On Thursday, November 10th, Crestwood Preparatory College will host its 3rd Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium. This day-long event will connect like-minded students interested in social justice in the world around them with dynamic, thought-provoking speakers and presenters. The focus of this year’s symposium is responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report by investigating and dialoguing about what a “right relationship” looks like between Canada’s indigenous population and non-indigenous population. Students will be inspired and engaged by a combination of keynote addresses, small-group seminars, and facilitated action workshops. A select list of guests includes:
Waneek Horn-Miller, Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux and isKwe.
On Tuesday November 25, Crestwood held its 2nd Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium timed to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 370 students from 16 different high schools attended, listening to 30 speakers on a range of different topics. Students were challenged to think about human rights and women’s issues, and to find ways to incorporate these values into their own daily lives. The event was a great success – thank you to the many students, teachers, and parents who helped out!
On Tuesday, November 20th, Crestwood Preparatory College held a Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium for over 200 students from seven Toronto area schools. Organized by Scott Masters and the History Department, the symposium provided an opportunity for students to engage in learning opportunities beyond their regular classroom instruction. Seventeen speakers participated in the event touching on such subjects as Human Rights Violations in Iran, the proliferation of hate on the Internet, Holocaust Survivor stories and the consequences of the historical abuses endured by the Aboriginal people.
The symposium provided students with the opportunity to contemplate the current state of world affairs, and the role of the individual in promoting tolerance. Through a mix of inspiring stories of personal triumph and gut-wrenching moments of brutal honesty, students were reminded that the choices we make have a lasting effect on ourselves and others.
Crestwood Preparatory College would like to thank all of the speakers for their contributions and stimulating discussion. We hope that the students of Appleby College, The York School, Havergal College, MAC College, Villanova and Marshall McLuhan Catholic School enjoyed their time at Crestwood Preparatory College and have gained from the experience of participating in the Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium.
On Tuesday, November 20th, Crestwood Preparatory College will be holding a Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium for over two hundred students, from five participating schools in the Toronto area. Organized by Scott Masters, The symposium is headlined by speakers Julie Toskan Casale, founding member of the Toskan Casale Foundation, Marina Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran, and Shaun Boothe, an award winning local hip hop artist. Over fifteen speakers will share their insight and experience in working for human rights and tolerance.
The Tour for Humanity rolled onto the Crestwood School campus on Thursday and spent two full days delivering a relevant and inspiring educational experience for Junior students.
The T4H cost $1.2 million to conceive, design and build. It is a 30-seat, wheel-chair accessible, state-of-the-art, technologically advanced mobile education centre that presents information on the effects and consequences of hate and intolerance. The experience travels throughout the province, educating people from different personal and professional backgrounds and experiences. It provides education on historical events, and focus on how these events are relevant to both Canadian and global perspectives.
The purpose of T4H is to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds, empowering them to raise their voices and take action against hate and intolerance, bullying and to promote justice and human rights.
On October 1st and 2nd, Crestwood’s students from Grades 4-7 will be participating in The Tour for Humanity. This is a technologically advanced, state-of-the-art, mobile human rights education centre that educates students about human rights issues and intolerance in an age appropriate manner. Its goal is to initiate discussion and inspire and empower students to take action against hate in order to make the world a better place.
Crestwood and YARRD (Youth against Racial and Religious Discrimination) celebrated Black History Month this week with an assembly that featured Shaun Boothe. Shaun is an award-winning hip hop artist who has visited Crestwood a number of times in the past, including at our human rights symposia. Shaun brought the students a powerful message of hope and unity, urging them to look to themselves and to one another as they build bridges between and within their communities. Shaun spoke eloquently and energetically, rapping about the contributions of prominent black figures such as Muhammed Ali, Oprah, Martin Luther King and Obama. Crestwood students had a great time, and learned an important lesson!
The World Issues welcomed Emmanuel Jal this week. Emmanuel is from the Sudan, where as a young boy he saw his village destroyed in the country’s civil war and genocide. Emmanuel himself was forced into being a child soldier, and he survived desperate times as a young boy and teenager. An aid worker was able to save him though, and he went on to make his way in Britain and eventually Canada. Emmanuel shared his journey with the students, as he hit upon the themes that enabled him to get through – courage, resilience, and having a vision. Along the way, Emmanuel performed dub poetry and rap, and had the students up and dancing and while he engaged them on the human rights and social justice issues of our time. Ms. Williams and Mr. Masters thank the Crestwood Parents Association for their generous sponsorship of this excellent learning opportunity.
Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux is the first Indigenous Chair for Truth and Reconciliation on behalf of Lakehead University, Thunder Bay and Orillia. Her research and academic writing is directed towards understanding the continuing transmission of unresolved intergenerational trauma and grief, primarily within the Indigenous community of Canada. We were honoured to have her as our keynote speaker at Crestwood’s 2016 Human Rights Symposium, “Towards Reconciliation”. Dr. Wesley-Esquimault was interviewed by Crestwood students Will Paisley, Ted Kang, and Tavlor Frankfort.
Oral History Project November 22nd, 2016
Do you have a student in Grade 10 or 11? Are they looking to participate in an engaging summer experience with the opportunity to live on a university campus for two weeks? If so, they might be interested in the brand new McGill Summer Academy. The McGill Summer Academy will run from July 9th- July 22nd 2017. Students can study either of the following topics: International Human Rights and Policy Making OR Understanding the Human Mind. For more information, visit https://www.mcgill.ca/summeracademy/home or email our Head of Guidance at email@example.com
Born in the small town of Klimontov, Poland in 1938, Saul was only an infant when Europe transformed into a war zone. He was born into a loving family: his father was a banker, his mother was a homemaker, and he had two older brothers. Saul remembers very little of this briefly relatively peaceful life before his family was transferred to Tzozmer ghetto when he was three years old.
While Saul’s story is one of survival, it is also one of loss. Like many other families, the Shulmans were separated during the Holocaust, with no knowledge of each other’s whereabouts or well-being. Saul clearly remembers his tragic separation from his two older brothers. After this traumatic experience, Saul and his mother were deported to a concentration camp. Sometime thereafter they were deported to Auschwitz; it is truly a miracle that Saul survived. He remembers the sleepless nights he endured in cramped barracks.
Eventually, Saul and his mother moved to Canada to start a new chapter of their lives. They arrived here in 1948, when Saul was nine years old. While Saul suffered the devastating loss of his father, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, he was thrilled to discover that Perry survived the Holocaust after being liberated from Buchenwald, a German concentration camp. Saul feels proud to live in a nation that espouses the values of diversity, anti-racism, and human rights.
We are proud to have heard his story, and are thankful that he invited us to his home in October 2016, where students Taylor Frankfort and Jonah Patel interviewed him.
Oral History Project November 5th, 2016
Nayani Thiyagarajah is a speaker and community activist and a director and a producer, a daughter of the Yalpanam-Tamil diaspora, as well as a writer, performance artist, and filmmaker. She has worked extensively with multiple arts-based organizations and performance groups across Toronto, including Manifesto Community Projects, ArtReach Toronto, b.current Performing Arts, and Schools Without Borders. She produced the well-received original short, Shadeism in 2010, which she is presently following up. Having completed her BA at Ryerson, Nayani is now in her second year as a graduate student, working towards her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at York Univeristy (diaspora/performance/women’s studies). She is also currently training as a provisional full circle doula with the International Centre for Traditional Childbearing.
Nayani first came to Crestwood in November 2015, when she spoke at our 2nd Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium. In March of 2015 she did this interview with the World Issues and Sociology 12 classes.
Oral History Project April 2nd, 2015
Rosemary McCarney is President and CEO of Plan International Canada Inc. (Plan Canada), an international and humanitarian development organization. Founded as Foster Parents Plan, this NGO now works in more than 45 developing countries helping children and their families achieve lasting improvements in their lives. That includes the notable “Because I am a Girl” campaign. Rosemary has an extensive resume in law, business and humanitarian work. She has been in many nations, where she has worked hard to improve conditions for those in need.
We were very fortunate to host her here at Crestwood on November 25, 2014, when she was the keynote speaker at our 2nd Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium. She agreed to be interviewed for this project as well, and we thank her for her interest and involvement.
Oral History Project January 14th, 2015
On October 2nd, Ms. Williams and Mr. Masters took members of the YARRD/Me to We club to We Day, at the Air Canada Centre. The students had the chance to see musical acts such as Hedley and Kardinal Offishall, and they had their social consciences tweaked by the Kielburger brothers, Chris Hatfield, Queen Noor, and Joe Jonas, among others. The students were so motivated that they began their first charitable challenge on the bus ride back to Crestwood, with Jasmin Katz leading the way in raising $50 to purchase a goat for a family in Africa.
