Inside King's-Edgehill School

Joe Seagram, Headmaster

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Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 4

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Sep 28, 2018 6:04:39 PM

Dear KES Family:

It seems the School year just started, and yet, this coming Wednesday night we will gather as a giant family for our annual Headmaster’s Thanksgiving Supper. Grandparents’ Day and the Thanksgiving long weekend follow on Thursday.

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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 3

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Sep 21, 2018 5:54:48 PM

Dear KES Family:

The cross-country team had finished its first-ever 3,200 meter workout around the “Track of Payne”, the Boys’ Soccer team was holding onto its second-half lead over Avon View, and about half the School was watching happily as they sat on and around the circle of boulders that line the field and track. It was then that Grade 10 student River Qi decided to run laps around the track. Although, on a glorious sunset summer evening Lindsay Hogan and Aria MacDonald had the first official workout on the track, River goes down in history as the first student to run around it for fun.

River is a strapping young man from Jinan, China. He is not a classic runner, but he gamely made his way around and around, and with each 400 meter lap, warm-hearted and enthusiastic cheers would erupt from his fellow students as he ran by. I loved every second of the entire afternoon and what it represented for our School.

In the week it has been finished, our grand-new facility has hosted three soccer games (all victories!), dozens of pick-up rugby and soccer games, and hosted a dancercise warm-up for over 600 people at the annual Terry Fox Run! Although we will need to raise some money before we can finish the track (proper asphalt and rubber surface with lane markings etc), it is already proving to be a transformative area of the School. Anything that promotes our sense of community, anything that enhances our physical and emotional wellness, is a welcome addition to KES. I could not be happier with the way the Track of Payne ( soon to be dedicated to Guy Payne – KES track coach for the last 51 years) is shaping up.

Sincerely,

Joe Seagram

This week in Photos

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Topics: Joe's Journal -- Weekly Headmaster's Newsletter

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 2

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Sep 14, 2018 11:49:27 PM

Dear KES Family:

Our School Prayer invites our students to be inspired “with the spirit of truth, honour and duty.” I love that these words are spoken every single Chapel service and that our students will hear them hundreds of times as part of their daily lives here. In our rapidly changing modern world, each one of these values is like an endangered species. In this age of information, one would think that the truth would be easier to find than at any other time in history, and yet it is often as elusive as the facts in a supermarket tabloid.

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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Volume 9, Issue 1

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Sep 7, 2018 5:16:17 PM

Dear KES Family:

The story goes like this: “Gordo” (Gordon McKenzie) has been working as a custodian at King’s-Edgehill School for twenty-five years. There is not much he has not seen or done in his time here. He is universally loved, and legions of alumni will describe their hours of restorative service with him as some of their fondest memories of their time at KES (even if they were in trouble and removing gum from the bottom of desks as a consequence).


After all these years, Gordo exclaimed that he had a “first time” this week. Yup. He had just finished cleaning a classroom at the end of the school day when one of our young students, in his first days at KES, said hello and thanked him for cleaning his classroom. This was the first time a student had thanked Gordo for the cleaning he does every day.

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Topics: Joe's Journal -- Weekly Headmaster's Newsletter

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 36

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Jun 9, 2018 11:13:24 AM

Dear KES Family:


As I had my final meeting with this year’s dynamic Head Girl and Head Boy (Meredith Chambers and Arturo Ramirez), I could not help but feel the heaviness of their emotions. It was not just that they were feeling emotional about the end of their time at KES, that graduation is only a week away, but that they will be missing out on all the great things that are planned for next year. They are excited for the next stage of their own lives but sad that the next stage of the School’s life will belong to others.

There is a lot in the works this summer on campus and some fabulous new programmes at the School next year. I can see how they may feel they are missing out. First of all, construction has already started on the Fountain Performing Arts Studio. This is a 1,100 square foot dance and recording studio which will be home to our new dance programme and dance instructor Stephanie Cummings. It will introduce a whole new element to our performing arts programmes at the School. Additionally, construction for our new all-weather turf field starts on Monday. Surrounded by an eight-lane, crushed-gravel running track (we won’t be able to finish it until we have raised the funds to do so), it will be a huge addition to our recreational and varsity sports programmes as well as our Cadet Corps. The field will be FIFA and World Rugby dimensions and certified.

Sometimes the biggest changes are those which are not “built” but created. For instance, I have been busy this week interviewing girls for our new prep school basketball team. These young women are simply incredible. Motivated scholars and dedicated athletes, they will fill KES with their good humour and energy. Two of the sparkling and happy girls I interviewed this week are six foot four inches tall! All of these students are enthusiastic about working as hard in the classroom as they are on the basketball court.

And then there is the anticipation of having one of the very few licenses to perform “Mamma Mia” next fall, of having a vibrant dance programme, of seeing our debating and robotics programmes leap to the next national and international level.

To successfully survive another 230 years, KES must never stand still. We must constantly grow and evolve. We can stay small but we must always be mighty.

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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School, Joe's Journal -- Weekly Headmaster's Newsletter

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 35

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Jun 3, 2018 1:57:24 PM

Dear KES Family:

June has arrived!

The last week of classes for this academic year is over and it has been, as usual, packed with activity and achievement. The provincial championships in Track and Field and Rugby are underway – who knows what elation or heartbreak lies ahead? The Junior Rugby Team is away in New Brunswick for The Gathering of the Scots, a fabulous weekend of highland games and Scottish culture in addition to rugby. All our students will be wearing their very own Black Watch kilts this weekend. Great fun!

