February 27, 2012
Paris Lowe ’13
Scholarship Benefits Portland Teen
February 27, 2013
Christian (Grade 5), Tori (Grade 4), Jared (Grade 7), Riccardo (Grade 8) on the cover and part of the cast of Let’s Make an Opera/The Little Sweep.
This week’s Athletics Reviews sees our SMUS basketball teams fight hard and take different routes to earn berths in the Provincial tournaments. In the end, it won’t matter how they got there, but that they have a chance to bring a title home. Our coaches check in with the highlights.
Junior Boys Basketball
by Reagan Daly
The Junior boys team were up in Courtenay for the Island basketball tournament this past weekend. The host team, G.P. Vanier, were joined by four qualifiers from the north zone, while SMUS was joined by three teams from the south and one from the mid-Island zone to round out the eight-team field.
The first round game was a rout from the tip, with SMUS dominating an over-matched NDSS squad, the number-four seed. The boys won in a lopsided affair by 50 points, with the player of the game going to Jason Scully.
The semi-final game featured the top two teams on the Island, and the boys squared off against Cowichan High School, who they had lost to just a couple weeks earlier by a single point. Playing with great emotion, the boys jumped out to an early 24-8 lead, and never looked back. While Cowichan did make a run in the third quarter, the final result was 53-42, and the 11-point margin was as close as they came in the second half. The player of the game was Alex Caton, who made some timely shots in the final quarter.
SMUS was hungry for the title in the final. While Oak Bay had come close to knocking off the boys in an overtime game earlier in the year, in this game they would not be close. Hot shooting by the dangerous SMUS back court gave the boys an insurmountable 39-8 lead at half time. Each player on the team saw considerable floor time in the second half and the boys closed out the game 78-36, bringing home the Island title. Graeme Hyde-Lay was named player of the game with Jason Scully named to the tournament All-star team. Max Pollen scored 25 points in the final and was named the Island MVP.
The boys will now re-focus for the provincial tournament run next week at Vancouver College.
Senior Boys Basketball
Despite a very successful exhibition and league season, and a convincing South Island AA title, the Senior Boys were still left with it all to do at the full Island Tournament, held February 23-25 at Wellington SS in Nanaimo.
In opening round play, SMUS, behind Mark Yorath’s game high 21 points, easily dispatched NDSS 95-45. This win set up a rematch of the South zone semifinal, with the Blue Jags matched against Brentwood.
This semifinal seemed to be going nicely to script, with SMUS leading 26-19 late into the second quarter. However, a poor final two minutes saw the game tied at halftime. Indeed, some of the errors on display may have been a precursor of things to come, as the Blue Jags stumbled out of the blocks after intermission.
Then, still only down 45-42 entering the final period, SMUS immediately conceded eight straight points. Any scramble back was then blunted, with Brentwood nailing down its free throws in the last minute and prevailing 65-53.
This loss set up a potentially season-ending crossover game versus Shawnigan. In an erratic opening half, the Blue Jags’ continued loose play was a real cause for concern, and a 24-20 lead at the break little comfort. Eventually, thanks to a 23-3 third quarter run, SMUS gained control, although Yorath (22 points) was the only one who seemed able to find the basket with any regularity.
With the win, SMUS met Lambrick Park, semi-final losers to host Wellington, for the third Island berth to the BC Tournament. For whatever reason, the Lions immediately blitzed out to a commanding lead, and did not let up en route to a 63-45 victory.
Fortunately for SMUS, the Island zone, based on overall strength, had been granted an extra half berth to provincials. After a day to reflect on the many disappointing aspects of play in Nanaimo, the Blue Jags put on a clinic in dismantling Howe Sound runners-up Elphinstone 94-57. Matt Rud, Keiler Totz, Georgios Ikonomou, Wayne Lin and Mack Catto all scored in the double figures, with Yorath notching nine points in addition to ten assists.
However, in a surprising move, the tournament committee opted to set the provincial draw prior to the challenge game and base the pairings on zone finish as opposed to the full season. As a result, as Island 4, SMUS has been seeded 9th in the BC draw, with a tough opening round matchup against talented King George of Vancouver.
Nonetheless, the team must grasp its challenge berth reprieve with both hands, and look to hit the March 6-9 provincials in Kamloops in top form. Regardless of the draw, with current BC #1 Holy Cross a possible quarter-final opponent, SMUS, highly ranked all year and with multiple wins against top AA, AAA and prairie teams, has the capacity to do real damage.
Senior Girls Basketball
by Lindsay Brooke, coach
The Senior girls basketball team played their best basketball of the season this past weekend at the AA Island Championships. In the first game of the tournament, the Blue Jags faced the Kondors of Kwalikum. The Kondors were no match for the swarming defense of the Jags and they could not contain the offensive explosion of the 3-point shooting machine, Sophia Ducharme. Ducharme finished with 28 points on 6 for 9 shooting from behind the arc. Abbey Piazza added 17 points and Claire Williams chipped in with 9 points. SMUS opened up an impressive third quarter lead and was then able to rest the starters and get all the girls ample minutes. SMUS won easily 64-37.
In the semifinal game against Shawnigan Lake, SMUS got out of the gates early, leading 37-21 at the break. The Blue Jags went on to win 64-39. The dynamic duo of Piazza and Ducharme combined for 34 points. Rachel Sibbald had some solid play in the first quarter to finish with 8 points. Senior guard Kate Cluley played some steady minutes at the point, finishing with 5 points and connecting on several backdoor passes. The Jags have made strides recently on their free throw shooting and shot over 58%, including two apiece for Grade 11 players Emma Donald and Sam Colby in the fourth quarter.
