Stories of Giving
Thank you to these families as they add their philanthropic support to our bright future.
(Martin Molyneaux and Deborah Yedlin, parents of Michael ’13, Alexander ’15, and Daniel ’16)
"Education is a means in itself, not a means to an end. We chose to contribute to the campaign so that future generations of STS students will be able to have the same exceptional educational opportunities our three sons have had."
Deborah Yedlin and Martin Molyneaux have three distinctly different boys, yet Michael ’13, Alexander ’15, and Daniel ’16 have all flourished at STS.
Being a Governor on the STS Board, Deborah made an early commitment to the Inspiring Possibilities campaign – she and Martin generously made a pledge in support of enhancing facilities.
“We were inspired to donate to STS because we fundamentally believe in the School’s educational philosophy with respect to creating well-rounded students who are exposed to many different opportunities,” say Deborah and Martin.
The Yedlin-Molyneaux family agree that the time is now to create inspiring learning spaces for our students, understanding that the new facilities will optimize creativity, critical thinking and experiential learning – all characteristics they recognize our graduates will need to lead successful careers in this rapidly changing world.
(Bob and Wendy Dick, parents of James ’16, Julia ’12, and John ’14)
"Donating to this campaign is the least we can do to say thank you for a job well done by the teachers, and to help ensure that future generations continue to benefit from this all important STS resource – the teaching staff."
Bob and Wendy Dick have travelled the globe with their three children, Julia ’12, John ’14, and James ’16, and were happy to return to Calgary for STS. They wanted their children’s school years to be a positive experience, where they were challenged both physically and intellectually, while being socially engaged and happy. Bob and Wendy feel that STS not only provided that balanced platform but also developed a strong sense of school spirit and community within their family.
Above all else, their appreciation for STS faculty as the single most important variable in the education equation, inspired an early commitment, in their youngest son James’s final year at STS, to donate to our Inspiring Possibilities campaign in support of teaching excellence.
Determining where to direct their gift was a family decision. The Dicks asked Julia, John, and James about which of the three priority areas in the Inspiring Possibilities campaign resonated most and they all felt strongly that supporting STS teaching staff was most important to them.
“We are so pleased and excited that our children have been inspired by so many of the STS teaching staff,” say Bob and Wendy. “They have been role models that will never be forgotten, and as parents we have been impressed by the engagement and sincerity shown by all teachers, whether it is a pat on the back for a great essay or basketball game, or being available before or after school to help improve writing style or go through a math concept. That work ethic and passion for their profession is an important lesson for all children to learn.”
The Inspiring Possibilities campaign will allow STS to further invest in mentoring, action research, and hosting conferences to create powerful, sustainable, and impactful development opportunities for our teachers. The Dicks understand how intrinsic professional development is to maintaining teaching excellence – to both retain and attract staff, and to ensure that our teachers are continually engaged and up-to-date with the latest learning tools and innovative methodologies. Most importantly, investing in our teachers enriches students’ learning experience.
(Mark and Sharon Beacom, parents of Billy ’10 and Mitchell ’13)
"We strongly feel that the OE program is one of the School’s greatest strengths. While at STS, our boys not only adopted a life-long love for learning, but also a passion for the outdoors. We want to ensure that future generations of STS students can enjoy the same kind of experiences from which our sons benefitted."
After being a part of many school communities around the world, Mark and Sharon Beacom returned to Calgary, and were delighted to re-enroll their sons Billy ’10 and Mitchell ’13 back ‘home’ at STS. With a love of the outdoors always being a common thread in the Beacom family, both Billy and Mitchell participated in the STS Outdoor Education (OE) program.
“It was always important for our family to be connected with nature and to lead a balanced life – STS encouraged these values,” say Mark and Sharon. “Also we feel that STS teachers are unmatched – both in the caliber of their teaching and their commitment to students. Being in OE further enriched our sons’ relationships with their teachers, as they were given a great opportunity to get to know each other outside of the classroom.”
As STS moves toward its goal of welcoming a more socio-economically diverse student body with the help of needs-based scholarships, the Beacom family want to ensure full participation in STS’ beloved OE program is not limited due to financial limitations.
The family established an endowed scholarship, whose interest is more than ample to fund the extra expense of OE 15 for one student. As the endowment grows, awards may benefit more than one student annually.
Inspiring Volunteer Leadership
(Jonathan and Val Robins, parents of Alexander ’20)
"I am in awe of the generosity of the families who came before us and it gives us great pride to give back to STS. We hope we can inspire others to do so as well."
Val Robins, mother of Alexander ’20, has demonstrated incredible leadership in support of the Inspiring Possibilities campaign. Val and her husband Jonathan have made a generous financial contribution and she is giving hours of her time to engage other STS families in this exciting journey. In a recent interview Val shared her reasons why:
Q: What does being a part of the STS community mean to you and your family?
A: Being a part of the STS community continues to have a profound effect on shaping us as a family. Being part of this community has allowed us to create and nurture what we know will be our most meaningful lifelong friendships – student to student, family to family, family to faculty, alumni to school.
Q: You ‘stretched’ your regular annual donation to a generous campaign pledge – why was this important to you?
