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.”

 

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 

New Immersive Experiences Highlight Annual Winter Fun Day

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A popular, decades-long tradition at Bayview Glen School (BVG) took on a new look, feel and in one case — a new name — this year. 

“This was the first iteration of the Prep [School]’s ‘Snow Much Fun’ day, says Greg Ryerson, Director of Teaching and Learning, Prep School. The event was “reimagined and renamed” in 2023. 

For more than 20 years, Prep School (Grades 6 to 8) and Upper School (Grades 9 to 12) students have celebrated a day of fun, off-campus during the winter. 

“This is an important opportunity for students to be outdoors, spend time together without electronics, and engage in unstructured play,” says Mr. Ryerson, who was involved in organizing the day. “It did include curricular ties but more importantly it was a chance to be offsite and engaging in outdoor activities.”  

Grade 6 students visited the Toronto Zoo, Downsview Park was the venue of choice for Grade 7 classes, while Willowgrove Farm and Outdoor Education Centre hosted Grade 8 students for the day — in the beginning of February. 

“We selected a separate activity for each Grade, looking for curricular connections as well as opportunities to develop student leadership skills, focus on teambuilding, and incorporate outdoor play and exploration,” says Mr. Ryerson who accompanied the Grade 8 class. 
 
“A personal highlight from the Grade 8 trip was seeing the students interact with the farm animals — they really enjoyed that part of the day,” he says. “Having a nice mug of hot chocolate around the campfire at the end of the Grade 8 trip was a wonderful way to end the day.” 

For Upper School students, a new format was launched for their annual fun day, called WinterFest. 

“The purpose of the day is to build relationships with peers and teachers outside of classroom walls, discover new attractions in and around our wonderful city and try new experiences,” says Melanie Deeks, Health and Physical Education Department Head at BVG and main organizer of WinterFest for the Upper School.  

“This year, instead of one choice, students had nine choices,” adds Fiona Fenili, Head, Upper School. “Activities were presented in Assembly and students selected the one they were most interested in. From there we chose the most popular and did a formal registration.”  

The revised format and varied options proved to be a successful formula for the more than 270 Upper School students who took part. “An increase of 20% in participation is a highlight and shows that giving students choice is important,” says Ms. Fenili.  

Included on the WinterFest menu:  

  • Cooking Class at the Chef Upstairs 
  • Ice Hockey at Leaside Gardens   
  • Activate Arcade   
  • Skating at Nathan Philips’ Square West & Japanese Grill Lunch 
  • Gardiner Museum Ceramics    
  • K1 Speed Grand Prix  
  • Kensington Market Food Tour  
  • Escape Room Looking Glass Adventures & Greek Lunch on the Danforth 
  • Horseshoe Valley Resort   

And evidenced by the photos and reactions, these immersive, experiential, opportunities to connect out of the classroom with teachers, classmates, and staff — on a different level — achieved its goal, once again. 

 

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.

Tuned in: Upper School Students Deliver Radio Broadcast 

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It was an eye-opening learning experience for Helen Gao. 

“I was very surprised about the intensity of being on air while having so many people listening,” says the Grade 12 Bayview Glen School (BVG) student. 

A recent visit to a radio station by the Grade 11 and 12 Communication Technology classes, gave Gao deeper insight into a field she is interested in.  

“I learned that improv and being comfortable with your conversation is the key for a successful podcast,” she says. 

Gao, along with more than two dozen students visited CHOP FM, a student-run radio station, for a tour and the experience of going ‘on air’. 

“Prior to the pandemic, we visited CHOP FM 102.7 in partnership with another CIS (Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario) school in Newmarket called Pickering College,” says Anthony Chuter, Communication Technology teacher at BVG. “During the pandemic, our students planned, wrote, produced and broadcast remotely as BVG:radioon the air” for the channel and for live broadcast.” 

This year, with COVID-19 restrictions lifted, the in-person experience — designed to complement the curriculum — resumed. 

“We are currently exploring Audio Production and focused particularly on the radio industry,” continues Mr. Chuter. “We have created a variety of audio projects from audio book recommendations to podcasts as a medium for academic discourse and research. We have also had some fun along the way too!” 

In recent years, Grade 12 students have used media platforms (weekly podcasts, videos, animation and documentaries) as part of their final Capstone projects, says Mr. Chuter. 

Seeing the process of hosting and broadcasting content as well as understanding the production elements involved in a LIVE radio show was a first for many students, including Helen, who left with several key takeaways. 

“On the more technical side, the timing of when to talk and when to stop is key for a podcast to have a smooth transition,” says Helen who was also, “very intrigued by the different equipment.” 

Podcast topics spanned the gamut from, “lighter topics like sports, music, books and popular culture to more academic topics and research questions,” says Mr. Chuter. 

“A number of students were also keen to work in the sound and mixing booth and spoke to the station manager about life and routines working in a station.”  

For Helen, the immersive experience provided important food for thought. 

“I am already very involved in media,” says Helen. “Given this opportunity to visit CHOP FM cemented my perception of media even more.” 

The visit also gave Mr. Chuter additional perspective on both the medium and the message. 

“I am so proud of our students and how much they express themselves, their creativity, and aspirations to bring good to the world through creativity, discourse and discussion,” he says. 

“From podcasts on environmental issues to support for mental health, there is an endless variety of topics to discuss and listen to. Next time, you see a teen with earbuds in you might think they are tuning OUT the world, but perhaps they are tuning IN and seeking to change the world.” 

