Founder’s Day 2024

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Celebrate with us as Bayview Glen marks its 62nd Founder’s Day on February 4, 2024! Watch the video below to journey through the inspiring history of Bayview Glen, from its humble beginnings to the thriving institution it is today. Founder’s Day marks not just a celebration of the past, but a commitment to shaping the future. Happy Founder’s Day, Bayview Glen!

Introducing…Viewpoint 2023

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Viewpoint — our annual showcase celebrating notable Bayview Glen (BVG) alumni is hot off the print and digital press!

The 2023 edition of the magazine focuses on the theme of transitions, delving into how each featured alumnus has navigated change throughout their academic and professional paths, after graduating from BVG.

And new this year, digital extras — in the interactive version!
Click on the green icons sprinkled throughout the digital edition of the magazine to view additional content.

The sixth edition of Viewpoint features:
Alumni profiles
Staff and faculty perspectives  
Class of 2023 features
Honoured Classes spanning 25 years

Viewpoint 2023 cover photo

Each feature story explores the specific role BVG played in preparing these former graduates for their journey and examines how they have used that knowledge and insight in their pursuits.

The 32-page magazine also takes a glimpse into the world of six graduates from the Class of 2023, peering into their contributions while students at BVG and what’s next for them.


Related links:

Viewpoint 2023 (Digital, interactive version)

Viewpoint Archives

Online Safety and Responsibility: Speaker Series Focus

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(Source: Pexels)

In the more than 10 years he has been speaking to students, parents, educators and corporations about online safety, the core of Paul Davis’ message has not wavered — resonating even more so now.

“The internet never forgets,” says Davis, in advance of his upcoming visit to Bayview Glen School (BVG), as part of the Bayview Glen Parent Association Speaker Series.  

Research and evidence on the potential harmful effects of the digital world on youth continue to mount. These include impacts on mental health, sleep and self-esteem. 

“Understand HOW we got here and taking responsibility for what was given to children at such a young age,” says Davis, is part of what he hopes to convey to parents through his presentation. 

With more than 30 years of expertise as an IT professional, along with the lived experience of speaking to more than 700,000 young people, teachers and families in Canada and the United States, Davis believes much more education is still required across the board, with parents having a critical role to play. 

“Developing open and transparent relationships with kids on technological use moving forward, while not being afraid to say NO when they have to,” he says is key for parents in helping their kids cultivate a healthy and responsible relationship with technology.

During his return visit to BVG on Friday April 28th, Davis will address different grades during the day, and parents, separately, during an evening presentation. 

Davis, a father of two himself, says he often hears, “Never my child. I trust my child,” from parents. His response? “Technology is not a babysitting tool and there must be an investment of time and knowledge before giving a child a device.”

For parents, that also means clearly understanding what ownership of a mobile device entails and the responsibilities that accompany it before that device is handed to a child.

When it comes to young users of technology, Davis hopes to drive home one central message, “understanding that choices are permanent and ‘I didn’t mean to’ will not be accepted.” 

The Spring 2023 Bayview Glen Parent Association Speaker Series with Paul Davis takes place Friday April 28, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. 

This is a complimentary, parents/alumni-only event for the Bayview Glen community. 
Seating is limited.

Learn more and register here. 

Portrait of an Artist and Alumnae  

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The journey from concept to canvas featured many strokes. And a few twists and turns. 
Doris Rose likely wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. 

“Creating this painting has reconnected me with the BVG community,” says the Class of 2009 graduate. “Collaborating with staff and the alumni team has been a wonderful experience!” 

An accomplished figurative oil painter, Doris was chosen to paint a portrait of Eileen Daunt, former Head of School at Bayview Glen, who retired in August 2022, after more than 45 years at the school, as a teacher and administrator. 

Rose, Doris. Painting resized

“My goal was to put the viewer in the shoes of a student meeting Mrs. Daunt in the stairwell – something I experienced myself as a student – capturing that warm smile and direct gaze,” says Doris.  “Looking down on the subject is unusual, especially a leader, but in many ways, I think this suits her character and the way she puts students first.  She is so interwoven with the fabric and growth of the school that it made sense to paint her in it — in the Crystal Staircase,” she says, referring to the main staircase in the Lower School building.

As an artist, whose style ranges from expressionism to realism, Doris had to navigate several obstacles from conception through the creation process. 

“One of the main challenges was working from a low-resolution photo with backlit lighting,” she says. “Mrs. Daunt’s face was lit from behind, so I had to lighten the face and add detail using my imagination and knowledge of Mrs. Daunt.” 

That deeper understanding of her subject was an added dimension that Doris relied on repeatedly throughout the creative process.  

