Palanca for Mr. Davidson - a man for all seasons:
Although Mr. Davidson has written a palanca for every Encounter participant that he has taught and coached since the beginning of this program, he has still not attended this overnight experience. The reason most suggested by our Wentworth faculty trying to comprehend his absence from this Collingwood tradition, is the lack of sardines during mealtime.
When thinking about Mr. Dee, the first characteristic that comes to mind is his selfless nature. I have yet to meet someone in my life who is more authentic, caring, thoughtful and supportive of others. He is someone who truly puts the needs of others before his own, a person who is completely ego-free. His selfless nature can be observed each and every day, from watching how he collaborates with his grade 4 team to how he engages his students around the campfire with creative scary stories of ping pong balls, to how he teaches our future rugby stars; a man so altruistic, that when an ailing family member needed an organ to survive, it was Mr. Davidson that stepped up and provided life.
My motivation for writing this reflection is two fold: to honour an unsung hero and to in the same light, annoy this inspiring figure. Typically, when I praise Mr. Dee, he turns into a 4 year old boy. His hands immediately enter his pockets, he loses eye contact and begins to shuffle his feet on the ground. It is at this section of my post, where I will begin to embarrass Mr. Davidson with two of my favourite stories involving this outstanding community member.
Camp Summit, 2016 - Never again will I sleep in a cabin or frankly the same building as Mr. Davidson. I have yet to come across a louder “sleeper” than Mr. Davidson. With each breath he took, it sounded like someone was “sawing logs” inside our cabin. Mr. Dee’s young protege and former Associate Faculty member of 4D, the incomparable Thanh Vo, was lodging in the same cabin with us that night. As Mr. Davidson and Thanh dozed off, they collectively created the loudest sleeping experience of my life. Typically, when sleeping in the same room with a snorer, there is a pause in the noise; however, this night, there were no breaks. Both Peter and Thanh took turns shaking our cabin. At 2:00 am I found myself fed up and dazed, so I began wandering in the darkened wilderness, with my sleeping bag, trying to find my car. I slept in my car until close to breakfast. As I exited my car, Mr. Dee, sitting on a muskoka chair in front of the student play area, yelped: “We thought a bear ate you.”
The Hiring of Thanh Vo, 2017 - For two years Mr. Davidson mentored a young, up and coming teacher named Thanh Vo. Thanh had his desk located in Mr. Davidson’s classroom and each morning upon his arrival to 4D, Mr. Dee would engage him in a long conversation. Being a supportive faculty member and mentor to our many young teachers, Mr. Dee pondered how he could help Thanh to sell himself during an interview for a teaching position. Visions of long awkward silences before a rigorous panel danced in Mr. Davidson’s head. They talked about how he was doing everything right. He was solid in the classroom, involved heavily in co-curricular activities, particularly basketball and rugby, and played frisbee golf with Matt Parker. He was also well liked and admired by his fellow Associate Faculty members. Then a grade six job became available at Wentworth midway through last school year. Mr. Davidson crossed his fingers. Would Thanh convey passion and enthusiasm; would he find the words, would he gain the post? Then one day I received a knock on my office door. I was sitting at my desk when a head appeared as the door swung open. “I’m the best person for the grade six math job.” And he was gone! However nonplussed I may have been at the time, I was impressed with Thanh for showing the courage and bravado to make such a bold statement especially to his direct report. As the interview process played out, it was Thanh who stood out from the rest. To be honest, part of the reason that Thanh was hired was because of his expertise with the math curriculum; however, the other part was because of that memorable, fateful moment when he walked into my office under the direction of Mr. Davidson’s advice. So, Thanh filled the big shoes of Hudson Clark, big shoes in the non-metaphorical sense of the word because simply Hudson did leave giant boots to fill.
There is one line in Robert Bolt’s play, A Man for All Seasons, that I think best exemplifies Mr. Davidson. At the beginning of the first act, a common person proclaims: “My master Thomas More would give anything to anyone.” On behalf of the Wentworth community, I want to sincerely thank you for your 26 years of dedication to our school. The mark you will leave behind will be both indelible and transformational for our students and teachers. You have raised the bar for our faculty in terms of professional conduct, passion for education, and knowledge of curriculum content. Along the way you have been a man for all seasons and a true gentlemen. Thank you for being the selfless teacher leader who has put his own needs on hold, to ensure that those of our school and students were met first. I hope that you can spend the coming years indulging in some of your passions; red wine, rugby, literature, haggis, and family. Mr. Dee, I hope that you feel a sense of true fulfillment as you begin the next stage of your life. You are an inspiration to us all!
