Citizens of TFS: June 2019

These past few weeks have been filled with momentous occasions and, as another school year comes to an end, I have been constantly reminded that our community is brimming with both talent and promise. I invite you to watch this video of our grad walk so that you can see firsthand the beautiful journey that our students have undergone.
We are very fortunate at TFS to have citizens at every level and age who live up to Plato’s words, according to which “good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.” From our school and Foundation boards, the Head’s Council and the academic leadership team to the Alumni Association, Parents’ Association and student-led groups of different sorts in the different branches, each member of our “city” builds on the groundwork of those who came before and makes an indelible impact on the life of our community. Quite simply, nothing of import could happen without the reflection and actions of those who step forward to propel us further in our collective progress.

Indeed, we have some leading citizens who deserve a special mention.

Our newest graduates

Our graduating Class of 2019 completed their journey at TFS with a series of events that provided our community with a chance to honour them. The Red Tie Luncheon was a true rite of passage in which students ceremoniously took off their Level V ties and replaced them with an alumni pin. Two days later, at the Head’s Dinner, our soon-to-be graduates expressed gratitude to their parents for the education received. The beloved Grad Walk, which took place shortly before graduation, allowed both students and their teachers to recall treasured memories. Lastly, the graduation ceremony itself put a final touch to a poignant week, before the elegant pre-prom and prom on Saturday.

The members of this class are academically ambitious and they will become scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, engineers and academics of different kinds, to mention some of their careers that they have chosen. One hundred percent of them are Ontario Scholars, 79% have averages above 90%, and together they contributed 7,500 hours to community service. Please click here if you would like to see their university offers, which give us a glimpse into the wide range of paths that they have considered.

In the farewell letters that I asked Level V students to write so that they could reflect on their years at TFS, I am pleased to say that it was not only the breadth and depth of their passions that shone through, but also their profound humanity, their integrity and sense of ethics. Here are just a few of the most beautiful sentences that I had the pleasure of reading:

“TFS has had a profound impact on my life’s journey and I am beyond honoured to have spent my entire academic life under one roof. I am certain that, without TFS, I wouldn’t have become the citizen and leader that I am today.” 

“In terms of my future, the one thing I know for sure is that I would like to leave this world in a better place than I found it.”

“The school has influenced my love for languages and it is here that I have become a man of principle.”

I am proud of our Class of 2019 and I will miss each and every student tremendously. As they know, they have my very best wishes for university and beyond. TFS will always be their alma mater as well as their second home.

Alumni of Distinction

It is also in June that we gather to award Le prix de distinction des anciens élèves, as well as Le prix de distinction des jeunes diplômés, and I am pleased to announce that this year’s very worthy recipients are, respectively, Julia Bentley ’78 and Rebeccah Love ʼ08.

Mme Bentley is Canada’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, having previously served at Canadian missions in China, Taiwan and India. A consummate diplomat who feels at ease in both bilateral and multilateral contexts, she has immense intellectual curiosity, speaks five languages and holds degrees from Princeton University and the University of Toronto, as well as a diploma from Nanjing University. Toronto-based filmmaker Rebeccah Love is considered one of Canada’s important young voices and her work has been screened at film festivals across the country. Ms. Love is a graduate of Ryerson University (BFA, film) and of the University of Guelph (MFA, creative writing). Today she enjoys using her fluency in both of Canada’s official languages in her role as a filmmaker.

These exemplary alumnae, to whom I offer my most sincere congratulations, proudly live our school's vision, mission and values. Please enjoy this celebratory video in their honour.

New leadership for our Board of Directors

I would like to sincerely thank Mitch Frazer, Chair of our Board of Directors, for his five years of outstanding leadership. As TFS’ longest-serving Chair, he has had a formidable impact on our school’s evolution, most particularly as he has guided us through a new strategic plan and what will undoubtedly be a transformational master plan. I could not have wished to work with a better partner, as Mr. Frazer embodies our identity and our values as a school. He is indeed a citizen who acts.

As his term ends, I would like to wish a warm welcome to Judy Goldring, incoming Chair of our Board of Directors. Ms. Goldring joined the board in 2016 and she has also been Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. She is currently President and Chief Administration Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of AGF Management Limited. She has served on the board of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) and has been an active fundraiser for Juvenile Diabetes Research. In 2015, she was inducted into Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame. Ms. Goldring’s two daughters have attended TFS since PK, and they are both in the Senior School now. We all look forward to working with her and being inspired by her, as we know that she will be an extremely valuable leader, as well as a thoughtful advisor.

Mme Hafez receives an accolade

By official decree, Mirna Hafez (Principal of La p’tite école) has recently been conferred the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes académiques, a national order bestowed by the French Republic that was first established by Napoleon. This prestigious distinction recognizes her outstanding contribution to French education abroad and her services to French culture. While Mme Hafez prefers not to shine the spotlight on herself, I think it only appropriate that you are aware of this accolade so that you can have a chance to congratulate her. I am sure that you are all just as proud of her as I am.

Looking ahead

As you ready yourselves for the joys of summer in this glorious weather, please mark your calendars with two inaugural events of the new school year. I am referring firstly to my annual address on Thursday, September 12, when I will share with you the progress made on our master plan, a transformational road map for how our two campuses will evolve over the medium and long term to meet our vision as a school. I am also looking forward to seeing you at our eagerly anticipated Community Day to be held on Friday, September 27.

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderfully restful summer holiday.


Dr. Josep González
Head of School