The annual Spelling Bee championships were a gargantuan success with BVG students securing medals thanks to their creative abilities with words such as doorjamb, pullet, coupe and resurgence. (Fast fact: Zarzuela is a Spanish seafood dish!)
One of our students will be advancing to the Canadian Championship Finals in May.
Here are the results:
1st Place Grade 2 Tanya Verma
3rd Place Grade 3 Rehan Shah
3rd Place Grade 4 Ethan Yam
Honourable Mention for making it to the 8th Tie Breaker Round: Grade 6 John Zhonhyang Hu, Grade 5 Anushka Yoganathan,,and Grade 4 Emily Jiang
3rd Place Grade 9 Ryan Freeman
Tanya Verma has advanced to the 2018 Spelling Bee of Canada Championship Finals on Sunday May 6, 2018 at the Toronto Plaza Airport Hotel. She will compete against 30 other spellers from across Canada.
A special thank you to coaches Ms. Wilson, Ms. Vu, Ms. McCleary, Ms. Bowles and Mrs. Nathani who were an integral part in making this a successful event. Their support over the past months has provided our BVG students with confidence and a solid foundation, as they continue to develop and master their spelling skills.
Making a meaningful contribution to people who live on the other side of the world is the goal of a popular co-curricular club at Bayview Glen. The Global Ideas Institute (GII) at the Munk School of Global Affairs, encourages participants to develop innovative solutions to complex world issues. Upper School students work on finding solutions to issues like clean drinking water, access to electricity or other identified areas of need.
With the popularity and growth of GII, schools now take part in a lottery in order to guarantee a place in the annual challenge. Bayview Glen was invited for our first three years, but have been winners in the lottery for the last two. Bayview Glen was recently highlighted in a feature article on the Munk School of Global Affairs website. Read more
How it works at BVG:
At a September assembly, Upper School teacher DJ Church announces the GII program and challenge for the year. This year's initiative is food insecurity. Students can then apply via an application and essay explaining why they are interested, what they feel they can offer and other commitments. The team is selected, registered, and ready to go for the first orientation session, usually end of September/beginning of October.
On average, there is one session a month with a variety of experts in different aspects of the year’s challenge. Students also work with mentors after the speaker session to gradually begin to develop their strategy and work on problem based learning approaches as the year progresses. These mentors are usually grad students from the Munk School of Global Affairs, OISE, and Rothman School of Business.
It culminates this year with an all day symposium on April 13th. Students will show a one minute pitch/overview video of their solution, followed by a five minute presentation which outlines their ideas in detail. This is done in front of other school groups, teachers, mentors, and panel of judges who are experts in these areas. The experts come from many walks of life ranging from government, academia, private sector, NGOs etc. The presentations are followed by six minutes of questions and feedback from the judges on the students presentations. The day is a celebration of innovation and provides an opportunity to receive valuable feedback on the ideas the students have worked hard on.
Reaching out and connecting with our community around us is one of the pillars of Round Square. (Round Square's six IDEALS of learning are Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure Leadership and Service). Inspired by the work at a local grassroots women's shelter, Grade 11 student leader Miruna Schonberger organized a donation drive to collect much needed items for women struggling with homelessness.
Armed with a list of suggested donations for Safe Haven at the Crossroads, she reached out to mentor groups in the Upper School asking students for help. Miruna created a poster, made a presentation in assembly and placed donation bins in the commons areas in the Upper School. The support was overwhelming. Along with friends and fellow Round Square team members, arrangements are being made to transport the items to the shelter.
"Medals are rewarding but being a great teammate is what it's all about."
Vicky Sunohara knows a great deal about Olympic medals. The three time Olympian has two gold and one silver medal in women's hockey playing for Team Canada. Vicky visited our Lower School two days after our Canadian women captured the silver medal in Pyeongchang. "You may have seen a lot of tears but that's because you work hard for so long and your goal is the gold medal" said Vicky. "You want to win for your country and your teammates. When you fall short of your goal, it can be hard but we're always exceptionally proud to play for Canada." Hockey has been a driving force in Vicky's life. When she was a toddler, her dad started shooting the puck with her in their basement. She was on skates by the age of two. Vicky spoke to our students about the challenges she faced early in her career. "Can you believe back then people didn't think women should be playing hockey?!" But she said friends and family helped her believe in herself along with all the talented teammates she played with. One of the most valuable lessons she learned from hockey was it's not only important to play hard and succeed personally but supporting others to be the best they can be is equally important.
Vicky represented Canada in three Olympics and played on the winning team in 7 World cups. After 30 years of playing, she is now a full time hockey coach at the University of Toronto. She was also honoured to be chosen as a torch bearer for the Olympic flame in Toronto as the torch made its way across the country to Vancouver for the 2010 games.
We were thrilled to be cheering for former Gryphons at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
National Cross Country team member Lenny Valjas ’06 is a champion skier and proud BVG alumnus. Lenny made his Cross Country skiing Olympic debut in Sochi in 2014 and is a member of Team Canada at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. Lenny won the World Cup bronze medal in Ulricehamn, Sweden when he was a member of the men’s 4×7.5km relay team in 2017.
