The Head's Tales: Building Community

As St. Margaret’s continues to build upon its strengths, I have come to realize the importance of also growing our community by increasing the opportunities to connect with others and to share our hopes and dreams for our girls – within classes, across grades, between parents, and in the greater community. It is the simple things – finding ways to do things together, sharing food, helping others with everyday tasks, seeking out opportunities to celebrate – that build a web of trusting relationships that allow us to entertain bigger initiatives and to strengthen our resolve to make possibilities become reality.

“Thinking big, but acting small” is a reminder of what really matters most. Anything is possible if we can draw upon the expertise, passion, and determination of many individuals who share a common purpose. SMS recognizes the importance of relevance, flexibility, and adaptability, as well as the importance of reaching out while we collectively navigate the new educational landscape – personalized learning, different pathways for learning, digital literacy including coding, inquiry-based instruction... the list continues to grow and change. However, it is less about being “bigger, better, more” and more about being attentive to our value proposition, weighing out the pros/cons of new opportunities, and balancing tradition with innovation.

At SMS, our size provides us with the privilege of knowing all of our girls and their families – we know their strengths, aspirations, and even their fears/challenges. We are constantly re-evaluating how we can best meet the needs of our girls while also exploring our capabilities to embrace new opportunities that are in alignment with our Strategic Plan. St. Margaret’s differentiates itself from its competitors – not because we are an all-girls school, but rather because of “what we get to do” as an all-girls school. Our parents have high expectations and so do we. We are consistently committed to:

  • Enhancing our educational experiences.

  • Expanding community engagement.

  • Ensuring transparent decision making.

  • Increasing shared ownership and commitment.

I have come to appreciate the fact that people have different skills and gifts that we need to leverage as we move forward. We have to continue to ask good questions that lead to new solutions rather than just solving old problems; we need to be nimble and ready to respond to new opportunities that align with our mission and vision; and finally, we need to engage our families in wanting to be a part of our future realizing that what we do today impacts what we can do tomorrow. Hence, finding ways to build community is and will continue to be a top priority at SMS.

Hence, a special “shout out” to the organizing committee of the SMS Community Golf Tournament that is happening this weekend at Bear Mountain. I am hoping this is only one of many events that will engage our community while creating a strong foundation for campus renewal so the school will be better prepared to meet the unique needs of our girls and support the possibilities that exist within our focus on STEM education. St. Margaret’s is focused on “upserving” its community by maintaining a balance between aspiring towards a big cause while also being responsive and transparent in dealing with those challenges that such new opportunities might bring. Taking the time to build community, to get to know the hopes and dreams of our constituents, will have long lasting benefits that will not only serve us today but will also ensure that we exist to serve other girls and families in the future. St. Margaret’s has many people in its past to thank who stood steadfast in supporting the Founders – the Fenwick sisters – and their mission and vision dating back to 1908. We believe that the actions of today’s families will honour the past while also allowing us to continue to thrive and strive for many more years to come.

“Working together in concert, not only helps us move more quickly, it changes the nature

of what we can undertake. When we have the confidence that we can orchestrate the group

effort required to realize our goals, we dare bigger dreams.”

Justin Rosenstein

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