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Celebrating the GNS Community

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I was thrilled to spend the last few days welcoming all our new and returning students and their families back to our campuses. I always find September an exciting time at the school and I enjoyed seeing that excitement reflected back at me in the smiling faces of our students when I spoke to them in the assemblies or passed them in the hallways.

When I spoke to our Middle and Senior School students this week, I reminded them that what they get out of their time at GNS, and out of life, is completely dependent on the effort they put into it. That if they are willing to try new things and to move outside their comfort zone, then the sky is the limit. The best part is, that they won’t be doing this alone.

Whatever path they choose to follow, they will do it with the support of their peers and the staff and faculty who will be there to challenge them to be their best, each and every day.

Families choose GNS for many different reasons. Our first-class IB curriculum. The extensive variety of artistic, athletic and leadership opportunities available to our students. Those are the tangibles. But let us examine the intangibles. The things that set us apart from so many other schools.

Everything we do at GNS is grounded in our core values whether it’s in the classroom, on the turf, or in Denford Hall. Truth. Courage. Individuality. Caring. Community. These words mean different things to different people, but over the course of this year, I plan to share what each of them means to me. And because I have had so many chances to witness and talk about it this week, I am going to start with community.

To me, the GNS community is a group of like-minded but unique families. It is composed of people with different perspectives and opinions who share a commitment to doing our best, for our children and each other. Our community recognizes that we are all individuals, but that our strength is collective. We support each other, we inspire each other and, we challenge each other to do our best through truth and courage.  

Being a community means so much more than simply being a school. It means being part of something bigger. In our community, we support each other. We care for each other. We celebrate each other’s successes and we’re there to pick each other up even when our best efforts fall short.

Most importantly, we demand from ourselves what we expect from others. Courtesy. Kindness. Honesty. Respect. These are the things that make a strong community.

The start of a new school year is one of my favourite times of the year. It is a fresh slate, full of possibility. I invite all the members of our community to think about what each of us can do to make this the best school year ever and to make the GNS community the best GNS community ever. Together, there is nothing that we can’t accomplish!