In the Island final, SMUS played the Wellington Wildcats, ranked in the top four all season and boasting a big, veteran squad. The Wildcats jumped out to a 23-6 first quarter lead. Stunned, the Blue Jags focused on defense and clawed their way back into the game, thanks to the sound play of Claire Williams and Sophia Ducharme on the boards. Rachel Sibbald exploded offensively in the second quarter to cut the lead to 9 points at the half. The Jags continued to chip away at the lead with Jenna Dhillon — playing as an undersized small forward — came up with several defensive rebounds and stops. With just three minutes left, SMUS had cut the lead to four points. Unfortunately, that was as close as they would get. Wellington went on to win 63-54. It was a courageous effort by the Blue Jags that showed a lot of heart and determination. Ducharme finished with 20 points and Sibbald added 12 points. Both Sophia Ducharme and Abbey Piazza were named to the Island All-star team.
Next up for SMUS are the AA Provincials in Kamloops from March 6-9. They are seeded 11th in the tournament and will open play against the #6 seed St. Thomas More of Vancouver.
Students and staff received some sad and shocking news this week, as Felicity Tallboy, one of our Learning Resource staff, passed away suddenly on Wednesday night. A special chapel was held this morning to celebrate her life and reflect on the impact she had on our community.
Reverend Fletcher shared some very touching words about Felicity, who had an indefatigable spirit and an amazing energy. Bob Snowden also spoke about Felicity at chapel and he wrote about her passing on his blog.
Today, students were able to contribute their memories and thoughts on a card for Felicity’s family and on a banner in Learning Resource. Many community members also left messages on Facebook.
“My heart goes out to all of you who were a part of Felicity’s life. She was an ever-cheerful face in LR during my time at SMUS and I know she will be deeply missed. Sending love to all of you right now.”
“Our family is deeply saddened by this loss. Her work with her students and the bond she made with them will be missed.”
“What joy you brought to all of us, Felicity. This is a heart-wrenching loss for both students and staff.”
“Such an enormous loss. Felicity was the kindest, most compassionate and warm-hearted of souls.”
by Martha Cohn, Grade 10
The art show at the Mac is always a great exhibit for student work – when I was in Grade 8 and 9, I would always go look at the art that was hung during long rehearsals for the musical. It’s really cool to see the paintings that have been done by people you know, or see something they’ve talked about because then you can connect to the piece on a personal level. I was really proud that my art was selected this year. I went to the opening, and I recognized a lot of great pieces from my class, and others I had seen hanging around the school. I hope that people enjoy all the displays during the intermission from the musical!
by Julia Weiss, Grade 10
We made our pieces to represent our class’s visit to the aquarium earlier in the year. From previous sketches of various marine life, we were told to construct a hangable 3-D tile. When I noticed that many pieces were fish turned on their sides, I thought it might be cool to show my fish essentially sticking its head out of the tile toward the viewers. It began as a very experimental project because we were to incorporate crushed glass or “frit” into the pieces. Our teacher Mr. Bateman was unsure of the results but they seemed to turn out very well. The thicker the frit, the more it would pool and crack, giving an almost water-like quality to the background (very fitting for the assignment). Though my passion lies in painting and drawing, it was wonderful to get hands-on with the clay and get a satisfying end product.
by Saeed Shokoya, Grade 11
The artwork I created was based on a snapshot I took of downtown Calgary a few years ago. I was inspired to use this image in my piece because it is one of the few good photos I have taken, as well as the fact that Calgary is my hometown. I thought it would be a cool challenge to see if I could take a bright scene (downtown Calgary) and give it a dark, Gotham City-like atmosphere. I also added various human silhouettes into the background to give the image a kind of story/scene that requires imagination by the viewer. I am not a great artist, but I am proud of this piece.
For more pictures of the pieces on display at the McPherson Playhouse, you can visit the SMUS photo gallery.
Middle School students put their language skills to work last week by participating in a long established French-speaking competition. Below, one of our students writes about the event, where she went on to win the Core French 8 category, and shares her speech en francais.
by Madison, Grade 8
For the last six weeks, students at the Middle School have been busy writing French speeches for the concours d’art oratoire. Everyone was encouraged to write about topics that are of interest to them. The speeches can be funny, serious, informative or a combination of all three. After the speeches were written, we had the opportunity to meet with our French teachers, Senior School students, parent volunteers, and French teachers from UVic and other schools. The volunteers helped us edit and put the finishing touches on our speeches. I had a chance to work with Emmanuel Hérique, a Professor of Linguistics and Phonetics at UVic. It was a bit daunting to work one-on-one with him, but I gained some great ideas on ways to improve my speech, especially time to practice those darn French vowels. Memorizing the speech and practicing the pronunciation of the French words were the next steps.
Read Madison’s Speech: Ma Vie comme Chaussette
On February 12, 13, and 14, each student presented his or her speech to classmates, Mme Pike, Monsieur Hollingworth and Mrs. Haydock in the Copeland Lecture Theatre. This was a great way to get used to speaking in front of a crowd in a more formal setting. After all the speeches had been heard, the French teachers chose finalists from each grade level and from three categories (Core French, French Immersion and Francophone) to present their speeches at the next round of the competition.