“As an artist, it’s rare to receive a commission to paint someone who means so much to you personally,” continues Doris. “Mrs. Daunt has truly been one of the most important influences in my life. Creating this painting gave me a way to express some of my love and respect for her and contribute to the celebration of her retirement.” 

Doris’ ‘labour of love’ would stretch her even further.  

“Once ready to paint, I first tested the composition and the surface material by painting a mini 9×12 version,” she says. “Then I started on the main painting with a charcoal under-drawing, followed by the first pass of paint to block everything in. The next few months were spent building layers of colour and refining details.” 

Painstaking precision against a backdrop of multiple timelines. 

“There were a few moments when I worried that I wouldn’t be able to work through these challenges for the deadline, so I’m glad I trusted that I’d eventually resolve the issues and capture the essence I was striving for in Mrs. Daunt’s expression.” 

The portrait was turned into a photo in April 2022, before gracing the cover of ‘A Heartfelt Journey’, a commemorative magazine highlighting Mrs. Daunt’s history at Bayview Glen — in August 2022. 

For Doris, whose hallmark is the use of classical techniques in her art, the work was still far from complete.

Doris Rose ‘09 (middle) pictured with Carol-Anne Ruscica, BVG Advancement and Stephanie Hulan, Visual Arts teacher, hand-delivered the finished portrait to the school.

It would take several more months — until March 2023 — for the final artistic touch to leave its mark. 

“Oil paintings take six months to dry completely as they cure through a chemical process when exposed to oxygen, unlike other paints that dry through evaporation,” explains Doris. “I had to wait another six months for it to fully dry before varnishing and delivering it!” 

All told, painting Mrs. Daunt’s portrait was an 18-month journey for the artist, who personally delivered the final product to her alma mater in March.  

“Bayview Glen has had a huge impact on me,” she says. “The school’s focus on individual mentorship and support meant I learned to take charge of my own learning and work ethic to get the best out of future environments. BVG’s emphasis on empathy, creativity, critical thinking, and community-building has helped me develop strong relationships with others and a deep understanding of different perspectives which are invaluable skills for me as an artist.” 

The portrait will grace the walls of the school in the coming months, as a permanent, tangible tribute to Mrs. Daunt’s legacy. 

And for the artist, the personal impact of her subject will continue to remain firmly etched. 

“My own memories of Mrs. Daunt are ones where she removed barriers around me, making room so that I could get to where I wanted to go, and encouraging me to develop the confidence needed to get there,” recounts Doris. “School can be tough, but Mrs. Daunt was a supportive force for good in my life, and I will always be thankful for that.”

 

Charting Their Own Course: Final Career Breakfast Highlights Innovation

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Each of their career pathways has been filled with multiple twists and turns — and one constant — key lessons learned during their time as students at Bayview Glen School (BVG). 

“It is always great to have the chance to contribute back to the community that I benefited from when I was young,” says Daniel Mak ‘05, one of three invited BVG alumni to present at the final Career Breakfast of the school year. “It was an honour to be a guest speaker and thank you for your trust to deliver a note or two that might benefit the students.” 

Daniel began at BVG as a Grade 8 student in 2000, recalling how he felt empowered to try new things during his time at the school, including creating an investment club when one didn’t exist. 

“I was trusted by many teachers and especially Ms. [Dina] Astrella,” shared Daniel. “She gave me a lot of flexibility in leading extra-curricular activities that were not offered by the school back then.  It also made me realize that I could do new things that are not part of the standard offerings and allowed me to have my own journey,” he says. 

All of which has served him time and again in various professional experiences, including, helping run a family business selling carpet and wallpaper to casinos and hotels in his homeland of Macau, working in cybersecurity, deep tech and quantum computing, to his current role as General Partner, Strategic Growth at Awz Ventures, a multi-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Toronto. 

“Fail early, fail fast and just try not to make the same mistake again,” Daniel told the packed audience of more than 100 students, faculty and staff who gathered in the Moatfield Campus Learning Commons for the event.  

Reflecting on the high school version of himself, Daniel says he would offer today’s student this simple advice: 

“Everyone’s path is different, hard skills on paper are only one part of qualifications and get you to the table/job interview, but soft skills, the human element, is what will actually land you the job or provide you with opportunity to lead. Be smart and not always right,” he says. 

Saba Ketabchi Haghighat was the youngest BVG alum on the panel — having graduated in 2016.  She was also the only one to join virtually — from California — where she is a hardware engineer who works on the Apple watch. 

