21 years is a long time. For Hazel Perkin, the 21 years she served as Principal of St. Clement’s School were ones of enjoyment and satisfaction that just seemed to fly by.
Miss Perkin came to St. Clement’s in 1970. She had been teaching at a school in Montreal when a colleague shared her thoughts on the various girls’ private schools across Canada. The insights Miss Perkin gained about St. Clement’s School resonated, and she had a clear, instinctive feeling that St. Clement’s was where she wanted to be. Coincidently, the position of School Principal became open shortly thereafter. Miss Perkin applied, was quickly offered the position and soon she discovered that her instincts had been right.
So many things impressed her about the School. She noticed immediately how polite and friendly the students were to their teachers, peers and to visitors. There was an intimate, almost family feeling, an atmosphere in which the students thrived. The academic standards were high too. Today, Miss Perkin smiles as she remembers how much the girls “enjoyed their academic successes, especially when competing with other schools!”
For Miss Perkin, it was always about the girls. She remembers well how outgoing and confident the students were. They were “ready to carve out a life that would make a difference for themselves, their families and for others.” She still takes pleasure in remembering how girls who were from economically challenged backgrounds or were refugees from various parts of the world found their place at St. Clements. The School gave them a chance to grow and excel and to become highly regarded women.
St. Clement’s School was a special place for Miss Perkin and it remains so for her today. She wanted to help young girls reach their full potential, and she feels privileged to have played a role in their development. She was grateful to be part of a school with such an outstanding reputation across Canada and beyond. She was also grateful for the many opportunities St. Clement’s “provided for the many hundreds of girls I met in those 21 years — and for me.” It was for these reasons that Miss Perkin chose to remember St. Clement’s School with a legacy gift in her will.
For Miss Perkin, leaving a percentage of her estate for St. Clement’s was simply the right thing to do. Teaching had been her life’s passion and her time at
St. Clement’s was the capstone of her long teaching career. She has left her future gift undesignated, knowing that the Board of Governors will use it wisely and where the need is greatest. She also knows that her estate will benefit from the tax benefits legacy gifts can generate. Her genuine hope, however, is that her gift will enable the high standards and the warm, inclusive culture of St. Clement’s, to continue for generations of students to come.
Happily retired, Miss Perkin spends her time playing bridge, reading, writing, tutoring in English and volunteering at her parish church in Toronto. She spends her summers on the Isle of Wight, off England’s south coast, where she grew up and spent her formative years. Life is good and she is grateful.
Miss Perkin knows from experience how vitally important quality education can be. She also knows how challenging it can be to obtain sufficient funding to ensure such quality is maintained. Excellence comes at a price and that is why she encourages everyone who can to support St. Clement’s School generously including leaving a charitable gift of any amount in their estate plans. It’s a way to give back. It’s a way to say thank you. It’s a way to ensure that the vital work St. Clement’s does continues for another 118 years.