Thank you, dear parents, for your thoughtfulness and all of the care and hard work you put into making this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week so special for all of us! Thank you for the ‘Best of Montreal’ breakfasts and lunches. Thank you for the wine and cheese and allowing us to ‘Artfully Express’ ourselves. Thank you for a relaxing day of massages, and thank you for nurturing us with your kind gestures, notes of appreciation and Priory pencils! We feel blessed to be part of The Priory Family and to be recognized and appreciated for what we lovingly do.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all of your support and well wishes – it means the world to us.
With love from
The Priory Staff
Thank You to our Parent Volunteers
Thank you to all of our wonderful Priory parent volunteers whose contributions were recognized with sincere gratitude at this year’s annual Spring Tea. The 2017 Little Red Wagon Award recognizes Priory parents whose outstanding contributions help maintain the best possible experience for our students. This year, the award was presented to two devoted Priory family member: Sylvie Koutroubis and Chris Seitz. Sylvie was described by past PPA Co-Chairs and faculty members as a generous soul who helped whenever and wherever she could for the betterment of The Priory family. Principal Tim Peters recognized Chris Seitz, Chair of the Foundation Board, for leading with passion, intellect and insight and for his immense contribution to The Priory School. We are extremely grateful to our parent volunteers for their precious gift of time. Your presence truly makes a difference in the lives of our students at The Priory.
3rd Annual PPA Priory Pasta Dinner Family night
On March 31st the Priory Parents’ Association (PPA) organized and sponsored the 3rd annual Pasta Dinner Family Night where over 200 Priory family members, including parents, children, siblings, close relatives, alumni and teachers joined together in the Paré Howlett Hall. This memorable evening was a festive celebration of togetherness and great food prepared by our very own lovely kitchen ladies. In anticipation of “Pasta Night” Priory students proudly announced to teachers and friends that their entire family including grandparents would be attending. They were eager to return to school, for a delicious plate of pasta and the surprises that were in store for them, including Alan the magician who entertained the after dinner crowd with his special brand of magic, a cozy movie room with popcorn and Priory alumni, Grayson Csik’s mobile lemonade stand which provided a sweet and delicious beverage for all to enjoy! A special thanks to the pasta dinner planning committee comprised of Kelly Winter, Nathalie Cecere, Edith Gagnon, Andrea Krieble, Willa Leus, Sara Tornero-Moreno, PPA Co-Chairs Tania Pannunzio and Cynthia Coletti, and their team of dedicated parent volunteers for their commitment to making the evening such a success. Also, thank you to our generous families for their donation of lemonade, fruit, raffle prizes, decorations and tablecloths, and thank you to our alumni for their invaluable help and for adding a special touch to the evening.
The Priory Proudly Participates in Pink Shirt 'Make Nice' Day
Leading the way in taking a stand on Kindness, three Student Council members, Saloni Chawla, Desmond Lafontant and Jackie Seitz, raised awareness during a 'Make Nice' special assembly. A Kindness Prayer, an explanation on how 'Pink Shirt Day' began in Canada and Prime Minister Trudeau’s bilingual video message about 'Pink Shirt Day' were key elements. Asking assembly to make a promise to be 'NICE' and 'KIND' to classmates, friends and family, the entire student body took a pledge to: be encouraging; be supportive; be positive; be helpful; be honest; be considerate; be thankful; be respectful; be a friend. Pinduli, a book on how words and actions have a ripple effect, was read by Grade 1 teacher, Mrs. Kearney, while Music teacher, Mrs. Campbell, led assembly in two relevant songs, ‘A Caring Community’ and ‘Enfant de Paix’. On 'Pink Shirt Make Nice Day', The Priory showed it’s true colours by proudly wearing pink shirts to show that no matter what our differences, being nice is always a choice worth making, and celebrating our positive community spirit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJB_fBUMBWg
PPA Fall Mixer 2016
