed, may they say that love spread more quickly than any virus ever could”. 
This is a different kind of love isn’t it?  It’s not romantic, Romeo and Juliet love.  It’s not like loving chocolate or Christmas morning.  It is about a collective positive regard for every single one of us. It is a hope that concern and caring for each other will spread from person to person.  In a way it is symbolized by the Nova Scotia Strong heart which is captured on flags and maps and carvings displayed in front yards and windows and bumper stickers throughout our province.  It is about collective strength and good will and kindness. It is about forgiveness and grace.
We will get through this. When we do, I hope we can say that love spread faster than the virus. It is something we can all work on.
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