Parent Association Welcome and Networking Breakfast 2023

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Thank you to all the parents for joining the Parent Association Welcome and Networking Breakfast on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. The event recording is available for viewing via our post under Edsby news river.

To keep up-to-date with PA events, please visit the PA Events webpage, and check your email and Edsby news river for more details on each event.

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the PA Coffee Socials in October.

Summer Co-op Experience Student Reflection: Arman Momeni 

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The Reproductive Sciences Research Lab at the Toronto Zoo was Arman Momeni’s home for a month this summer. The Bayview Glen (BVG) student did a co-op education placement at the national research lab, which houses samples from across the country. 

Arman was the only BVG student to participate in this unique experiential opportunity. 

He reflects on the placement, in his own words. 

What made you want to take the Cooperative Education course? 

High School is a difficult, yet exciting period of time. We are provided with so much opportunity, but at the same time, we are expected to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives. While enriching and educative, the classroom experience simply cannot provide students with a solidified understanding of the world past post-secondary. When I heard about the Cooperative Education course and the opportunity to gain experience in a specific industry, I knew I had to take it. I aspired to gain a more robust understanding of what I wanted for my future. 

What drew you to the specific industry in the placement you chose? 

I have always been conflicted in what I want to pursue after my time at Bayview Glen. Every class I have taken has intrigued me in its own unique way, which has left me in this difficult crossroads between several different disciplines. That being said, I have always found my home to be in the biology classroom. Learning about the human body, the most beautifully engineered mechanism on this planet, has always fascinated me. Nonetheless, within the field of biology there are still so many potential careers that one can pursue. Personally, I have been stumped between a career in research or a career in medicine. I was drawn to my specific industry, reproductive research, because I already had some experience in the medical field, but research was completely new to me. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, learn more about the field of research, and, in turn, learn more about myself. 

How would you describe the application preparation process, prior to your interview? 

The application preparation process was very straightforward and catered to each specific individual. Ms. Dybala ensured that I was taking the right steps, led me in the right direction, and provided me with several tips and tricks to tackle the interview in a professional and effective manner.  

What has surprised you most so far about your placement? 

Going into my placement, I expected to be treated like a student, not an employee; however, that could not have been further from the truth. From my first day at the placement, I was treated like a colleague and was given the same expectations as a paid worker. While challenging to get used to, the realism of this experience has provided me with so much beneficial experience and training to become a master in the workplace. 

Could you provide 2 or 3 examples of things you have learned that have impacted you? 

There were several experiences within my Cooperative Education experience, which have impacted me:  

I learned about the harsh world of research. You are constantly working hard, and you are never guaranteed the results you want. People who work in research have an amazing level of resilience to push through the barriers and the unsatisfying results they are constantly faced with.  

I learned that the workplace is tiring. No matter what industry you work in, you will have to very work hard. You must have discipline so that you can push through the times when you are simply not motivated to be working.  

It is important to build connections. On my first day I felt like an outsider. I didn’t know anyone, and no one knew who I was. However, as time went on, I started to make a name for myself by reaching out, talking to different people, and helping out whenever I could.  

Has this experience influenced your outlook (career, future)? If so, in what ways? 

I went into the Cooperative Education program with several goals in mind. I wanted to learn more about the workplace, my future aspirations, and learn about myself. This experience, undoubtedly, has influenced my outlook on my career. After experiencing four weeks in the research world, I know that research is something that I must incorporate in my future, regardless of how I do it. The thrill of not knowing something, and then working hard to find the answer, is unmatched. Research is a different type of learning; one that takes place outside of the classroom and provides an endless world of possibilities. 

Anything else you’d like to add? 

I believe that the Cooperative Education course is something that every single high school student should experience, and I promise they will not regret it. You will learn so much that you are not able to learn within the classroom environment, and I am sure that you will leave the experience feeling accomplished and having a better sense of self. 

Related links: 

Summer Co-op Experience Student Reflection: Faraaz Quereshy
Summer Co-op Experience Student Reflection: Brandon Tai
A Summer to Remember: Co-op Experience Impacts

A Summer to Remember: Co-op Experience Impacts

BVG News, Home page, Parent Association, Upper School

Bayview Glen student Arman Momeni participated in a summer co-op experience at the Toronto Zoo


That’s one way to summarize a memorable summer for a dozen Bayview Glen (BVG) students, all of them in Grade 11. 

