CHS: Inspiring girls to discover and pursue their personal exellence.

Welcome to Spring! We hope that you enjoy this edition of 1898 where we proudly highlight the 2018 Alumnae Achievement Award recipients. Take time to read the inspirational messages they shared with the school and to browse through the many photos of the CHS 120th Birthday Celebrations!

This year the Alumnae Association was delighted to be able to present Achievement Awards in both of the award categories: Junior Achievement and Lifetime Achievement.

The Alumnae Association Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an alumna in recognition of her outstanding dedication and accomplishment toward her life’s work.

The Alumnae Association Junior Achievement Award is presented to a young alumna, under 40 years of age, in recognition of her accomplishments in making a difference in the lives of others.

On the winding road of life, there are twists and turns, ups and downs, uncertainties and new chapters. With every door that closes, a new opportunity arises — every step leads us that much closer to where we are today, says Ann Mortifee ’65, when asked what advice she would offer CHS girls and alumnae.

“I threw myself to the wind, and said, ‘OK, I’m going to trust there’s a purpose for me being here, and I’m going to put one foot in front of the other, and I’m going to show up every single day to see what life brings me.’ Sometimes it brought me things I didn’t like, other times it brought me things that were just fantastic.”

Ann cites a story from early in her career, an opportunity to star in a Broadway play — a big potential break that required signing a three-year contract. She quickly realized that meant performing eight shows a week for 36 months ... and that she was completely uninspired by the music and lyrics (all these years later, she can still recite those words). Where some would have signed, Ann opted to listen to her gut and returned to Vancouver. Within three days, she received a call from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to write the music for The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, which became a global hit and launched a career in the performing arts that has earned her worldwide acclaim and spanned more than four decades.

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If there's a common theme across the the many threads of the life and accomplishments of Isabel Chen '06, it's that, “I use my skills and energy for those who need an advocate. Really, it’s using my voice to help people advocate for themselves.” Today, as a family doctor practicing in Los Angeles, Isabel advocates for her patients — particularly those who don’t have access to health care. Among other community-minded endeavours, it has included working with Iraqi refugees.

Closer to home, as co-founder of the Reading Bear Society, a Vancouver-wide early literacy initiative that brings literacy into the homes of elementary school-age children, Isabel advocates for reading and community.

Isabel says it took some time for her to figure out what her path was in life, a journey still very much in the works.

“Receiving this award has given me great pause, and great opportunity to pause, to take stock of what I’ve done, where I’ve been. Often, as a student and then in your career, you’re looking forward — anticipating. There’s an incredible honour and humility that comes with any recognition. It makes me extremely reflective about all the mentors in my life, and the many wonderful people I work with across many different realms.”

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21st Annual CHS Golf Classic – This year’s golf tournament will be held on Friday, May 25 at the University Golf Club. All funds raised will support the school’s new bursary program. For more information, please contact Kathryn Drew, Events Coordinator, Advancement.

Jam Making Sessions are Back! Mark Thursday, June 14 in your calendars! The strawberries will be in season, which means the alumnae will be back making jam for the next Winter Bazaar. No experience is needed – just the desire to reconnect with old and new friends! Full details will be posted on the alumnae events page.

Whole Girl, Whole World Speakser Series– Crofton House School welcomes Jessica Lahey, teacher, New York Times columnist and best-selling author of The Gift of Failure to campus September 27, 2018. Jessica will speak to alumnae, parents, educators about how letting children fail can be the key to their success. A reduced-rate presale of $10/ticket runs from now until May 31. Get your tickets »

Spring Alumnae Events - Mark Your Calendars!

May 25 21st Annual CHS Golf Classic
June 14 Jam Making
September 27 Whole Girl, Whole World

For more details about upcoming events, visit the alumnae events page »

Kailea Rendle ’18 – Citizenship in Action

Kailea Rendle ’18 is using her interest in design and textiles to help girls in countries around the world continue their education.

Two years ago, Kailea learned about Days for Girls, an organization that aims to create a world with dignity, health, and opportunity for all, through sustainable menstrual care solutions and health education.

As millions of girls around the world miss school every month due to their periods, one of the organization’s major initiatives is creating “Days for Girls Kits”. These kits are distributed to girls in over 110 countries around the world and contain supplies to help girls continue to go to school throughout the month, giving them confidence and removing the still present stigma attached to menstruation.

When Kailea saw how effectively she could help with just some simple supplies and sewing, she started making the kits. Now, having made about 200 of them, she is reaching out to the CHS community to expand the effort and ensure it can continue after she graduates this June.

