Student Profiles

Integrated Science Club Paper Posted on bioRxiv

Appleby’s Integrated Science Club recently had their paper on the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees accepted to the preprint repository bioRxiv for the biological sciences. The title of the paper is Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy Study of Effects of Neonicotinoids on Forager Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Fat Bodies and Their Connection to Colony Collapse Disorder. Senior Two students George Feng and Dana Torbina, Senior One student Kevin Ding, and alumni Sachin Ahuja ’17, Aryan Luthra ’17, Roland Moeschter ’17, Andrew Roberts ’15, Jordan Savage ’17, Victor Villegas ’17, Xinrui Wei ’17 and Yang Yang ’16 are co-authors of the study.

Appleby’s Aryan Luthra develops app for Make-A-Wish® Foundation

Senior Two student Aryan Luthra is committed to making a difference in the world we live – and he’s on his way to do so. 

As President of the school’s Integrated Science Club and a SHAD Fellow, having attended the intense STEAM-based programme for a month this past summer, Aryan is passionate about technology and the role it can play in creating change for the better. In fact, it’s an area that he is intensely focused on as he completes the requirements of the Appleby College Diploma with Distinction in Global Leadership.

For the past six months Aryan has been working with Make-A-Wish Canada (Toronto, Central Ontario chapter) in creating an online app to transform the organization’s traditional paper travel itinerary into a digital and interactive platform for Make-A-Wish recipients travelling to Disney World for their once in a lifetime trip.

“The new process eliminates what could have been a multi-page itinerary that the Make-A-Wish families would have to carry with them throughout the duration of their trip,” said Aryan. “Through the app, all the information they need to know, such as their activities and hotel information, is now available on their smartphone.”

The app, which not only enhances the organization’s wish granting process, will also enable families to share their wish experience though pictures and videos with Make-A-Wish in real time.

Aryan was inspired to focus his attention on helping support a youth-focused organization after having such a positive experience in the Daycare co-curricular. Working with the children he says, put a smile on his face every day.

Results of the beta-test are expected shortly, and Aryan is eagerly looking forward to hearing about the outcome and what’s next for the product.  

Aryan, who is looking to pursue a career in engineering, hopes that the new app will help the organization further its mission to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Meet Maddy Grant – Appleby’s Community Prefect

Senior Two student and Community Prefect Maddy Grant truly considers Appleby College to be her home away from home, having lived on campus for a number of years with her family. As dad, Fraser Grant ’87, assistant head of school, academics, previously held the role of Assistant House Director of Powell’s House, Maddy experienced from a very young age Appleby’s strong sense of community.

So, when entering her final year at Appleby, Maddy says it felt only natural that she should pursue the role of Community Prefect.

“My goal,” shared Maddy, “was to instil in every student the same love for the school as I have.”

Achieving this goal has kept Maddy extremely busy over the past school year, working on various initiatives with her fellow Prefects in bringing the student community together and creating opportunities for day and boarding students to get to know each other better. In addition to supporting the Health and Wellness and Sustainability Councils, Maddy has also helped coordinate guest speaker sessions for students on the topics of healthy relationships and decision making.  

“I think my favourite campaign so far has been the ‘Elephant in the Room’, in support of raising mental wellness awareness on campus. It’s great to see how students have embraced it.”

While feeling a great sense of accomplishment in what she has brought to the role of Community Prefect, Maddy looks forward to one more achievement – becoming the first fourth generation student to graduate from Appleby at this year’s Closing Day ceremony.

Maddy’s family has a long history with the school. While her brother Charlie is also a current student, dad Fraser Grant ’87 has taught at Appleby for more than 20 years and is an alumnus. Maddy’s great grandfather Bill Grant ’29 and grandfather Ian Grant ’60 also attended Appleby, as did her great-uncle Edwin Grant ’32. And next year, Appleby will welcome Maddy’s youngest sister Ayla!

“I’m really proud to be a legacy student,” shared Maddy. “It’s a great feeling to be part of such a meaningful tradition.”

Looking forward to the future, Maddy plans to pursue a career in business, perhaps venturing into marketing communications.

Meet Appleby Head Prefect Jack Jelinek '16

It was Closing Day 2015 when current Senior Two student Jack Jelinek accepted the position of Head Prefect for 2015-2016. Jack had won the Actively Engaged award at the ceremony, and as his teachers congratulated him on the achievement he got the sense from their demeanor that their congratulations was for something more. He was right. Following the celebrations, Marg Hagey, assistant head of school, co-curricular programs and director, student leadership, officially offered Jack the important student leadership role.