Impactful would be another adjective to encapsulate the experience. 

“Going into my placement, I expected to be treated like a student, not an employee,” says Arman Momeni. “However, that could not have been further from the truth.” 

Arman earned a coveted spot in a Summer Co-op Education experience facilitated by the Student Services Department at BVG and external organizations. His took place at the Reproductive Sciences Research Lab at the Toronto Zoo. 

“From my first day at the placement, I was treated like a colleague and was given the same expectations as a paid worker,” continues Arman. “While challenging to get used to, the realism of this experience has provided me with so much beneficial experience and training to become a master in the workplace.” 

Meanwhile, in downtown Toronto, 10 other BVG students were immersed in a month-long experiential learning opportunity in healthcare at Mount Sinai Hospital. 

“This experience has definitely had a great influence on my career decision,” says Rojin Ahmadi, who was placed in the Neo-natal intensive care unit at Mount Sinai. “Before participating in this program, I have always known I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, but I was not completely sure in what setting (hospital, private clinic, research lab, care facilities). However, after working in the hospital for a whole month in the NICU, I formed an idea,” she says. 

Bayview Glen student Rojin Ahmadi, pictured left, completed her summer co-op placement in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mount Sinai Hospital

Rojin and her schoolmates underwent a strenuous process to earn their placements. It included completing a detailed application form and going through an interview before being selected. 

“We interviewed 158 students in June,” says Theresa Shiel, Senior Manager, Volunteer Resources, referring to the co-op program the hospital runs in September and February, from which only 52 students are selected to participate. 

Shiel oversees the Student Co-op program across Sinai Health. “BVG students were interviewed among 30 students seeking summer placement,” she says. 

“My goal is that the students are learning,” continues Shiel, who has been part of Volunteer Services at the hospital for more than 20 years. We start with an information session introducing our co-op program and positions available to the students.Those interested have the opportunity to complete an application. We interview them and if selected these students receive onboarding documentation (confidentiality, privacy, etc.) and e-learning modules.” 

Shiel and a colleague meet with each candidate for 30 minutes to ensure the right fit. 

Theresa Shiel and Ramiro Rodriguez Puig plan, organize and coordinate student co-op opportunities at Mount Sinai

“I don’t believe in just looking at resumes. I need to meet the students,” says Shiel who works within a team of six. “We want to know about what they want and what they hope to gain from us. We have a scale. Do we think that they’re the right students? Some of our placements have only one position, like cardiology, surgical skills, fracture clinic, etc. You could have 20 students interested, so we really have to then go back and look at every application. We have to look at our notes. Then we go back to a shortlist, then we might re-interview. We might do a whole bunch of things before we pick the right student. And we’ve been pretty good at picking all the right students,” she says. 

Ramiro Rodriguez Puig is Co-op Coordinator, Volunteer Resources at Mount Sina Hospital. He works directly with schools and students interested in placement opportunities. 

“It is really rewarding,” says Rodriguez Puig, referring to his role. “They [students] are adding value to Mount Sinai Hospital. We have supervisors here [from various hospital departments] who give us feedback and they really appreciate the students’ work.” 

The Co-op Program at Mt. Sinai receives applications from more than 30 schools including from the Toronto Catholic School Board, Toronto District School Board, along with two private schools. 

Ten students participated in a co-op education experience in July 2023 at Mount Sinai, among a total of 12 BVG students to take part in the experiential opportunity

Students also earn a credit as part of the Cooperative Education course. 

“Our goal is to seek out opportunities in the desired industry [of each student],” says Dybala. “When they apply, they express an interest they would like to explore and then we let them know whether there is a placement available in that industry. Then they actually have to apply for the position and send in a resume.” 

Dybala’s multi-layered role is hands-on and detailed from inception to delivery. 

“I am responsible for directing, coordinating, and overseeing the entire cooperative student experience,” she says. “Starting with procuring placements, scheduling, and preparation for interviews, delivery of curriculum, design of a student cooperative education plan, placement visits, supervisor partnership facilitation (how and what activities students can and should engage in to ensure their experience is authentic and enriched).” 

