Every parent does a lot of soul-searching when it comes to choosing the best school for their child. In a recent Toronto Star article Old Boy Dominic Atkinson ’90 explains why he chose Upper College for son James.
UCC’s fantastic extracurricular options and strong academic reputation were key lures for Atkinson, as he explains in the article “Values are priceless when it comes to schooling,” in a special section on private schools, Feb. 22. (James was in a gifted program at a good public school but Atkinson thought his potential could be better tapped.) Atkinson also praised the music program and the motivating, enriched student experience overall. He also mentions UCC’s upgraded financial assistance program which has both spiked the level of diversity and refreshed its image as a “wasp enclave.” Here’s an excerpt from Ron Johnson’s article:
“[My son] is a good student and he is more than happy to put in the work,” says Atkinson. Although academics were key, the cancellation of extracurricular activities at his son’s public school also played a role in his decision. “Last year especially, hockey was cancelled, other extras were cancelled, and it was really frustrating,” Atkinson explains. “A school like UCC has such fantastic extracurriculars, it just made it easier. It has a great hockey team; whatever interest a kid has, he can pursue. The music program at the school is fantastic, art, film, theatre, whatever it is, whatever you want to do, you can at the absolutely highest level.” Atkinson recalls when he and his son visited the school last summer to meet with the music teacher. “When the teacher talked to James about music, he realized he didn’t know anything,” says Atkinson. “So he said, ‘Here are some instruments’ and James tried a few. He ended up playing clarinet, but I just found it interesting. They really just want the kids to succeed.” But Atkinson is quick to point out that UCC has changed over the past decades. Like many private schools, UCC has really ramped up its financial assistance program and, as a result, the school is far more diverse, defying the old wasp-enclave stereotypes of a bygone era.