“I believe representation in every field matters, especially as a woman in engineering, and I would love to see more women in our field,” she says. “The Career Breakfast is a great opportunity to encourage more BVG students to pursue a similar career path if they’re interested and aren’t sure how they can get started.” 

Following BVG and a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Waterloo,  
Saba has worked in Canada, France and the U.S. as a software developer, among other roles, in industries including healthcare and technology.  

“Joining STEM-related clubs in high school allowed me to learn about some engineering-related concepts through hands-on projects and math/programming contests,” she says. “So when it came to looking into universities and applying for various programs, I had an idea of which engineering disciplines I liked more than others.” 

Her advice to students stems in part from her own career trajectory, during which she has had to be resilient often. 

“Don’t be afraid of failing or bad experiences,” says Saba. “They’re all experiences that lead you on the right path, and learning about what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you’re passionate about.” 

As a student at BVG, Konstantine Tsotsos says he “liked spaceships. I thought they were really cool!” 

That passion has propelled him to a variety of experiences centered on cutting-edge technology, since graduating from BVG in 2007.

“I’ve been very lucky in having the right mentors and sponsors at the right times in my life, but not everyone has that,” he says. “If I can play that role for even one student [who is] unsure of how to tackle their future, then I consider that a huge success. That’s why it was important for me to join this event, to try to give back and support the growth of the next generation of engineers.” 

Konstantine’s academic and career journey has included an internship at NASA, a PhD in Computer Science and his current role at Google in San Francisco, as a Staff Software Engineer and Manager, a role that involves working collaboratively to develop real-time 3D perception and sensor fusion technologies. 

“STEM is an amazing path,” he says.  

When it comes to offering words of wisdom to students, Konstantine says: “Keep working both harder and smarter. If you can’t figure out how, look for new people to learn from who are more successful than you. If you want to keep growing, avoid situations where you feel like you’re the smartest person in the room.” 

Related stories: 
 
Pathways to Professional Life: Career Breakfast Spotlights Media 

The Order of the Gryphon

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Friday, December 2, we celebrated significant milestones at Bayview Glen. A sincere congratulations to the faculty and staff members who have reached their 10th, 15th and 20th year milestones and to Frances Lambert – on her beloved retirement. It was a tremendous honour to celebrate this special moment together.

For those who were unable to attend the event, a new distinction will be recognized going forward called The Order of The Gryphon. You are all aware that the Gryphon is our School’s mascot. This mythical animal can be interpreted as a heroic symbol, that intersects the lion’s valour with the elegance of the eagle. The Order of the Gryphon will now be the distinction for those faculty/staff members who have served 25 outstanding years at The Bayview Glen School. Each recipient will be given a glass trophy (photograph attached) and the names will also be permanently engraved in our Alumni Hall with its own individual glass plaque. Congratulations to our most recent inductees into the Order of The Gryphon:

2000  Brigitte Chan, Michel Lambert

2001  Eileen Daunt

2004  Roger Curtis

2005  Janice Roberts

2013  Judith Maxwell

2014  Diane Mills

2018  James Chapman, Rita Iafrate                

2019  Dina Astrella, Paul Smallbridge, Andrew Vivian, Katherine Weidner

2020  Wendy Hillier, Frances Lambert

2021  Melanie Deeks, Paul Freeman, Stephanie Hulan, Kevin Neville

2022  Robin Elliott, Dagmar Wilson

In mythical times, the Gryphon was said to be loyal and protective. They were believed to guard their treasures fiercely, whether that be a person, place or in this case, perhaps our School. Congratulations to our new inductees to The Order of the Gryphon. To all of our milestone recipients, congratulations and thank you sincerely for your commitment, your service and your dedication to our entire School community.

Career Breakfast: Tuesday, February 28

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Join us for our third, and final Career Breakfast Speaker Series of this academic school year on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 a.m. Enjoy some hot chocolate, coffee and pastries while we shine the spotlight on Bayview Glen alumni focusing on Innovation and Engineering.

Saba Ketabchi Haghighat from the Class of 2016 is an Apple Watch Hardware Engineer based in California. Saba studied Biomedical engineering at the University of Waterloo and completed a number of internships and co-op opportunities before completing her degree. She has held the titles of Software Developer, Facial Rehabilitation Game Developer and Undergraduate Research Assistant in Toronto, France and California.

Konstantine Tsotsos from the Class of 2007, is a technical lead and manager on the Google AR Team where he leads teams of researchers and engineers in developing cutting-edge real-time 3D perception and sensor fusion technologies. His teams’ recent work includes the ARCore Depth and Environmental HDR Lighting APIs, along with other foundational ARCore capabilities. Prior to Google, he obtained his doctorate in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a focus on visual-inertial sensor fusion and his Bachelor of Applied Science in engineering science from the University of Toronto.