Ms. Williams and Mr. Masters look forward to the students continuing their efforts throughout the year, and in making Crestwood’s own Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium a big success!
Shaun Boothe is a fixture in the Toronto hip hop community, one we have been proud to host a number of times at Crestwood. He first visited The CHC classes in 2011, where he showed Mr. Masters’ and Mr. Hawkins’ classes an alternative approach to modern history, using hip hop as a means to teach about some key figures in recent history. These can be seen at http://shaunboothe.com/1.0/biography-series/.
We were so impressed that we had to have him back, and he was the keynote, end-of-day speaker at Crestwood’s First Diversity and Human Rights Symposium in November 2013, where he delivered a message of hope to hundreds of students from schools all across Toronto. This year he visited Crestwood with John T. Davis and Shelley Hamilton, whose interviews are also posted on this webpage. The three together delivered a Black History Month presentation on music and the generations, showing how music creates an important thread in the African-Canadian community.
Oral History Project March 17th, 2014
Gerda Frieberg was born in Upper Silesia, Poland in 1925. In October 1939, her father was taken away. In 1940, Gerda, her mother, and sister were deported to the Jaworzno Ghetto. In 1942, she was sent to the Oberaltstadt concentration camp,where her sister was interned. Her mother joined them in 1943. Gerda worked in the machine shop of a spinning mill until liberation on May 9, 1945. After immigrating to Canada, Gerda dedicated herself to Holocaust education, and to a host of human rights causes.
She visited us at Crestwood in October 2013, when she was interviewed by Jake Pascoe, Alex Hobart, and Sifana Jalal. We were again fortunate to host Gerda in February 2017, when she spoke to the Mr. Birrell’s English 8 class, and did a follow up interview where Michael Steinberg, Jonas Weissland and Arielle Meyer took the lead.
Oral History Project October 31st, 2013
Judy Cohen is a Holocaust survivor from Hungary. When Hungarian Jews were deported in 1944, she and many members of her family were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Judy became a slave labourer. She was later sent to other camps in the Nazi system and was fortunate to survive the death marches at the end of the war. Today, Judy is committed to Holocaust and human rights education, and she has set up a website “Women and the Holocaust” to further this end. She has spoken to classes at Crestwood and was interviewed for this project by student Megan Rudson in 2009, and again by Lauren Chris and Lauren Weingarten in 2010. In 2012 Judy invited Sarah Mainprize, Savannah Yutman and Kristin Stribopoulos into her home, and she spoke at Crestwood’s first Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium.
Oral History Project January 18th, 2013
Sally Wasserman is the only child survivor of the Dambrowa ghetto, which was located in southern Poland, not too far from Auschwitz-Birkenau. When her family was forced into the ghetto, her mother encountered Mr. Turken, a man who did work for the authorities in the ghetto. He and his wife agreed to take Sally in as a hidden child, and they kept her safe for the duration of the war, as the ghetto was being liquidated. Sally’s immediate family did not survive the Holocaust. After the war, Sally left the Turkens and Poland; she ended up in the Belsen DP camp before she made her way to New York City and eventually to her aunt in Toronto.
Sally is an entrancing speaker who works with both the Holocaust center and the Center for Diversity. She has shared her story with many Crestwood students over the years, including at our Human Rights and Diversity Symposium in November 2012. She was interviewed for this project by Stephanie Tanz and Kaily Wise. In 2015 Sally again visited us, speaking to Miss Young’s class and then doing an interview with Amanda, Minami and Tomer.
Oral History Project January 11th, 2013
Hedy Bohm grew up in prewar Romania, in a region that later came under Hungarian control. As the war escalated, she and her family increasingly came under the influence of the Nazis, and the family was deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. Hedy was able to survive Auschwitz-Birkenau for three months; at that time she was relocated to a work camp, where she spent the remainder of the war as a forced labourer, producing military equipment for the Germans. After liberation by American troops, Hedy went home, where she was able to meet up with cousins, and where she married her husband Imre. They were able to escape to Prague, where an aid organization arranged for this group of Hungarian orphans to get visas to Canada, where she arrived in 1948.
