The Gift of Community

The Gift of Community

By: Lara Unsworth '95, Head of Community Relations

We started a wonderful Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) tradition a few years ago of giving every new student their first STS school tie as a welcome gift. The gifts are beautifully wrapped, and hand-delivered by employees and parents to each new student’s home. Not only is this our way of showing our appreciation for new students choosing STS, but also the tie symbolizes STS’s rich history and a common bond that literally ‘ties’ all STS family members – past, present, and future – together.

"The school tie links students from all generations and diverse backgrounds and signifies a common ever-lasting bond."

A deep-rooted characteristic that has always set STS apart is our School’s enduring sense of community and belonging. This begins for new families during the enrollment process, and is nurtured through all of their years with children attending the School, then beyond when they become members of the STS Alumni Association. It is important to note that not only former students, but also former parents and employees, are all members of our Alumni Association once they leave the School. This vast network of 10,000 people and growing enjoys countless opportunities to reconnect and maintain those strong ties to the School. As an STS alumna myself, I am always struck by how strong those bonds truly are at alumni events – it seems no matter what year a person graduated or what their connection is to the School, there is an unsaid common ground and understanding that creates genuine energy, interest, and affinity at these gatherings. There is always a joyful buzz and a lot of laughter when STS alumni get together.

We know giving opportunities for students to connect through meaningful relationships and feel part of a community is integral to authentic learning. The School tie links students from all generations and diverse backgrounds and signifies a common, ever-lasting bond.

With the simple gift of a tie, we are giving new students a thriving, supportive, and inclusive community for life. There is not a better gift than that. 

The Ties that Bind

Over the course of the 117-year history of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School and its founding schools, the school tie has been an identifying and integral part of every student’s uniform. Students who attended St. Hilda’s, Strathcona School for Boys, Tweedsmuir: An Academic School for Girls, and now Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, wear a tie to complement their school uniforms.

Variations in styles and materials have come and gone over the years, as well as specific designs to signify Elementary, Middle, and Senior School students, Houses, or position of distinction, like being a Grade 12 Prefect. Alumni often keep their school ties as a special memento of their days at STS.

The concept of a ‘school tie’ is a long-standing one in our world. It signifies belonging to a unique and special group, be that a school, college or other organization. It shows membership and allegiance to a larger group.

Today, the STS tie is a part of the ‘formal uniform’ and is worn neatly and proudly in honour of the present-day school, and in recognition of our rich history.

Nil nisi optimum