Tag: community

Shara Campsall

Connections and Kindness in Challenging Times

Shara Campsall highlights a gift from a SMUS family that is supporting healthcare workers

SMUS is Fueled By Doing What You Love

Deputy Head of School Andy Rodford highlights the importance of doing what you love

Share Your Talents On Stage With Us for ‘The Armed Man’

Join our Senior School musicians on stage for a performance of 'The Armed Man'

Introducing Floreat

We are delighted to introduce Floreat, St. Michaels University School's 2020-2030 strategic plan.

The Rewards of Hosting an International Student

Dawn Wilson, Director of Education Extension and International Programs, writes about why it's so rewarding to host an international homestay student

Our Most Popular SMUSpaper Stories of the Past Decade

We look back at the 10 of the most-read stories on the SMUSpaper from the last 10 years

Ringing in the Winter Break as a Community

The final days before Winter Break are filled with traditions that bring us together as a SMUS community

Celebrated Storytellers Talk First Nations History and Respect

Authors Roy Henry Vickers and Robert 'Lucky' Budd spoke with students about First Nations history and respect

Mark Finamore Wins ‘Power of Youth’ Contest for Coffee Fundraiser

Grade 12 student Mark Finamore wins $2,500 for the Me to We Club to help tackle homelessness in Greater Victoria

GALLERY: A Week of Community and Service

Check out a gallery of photos from the past week of events that highlight community and service

GALLERY: First Week of the 2019-20 School Year

The first week of school has been jam-packed full of fun and memorable moments for students and teachers
Adrienne Davidson

Introducing Adrienne Davidson, Director of Advancement & Campaigns

Get to know Adrienne Davidson, our new Director of Advancement & Campaigns

Reflections From Our Outgoing Head Prefects

Grade 12 leaders Morgan Warner and Ewan Halliday look back on their year as heads of the Prefect Council

SMUS in the News: Students Raise Awareness on World Oceans Day

Grade 4 students took part in World Oceans Day by helping to educate the public about the impact humans have on our oceans
Keith Driscoll

Sunsets and Smiles

This past Sunday our boarding community gathered for the first of what will be several “this is the last time we do this together...

David Kim ’05: Helping Students Reach Their Full Potential

David Kim is the person he is today because generous donors supported financial assistance that allowed him to get a SMUS education

Sun Shine

The new Sun Centre student commons and dining hall is at the heart of student life and community

Brown Hall Upgrades Bring New Opportunities

The school's former dining hall underwent a seismic upgrade this school year, which brings with it the creation of newfound space for our community

The Lasting Impact of Financial Assistance

Financial assistance helps bring amazing students to SMUS, and a SMUS education has a lasting impact on their lives

The Next Generation of City Planners

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of School Ties. by Kyle Slavin If you were given the challenge of redesigning an important urban space,...
Mark Turner Annual Appeal

Helping Our Head of School Provide Opportunities

Head of School Mark Turner reflects on the Annual Appeal and how it impacts every student and every opportunity

SMUS in the News: Diya Courty-Stephens ’19 Wins Philanthropy Award

November 16, 2018 Diya Courty-Stephens '19 CTV Vancouver Island Teenage trio aims to help save two global problems at once Victoria News Local leaders of all ages honoured at...

Lest We Forget

When it comes to tradition, few events at our school stand equally with our Remembrance Day ceremony. It draws from our past as a cadet...

Lest We Forget: Remembrance Day 2018

The SMUS community gathered to celebrate Remembrance Day and honour the men and women who fought for our country
Keith Driscoll

Past, Present and Future

In light of our Founders' and Scholars' Dinner this week, Mr. Keith Driscoll writes about the past, present and future of our school community
Shara Campsall

Every Student, Every Opportunity

Shara Campsall provides an introduction to this year's Annual Appeal campaign: "Every Student, Every Opportunity".

Grade 12 Student Wins Youth Philanthropy Award

Student Diya Courty-Stephens is nominated for a philanthropy award for starting an organization that aims to reduce food waste

What is School Spirit?

The Prefect Council enlists students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 – and our Head of School – to define 'school spirit' at SMUS

SMUS in the News: Junior School Student Inspires Orange Shirt Day Action

The Oak Bay News highlights Orange Shirt Day at the Junior School, spearheaded by one of our Grade 4 students
Eliot Anderson

Gratitude and Community at Thanksgiving

Incredibly, the Thanksgiving Weekend is already upon us. I am sure that everyone can agree that the opening weeks of the school year are...
Mark Turner

The Importance of Boarding

Mr. Mark Turner discusses why boarding students are important for the whole St. Michaels University School community

Good Neighbours: Marking Orange Shirt Day at SMUS

Rev. Keven Fletcher writes about marking Orange Shirt Day and our commitment to building authentic relationships with our local peoples

New Junior School Playscape Emphasizes Imagination

Upgrades to the SMUS Junior School playscape this summer highlight the importance of "open-ended", imaginative play
Mark Turner

Foundation Fortnight

Head of School Mr. Mark Turner writes about the "looking, listening and learning" he has been doing this school year
Becky Anderson

The Joy of Community

Mrs. Becky Anderson, Director of the Junior School, writes about the importance of 'community' at St. Michaels University School

Sun Centre Grand Opening Kicks Off the New School Year

The Sun Centre, our new dining hall and student commons, has its grand opening to mark the start of the 2018-19 school year

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About SMUS Chapel (Part 3)

The last in Rev. Keven Fletcher's series on SMUS Chapel touches on getting more out of Chapel

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About SMUS Chapel (Part 2)

This week's article in a series by Rev. Keven Fletcher delves into what happens during weekly Chapel services.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About SMUS Chapel (Part 1)

Rev. Keven Fletcher answers some questions about the history and context of chapel in the first in a series on SMUS Chapel

Grade 2 Students Give Back With Souper Bowls

Grade 2 students bought a bowl and visited Fired Up! to paint their one-of-a-kind dish, which will be donated and used at the Souper Bowls of Hope.