The impact is tangible. 

Bayview Glen student Brandon Tai participated in a summer experiential opportunity at Qvella.

“The Cooperative Education course prepares you extremely well for the application process,” says Brandon Tai, who completed a placement at Qvella, a clinical diagnostics company with a focus in microbiology. “Every Friday we had class, and the very first unit was on preparing for the application. We went through interview and resume tips as well as cover letters. This unit significantly helped me land my placement at Qvella”.  


This is the first in a series on the Summer Co-op Education Experience 2023. 

Spring Concerts Showcase a Varied Musical Menu 

BVG News, Events, Home page, Lower School, Parent Association, Prep School, Upper School

The halls are alive with the sound of music at Bayview Glen School (BVG), once again. Actually, they are rarely ever silent! 

Months of early morning and after-school practices, dress rehearsals and painstaking preparation by students and music teachers resulted in a series of memorable recent performances. 

BVG’s annual tradition of Spring Concerts in the Upper School, Prep School and Lower School showcased the musical talents of students, bands, ensembles, soloists, vocalists and others while featuring a breadth of musical genre.  
The Upper School Spring Concert featured more than a dozen pieces, including a few popular tunes like Skyfall, the Pink Panther Theme song,and Bohemian Rhapsody, a classic from the band, Queen.  

It marked the last performance for many performers who will be graduating in 2023. 
The concert, which was held in the J.T.M. Guest Theatre before a full-house, was also the finale for Diane Drysdale, music teacher who has been filling in this school year and delayed her retirement to support BVG’s music program. 

Another highlight saw Michael Bellissimo, music teacher, Upper School feted by students, many of whom he has taught for the last four years.  

The Prep School Spring Concert featured a mixed musical menu as well, with something for everyone! Songs from Disney, the Jurassic Park theme and even some Irish music with a Celtic focus, highlighted the 70-minute concert. 

Under the direction of Chris Hunsberger, music teacher in the Prep School and Ms. Drysdale, the evening included performances by the Grade 7 and Grade 8 Bands, and the self-directed Upper School Woodwind Ensemble.   

The evening marked the last performance for many students, who will graduate to the Upper School in September and continue to their musical careers at BVG as high school students. 

The Prep School Spring Concert came on the heels of Grade 6 Music Night in early April where students provided their parents with a teaching, learning and performing twist. 

Learn more: 

Parents Face the Music During Grade 6 Music Night  

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. 

BVG Student-Scientists Shine at Regional Competition 

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It is one for the school record books! 
“Compared to previous years, this is the highest percentage of medal winners, and the most ‘awards’ as well,” says Andrew Vivian, Science teacher at Bayview Glen School (BVG), describing this year’s results at the Toronto Science Fair. 

A contingent of five BVG Prep School students — all in Grade 8 — earned two gold, one silver and one bronze medal during the competition held in early April. 

“The results are thrilling, but we didn’t ask these students to go in the hopes that they would win medals and earn awards, but rather because we thought it would be a great experience for them,” adds Vivian, who has been a teacher at BVG for more than 25 years. “The winning of stuff is just a bonus!” 

Participants and results include: 

Riya Varia: Gold medal, Ontario Water Environment Association Award, and the University of Toronto Department of Earth Sciences Mathew Shawn McConville Award (each $150). 

Stefano Edwards: Gold medal, Young Scientist Award ($100) 

Cindy (Xin Yu) Yan: Silver medal 

Mikaela MacKinnon: Bronze medal 

Armaan Chandarana: Participant 

“When they called my name as one of the gold medal recipients, I was overjoyed,” says Riya Varia, Grade 8 student. “I really appreciate that my project was recognized and found interesting by not only me but by others as well!” 

Riya began working on her project in October and was informed in late February that she would be participating in the competition. 

“The students chosen to participate in the Toronto Science Fair all find science fascinating,” continues Vivian. “They all have that curiosity about how things work, and ‘why does this result in that’. They are also highly self-disciplined about being organized and detail-oriented. Additionally, their projects all had a novel practical application in today’s world.” 