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Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 34

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on May 25, 2018 6:02:29 PM

Dear KES Family:


It is fitting that during a week when our Commanding Officer walked the aisle of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle with the future Duchess of Sussex, that we celebrated the accomplishments of the School’s 254 Cadet Corps. Indeed, it would have been great if it had been Captain Hynes who gave Meghan Markle away, but it was none other than our other Commanding Officer Prince Charles, the Colonel-In-Chief of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment to which we belong. It is a faint connection but, in a wee way, we were all present at the royal matrimonial.

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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 33

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on May 19, 2018 1:41:32 PM

Dear KES Family:


It is a happy School today! IB exams are over, the sun is shining, and the quad is full of Frisbees and footballs and smiling faces. There is a feeling of accomplishment and anticipation in the air, and the long weekend starts this afternoon. What could be better?

Humility can be such an admirable and revealing trait. It is not typical in teenagers but when it emerges it is simply lovely to see and hear. Yesterday morning as Grade 10 student Ryan Costello made his way to Chapel, I congratulated him on his Gold Medal performance at the District Championships for track and field. He ran the second leg in the 4 x 100m Intermediate relay. Ryan’s instant response was to give credit and adulation to his relay team members Duncan McLaughlin, Andrew Yearwood, and Josh Mills saying, “I take no credit for our victory. Duncan, Andrew, and Josh are so fast I could have walked my leg and we still would have won.” A lightning fast skater on the hockey team and all-around athlete (also placed in the shot put yesterday), I am sure Ryan’s contribution to the team was far more than a walk.

A rare KES day it is when you don’t have to change clothes at least once. (Quick changes are a little known KES skill.) Yesterday for many, was a four-outfit day (minimum). A humble example would be Grade 11 student Linus Mulherin. He came to School in classroom dress, changed into his formal cadet reds at lunch, jumped into his rugby kit afterwards to hit the pitch against Avon View, and then transformed again to play bass guitar in Convocation Hall for our School rock band Alcazar.

I love Four Pillar days (Academics, Athletics, Arts, Leadership), and yesterday like so many of our students, Linus was swinging from Pillar to Pillar like Tarzan.

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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 32

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on May 13, 2018 8:23:48 PM

Dear KES Family:

We were inspected by the Ministry of Education and Early Childhood Development yesterday. The two inspectors were very professional and extremely experienced educators. They had diligently read through all our submitted policy documents and manuals, our course descriptions and offerings, our faculty credentials and extra-curricular programmes. In short: everything.



However, all they really needed to know was what they learned in the first two minutes of being on campus. After parking their car they were greeted by Chris Northup, our friendly and fabulous groundskeeper and gardener. Full of good cheer and warmth, Chris directed our guests to Marshall House where they met up with me, Derek Bouwman, and Aynsley Sasaki. After a day of touring the School and being spell bound by Efra Gonzalez’s unscripted piano playing in the Performance Hall (they were astounded that students could be trusted to hang out in the music room unsupervised), captivated by Sandy Stewart’s energy and the exceptional quality of her students’ artwork, and enthralled by Mr. DeCoste’s description of fractals and Pollock’s art, they finished up with a glowing report of the School. Hurrah! However, before they departed it was mentioned that everything they really needed to know was captured in their first interaction with Chris Northup. Everything else they did, be it talking with our students in the Student Lounge or feeling the ‘vibe’ in the Dining Hall, confirmed their first impression.


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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School

Headmaster's Weekly Newsletter -- Week 31

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on May 5, 2018 6:49:26 PM

Dear KES Family:

Today is “Star Wars” day. I guess the official Jedi greeting of “May the Force be with you” coincides with May the 4th. Who knew? Only when one attends high school for many years (decades in fact) does one pick up such important cultural references. Hahaha!

Speaking of common knowledge, recent scientific studies have concluded what we have intuitively known to be true. Myopia in youth globally is accelerating at alarming rates. The statistics are staggering. In the USA the number has doubled in the last 30 years. In the UK 50% of university students are myopic. The primary reason is that children are spending more time indoors than ever before and looking at screens of one size or another. Spending 14 daylight hours a week outside will reduce the chances of myopia by 30%. Lots of screen time bad:( Outdoor activity good:).

I think we have all been aware that obesity and diabetes rates in today’s youth are rising at alarming rates, but it was fascinating to watch the CBC stories this week on the correlation between exercise and mental health. The symptoms of depression and anxiety are greatly reduced with exercise. The recommendation is for daily exercise. 180 minutes of physical activity a week can have significant results.

When I was growing up, my mother would kick us out of the house and tell us to “go out and play”. It is probably the best medical advice one can give children. We are so fortunate at KES to have activity built right into our daily lives. This includes teachers and Headmasters. Running around with the rugby team at the end of the day invariably improves my mood. It makes me happy – even when it is raining and muddy. Much of what we do at the School is structured, of course, but there is a significant amount of unstructured fun which occurs as well. It seems that a walk down to Baby Panda is actually good for one’s eyesight and overall well-being. Who knew?

I would be remiss if I did not mention the flip of joy I felt when I learned this week that the School Musical for next Fall is none other than “Momma Mia”. I love that show! Historically, it has not been licensed for school productions and yet we have been able to secure the rights to produce it next year. We have the vocal and musical talent to do it justice, too! For me, it is the ultimate feel-good-happy-cure-for-depression in a single evening ever.

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Topics: About King's-Edgehill School

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