Head’s Up: An Interview with Mark Turner

Grade 12 student Samina Makhanbetazhiyeva interviews Head of School designate Mark Turner about his passions, challenges and future role at the School.

Bob the Builder

We look back at the legacy of recently retired Head of School Bob Snowden, after serving 22 years in the leadership role at St. Michaels University School
Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor ’11: A Dream Big Profile

Alumnus Ryan Taylor '11 talks about the impact SMUS and financial aid had on his life – and why it inspired him to give back to the school

A Prayer of Remembrance

Rev. Fletcher's words from the Remembrance Day Service highlight why the day has a deep significance for our school

Remembrance Day: A Prayer for Humanity

Our Junior School community gathered for Remembrance Day by reading poems, stories and prayers to honour those who served their country

SMUS Named as Finalist for International Executive Coaching Award

St. Michaels University School was named a finalist for the international Prism Award, awarded by the International Coach Federation

A Celebration of Life for Simon Ibell

The SMUS community gathered together to celebrate Simon Ibell's life, his accomplishments and his legacy.


In my talk at our Graduation Ceremony, I observed that the graduates probably know already that their strongest SMUS emotional tug, once they’ve gone,...


When I was a boarding student, I wasn’t anywhere near as reflective as the students I heard today in our Closing Ceremony for Grades...

“Best Exploratory Ever” Pairs Middle Schoolers with Local Seniors

"I don’t know if there will ever be something at school that will impact me the way this did." Middle School students reflect on a unique partnership they made with residents at a local seniors home
Dream Big fund

Dream Big Stories: Ms. Bernadette Abrioux

Math is a tough subject. It's the one students tend to struggle with the most. But Senior School math teacher Ms. Bernadette Abrioux feels she...

SMUS in the News: SMUS Students Bridge the Generations with Seniors

The Saanich News highlights a wonderful community project that connected our Middle School Exploratory students with seniors at a local retirement home
Sid Boegman

Sid Boegman ’16 Returns to SMUS to Talk Gender Identity

The SMUS Pride Alliance celebrated Pride Day this week with a variety of fun activities in the quad. The highlight was a talk and...
Duncan Frater

Dream Big Stories: Mr. Duncan Frater

Choir teacher Mr. Duncan Frater talks firsthand about how the Dream Big annual fund helps students do more of what they love: the arts

American Friends, encore…

Last Thursday after our alumni reception in New York, a group of us were left in the room as a fire truck, lights flashing...

Why Facebook Doesn’t Replace Your High School Reunion

Here's 10 reasons why a high school reunion – or in our case Alumni Weekend – is an experience that a Facebook friendship will never replace

SMUS Talks Event Builds Student and Community “Connections”

Senior School students share what they learned from organizing and experiencing the inaugural SMUS Talks event

Dream Big Stories: Ms. Nikki Kaufmann

Ms. Nikki Kaufmann talks about how SMUS's annual Dream Big fund has a direct impact on the school's athletics program and student population

Gurpreet & Zareen: A Dream Big Profile

Alumni Gurpreet (Pete) Leekha ’89 and Zareen Charania ’96 talk about the impact SMUS and financial aid had on their lives – and why it inspired them to give back to the school

Love: Building Bridges in a Time of Divisiveness

Love. It’s an obvious topic for the week of Valentine’s. Easy. Yet, when we look at what’s happening in the world, it feels as though...

Dream Big Stories: Ms. Susan Vachon

Ms. Susan Vachon talks about how SMUS's annual Dream Big fund has a direct impact on the education students receive – in this case Learning Resources
sleep and learning

How Sleep Impacts Learning and Development

Listen to Director of Learning Adrian French discuss what happens when we sleep and why it is so important to learning and development
Rev. Keven Fletcher wearing a SMUS sports jersey

Dream Big Stories: Rev. Keven Fletcher

Rev. Keven Fletcher talks about how SMUS's annual Dream Big fund has a direct impact on the education students receive – in this case character education

Engage, Inspire, Empower

It started out as colourful words on a page as we gathered around a table. Three words, “engage, inspire, empower”, were written in green...

At Home With Boarders Without Borders

Our annual Boarders Without Borders event sees boarding students invited into local homes for a home-cooked meal and an authentic Canadian experience

Grade 12s Return to Junior School for Lifers Assembly

Our Class of 2017 includes 19 Lifers – students who've been at SMUS since Kindergarten or Grade 1.

Middle School Lends a Hand and Enjoys Community Service

Our Grade 6-8 students headed into our community this week to engage in meaningful service work as part of our annual Community Service Day


Next week we are convening a group of alumni, parents, staff and students to explore the future of the School. The title for this...

Cultural and Service Trip: Volleyball Tour to Cuba

Right before school started, I traveled to Havana, Cuba along with 12 of my classmates – and volleyball teammates – led by coaches Bendfeld and...

GALLERY: Faces and Fun from the First Week Back at School

Here are a handful of photos from all of the fun events that kicked off the 2016-17 school year

Head of School Bob Snowden Announces Retirement

After 22 years at SMUS, Head of School Bob Snowden will retire at the end of the 2016-17 school year
New Boarding Students

6 Tips for New Boarding Students – from Veteran Boarders

The six Grade 12 students elected Heads of our boarding houses offer advice to new boarding students
Starting High School SMUS

10 Tips for Starting High School on the Right Foot

Head of Counselling Ms. Carole McMillan offers advice for starting high school on the right foot

SMUS in the News: Feeding Our Future Program Helps Low-Income Youth in Victoria

July 15, 2016 Sodexo's Feeding Our Future program Victoria News Program helps feed youth from low-income families in Victoria CTV Vancouver Island July 14 – CTV News at 6...

2016 Middle School Closing Ceremonies

The annual Middle School Closing Ceremonies is a highlight of the school year – albeit held on the very last day of the year...

2016 Senior School Closing Ceremonies

On Friday afternoon, the Senior School Closing Ceremonies were held, marking the official end of the school year for the Grade 9-11 students. Among...

