End of year message from Principal McKinney

A message from UCC's principal at the end of the school year
Dear UCC community,

I can think of no better way to begin this message than with a heartfelt thank you. While these last few months have been challenging on multiple fronts, I’ve been continually inspired to see you respond in such transformative ways — from our immediate transition to delivering our academic program virtually, to keeping the boys connected with an amazing range of non-traditional co-curricular offerings. While nothing can replicate being together in person, we’ve reached new heights in creative ingenuity, and that is worth celebrating.

Before COVID-19 established a new reality for us, our campus was filled with activity and accomplishments. Many of our athletic teams had big wins, and we hosted our first-ever fencing competition. As always, there were wonderful arts evenings highlighting our theatrical and musical talents. The College was home to the Future Design School’s 2020 design challenge and our renowned World Affairs Conference, and our Model UN team took best large delegation honours in Montreal.

We broke for March Break on a high note with news that we had received official accreditation from the IB as a Middle Years Programme provider, making UCC the only all-boys’ IB Continuum World School in North America. In addition, as part of our efforts to help students balance workload and moderate stress, we finalized our plans for a 9-day timetable, to be implemented this fall.

As we conclude an academic year that none of us could have foreseen, I’m grateful for all that the boys accomplished through our Continuous Learning Plan, and for the compassion and resilience they so frequently demonstrated. This empathic mindset will carry forward as we, as a community, engage in important conversations and work to ensure our learning environment is truly equitable and inclusive.

While our year-end events took different forms than usual, we found ways to celebrate our Leaving Class, and to bid fond farewells to retiring faculty members: Prep School librarian Pam Love, Director of University Counselling Katherine Ridout, Upper School teacher Mark Hoel, and Prep School teacher Lisa Fleming. And just this afternoon, we honoured our dedicated volunteers, presenting this year’s Harold A.D. Roberts Circle Awards to George McNeillie ’70 and Allen Meredith ’70, and UCC parents Sarah Morgenstern, Verena Dong, Simone Odendaal and Ken Tanenbaum. You can watch a volunteer tribute video and learn more about the winners here.

I hope you enjoy some rest, relaxation and time away from your screens this summer. Again, thank you for all you do to make UCC a place where transformational learning happens.

Warm regards,

Sam McKinney
Principal 
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