Weekly Newsletter- June 24, 2021

This has been a wonderful year for King David High School! A year in which we slowly returned to normalcy – masks optional, in-person events, and visitors in the building. A year filled with many wonderful successes. Through it all, we have been blessed by unwavering community support, and for that, we are extremely grateful – Todah Rabah! 

What are a few of our successes this year?

  • We had the largest student enrollment in our history this year and we will reach a new milestone in that number again in 2022-2023. 
  • We are expanding this summer with newly built classroom learning spaces which should be in operation by the end of December 2022. 
  • 90 Grade 11 and 12 students accompanied by 12 staff enjoyed a school retreat of three days on Keats Island – our first retreat in three years.
  • We had a very successful Athletics season (Go Lions!) with over 70% of students participating on one or more teams.
  • Our Fill the Space Campaign raised $750,000 to supply new furniture and equipment for our expansion and to renew our 17-year-old school.
  • 350 people celebrated our alumni at our first in-person Golden Thread Gala. It was an exciting evening filled with the heart of King David. 

Our students were outstanding this year as they have been the past few years. The pandemic has not made life easy for our adolescents and with everything, even their increased anxiety and worry, they still manage to have fun, smile (with and without masks) and share their joy with us ‘older types’. Below, are a few moments that I hope bring you as much happiness as they do me!
This year will be known to me as the year we returned to having events in person. No longer taken for granted, no longer are we just talking about community, we are once again living it and I could not be happier. In May we celebrated our Golden Thread Gala (below have a quick look at the highlight reel) and a senior student retreat. In June, our incredibly fun theatre production of Annie Jr, our standing-room-only Year-End Celebration, our teary Grade 12 Havdalah and our joy-filled graduation ceremony. We are just so happy to be back with all of you and look forward to even more of ‘all of you’ next year!
Many of our in-person events include food and we could not provide this without the support of our incredible PAC and their volunteers. Thank you for all you do to organize and feed us all – we love our PAC (and not just because they feed us!)

Our PAC Co-Chairs, Samara Bordan, Sharon Goldman, and Jamie Tolensky share this message: “As your PAC co-chairs for the 2021/22 school year, we want to express our thanks and gratitude to the countless volunteers who came forward to help make this year a success for all of our King David students. The past few months have been busy at school and it was wonderful to have parents once again helping out and walking the halls! When PAC was given the green light for in-person programs to start, we hit the ground running with so many events in just a few short months: RAC Week BBQ, PI day, Purim BBQ, Hamantaschen baking, Yom Haatzmaut lunch, Mezuzah making, Staff appreciation lunch, and thanks to the hard work of a small group of King David parents, an inaugural Homecoming baseball game. All these events were possible because of the dedication of many parent volunteers and King David staff. Thank you! Finally, Mazel Tov to the King David graduating class! We wish everyone a wonderful summer and we are looking forward to seeing our King David community in the fall.”
I am always sad as I write this final message for the year as we say goodbye and good luck to staff and students, including our 40 graduates – it was especially gratifying, after a very difficult three years, to have a graduation with family and friends. Aside from our graduates we will also bid fond farewells and thank yous to:

Sandy Jorgenson, our Business Manager, after 17 years of embracing King David, Sandy will be leaving both the school and Vancouver to live an Island life starting in July. Sandy was instrumental in working with the administration to grow King David to the strong school it is today. Sandy says, “I have enjoyed both the challenge and the perks of working at a Jewish non-profit and community school all the while obtaining a high school “Jewish Life” education of which I am very proud. I will continue to pursue interesting opportunities working and studying closer to home or traveling afar. I wish you all the best and although it is a little bittersweet, I am excited for what comes next.” Sandy has given her all to King David and we are all so grateful to her for her care for all of us.

Anne Bonnycastle, our Assistant Head of School: Director of Teaching and Learning, is leaving after sharing just over a year at King David. Anne has made the decision to return to the classroom. She says “I have truly enjoyed getting to know you all, and have loved working in such a warm, caring environment. I have tremendous admiration for the work you are all doing, for the quality of care our students receive, and for your commitment to creating an excellent learning environment. community. Thank you for the friendship, support, and kindness you’ve all shown me over the past year.” Anne has really helped guide our staff as we learn more about new Ministry of Education requirements in student assessment and grading.

Sebastian Martimbault, joined us a few months into this school year to support our students through PE classes and in t deserve team coaching. Sebastien made a strong impression on everyone at King David, especially in the kindness, care and passion he demonstrated for our students. He is leaving to teach French down the road from King David at York House School. We could not have asked for more in the way Sebastien committed to our school values.  

We are also saying a temporary farewell to Kathy Zhang who is expecting her first child this summer and will be taking maternity leave next year. We wish Kathy and Andrew all the best.

A heartfelt personal thank you to all of our King David staff – I could not ask for a better group to care for our students and each other. To our Board of Directors, our sincere gratitude for your commitment and strong leadership and support behind the scenes. Co-Presidents Diane Friedman and Alain Guez deserve an extra-special hug!

As always, I extend to our families and supporters a sincere thank you for sharing with us your hearts, your time, your children, your ambassadorship, and yes, your gifts. I do not take for granted where we have come from; this school is a community treasure, and I continue to be thrilled to be a part of this journey with all of you.

I wish all members of our King David family a wonderful summer.
Russ Klein
Head of School
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