Constantly Complimented Both Locally & Abroad

Parents of students in Grades 8 to 11 may have already heard about some overseas HS trip opportunities in the next school year (one trip to Germany/Belgium/France, one to Nepal and another to Ghana) and the Grade 8s have already learned that the Class of 2014 year-end trip will be to Chicago.

Starting in a week, it will be the privilege of 9 staff members to take more than 60 of our HS students on three overseas trips (Cambodia, South Africa and China/Hong Kong). Even though I have been on many of these trips, I am always surprised when flight attendants, bus drivers and tour guides stop me to compliment me on the behaviour of our students. (I also still get a chuckle when travellers in the airport ask the teachers for directions to the Westjet counter…is it because we look knowledgeable or is it our navy, crested blazers and grey pants?)

I still remember the flight attendant who served our group back from Europe who told me that she had been away from Toronto for almost 2 weeks and ours was the very last flight. She told me that to be honest, when she saw our group of “private school kids” get on the plane, she said to herself that it was going to be a lonnnggg flight and she knew she would need to speak to the person in charge. She did, but it was to let me and Mr. Young know what a pleasure it was to deal with our teenagers and that we were so unlike a number of other schools (and she gave us names!) she had served over the past few years.

Probably because I have been here for so long, I sometimes forget how fortunate I am that we have such great kids here AND how so many people are not prepared to give compliments to teenagers. We will get them in South Africa just as we do at the Science Centre. In the same way that the Barrick Gold head office staff was impressed, the business people in Beijing will be. The story will be the same in Cambodia as it is at the Compass Food Bank; we graciously accept the compliments on behalf of the kids and say to ourselves how lucky we are to be working here.

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College / TEAM School

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