2016 Junior School Closing Ceremonies

For the youngest at our school, summer vacation started Thursday after each of the Kindergarten to Grade 5 students proudly crossed the stage, waved to...

SMUS Says Goodbye to Our Retiring Teachers

SMUS is saying goodbye to a number of longtime familiar faces this, year as five teachers – with more than 100 years of combined...

SMUS in the News: Sean Lider ’16 is a Giving Grad

June 14, 2016 Saanich News Sean Lider '16 Giving grad

Reflections from the Outgoing Head Girl and Head Boy

Outgoing Head Girl and Head Boy – Sarah Jones and Jasper Johnston – reflect on their time as school leaders and heads of SMUS's Prefect Council

Walk for Water Promotes Global Awareness at the Junior School

"If I suddenly said you couldn't drink the tap water, you couldn’t get any clean water, does anybody know where you would go for...
SMUS Alumni Weekend

Alumni Weekend is a Celebration for the Whole Community

Don't be fooled by the name – Alumni Weekend is a celebration of (and for) our entire community, not just students who've graduated already. Alumni Weekend is...

Eggs-periential Learning: Grade 2 Classes Welcome Baby Chicks

Mr. Giggles, Cottonball and Fluffy are the three newest members of our Grade 2 population, after the trio of baby chicks hatched in class Tuesday...

SMUS in the News: Kindergartener Receives Special Community Award

Tate Parker, Kindergarten student April 1, 2016 CHEK News Blanket BC Society gives Community Service Award to "Sleeping Bag Tate" Victoria News Five-year-old recognized for helping his community  

Middle Schoolers Make a Lasting Difference on Community Service Day

Last Friday, the entire Middle School spent the day out of the classroom and lent a helping hand in the community. Community Service Day at...

SMUS in the News: Lelia Hoube ’17 Reports for the CBC

CBC's Jeun'info C.-B. March 2, 2016 Lelia Hoube '17 Pour la sauvegarde de la langue squamish (scroll down to the second to last video)


Our Vancouver Alumni event last week was a great example of what engagement means at our school – so those of you who were...

SMUS Community Gathers for Fun Christmas Celebration

As with any family, the holiday season just doesn't feel complete unless everyone gathers together for some fun and merriment. And at SMUS, that...

New Countries

I wrote last June about the Takatuf Scholars program, which last year brought two students from Oman who are part of a cohort of...

Junior School Celebrates New Students at Welcoming Assembly

Last Friday, the Junior School ceremoniously welcomed all our new students to the school with an address from Head of School Mr. Bob Snowden,...

New Head Girl and Head Boy Aim to Strengthen Cross-Campus Community

We may only be a couple of weeks into school, but some students – Sarah Jones and Jasper Johnston, in particular – have been thinking...

Here we go…

All summer, there is not much noise on the Richmond Rd. campus - apart from the occasional siren on its way to the Jubilee...

The SMUS Chapel: Reworking Space for Our Growing Community

More than half a century ago the school community came together to do something extraordinary: build the Chapel. In the early 1960s, the school –...

Sodexo and SMUS Help Feed Hungry Children This Summer

St. Michaels University School and Sodexo, the food service organization that runs Brown Hall, have partnered up once again this summer to fill a hunger gap in Greater...

Weekend Garden Party to Fundraise for All-Girls’ School in Malawi

by Becky Anderson, Director of Leadership Our school is committed to learning, leading and serving. These themes are woven through all aspects of life at...

SMUS in the News: Chris Hadfield’s SMUS Chat

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield's digital visit to SMUS on Monday (May 25) piqued the interest of some of our local media. Two great stories, courtesy of...

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Talks Space, Music and Education with SMUS Students

Astronaut Chris Hadfield became the unofficial ambassador of science to the universe in 2013 when he took command of the International Space Station and gained international attention...

Oman – the Takatuf Scholars

The country of Oman forms what you might call the “ball of the foot” of the Arabian Peninsula: on the southeast corner, at the...

Building Sweet Friendships on Service Outings to Care Home

by Kathleen Cook, Assistant Director of the Junior School As a part of a school-wide commitment to external community service for all the students at...

Junior School Celebrates Being Environmentally Friendly

Kindergarten and Grade 5 classes are trying to make the world a little greener by drawing environmentally friendly messages on Thrifty Foods paper grocery bags....

SMUS Students Sell Prayer Flags to Raise Money for Nepal

Grade 8 students Georgia Haydock, left, and Anna Considine hang handmade prayer flags in the lobby of the Middle School. If there's one thing that...

Relive Your Glory Years at Alumni Weekend

by Jason Penaluna '91, SMUS Alumni Association trustee We are just one day away from the kick-off to Alumni Weekend 2015 (May 1-2)! SMUS is so excited to...

Just like when we were there

Some students get homesick when they arrive in September. They hanker for the places and community they have left behind for this new and...

Student’s Connection to Vanuatu Strengthened By Natural Disaster

It was just last summer that Grade 9 student Finn Goodyear and his family were on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu. There, they stayed...

Students Make Meaningful Connections to Local Charities

A trio of students earned $5,000 for the Bridges for Women Society last week as part of a service project in their Planning 10...

100 Days of Learning and Service at the Junior School

It's been 100 school days since the first bell rang in September at our Junior School. Since that time, our youngest have grown as...


Even when you go to yearbooks from fifty or a hundred years ago, a few prominent pages are devoted to the school musical. Depending...

SCHOOL TIES: In Their Own Words

In September, 1978, 35 girls made St. Michaels University School history. They walked through the doors to form the first co-ed class.

From Surviving to Thriving: Grade 8 Students Shine as Leaders

Last Friday, Grade 8 students from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland descended on SMUS to participate in a unique, student-organized leadership conference, From...

Athletic Review

Last week we sent out the summary of our recent Athletic Review, as promised before Christmas. (Read it here.) The document has elicited some...

How to Rock a Networking Event

by Laura Authier, Director of Marketing and Communications One of the most valuable tools I have in my professional kit is my network. In my...