The Olympics are a familiar place for the Valjas family. Lenny's older sister Kristina competed in beach volleyball at Rio 2016.
As part of his Olympic profile on CBC, Lenny chose to have his story shot here at Bayview Glen. Watch it here.
Former Prep School student Candace Crawford is a downhill skier for Team Canada. At the FIS World Championships in 2015, she was a member of the Canadian squad that won silver in the team event. She also posted top-30 finishes in both of her individual events, slalom and giant slalom. Candace is attending her first Olympic games. Candace and her brother were profiled in the Toronto Star.
Mercedes Nicoll was also a student in the Lower School in the 90's before moving out west with her family. She is competing in her 4th Olympic games.
To see Jesse Denison's presentation, click here.
To see coding PowerPoint Presentation, click here.
It's not every day the remarkable Barbara Reid presents to kindergartners and teenagers in the same visit. The award winning Toronto author and artist is best known for her Plasticine art and prolific writing. In the Lower School, Barbara spoke with Junior and Senior kindergarten students about the inspiration for her stories and the joy of working with Plasticine. Her favourite part of using Plasticine is blending the colours to create entirely different looks in her pieces. She did share that it can be tough when the clay is firm and less malleable. As she read stories aloud to the group, she pointed out features in her illustrations and shared the significance of many of the details. For example, she explained a stuffed bunny drying on a clothes line was inspired by her daughter's favourite toy called Floppsy Bunny. Later in the day, she spoke with Upper School students about how she connects the majority of her work with her personal experiences. Students in both schools have been working on their own Plasticine illustrations and many had questions on how best to create works of art.
Barbara Reid's books have won every major children's book award, and in 1988 she became the first Canadian to win the UNICEF-Ezra Jack Keats International Award for Excellence in Children's Book Illustration. She is also a Globe and Mail bestselling author and her book the Subway Mouse won a Governer General's award for literature.
In July 2013 Barbara was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
For more about Barbara Reid
As part of the Prep School day of empathy, notable public speaker and IT expert Paul Davis delivered an impactful presentation to students in grades 4 through 12 about the use of technology in our daily lives. Mr Davis has spent 27 years in Information Technology and the last six years dedicating himself to education
He has spoken to more than 400,000 students in North America, along with the OPP, Department of Defence, Alberta RCMP and Canada Border Service.
Mr Davis addressed issues around cyber bullying, digital citizenship and the importance of respect and kindness. He emphasized, unlike footprints on the sand that can be washed away by the ocean, a digital footprint can last for years. "Delete is a myth," said Mr. Davis. He outlined the importance of discretion when photo sharing and disabling devices that geo track a person's whereabouts.
His cyber bullying tips included:
1. Never respond.
2. Out smart the bully by gathering evidence. Capture and print the attack.
3. Report and ask for help.
4. If there is a threat of physical harm, call police.
Mr Davis discussed the benefits of an online presence including informative blogs and private photo sharing but said safety should always be the number one issue.
Students in the Prep School spent the first day back from winter break taking part in presentations, activities and workshops promoting empathy, collaboration and communication.
In recognition of World Aids Day, Mr Moore's mentor group launched an Aids Awareness campaign centred around LA Dodgers baseball player Glenn Burke.
Burke was credited with inventing the "high five". He was forced out of Major League Baseball at the age of 26 for being gay. He was diagnosed with Aids and passed away in 1995. Glenn Burke, refusing to be deterred, worked in his community for years giving back through his volunteering. To honour his courage, the Upper School students organized a high five jumping fundraising contest and challenged other mentor groups to create a video featuring high fives.
The money raised was donated to the Toronto People With Aids organization. Two members from TPWA attended a recent assembly and were presented with a cheque.
Seeing your book on Amazon when you're in Upper School is a remarkable feat on its own but considering it was written as a Lower School student is a whole other tale. Grade 9 Safaa Ali took up the challenge by her then Grade 4 teacher Jesse Denison to write an original story for the Kids Write 4 Kids contest run by Ripple Publishing. Her beautiful fable Why Peacocks Have Colourful Feathers was chosen as one of the winners that year. (Safaa also provided the illustrations) The story features a horrible drought in the jungle where the tiger king challenges all the animals to find a solution. The drab peacock is thought to be without value when it is suddenly transformed from the least beautiful animal to the most impressive.
Winning the competition was thrilling but becoming a published author was only the beginning. In the last five years, Safaa has written a blog for Ripple Publishing, served as a judge for the contest she previously won, recorded videos about her experiences and recently conducted a reading of her book a the flagship Indigo store in downtown Toronto. Safaa says, "I would never have imagined when I was writing my story, that it would touch so many readers. I'm also pleased that the proceeds from winning the competition go towards literacy and charitable causes." Safaa still carries around a notebook to jot down any future book ideas. As for the success she's already had, it's clear it's been a wonderful experience. When asked what it is about her story that is resonating with so many young readers, Safaa paused and said, "I think it's the belief that miracles can really happen."