“Being Head Prefect means the world to me,” said Jack. “Appleby is such a big part of my life and that of my family’s.”

Jack’s family has a long history with the school. His brother Will and sister Josie are current students. Mom Andy Jelinek (Ms. Jelly) has taught at Appleby for more than 15 years and dad, Nick Jelinek ’87, (former Walker House Prefect) has held various noted positions at Appleby including that of former faculty member, President of the Alumni Association, Board of Governors and Foundation Trustee member. Jack’s grandfather Frank Jelinek ’52 and great uncles Richard ’56, Otto ’59 and Henry ’64 also attended Appleby, as did his great uncle Arthur Knowles ’46.

As Head Prefect, one of the accomplishments Jack is most proud of is the sense of school community he’s helped create with the Prefect team. In fact, if you’re looking for him on Friday mornings he can be found in the Nicholas Arts Centre reception area greeting students, employees and guests.

“I’m trying to get to know everyone, and the best thing about my role is having the opportunity to make small connections with so many people,” said Jack.

After graduation, Jack hopes to pursue his dream of playing golf for a US or Canadian university. The holder of multiple tournament titles, Jack credits the sport with teaching him integrity, how to stay level-headed, and dealing with life’s ups and downs.

With just six months left in the 2015-2016 school year, Jack already knows what he will miss most once he graduates, “The amazing campus, and the Appleby vibe that only students, alumni and employees understand.” But that’s all he will share, the rest will be included in his Closing Day speech (yes, he’s already started working on it!).

Click here to view Jack’s Chapel speech.

Appleby student Steve Jang helps secure gold for Team Korea

Since Grade 3, ice hockey has been one of Steve Jang’s passions. Currently a Senior One student at Appleby College, Steve was first introduced to the sport through a school friend while living in Korea.

His love for playing hockey and determination to do well in it led Steve to taking private lessons before moving to Ontario with his family. His commitment to practice resulted in his playing for Appleby in grades 7 to 10 in addition to the Oakville Rangers. Today, Steve is a member of the Oakville Rangers Midget AAA team.

Last summer, while on a visit to Korea, Steve learned of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Korea’s Under-18 National Hockey Team was holding open try-outs in preparation for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Try-outs were being held in August, just two weeks before Steve and his family were scheduled to return home. He knew he couldn’t let his chance go by, so with the support of family and friends, Steve took to the ice in hopes of securing a position with Team Korea.

Six months of waiting passed before Steve received the good news that he had made the team.

“I was so excited when I received the call,” said Steve, who played right defenseman. “I knew that it was going to be a lot of hard work but I was ready for the challenge.”

Having received the exciting news in late February, Steve had only a couple of weeks to prepare. On March 8, he left for a week-long training camp in Korea and then travelled on to Estonia with his teammates, the host country of this year’s IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

“Having scored a goal and one assist during the team’s exhibition games, I felt really good heading into the tournament,” shared Steve.

Team Korea proceeded to win all five of its games in the Division II Group A category, securing the gold medal on March 28.

“It’s an indescribable feeling to win gold for your home country,” said Steve, who secured two assists in the gold medal game. “It was an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to trying out for the team again next year.”


Lauren Mathieson Wins Gold Medal at World Choir Games

This past July, Senior One student Lauren Mathieson had the experience of a lifetime, as she travelled to Riga, Latvia with the Oakville Children's Choir (OCC) to participate in The World Choir Games.

The World Choir Games is the largest international choral competition in the world and features over 350 choirs from 70 countries and 20,000 singers. The focus of the competition is on participation, more than winning, as its purpose is to bring people together through singing with the aim to inspire people to "experience the strength of interaction, challenging personality and community equally by singing together."

“I really enjoyed meeting the many different choirs from all over the world,” said Lauren. “Music is a universal language that can connect people worldwide. Even though we don’t speak the same language, we were able to connect through common songs.”

Lauren performed with the Senior Choir which won a Gold Medal for Canada. What made the experience even more amazing was that she was able to share it with Appleby’s music teacher and Oakville Children’s Choir conductor Sarah Morrison.

