It is hard to believe that we are a week away from May long weekend. Following Spring Break the year seems to fast forward, with events coming at a feverish pace in the final months of the school year. This spring is no different, each day the campus is a bustle of activity and the boys always seem to be on the move in different directions. Let’s highlight a few things that have been going on around the school.
SMUS ‘Mock’ Election
With the BC Provincial general election day on May 9th, the student body took place in a ‘mock’ election, where they were voting on candidates in the Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding. This was part of an initiative to engage students in politics and the issues important in this election. We were one of hundreds of schools to participate, and voter turnout for our school mock election was higher than the BC wide turnout of 57%. The result? …the students across the province elected an NDP majority government, in contrast with the general election, which resulted in a Liberal minority (…for now, as there is some uncertainty in a few ridings, where absentee ballots have not been tallied!).
Many of the boys in the house are part of the SMUS rugby program, and the spring marks a tradition at the school with the annual ‘Boot Game’ against rival Oak Bay High School. This game is rich in history and tradition, and this year was played during the SMUS Alumni weekend. Rain on the day made for a somewhat sloppy contest, however, this did not take away from some exciting plays at the finish. The Blue Jags scored late to take a lead in front of a large home crowd that braved the cold and wet weather to watch their boys hoist the Gareth Rees boot.
The Junior XV, massive underdogs, produced the performance of the season in their Alumni Weekend game versus Oak Bay. A courageous and scrambling defence somehow kept the attackers at bay for long periods of time. Excellent team tries, against the run of play improbably saw SMUS leading 12-10 with time running out. Alas, last-minute opposition pressure produced the winning score right on full time.
The past two weeks have been an especially trying time for the boys in the house who are taking Advanced Placement courses. The exams for the AP classes have been running since last week in the gym. During this time period the house is even quieter then normal during the prep time each night, as boys work away at their desks in preparation for their tests. The final AP’s complete this week and the boys will breath a collective sigh of relief, as another milestone in the year passes.
New Head of School
The search has been going on for a long time and at last the announcement was made formally last week, SMUS had found its new Head of School. The person for the job turned out to be Mr. Mark Turner, who will succeed out-going Head Bob Snowden, who will retire at the end of this year. Mark comes to SMUS with a phenomenal reputation as a transformative leader at some of the UK’s most prestigious independent schools, including Shrewsbury School, where Mark has been Head since 2010.
Over the course of Mark’s first transitional year he will work in partnership with Senior School director Mr. Andy Rodford, who will assume the role of Acting Head of School. Andy is currently our Deputy Head of School and an experienced former head.
Barnacle Boy…Now, ‘Head Boy’
We are very please to announce that one of our very own will be the school’s ‘Head Boy’ for the 2017-2018 school year. Selected by his peers and teachers in an thorough election process, Sean Finamore was chosen to take on the highest leadership position in the student body. We would like to congratulate him on this very significant accomplishment, and look forward to the year ahead.