On a surprisingly warm autumn evening in November, 134 Priory parents, faculty and invited guests joined to show their support and appreciation for the “little red schoolhouse on The Boulevard”. This year’s venue, Maxville Studio, located in Outremont, provided an intimate and welcoming atmosphere which allowed attendees to enjoy an array of delicious appetizers and desserts, share some laughs, and learn new dance moves. A silent auction and raffle provided an opportunity for a little early Christmas shopping, while the live auction for “Principal for a Day” was met with enthusiasm and notable generosity. The Priory looks forward to discovering what “Principal Seitz” has planned for us that day! A heartfelt thank you to all parents and staff members who attended, donated and supported this year’s PPA Fall Mixer. Congratulations to the planning committee (Ana Desmaison, Jennifer Ferst, Andrea Krieble, Davey Lahteenmaa, Catalina Moreno, Nathalie Petrucci, Aphrodite Sahlas and Fatima Souiri) on their efforts in putting together a magical evening for all in attendance. Headmaster Tim Peters provided closing remarks, thanking everyone for their generosity and highlighting how the most significant part of the evening was not the funds raised, but the camaraderie and dedication of those present, all of which made for an unforgettable evening. FOLLOW THE LINK FOR PHOTOS
LEST WE FORGET
Students wore bright red poppies carefully positioned over their hearts for The Priory's Remembrance Day ceremony on Tuesday, November 8th. Piped into the Paré Howlett Hall by bagpiper Graham Batty, students from Kindergarten to Grade 6, along with invited guests, Tom Irvine, Vice President of Dominion Command of the Royal Canadian Legions, Francis Badley, former Chairman of the Poppy Campaign of Quebec, and Debra Viskelis, Officer for the Veteran's Welfare Committee, stood tall as they sang Canada's national anthem. Following an opening prayer by Headmaster Tim Peters, senior students shared poems about poppies and recited the iconic Canadian poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae, honouring the brave men and women who served our country so that we may live in peace. The Priory Choir sang with warmth and passion, and as a small token of the school's appreciation for all that they had done, each invited veteran and guest received a Remembrance Day Peace flag lovingly created by the Grade 3 class. The ceremony came to a close with heartfelt words of appreciation delivered by Headmaster Tim Peters and veteran Francis Badley's rendition of "Let There Be Peace On Earth".
Smiling From Ear to Ear
At The Priory there is always reason to celebrate! On a perfect crisp autumn day, thanks to the Priory Parents’ Association and The Priory Father’s Club, family and friends gathered together in the playground to enjoy fresh corn on the cob celebrating autumn and all the beautiful changes it brings. This celebration certainly had everyone smiling from ear to ear!
Renewing Our Pledge For Peace
In recognition of the United Nations' International Day of Peace, The Priory School held a special Peace assembly. As honored members of Peaceful Schools International, all in attendance began the peace assembly by renewing their commitment as members and shared the many ways we can all become builders of peace. “If You Plant a Seed”, written by Kadir Nelson, read by Grade 6 students Desmond Lafontant and Saloni Chawla, delivered positive messages of peace and the rewards of planting a seed of kindness. In closing, the peace committee challenged the children with a school-wide peacebuilding project. Each child was asked to build a “Peace Block” with a decorated message to help promote and inspire peace in our hearts, peace in our community, and peace on earth. The peace assembly provided an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to each other and for all of us to continue to build a caring community filled with peace.
Lead with Kindness/inspire la gentillesse
Warm smiles and enthusiastic hugs were shared on the first day of school on Tuesday, September 6th, as Priory students reunited with their old friends, new classmates and teachers. For the first assembly of the school year, the entire student body gathered in the Paré Howlett Hall as Headmaster, Tim Peters, introduced the school-wide theme for this year – Lead with Kindness/Inspire La Gentillesse. During assembly, every member of the faculty shared a kindness story and experience and how it made a difference in their life. All Priory students will be encouraged, coached and mentored to be kind to others and be given opportunities to lead with their kindness. Throughout the first week of school the Priory community witnessed many random acts of kindness and a "spreading a little kindness" bulletin board was created to provide students and faculty with opportunities to celebrate and share kindness they see happening around the school and elsewhere. Be sure to spread some kindness today!