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Inspiring girls to discover and pursue their personal excellence.

Inspiration through Life Stories

The Lunch and Learn Program welcomes alumnae back to campus to speak with girls in Grades 11 & 12 about their careers and education path.

Leigh (Boyle) Schumann ’05 Not-for-Profit Consultant Entrepreneur Read interview »
Celia Dawson ’83 Senior Vice President, Interior Design Polygon Homes Read interview »
Alison Sinclair Burns ’83 Vice President, Institutional Communications Phillips, Hagar, North Investment Management Read interview »

If you are interested in being a ‘Lunch and Learn’ speaker, please contact Lydia (McNeill) Vandenberg ’85, Assistant Director Advancement at

Dear Alumnae,

The Alumnae Association Annual General Meeting was held on March 4th and marked the end of Gillian Reynolds ’90 term as President. Jennifer (Connell) Fotheringham ’84, incoming President, payed tribute to Gillian’s dedication and commitment to the Association and thanked her for her energy and service. 

Gillian in turn presented Jennifer with the coveted Gordon tartan blazer as she starts her term.  Traditions are indeed alive and well with the Alumnae Association!

The Alumnae Association Executive for 2018/2019:

Jennifer (Connell) Fotheringham ’84, President
Lori Marzin ’88, Vice President
Patricia Lee ’91, Treasurer
Kelly (McCarthy) Eng ’90, Secretary
Lishe O’Kiely ’75, Uniform Shop Manager
Gillian (Will) Reynolds ’90, Past President

120 Years to Celebrate!

March 4, 2018 marked the 120th birthday for Crofton House School and we were delighted to welcome back over 150 alumnae to campus for the Birthday Assembly, Alumnae Association AGM and the annual Birthday Luncheon.  Congratulations and thanks to all the reunion years who attended – we hope everyone enjoyed celebrating CHS and taking a lovely stroll down memory lane!

We hope you enjoy these photos of the celebrations. View photo gallery »

Pictured: CHS Students at Hootsuite work exchange

Valuable Experience for a
Successful Future

Crofton House School is currently one of the few Independent Schools in the lower Mainland to offer supported work experience opportunities to senior school girls. The mission of CHS is to help girls discover and pursue their personal excellence – this includes exploring their potential through experiential learning in the work environment.

Alumnae have played a vital role in this program by providing internship opportunities in their own workplace.  The internship is normally one week (30-40 hours) of unpaid work experience for grade 10-12 students during the summer breaks.  If you are interested in having a CHS intern or in learning more about the Work Experience Program please contact Jocelyn Manion

Walking for Women
Around the World

Thank you to all of our alumnae who came out to join and support our Crofton House team for Walk in Her Shoes.

Walk in Her Shoes is a multi-city event that was held on Sunday March 4th by CARE Canada.  Women and girls in developing countries walk an average of 10,000 steps each day to collect clean water.  The Crofton House team, joined thousands of caring walkers and walked 10,000 steps to support the vital work done by CARE Canada. Congratulations to our own alumna, Daphne Meredith ’74, for chairing this important and successful event!




Celebrating Crofton in Vegas

While the official birthday celebrations happened at the school on March 4th a few members of the Class of ’86 took their celebration to Las Vegas!  Thanks to Madlene (Lazarian) Rathsack, Michelle Crosby, Emalee Mandl, Lisa Ames, Alexis Kennedy, Susan Taylor, Lana Sutherland, Marina Adam, Georgia McIntosh and Martha (Dirks) Stein for showing their Crofton House spirit!

Class of 1983

The Class of ’83 celebrated their 35th reunion in Vancouver and Toronto!  While most joined their classmates at an event held on campus, Maryanne Waterhouse and Sarah Pendleton had their own reunion coffee in Toronto!  Servabo fidem ladies!

Congratulations to Katherine Van der Gracht ’97 on the birth of her second daughter Brigitte Florence Cowie born Nov 17, 2017. Brigitte is the little sister to Colette Beatrix, born July 12, 2014. 

Upcoming Reunion Planning

We are looking forward to the coming year where we will be celebrating reunions for all classes ending in 4 or 9. If you are looking for information about planning or attending a reunion, please contact Lydia (McNeill) Vandenberg ’85 at

Class Notes
Read about the accomplishments, marriage and birth announcements, and education or career successes of your
fellow alum.
  Alumnae E-Directory
The E-Directory is a great way to stay connected with your classmates, other alumnae, and the school. Register and update your profile, volunteer as a mentor or search for a fellow alumnae by profession, geography or class year.
  Alumnae Facebook

Alumnae Events

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