Saunders Secondary School
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|Saunders Secondary School|
|941 Viscount Road
London, Ontario, N6K 1H5
|School board||Thames Valley District School Board|
|Superintendent||Ms. Barb Sonier|
|Principal||Mr. Brendon White|
|Enrollment||1976 (October 2008)|
|Colour(s)||Gold and red|
|Mascot||Sabre tooth tiger|
Saunders Secondary School is located at 941 Viscount Road in the Westmount suburb of London, Ontario, Canada. It is named after William Saunders. William Saunders was a Canadian pioneer and an authority on all matters pertaining to agriculture and horticulture. Grades offered are 9–12. Saunders' school colours are red and gold and its mascot is a sabre-tooth tiger. Saunders Secondary School is the largest high school in the Thames Valley District School Board with over 2000 students and 120 teachers. As of 2008, Saunders is also the site of new credit summer school for the TVDSB.
Classes for Saunders began in portables at Westminster S.S. in 1970. Construction of Saunders was completed in 1972. The school cost more than $8 million to build. The location caused many heated debates. The people of Byron, Ontario had been promised, upon amalgamation with the city of London, Ontario, a secondary school in their area so that their children would not have to be bused to the Westmount area. The chosen site for the multimillion-dollar school - right in the heart of the Westmount area, across the street from the Westmount Mall - greatly angered the Byron Area Secondary School Association. In spite of this, in January 1969, the London Board of Education approved the Westmount location for the school.
On April 18, 1994, arsonists set fire to Saunders forcing the evacuation and temporary closure of the school, as well as an extensive rebuilding of the rear part of the building. London Police subsequently charged three students with setting the blaze.
Saunders recently underwent an exterior renovation, the first new construction at the school in over three decades. A new entryway was added on the north-east corner of the building along with the fire escape stairs at the south and on the north-west corner of the school, contrasting modern with brutalist architecture.
Saunders has been recognized as having one of the most developed and diversified programs in London. Current tech programs include: photography, broadcasting, electrical, computer engineering (offering CCNA & A+ certifications), woodworking, automotive, autobody, drafting graphic design, machine shop, welding and a newly added art welding course.
Saunders is one of the only schools in the TVDSB that offers the musical theatre performance course, another being H.B. Beal. One difference between the two schools' programs is the rotation. While Beal takes a 2 show-break schedule, Saunders does a big show on the main stage, and then a smaller show in the drama studio, alternating each year. The shows that have been performed are:
- Little Shop of Horrors
- Snow White
- Bye Bye Birdie
- The Wedding Singer
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
- The Wizard of Oz
The senior boys' volleyball team won both TVRAA and OFSAA in AAAA for the fourth straight year in 2007, the only team in Ontario history to accomplish this feat. Saunders is considered one of the best volleyball high schools in Canada, having many of the provinces' elite young players.
The Saunders junior football team won the city championships in 2007 for the first time in ten years, led by captain Kane McEwen, and Brett Weir. Weir eventually committed to the University of Arkansas, becoming the first player in the London area to enroll in the SEC conference.
Nigel Wilson, a former teacher at Saunders was also a volunteer coach at the University of Western Ontario. In 2007 he received the Gino Fracas Award for Most Outstanding Volunteer Assistant Coach in Canadian University Football.
Led by Chris Beauchamp, Saunders Varsity Wrestling team won team championship for the second year in a row (2014-16). Boys TVRAA and WOSSAA Champions. Also won Boys 3rd overall at OFSAA in 2016 and 7th overall as a school.
Saunders' annual Cancer Campaign has raised an outstanding amount of money for cancer research: almost a quarter of a million dollars in the past five years. The total for the 2008 Cancer Campaign was in excess of $60 000 which is more than $30 per student. This is one of the most successful high school fundraisers in Canada.
The campaign is run by teacher Jamie Clark and runs throughout April into roughly mid-May. Almost every year, Brian Finch donates a car to be raffled, and this is typically one of the highlights of the campaign. Classrooms in the school may "challenge" each other to see which homeroom can raise the most money. 2009 Cancer Campaign events included a Relay for Life, a dunk tank for some of the teachers, several barbecues, a food fair, bake sales, a talent show and a dance show. The total raised for 2011 was $62,740.13, a record breaking total. Saunders has raised over $530,000 as of this year[when?] since the start of the campaign 11 years ago[year needed].
Notable alumni and staff
Notable alumni and staff include:
- Josh Anderson (ice hockey), NHL player Columbus Blue Jackets
- Kelley Armstrong, best-selling fantasy author
- Miranda Ayim, basketball player, Canadian Women's Team, WNBA (2011- )
- Dave Bolland, NHL player, Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks
- George Dvorsky, futurist, ethicist, and contributing editor at io9
- Remi Elie, OHL Player Erie Otters Drafted in 2nd round by the Dallas Stars
- Bo Horvat, NHL player Vancouver Canucks
- Dane Fox, ECHL Player Kalamazoo Wings Prospect of the Vancouver Canucks
- Brandon Prust, NHL Player, Montreal Canadiens
- Stuart Hughes, Stage and Screen Actor and founding member of Soulpepper
- Heavy metal band Kittie (all original founding members)
- Chris Kelly, NHL Player Ottawa Senators and 2011 Stanley Cup Champion
- Adam Kreek, Canadian athlete and Olympian
- Irene Mathyssen, federal Member of Parliament and former Ontario Cabinet Minister was an English teacher at Saunders
- Rob Schremp, NHL Player
- Rob Ramage, former NHL player, Stanley Cup champion with the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens
- Jude St. John, former CFL Player, teaches at Saunders.
- Tim Tindale, NFL Player
- Tyler Hemming, professional soccer player
- George Georgallidis, Co-founder of eSports team Counter Logic Gaming
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