A Second Life for ‘Ugly’ Produce
After studying greenhouse effects and ways to protect our environment, the Grade 3 Science Expeditions led by Mrs. Sherriffs, teamed up with Second Life Company to hold an outdoor farmer’s market on May 26th, selling unwanted fruits and vegetables from farmers. Thanks to our Grade 3 students and the Priory Community, 120 lbs of perfectly edible but ‘ugly’ fresh fruit and vegetables that would normally end up in landfills, sold out within two hours! CTV News was on-site to cover the story. Follow the link for CTV News coverage.
Creating Cards for comfort kits
On April 5th, The Priory welcomed Judy Martin, aunt of Henry in Kindergarten, who, during her visit, shared a touching and personal story as a cancer survivor. In recognition and celebration of her own personal treatment ‘adventure’, Mrs. Martin founded the Bell Fund and Comfort Kits with the support of the Cedars Cancer Foundation and MUHC, which give patients support, inspiration and a little comfort during their treatment journey. With Henry and his classmate, Bea’s help, Mrs. Martin showcased and explained the contents of the items in the comfort kit; a fleece blanket with a foot pocket to keep patients warm, a reusable water bottle to quench patients’ thirst, a notepad and pen to take notes, mints and a magazine for reading while waiting. In closing, Mrs. Martin invited all Priory students to create cards of courage and hope, wishing patients well, which will also be included in the Kits. Students have already begun creating water colour cards in Art class with Mme Kuska and during class they will write some words of encouragement to share with patients to brighten their recovery.
PPA Sparkling Snowflake Fest
On Friday, January 29th, the Paré Howlett Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland. In the spirit of winter, children from Kindergarten to Grade 6 were invited to participate in this year’s Snowflake Fest. With paper and scissors in hand, children created hundreds of delicate, dazzling and unique paper snowflakes, while a team of dedicated Priory parent volunteers guided the children and prepared hot cocoa with marshmallows. A heartfelt thank you to our Art Teacher, Mme Kuska, and the PPA Committee for organizing this magical festivity. A blizzard of beautiful snowflakes adorn The Priory’s windows and halls for everyone to admire and enjoy!
New Enrichment Expeditions Program
In conjunction with this year's school wide theme "Explore!”, and new to our curriculum this term, Mrs. Sherriffs launched an Enrichment Expeditions program with a science focus. The focus of the enrichment program is to EXPLORE better ways to make the school and community more environmentally sustainable. Each grade has already started exploring a different component of the project and students are very excited to learn more about how we can make our school and community a better place for everyone, today and tomorrow.
Party on the Boulevard : Fall Mixer 2015
Parents, teachers and friends of The Priory gathered together in the Paré Howlett Hall to show their support for the “little red schoolhouse on the Boulevard”. Hosted by The Priory Parents' Association this year’s Party on the Boulevard was the place to be! Great fun was had by all attendees and the merriment went on until the morning. It was a fabulous evening, filled with laughter, fun and great memories thanks to the Fall Mixer Chairs Tania Pannunzio, Vako Ohanian, Rosanna Vernucciand the organizing committee: Nathalie Cecere, Sara Moreno, Davey Lahteenmaa, Andrea Chamandy, Cynthia Coletti, Sylvie Contino, Ana Desmaison, Elena Gotor, Andrea Krieble, Soraya Lahlo, Diana Metzen, Catalina Moreno, Stacy Prendergast, Maria Troiano, Suzanne Csik and Courtenay Price-Gallagher. Due to the generosity of The Priory community, we are pleased to announce that proceeds from this Fall Mixer will not only fund this year’s PPA events, but also fund a newly-revamped kitchen.
