Virtual Celebration to Greet the Summer

Posted by Admin on June 30, 2020 at 3:38 PM

Photo credit: Melanie Hickey

Linden’s Strong Community Bridges the Distance at Virtual Celebration to Greet the Summer

No stage, no lights, no gowns, and most poignantly, no hugs or heartfelt face-to-face goodbyes. Yet, Linden's powerful spirit and community still shone through in our virtual Celebration to Greet the Summer — even over virtual chat on a livestream video.

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, Linden staff and parents were acutely aware of its impact on all students, especially our graduates who missed many cherished milestones. A team of faculty and administration staff worked tirelessly to re-imagine a meaningful year-end ceremony that was presented as a livestreamed video where viewers could chat in real-time as speeches were made and awards presented.

Principal Janice Gladstone opened by congratulating our graduates, and challenged them to find the silver lining in the unprecedented difficulties facing their generation. “I hope you can share my belief that the world is getting ready for a redo,” she said. “Imagine what might be possible as you embark on further learning in this new era. The endless possibilities belong to you. You have the skills, the brains and the hearts to steer the world in the right direction.”

Dr. Jillian Andrew, MPP for Toronto St. Paul’s, was this year’s recipient of The Nancy Ruth Award, which is presented each year to a woman in the greater community who has demonstrated a real commitment to girls and women. She spoke about the importance of graduations, and education as a relational learning experience. She called on Linden graduates to shine as leaders and intersectional feminists, to use their voices to speak out against social injustices, and to take up space unapologetically as women.

Josh Matlow, City Councillor for Linden’s riding, extended heartfelt congratulations to the class of 2020, emphasizing the importance of community, and of coming from a place of kindness.

Grade 8 graduates were honoured with a video in which teachers and staff shared favourite memories of each student. We know that those returning for Grade 9 will continue to create amazing memories at Linden!

Linden’s graduation has many traditional elements, some which lent themselves easily to the virtual format: the Grade 11s’ wonderful send-off video for the graduates was a special highlight.

To honour other traditions, some creativity was needed. The diploma is normally presented in person, along with a collection of gifts to commemorate their time at Linden and help them in the future: a candle, the light that learning spreads, and the celebration of graduation; flowers, to represent planting seeds and growing gardens of change; an amethyst, for the Linden colour purple, creativity, groundedness, and brilliance. Our grads were very touched when beautifully crafted gift boxes filled with these items arrived at their homes — personally delivered by Deidre and Janice.

You can watch the Celebration to Greet the Summer video here!

Celebration usually includes a speech from each graduate, but this year some decided to wait until an in-person celebration can be held. Others prepared videos to acknowledge and thank the teachers and their friends and families.

"Linden has not only given me a passion for social justice, it has given me confidence to speak up for what I believe in,” said Ellen Boyle-Price.

Sophie Quastel honoured the teachers for their work throughout the year and especially during the pandemic, and also paid tribute to those who worked behind the scenes. “You all went out of your way to give us as normal experience as possible and that was so appreciated,” she said.

Although the traditional wreathing of graduates by alumnae wasn’t possible, past Linden graduates paid video tribute to the girls.

We hope to see all the graduates again when they come to visit, and we are looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish!

Our Grade 12 graduates (read more about them here): 

  • Sophie Quastel
  • Ellen Boyle-Price
  • Halley Simenhoff
  • Edie Levine-Barnoff
  • Daragh Bryson
  • Mieko Yao

We honour our award winners for their hard work and commitment: 



Linden Technology Award

Annie Clarke-Ward, Grade 10

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

Daragh Bryson, Grade 12

The University of Waterloo Gauss Mathematics Competition Awards

Certificate of Distinction: Mielle Kadosh Redinger, Grade 8
Certificate for Outstanding Achievement: Katherine Li, Grade 8

Grade 9 University of Waterloo Mathematics Contest 2019-2020 Certificate of Distinction

Alison Grant, Grade 9

Grade 10 University of Waterloo Mathematics Contest 2019-2020 Certificate of Distinction

Annie Clarke-Ward, Grade 10
Kailah Kilfoyle, Grade 10
Adelaide Graham, Grade 10

University of Waterloo Sr. Mathematics Contests and School Medal Champion

Mieko Yao, Grade 12

Nancy Ruth Award

Dr. Jill Andrew, MPP Toronto St. Paul's

Linden Drama Award

Jr: Maayan Salamo, Grade 7
Sr: Nina Nyakio, Grade 9

Linden Music Award

Alison Grant, Grade 9
Bridgit O'Leary, Grade 8

Pippa Shaddock Memorial Art Award

Halley Simenhoff, Grade 12

French Awards

Elementary: Aya Amkia, Grade 6
Intermediate: Rowan O'Regan, Grade 8
Senior: Sophie Quastel, Grade 12

Spanish Award

Kailah Kilfoyle, Grade 10

Classics Award

Beatrice Moritz, Grade 11

Prize for Excellence in Humanities in Honour of Maureen Donlevy

Halley Simenhoff, Grade 12

The Commitment to Athletics Awards

Jr: Kennah Mathenge, Grade 7
Sr: Juliana Eberschlag, Grade 11
Sr: Kailah Kilfoyle, Grade 10
Sr: Monica Nganga, Grade 10

The Golden Shoe Award

Jr: Ainsley Lind, Grade 8
Jr: Isobel Scott, Grade 8
Sr: Eden Levine-Barnoff, Grade 12
Sr: Ellen Boyle-Price, Grade 12
Sr: Sophie Quastel, Grade 12

The John and Rosalyn Sutton Award for Excellence in Math, Science and Technology

Mieko Yao, Grade 12

The Governor General's Bronze Award and Medal

Mieko Yao, Grade 12

The Principal's Award

Elementary: Kelsea Ignagni-Lipski, Grade 3
Intermediate: Katherine Li, Grade 8
Senior: Eden Levine-Barnoff, Grade 12

Devorah Goodman Memorial Award

Alina Cavers, Grade 5

Rusty Shteir Award

Ellen Boyle-Price, Grade 12

Lt. Governor of Ontario's Community Award

Halley Simenhoff, Grade 12

Linden Leaves Award

Jr: Bridgit O'Leary, Grade 8
Sr: Sylvie Milner, Grade 10

Linden School Mission Award

Mieko Yao, Grade 12