Head of School
From the Head
In looking back on the 2016/17 school year, St. Margaret’s School has much to be proud of as we continue to be a leader in girls’ education. Day enrolment grew especially in the Foundation and Middle Years, and we were pleased to welcome these new families into the SMS community.
SMS had an action-packed school year as we successfully completed both the CAIS and BC Provincial Accreditation process receiving numerous accolades regarding our strengths in STEM education, inquiry-based learning, and student leadership. SMS met the standards of excellence in each evaluation and received additional commendations around our Strategic Plan, our strength of programming across all grades and between disciplines, the power of our community engagement, and our development of student voice.
The Heads and Hearts to Action Conference, held in the spring, also celebrated girl power as over 400 girls participated in a variety of design thinking activities. These girls also had the opportunity to network and listen to many accomplished women talk about the possibilities in the STEM fields while sharing their passions and learning journeys. This particular event, combined with our increasing partnerships with local and national organizations, confirms our place as a leader in STEM education on Vancouver Island.
Our campus continues to be the envy of all who come to visit and this year we saw the introduction of Twigg’s Trail—a one kilometre running trail that wanders through our woods with a spectacular lookout overseeing the Blenkinsop Valley, its farmland, and Mount Doug towards the north. This was made possible by an anonymous donor who wanted to honour a beloved teacher who recently passed away from cancer. Ms. Twigg was committed to the outdoors, the health and well-being of girls, and STEM education. In addition, she spearheaded our long-standing Terry Fox Run at SMS. Other parts of our campus received the incredible care of our groundskeepers with special attention to enhancing our beautiful landscape including the addition of flowering beds, potted plants, and hanging baskets throughout the various courtyards and entranceways. The introduction of our bees’ apiary adjacent to our outdoor environmental centre also demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship.
This past year, the school also held many events that recognized the breadth of SMS supporters within the community including hosting our first Volunteer Recognition Reception in the Middle Years’ courtyard. As we embark on campus renewal, there will be many other opportunities for families to help SMS continue to empower girls now and in the future—annual giving, the endowment fund, creating special places projects, our capital campaign—all of which will enhance both the learning facilities and the opportunities for our girls to excel, grow, and become the leaders of tomorrow. Everyone’s contributions, big or small, truly make a difference and we are extremely grateful for the myriad of ways individuals give to the school.
Once again, a special thank you to the Board of Governors who provide that quiet leadership allowing the school to continue to explore ways of advancing girls’ learning, leadership, and empowerment. Our commitment to creating a culture of continuous renewal and improvement, grounded in evidence-based teaching practices, drives the way we teach and engage students in the learning process. We continuously nurture our girls to believe that anything is possible, and are resolved to eliminate that confidence gap that sometimes prevents girls from pursuing their dreams. This girl-centred imperative, and the knowledge that "little girls with dreams become women of vision," is the foundation of our approach. The talents of our staff, the commitment of our community, and the passion of our girls, reaffirms my belief that all our girls benefit from and thrive in this environment.
Thank you for joining us on this journey of creating tomorrow’s leaders today.Read More