11-Year-Old Takes Over Junior School as Principal for a Day

If ever Junior School director Nancy Richards needs a day off, she now knows she can put her trust in an 11-year-old to hold...

Happy SMUS Year! Looking Back at 2014

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...

Young Hearts Help Buy Farm Animals for Christmas

While most Canadians, at some point in their childhood, probably rifled through the Sears Wish Book in search of the perfect Christmas present, the students at...

Treasured Boarding Experiences are a Hot Commodity

This is the final part in a series of candid blogs written by our 2014-15 Best School Year Ever winners on the Good, the Bad and the Surprising of their boarding...

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer is Singing Loud for All to Hear

Every family has Christmas traditions. For the SMUS family, our tradition is a very large gathering (everyone from Kindergarten to Grade 12 comes together)...

A Whale of a Book Sale

by Tanya de Hoog On Thursday, December 4, Grade 4 students hosted a book sale to raise funds in support of the Adopt a Killer...

Boarding Community is Full of Good Surprises

This is the fourth part in a series of candid blogs written by our 2014-15 Best School Year Ever winners on the Good, the Bad and the Surprising of their boarding...

Global Issues Are Everyone’s Responsibility

by Livia Newman, Grade 10 One hundred and three students, teachers and parents took time out of their busy schedules last Friday to attend the...

The Challenges of Living as a Boarder

This is the third part in a series of candid blogs written by our 2014-15 Best School Year Ever winners on the Good, the Bad and the Surprising of their boarding...

Building Lasting Friendships is Intrinsic to Boarding Life

This is the second part in a series of candid blogs written by our 2014-15 Best School Year Ever winners on the Good, the Bad and the Surprising of their boarding...

Celebrating Basketball with the SMUS Community

The 2014-2015 basketball season gets underway Saturday, November 22 with a Celebration of SMUS Basketball, a full day's worth of games featuring SMUS athletes from...

SMUS Students Recognized for Leadership in Philanthropy

On Tuesday, students from our Junior and Senior Schools were recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals during the National Philanthropy Day Awards ceremony at...

Middle School Choir Joins Victoria Symphony to Remember World Wars

From the balcony of the majestic Royal Theatre, as Maestra Tania Miller conducts her Victoria Symphony on the stage below, the melodic voices of...

A Lesson in Baking, Math and Altruism

The sweet smell of fresh gingerbread cookie dough filled the hallways of our Senior School this week, as Grade 2 students rolled up their...

Vibrant Boarding Community is My Second Family

This is the first part in a series of candid blogs written by our 2014-15 Best School Year Ever winners on the Good, the Bad and the...

Remembrance Day: We Need to Remember

Remembrance Day at SMUS is steeped in tradition as a way to honour those who served our country; those members of our community –...

"Howdy partner!" Barn Dance Strengthens SMUS Community

Barn dances have long been associated with socializing and community-building. And that's no different at SMUS, as our Junior School hosted its annual Barn...

Project Based Learning: How has Immigration Shaped Canada?

by Tanya Lee, Middle School teacher On October 6th, the Grade 6 classes took part in a panel discussion as part of their Humanities classes....

A Junior School Tribute to Grandparents

Nancy Richards, Director of the Junior School Over 200 grandparents and grandpals were honoured at the first Grandparents’ Day in the history of the Junior...

Funding Big Dreams

Did you know that tuition at SMUS accounts for approximately 85% of our total budget? The extra 15% is raised annually via our Dream...

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Roommates

One of the greatest parts of attending boarding school is living with a roommate from another country. Each roommate pair at SMUS is specially...

Junior School Serves up BBQ Fun

On Friday, September 5th the Junior School community gathered for a Welcome Back barbeque. Over 500 people, including parents, grandparents, children and teachers gathered...

Simple Things

Each September, you only get one chance to make your first address to the students, in my position. Sort of like remembering you only...

SMUS Welcomes the World

by Paul Leslie, Director of Admissions Dear SMUS Team: Congratulations to all on an excellent and well organised orientation week. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and...

True Colours at the Middle School

Students and faculty were abuzz with opening week excitement as the Middle School opened its doors for the new year. WEB (Where Everybody Belongs)...

The Best School Year Ever

This phrase is a very ambitious one. At the same time it speaks the aspiration of every student at the School this week, Kindergarten...

SMUS in the News: Building Education in Malawi

Saanich News June 18, 2014 Dariol Haydock Saanich teachers building education in Malawi

Mother’s Day Celebration

by Allison and Anna Fowler, mother and daughter As students progress from grade to grade within the Junior School there are traditions that each grade...

Service Day: Fundraising for Nicaragua

Throughout the year, Service Days offer students a chance to shed their uniform in exchange for a small donation to a good cause. Next...

#WeAreGirlRising #BringBackOurGirls Event

It is a full time of year....sports, music, hobbies, and friends all taking a lot of our attention and energy. While we go about our...

Found: Three Amazing High School Students

WANTED: One amazing high school student. So said the tagline for SMUS's first Best School Year Ever scholarship contest. Who knew we'd find so many...

And the BSYE finalists are…

Ever since January 15, when Kalkidan Amare, David Boroto and Ann Makosinski helped SMUS launch the Best School Year Ever scholarship contest, there's been...

Alumni Weekend: Not Just For Alumni

by Gillian Donald, Alumni Associate As the Easter weekend begins, we are only two weeks away from another major event: Alumni Weekend (May 2-4). Despite...

A New Extreme at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Internationally-recognized artist Chin Yuen has been working with SMUS students as part of the New Extreme program run through the Art Gallery of Greater...

A Blitz on Hunger

Updated March 6: The tally for the Peanut Butter Biltz House Challenge was 287 jars, surpassing the goal of 245 jars. Congrats to Bolton...

Wind and Weather

I am an early riser. This morning at about 5:30 I was outside. The only illumination at this time, in mid-February, is provided by...

Student Council Spreads the Love

by Catie, Grade 8 Our Middle School has many leadership opportunities, one of them being Student Council. Student Council organizes dances, service days and spirit...

