Making the Most of a Challenging Situation

Thank you again to everyone who was able to join the Power of Sport panel discussion on Monday evening organized by the Greenwood Alumni Committee’s Events Team, led by Saul Lewis ‘11, Russ Reeves ‘11 and Nicole Wallenburg ‘11. How fortunate we are to have such interesting and well-spoken members of our community, and how kind of this group of four alumni, one current parent and one former teacher to share their time, knowledge and expertise with us. 
 
Something that Tom Ramshaw ‘09, an Olympic sailor for Team Canada, mentioned has really resonated with me; it feels more applicable than ever. He spoke about how important it is as a sailor to accept that there are some things that you can’t change. Sailors need to accept and work with the wind and weather during training and on competition day, because those factors are out of their control. 
 
Accepting that we are living in a pandemic has been an extraordinary challenge for all of us. As I have said before, the only other school that I would rather be Principal of is Hogwarts, so that I would be equipped with a magic wand -- which I of course would use to instantly make COVID-19 disappear. But on a small scale, our daily actions can chip away at the pandemic. I am very proud of Greenwood students, staff and families for accepting that while we can’t make COVID-19 disappear, we can make the most of the situation. Thank you to everyone for their patience, commitment to safety and learning, and resilience. See you in hindsight, 2020…
 
This week our students have been sharing the traditions that they would typically enjoy over the December holidays. I think it has been nice for everyone to hear about each other’s traditions and savour those memories until they can happen again. One of Greenwood’s traditions, led by members of our parent community, is putting together Holiday Hampers for families in need. Learning the stories of these families has been eye-opening for me and confirms the importance of giving back to our Toronto community if and when we can.
 
This year’s hampers weren’t hampers at all. They were tiny packages filled with generous donations that will allow families to purchase food, needed household supplies and gifts. This new twist on our tradition has been well received by the participants who put them together, and we anticipate that they will be well received by the recipients who, using the gift cards, will be able to purchase what they need or want most. Like many things that we have had to reinvent due to COVID, perhaps this new way of doing things will stick! 
 
We heard from many of you that you enjoyed how civilized this year’s Parent-Teacher Conferences were, sipping a cup of coffee and speaking to your child’s teachers from the comfort of your home rather than feeling like you are at Track practice as you sprint from room to room. On the flip side, some of you have expressed how nice it will be to come into the school again. I’m sure that we can incorporate some of our learning from this year to make things even better in the future.

Speaking of the future, you have my sincerest wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. Stay safe; I look forward to seeing you in 2021.
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Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811