On February 19th, the finalists presented their speeches to parents and to a panel of judges. After listening to each student’s speech the judges asked questions based on the content in the speech. The questions were asked in French, and the student answered in French as well. This is also a bit nerve-racking but I had such sense of relief and of accomplishment when it was over. When all speeches had been heard, everyone met in the Copeland Lecture Theatre to sing songs and to hear the names of winners from each category.
Indeed, participating in the concours d’art oratoire has been an exciting and educational experience. A special thank you to Mme. Pike for all her work in organizing this event!
For more pictures, visit the SMUS photo gallery.
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 needs to be part of a balanced equation. This past weekend boarding let it all hang out with badminton matches, trivia house games and a Mardi Gras celebration in Brown Hall, capped off with Winslow hosting a chapel on love.
For more pictures, visit the SMUS photo gallery.
At the Junior School, classes are paired together as a part of the buddy program. The intermediate students are all paired with a primary student and they participate together in a wide range of activities. They read, draw, create, build and discuss throughout the year. Most recently, our Kindergarten and Grade 5 classes joined together to celebrate Valentine’s Day. They had time for a partner talk discussing what qualities a friend should have, read stories and the children added their cups of fruit to the large bowl which they enjoyed together.
by Paris, Grade 5
The buddy program is an awesome program where younger kids get paired with older kids. I remember when I was a younger buddy and was looking up to my older buddy. Now I am an older buddy and my buddy and I have done lots of things. We’ve made lots of stuff for holidays as well as just reading. Sometimes we meet outside of buddy time, like recess. Sometimes the buddies play something like tag or maybe sports. I remember when I was in Kindergarten, piggy banks were very popular with the girls and the boys just played sports and ran around. The first day we had our Kindergarten buddies we had a fun day doing a cut-out pumpkin. The buddy program is a fun experience.
by Will, Grade 5
I have had a great time with the buddy program and have learned how to get along with kids that are younger than me. The reason I enjoy the buddy program is because your buddy looks up to you and because the program puts the kids together and, in the end, you become amazing friends. On Valentine’s Day, my buddy and I made fruit salad and had a wonderful time. My buddy was so happy when we got to eat the fruit salad. I love having a buddy!
by Benjamin, Grade 5
When I talk with my buddy I find that it is very interesting to learn about his life and what he does every day. I think that he is a very sweet boy who is very intelligent and whenever I see him he always brings a smile to my face. I find that everyone’s buddy has a different story in their life. One of my friend’s buddies plays soccer with an imaginary ball. My buddy plays in the sand pit at school and digs around looking for all sorts of objects and he tries to dig the biggest hole. If you have a buddy, ask him about his life and what he does. Also observe him or her and get to know what they think and what is interesting to them.
Little Buddies’ Thoughts
“My buddy explains what we will do even before we do it. That helps.” – Anj, Grade 2
“I like to spend time with my buddy. I like doing fun things like reading together.” – Evalida, Grade 2
“I like that we get to have time together and we get to have a fruit salad sometimes. Also, I really like my buddies and I have two!” – Owen, Kindergarten
“It is good because they always care about me.” Katherine, Kindergarten
“I really like doing little crafts with them. I like seeing what they can make and how creative they can be. You understand your buddy’s character more and understand what they need when you are with them.” – Charlotte, Grade 5
by Darin Steinkey
SMUS shores up their defence this week in the Athletics Review with basketball tournaments and wins galore. Squash coach Hanebury chimes in on the Pacific Northwest tournament as well.
Senior Boys Basketball
In a highly competitive sub zone event that featured the #2, #3 and #4 provincially-ranked teams, as well as two from the Honorable Mention Top Ten list, SMUS battled through three tough games to emerge as champions, earning the #1 seed to the full Island AA tournament.
In opening round play, the Blue Jags, bolstered by raucous home support and the return of Mack Catto (knee tendonitis) and Dawit Workie (Las Vegas 7s rugby duty for the Pacific Northwest), took on Shawnigan. Deadly outside shooting by point guard Mark Yorath staked the hosts to a 39-25 lead late in the second quarter, but the visitors clawed back to within seven at intermission.
The second half was more of the same, as SMUS, on several occasions, threatened to break the game open and extend a double digit lead. In the end, despite a misfiring Jags offence, swarming team defence and solid rebounding held sway in what finished a 62-50 win.
With the victory, SMUS advanced to a much anticipated semifinal showdown with Brentwood, who, by virtue of its own fine play in previous weeks, had secured the BC AA #2 ranking. In a game that featured stifling defensive pressure from both teams, the hosts prevailed 43-34.
Indeed, the Blue Jags jumped out to an early 12-2 lead, with some superb defending by Dave Pollen, on Brentwood star forward Jordan Charles, setting the tone for the evening. The visitors clawed back to 12-12, with the teams then trading the few hoops on offer to halftime.
After the break, and down 22-21, SMUS then went on a stunning 17-0 run, with Yorath, Catto and Keiler Totz all fueling the attack. The 41-26 lead after three quarters seemed safe enough, with passage to the final versus Lambrick Park all but assured.
Unfortunately, a very disjointed final period saw the Blue Jags muster only a solitary field goal, and it took some more sterling defense to protect the lead. Fortunately Catto, joined by fellow post Matt Rud, controlled the backboards, combining for 27 rebounds. This offset an unsightly 4/33 performance from beyond the arc, not to mention an equally shaky 5-13 effort from the free-throw line.
Nonetheless, it was onto the final versus Lambrick Park, with SMUS keen to avenge the 67-57 league defeat on February 6 to the same opponents. With that victory, the Lions had edged past the Jags in the provincial polls.