A: I am in awe of the generosity of the families who came before us and it gives us great pride to give back to STS. We hope we can inspire others to do so as well. And to cap it off, this will be the first year that our son will also donate. We hope to teach him the importance of continuing this generosity throughout his life as a way of thanking the school for the opportunities it has afforded him and for the doors it will open for him in the future.
Q: Your family has also set up a planned gift, including STS in your will – what led you to make this decision?
A: It is the concept of enduring community – of continuing the generosity of the families that came before us, those contributing now, and those that who will come after.
Q: You are volunteering for the campaign in an effort to encourage other STS parents to donate – why do you feel compelled to do this at this pivotal time for our school?
A: We believe that all of the STS community, present and future, will benefit directly from the impact of the Inspiring Possibilities campaign. In most of our conversations with families, we are able to share that the extras that make our school exceptional are often not covered by tuition, rather they are due to the generosity of donations from families. This campaign will provide a better place to learn, to congregate as families, and to inspire current and future generations of leaders.
(Alec Clark and Sloan Pipella-Clark ’81, parents of Maclean ’14 and Lochlyn ’17)
Sloan Pipella-Clark ’81 and Alec Clark appreciate the value of the STS community enjoyed by their family and have a long-term view of the School. They are committed to enhancing the STS community through volunteering and philanthropic support.
Sloan and her sisters, Tara ’85 and Kimber ’88, were students in the 70s and 80s when the facilities consisted of the Elementary Wing, Rotunda and the OE buildings (originally used as classrooms and positioned where the theatre is now). The exceptional facilities which students enjoy today were funded exclusively by philanthropy by earlier generations of donors. Sloan believes “It is our turn to replenish the facilities to ensure STS can deliver the program our dedicated faculty and talented students desire.”
Sloan and Alec are active volunteers and have made a major gift to the Campaign. Their pledge has been designated to facilities to create the learning environment that optimizes learning and supports the breadth of creative expression. “Like many of you, we feel so fortunate that our family has been able to benefit from what STS has to offer. We love the School, its commitment to excellence, and the vast opportunities it has given our children as they venture out into the world. It’s important to us that we help the School build on that experience for future students. Please join us in making STS a philanthropic priority, to the best of your individual abilities.”
Inspiring Teaching Excellence
(Dino DeLuca and Patti Simpson, parents of Sophia ‘22)
Dino DeLuca and Patti Simpson are thrilled to support the Campaign by pledging a gift to Teaching Excellence. Their daughter, Sophia, joined STS in Grade 4. She has always loved learning but in two short years, STS has helped stretch her boundaries to become an enthusiastic learner in the areas of physical education, outdoor education and public speaking. Sophia is quick to remind her parents that she never wants to leave STS and looks forward to being part of the graduating class of 2022.
If you ask current parents and alumni what the most important variable is in education, most would respond by saying the teachers make STS a special place. STS attracts a special brand of faculty from around the globe who mirror the STS mission and values and IB and Round Square principles. In addition, STS expects our faculty to be coaches, take students on service trips, lead experiential learning outdoors and imbed the mission and curriculum throughout these activities.
Patti and Dino credit Sophia’s love of learning to the STS teachers. When asked about their family’s motivation to support Teaching Excellence, Dino says, “Continuing education for teachers is critical if you want to maintain teaching excellence at STS. The pace of change in modern society is dramatic, and educators need the opportunity to stay current on teaching methods and philosophies in order to keep students motivated and excited to learn.”
The DeLuca Family recognizes that STS teachers are integral to the STS brand of excellence. They want to support STS’ vision to attract, develop and retain the very best faculty. Investing in professional development, action research, and hosting speakers and conferences will help achieve the strategic goal of positioning STS as a Centre for Excellence in teaching.
Patti says “Faculty, students, parents and alumni create the culture and reputation of STS. We love the School and what it has done, and will do, for Sophia. We feel an obligation to give back to our community in a manner that is important to our family, close friends and our personal values. STS’ focus on teaching excellence meets this criteria and we are happy to support it.”
Welcoming Inspiring Students
John Francis ’47 is grateful for a lifetime of friendships, work relationships and association with Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School. In recognition of the place STS holds for John, he and his wife Lois have established the John Francis ’47 Scholarship with an endowment to offer financial assistance to deserving students.
“I would not be the same person without my Strathcona education. For me it was Headmaster Alfred Howard who set me on the right path. Mr. Howard was a genuine, decent man who set manageable goals for each of us to achieve. He taught us to respect each other. He taught us about sportsmanship. And he prepared us for higher education and promises for career success.”
“Mr. Howard’s example was ably carried on by my classmate Sandy Heard who served as Headmaster during the years of growth and expansion, and by succeeding Heads of School.”
“Throughout my 73-year connection with STS, I have been privileged to know and encourage many students as they progressed through STS. I have admired their achievements. Our society is richer for their contribution in their chosen professions, as community volunteers, and in the arts and sports worlds.”
When John learned that STS is raising funds for needs-based scholarships, he decided, “That’s for me - and I hope others will join me in opening the door for worthy students.”