Junior Students Bond With Seniors

by Kathleen Cook, teacher As a part of a school-wide commitment to community service for all the students at SMUS, the Junior School regularly visited...

Financial Aid February

Financial aid is a big part of the Annual Fund, with over $300,000 last year going towards making SMUS education more accessible. For the...

The Best School Year Ever

Today is the Day of Silence organized by our student chapter of Amnesty International. Good thing, therefore, that I was able to say my...

Student Short Film Tops VFF Contest

http://vimeo.com/81909195 Grade 12 student Olivia Sorley took first place in the Senior student category for the Victoria Film Festival, which officially begins on February 7,...

Young Designers Revive House Shirts

The Middle School house shirts have undergone an overhaul thanks to some talented student artists. Every Middle School student submitted at least one t-shirt...

Recognition, far and wide

When Grade 11 student Ann Makosinski was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “Top 30 under 30” who will change the world...

All We Want for Christmas is SMUS

It wouldn't be the holidays at SMUS without the annual all-school assembly. From chipmunks to kings, the traditional student-led skewering of the faculty, a...

Dream Big: Alex

Earlier this year, we unveiled the new motto for our annual fund. The money raised supports many aspects of school life but in particular...

A Season of Giving

Our Middle School students put together 18 hampers to brighten the holiday for local families in need. Below, one of our students writes about...

Season of light, this year

I am surrendering to a temptation. As school breaks up for the holiday, an irrepressible cheer overflows from the corridors and from everyone’s cup...

Writing for Human Rights

by Dariol Haydock, Assistant Director of Middle School On December 10, the Middle School held our second annual Amnesty International Write for Rights event. In...

Take a (Virtual) Tour Around Campus

We're not trying to put our amazing Admissions tour ambassadors out of a job, but our new virtual walking tour is pretty sweet. Click...

Nelson Mandela

Day after day for the past week, the mornings have been frozen, a rare thing for Victoria. Normally in December the daylight that drips...

Baking For A Brighter Holiday

By Nina Duffus, teacher Our Grade 2 students have continued their annual tradition of making and selling gingerbread. The 22 students have weighed, measured, rolled,...


It never fails. Technology overflows our briefcases, desks, pockets, and dangles from our ears. But it is a risky thing to depend on. For...

Alumni Basketball: Student Side Keeps it Close

The winter term sports scene kicked off officially November 23 with the Alumni Basketball games. In the first of three contests, an older yet...

YALP: Local Activists Inspire Grade 8 Students

by Aysha and Taylor, Grade 8 Aysha: Inspiration When I was younger, I would see people on the streets who looked ragged and scruffy. I never...

YALP: Keynote Speakers Provide Fresh Perspective

by Zachary Kahn, Grade 12 Seeing as I had never been extremely involved with local poverty and never having attended a conference like this, I...

Remembrance Day: A Collective Experience

Remembrance Day on the SMUS campus is marked with special ceremonies, traditions and this year, a first. As you may have seen on the livestream...

Dream Big: Our New Annual Fund

For over 20 years, the SMUS community has come together to support our school and our students through the Annual Fund. This year, the...

The stories of diversity

A school doesn’t cultivate a culture of diversity so that one particular group can begin to understand the rest who are different....

Shifting the Power

by Tessa Owens, Grade 11 From October 4-7th, hundreds of activists hailing from across Canada met in Victoria, British Columbia. They were united as part...

Thanksgiving, Canadian Style

The Top Five Canadian Thanksgiving Traditions 5. Watch sports on television 4. Get outside! 3. Give thanks for health, family and friends 2. Spend time with family 1. Eat....

Excellence in all of us

The information that sweeps over new parents has been flowing – and overflowing – for several weeks now. It does ebb, if any new...

Starting at SMUS: A Parent Perspective

One of the most important aspects to becoming a boarder at SMUS is the new boarder orientation. Sculpted by the Admissions team and aided...

Starting at SMUS: A Student Perspective

by Elaine, Grade 10 boarder, Symons House Last Christmas, I got an email from SMUS and it gave me the email address of a girl...

Two Steps Closer to a Graceful Space

by Nancy Richards, Director of Junior School Over the past week, our Junior School faculty, parents and neighbours have had opportunities to share their thoughts...

Terry Fox Run: A Canadian Tradition

Each September for the last 33 years, Canadians have run to remember one of our heroes: Terry Fox. Terry lost his leg to cancer...

The Mission

At this time of year I refer to our School’s Mission frequently. It is a time of numerous parent evenings, when they meet the...

All Aboard!

As students have written in recent Link Leader program posts, it's not always easy coming to a new school. Imagine, then, if you were...

Leadership Via Horsemanship

On Thursday, our new Prefects, Heads of House and Council Heads jumped the Clipper ferry to make the annual journey down to Silk Purse...

Follow Me: Link Leaders

Last week, we talked about our two student-led welcome programs for new students from the perspective of the newcomer. This week, two Grade 12...

Invitational Brings Community Together

by Peter Gardiner What a glorious day! On September 9th, approximately 100 golfers enjoyed the 8th Annual Alumni and Friends Golf Invitational at Cordova Bay. The weather...

Annual Fund Scholars: Dawit

Dawit Workie first came to SMUS in Grade 8, joining our boarding community and settling in to life not too far away from his...


by Virginia Ronning, counsellor The 21st Century learner has to keep up with a grueling pace of change, and it’s our job at SMUS to...

A Bilingual Look at Victoria

http://youtu.be/PRuPN_Kpnbg by Serena Edwardson, teacher Throughout the year, my French 10A class has been corresponding with a class from France and collaborating on various projects. My...

An Olympian End

After a year of intense competition - both physical and mental - the house games season wrapped up this weekend with the House Olympics....

Alumni Return

It was a bright and beautiful weekend this past weekend, as alumni returned to campus for our annual Alumni Weekend. The SMUS community welcomed...

Annual Fund Scholars: Kali

Albertan boarder Kali Salmas has made the most out of her two years at SMUS. A fixture in our music program, she's also made...