Another strong start, featuring crisp ball movement, red hot three-point shooting and more rock solid defense, allowed SMUS to jump out to a 13-2 advantage, which was extended to 29-14 and 34-17 by late in the second quarter. A fifteen point lead at intermission seemed a strong position, yet it proved to be anything but, with the Blue Jags squandering their hard earned lead in rapid fashion. Gone was the aggressive defending, while on attack, ball movement was replaced by one-on-one play and questionable shot selection.
With seven minutes to play, Lambrick Park was within a single point at 44-43, and indeed had three opportunities to take the lead. Then SMUS stiffened, behind nine straight points from Georgios Ikonomou. His tough, driving layup, followed by a deep three pointer, moved the Jags back in control at 49-43. From then, it was a matter of hanging on, with free throws by Workie, part of his game high 14 points, confirming a 58-51 final score.
Rud, though struggling from the field, turned in another outstanding defensive performance, limiting, with the aid of his teammates, Lions 6’9″ post Matt Neufeld to only eight points. Likewise, Wayne Lin, making light of a nasty ankle sprain which took him out of the two previous games, gritted it out through the final eight minutes to blanket Lambrick Park sniper Brendon Somers.
With the tournament victory, SMUS regains the BC AA #2 ranking and, more importantly, secures the South #1 seed in the full Island Tournament, to be held February 21-23 at Wellington SS in Nanaimo.
Senior Girls Basketball
by Lindsay Brooke, coach
The Senior Girls Basketball Team took their first steps into the playoffs this past weekend at the South Island Championships, hosted at Brentwood College. The South Islands featured the top five teams from Victoria and the three teams from the mid-island, which included Shawnigan, Brentwood and Gulf Islands.
In the opening round game, SMUS faced Edward Milne of Sooke. The result was an easy win (58-9) that saw many girls logging minutes. Mackenzie Blaisdell played her best game as a Blue Jag, finishing with 8 points and 5 assists. Orla Glen and Claire Williams had 10 points each and Jocelyne Yan added 7 points.
In the semifinal game, SMUS played the Panthers from Parklands. The much bigger Panthers gave the Blue Jags a run for their money. It wasn’t until late in the third quarter that SMUS was able to pull away. In the end, SMUS won 65-51. Sophia Ducharme led all scorers with 17 points and 12 rebounds, Rachel Sibbald finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Abbey Piazza added 14 points.
Once again, SMUS would play Lambrick Park in the championship finals with the winner entering the Island Championships as the South #1 seed and thereby avoiding a potential semifinal match-up with the #5 provincially ranked Wellington Wildcats. The Blue Jags jumped out to a solid start, executing offensively and locking down Lambrick’s best scorer. They had a 30-18 lead heading into the halftime break. In the third quarter, Lambrick scored two bank 3-pointers and knocked in some other shots to cut the lead to 2 points heading into the fourth. In the late stages of the game, SMUS struggled to get easy baskets and good looks on offense. Leading by 1 point with under 30 seconds left, SMUS had possession of the ball. Lambrick needed to foul, to stop the clock, or get a steal. Lambrick fouled, sending Orla Glen to the line for two shots. With senior poise, Glen nailed the two free throws giving the Jags a three point lead. Those would be the clinching shots, as SMUS held on to win 56-53. Piazza finished with 13 points, Sibbald added 12 points, Ducharme added 11 points and Glen chipped in with 9 points. In addition to sinking the two clutch free throws, Orla Glen played terrific defense on Lambrick’s top scorer.
SMUS hosts the AA Girls Basketball Island Championships this weekend, opening against Kwalikum at 5:30 pm on Thursday, February 21.
Junior Boys Basketball
by Reagan Daly, coach
The Junior Boys wrapped up their city playoffs this week in dramatic fashion on Friday evening at Claremont High School, with a convincing win over cross-town rivals Oak Bay. The final score was 55-41, but into the start of the third quarter the game was never in doubt, and the boys held a double digit lead for the entire second half. This was the third time SMUS has won the title in the past 20 years. This year the boys went undefeated through league play and playoffs.
Graeme Hyde-Lay was named player of the game for the city finals, and Jason Scully was named MVP of the city tournament, which was sponsored by the Victoria Police. Max Pollen continued his strong play as well and contributions from the forward trio of Liam Catto, Matty McColl and Michael Cernucan helped to control the glass. Jake Wilmott again showed he is not just a three point threat, with some inspired defensive play, and Owen Sudul sparked the team in the 4th quarter with strong on the ball pressure.
This week the boys head to G.P. Vanier in Courtenay, where they face strong teams from the North and Mid-Island zones in their drive to win the Island title. The Island tournament runs Thursday through Saturday.
Senior School Squash
by Chris Hanebury
One of the biggest junior squash tournaments in Canada, the Pacific Northwest, took place in Victoria this past weekend. Twenty-nine SMUS players joined more than 190 participants in a variety of divisions. The weekend provided valuable first tournament experience for the members of our development team, while many of the senior school competitive team members had stand out performances.
The girls have steadily improved all season. SMUS dominated the Under 19B division with Noelle Skillings placing 2nd, Vivian Lam in 3rd, Giai Phan in 4th, and Uma Hallea in 6th. In the Girls Under 19 main division Janel Gaube looked sharp in her return from injury beating teammate Arden Mollenhauer along the way in a tight three games. Arden then went on to win the plate defeating two higher ranked girls. Madison Liew improved each match and finished tied for 7th in the Girls Under 15 draw. It was an impressive showing by all SMUS girls.
