2021–22 Retirements

Saying Goodbye to Our Retirees

The Havergal community wishes our 2020-21 retired colleagues all the best on their adventures beyond the ivy.

Martina Arbon

Food Services

Martina Arbon dedicated more than 15 years to our Food Services department. Since her first day on the job at Havergal in December 2005, Martina (or “Tina”) was consistently held in high regard by her fellow co-workers for her hard work, tenacity, efficiency and steadfastness. She managed her duties in the Cafeteria as a Food Service Attendant and was involved in cashier duties as well as setting up for school functions and working at school events. Martina especially loved working with the Boarders, making them feel at home.

During retirement, she is spending quality time with her family and friends and volunteering at her church. As Marina puts it, she “enjoys life one day at a time.”

Jill Azis

Manager, Governance Relations

I feel so very fortunate to have worked at Havergal in such a dynamic and caring learning community. Every day brought something new. 

I started at HC in January 2000, working for Rosemary Corbett and Brenda Robson with Sue Ditchburn as Principal. Intelligent, gracious and compassionate professionals, I cannot imagine a better welcome into the Havergal community. Supporting five Principals and seven Board Chairs, my goal was to assist and add value as they faced the endless and varied demands that pass through the office.

As we all know, it is the community at Havergal that sets it apart. Over the past 21 years, I was inspired by the dedication, creativity, integrity and work ethic among the faculty and staff and was strengthened by their camaraderie and genuine care and support. Words do not do justice. 

The Havergal community embodies a rich culture that inspires you to be your best self. The fast-paced work demands were balanced with opportunities to pause and reflect. In particular, I appreciated the meaningful messages in Prayers, the therapeutic effect of the music that graced the halls in both rehearsals and performances, and the thought-provoking and awe-inspiring art and artists’ reflections. I valued the opportunities to connect with students through the Lawrence Heights Homework and the Middle Sewing Clubs, as well as the chats with the many who dropped by (or nervously waited). They bring the energy and hopefulness of youth for the benefit of us all.

I will miss the delight that is the Junior School, the philosophical chats in the Staff Room and, of course, the anticipation of what’s for lunch. Above all, I am grateful for the friendships that have grown within the ivy and will continue to flourish beyond.

Kate Berchtold-Wall

Upper School Art Teacher

By Miriam Davidson, Former Head of Art (Retired)

Affectionately known as “Ms. BW,” Kate contributed to the Art Department and larger Havergal community through a career that spanned 25 years, six Principals and countless pairs of Fluevogs!

Kate’s art skills are broad: she taught everything from photography and ceramics to fibre arts and glass fusing. In addition to her vast artistic repertoire, she coached the Alpine Ski Team, taught yoga, contributed to many school-wide initiatives and provided outstanding leadership to the Middle School Art Program. Always eager for students to learn through first-hand experience, Kate chaperoned countless excursions and accomplished all of this while caring for her own family and travelling the world.

Ms. BW brought her unique sense of style to everything she created, displayed and wore. Her classroom was a joyful and safe space where she opened her students’ minds to the world of design in the visual arts. Whether encouraging them to draw inspiration from nature or explore the human-made world of architecture, Kate methodically took apart things with her students, while asking them to think critically and reflect on their own creative journeys in their beautiful sketchbooks. With Kate, students were empowered to realize their artistic dreams, no matter how elaborate or how many power tools that might require! In doing so, she exemplified the true artistic spirit of curiosity, exploration, perseverance and craftsmanship.

Whether seeing how a work of art might be improved or displayed, or recognizing a student in need of care and support, Kate’s attention to detail is impressive. Within the Art Department, she brought that same attentiveness and humour to our small team. When she felt strongly about an issue, watch out! Always an advocate, she embodies the passionate belief that if something is important, you must stand up and speak up.

Kate encourages everyone to be their best self and to push toward new horizons.  Havergal is fortunate to have had such a dynamic art educator in their presence for so many years. Kate is amazing, meticulous and formidable and we wish her all the very best on her next adventure!

Jose Cuellar

Food Services

Jose Cuellar started at Havergal in September 2011. He was a dedicated and valuable member of the Food Services team. As a Dishwasher, he was responsible for ensuring the cleanliness and sanitization of dishware, cookware and for keeping the dishwashing area clean and safe. He also played a key role in assisting with food preparation and any other duties as needed in the kitchen.