Fun For All Ages

by Kathleen Cook, leadership coordinator As a part of a school-wide commitment to external community service for all the students at SMUS, the Junior School...

Boarders Vs. the West Coast: A Lively Weekend

After the longer breaks, the boarding community comes back together with Community Weekends. This means our usual weekend activities are replaced with house activities...

Annual Fund Scholars: Remy

Three years ago, Remy Furrer was told he shouldn't even bother going to high school. Now he is set to graduate and attend university. When...

Black History Month

Students from around the world celebrated Black History Month in one of the most exuberant and power-packed chapel services of the year. We hear...

Mardi Gras, Brains & Badminton

With so much going on in the day-to-day life of the community, the chance to relax, have some fun and add a little competition...

Bonding Through the Buddy Program

At the Junior School, classes are paired together as a part of the buddy program. The intermediate students are all paired with a primary...

Diving Into Opera

More than 200 children and youth are involved in the production of Noye's Fludde by the Pacific Opera of Victoria, and several SMUS students...

Parents Tell Us: Why SMUS?

Why do parents choose SMUS for their kids? This week, the SMUS Open House will bring a lot of new families to campus, some...

Live Streaming

This past week our Large Ensembles Concert made School history, as we tested our first official live-streaming of a School event. It was not...

A Celebration for All Ages

The holiday season is always a busy one at SMUS, but every year we make time to come together for a fun-filled assembly, featuring...

Annual Fund Scholars: Charlie

With the end of the school term and 2012 fast approaching, it is a great opportunity to check in with the Annual Fund. Strong...

Celebration and Contemplation in Boarding

by Kyus, Grade 10 boarder The SMUS Christmas Gala was easily the best formal event I've been to in years! I always love an excuse...

Christmas Cheer Never Tasted So Good!

by Nina Duffus, Grade 2 teacher The Grade 2 class has been learning weights, measures, baking, decorating, packaging, finance and sales skills - and a...

Best Coast Living: Surf. Bike. Home by Dinner.

Video by Zyoji Jackson, Middle School Teacher, Senior Houseparent Music: Dirt (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 3.0 One of the great advantages to living in Victoria is the...

Junior School Barn Dance 2012

by Allison Fowler Greetings y’all! It was so great to see so many students, parents, extended family, and teachers at this year's Barn Dance. 416 people came...


Yesterday we had our Junior School Remembrance Day service, an occasion appropriately pitched at those young children. Today we had the Remembrance Day Service...

We Day and CAIS Launch Leaders

Two major — but very different — events have given Middle School students a chance to sharpen their leadership skills. Several students travelled to...

Simon’s Struggle: Overcoming the Odds

SMUS recently hosted Simon Ibell '96, our 2012 Distinguished Alumnus (Philanthropy). Simon began his visit at the Junior School before going on to speak...

Higher Learning

This morning I was interviewed by a magazine; the subject was “The Ten Questions Parents Should Ask” when choosing an independent school. Very shortly...

Boarders Without Borders

by David, Grade 11 boarder Boarders Without Borders was a great experience for me. I did it last year, and had a wonderful time, so...

New Year, New Chance to Give

As visitors to SMUS may have noticed, the Annual Fund for the year has begun. The banners are up on both campuses, the donation...

Junior School Kicks Up Its Heels

Junior School students, faculty and families were able to mix and mingle at the Barn Dance again this year, donning cowboy hats and plaid...

Thanksgiving in Action: Food for Thought

With so many reasons to be thankful, it is important to stop and show our gratitude. Each year, we give thanks by treating the...

Swimming, Slugs, Flashmobs and Fire: Boarding Hits the Town

This past weekend a full docket of activities topped the schedule in boarding. With trips to Commonwealth Pool for a swim, Fired Up! Ceramics...

Welcome to Our New Website

As many of you may have noticed, our website has been given a makeover during the summer. We're very happy with the result and...

Back in the day

When I talk to new boarding parents on opening day I like to tell them two things, that hopefully won’t get lost in the...

Boarding Welcomes the World

by Darin Steinkey, Senior House Parent Imagine, if you will, what it's like to arrive on our campus as a student during Orientation Week. You...

Alumni, Parents and Friends Play for a Cause

This Monday, 112 golfers took to the Victoria Golf Club course for our annual Alumni & Friends Golf Invitational in support of the Alumni...

Junior School Cooks Up Family Fun

On Friday, September 7, the Junior School community gathered for the annual Welcome Back Family Barbeque. It was a beautiful, sunny evening and there...

Senior Students Strongest Link for Newcomers

Seeing a friendly face can really take the stress out of joining a new school. The Link Leader program aims to connect Senior School...

Middle School Caught Up in WEB

by Anna C, Grade 6 On September 5th, all the Grade 6 students gathered in the single gym to prepare for a whole morning set...

Summer Holidays

Here we are at the end of June, and people are thinking of taking trips south to experience some warmth. June is often an...

2011-2012 Boarding Year in Review

From a smoking hot opening day to the House Olympics, it was a stellar year in boarding. The video slideshow below shows the year...

Connections across campus

One of the many benefits we have as a Kindergarten to Grade 12 school is the amazing relationships that are made across the grades....

Olympian Efforts in Boarding

Video by Darin Steinkey; Photos by Chris Bateman Music: Cold Cold Kiss by Oh! Belgium CC BY-SA 3.0 With the London Olympics just around the corner,...

Stories from the Annual Fund: Megan Parker ’11

Judy Pryce remembers vividly the phone call that changed everything for her daughter Megan Parker. As a new SMUS student in Grade 6, it...

Another Amazing Alumni Weekend

by Erin Anderson, editor Alumni Weekend, an annual event where SMUS alumni return to campus, ran from May 4-6 and featured all kinds of events...

Stories from the Annual Fund: John Herpers ’64

John Herpers '64 knows from personal experience that the right school at the right time in a young person’s life can make all the...

SMUS Shows LGBT Pride

Video by Darin Steinkey by Erin Anderson, editor Last week, SMUS celebrated Pride with a lunchtime concert, Pride merchandise and a special presentation from Grade 11...