Hedy has visited Crestwood many times now. She brought with her some remarkable photos, including an old school drawing book, where many of her friends made sketches. She has spoken to students from YARRD (Youth against Racial and Religious Discrimination) as part of their ongoing initiative to interview community members about human rights causes, and she also brought this message to our first Human Rights and Diversity Symposium in November 2012. For this project Hedy was interviewed by Jake Pascoe and Natalie Krause in the fall of 2012, with supplements added in 2016 based on an interview with History 8, 10 and 11 students.
Oral History Project January 10th, 2013
Crestwood Preparatory College is proud to congratulate Scott Masters for his selection as one of the seven recipients for the 2012 Governor General’s History Awards for Excellence in Teaching. A past recipient of The Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Baillie Award for excellence in Secondary School Teaching (as nominated by former students), Mr. Scott Masters has been a teacher for the past 22 years and has been teaching History for grade 9-12 at Crestwood Preparatory College since its inception in 2001.
An active member of the community who strives to connect students to their own personal histories, Scott Masters has made an impact on many people while at Crestwood Preparatory College. “I first entered room 203 as a student teacher 6 years ago”, reflects Mr. Jason Hawkins. “Since that day, I have come to know Scott Masters as a mentor, a colleague, a department head and as a friend. In each of these capacities, Scott has shown the same amazing level of skill that he does in his classroom practice. His love of history, and the work he puts into teaching it, has inspired me as a teacher and colleague.”
In 2007, Scott Masters’ was awarded the Yad Vashem Study Grant, allowing him to pursue his interest in Holocaust Studies in Jerusalem. Upon his return, Mr. Masters set up the Oral History project, an innovative teaching plan that takes topics like the Second World War and the Holocaust and gives those most affected by history a voice of their own. Masters encourages his Grades 9 to 12 history students to research veterans or survivors, prepare interview questions, meet them personally and record and edit their powerful personal accounts.
Through the Oral History Project, Masters has had the opportunity to work with a variety of local community organizations including Sunnybrook Veterans Wing, Baycrest Geriatric, and the NOOR Cultural Centre. His love of history and interest in providing students with an accurate picture of racial and religious discrimination has led him to create the Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium. With over two hundred students from five participating schools, the Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium will feature over fifteen speakers who will share their insight and experience in working for human rights and tolerance.
“Scott Masters lives what he teaches. We cannot expect more from an educator,” explains Vince Pagano, Principal of Crestwood Preparatory College. “His exceptional interest and ability to profile the people and events of the World War II era has inspired young and old to understand and appreciate the connections between past and present, as well as those between endless sacrifice and eternal gratitude.”
Students learn how to be effective debaters and compete against each other and other schools in formal debates.
DECA is an international association of high school and college students studying marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality and marketing sales and service. High school students prepare for, and compete in regional, provincial and international competitions and gain experience in leadership development, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Students who love drama will enjoy the opportunity to learn how to improvise well.
Students show great courage stepping into the world of theatre – a world that requires imagination, physical eloquence, vocal clarity and a whole lot of gumption.
Students learn how to take better pictures and share techniques.
Students work together to prepare a wonderful yearbook showcasing another great year at Crestwood.
A great opportunity for students who love to write, to help publish a newspaper for the students of Crestwood.
Students interested in politics and current affairs prepare for a four day conference, where the students participate in the various committees of SOMA, including the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Human Rights Committee, as delegates from various countries. Other specialized committees like NATO and the EU were also represented. On these committees, the students submit and debate a number of resolutions, which are modeled on current international issues; as such, the students have to role play and have to be well-versed in the foreign policies of their respective countries, as well as the operations of the UN in general.
Work with other students to prepare for the “jeopardy” type competition against other schools and versus your classmates.
Students play chess against each other and learn strategy of the game.
This is a club which will allows students to do experiments and build science projects just for fun.
YARRD is a club for students who wish to create awareness of racial and religious issues within their society. Being a member of YARRD is not only fun and rewarding, but it is also a great way to learn about social justice issues that affect us all on a day-to-day basis.
The Environment Club helps to promote the Green Initiative under way at Crestwood Preparatory College. The dedicated members come up with ideas and methods for Crestwood to become a more “green” school.
This club is responsible for assisting with all athletic events at the school, spirit week and the year end Athletic Banquet.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a self directed development programme for young Canadians age 14 to 25. The Award Programme is filled with activities that you can do in your spare time in the areas of Community Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey.