Spring Fair - What you need to know:
"Our Collingwood Spring Fair, a time-honoured tradition, doesn’t happen without your generosity and support.The tradition of the fair as the annual parent fundraiser has remained strong for decades, and with each passing year, enthusiasm for this event soars higher. This Spring, we invite both families and corporations to support our Spring Fair. Not only is your financial support so important to this cherished event, but all funds raised go back to the school to enhance the educational experiences of our students. We understand today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders. To this end, Collingwood is committed to working with our students to develop new programs that educate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists, innovators, artists, philanthropists, and mathematicians. Future successes depend on highly engaged, highly capable talent - talent that must be nurtured during primary and secondary educational years.”
All funds raised through the Spring Fair go back to the fair and therefore back to the school.
- The Spring Fair is happening Saturday, April 28 from 10am - 3pm.
- It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year and all of the North Shore community is invited!
- We are all coming together at Morven for a fun-filled day of games and activities, specialty markets, silent auctions, and delicious food and beverages! We are looking forward to welcoming over 4000 attendees.
- The theme this year is old-time country vintage. A home-grown organic feel with fun new activities like a Homemade Pie-Eating Contest, Bandstand, Pony Rides, and a Petting Zoo! Plus, the return of all your favourites like the Kids Zone, Dunk Tank, Grad Midway and much more!
- Event Website is live!
- You can purchase tickets online in advance of the fair, and pre-order pies, parking passes and reserve your spot for attractions.
- Blitz Days is happening April 16th - 18th, please donate your gently used pre-loved clothing items and sportswear.
- Bottle Drive & Civvies Day April 20th please donate three bottles or $20/family and come to school in civvies. No empty bottles, these donations need to be full.
- Please volunteer leading up to the fair and on the day of (see above website).
Sexual Education Reminder:
I am encouraging all Wentworth parents to attend our sexual education Presentation for Parents on Wednesday, May 9th 6:30pm-8:00pm in the FSC. Please confirm your attendance here.
This session will give an overview of student presentations and, using humor and straight talk in an open, interactive environment, will show parents how easy it is to convey healthy, meaningful messages about sex and growing up to young children.
The Presentation for Parents will be dependent on confirmed sign-up by parents, so please let the school nurse know if you will be attending.
Student sessions will take place during the school day Monday, May 14th – Thursday, May 17th.
Kindie Buddy Visit:
Last week our grade 12 students from Morven travelled to Wentworth to visit their Kindie Buddies. This was their last meeting of the year and it is our hope that our kindies have established friendships for life.
Mariachi Band - Grade 7 Spanish:
Our Languages Department hosted a mariachi band this Monday. Our students learned about Spanish language and culture during this engaging and exciting experience.
Collingwood will be undergoing a CAIS (Canadian Accredited Independent School) accreditation from April 29th - May 2nd. Twelve school administrators from across Canada will be on campus to observe our programmes, facilities, faculty and leadership. Their visit will provide us with recommendations to better our school community.
In Canada, education is provincially mandated, and CAIS Schools are required to meet Ministry requirements. However, CAIS schools provide more. Our National Standards and Procedures are congruent with the internationally accepted criteria and model core standards adopted by the NAIS International Commission on Accreditation and updated annually based on current research and exceptional practices.
JK/Faculty Parking Lot:
A reminder that only JK families and faculty members can access and utilize the lower parking lot next to the Lodge. I have received reports that some families are dropping off their children in this parking lot to circumvent our traffic circle. My advice as always is to arrive to school early. We have very few cars in our traffic circle prior too 8:15 am each morning.
Here are a few helpful reminders:
1. At drop-off and pick-up, please move as far forward as possible before stopping.
2. If using the traffic circle, please stay in your vehicle and ensure your children get out of the car on the curb side.
3. Do not park in the drop-off zone above the school.
4. If it works for your family, please carpool, take the school bus or walk to school.
5. Arrive at school before 8:15 am.
At the end of the day, our children's safety is our # 1 priority. Please be patient and smile as we are all in this together.
Upcoming Key Dates:
Monday, April 23 - Earth Week
8:50am-9:20am - Wentworth Assembly, #1 Dress, Katz-Telfer Gymnasium
9:00am-2:00pm - Gr. 6A and 6Mc Field Trip, Telus World of Science
9:00am-11:00am - 7Z Community Outreach, Lions Bay School
|Tuesday, April 24||
9:00am-2:00pm - 6P & 6M Field Trip, Telus World of Science
|Wednesday, April 25 - Friday, April 30||Gr. 5 Outdoor School, Camp Squeah, Hope BC|
|Thursday, April 26||
9:10am-2:20pm - Gr. 1 Field Trip – Scavenger Hunt, Ambleside Locations
12:30pm-5:30pm - JKB Parent/Teacher Meetings, JKB Classroom
Friday, April 27 - Sunday, April 29
|Grade 6-7 Band Trip, Con Brio Sun Peaks Music Festival, Kamloops|
Monday, April 30
|8:50am-9:20am Wentworth Assembly, #1 Dress, Katz-Telfer Gymnasium|