Black History Chapel Features Personal Stories

The Black community hosted a special chapel to celebrate Black History Month. With personal stories from Africa, Canada and the United States, to step-dancing...

100th Day of School Cause for Celebration

by Kathleen Cook We had an amazing week with the celebration of 100th Day last Wednesday. The students have been bringing in soup cans for...

Stories from the Annual Fund: Cathy and Charley

by Erin Anderson, editor Visitors to SMUS often comment on how beautiful our campus is. Part of that beauty can be credited to Cathy Beglau,...

UVic and SMUS Students Swap Stories

by Heather Sandquist, Grade 4H teacher Our recent field trip to UVic was the culminating piece of our study of elements of design found in...

Black History Month

Whenever I write about what happens in Chapel, I wonder: do people outside our community read the description and find themselves totally disoriented? Chapel?...

SMUS Celebrates Chinese New Year

A Short History of Chinese New Year From a speech delivered by Grade 12 boarder Thompson Wong in Chapel Also known as the Spring festival, Chinese...

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like… January

by Erin Anderson, editor Snow is still a pretty special event in Victoria, so it's not surprising that many people were excited to see the...

Stories from the Annual Fund: Susan Xu and George Luo

“Every year, we give to the Annual Fund,” says Susan Xu, a current parent. “Every year, we feel we should do more.” In 2006, Susan...

Classic Dinner and Chapel Music for Boarding

Community dinners are an opportunity for boarding students and houseparents to come together around a meal and enjoy each others' company. The first community...

The Best SMUS Review Stories of 2011

by Erin Anderson, editor Since we're embarking on a new year, we thought it was a good time to take a look back at the...

A Look Ahead at 2012

As the calendar year ends, we still have six months left in the school year, and those months are some of our busiest times....

A SMUS Holiday Montage!

December is full of holiday celebration at SMUS. From the delicious shortbread cookies baked in Brown Hall to the pile of snow brought in...

An Interview with Dr. Samantha Nutt

On Tuesday, December 6, Scholar in Residence Dr. Samantha Nutt spoke at SMUS as part of her book tour to support the release of...

SMUS Hands Out Christmas Hampers

Tis the season of giving and both the Middle and the Senior School embraced the holiday spirit by collecting toys and food for local...

Carol Service Brings Holiday Spirit

Every year, the Senior, Middle and Junior Schools hold a carol service, a celebration of the season that also encourages us to reflect on...

Stories from the Annual Fund: Jim Prentice ’49

Jim Prentice ’49 still remembers the freedom he experienced on the water as a youth. His life-long passion for boating and the outdoors is...

Students Dive Into Dodgeball

Students got some great exercise last week with a whole lot of dodgeball. Boarders began to practice their dodging skills through house games over...

A Uniquely Canadian Weekend for Grade 8 Boarders

Photo by Zoe Isberg by Teresa Xu, Grade 8 boarder in Winslow House This past week was amazing, especially the weekend activities. On Friday night, we...

SMUS Continues to Support Liberian School

Last year, the SMUS community came together to raise funds to help a school in Liberia get a new roof and a latrine. Now,...

Stories from the Annual Fund: Keith Driscoll

Keith Driscoll's multi-faceted role at SMUS is special, but it’s not unique. A Middle School teacher, coach, house parent, and now Director of Residence,...


The row of cedars out behind Reynolds House was ravaged by disease a few year ago and many had to be cut down. Just...

Remembrance Day at SMUS

Each year, our school holds a very special service for Remembrance Day. Combining drama, music, speeches and song, this ceremony helps us to reflect...

Reflections on Boarders Without Borders

by Evelyn Zapantis, Boarding Services We had an all-time record of over 60 day families and 122 boarders for our annual Boarders Without Borders meal!...

A Howl of a Good Time in Boarding

It was a weekend full of Halloween-themed everything for boarders and house parents; from Brown Hall meals, to fireworks, to the boarding-wide talent show,...

Middle School Spends Day Serving Others

All the teachers and students at the SMUS Middle School spent their entire Thursday out in the community. From student musicians performing for senior...

SMUS in the News: Henry John Pemell Schaffter

The Globe and Mail October 31, 2011 Henry John Pemell Schaffter http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/lives-lived/henry-john-pemell-schaffter/article2220229/

SMUS Kicks Off the Annual Fund

As the 2011-2012 Annual Fund officially launched this week, Director of the Annual Fund Lori Adam, explains this year's focus, the spirit of giving,...

SMUS History Goes Online and Interactive

by Laura Authier I love history. I love looking at old photographs and being surprised by what looks different and even more surprised by what...

Boarders Aim for Soccer Victory

Photos by Cheryl Murtland, Becky Anderson, Craig Farish, Ian Robertson & Darin Steinkey Music by Kevin Macleod Grade 8 Weekend Wrap-up by Mehrab Khazei, Grade 8 Boarder Last...

Houseparents Offer Thanksgiving Food for Thought

by Keith Driscoll, Director of Residence To give thanks causes us to stop for a moment and reflect upon what is going well in our...

First Spirit Week Peps Up the Middle School

The Middle School House Council organized the very first Spirit Week, incorporating all kinds of events. On Monday, students were able to write little...

A Grand Opening for Boarders

by Sydney Fraser, Grade 11 The first week at a new school tends to be overwhelming, and my first week at SMUS was no exception....

Boarding Community Comes Together

by Darin Steinkey, Timmis Senior Assistant House Parent Summer on the Island may have been short on heat, but campus was smokin' over the Labour...

Middle School House Games

by Lindy Van Alstine, Middle School Teacher Last Wednesday, the Middle School was a buzz of activity in eager anticipation of the annual end-of-year House Sports...

SMUS Celebrates Pride Day

The SMUS Pride Alliance celebrated Pride Day on May 17th, which was also the International Day Against Homophobia. Students could buy SMUS Pride t-shirts...

Students Get Political as Election 2011 Approaches

As Canadians are preparing to vote next Monday, the past couple of weeks have seen a lot of political activity, including on the SMUS...