A combination of delicious food, dance music and friends resulted in rave reviews. Here are just a few:
“You did an AMAZING job!! The party was super fun and everyone had a great time. I have not danced that much in ages!! Not to mention the great food, good wine and superb vibe! Thank-you for all the work you put in to making this year’s Fall Mixer such a success. The bar keeps getting higher and higher!!” ~ Susie Maloney
"It was my first Fall Mixer and I could say that it was a great experience. Music was great, food was really good and definitely The Priory parents and staff are very friendly and amazing. I am very happy to be part of The Priory!!! I want to thank the extraordinary committee, you definitely are great at organizing these types of events. Good job!!!" ~ Catalina Moreno
"I have to say that was the best social event I've been to ever at The Priory. Thank you for hosting such a great event. Please add me to more committees. I want to help more." ~ Mark Balcar
"You know you have had success when people don't want to leave and then want to make it a bi-weekly tradition. Thank you for your dedication to the school and for giving the parents an evening to remember. It is an amazing community you have helped build as was evident by the love in the room on Friday night. Happy Children Learn Best but parents who know how to have fun with each other is an important ingredient to the Happy Child recipe." ~ Tim Peters
Leadership at The Priory
Sporting their new safety patrol vests and badges with pride, senior Grade 6 students were at the school's front gate and in the schoolyard happily greeting and helping Priory students, from all grades. As part of this year's Senior Leadership Program and in conjunction with our already running Second Step Program which helps students gain skills for solving problems with others in a positive way, the CAA School Safety Program was initiated this past week. Representatives from the CAA Quebec School Safety Program spoke to a group of Grade 6 students about the importance of safety patrol. Our students understood that it was not about policing, but about being on your best behavior. Lara Arab-Makansi (Grade 6 student) explained that her best behavior meant, "to set a good example". Laeticia Jeanty (Grade 6 student) also added, "to make children feel safe and welcomed". When asked the question, "Who wants to be a safety patrol this year?" It was unanimous, everyone raised their hands with much enthusiasm! The students took a pledge of honour and promised to obey road safety and school patrol rules. As a school patrol, our senior students will help staff supervise students both in the schoolyard and inside the school as they move about the hallways, use the play structures and space, and interact with their peers and teachers.
A Fun-Filled Week of Exploring!
This year, students can look forward to many new ways to explore their world, and after sharing some warm words, Principal Tim Peters introduced the school-wide theme for this year – Explore! Our students had a fun-filled week of exploring, learning and discovering. Through hands-on activities, students used the new Science Lab exploring the world of science by performing chemical reactions, exploring ways to prevent apples from browning and exploring butterflies and their life cycles. Throughout the year, teachers will continue to serve as guides and facilitators as our students explore the joy of learning and discovery in engaging and exciting ways.
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary Of The Canadian Flag
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the flag of Canada, The Priory School was chosen amongst several Canadian elementary schools across Canada, to participate in a very special commemorative project. Hometown Music Council, composed of music industry professionals and business leaders, dedicated to fostering the enjoyment of music in Canada, was welcomed to The Priory School on Monday, May 4th for the national recording of ‘O Canada’. Hometown Music Council will be visiting elementary schools in 40 cities across Canada, uniting thousands of students in what may be the largest recording of ‘O Canada’ in history. As a special feature presentation, part of the recording was aired on CBC News. Watch as history unfolds, as we are very proud of the children’s participation.
Small School, Big Dreams
What began as two mothers' shared dream of creating a child-centered elementary school in 1947 has stood the test of time and is flourishing today as The Priory School, a school small in size yet capable in accomplishing great things. Throughout the year, teachers serve as guides and facilitators as our students write, illustrate, play and think about pursuing their boundless dreams and aspirations. During Friday’s assembly, on April 10th, enthusiastic smiles and loud cheers were shared as Mr. Peters recognized the Priory Panther teams for their outstanding achievements. Thirteen gold medals and “Undefeated Championship” t-shirts were handed out to the Girls’ Basketball Team and six trophy plaques were presented to the coaches for the following: Panthers Boys’ Soccer LCC Tournament Finalist, Panthers Boys’ Basketball Selwyn House Tournament Champions, Panthers Girls’ Soccer LCC Tournament Finalist, Panthers Tournament Team Basketball LCC Tournament Champions, Panthers Girls’ Basketball LCC Tournament Champions, Panthers Girls’ Basketball Montreal Elementary League Champions Undefeated Season. This year’s athletic achievements will go down in Priory history and were made possible by our ability to work united towards a common goal and to ‘Dream Big’! Our founders would be proud of their ‘little red schoolhouse on the boulevard’.
