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A LETTER FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL
"The vision I brought to Southridge was but a dream of things that might be - the students have made it a reality". - Alan Brown, Head of School 1995-1999
It is truly an honour to welcome you to the 2019-20 school year – the 25th year in our school’s history! Celebrating 25 Years of Southridge as a community provides us with the valuable opportunity to express appreciation for the work done by so many people during the early years of our school’s history while also dreaming about a future of possibilities for Southridge. Without question, the next chapter of Southridge will begin to unfold around us in the weeks and months ahead as we commit ourselves to a bold and compelling vision for the next 25 years.
Reaching this important milestone as a community is a testament to the people who worked tirelessly to establish our school. The foundational principles they embedded in the Southridge culture have created a close and connected community, and they have had an enduring impact on hundreds of our graduates. Learning and living in a light-hearted place of serious purpose, where there are no locks on lockers, where knowledge and goodness go hand-in-hand, and where people are known and cared for generates conditions where students flourish. At Southridge, contribution is at the heart of what we inherit and pass on, and 25 years into our journey, we remain grateful for the visionary contributions of our founding parents, students, leaders, teachers, and staff.
With 25 years of history, heritage, and culture to rely on, Southridge eagerly looks forward to the next 25 years with excitement and anticipation. While we draw on the influence of our past and are sustained by our commitment to community, we are also unrelenting in our dedication to continuous school improvement. Going forward, we will strengthen our focus in teaching the essential competencies and attitudes that will have a significant impact on the lives of our students, and we will provide the facilities and resources to support the growth of these skills and dispositions. Our classrooms will be highly experiential filled with relevant, lively, and engaging opportunities where energy, debate, laughter, and dialogue are encouraged and welcomed.
Wellness and social and emotional learning will be decidedly intentional in all areas of school life to ensure the development of moral character is not be taken for granted. Southridge will be affirmed as a place where students journey in their growth while exploring, embracing, and sharing their own unique qualities and gifts; a place where personal fulfillment is consistent with contributions to the greater good; a place where the youth in our community inspires all of us to actively and purposefully make a positive difference in the world.
I have had the amazing opportunity at Southridge to experience its growth over the past 23 years. To be sure, our school’s story has been nothing short of incredible, and the focus we’ve had on educating students with strong minds and good hearts has always been at the core of who we are as a community, withstanding the test of time. There is a wholesomeness about the relationships that act as the foundation of the learning environment our teachers create for their students. Whether they’re in Kindergarten, Grade 12, or anywhere in between, the wellspring of connections that allow our students to take risks, experience success, express joy, and feel a sense of belonging is incredibly gratifying to be a part of and to share with others.
There is so much to look forward to throughout the course of our 25th year. Celebrating our milestones, recognizing our past, and welcoming the future will blend together in a light-hearted atmosphere that is distinctly Southridge. I am looking forward to feeling the positive energy generated in our community as we come together over the coming months to remember the stories that sparked our guiding principles and that continue to shed light on our way forward. Seeing the excitement in the eyes of our students, hearing laughter at our celebratory events, and sensing hope for a future that is as bright as it is nourishing affirms in my mind that there is no place I’d rather be.
Drew Stephens, Head of School