Showing 6 results

Authority record
Headmaster

Bell, John A. M.

  • Person
  • 1903-1981

John Alexander Monteith Bell was one of Appleby’s principal builders. On his appointment as headmaster in 1937, the school numbered fewer than a hundred boys; by his retirement 31 years later, the student population had grown to almost 250. During his tenure, some 21 acres were added to the campus, and the classroom building, the gymnasium, the John Guest Dining Hall, Walker House and several staff houses were
constructed.

His last project was the extension of the Chapel to accommodate the growing number of students. When the work was completed in his last year as Headmaster, the Chapel was named after him in appreciation of his forty years of service to the school and its boys.

Born in 1903, Bell was educated at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, where he received his B.A. degree and his theological training. After graduation, he served as curate of St. George’s Church in Guelph until 1928, when he came to Appleby as a teacher of history, chaplain, and coach of the First Football Team.

He was appointed housemaster of Powell’s House in 1934, and on the death of Percival Wickens three years later, became Appleby's third headmaster. Bell believed he could see the potential for good in every young man he met. He was by turns a praiser and a critic. He could make the most outrageously controversial statements, but always to make a boy think; he needled and goaded to challenge boys’ conceptions of the world around them. And he was a consummate actor – more often than not, his famous rages were assumed and dismissed at will. While people didn't always agree with him, they respected his strength of character, his desire and instinct for fairness, his forthrightness,
and (most of all) his conviction that a school like Appleby could do a great deal of good for even the most recalcitrant boy.

Recognizing his contribution to Canadian education, Trinity College conferred upon him the honorary degree Doctor of Divinity in 1951. He was awarded the Centennial Medal as a tribute to his valuable service to the nation on Canada's hundredth birthday. He was also named a Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Hamilton.

Dr. Bell died in 1981.

Guest, John Sherratt Hill

  • Person
  • 1873-1953

John S.H. Guest was born in Burton-On-Trent, England in 1873. He began his career in education when he won a scholarship to Cambridge University, where he obtained a Master’s degree in modern history at Corpus Christi College. He started teaching in Yorkshire, but sought greater challenges and, in 1901, took a teaching position at Upper Canada College (UCC) in Toronto, Canada. One year later, he became headmaster of the Preparatory "Prep" School (Junior School) at UCC.

In 1906, John married Gladys Walker daughter of Sir Edmund Walker. Together they had four children, David (class of 1925), John (class of 1929), Elizabeth "Betty", and Katherine "Kitty".

Encouraged by his father-in-law, Sir Edmund Walker, Guest began the enormous responsibility of organizing and founding a preparatory school, and in April 1911 ground was broken for the School House (now Colley House), with Guest personally overseeing all aspects of construction. In the fall of 1911, the Appleby School (now College) opened to receive twenty-nine students.

Guest quite literally ‘built’ the school, comprising School (later Colley) House, the principal’s residence, the Chapel, the barn, and several buildings that no longer exist. Beyond the bricks-and-mortar contributions, he also established Appleby’s foundations, recruited the staff, designed the academic curriculum, established moral and spiritual principles for the boys, fostered a challenging sports program, and looked after the business management of the fledgling institution, even seeing it through the significant financial challenges of the Great Depression. He also saw the establishment of the Appleby Old Boys’ (now Alumni) Association in 1920, and the Appleby Women’s (now Parents) Association in 1928. Over Guest’s tenure, Appleby grew from twenty-nine students to ninety students, from one building to nine buildings, and from five employees to fifteen.

John Guest retired on June 25, 1934, having served as Appleby’s headmaster for 23 years. He had always been skilled with his hands, and pursued his interest by building furniture for his children and grandchildren.

Guest died on April 13, 1953.

Larsen, Edward Reynolds "Ned"

  • Person
  • 1925 - 1983

On his arrival at Appleby in 1968 as our fourth headmaster, Edward Reynolds (Ned) Larsen sounded a keynote that was to echo through the College community and influence profoundly the development of the school over the next 12 years: that, given men, women and boys who were prepared to work hard, the possibilities for greatness at Appleby were unlimited.

Prior to his appointment, Ned Larsen was for nine years the headmaster of British Columbia's Shawnigan Lake School, of which he was an Old Boy. A scholar and athlete, he held degrees from both U.B.C. and Oxford. He served twice as President of the Canadian Headmaster's Association, and was a ranking squash player at the Canadian Senior level.

Larsen is remembered for growth. The student body increased during his tenure from 250 to 385, allowing a wider range of academic options, greater selectivity in choosing prefects and teams, the establishment of a meaningful admissions waiting list, and a policy of basing admission on entrance exams. He enhanced academic standards, brought a new level of professionalism to the faculty, and broadened extracurricular
programs.

He expanded Appleby's athletic offerings by adding rugby, senior soccer, squash, swimming, track and tennis to Appleby’s ‘traditional’ sports (football, hockey, basketball and cricket). His insistence on sportsmanship and good manners at all levels made Appleby an exemplar among ISAA schools.

Improvements to the College’s physical plant accomplished in Ned’s administration include the J. S. Gairdner arena, the pool, the library, three science labs, the extension of New (now Walker) House, the renovation of Colley House, and the Northern campus in Temagami (with the Appleby Northward Bound program), as well as many other projects. In addition, the College endowment saw significant growth.

He encouraged both the Old Boys’ (now Alumni) and the Women’s (now Parents) Associations, whose programs became increasingly ambitious and successful. Ned Larsen resigned from Appleby in 1980 to teach for a year in England. Upon returning to Canada, he was appointed headmaster of Rothesay Collegiate School in New Brunswick, a post he held for one year. He returned to Oakville, and assumed the post of Director of Development and Membership Services for the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

He died of a brain tumour in 1983 at age 58.

