Message from the Chair

Cathy Cranston

Strong Leadership, Strong Community

I am pleased to be able to start my letter this year with the knowledge that the College is well on its way back to normal. While there is no question that we are in a better place, we are still contending with a fourth wave of COVID-19, younger children who cannot yet be vaccinated, and the implications of the disease’s continued spread for the world, and the school. Your RSGC team, led by Headmaster Stephen Beatty ’86, has continued to do an extraordinary job navigating this environment. Steve and his team have dedicated themselves tirelessly to ensuring the health and safety of our boys and staff. The faculty and staff, for their part, have shown incredible resilience with the constant pivots between in-person and online learning, and all of the behind-the-scenes work that entails. This year, they have committed to providing as much normalcy for our boys as is safely possible, including virtual and in-person clubs, physical education and music. I would like to thank Steve and the entire staff for their dedication and commitment to our boys and the community as a whole. Our community once again demonstrated their very Georgian love of the school and generosity of spirit in this year’s fundraising efforts. The College raised over $1 million, and importantly, over $300,000 of this was allocated to ensuring the continued health and safety of our boys, faculty and staff during the pandemic. In addition, $56,000 was raised this year for the Georgian Unity Fund, which was created last year to provide financial support for families at the school impacted by the pandemic to be able to keep their boys enrolled at RSGC. I would like to recognize the Parents Guild, under Sydney Stoyan’s leadership this past year, which does so much for our school and community. While other schools reported a lack of parent engagement and activities, the Georgian parent community stepped up in a big way. The Guild launched several new committees, including the Social Justice Committee, and our Parent Connections, under the leadership of Tim Costigan, held even more creative activities and events than in previous years. These events generated record attendance and certainly demonstrated the special nature of our parent community. I am pleased to report that we ended the 2020/2021 year in a strong financial position, and started this year with close to full enrollment. Your Board has continued to oversee the execution of our Knight Vision strategic plan adopted two years ago. We made careful decisions as to where to focus the College’s resources given the demands of the pandemic, and have made progress on several key initiatives. One I would highlight is the establishment of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee within the school under Steve’s leadership. It has over 20 members drawn from faculty and staff and is Chaired by Junior School faculty member Margaret Nozuka and Director of HR Lindsay Gentner. Together, they have developed a mission statement and a set of values for DEI work at the College and have a number of goals identified and underway. Examples include curating resources for Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month and National Indigenous Month, evaluating our recruitment channels and practices, and providing professional development and learning for faculty and staff.

The Board’s work is focused on ensuring the school is highly relevant and sustainable in an evolving world. Our critical strategic priorities continue to include: embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in all facets of the RSGC experience; developing and launching a fundraising campaign focused on endowment and refreshing the Senior School; and engaging in the generative thinking required around the role of digital learning in the academic programs at the College. Steve, his team and the Board remain focused on ensuring RSGC’s success today and over the long term. I am fortunate to work with a highly engaged, skilled and committed Board of Governors. We reached out to the community this past spring to seek interested candidates for Board involvement. We maintain a skills-and-capabilities matrix for the Board, which allows us to assess potential candidates against our needs. I am pleased to announce several new additions to the Board since my last letter. Haider Alvi, who brings experience in digital learning, finance and innovation; Andrew Ternan, with expertise in construction and development and who currently chairs our Facilities Committee; Manisha Burman, who has a background in human resources including diversity; and Sydney Stoyan who is our Guild representative. This year, we say goodbye to Bruce Chapple (our former Chair), Steve Geist, Peter Mann and Amanda Ploughman, whose terms have come to an end. These individuals have each served RSGC with distinction and I thank them for their time and commitment. As I end my term as Chair, I leave knowing the College is in a very strong place financially, academically and with a culture and community that are the envy of many independent schools. I also leave knowing the Board is in strong hands. I want to personally thank my fellow Governors for their dedication and support during my term as Chair. I am pleased to announce that Gordon Raman is the incoming Chair of your Board. Gord has been Vice-Chair for the past two years, and he and I have worked closely together to ensure a smooth transition. I know Gord will serve RSGC with the highest integrity, providing wise leadership and counsel. He will continue to work closely with Steve to execute the strategic plan and build a strong future for the school, one that ensures our boys are well-prepared not only to succeed in the world, but to leave their Georgian mark on it.