Toronto TEDx Talks

TEDx TorontoOn Thursday, September 26th I spent the day attending the Toronto TEDx Talks at the Royal Conservatory of Music downtown.  Many of you have watched these Talks online, but it was quite an experience to see them live.  The theme of the talks this year was “The Choices We Make.”

The speakers for the day included:

  • Ti-Anna Wang, Advocate for Chinese Dissident Families
  • Michael Stone, Director, Centre of Gravity
  • Rodolphe el-Khoury, University of Toronto and Parnter in Khoury Levit Fong
  • Darrell Bricker, CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
  • Joel MacCharles, Co-Founder, Writer, Cook
  • Steve Mann, University of Toronto
  • Gabrielle Scrimshaw, President, Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada
  • Steph Guthrie, Feminist Advocate and Community Manager
  • Mark Henick, Case Manager, Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Dr. Ivar Mendez, University of Saskatchewan
  • Brendan Frey, University of Toronto
  • Debbie Berlin-Romalis, Clinical Social Worker, SickKids
  • Mark Bowden, President, TRUTHPLANE

The organizers are beginning to post the talks from Toronto online, and most of them will be available later this month.  You can find out more by going to:  If you have ever considered attending a TED conference, I would encourage you to apply to be a delegate next year.  September 26th was certainly a day full of thoughtful, inspiring and insightful ideas.

Derek Logan
Head of School

The Leader in All of Us

Read any good books over the summer?

I hope you all had time to enjoy the ‘dog days’ of summer. I know you didn’t have homework to supervise and uniforms to wash. While you may have continued working, I hope summer offered you time to slow down and curl up to a good book.

Our teachers did. All of our teachers read the book The Leader in Me, by the late Stephen Covey, renowned author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Every summer, KCS faculty read a common book that relates to an area of focus for the upcoming year. I stumbled upon The Leader in Me while browsing through the shelves at Chapters last Christmas. It told the stories of schools around the world, not too many, that had embraced what we also embrace at KCS: Habits that matter and ubiquitous student leadership. These are exceptional schools that have had exceptional impact. We’re on the same path.

Everyone has the power to be a leader. In fact, we exert our influence all the time, often without even knowing it. Last week all faculty watched Drew Dudley’s TEDxToronto talk “Leading with Lollipops” ( ). A few words and an impromptu gesture on his part served to keep a peer in university and catalyzed a relationship that led to marriage. And he doesn’t even remember it. We’re all leaders, whether or not we know it. By recognizing and encouraging leadership in everyone, children included, there’s no limit to the positive impact on the world.

This may not have been the theme of the books you read over the summer. But I thought you’d like to know that this was the theme of what we read. Leadership is ubiquitous at KCS. And little by little, our students help make the world a better place. There’s always room for more. We hope you’ll embrace our Habits and join us.

Andrea Fanjoy,
Assistant Head, Academics

You can follow Andrea on Twitter @afanjoy.

A Tribute to Quiet Leaders

Be quiet. If you listen, you will hear them roar.

A quiet leader at KCS told me about the new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Susan Cain, introverted author and now uncomfortable-yet-superb TED Talk speaker (see her speak here), makes the compelling argument that volume, voice and unabashed extroversion should not be treated as a preferred modus operandi, the standard all should strive to reach. Communication matters, but so does quiet, and particularly so for some.

This reminds me of some students I know.

Each term, a student from each class in grades four through six is chosen to receive the Junior Merit Award. The second-term ceremony was the week before March Break. Making the ceremony a teachable moment for all students in the audience, homeform teachers introduced the recipients with a speech that made clear why they were chosen. Here are some of the many ways in which the recipients are exceptional:

  • Concise writing
  • Clever sense of humour
  • Hard-working
  • Always listening and learning
  • Showing concern for others
  • Consistent sportsmanship
  • Listening carefully to suggestions
  • Though shy, first to participate
  • Exceptional effort
  • Courageous
  • Exemplary work

The second term awards were handed out the same week this quiet teacher-leader and I were talking about Susan Cain and her work. Though talking about ‘quiet’, it was loud and clear to us that the very worthy recipients were living proof of Cain’s message. Knowing the six students, they are quiet leaders. They are supremely able, significant contributors. Their modus operandi is a model to us all.

In our rather loud and busy world, take time to be quiet, and notice the quiet leaders in your life. Their example speaks volumes.

Andrea Fanjoy,
Assistant Head, Academics