The last two months have presented both new opportunities and unparalleled challenges for our College. Indeed, the recent worldwide coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where educational creativity and ingenuity have become a necessity, and we have witnessed amazing teacher/student interactions through the use of technology.

As students have returned to campus, we have also witnessed the essential nature of personal relationships and face to face interactions.

Thinking of Northside and our 35 year history as a Christian community, where personal relationships and face to face interactions are key, let me pass on a favourite quote that I refer to during challenging times - ‘Don’t lower your goal, Increase your support’. 

At Northside, we are each other’s support, as parents, churches and the College work together in the ongoing education of our children.

Is this partnership still central and of vital significance? I believe so, especially through challenging times as we have experienced through this pandemic.

The following story illustrates my personal understanding of why good family support systems remain imperative.

Jim Hayhurst was the oldest member of a 1988 Canadian Expedition to Mount Everest.  In his book, The Right Mountain, Jim talks about pitons - the metal spikes that climbers bang into the rocks to give them support. The story is that as they climb, at night, or in rough weather, they end up having to sleep on the side of mountains, and their lives literally depend on these pitons as they sleep while hanging from the side of the mountain. 

He goes on to talk about the pitons in our lives - our support systems (people, knowledge and technology) and about taking the time to make sure we are secure.  At the end of each chapter, he finishes with a simple thought: 

There is hardly anything you can't do if you have, and you nurture, the proper support systems.  Don't lower the goal, increase your support.

Next week is our Sacred Space week for Term 2 and we have dedicated it as a week of Thanksgiving. I invite you to join us as we give thanks for the support systems we have available to us as a College community – our staff who have been exceptional these last two months, our students who are our raison d’etre for everything we do, our families who rally to support each other, our churches who shepherd us and most of all our God who is faithful in all situations.

Leighton Kuss
College Principal