Riley was in grade 6 when he came to St. Andrew’s Homecoming to watch a friend play football. We had never been to the campus, and we all just fell in love. Riley insisted he wanted to go to St. Andrew’s. He is my youngest of four and I’d let all of the others pick their own school. My daughter had just graduated from Branksome Hall and I’d always assumed Riley would go to school in Toronto, closer to home.
I told him we’d consider it in grade 9, but Riley was insistent that he was ready for boarding and did not want to wait. As my youngest he is very close to me, and I was not prepared to empty nest over night, which is exactly what happened. Riley, who is now in grade 9, entered SAC as a boarding student in grade 7. I have to say, those first four to five weeks were tough on both of us. There were a lot of emails and teary-eyed phone calls. The Housemasters at Mac House see this every year and reassured us this was common and he would settle in very soon. I could not believe how right they were and how quickly Riley adjusted from questioning his decision to board to being the happiest kid on the planet.
Riley won the Edith Grant Award awarded to a New Boy in Macdonald House who most exemplifies the Andrean man. He was elected to Mac House Council in grade 8 and is on the Council again in grade 9. It’s hard to keep up with all the activities going on at Mac house – he just loves it here. He’s a good student, just hovering below honours; his goal for next year is to be there. He’s played on the soccer, lacrosse and basketball teams and he is really looking forward to playing football next year. There’s just such a balance here between academics, arts, Cadets and sports and we appreciate that. We’ve watched him grow into a very independent young man.
I’m a total advocate. I’ve had children in a lot of different schools and I can honestly say that this is the most welcoming group of parents I’ve ever met. These are people I’ve chosen to spend more time with, which is why I’ve joined the Parents Guild and where I serve as Treasurer.
I’ll never forget the admission interview with Dolly Moffat-Lynch. She asked Riley how he’d enjoy eating meals away from home. Like all boys, he likes his mom’s cooking and he answered, ‘Oh, my mom will make me gourmet meals on weekends.’ But he’s found the food here to be good and even tells me how I can improve my eggs! The only complaint is that he doesn’t have enough money for when he and his friends walk over to Starbucks!