On the boys side it was once again Gavin Maxwell that led the way. Gavin won the Boys Under 17 without dropping a single game. He showed a lot of maturity by winning his first three matches quite comfortably and kept himself fresh for the finals. Also in the Under 17, Michael Rossi continued his rise up the squash ranks, finishing with a 3-2 record and narrowly missing a spot in the quarterfinals.
In the Boys Under 15 category, Jason Yoo showed everyone how much he has improved over the past year. He played a couple of rematches from this same tournament last season and battled his way to a 6th place finish. Our youngest team member, Tony Liu, played in his first major tournament and improved in each of his matches. Tony made a major impression on the junior circuit and is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. A special congratulations goes out to one of Grade 3 student, Christian Yuen, who won the Boys Under 11. Congratulations Christian!
The team is getting right back to work as there are provincial titles on the line in two weeks at the BC Junior Closed in Nanaimo.
photos by Rob Ducharme
Though this year’s musical, The Secret Garden, doesn’t open until February 27, the production takes months of preparation. As students and staff are hard at work getting everything ready, we took the opportunity to step behind the scenes and look at costumes and set pieces from musicals past.
Below, we chat to Jane Smith, Campus Shop manager and sewing savant, who has created costumes for three productions. In the video we talk to art student Amal Khan, who painted sets for Guys & Dolls, about the intricacies of adding colour to the sets.
SMUS Review: What got you interested in designing costumes for our productions?
Jane Smith: When Kay Weber asked if anyone might want to help with costumes for My Fair Lady, I offered to do a bit of sewing. Kay had a garment that was reminiscent of the period and wanted me to copy it. I made a pattern and sewed the sample and from that Kay and David Gauthier, with a leap of faith, asked me to create gowns for the Ascot scene which involved styling approximately 18 outfits. Most of the fabric had already been purchased as the colour theme had been chosen. This was actually quite inspiring, putting combinations together and making use of the shorter lengths left from a hat making workshop.
SR: Where do you start on such a large project?
JS: The first thing I do is research the styles that were typically worn during the period of the play to get a feel for the silhouette and fabric.
SR: How do you decide what to rent and what to make?
JS: I concentrate on one or two scenes or groups of characters and Erika Schweitzer visits Langham Court Theatre or other rental locations and gathers costumes and accessories which will be suitable for the rest of the production. Erika also does a lot of sewing and pulls it all together.
SR: Can you give me an idea of the process of making a costume?
JS: I start with sketching ideas: necklines, sleeves and skirt shapes that I can refer to as the process develops. Usually the next step is to visit the local fabric stores and check what is available, and hope that the fabrics can be purchased at a discount. Sometimes the perfect fabric is found in the remnant bin. In the meantime I take measurements of the students as soon as the casting is done so I can start drafting patterns. In some cases a muslin sample is required so adjustments can be made before cutting in to the fabric. There are several fittings as the garment is sewn and a final check of the length to make sure the girls do not trip on the hem while dancing.
SR: How long does it take to create one of the more intricate costumes?
JS: The most time-consuming costume so far has been the gown for Rose in the Secret Garden. It was made from delicate fabric that was quite challenging to cut and sew. This gown has taken well over 10 hours from start to finish. Another style that took a lot of work was the red satin dress worn in Guys & Dolls in the nightclub scene. There were 11 girls in the same style and each garment had to be adjusted to fit exactly and be strapless as the dress had to be removed in one motion during the dance routine. With Erika’s sewing skills and a bit of glue, the bodice stayed in place until it had to be removed.
by Natrine Cheuk, Grade 12 boarder and Business Club Executive
The Daily Grind is a cafe ran entirely by the members of the Business Club. Located in the Wenman Pavilion, the Daily Grind is open Monday to Friday during lunch, after school and after boarding prep (about 8:30). It offers a variety of bubble tea, hot drinks, buns and sushi, along with some seasonal snacks. The Daily Grind not only serves the student body, but also hungry house parents at night! With the kind donation by the Parents’ Auxiliary, the Daily Grind has just been renovated and is well equipped with a new plasma television and sofas that serve as a perfect place to hang out with friends.
To the Business Club members, the Daily Grind is more than just a café that offers food and comfort. From stocking the food to organizing various events, members put their business knowledge into practice. Recently, Business Club decided to donate all of their Friday profits to Centro Conviven, a local charity in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Ma Facia, a primary school in Monrovia, Liberia to improve the lives of fellow citizens around the world.
In the video below, we take a thumbnail tour of The Daily Grind and talk to Dylan Zheng, Head of Harvey House and Business Club executive, about what students gain from Business Club.
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 are among them. The cast and orchestra feature members of the Victoria Children’s Choir, the First Metropolitan United Church Bell Choir, students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and members of the Victoria Symphony.
Congratulations to the students who are part of this fantastic cast and orchestra!
- Alexander Fanat
- Matthew Jaffey
- Sidney Boegman
- Bree Robinson
- Macy Weymar
- Elizabeth Morton
- Samantha Yee
- Richard Cunningham
by Darin Steinkey
Although we are in the heart of basketball season, SMUS basketball has not shown a lot of love to the competition lately and they’re looking to continue that trend with a full weekend ahead.
Reagan Daly and Lindsay Brooke update us on the hard-court happenings.
