St. Andrew’s College (SAC), with over 120 years of history as a leading independent school for boys, announced plans to open St. Anne’s School, an independent school for girls, in Aurora. The school will operate under the St. Andrew’s College umbrella and will be modelled after SAC, offering an inspirational learning environment for girls to build character, own their voice, imagine their future, strive for distinction, and ultimately, build a better world.
A school for girls in York Region has been a long-held dream for SAC. The official announcement was made to the community on Oct. 2 by Head of School, Kevin McHenry, after years of discussion with the School’s Board of Governors, Foundation Trustees, and Leadership Team.
“For more than 120 years, St. Andrew’s College has taken great pride in our leadership role, ‘developing the complete man, the well-rounded citizen,’ and strengthening our communities at every level,” said Mr. McHenry. “We recognize our responsibility to evolve and lead in a manner that will meet the requirements of the world for the next 120 years. Providing the same educational opportunities for girls is an important part of that responsibility. A school of this calibre will be uniquely positioned to contribute significantly to the field of girls’ education and the development of strong, influential, and empowered female leaders in our community and around the world.”
St. Anne’s will provide girls with the opportunity to build self-confidence, resiliency, and leadership skills in a community that celebrates innovation, inquiry, and imagination. A St. Anne’s girl will find her passions and discover her voice, laying a strong foundation for her future.
St. Anne’s and St. Andrew’s will benefit greatly from each other’s proximity. The two schools are close enough to easily come together for educational and co-curricular opportunities, such as theatre productions, the White Ribbon Campaign, and community service initiatives, but far enough apart to establish their own paths forward. The success our students have found in a single-gender educational environment will only stand to be strengthened through this new model, offering the best of both worlds under one umbrella.
The decision to consider such a project was due in part to past SAC parents Anne and Andrew Dunin. A friendly relationship between Kevin and Karan McHenry and the Dunins began more than a decade ago. The Dunin family has always been passionate contributors and members of the Andrean community and worked alongside Mr. McHenry to help SAC obtain their stately Jacobean manor, an ideal setting for a school, sitting on the land owned by Shining Hill Group (SHG).
“St. Andrew’s College is a world-class facility that has brought international attention to the Town of Aurora,” said Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas. “People know that their children can flourish both academically and personally here. I am thrilled at the possibility of welcoming an all-girls school to our thriving and vibrant community, and I look forward to working with SAC on growing their legacy here in Aurora.”
St. Anne’s School will serve girls from all over York Region and its neighbouring regions with classes offered in Grades 5 through 9 in its first year and adding a grade in each subsequent year of operation until reaching Grade 12. The school will offer a day program at the outset with plans for a boarding program in the future.
“While there are still several details to be determined, and a multitude of steps to follow with the Town of Aurora, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, the Region of York, and the Shining Hill Group, we are excited to be working with these incredibly supportive groups to bring this dream to fruition,” said Mr. McHenry.
St. Anne’s School will be located within the Shining Hill community on the northwest side of Yonge Street and St. John’s Sideroad, just minutes from St. Andrew’s College, and anticipates that school operations will begin in Sept. 2022 or Sept. 2023. SAC will share the opening day by June 30, 2021.
St. Andrew’s College has been engaging, inspiring, and shaping the minds and futures of young men since 1899. It’s time to offer the same educational experiences to young women in our community.
This outstanding five-minute video by SAC’s Head of Drama and Film, William Scoular, demonstrates the unique partnership between St. Andrew’s College and St. Anne’s School, unlike anything seen in independent education in Canada. More details regarding St. Anne’s School can be found at www.stannesschool.ca.
Story by Nicolette Fleming