As is customary for most people at this time of year, the first days of January is a time for reflection; looking back at the previous 365 days to see what’s been accomplished, and looking ahead at what the coming year may have in store.
The same goes for SMUS. It’s difficult to think back to January when you consider how much has happened here in the 52 weeks since we rang in 2014. But when the new year comes, we always enjoy reflecting upon the previous 12 months. We do so today by highlighting events and accomplishments from the year through our SMUS Review blog posts published in 2014.
• We revealed the winning T-shirt designs for our Middle School house shirts, created by our Middle Schoolers. Now that we see these shirts being worn from time to time around campus, it’s nice to remember what inspired these young artists’ creations.
• Then-Grade 12 student Olivia Sorley took first place in the Senior student category of the Victoria Film Festival, for her short film, “For An Adventure.”
• In February, our Junior School students headed over to the James Bay Care Centre to bond with some of the residents there. It’s an annual outing for our students, and it’s one that we always treasure.
• Our Middle School students collected 287 jars of peanut butter, as part of the Peanut Butter Blitz, a community service initiative to benefit clients of the Mustard Seed Food Bank.
• And who could forget the Senior School production of Spamalot? Our students did a terrific job staging and performing the hilarious musical based on 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
• Our Junior School students showed off their school work to their parents during student-led conferences. It’s an important opportunity (as evidenced by our SMUS Review blog that highlights these annual conferences) for them to show and tell their parents how school is going and what they’re learning in the classroom.
• Senior School student Eva Grant won a trip to the United Nations to deliver her speech: “Malala Yousafzai: Activism or Exploitation?”.
• SMUS captured the coveted “boot” in the 19th annual rugby Boot Game versus Oak Bay High.
• After months of searching and watching hours of great video entries, SMUS found the three winners of our first Best School Year Ever contest. (The contest is on again, with a Jan. 12, 2015 deadline.)
• Many of our bilingual Middle and Senior School students participated in the French speaking contest: Concours d’Art Oratoire. They did exceptionally well, winning a number of medals and being named Top 10 finalists.
• Two Grade 1 students launched a fundraiser to purchase mosquito bed nets for families living in tropical developing countries, after learning about malaria from mosquitoes. The student initiative raised $700!
• The 2014-15 school year kicked off with a Welcome Back barbecue at our Junior School, and leadership training surrounding inclusiveness and belonging at our Middle and Senior Schools. These great events helped set the bar high for what’s bound to be another terrific school year!
• We launched our annual Dream Big Fund. This worthy fundraiser is a vital campaign that helps fund various projects and programs that make SMUS the outstanding school you expect us to be. There’s still time to donate to the Dream Big Fund, too!
• Melissa Sawyer ’94 received the 2014 SMUS Distinguished Alumnus Award, for her outstanding dedication to community service work in New Orleans.
• Students from our Junior and Senior School were recognized at the National Philanthropy Day Awards for their philanthropic work in the community.
• Capping off a very successful season, the Senior boys’ soccer team captured first place at the BC AA Championship.
2014 was a truly memorable year here at SMUS. We’re very excited to witness all the wonderful work and accomplishment from our students in 2015, and we can’t wait to share those stories with you on the SMUS Review blog.
Happy New Year, from all of us at SMUS!