Junior Boys Basketball
by Reagan Daly
Junior boys basketball wrapped up their league play last week with a perfect 9-0 record against teams from the Victoria area. This week the playoffs have begun, and the boys have maintained their unbeaten streak through the quarter finals and semi-finals. In the quarter final game, the boys defeated Parklands in a one sided affair. All players saw considerable floor time, however, Max Pollen was named player of the game with 19 points. In the semi finals, SMUS beat a feisty Lambrick Park squad by a margin of 40 points. Jason Scully was named player of the game and finished with a game high 22 points.
The boys have now booked their ticket to the island tournament, and look ahead to the city final on Friday evening at 6pm at Claremont, where they will face a talented Oak Bay team.
Senior Girls Basketball
by Lindsay Brooke
The Senior girls basketball team wrapped up league play this week with games against Edward Milne and Lambrick Park. The team travelled to Sooke on Tuesday for their league game with Edward Milne. Edward Milne has struggled in league play and this game would be no different. The Blue Jags dominated both ends of the court. Offensively, they were scoring inside and out. Kate Cluley, just back from an ankle injury, shot 50% from the three-point line and finished with 11 points. Claire Williams finished with a game-high 14 points and 9 rebounds in a solid all-around effort. Orla Glen chipped in with 9 points. Jocelyne Yan provided much energy on the court, diving for loose balls and securing the boards. All the Blue Jags ended up on the scoresheet and defeated Edward Milne by a final score of 56-10.
In the highly anticipated matchup with Lambrick Park, the Blue Jags got off to a roaring start taking a 23-11 first quarter lead. Bolstered by the outside shooting of Sophia Ducharme, SMUS led the entire game and closed it out winning 62-52. Ducharme finished with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Abbey Piazza added 11 points and Rachel Sibbald chipped in with 10 points. Jenna Dhillon, Claire Williams and Erin Hope each finished with 6 points. The win put the Jags in first place and the Victoria #1 ranking heading into the South Island playoffs.
photos by Rob Ducharme
Why do parents choose SMUS for their kids? This week, the SMUS Open House will bring a lot of new families to campus, some for the very first time. It seemed like a good opportunity to get parents to look back at what made them join our community and how they feel about that decision today.
“They teach our children so much more than just the academic curriculum.”
A K-12 Plan
by Kate Campbell, parent
SMUS is the school we chose for our daughter because we wanted our child to continue to be a confident, interesting – and interested – happy person; to learn well and enjoy the school days of her precious childhood. The SMUS philosophy fit.
The days that span Kindergarten through Grade 12 are many. Outstanding preparation for higher learning aside, we wanted each day Charlotte had at school to be replete. We wanted her lush mind and love of learning to be tended to and encouraged, and her days at school to be wonderful.
What we heard when choosing a school for Charlotte was that SMUS’s reputation in Canada attracts the best and brightest teachers. Now, as a parent in the SMUS community, I see that the teaching staff at SMUS is the best and brightest, and that they teach our children so much more than just the academic curriculum; our teachers seem genuinely happy, brilliant, “think outside the box” people. They are committed to our kids’ education and happiness; help stretch our kids’ capabilities beyond remembering simple facts and into deep thinking and reasoning; care beautifully for our children; and act as great role models in myriad aspects of life.
When Charlotte was very wee, we taught her that she has a voice and an opinion that is important in our family. When she started spending time outside of our family, in sports and at school, we hoped that she would feel like she would also be heard and feel important outside of our family. SMUS really believes and positively demonstrates – through mentoring programs between older and younger grades, charity endeavours, meaningful field trips, music and sports events, the virtues program, and reciprocal respect between teachers and students in the school – that children are important in their families, their classrooms, our school, this community, our city, province, country and world.
“Nothing warms a parent’s heart more than a child who is blossoming.”
My confident, interesting and interested happy child is thriving at SMUS.
Why Not Sooner?
by the Reis family
Why did we choose SMUS? That is a question that we often change into “Why didn’t we choose SMUS sooner rather than later?”
Both our children entered in the later years of the Junior School. Once our eldest made the transition in Grade 5, we became a part of a large family/community that was so welcoming. He never looked back and neither did we (his sister quickly made the transition as well the following year). The teachers are exceptional and never cease to amaze us with their creative projects, open-ended learning, boundless energy and inspiring lessons. They are one talented bunch of people. They often go above and beyond to help with the children. The clubs that occur during and after school are inviting and inclusive. We quickly had to make room after school for all that is offered. The general community is very warm; offering many chances for involvement and gatherings for the whole family.
“SMUS has a wonderful energy about it.”
Both our children feel at home and loved. They are truly lucky to be a part of such a magical place. Nothing warms a parent’s heart more than a child who is blossoming and looks forward to each new day at school. Now we only wish we, too, were offered a chance to attend SMUS when we were little!
Thank you to all at SMUS for working so hard and enriching our lives.
Senior and Junior School Girls
by Don and Nancy Farkas
We have two daughters presently attending SMUS. They are thriving both academically and socially. We chose St. Michaels University School for a number of reasons, but mostly for the depth and quality of its enriched programs and its excellent educators, who are genuinely caring and dedicated professionals. They devote their time and energy into ensuring that each student feels successful in his or her learning and they help ensure that the students feel good about themselves no matter what their strengths and weaknesses. SMUS is a safe and nurturing school environment where students feel accepted and are challenged and encouraged to be the best that they can be in all aspects of school life.
Leanne, currently in Grade 9, started SMUS in fifth grade, was warmly welcomed as a new student and was therefore able to easily and quickly settle into her new school. Tori, currently in Grade 4, started SMUS in Kindergarten and has loved every day since.
SMUS has a wonderful energy about it and both of our daughters are very happy and engaged in their learning along with the many activities that they are involved in. SMUS is a very special school.