Priory's Future Neuroscientists Present at MUHC’s RI Inauguration
The Priory’s future neuroscientists, Wyatt Price-Gallagher and Elliott Kobelansky, along with their teacher Ms. Casey Sherriffs, spent the morning of February 2nd at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre’s inauguration. From their own initiative and interest, our Grade 5 students showcased their medical exhibit, ‘What is a concussion and how can it affect the brain?’ to the Director of the MUHC and members of the research community, while healthcare professionals toured the new state of the art facilities at the Glen site. READ MORE IN THE NEWS: MUHC UNVEILS NEW RESEARCH INSTITUTE.
Casino Royale Fall Mixer Gala – A Resounding Success!
The red carpet was rolled out for this year’s annual Fall Mixer on Friday, November 21st, where glitz, glam and playful gambling were paramount as one hundred and twenty members of the Priory community joined to support their beloved 'little red schoolhouse on the boulevard'. Guests arrived ready to support, enjoy and give their appreciation for the committee’s indefatigable efforts to ensure a successful evening for all. This year’s Casino Royale Fall Mixer Gala had something for everyone: an oyster bar, deliciously prepared food, exotic beverages, live entertainment, dancing, a silent auction showcasing eighty exciting items and casino style gambling including roulette, poker, blackjack and craps. Fall Mixer Co-Chairs, Tania Mattei and Vacco Ohananian and the PPA Fall Mixer Committee members, Erminia Penta Colella, Cynthia Coletti, Suzanne Csik, Ana Maria Desmaison, Kelly Francescucci, Allan Kobelansky, Susie Maloney, Neela Parsnani, Courtenay Price-Gallagher, Pardis Rejaee, Kathleen Sims and Maria Troiano have much to be proud of! The 2014 fundraiser will help furnish the gym with new audiovisual equipment to be used during special assemblies, events and concerts. Our heartfelt thanks go to all our parents who attended, our sponsors and donors for their contributions to our auctions, and to the Fall Mixer Committee for successfully bringing the Priory Community together for a suave and elegant extravagant evening.
Follow us on Instagram! Connect with us using hash tag #prioryfallmixer.
Celebrating the Life of Mrs. Ballantyne: Co-Founder of The Priory
In celebrating Mrs. Ballantyne's life during an honorary assembly on Tuesday, September 16th, the entire student body and guests were able to recognize her strength, perseverance and ability to dream big. Frances Elizabeth Ballantyne, Co-Founder of The Priory School, passed away peacefully on September 11th at the age of one hundred and one. While The Priory community is saddened by the passing of their innovative founder, they celebrated her initiative and courage in starting a school far ahead of its time - The Priory School. Mrs. Ballantyne will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by the entire Priory Community.
Below is an excerpt from Mrs. Ballantyne's Birthday Book written by Priory student, Roxana B.:
" Thank you Mrs. Ballantyne for following your dreams and making this school possible."
"You are beautiful, Aiesha!"
The Grade 5 and 6 Priory students recently discovered that Aiesha Robinson is very much like them. Although she is taller and a little older – a young adult, Aiesha enjoys the company of her friends, basketball and the same type of music as they do. However there is something that sets her apart from the others. Aiesha has vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of the skin. The Priory welcomed Aiesha to speak publicly to a large group for the very first time in her life. She spoke openly of her feelings and experiences and how vitiligo has affected her life since first discovering she had this condition as a teenager. She captured everyone's attention as she spoke of the hurtful words she endured and consequently her withdrawal from a "normal" life. Aiesha attributes her acceptance of who she is and her desire to educate others in accepting themselves and others for who they are, to her good friends and family who have always been by her side. Aeisha spoke from her heart, and was 'real' to the students. Because of this, teachers did not have to run a debriefing session, as the students discussed what they had heard on their own accord. Aeisha Robinson came to The Priory to help our students understand her condition and how to relate to people who may seem different. She succeeded, and our students left the room with a true sense of what empathy means, and undoubtedly, better equipped for the bigger world that awaits them outside The Priory's doors. At the end of the conversation, one Grade 5 student lingered back and summed it up eloquently: "You are beautiful, Aiesha!"