Related links: 

BVG:radio  

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 

Girls in Science: BVG Student on a Mission to Inspire 

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Her interest was captured early.

“It all started with a one-week summer camp I attended when I was 10 years old,” says Samantha Sedran, Grade 12 student at Bayview Glen School (BVG). “From the very first design session, I knew I wanted to pursue competitive robotics.” 

And she has been on a mission ever since, building robots, competing, and sharing her love of the subject matter. And, along the way, also making some key observations. 

“My competition experiences highlighted the gender gap that exists in robotics,” says Sedran. a BVG student since Grade 9. “The male/female ratio was 80/20 and the environment was not always welcoming to girls, so I made it my personal mission to create gender parity in robotics. 
I have actively worked to motivate young girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Enginering and Math).” 

Those efforts have included, “fundraising to send girls to robotics camp, volunteering at robotics programs and engaging with industry leaders in the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation and the FIRST Canada Youth Council,” she says. 

And it does not stop there. 

Starting at the age of 11, Sedran began teaching robotics to elementary school students in her spare time. 

In the fall of 2022, her teaching pursuits spawned GirlsCrew Club, an all-female robotics club. 

It has been running at George Webster Elementary School in North York since September.  

“I researched schools designated as ‘Model Schools’ by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB),” Sedran continues. “These schools represent the neediest inner-city schools in which children often have very limited, if any, access to enrichment programs.” 

In order to have the Club approved to run in a school setting, Sedran, who is part of the BVG FRC Robotics Club, created a proposal including the vision, structure and learning objectives and sent it out to multiple schools.  

She was asked for additional feedback and responded by developing 30 weekly lesson plans — eventually gaining approval.

When the idea of GirlsCrew Club was introduced to female students between 10 and 12 years of age at George Webster, more applications were received than spaces available. A lottery then decided on the final dozen spots. 

During each 60-minute weekly session, participants are provided with instruction on building and programming, an experiential learning component, a key learnings review, and profiles of female STEM trailblazers. 

“It is giving 12 girls the opportunity to participate in an engaging and educational program that many of them would not have the chance to participate in otherwise due to a variety of barriers including associated fees and transportation to a program of this nature,” says Suzie Heintzman, Teacher at George Webster Elementary. “GirlsCrew Club has been an amazing addition to our school community!” 

Adds Sedran, “none of the girls had any robotics experience at the beginning of the year and they are always so surprised by what they can do.”  

Nicole Vitello, a teacher at George Webster Elementary, is among three school staff who support the Club. 

“All the feedback has been very positive especially as the girls are gaining more experience with building and testing out their robots,” says Vitello. 

And four months in, the Club is making a tangible impact. 

“I like that I am learning about how girls are getting knowledge in areas that were normally just for boys,” says Sabrina, a 10-year-old participant. 

“We get to build robots which is so much fun and the snacks are beyond yummy,” adds Marjuka, age 11. 

Providing snacks and necessary equipment were elements that Sedran also took great pains to realize. 

“I didn’t have enough money to buy kits for all of the teams so I contacted my former coach who teaches at Bot Camp and asked if I could borrow some of their equipment,” says Sedran. “They were more than happy to help, so each week I go to Bot Camp and borrow any supplies I need and return them the next day.” 

To ensure a strong start for the Club, Sedran used monies she earned from a Bayview Glen School scholarship to “buy equipment, develop Welcome Packages (t-shirts, notebooks, and branded pens) and have funds available for snacks.”  

So far, it appears, her mission is being accomplished. 

“At the last class I asked each of them what careers they would like to pursue, and I heard so many of them say, — engineer, scientist, mathematician, robot builders,” says Sedran. 

Her efforts at a young age, are laying the groundwork for future potential women in STEM, and much more, according to staff advisor, Vitello.  

“Samantha is a dedicated, responsible and very knowledgeable instructor who is teaching the students not just about Robotics, but what is possible when you work hard and find something you are passionate about.” 

Learn more about: 
Robotics  

Legacy of Learning: Founder’s Day 2023  

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When L. Doreen Hopkins began teaching young children in her home in the early 1960’s, little could she have imagined that the seed she planted is still growing — more than six decades later. 

On February 4, 2023, Hopkins’ bold vision and enduring legacy will be remembered as part of Founder’s Day when Bayview Glen (BVG), the school she founded, marks its 61st anniversary. 

Persevering through her own learning challenge (dyslexia), Hopkins took what has been described as her “enormous compassion for students who had developmental issues,” and started up a school that “is open to all children.”

Bayview Glen School 1968 Graduation class.

The trail she blazed sprouted a nursery school and day camp in 1962, focused on teaching the whole child. 

BVG has operated from a private residence and later a farmhouse in the valley, to permanent locations on Duncan Mill Road and later Moatfield Drive — over more than half a century — growing and evolving each passing year.

From a handful of students in Mrs. Hopkins’ first in-home class, to more than 1,000 students currently on two campuses, BVG remains rooted in the pioneering vision of its founder. 

The school’s mission of Whole Child: Whole World: Whole Life is embedded in teaching, learning and school life across all grades. 

And as with Hopkins’ own education blueprint, fresh chapters are being written on a storied history. 

The tiny seed that could has cultivated a generation of learners, with more to come.