Crestwood Voices is a group of staff and students who love to sing in a variety of styles and genres. We perform at Crestwood’s Music Nights, as well at other events in the school and surrounding community.
The Crestwood Ambassadors is a program that helps to prepare and motivate grades 10 and 11 students to provide leadership and peer assistance to others at Crestwood and in the community. Students develop skills in communication, interpersonal relations, coaching, leadership, teamwork, and conflict management, and apply them in roles as ambassadors in and around the school.
Robotics gives students an opportunity to work on some exciting projects in preparation for competition in the First Lego League. Students will be working collaboratively and learning about the building and programming processes of the robots.
The mission of this program is to empower girls and young women to believe in themselves and to help them reach their full potential by providing a mentoring relationship between younger and older students. Grade 11-12 female students are given a wonderful leadership opportunity while providing answers and reassurance to younger grade 7-8 female students.
admin August 10th, 2012
Pardeep Singh Nagra is a Canadian athlete and human rights activist. He came to speak to Mr. Masters’ History 10 class in the spring of 2010 and again in 2011, which he followed up with an interview by student representatives from the YARRD club. Pardeep’s story is an inspirational one; he came to Canada from India when he was an infant, and he grew up with an evolving idea of what it means to be Canadian. He was also an excellent athlete who found his boxing career cut short by old rules that stipulate that boxers are not to wear beards. Pardeep challenged the rules in the Canadian courts, winning an important victory for all Canadians. He has since dedicated himself to the goals of charity, diversity, and tolerance.
Pinchas Gutter was born in Lodz and was 7 years old when the war broke out. After his father was brutally beaten by Nazis in Lodz, he fled with his family to what they thought was safety in Warsaw. From there, Pinchas and his family were incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto for three and a half years – until April 1943, the time of the ghetto uprising. After three weeks the family was deported to the death camp, Majdanek. Pinchas was sent to a work camp where people were beaten, shot or worked to death. Towards the end of the war he was forced on a death march, which he barely survived. He was liberated by the Russians on May 8,1945 and was later taken to Britain with other children for rehabilitation. He spoke at Crestwood for the first time in our Holocaust Conference in 2008. He has since visited classes and spoken to students on many occasions, including our 2012 Human Rights Symposium. In February 2014 Josh Zweig visited Pinchas in his home for this interview, and in 2016 Pinchas returned to visit Mr. Masters’ History 10 class.
In April, 1944, Bill was deported along with his entire family from his home town of Subotica, Serbia to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In June 1944, he was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany where he worked as a slave labourer, building the infamous Ringeltaube. He was liberated by the US Army on April 29, 1945. Bill came to Canada as an orphan in 1947. He has spoken at Crestwood several times now, including to his grandson Josh’s Grade 9 class. He also participated in our 2012 Human Rights Symposium. Since, he visited the school in February 2014, when he sat down with Asli Inan and Sabrina Wise, and again in 2017, when he was interviewed by Jonah Eichler, Jordy Lax and Sam Frigerio.
George Brady was living a quiet and comfortable life in Czechoslovakia in the period before the war. With the arrival of the Nazis however, his circumstances changed dramatically. He and his family were subjected to the various degrees of Nazi brutality and they found themselves ostracized from their community. George’s mother and father were arrested and taken away; George and his sister Hana went to live with an uncle before they were themselves deported to the Terezin concentration camp. From there the children were sent to Auschwitz, where George survived the selection, slave labour, and the death march at the end of the war. George has since dedicated himself to the cause of Holocaust and human rights education, as seen in the well known story of his sister’s life, Hana’s Suitcase.
George was interviewed for this project in spring 2009 by Nick Marlowe.
On Thursday, November 10th Crestwood hosted a symposium entitled “Towards Reconciliation” aimed towards exploring pathways of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. The day opened with a prayer by Chief Stacey Lafaorme, Chief of the Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation, on whose traditional land Crestwood lies. Students heard from outstanding and powerful speakers and performers and participated in workshops throughout the day. All participants were commissioned and sent off by Michael Etherington from the Native Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, who implored us to not let today be the end of our discussion about reconciliation, but rather a part of a national conversation aimed at healing. This is, Etherington reminded us, the challenge and problem of our generation and today we took a big first step towards a solution.