It has been a pleasure to welcome back our returning families this week as we launch our much-anticipated centennial year. I am especially happy to see the warm welcome offered to our new students and families by our teachers and returning families. Joining a new community is both exciting and a bit stressful, so I applaud all school families who continue to reach out and welcome any new faces on our school campus each day. A “culture of welcome” is a defining quality of the very best schools!
Throughout the coming year, our centennial theme will be highlighted in the classroom and at special events, as we celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of our small family school. In 1918, Miss Kate Matthews welcomed her first class of six children to a classroom in St. Paul’s Cathedral. She continued to teach and lead her school until retiring in 1950. As she passed the torch to the next generation of educators, I am sure she marvelled at the success of her life’s work. Miss Matthews’ efforts were never about her own legacy. She emptied herself every year to keep her beloved school moving forward with confidence, care and prudence.
What we learn, discover, and contribute at Matthews Hall will depend on the strength of our connections in our school and in our local community. Our centennial offers the occasion to celebrate a century of success, and to rededicate ourselves to the vision of an exceptional learning environment, characterized by true citizenship values and the goal of outstanding high school preparation – all in the service of our students and the world in which they will live.
One hundred years ago, the fledgling “St. Paul’s Private School” opened its doors with few resources, modest ambitions, and an uncertain future – but a strong resolve. Miss Matthews welcomed her students every morning in 1918 (…and every day until 1950) with a deep commitment to the development of academic excellence, personal growth and sound character. She was the product of a great generation and her imprint and values are still alive in our school of today.
We did not invent these values. We inherited them from her! And this is something to remember and celebrate, as we cast off the lines and set sail for another school year.
We need your help to get the word out and “tell our story in a way that honours our heritage and celebrates our independence”!
Where a person ends up has a lot to do with where a person begins – for generations of alumni, Matthews Hall was a big part of that beginning. Sounds like a very good reason to celebrate!
Ric Anderson, Head of School