Project themes ranged from Filtering Heavy Metals from Water using Natural Materials to examining Wind Turbine Spin Speeds

“My science project examined natural ways to filter heavy metals from water, specifically using seashells and cilantro,” says Riya. I’ve always been interested in the global water crisis especially since my mom is originally from Bangladesh and mentioned that many parts of her home country still lack access to clean water,” says Varia. “I learned that seashells and cilantro are natural ways to reduce heavy metal contaminants (specifically lead and iron) from lake water. Additionally, seashells were more effective than cilantro in filtration. I also learned the importance of following the scientific process, and I especially enjoyed diving deeper into the chemistry behind seashell filtration!” 

After cancellation of the 2020 Toronto Science Fair due to the global pandemic, and experiencing an entirely virtual event in 2021, the in-person event held at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, was a welcome learning opportunity. 

“What was also striking was the strong presentation skills of the students,” says Vivian, who also teaches French. “Due to circumstances these past few years, the presentation component of the Science Fair has become a more integral part of the unit. So, it isn’t just about knowing your science, it is also about developing the skills to clearly present your work to an audience.” 

The organization behind the Toronto Science Fair is a combination of four different science fairs, each with a history of more than 30 years. The regional event brings together students and potential future scientists, divided by age group — from JK to Grade 12. 

Adds Vivian, “I am proud of how they were all thrilled to be able to participate, found the workshops fascinating, and handled themselves so well with no parent or teacher presence allowed!” 

Parents Face the Music During Grade 6 Music Night 

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Darren Kennedy was looking forward to a spring evening filled with music, courtesy of his daughter and other Grade 6 students at Bayview Glen (BVG).

“I was expecting to file into the auditorium, sit down and listen to a few songs the students had learned, then leave,” says Kennedy. 

He had no idea what would follow. 

“I wasn’t the only parent surprised — the entire parent audience went silent,” he says. 

About 20 minutes into the evening at the J.T.M. Guest Theatre at Moatfield Campus, the tables turned.  

Prep School music teachers, Chris Hunsburger and Diane Drysdale made an announcement that suddenly thrust the parent audience into action.

For Kennedy, that meant a whole new experience, on a few fronts. 

Darren Kennedy (right) takes clarinet lessons from his daughter (left) during Grade 6 Music Night at BVG.

“My daughter was very excited to teach me how to play her instrument, the clarinet, knowing I had zero exposure to musical instruments,” he says.

Grade 6 Music Night featured a role reversal. Students became teachers for 15 minutes, tasked with teaching their parents a song on the students’ instrument.

“She taught me how to put the clarinet together, hold it, where to put my fingers for the three notes we learned, what a half and whole note were and how to read them on the music sheet,” says Kennedy referring to his daughter’s instruction. “She then taught me how to play Hot Cross Buns!”

Each parent-student pairing was dismissed to one of four nearby locations where mini, impromptu music lessons took place. 

“I was very proud of how knowledgeable she was and her patience with me,” continues Kennedy. “She got the chance to make me do something I had never done before and call me by my first name, while I had to refer to her as Ms. Kennedy — transitioned to hilarity — as she watched me get red-faced as I couldn’t even get air into the instrument for the first five minutes, she sorted me out!” 

The experiential learning evening for parents, however, was far from over. Another twist was on the way! 

The student-teachers filed into the theatre seats, while their parents – more than 75 in all — assembled themselves on the stage for their debut performance. 

“We NAILED it (at least in my head we did!),” says Kennedy. 

And, as importantly, the performance met with his teacher’s approval. 

“She was very proud that I ended up learning to play Hot Cross Buns with no squeaks and perfect timing, and that I was willing to go on stage and perform with the other parents.” 

Chris Hunsburger, Head of Arts and Instrumental Music Teacher at BVG helps guide parents during Grade 6 Music Night.

The evening also included other lessons learned for Darren Kennedy.

“It is obvious that the Bayview Glen instrumental music teachers take pride in having an exceptional music program that students enjoy participating in,” he says. 

“Just to have the idea to have students teach their parents how to play their instrument AND have the parents come up to play what they learned, shows they are confident, fun, and not afraid to challenge those they teach — brilliant!” 

And one more thing he says, “I also learned first-hand that playing the clarinet is not as easy as I thought it would be!” 

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.”