Jose is relaxing and enjoying retirement. He would love to visit his parents and relatives in El Salvador in the future.

Petra Mattes

Resource and Planning Coordinator

I distinctly recall walking through the halls of Havergal when I first arrived at the school in August 2009 and saying to myself: This is a good workplace, Petra. Keep your fingers crossed. When the first day of school arrived in September, the tranquil ivy walls sprang to life with an intensity that swirled around like a hurricane. We have all walked in those new shoes, trying to manage a new job, school traditions and class schedules, all while trying not to get lost. Just thinking back to the beginning makes me smile as I recall the humming buzz of students, warm welcoming faculty/staff and all the laughter, chatter and camaraderie that encompassed me. 

Life certainly handed me the best job and workplace that I could imagine. My first role at Havergal was in the Day School Office and, by 2012, I began the role of Resource and Planning Coordinator (a.k.a. “Room Bookings”). Prior to joining the school, my background varied from owning/operating a daycare centre, taking on various administrative positions at a wholesale bakery, working in a real estate office and providing customer service at a food equipment supplier. 

Havergal gave me the opportunity to flourish and grow professionally and personally. The past 12 years have allowed me amazing growth opportunities beyond my dreams for which I am forever grateful, both at work and in outside activities, especially my competitive paddling pursuits. I have so many special memories to take with me, including an array of school excursions varying from Grade 8 Toronto City walkabouts to the overnight Outdoor Education trips in northern Ontario; as coach of the Badminton Teams (ranging from the Middle School groups to the U20 level); the delightful faces during House Shouts; the spirit of Hockey Day; the traditions at Carol Service; and more (too many to mention). I cannot end this Havergal reflection piece without mentioning my team’s weekly meetings—all of those days will forever live in me with fondness. Thank you, Havergal, for all you have given me. Auf Wiedersehen.

Tony Nardi

Head of Library and Resource Centre

By Kari Macer, Head of Upper School Health and Physical Education

Tony Nardi joined Havergal College in 2002 as the Head of Library and the Resource Centre. He brought fresh ideas and a real passion for literature to the school, highlighting provocative and award-winning fiction, organizing the Kid Lit competition, sharing Havergal Reads to the wider school, partnering with the Social Science department on research skills and creating a real community hub in the Resource Centre. The library became a friendly and vibrant space for classes, teachers, learning teams and, in later years, the Forum for Change. Tony was always smiling, welcoming and ready to switch gears into a wide variety of roles that he played throughout his time at Havergal.

Tony was an integral part of the Department Head team, often keeping conversations light and friendly. He was someone whomwe all trusted to stay calm, be upbeat and listen to everyone’s ideas. Personally, we celebrated weddings, babies and other milestones as well as our professional achievements and shared experiences. Students loved getting to know Mr. Nardi in House, collaborating on Celebration Saturday activities and initiatives with him and participating on the athletic teams he coached. His smile lights up a room and he listens in a way that makes you feel important. The list of school initiatives to which he has contributed is long. He has supported the school in more ways than one and that has left a lasting impression on all of us.

Tony is a devoted partner, son, brother and uncle. When Sudbury (Ontario) calls, he is there. I’m so proud to call him my friend and, although retirement will allow him and his partner German to travel more, I know that I will still be able to make last-minute plans to meet for a glass of wine, share a pizza or explore a new part of the city of Toronto together. Tony has told me he plans to transition from teaching to working in a coffee shop—and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did it! He would still get to have warm chats and share his ideas about how to improve the business. That’s only one of his dreams for what lies ahead. 

Roger Sibalon

Food Controller/Receiver

Roger Sibalon joined Havergal in September 1988 and was an integral part of the Food Services department for 32 years. He began his employment as a Kitchen Helper and was eventually promoted to Food Controller/Receiver. He has been responsible for ordering, receiving, tracking and recording deliveries as well as overseeing monthly inventory audits.

Roger’s contributions will always be valued and remembered. His hard work, commitment and dedication are worthy of admiration and he will be greatly missed.

During his retirement, Roger is looking forward to exploring new ventures, travelling, playing golf and having friends over for karaoke concerts.

Other Retirees Who We Said Goodbye To:

  • Debra Mendes de Franca Poirier, Upper School Languages Teacher
  • Eunice Yu, Upper School Languages Teacher

Published April 2022
2021–22 Issue