The Priory Welcomes the Montreal Alouettes
Tying in with this year's school theme of, 'I Care', on February 13th, The Priory School welcomed Montreal Alouettes team members, Éric Deslauriers, Kyries Hebert, S.J. Green, Josh Bourke and Jerald Brown. The professional football players visited with Grades 3,4,5 and 6 students to talk about keeping a positive attitude, perseverance and the importance of a good education. Bourke shared that the most important thing he did was earn a University degree. The team members shared their life experiences with the children. They talked about the realities of playing this particular sport and emphasized the importance of remaining focused, positive and respectful at all times, no matter what you do or who you are. Hebert informed the children, "your attitude determines your altitude", and how our attitude allows us to achieve our dreams. The message the children received from the Alouettes players had less to do with playing a professional sport but rather more to do with learning valuable life lessons. Deslauriers reminded the children that even though we all come from different backgrounds and places, we recognize the importance of respect and this allows us to be united together as a team. The visit culminated with a friendly Alouettes vs Priory staff basketball game enjoyed by all. Having positive role models reminds all of us what we can achieve through perseverance, a positive attitude and respect for one another," says Principal Tim Peters.
The Annual Senior Winter Carnival
The 1st annual Senior Winter Carnival was a very cool event. The day started with a trip to Mount Royal for tubing and skating on Beaver Lake. We could not have asked for better winter weather. With rosy cheeks, the children returned to The Priory and traded their skates and boots for flip flops and sunglasses for a beach-themed party. They enjoyed frosty popsicles, a dress up photo corner, and dancing to tropical tunes. The students also competed in an indoor snow person building relay race—blindfolded! Team Venezuela beat out other sunny destinations—Florida, Hawaii, and Jamaica—but all teams displayed creativity, teamwork, and powerful lungs! For the final activity, the children bundled up once again and headed outside to create sparkling inukshuk out of blocks of coloured ice. The ice sculptures stand proudly in the school's front yard, a wonderful reminder of a fun-filled day!
Annual Fall Mixer Steps Back to the Roaring Twenties
Parents, teachers and friends of The Priory stepped back in time to an era of flappers and boas on Friday, November 22nd to show their support for 'the little red schoolhouse on The Boulevard'. Hosted by the Priory Parents Association, this year's Fall Mixer provided a celebration filled with glitz and glam. Paré Howlett Hall was transformed into a 1920's style cabaret complete with everything from live jazz music, candle lit table arrangements adorned with feathers to delectable hors d'oeuvres and the not-to-be-missed, silent and live auctions. The attire for the evening was 1920's cocktail. Guests sported flapper dresses, feathered headpieces, stylish gloves, pearls galore, zoot suits and fedora hats while sipping bubbly. The evening ended with an exciting live auction with Principal Tim Peters as our auctioneer featuring 'Principal for a Day' and wonderfully donated prizes. The success of this evening is due to the tremendous support of our Priory parents and the organizing committee, Sylvie Koutroubis, Courtenay Price-Gallagher, Susie Maloney, Kim Darlington, Lisa Pittman and Suzanne Csik who helped make the annual Fall Mixer an event people will be talking about for years to come.
Globetrotters' C.H.E.E.R For Character Program
On April 9th, Priory students from Grades 3, 4 and 5 were invited to Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School for a special presentation by Anthony 'Buckets' Blakes of the Harlem Globetrotters to talk about the team's history and of the Globetrotters' C.H.E.E.R for Character Program which focuses on Cooperation, Healthy mind & body, Effort, Enthusiasm, and Responsibility. Watch The Gazette's video of Harlem Globetrotters' "Buckets" Blakes
Dr. Joe Schwarcz Combines Chemistry with Magic
How do you create nylon by combining two liquids? How does a liquid change from colorless to gold to blue? How do they get the caramel into the Caramilk bar? These questions and more were answered by Dr. Joe Schwarcz during this year's Science Week at The Priory School. Dr. Schwarcz talked to Priory students about chemistry and how chemistry plays a significant role in our lives. He went on to explain how chemicals are all around us, that they are not something to be feared, but to be understood. He also addressed some of the interesting science inventions throughout history and the stories behind them. During his presentation, Dr. Schwarcz impressed the children by unraveling some of the mysteries behind science by combining chemistry with magic. He used science experiments to explore chemical reactions and sparked their curiosity by providing explanations. Is it magic? It's science but because we don't have the explanations, it looks like magic.