In January 2017, all media outlets were buzzing with the inspirational story of double lung transplant recipient Melissa Benoit. The surgical team behind this remarkable achievement was led by NT alumnus Dr. Shaf Keshavjee.
Recognized as a world leader in thoracic surgery, Dr. Keshavjee graduated from University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine in 1985, then trained in surgery at U of T, Harvard, and the University of London. A key member of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at University Health Network, Dr. Keshavjee is also an Officer of the Order of Canada (2014) and the developer of the Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System, which allows donor lungs to be kept alive outside of the body in order to be assessed, treated and repaired before being transplanted into a patient.
Congratulations to Dr. Keshavjee and his team on their lifesaving innovations and remarkable achievements.
Being student representatives on the North Toronto Foundation has been not only a privilege but a delight. In the beginning, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and were frankly a little intimidated. As both the youngest and the newest, we knew absolutely nothing about how anything worked within the community that the Foundation had built over the years. Nevertheless, we were not surprised to be greeted with open
arms and warm smiles at our first meeting – NT’s welcoming tradition in action. Everyone introduced themselves with their name and grad year and, of course, some background information on themselves.
The Foundation usually holds about five or six two-hour meetings throughout the school year. On some topics, such as financials and newsletter discussions, we don’t have much to contribute. However, when it comes to what’s currently going on inside the walls of NT, we can definitely contribute student knowledge, such as thoughts on club activities and upcoming school-run events, and updates on everything from recent athletic achievements to events such as Midnight Madness or Mental Health Awareness Week.
A more specifically defined job of ours is to work alongside another Foundation member to organize the Dragons’ Dens. We help with the promotional and organizational aspects of the event, serve as MCs during the presentations and contribute background information on the clubs when the time comes to vote.
Being on this committee has taught us many skills that we will be able to use in the future. While both of us have been involved with councils at North Toronto and have run many events, the difference between a school-run committee and the alumni council is huge. We’ve gotten a feel for what real responsibility is, and an understanding of how to handle big projects that involve hundreds of people. In addition, it has been incredible to hear the beginnings of real-world initiatives, such as the acquisition of a trophy case or the creation of the Foundation News. Overall, serving on the Foundation has been an amazing experience!
In October 2016, the NT Foundation held an informative and beneficial workshop on running a class rep program, attended by alumni from various years and led by Martha Drake, Executive Director of Advancement, University of Toronto Schools.
As the Foundation strives to increase participation in the alumni community through new events like the upcoming inaugural NT Homecoming Weekend, we continue to look for new Class Reps— individuals who take the lead in locating members of their year and liaise with them regarding Foundation events or year-specific ones. Here are some examples of what current Class Reps are doing:
The Class of ’62 meets monthly at a local restaurant for lunch. Members know the date in advance and whoever can make it does. Get-togethers are organized by Sheila Moscoe and Stan Pearl.
A combined group of ’79–’82 alumni get together a couple of times a year at Gabby’s on Yonge north of Lawrence. Don Ross (’80) is the organizer. The date is circulated via email and there is always a large turnout.
A 40th reunion for members of the ’76 football team took place in November 2016.
If you would like to get involved in the Class Rep program, please contact Stan Pearl (’62) or Lisa Cain (’82) . To ensure you are included in upcoming events or get-togethers, contact your Class Rep. In the list below, the highlighted years indicate special anniversaries in 2017.
We have a new Facebook group named NTCI Grads ’08. Please add yourselves and fellow classmates. Next year it will be 10 years since our graduation. This is a good opportunity to meet up (next year spring/summer, 2018) and catch up with fellow NT grads and teachers. We hope to include tours of the new NT building and a meet up at the Granite Brewery for an evening of food, drinks, and memories. We are also open to suggestions!
We all know that NTCI has a very successful Music Program, supported by a fabulous Music Parents Council. But while NT has also excelled in many City & OFSAA Championships, there has until now never been a Sports Parents Council.
A group of interested NTCI alumni and parents, with the support of current students, staff and the NTCI Foundation, have begun creating an NTCI Sports Parents Council. This council will support ALL sports occurring at North Toronto and raise much-needed funds for tournaments, uniforms, equipment, new locker rooms and so much more.
We need your help! Get involved! Learn more about how you can make a difference and be involved, even in a small way, in improving the already amazing sports at NTCI!
The Midnight Madness art show is a culmination of the year’s work for the AVI and AWD grade 12 art courses. It represents the hard work we have put in and advances we have made as artists throughout our high school career, and is an expression of our creativity as the class of 2017. The exhibition was designed and executed by the students collaboratively under the leadership of Ms. Marquis. This includes the theme, logo, catalogue, publicity, set up, and opening night itself, which were all completed with great success and coverage by many news outlets including the Toronto Star.
