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Head of School’s Message to Our Grade 8 Graduates

Dear Bialik Graduates of 2019,

Mazal tov to you and your families!  You have completed your tenure at Bialik on a high note, demonstrating excellence in the classroom, through the arts, and in athletics. You have represented Bialik in the community in the best way possible and we are very proud of all your accomplishments. Well done!

You have seen tremendous changes during your time at Bialik. Think about the physical modifications in the lower gym, library and the playground. Consider all the new faces in the faculty and administration. Note the expansion of our curriculum — with the addition of Massoret and an extra emphasis on math. We also now have rooms dedicated to French and music.    

Perhaps the most profound change has been to our STEM program. Just as you have moved through the school from grade to grade, so too has our makerspace migrated to ever-larger rooms throughout the building. This aspect of our programming has flourished and developed to such an extent that a new STEM Learning Commons is now under construction! More importantly, STEM represents a fundamental shift in how we think about education, with a focus on problem-based learning and projects that demand design-thinking, innovation and teamwork.

Of course, all of these changes at Bialik have mirrored the changes you yourselves have undergone. You have grown from the wide-eyed little children who entered the school as many as 10 years ago, into the beautiful teenagers you are today.  You have gained so much in maturity and independence.

Certainly, your academic skills and abilities blossomed — as evidenced by your superior achievements in class. The creativity and innovation that you display in less formal STEM programming has consistently impressed. And, guest speakers and tour leaders invariably have commented on the insightful questions you ask.  

But at least as importantly, you have internalized the value of mentchlichkeit that is so central to Bialik’s mission. It was wonderful to see how you threw yourself into tzedakah projects wholeheartedly.  You supported one another when the need arose like, for instance, when a recent bus accident left some of you a bit rattled and anxious. Those same guest speakers and tour leaders who come into contact with hundreds of student groups also gush about how respectful you are. You may not realize this, but when visiting the Heritage Museum in New York, a guide asked Mr. Enzel if we had a very stringent admissions policy because our students were so exceptional!

As you graduate Bialik and continue on to high school, university, and beyond, you will be entering a world that is also changing ever more rapidly.  I want you to know that we are confident that you will thrive in this environment.  The critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills that you have begun to hone at Bialik will stand you in good stead, wherever your future takes you. You have already been leaders in our school and we have no doubt that you will be the problem-solvers, innovators, and leaders that drive the success of our Jewish and secular communities in Toronto, Canada, and beyond.  

Even as you go off and meet the exciting challenges at each stage of your lives, remember that you always have a home at Bialik. We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see all that you accomplish in the future. Keep in touch, visit often, and make sure your hearts always beat Bialik blue.

!לכו מחיל לחיל

Benjy Cohen
Head of School

 

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