What more could parents want for their children?
On a visit to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Grade 6 students witnessed our amazing local marine life in action, including the camouflage abilities of Steve, an octopus about to be released back into the ocean.
I really enjoyed the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre because everything was really intriguing. It was neat being able to touch all the things in the “touch pool”. I thought that the sea cucumber would be spikey, but it felt almost like Jell-O. I was really surprised by the sea urchin because I thought it would hurt if I touched it but it felt like a toothpick. The sea anemones were giant compared to the ones you find on the beach. They also stuck to you when you touched their tentacles. I also found out that animals use all sorts of habitats. I even saw a starfish hiding in a clam shell. In one of the pools they had hermit crabs that had candy cane coloured legs and he also had a bright blue shell!
I really enjoyed seeing the speckled sand crab fish and they are so cool because you can barely see them against the sand. When we were in the classroom, I enjoyed learning about the sandy bottom habitat because all the animals in there are so fascinating! They all blend into their environment so well, and I think they are incredible. I also liked learning about the sea cucumber because I found it really cool how if they are threatened by a predator, they can spew their guts out at it! That definitely amazed me.
I was really fascinated by Steve the octopus! One of the reasons I found Steve interesting was how fast he could move! I also liked watching the jellyfish. I was interested in them because I couldn’t believe jellyfish were plankton. In addition to that, I also liked to watch them eat. I also learned that whales take in a mouthful of water and plankton and then use their tongue to push out all the water and the baleen catches all of the plankton.
When I was doing the scavenger hunt, I learned that eelgrass is a critical habitat for bay pipefish and for many other creatures too! While looking for answers to the scavenger hunt questions, I discovered the “touch tank”. It was really fun to touch the anemones and starfish and feel their texture! I would like to go to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre again sometime because it was really cool!
They had so many sea creatures in the Centre, and it was almost like being in the ocean. For me, the best part of this trip was the “touch pool”. At first, I was anxious to touch the sea creatures, but when I tried it, it was really fun! I loved how the sea anemones were slightly sticky and how they held on to your finger.
At the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, the best thing was Steve the octopus and how he could move around and change colour so easily. Also, the big crab that had amazing camouflage was interesting and so was the grunt fish that could disguise itself as a barnacle by going into an empty barnacle shell. The sand sole fish was flat and looked like sand and all you could see was his big beady eyes. All in all, it was amazing.
A “photo stroll” is just as relaxed as it sounds. Boarders hop on the bus and arrive at Willow’s beach, Royal Roads University or any number of amazing places around Victoria and practice their photo skills. It doesn’t hurt that there is a warm drink and snack at the end. Once back on campus, the kids post their best shots for all to see at the SMUS Photo Stroll blog. Consider this your invite to our stroll through one of the most beautiful areas in the world.
Photos by Julia Weiss, Bob Lin and Mike Danskin
by Kindergarten teachers
Young children have a natural desire to collect and study materials. We decided to use this natural desire to begin a project of investigation called The Beautiful Stuff Project. Inspired by educational practices in Reggio Emilia, the purpose was to collaborate together in discovering, collecting and sorting materials.
We invited the Kindergarten children to collect found materials at home and bring them in a concealed bag to school. It was interesting to see excitement and curiosity build as the bags slowly came in to the classroom and we awaited new discoveries. The children began to talk about the properties of materials and what the purposes of different objects were. The oral language used to describe their collections of found materials showed some complex thinking and immediately gave us a sense of the expressive language abilities of the students.
We asked: “What do you notice about the materials in your collection?” “What is one object that is particularly appealing to you and why?” and “How did you collect your materials?”
The next step is to have the children draw their collection of materials and begin to write a list of the objects. Once we have had the opportunity to conference with small groups of students, we will work in larger groups to amalgamate all of the collected materials and begin an investigation into how the materials can be sorted, classified, and organized. This investigation will hopefully lead us to further discoveries and questions about the physical properties of the collected materials and allow children to begin to make connections to the properties of objects and materials in the world around them.
Children Describe Their Beautiful Stuff
“Some things are shiny and some are sparkly. I got the little green plastic sword in Hawaii – it was sticking out of a smoothie. I notice the ball is made out of wood, the ribbon is made from string and my brother, my mom and I made the bead from clay. My favourite object is the clear, plastic crystal.” -Anna
“There’s actually a shark in my collection – it’s just a toy. There are two diamonds. Check this out – it’s round, sparkly and bumpy. It sparkles in the light. I think it’s a medal. I also have a piece of glass – it’s beach glass. I have my dad’s broken watch, too. Me and my mom and dad found these special things all around the house. I think the thing that I have that is my favourite is the round, green, plastic case. I like it because it was from a Squinky from Chelsea’s birthday.” -Connor
“My collection smells good! If you smell one thing at a time, you can smell what it is. I have a lot of nature in my collection like poison berry, a pine cone, a fern and sea glass that I found by the ocean. I have a little Cinderella and Grover. I like the ring a lot and it is so sparkly. When I went on a treasure hunt in San Diego I found it.” -Caitlin
by Jamison and Sam, Grade 8
The Grade 8 ski trip was a great opportunity for new and experienced boarders/skiers to hit the hills, while having a great time with new and old friends. While 4:30 am isn’t the most ideal time to wake up (especially followed by a three-and-a-half hour bus ride), it was still worth it in the end.