This was Sarah’s second time conducting a choir in the World Choir Games, having participated in the 7th World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio in July 2012 in the open category. It was the results of that performance (which included Appleby alumna Jessica Gibson ’14) which qualified the choir to compete at the highest level internationally during this year’s games.

Sarah led the 42-member OCC to silver in the Music Sacra category and gold (in which Laura performed) in the Youth Choir Equal Voices category.

“The spirit of the World Choir Games is all about building communities and sharing through singing – it’s quite incredible to experience,” shared Sarah.

Lauren continues to share her passion for singing this year as she performs with Appleby’s Chapel and Cantus Choirs as well as the Senior vocal class.


Diana Vasquez Romo Attends Round Square Regional Conference

From January 27 - 31 Senior One student Diana Vasquez Romo participated in the Round Square Regional Conference of the Americas held at Camp Wanakita in Haliburton. The theme of the conference was Northern Challenge, What will you discover? The conference included snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, broom ball, high ropes and drumming, and an opportunity to meet students from across Canada, the United States, South America and two guest schools from Australia and Singapore.


Sahil Ahuja Recipient of the 2013 YMCA Peace Medallion

On November 21 at the YMCA of Oakville Community Breakfast for Peace, Senior Two student Sahil Ahuja was the recipient of the 2013 YMCA Peace Medallion in the Youth category. He was recognized for his efforts over the last four years in creating, developing and continuing to lead the SPEAK program which helps Appleby's international and English Language Learner students to transition into our school community and increase their confidence through a mentored English conversations program. Congratulations, Sahil!


Appleby’s Sarah Steele named 2013 Sport PEI Junior Female Athlete of the Year

Senior Two student Sarah Steele was recently named the 2013 Sport PEI Junior Female Athlete of the Year. The award, which is presented to the top junior (aged 18 or under) athlete in the province of PEI, is determined by the Board of Directors of Sport PEI, recognizing the province’s most outstanding athletes.

“It was completely unexpected,” said Sarah, on learning that she had been nominated for the prestigious award. “It was great news to hear and definitely an honour.”

Sarah, who first joined Appleby in Upper Two and hails from Stratford, PEI, has played for the Blue Dogs since day one. She also plays defense for the Mississauga Junior Chiefs.

Sarah was first introduced to hockey at the age of six as her two younger brothers took up the sport. Today, all four siblings (she also has a younger sister) play.

“Hockey has done so much for me,” said Sarah. “From bringing me to Appleby, to the great friends I’ve made and the countless opportunities that have presented themselves through the sport.”

It’s been a busy year for Sarah who also played on the Canadian Women's Under-18 Hockey Team, helping take home the gold medal, defeating the United States 2-1 in overtime. Sarah also participated in the National Women's Under-18 Hockey Championship. As assistant captain for Team Atlantic, Sarah was joined by Appleby students Connor Garagan, Savannah Newton and Jennifer MacAskill.

Next year Sarah will be attending Boston University on a full hockey scholarship and looks forward to studying Arts and Sciences.


Upper Two Student Allison Choi Introduces Best Selling Books to New Audience

It’s not every day that a student is given the opportunity to translate two New York Times best seller books. Recently, Appleby Upper Two student Allison (HyoWon) Choi  translated  Eleven and Twelve, by author Lauren Myracle, from English to Korean.

Allison received Twelve as a gift while living in Korea and felt a strong connection to the main character. “I really liked the story. I felt that the main character and I had a lot in common,” said Allison who was twelve years old at the time she read the book.

Allison wanted to share the story with her Korean friends who were not fluent in English. She e-mailed the author who granted her permission to translate the novel. Allison took on the challenge of translating the 224 page book, while also having to maintain her school commitments. The translation, which Allison received compensation for, took her approximately one year to complete.

However, Allison was not yet finished. In fact, due to the popularity of the translated version of Twelve, Allison was asked to translate another book in the same series – Eleven. She worked on it last winter and it was published in September 2012.

Allison enjoyed the experience of translating and editing the books. “Although it was hard work, I found it interesting and rewarding,” she said. In fact, the publishing company recently informed Allison that a number of young people have been inspired by her work considering how young she is. “It was the best compliment,” said Allison.   “I feel very proud to have inspired others.”

Since learning more about the process of editing and publishing, Allison is considering it as a possible future career.  However, as her favourite subjects are math, music, science and languages Allison is keeping all possibilities open as she continues her studies at Appleby.