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Community Connexions News

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING RECAP

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The Board of the Mulgrave Independent School Society held its Annual General Meeting last night. With a number of items on the agenda, official business included affirming new Board members, adopting special resolutions to incorporate bylaw updates, and appointing the auditor. The meeting was also an opportunity to recap the work of the Board over the past year, to thank outgoing Board Directors and student members, and to lay out the first steps in the upcoming Head of School search process.

Gopi Chande, Chair of the Board, thanked ‘retiring’ members John Pao and Richard Cheah for their long-term service to the school. “John Pao has been on the Board for an incredible 19 years. His contributions and strategic thinking have shaped this school in so many ways and have set us off on an incredible trajectory. Richard Cheah is also a long-standing member of nine years who has most recently served as our Treasurer. His thoughtful perspectives, expertise, and commitment to this school are very much appreciated.” 

Shannon Vrsnik, MVP representative on the Board also completed her service as her executive role with the MVP has wrapped up. Gopi expressed gratitude for Shannon’s commitment to both volunteer bodies and welcomed Nicola More to the position via her role as MVP Vice President.

Two outgoing student members, Grade 12 students Mona Xie and Bronson Lo, were also highlighted. “The work they have done over the past year has been exemplary,” commented Gopi. “In addition to always coming to meetings well-prepared, they have shared their insight and thoughts as students with courage and honesty. We are grateful.”

Julia Lawn was affirmed as a new Director; she has been a member of the Governance Committee and brings her legal expertise and extensive skill set to the Board. Charles Chang, Helaine Shepard, and Harry Wierenga were all affirmed for an additional term. After an application and interview process, the Board has also selected Joyce Qi and Artin Manafi-Khosroshahi, G11, as student members. All Board Member bios are available here.

In their remarks, both John Wray and Gopi commented on the incredible environment and experience offered to students throughout the pandemic as well as the progress on key strategic efforts such as the completion and introduction of the new Strategic Plan: Weaving our Future (2021-2024) and the completion of the Athletics and Performing Arts Centre.

Both also touched on John’s community announcement earlier in the evening of his intention to leave Mulgrave in the summer of 2023. Gopi spoke of the Board’s understanding of John’s decision after what will be 13 years as Head of School and to the extensive planning that has already gone into preparing the process to hire the new Head, including upcoming community consultations. Click here for video recordings of their remarks and here for more information on the search process.

FINAL STRETCH FOR ATHLETICS AND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE CONSTRUCTION

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It’s that new building smell! The Fitness Centre and Dance Studio in our new Athletics and Performing Arts Centre (APAC) will open next week. Students will get their hearts pumping, not only from physical activity but also with excitement.

Performing Arts Director Laura Burns (pictured left with Dance Teacher Lauren O'Neill White) recently took a tour of the Centre and says, “The dance studio, new music room, and three practice rooms all look fantastic and will allow more students to be involved in performing arts. Teachers and students are excited to utilise this space and to continue creating!”

In the coming months, all students will have the opportunity to use the fitness equipment, twirl in the dance studio, test their Titans skill in exciting home games, and practice their scales in the choir rooms. This ability to further interact, perform, practice, and relax supports healthy and creative living, a key element of Mulgrave’s strategic plan.

Mulgrave first opened its doors to students on our original campus in October 2001 and it’s incredible to see how 20 years of visionary direction, careful planning, and sound financial management have culminated in this new Centre. We thank our volunteer Board Members for their strategic direction and dedication, as well as the generous donors who contributed gifts to help equip the space. There are plans in the works to invite families to tour the facility - stay tuned for more details and watch social media for photos and videos in the meantime.

COLDS & COVID

As we get deeper into the fall season, it is inevitable that common colds will circulate. It is important for all children to stay home when they have signs of illness beyond a mild cold; the BC COVID self-assessment tool through Thrive Health is very helpful to assess the difference between colds and COVID. Be sure to complete the daily health check before leaving home and follow the guidance. Any children who show signs of illness (other than a mild cold) at school will be sent home and must be symptom-free before returning to school.

MIDDLE SCHOOL GRATITUDE DAY

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Our Middle School Action Council (MSAC) has initiated the idea of a community engagement day each month. Yesterday, they started with Gratitude Day.

Ethan C, G9 (pictured left), explains: "I decided to help organise Gratitude Day to get the school community engaged and thinking about what they are truly grateful for. Oftentimes, there are many things we take for granted like our education, the many opportunities we have, or even just having access to clean water and healthy foods. It is important that we constantly remind ourselves about the many things we are grateful for. It has also been a great opportunity for me to work with the G6s and 7s in their first-ever MSAC project."

Students had the opportunity to write down what they are grateful for during their breaks throughout the day. Check out @mulgraveschool on Instagram for photos.

USING THEIR VOICES

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In Grade 6 Performing Arts, students explored different ways to use voice. "They have been experimenting with different vocal elements such as volume, pitch, pace, rhythm, inflection, and repetition," says Christine Yakachuk, G6 Teacher. 

As a final assessment to the unit, students worked collaboratively in small groups to make vocal decisions and create movement and gestures to help tell the story of their poem. 6Y performed The King's Breakfast by A.A. Milne. 6G and 6R both worked with Shel Silverstein poems, Peanut Butter Sandwich and Sick, respectively.

"Students reflected that it was a fun experience to work together to create the vocal elements and actions for the stanza, consolidating their understanding of how voice can be used to express emotions and ideas," adds Ms. Yakachuk.