Message from Head of Senior School


From Emmys to Cappies, from new personal bests and city records being set on the track to gold medal performances in music, it was a very successful week for our actors, musicians, and athletes.

At assembly on Monday, we welcomed an exchange student, Charlotte Swayn, from the Woodleigh School in Melbourne, Australia. It is always interesting to learn about the simple things that are a regular part of our day that are completely foreign to students from other countries. Australia does not have yellow school busses or squirrels and this week Charlotte experienced both as she took a school bus on a class trip to Mercury Filmworks in Nepean; she was shocked and worried to see squirrels in the middle of the road. While at Mercury Filmworks Charlotte and all our Grade 10 Business Studies students learned about the animation business and all of the job possibilities that exist in the industry. They had the pleasure of hearing from Nicole St. Pierre, current parent to a graduating student and Senior VP, Business and Legal; Jefferson Allen, Head of Studio; and Jerry Popowich, Executive VP and Chief Creative Officer. Nicole, Jefferson and Jerry taught the students about the animation process, budgeting and production schedule maintenance, the approval process, idea generation to actual footage, the costs of a series, how animators use technology to draw and move images, fill in backgrounds and effects, and much more. Students were quite amazed to get up close to Mercury’s newest addition, the Emmy Award (seen below), that they just received for their work on the Netflix series Hilda. The final photo is a group shot at the current location in Nepean and we would like to thank Mercury and wish them well as they move to a new location that will allow them to expand their services.

On Monday night, our Symphonic Band (39 Grade 9 students and 26 Junior School students) had an exceptional performance at MusicFest Nationals, resulting in a Gold standing. Mme. Gendron and Mr. Sikorski are very proud! It is a busy time of year, and the dedication of these students has been remarkable.

Our Senior Concert Band (over 50 Senior students) is now gearing up to play in the competition on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The commitment that these students are demonstrating through our final week of assessments and through IB exams has been outstanding. If you are near the NAC on Saturday, please come see us at the Babs Asper Theatre. It is always interesting to experience the post-performance workshop as well if you have the time. Our performance will also be streamed live on the MusicFest app available for download here.

The Ottawa chapter of the Cappies, a critics and awards program for recognizing, celebrating, and providing learning experiences for high school theatre and journalism students and teenage playwrights, just released this year’s nominations. Congratulations to Cairo Moorman who was nominated for Best Featured Actor and to Camille Beaule who was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for their roles of Cookson and Tinkerbell in Ashbury’s production of Peter Pan. For a full list of all the nominations this year please see the article in Wednesday’s Ottawa Citizen.

On Tuesday evening, Mubashir Syed and his family hosted an Iftaar meal at Ashbury. Iftaar is Arabic for break fast and is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. A special thank you to the Syed family for sponsoring this event and for sharing one of their religious observances with the Ashbury community.

I had the chance to see some of our student-athletes perform Wednesday at the Ottawa East Regional track meet. Many students achieved personal bests; however, one highlight of the meet was when a record from 1972 was broken by Andile Mabaleka  (Grade 9) in the 100m hurdles; 14.60 is the new meet record.

And finally, congratulations to Graeme Hopkins, Grade 9, who won a silver medal at the 2019 Canada Wide Science Fair in Fredricton this week. Well done!

Have a safe and restful weekend.