Daniel Mak from the Class of 2005 is General Partner, Strategic Growth at Awz Ventures, a Canadian-Israeli VC firm focused on commercial applications of innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based, deep-tech, cyber security, & intelligence technologies. He currently sits on the board of several startups in the cyber security and intelligence space such as Nanolock, as is the winner of multiple industry awards.

Join us to learn more about their professional journeys!

Students from both the Prep and Upper Schools, as well as their parents, are welcome to attend. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Adriana Dybala, Academic and Career Counsellor at adybala@bayviewglen.ca

BVG Players present ‘The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition)’

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We are excited to invite you to in-person performances of The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition) running in the J.T.M Guest Theatre for two nights only. Our Upper School students have had a lot of fun working on this production and are really looking forward to sharing it with you!

  • Thursday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m.

First Alumni Chapter Visit to New York Sets the Stage  

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Together, they took a bite out of the ‘big apple’ in what was a Bayview Glen School (BVG) first! 

A group of BVG alumni, admin and teachers met in New York recently for the inaugural Alumni Chapter visit in the city. 

“Living in New York, I’ve never been able to make it back to Toronto for a BVG reunion,” says Jordyn Taylor, Class of 2008. “It was such nice surprise to have the party come to NYC!” 

Jordyn was among a dozen alumni representing nine graduating classes — from 1993 to 2021 — to gather for the evening event. 

“I was most motivated to come to see which other alumni were in the city and also to see what teachers may have come down for the event as well,” says Dmitry Bury, Class of 2007. “Given that it was in New York was certainly a nice surprise, and not something you expect given we are from Toronto, but awesome to see!” 

Against the backdrop of a night sky and picturesque terrace at the Valbella at the Park, the graduates met with James Lee, Head of School, Carol Anne Ruscica, Senior Director of Advancement and Dina Astrella, Head of the Prep School for an evening of reminiscing and networking. 

“As soon as I saw Ms. Astrella, I screamed and gave her a huge hug,” says Jordyn, an award-winning author, writer and editor. “It was such a wonderful surprise to see her in New York, and so special to reconnect with her and reminisce about our time together at Bayview Glen,” she says.

Ms. Astrella was the Head of the Upper School during both Jordyn and Dmitry’s time at Bayview Glen. 

“It was also great to meet Mr. Lee and hear about his big vision for the future of the school,” adds Jordyn. 

The alumni group represented a vast array of industries, including business, financial services, fashion, technology, engineering, social justice, politics, entrepreneurship and law. 

Since graduating from Bayview Glen, Dmitry now works in investment banking at TD Securities. “Funny enough, [I] ended up meeting lots of folks who I had a lot in common with between university, work or people we knew in common,” he says. “[That] made the connections all that much more relevant.”

Bayview Glen School has previously organized several alumni “regional visits within Canada, the United States and internationally,” notes Daniella Brown ‘10, Director of Alumni Relations at BVG.  “The New York Alumni Chapter is the first of its kind,” she says. 

For Jordyn, the impact of BVG on her life and professional journey continues. 

“Taking Writer’s Craft with Mr. Reynolds in Grade 12 helped me develop the writing skills I use every day as a magazine editor and novelist,” says the current Executive Digital Editor of Men’s Health magazine. “Fifteen years later, Norm and I still email each other about our writing projects!”    

The connections run long and deep for Dmitry as well. 

“My best friends are from BVG. They were my groomsmen at my wedding and remain my closest friends. My BVG experience, including the memories I have of all my teachers, is one that’s very positive, and certainly had a big impact on my life given those are the formative years and help guide you as you progress forward in life.” 

The evening was also the first opportunity of its kind for BVG’s new Head of School — to meet alumni where they are — since taking the leadership reins at Bayview Glen in August 2022. 

“The evening was a great success,” says Lee. “It was clear, that our alumni are doing very well in New York City – successful, happy and excited to re-connect with the Bayview Glen Team. A big thank you to our [Senior] Director of Advancement, Ms. Carol Anne Ruscica for organizing this event.”

And there is a promise of more of the same — to come — according to Mr. Lee. 

“As we continue to identify, engage and grow our Alumni Chapters with a long-term vision and commitment, the benefits will be tremendous towards our School, our current students, and for those who choose to take advantage of the strategic opportunities to build professional networks with one common link and starting point – Bayview Glen.”  

Interested in leading a Bayview Glen Alumni Chapter visit in your city?  
Contact: Daniella Brown, Director of Alumni Relations, dbrown@bayviewglen.ca