Weekly Newsletter – September 10, 2021

September 10, 2021 / Tishrei 4 5782
Shabbat Begins: 7:17 p.m.  Shabbat Ends: 8:21 p.m.  
What a wonderful summer this has been! The many days of sunshine provided delightful opportunities for outdoor activities and with limited travel possibilities due to the pandemic, most of us spent our time exploring all that BC has to offer or reconnecting with family and friends close by after so long being apart. We hope this welcome email finds you, your family, and your friends well and ready for a new year – we wish you all a very sweet and healthy new year.
We ended the school year hopeful that things would be different this year and while there will be some positive changes, we will once again be adapting to a new set of guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff and students. Throughout the summer, the administration team has been working diligently and on Thursday, our staff returned ready and re-energized to plan for an exciting school year!
As the new school year begins, we are thrilled to welcome back our current families and, together, welcome all new families to the King David community. Below you will also find some information on new staff we are delighted to welcome to King David this year.
Here is a little data for you. This year we:
  • Have 66 new students with 52 students joining in Grade 8 and 14 students in Grades 9-11.
  • 22 of our incoming students are siblings!
  • Are proud that consistently over the past five years our retention rate has been above 95% and this year we had three students leave as they moved out of Canada and only one student changed schools!
  • Have 189 families in total with a current student population of 240.
Although things are still in flux as we work through dealing with the pandemic, we have exciting plans for this year! After joining us in April, we are excited to work a full school year with our Assistant Head of School, Director of Teaching and Learning, Anne Bonnycastle, to develop more innovative teaching and learning programs that focus on students and professional growth for teachers. We are also thrilled to add a Director of Technology and Applied Design Skills Technology Teacher to provide even more support and creativity to better our school programs (see below to meet Andy Beadon). We are also excited to continue with our Fill the Space program which we began last year and has resulted in thousands of dollars in new equipment including stoves, dishwashers, a kiln and pottery wheels, music recording systems, film-making equipment and new science tables and chairs as well as new laptops for our Skills Centre. We are grateful for your help as all of these things will help Anne, Andy and our staff team better inspire our students’ creativity.
On the horizon is the construction of the new modular addition, generously funded by the Gordon Diamond Family, that will provide an additional 3,5000 square feet of custom-built learning space! The addition will be completed by September 2022!
We would like to acknowledge the incredible support we continue to receive from the Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Foundation, and our donor community, allowing us to strengthen our academic program and ensure that all of our families can continue with their Jewish education. Last year was not an easy one and the extra support allowed us to improve our HVAC system and to provide additional cleaning staff, safety supplies and outdoor tents. The generosity we experienced last year was simply beyond what we could have hoped. As we have said many times to our parents and students, we are all in this together and we feel blessed to be part of this extended King David and Jewish community family.
The beginning of a school year always holds such excitement and promise, and on behalf of all of us at King David, I extend my best to you for a healthy 2021-2022 school year!
~ Russ Klein, Head of School
Congratulations to our Visual Arts Teacher, Kathy Zhang, on her marriage to Andrew Beaty!
Congratulations ​to our Hebrew and Social Studies Teacher, Corin Neuman, on her marriage to Travis Bailey!
Andy Beadon, Director of Technology and ADST (Applied Design, Skills & Technologies) Teacher
Born in Dubai, but raised in the wild by the summer camps of Ontario, Andy studied Computer Science in Halifax, did his teacher training in New Zealand before travelling overland through Asia for a year. He started teaching in Vancouver in 2006, and loves making the most of living and working near the mountains by skiing and biking with his wife and 2 young kids who will surely be skiing circles around him in no time. He’s excited to share his knowledge of computer science, design thinking and Technology Integration with the community at King David.
Shira Bogner, Student Support Specialist, Math & Science
Born in Toronto and raised in the Thornhill Jewish community, Shira completed her B.Sc. at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. With chemistry research as her focus, she moved west in 2009 to begin her graduate studies at Simon Fraser University, where she received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 2015, and subsequently worked as the lead R&D scientist for an environmentally-friendly solvent company. She then took time away from research to focus on her family, and began to realize her passion for science education while volunteering in the Skills Department at KDHS in 2019. Shira recently completed her Bachelor of Education and cannot wait to return to King David to share her passion and enthusiasm for science!
May Lam, Accounts Payable Specialist
May is excited to join the King David Family as the Accounts Payable Specialist. She was born and raised in Vancouver and has over ten years of accounting and customer service experience. Her most recent venture is where she worked with the Vancouver School Board as a supervision aide, where she had a wonderful experience working with the students, teachers, and office staff. She loves spending time with her family, including watching her daughter develop her piano, anime art, and ice hockey skills. She enjoys going out for new food adventures and volunteers at her daughters’ school and ice hockey team in her spare time. 
Jane Sanden, Communications Manager
After 7 years in Toronto, Jane is excited to be back on the West Coast. She holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Victoria and BEd in from Queen’s University with a specialization in Community Arts Education. Before her career in Communications, Jane worked in theatre/film doing set and costume design and as a public speaking coach/Speech Arts instructor. In her spare time, she loves cooking, yoga, gardening (ask her about her 15 foot sunflowers), live comedy, travelling, and podcasts.
Olivia Zanotto, Library Support
Having graduated from King David in 2019, Olivia is glad to be back. During grades 11 and 12 she worked as Lisa Stibravy’s Service Student and will continue helping her in the library this year once a week. Olivia is in her final year of the Library and Information Technology Program at Langara College. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music, reading, creative writing, painting, and acting. While at King David, she was in four theatre productions, having kept the playbills and scripts for each. She is looking forward to enjoying the fun atmosphere at King David High School and working with the students this fall. 
Helen Begley, Accounts Payable
Helen has been working in the business office for 9 years and is heading into retirement as we head into the new school year! Helen is looking forward to spending more time with her husband, her children and grandchildren.
“Leaving King David is very emotional for me and it is difficult to find the words to express my feelings about leaving. I have so enjoyed working here. The family atmosphere is just amazing, and I will always cherish that. I want to express how much I treasure the comradery and friendships that I have formed over the past nine years. The words thank you are really not enough, but those are the only words I can think of, so THANK YOU!”
Jordana Corenblum, Special Programs and Community Connections Counsellor
Jordana first worked at King David while Lu Winters was on maternity leave almost 10 years ago. After that short experience, she knew King David was the place she wanted to be. A few years later she joined the staff as a Post Secondary and Career Counsellor and then moved into a new role as the Special Programs and Community Connections Counsellor. Over the summer Jordana accepted a new position at Covenant House as a Clinical Counsellor. 
“Leaving King David is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make. However, I worked with high-risk youth for many years before coming to the school, and I just could not pass up the opportunity to work with this challenging population again in such an exciting capacity.  I am taking with me everything I have learned from students and staff at King David, and I will certainly take any chance I can in the future to maintain my connection with this remarkable community.”
Shabbat Shalom!

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