In my 19 years as Head of Crofton House School I have had the privilege of watching more than 1500 girls walk across the stage at Chan Centre. Every class has been amazing, each with its own personality – and this class is no exception.
This is the first class to include 31 girls out of the 36 who came to Crofton House School in grade 1 and blossomed under the watchful eye and tutelage of Mrs. Hutchison – our great storyteller. They are also the class who welcomed 66 new girls over the intervening years and who have made unity their mantra.
Graduating classes at Crofton House often choose a name for themselves – and this years’ class chose L19tning McQueen from the children’s movie Cars. For those unfamiliar with Cars, it is an animated film where the world is populated with talking cars and other vehicles, each with its own distinct character.
The Class of 2019 ‘L19htning McQueen” have now graduated and are our newest members of the Alumnae Association. One of the first events for their grad season was the annual Mother/Daughter Tea – Be Inspired! Jointly hosted by the Alumnae Association and the school the event welcomed alumna Bryn Hyndman ’96 who spoke to the group about creating their own identity as they move forward in life. She gave the graduates a valuable piece of advice:
“Honour yourself. If you try to be someone else you’ll only get a hybrid of what you could be. You might be good at being someone else but you should be great at being you.”
The Alumnae Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an alumna in recognition of her outstanding dedication and accomplishment toward her life’s work. The Crofton House School Alumnae Association is pleased to award Ann Farris ’55 the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in expanding the roles of women during her long career as a leader in arts management, developing programs and organizations in the performing arts.
After graduating from Crofton House in 1955, Ann received her BFA from UBC and MFA at the Yale School of Drama, a graduate professional school of Yale University. In 1963, Ann began her long career in arts management, providing leadership in program development for a number of theatres, operas and national arts organizations across the United States. Over the years, Ann has held positions of executive director, consultant and producer to organizations that included Opera America, Expo 82, Central City Opera House Association, the National Endowment for the Arts and San Francisco Opera. In 1984 Ann returned to Vancouver as producer of the Royal Bank Expo 86 World Festival, developing an acclaimed 6-month entertainment program of dance, theater and music from around the world. Following Expo, Ann returned to the US, consulting in organizational management and later working as a recruitment manager. Since 2009, Ann continues to volunteer as an archive associate for the San Francisco Opera. Amidst her accomplished career, Ann discovered she had dyslexia and became involved with Discover Dyslexia. Through writing a book and speaking at educational workshops and conferences, Ann has provided support and insight to many by sharing her personal story and struggles with dyslexia.
The Distinguished Alumnae Achievement Award is presented to an alumna in recognition of her achievement in a particular field or industry and for her role in advancing women in leadership in society and/or workplace. The Crofton House School Alumnae Association is pleased to award Jennifer Johnstone ’78 the 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award for her dedication and accomplishments in non-profit management and community resource development
Following Jennifer’s graduation from Crofton House in 1978, Jennifer received her BA from Queen’s University and pursued graduate studies at the Institute of Soviet and East European Studies and in Women Studies at Carlton University. Since the late 1980s Jennifer has developed an extensive career in non-profit management and community resource development, holding key leadership positions with organizations such as the Vancity Community Foundation, Battered Women’s Support Services and Ballet British Columbia. Jennifer currently holds the position of President & CEO with Central City Foundation, leading innovative investment in social purpose real estate that improves the lives in Metro Vancouver’s inner-city communities. Jennifer remains passionately committed to social justice and community investment and volunteers in many capacities with various organizations at the local, provincial and national levels. She is the founding member of the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative and the Vancouver Women’s Fund. She has most recently served on the Board of Alliance for Arts and Culture, Battered Women’s Support Services, Yaletown House Foundation, Westcoast LEAF and Aurora Institute. She also volunteers as a trainer with the Leadership Development of Volunteer Vancouver. In addition to her role in advancing women in leadership in society, her work creates lasting impacts on entire communities in need within our city.
The Alumnae Junior Achievement Award is presented to a young alum, under 40 years of age, in recognition of her accomplishments in making a difference in the lives of others. The Alumnae Association is pleased to award Emily Ma ’99 the 2019 Junior Achievement Award for her outstanding accomplishments in science, technology and engineering.
After graduating from Crofton House in 1999, Emily attended Stanford University where she received Bachelor and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Emily started her career as a mechanical engineer and roboticist at IDEO, a global design and innovation consultancy. Emily then returned to Stanford to pursue her MBA to bridge the language of design and business. In the past decade, Emily has taught at the business school, engineering school and “d.school” at Stanford. Currently Emily is a lead at X, formerly Google [x], a stealth group focused on developing high-impact technologies that have the potential to massively improve hundreds of millions of lives. She currently heads a portfolio of investigations aimed at drastically reducing waste in the global food system. In her time at [x], she has helped develop multiple early stage programs which have involved revolutionary technologies including self-driving cars, smart eyewear, internet balloons and energy kites.
It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Louise Gittens, Crofton House teacher in the Senior School, left us on April 11, 2019. She is deeply missed by her beloved daughters Jessica (Brent), Tamsin and Robin, mother Dorothy, brother Eric and sister Jane and, of course, her treasured grandchildren Oliver, Kenley, Parker and Reed. She was an energetic, loving and generous mother, always supportive of her daughters. Her family, friends, colleagues and her many students are bereft.
When Tiffany graduated from Crofton House she knew she wanted to pursue a career in film and television. With perseverance, she is fulfilling that goal – living in Los Angeles and working as a writers’ production assistant on Mixtape, an upcoming TV series on Netflix. She is also the co-creator of Limited Space, an animated musical series.
While working in film and television was the ultimate goal, having missed the deadline for the School of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of California, LA, Tiffany first had to tackle switching from their Communications program to film. She spent her initial days at university knocking on doors trying to make that happen. Tiffany was first able to transfer to the Business Cinema program and then to the film school after two years
Katie Levis ’19 has a clear vision of what she would like to do after she graduates. Starting with attending UBC in the fall with a view to eventually completing her Masters in Audiology and Speech Sciences, her vision for her future was shaped in large part by her extensive volunteer work.
As part of CHS graduation requirements, Katie started volunteering at Peekaboo Beans, a children’s clothing company. While there, she learned about Playground Builders, an organization that builds playgrounds for children in war-torn areas. Katie connected with the founder, Keith Reynolds, and worked with him to raise money to build two playgrounds in Afghanistan – one of which is the first playground for disabled children in the country and the other is at an all girls’ school. Through her fundraising efforts, Katie was able to donate $1,800, which Playground Builders then matched.
Last summer, a group of six women, including Crofton House School Board member Nancy Gallini, alumna Maria Chung ’75 and myself travelled to villages in Malawi to see CARE Canada at work. All of our travelling party had donated time and funds to support CARE’s work to transform the lives of women and girls in one of the poorest, least-educated countries in the world. CHS is a strong supporter of CARE Canada through its participation in CARE’s Walk in Her Shoes. During this March event CHS students and alumnae walk 10,000 steps along Vancouver’s sea wall in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Karen (St. John) Carmichael ’77, founder of Jai Designs, is bringing her talents as a jewelry-maker to the Winter Bazaar. She created a design, sourced materials and then led a workshop with CHS parents to create beautiful bracelets that will be sold at the Bazaar.
The 1898 Alumnae Newsletter is released three times a year and features several articles and interviews with CHS alumnae out in the world.
With the introduction of a new CHS website in April 2019, the “Continue Reading” link in articles found in the back issues of the newsletter will no longer work. However, the full articles can be read on this page.