Three students, the 2022-23 Best School Year Ever Winners, pose in uniform.

Scholarships are powered by participation in the Annual and Endowment Funds. Thank you to everyone who contributes to these important funds year after year.

This week, we are excited to introduce The Best School Year Ever® 2022 winners and finalist to our school community through this video interview. Although Joh’nell, Malcolm and Juliet arrived in September, we wanted to give them some time to process before we highlighted their experience with the contest and arriving at SMUS.

Now in its 10th year, The Best School Year Ever contest is still unique to SMUS and is the opportunity of a lifetime for those who win both the grand prize and finalist scholarships, currently valued at $68,000 and $45,000 respectively. Since 2014, we have had 29 winners and finalists, and are currently searching for four more to welcome next fall.

So what does it take to win The Best School Year Ever contest? What started as a search for a student spokesperson has evolved over the years into a way to increase our school’s diversity and range of experiences. Each of these students brings an extraordinary contribution to our school community, whether it’s an inspiring valedictorian speech, a “fish out of water” who found their place on the rowing team, an activist who rallies for Indigenous rights, a talented lead for our school musical, or a leader who becomes a Head Prefect. We are excited to see what this year’s winners will do in their time here.

But the contest brings so many more than these finalists and winners to our school each year. Since 2014, we’ve had just 11 grand prize winners, but a total of 55 more students who entered the contest have come to SMUS because they pursued their applications, often achieving a North American Scholarship. It’s an incredible example of philanthropy at work.

As much as what they bring, it’s also what they experience that matters. We promise The Best School Year Ever, and it’s our community that delivers. It’s the students who set the tone for joy in learning that they developed in Junior School, and the belonging that they learned in Middle School, and excellence that they focus on in Senior School. It’s the staff who provide expertise, unique opportunities and support through the entire journey, and it’s the parents who show up and enhance the school experience all the way along, and finally after graduating, it's the alumni group of mentors and leaders that help continue that outstanding preparation for life. More than anything, as you’ll see in this video interview with their families, it’s our community that makes the difference here. Whether you’re a contest winner, a regular amazing SMUS student, or another part of our community, we all have a part to play in making each year The Best School Year Ever, for everyone.