The theme of Midnight Madness was inspired by late nights full of studying, and cramming, and the madness that sets in as deadlines approach. As grade 12 students we endure the constant pressure of reaching our post-secondary goals, but amidst these academic stresses art class continues to be a creative outlet for our anxieties. This show allowed us first hand experience of putting on a professional art exhibition, and taught us not only what goes into these events, but how to do each task. As a student involved in the show I found having our work displayed and appreciated in a show that we organized to be an extremely fulfilling experience. I am very proud of our teamwork, and individual commitment, that allowed for a beautiful final product, and successful opening night. On behalf of all students I am also very thankful for everything the art department at North Toronto and alumni have provided for us students that allowed for this amazing experience.
On a snowy night in February, past and present members of the Foundation came together to celebrate Joel Gorenkoff, principal of North Toronto from 2007 to January 2017. His time at NT ended abruptly when he received notification of a transfer to Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute. Always positive, Joel understood that he was needed at Lawrence; at the same time, he was certainly disappointed to say goodbye to the school he has called home for the past ten years. Equally disappointed were the Foundation members, who had come to rely on his dedication, dependability and genuine passion for the improvement of NTCI.
During his time at North Toronto, Joel oversaw the transition from the old building to the current school, making an effort to ensure that the many Heritage pieces valued by alumni, such as the Heritage Court and the award walls, were preserved. He was also instrumental in organizing the 100th anniversary, working closely with the Foundation to ensure a celebration that brought together current students and alumni. But perhaps Joel’s greatest contribution to the Foundation has been his appreciation of the positive value the Foundation brings to the school community. He encouraged the placement of two student reps on the Foundation Board and has worked closely with the Board on newer endeavours, such as Homecoming Weekend and alumni events at Red and Grey Day.
While we are certainly going to miss Joel’s presence on the Foundation, we are grateful for the many contributions he made while at North Toronto. These contributions will continue to impact NT students for years to come. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours at Lawrence Park.
At our most recent Dragons’ Den, where the Foundation listens to a variety of presentations from clubs and teams in need of funds, the Foundation was interested to learn that many of the newer clubs at North Toronto have a business bent. It appears that North Toronto students are becoming astute businesspeople even before they graduate and head off to Rotman or Ivey.
One club with a business focus was DECA, associated with DECA Ontario, where members compete at regional, provincial and international case study competitions for awards and scholarships. While competition is a major part of the club, students also have a chance to network with other business students and business leaders around the province.
Another club that requested funds was the NT Business Club, which host events at which successful businesspeople speak to students about the realities of business and what it looks like in the real world. Both these clubs are indicative of where NT students are planning to go when move on to post-secondary studies. The Foundation is happy to support these clubs, and we encourage the learning and experience that can come from them. We also recognize that there are many NT alumni in the business and finance sectors, and we hope to play a role in building connections between them and these clubs.
It is with great pleasure that we present our 71st Maytime Melodies on May 11th and 12th at 7:30 p.m. Our theme this year is Canada 150, and our Friday concert will feature a number of Canadian compositions. Tickets are $10 and are available for select seating. Please contact the Music Department directly to place your order at:
(416) 393-9180, ext .20100
Looking forward to celebrating with you!
(Foundation Note: This will be Debbie Pady ‘s last Maytime Melodies as she has accepted a position at Earl Haig for next year.)
On November 5th a reunion took place to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the amazing Norsemen victory in the city championship for Senior Football. The reunion was planned by team members Andy Maize. Hugh Murray and Geoff Reeves, who conjured up the idea during their regularly scheduled “guys nights” over beers in a local pub.
The reunion was 40 years and 1 day after the championship game. On November 4th 1976, the Norsemen defeated arch-rival Lawrence Park Collegiate at CNE Stadium, on the all-new “AstroTurf”. The score was a resounding 63-22 for the NT victors. Ironically, the game took place a few days before the Ottawa Roughriders won their last Grey Cup – also 40 years ago this year.
The reunion was attended by 30 team players, and was also honoured by the presence of team coaches Brock Cromwell, Dave (‘One Knee’) Grace, and Danny Russell. The evening featured cocktails and dinner, accompanied by original game films and heartfelt speeches. Dinner was followed by an open party of NT friends and colleagues from school year 1974-1980 (a format once known by this crowd as a “Hoedown”) and the festivities went until the wee hours of the morning .
Before the party started the team took the attached picture and burst into a rendition of the NT school song. The event was a “Yuge” success and there was some discussion about the 1977 championship win as well…Stay tuned on that one.