Survey Leads to Changes at Brown Hall

Recently, Brown Hall conducted an in-depth survey of staff and students, to find out how happy they were with Brown Hall. Thanks to an...

SMUS Celebrates Mardi Gras

The International Council and the Modern Languages Department organized some Carnival celebrations at the Senior School this Tuesday. At lunch, students enjoyed a performance...

SMUS Community Lends a Generous Hand

This week’s silent auction fundraiser for Gwendolen O’Connor was a resounding success. SMUS parent Patricia O’Neill, speaking on behalf of the parent group dubbed...

Gwendolen’s Story

by Patricia O'Neill, SMUS Parent Gwendolen is far from ordinary. Until last July, this angelic 16-year-old with her halo of golden curls and glorious smile...

Allocations Update

Written by Krista Schlosser This is the first Allocations blog I have written; in fact, this is the first blog I have EVER written! I...


I have the opportunity to teach a unit in Health and Career Education to almost all of the grade 9 students. I focus on...

Ideas that are pearls: balance

Some ideas are like that grain of sand inside the oyster, nestled in a spot where it absorbs the elements that coat it. In...

Reflections and Action – International Service Trips

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On the heels of a motivating chapel...


The sound of students isn’t a gradual and controlled swell. It is an eruption. Once it erupts, it is constant, like one of those...

Middle School Adds to the Festival of Trees

by Robyn, Grade 7 Last week, a number of students from the Middle School went to the Fairmont Empress Hotel to take part in the...

Boarders Without Borders

Submitted by Shelley Austin, photos by Lisa Hopkins The long circular driveway was clogged with cars at 5pm, Sunday Nov. 7, 2010. Boarders were streaming out...

Junior School Barn Dance

 Submitted by Susan Ko On October the 23rd, the Parents' Auxiliary put on a foot-stomping fun Barn Dance at the Junior School. We had over 300...

Quiz Night

On Friday, 5th November, parents, staff and friends organized themselves into teams to compete for the title of "Superbrains Champions Fall 2010" and for...

SMUS Students Get Spirited

by Erin Anderson, editor This week was another fabulous SMUS Spirit Week, with some amazing new events. In assembly on Tuesday, the entire school was dressed...

Boarders Get a Taste of Home

by Sophia Loers, Grade 11 boarder Sunday evening. It´s cold outside. Four girls are waiting in the Symons foyer for their Boarders without Borders dinner....

Middle School Dedicates Day to Service

by Dariol Haydock, Director of the Middle School Before our first Middle School service day, I must admit I wondered how it would work to...

Service Day: Woodwyn Farm

by Amita On Thursday, November 4th the middle school had a service day. Everyone went out and did something for the community or the environment....

Service Day: Mount Tolmie

by Amanda On November 4th, the Middle School had its very first service day. Every student in the Middle School split up in groups to...

Boarding Students Howl for Halloween

by Donna Williams, Senior School Strings Teacher and Winslow House Staff Member On Halloween night the entire boarding community, some 250 students and over 30...

Friday night

Last Friday night we held our annual Victoria Alumni evening. Very well attended by about a hundred and thirty people at the Union Club,...

The Junior School Barn Dance Builds Community

by Nancy Richards, Director of Junior School There is no better way of bringing a school community together than with an old fashioned country Barn...

Mrs. Snowden Reads to Kindergarten Class

by Mrs. Joan Snowden I loved being able to read to the Kindergarten class. They were all so willing to share themselves with me: Hallowe'en...

We Day Inspires and Empowers

by Emma Ronning and Kelly Adam, Grade 12 A stadium full of incredibly motivating speakers and 18,000 of the most passionate youth on the West...


We have a responsibility to both the past and the future. From the past, we are entrusted with the legacy of the school. To...

Junior Students Run for Terry Fox

The Junior School held the annual Terry Fox Run on Friday, September 24th. All the students divided into house teams and wore their house...

New Head of Brown Hall Cooks Up Changes

by Erin Anderson, editor Students might notice the food at Brown Hall is a little different this year. Paula Henchion, who was previously our executive...

SMUS: Where Everyone Belongs

by Owen, Grade 8 Where Everyone Belongs or WEB is the name of a newly developed leadership programme for Middle School students. The WEB leader...

Junior School Welcomes Families with Food

by Kathleen Cook, Admissions The Junior School celebrated the beginning of another year that past Friday with its traditional welcome barbecue. All families, staff and...

Terry Fox Run and Documentary

Most Canadians know the story of Terry Fox, one of Canada's most well-known heroes. His support of cancer research, in the form of a...

New Year, More Students

by Sue Saunders, Director of Admissions The first week of September is an exciting time, especially for admissions. We welcome the families who we have...

Boarding life

Five or six years ago on the first day of school, one of our German parents, who had just dropped his son off in...

Colourful End to Middle School Games

by Nancy Mollenhauer, teacher It was finally a warm June day when the Grade 6 and 7 students headed out on to the fields with...

Students Entertain Seniors

See slideshow This week, one of the Middle School exploratory classes visited the Luther Court Society care facility, where they performed music for a very...

Students Give Hugs

See slideshow Last week, seven SMUS students spread a little love by giving away hugs to anyone who wanted one. The group of volunteers were...

Earth Week Grows at SMUS

Senior and Middle School students have been taking action on issues of sustainability in honour of Earth Week. Each day of the week was...

Grade 4 Students Give

Our Grade 4 students have been preparing for Spring Break for weeks, assembling supplies to send along with a few of our Senior School...

Junior School Kicks Up its Heels

The bi-annual Barn Dance brought many families to the Junior School last weekend to participate in one of the Parents’ Auxiliary’s most popular events....

Parents' Auxiliary Christmas Evening Celebration a Festive Success

Last Saturday, over 300 SMUS community members, including faculty and students from all three schools, came together for an evening of dinner, dancing and...

Junior School Cooks Up a Big Welcome

Junior School marked the end of the first week of classes with an evening barbeque on Friday, September 7. New and returning families arrived...

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