Welcome from Bob Snowden, Head of School

Bob and Joan Snowden
Bob and Joan Snowden

We at St. Michaels University School are happy that you are interested in joining us. Please speak to as many people as you like and ask as many questions as you can: this is a great place to go to school.

The main aim of St. Michaels University School is to pursue academic success in an environment where the character and self also grow. Between kindergarten and high school graduation, students are going to learn a great deal about the world, about other people, and about themselves. At SMUS we are committed to the notion that this exercise is an active rather than a passive one. Good students will feel comfortable here because it's quite alright to excel; in fact their peers expect and admire it. Our classrooms, libraries, hallways, Dining Hall, and residences all buzz with activity. This is normal; in the words of the SMUS Mission, this is the behaviour of young people fully engaged in their path toward higher learning and life.

Our school is a community. Both boarding and day students form friendships they will maintain for their entire lives.

The motto of one of the two founding schools, University School, is mens sana in corpore sano: "a healthy mind in a healthy body." After class, therefore, we expect our students to play on a team, act in a play, perform service in the community or join the orchestra.

We expect students to serve others. Many of these pursuits are recreational in nature, but many reach a very high standard and are recognized locally, provincially or nationally. Our students like to do well and are proud of their school.

Many of the most important lessons – both intellectual and personal – challenge students to go beyond limits they may have become comfortable with. Like learning to ride a bicycle, education can involve numerous attempts before we see the smile of success. We who teach have to be sympathetic and attentive to the whole effort, rub the bruises and put our students back on whatever bicycle they are riding at the time – whether it's calculus, field hockey, serving others or introductory violin – and stay with them until they get it right. SMUS has such teachers. They have written books, directed professional drama, won national teaching awards, and coached representative teams. They form a gifted and dedicated faculty who provide the structure, stimulation and challenge that young minds need.

Above all, we care deeply about the kind of people our students become. This is implicit in the motto of our other founding school, St. Michael's, nihil magnum nisi bonum: "nothing is great unless it is good."

You are very welcome to visit the school and get to know us as well as you can.



Bob Snowden,
Head of School