By the time we got to the slopes, it was already snowing. Getting on the slopes took no time whether you were in lessons, or just freeriding. My favourite part was learning from falling on my face, which in the end began to happen less and less. I was one of the newbies to snowboarding, but with the guidance of the counselors it didn’t take long to get it.
Overall, it was a great trip, with great teachers and great fun!
This week we’re highlighting Senior basketball with some tough tourneys for both the boys and girls. Sports Canada TV will live stream the Senior boys game tonight at SMUS. Catch all the action here.
Also, congratulations to SMUS Crew coach Susanne Walker Curry, who was presented with her Level 4 NCCP Certification in coaching at the Rowing Canada Aviron awards dinner last weekend.
Senior Boys Basketball
SMUS competed in the Countdown to the Playoff Tournament at Brentwood on February 1-2. The 16-team field featured the absolute best AA squads in the province and served up some superb games.
The Blue Jags opened with a very straightforward 77-40 win over Edward Milne, with Wayne Lin (15) and Jordan Lane (10) leading the usual balanced attack.
In the quarterfinals against Gulf Islands, a blistering opening quarter produced a 27-10 SMUS lead. After this, things settled down, with the teams trading baskets in what finished a 64-46 Blue Jags victory. Dawit Workie rode some red hot shooting to a game high 21 points, while Georgios Ikonomou (12) and Matt Rud (11) also chipped in. Unfortunately, the game took its toll in one regard, as post Mack Catto re-aggravated a knee injury in the first minute.
The two SMUS wins set up a mouthwatering semifinal clash vs BC AA #1 Holy Cross. The huge and athletic Crusaders featured a front line of 6’8″, 6’7″, 6’5″ and 6’5″ forwards was always going to provide difficulties, especially with Catto unavailable, and so it proved. Still, a gutsy Blue Jags effort almost produced a notable upset, as six third-quarter bombs helped overturn a 28-21 halftime deficit.
The game’s key moment likely came with five minutes to play. Up 50-48, SMUS saw an open three-pointer rim out, with Holy Cross then scoring seven straight points to wrest back the initiative. A SMUS layup with 13 seconds to play would have cut the margin to 58-56, but when it spun out, the last chance was gone.
In defeat, Workie and point guard Mark Yorath performed superbly, while, in the paint, despite giving away significant height and weight, Matt Rud and Lin battled hard.
In a game neither team really wanted to play, SMUS then had to meet an equally disappointed Belmont for the bronze medal. The Blue Jags laboured through the opening twenty minutes to trail by only five, but a subsequent 14-5 run by the Bulldogs then effectively settled the outcome.
Next up for SMUS is a February 6 matchup versus traditional rival Lambrick Park. Tipoff is 6pm at SMUS, with the game to be streamed live (see link above).
Senior Girls Basketball
by Lindsay Brooke, coach
After defeating St. Margaret’s in league play 66-19 and Crofton House in exhibition play 61-34 last week, the Senior girls basketball team jumped on the ferry to Vancouver for some stiffer competition. Playing at the highly competitive York House Invitational, the Blue Jags drew an opening round match up with the current #1-ranked team, Holy Cross. Boasting an incredibly tall starting lineup (four players 5’10 – 6’0), SMUS was sorely outsized. The opening minutes saw both teams playing some scrambling basketball. The Crusaders settled in to their game and pulled ahead 21-14 after the first quarter.
Holy Cross dominated the Blue Jags on the boards and this posed a significant challenge to the SMUS team throughout the game. Furthermore, the Crusaders height made shooting and finishing around the basket very difficult. They looked like the #1 team in the province and they dismantled the Blue Jags at both ends of the court leading to a 70-32 victory. Despite the final score, SMUS played with intensity and competed hard the entire game. Abbey Piazza and Rachel Sibbald finished with 9 points apiece and Sophia Ducharme added 8 points. Claire Williams was a force for SMUS on the defensive end and on the boards. Erin Hope had a stellar second half, showing her aggressive play and ability to pitch to her teammates.
Now on to the consolation side of the tournament, SMUS’ second-round opponent was Sa-hali of Kamloops. The Blue Jags started off on fire, finishing the first quarter up 16-3. Unfortunately, the tides turned in the second quarter as SMUS only managed to score 3 points of their own. At the half, SMUS was up 19-16. Offensive woes continued to plague the Blue Jags in the second half. Shots were hard to come by and percentages were low. Still, the Blue Jags had several opportunities to win the game down the stretch, but missed several key free throws in the closing minutes of the game. Sa-hali forced overtime and earned the win 49-43. Piazza finished with 17 points, Sibbald with 11 points and Ducharme with 9 points.
In their final game of the tournament, SMUS faced Mark Isfeld of Courtenay. The Ice boast a small squad of athletic players that can be deadly from the perimeter. All of the Blue Jags saw decent floor time in this game, as they jumped out to a 18-8 first quarter lead. Stellar on-the-ball defense by Jenna Dhillon, Rachel Sibbald and Emma Donald locked down the Ice’s top scorers. Offensively, Ducharme led all scorers with 18 points, Piazza chipped in with 15 points and Sibbald added 10 points. Claire Williams added 4 points and 9 rebounds. SMUS went on to win easily 55-40, earning them 9th place at the York House Tournament.
Grade 11 student Kalkidan Amare didn’t know quite what to expect when she signed up for our student exchange program and spent a term at Woodstock School in Mussoorie, India. Now back at SMUS, she talks about culture shock and educational differences.
SMUS is hosting an information night for anyone considering the student exchange program. Join us February 20 to learn about our exchange offerings for 2013-2014.