McLean, Guy S.

  • Person
  • 1987-2010

Guy S. McLean was Appleby’s sixth headmaster, now referred to as principal. Prior to his appointment as headmaster in 1987, McLean held a number of academic posts at Appleby including Director of Studies, Head of English, Director of Athletics, and Assistant Director of the Junior School under Michael Nightingale.

Born in London, Ontario, McLean obtained a BA in English at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. In 1971 McLean joined Appleby, primarily teaching English, Latin and Mathematics in the Junior School. McLean’s tenure as headmaster has seen significant changes in both the focus and direction of the College. In consultation with the Board of Governors and staff, McLean wrote a long-range business plan that set the direction of the College’s development into the 21st century. Two important initiatives in the plan were the implementation of a coeducational programme and narrowing the academic programme by phasing out grades four to six. In the fall of 1991, Appleby saw its first female intake; then in 1993, the first alumnae graduated. That same year Baillie House, Appleby’s first residence for women, opened. By the fall of 1993, the lowest entry level was grade seven.

Another important advancement of the College was the decision to join the Round Square, an international association of independent schools, which has enhanced opportunities for Appleby students to participate in exchange programmes and international projects. This occurred in 1992.

In 1998, a second strategic plan was approved during McLean’s tenure, which saw the college grow dramatically by the purchase of six acres at the northeastern corner of campus, the construction of a full-size artificial-turf field hockey pitch, the long-awaited construction of a new Powell’s House (to replace the original 1918 structure), as well as a state of the art wireless Student Commons building that contains a new
library, archives, information technology department, classrooms, and a new dance studio.

Under McLean’s direction, five pillars of strength were established: Community Spirited, Technologically Innovative, Academically Vital, Globally Inquisitive, and Actively Engaged. Of particular note is the e.school in which IT is integrated into every facet of the school curriculum. With over three decades of service, McLean can attest that Appleby is a “co-educational day and boarding university-preparatory school, with a
curriculum based around the liberal arts” with over 740 students. He retired as Headmaster and Principal in 2010.

Troubetzkoy, Alexis S.

  • Person
  • 1981-1987

Alexis Troubetzkoy was Appleby’s fifth headmaster. Appointed to the post in 1981, he came to Oakville from Selwyn House School in Montreal, where he had been headmaster for ten years. Ironically, he had gone to Selwyn House from Appleby in 1971: he had originally joined our staff in 1968.

A Canadian citizen, Troubetzkoy was born in Paris, France, and educated at the Kent School in Connecticut. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Sir George Williams University, and a Diploma in Education from Bishop’s University. Before joining Appleby he taught at Stanstead College, Bishop’s College School, and St. Stephen’s School in Rome.

Troubetzkoy said his mission was to “let Appleby become a beacon from which other schools could take their bearings.” In order to achieve his aims, he addressed several issues: among them were refining the academic program; bolstering the extracurricular offerings, especially in the arts; and, in his words, bringing Appleby “into the mainstream of Canadian education, in the sense of … having it play a more prominent role in independent education.”

A significant initiative was his decision to make Appleby a ‘fast-track’ school, where students would graduate in four years. Current principal Guy McLean gave Troubetzkoy credit for overcoming the many obstacles to success and ensuring the smooth implementation of the four-year program, which marked a major change in the school’s culture. Our ‘double cohort’ class (about 60% of which comprised four-year students) graduated in 1987, 16 years in advance of the double cohort from Ontario’s public high schools.

The Nicholas Arts Centre (the art and music building opened in 1985) is the most visible sign of Troubetzkoy’s success. Providing this facility, and instituting an ‘extracurricular credit’ requirement in the Appleby College Diploma, marked a new attitude toward the arts.

In terms of raising Appleby’s profile, he promoted student exchanges with schools on the West Coast, in England and in Europe, particularly through the English Speaking Union and the Appleby-in-France program; and under his leadership, Appleby become a member of the National Association of Independent Schools in the United States and the Headmasters’ Conference in Britain.

Alexis Troubetzkoy resigned in 1987 to take on the leadership of the Toronto French School.

He passed away in February 2017.

Wickens, Percival

  • Person
  • [19-] - 1937

In 1934, Percival Wickens was appointed Appleby’s second headmaster. Born in England, Wickens attended the University of London where he specialized in mathematics. During the Great War he served in the Royal Naval Air Squadron and was distinguished for his abilities and became a prominent flight instructor. He was frequently requested to pilot distinguished passengers such as Generals, Ministers, and Royalty across the
English Channel. Before his appointment to Appleby, Wickens was Assistant Master at St. Alban’s School in Brockville. In 1922, the growth of the School warranted the division of science and mathematics as distinct teaching roles which had previously been taught by Mr. Whittington. Thus, Wickens joined the staff of Appleby as mathematics teacher and soon became Housemaster of the New House (now Colley House) in 1923. In 1925, he succeeded the Rev. Mr. Blyth as Housemaster of Powell’s House.

Wickens is best remembered for approaching all activities with enthusiasm, dedication, strict discipline and electrifying power. Whether it was teaching cricket, dramatics, organizing Continental tours, or the Argus, everything was done with precision and efficiency; his personally motto was, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

Sadly, on June 14, 1937, Wickens lost his battle with cancer and passed away. Even though, Wickens’ service as headmaster lasted a mere three years, John Guest fondly commented in the 1938 Argus these words - “I know that as long as Appleby stands, it will be the greater and finer for all the work and love that he [Wickens] expendedupon it so nobly and ungrudgingly."