The primary focus of the CDS Student Services department is to support every student's growth, by attending to their present and future learning needs (academic and career development) and providing individual support for their emotional and social development.
We achieve this goal by providing a safe and nurturing environment for all students and working closely with teachers and parents to customize learning activities and support students in and out of the classroom; this ensures a highly integrated approach to student support.
The department is committed to ongoing professional development to ensure best practices in counselling and in the classroom.
We are fortunate to have Mr. David Huckvale, Director of Admissions and University Placement, and Mrs. Darby Moreau, Admission and University Placement Coordinator, who work with students on planning for their post-secondary future. We work collaboratively with them to ensure that students ultimately find the best fit for their future. Click to see more details on University Placement.
Our counsellors are committed to helping students find the support they need so they are best able to achieve both personal and academic goals.
Counsellors can offer students the opportunity to explore, understand and work through personal issues such as:
• Conflict resolution (teacher, parent, friends, etc.) • Grief, loss and trauma • Family and relationship problems • Motivation, perfectionism • Sexuality • Anxiety, stress, depression and anger • Self-esteem • Catching up after an extended illness, injury or emotional circumstance
Counsellors/Learning Strategists are also able to support students with academic needs such as:
• Time management techniques and prioritizing activities • Organization • Study and test taking skills • Exam Preparation • Course Selection • Community Service requirements • Implementation of Educational Assessment recommendations • Enrichment Opportunities and Summer Programs • Career Development (through the Gr. 10 Career Studies Class)
Our department offers a variety of initiatives to support student learning. These include: • Peer Tutoring • Gr. 7 & 8 Learning Strategies Classes • Special Education Accommodations for students who have undergone psycho-educational testing • Binder Bootcamp (Organizational and Homework support club) • Learning Strategist support in classrooms
In addition to programs and support offered for all students, our Counsellors/Learning Strategists have several community contacts and may help refer you to appropriate professionals (tutors, therapists, psychologists, etc.).
Each student is assigned a guidance counsellor. This information is located at the top of their timetable or students and parents should feel free to contact Mrs. Huckvale, Administrative Assistant in Student Services, to find out to whom they should address any questions.
Some students seek our support daily, some weekly and others choose only to seek us out during stressful times. There are also many students who choose to navigate their time in the School independently, but we are happy to offer any assistance needed.
Our counsellors are committed to helping students find the support they need so they are best able to achieve both personal and academic goals. We believe that it is important that students learn how to be their own advocates, and we will work with them to develop this lifelong skill.
Susan Scott earned her Concurrent Education degree from Queen’s University and went on to complete her master's degree in Educational Counselling from the University of Ottawa. She also holds Special Education, Guidance and Primary Additional Qualifications, as well as her CAIS diploma in Independent School Leadership. Ms. Scott spent the first 10 years of her career in the public system teaching French to JK-OAC students as well as English and Physical Education at the high school level. She also worked as a Special Education teacher and gradually made her way into the area of Guidance where she found her true passion. When she arrived at CDS in September 1999, the Student Services department consisted of one and a half members. The Department now has five full-time members, and includes the Learning Resource Centre. As Director of Student Services, Ms. Scott oversees the teacher-counsellors in the Middle and Senior Schools who provide emotional and academic support to all students. As Assistant Head, Ms. Scott works collaboratively with the Head of School to ensure the smooth operation of the School by supporting the various directors and offering general support and direction to all faculty. This role also includes leading the Senior School Management Team, as well as the Divisional Directors. Over the years at CDS, Ms. Scott has been actively involved in community service, yearbook and the charity fashion show and is a positive, supportive presence throughout the School. Her approach to her work with students is to actively listen to and engage them, to understand and empathize with their situation or issue, and then to offer them the support they need to stand back up again and move forward.
Mrs. Catie Ferguson
Student Services, Head of Middle/Senior Learning Support
Catie Ferguson joined the CDS community in 2009, serving in the Student Services and Physical Education Departments. Currently she teaches Middle School Guidance and works in the Learning Resource Centre. Ms. Ferguson graduated from Brock University with a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a minor in Physical Education and later graduated from York University with her B.Ed. Degree. Prior to working in the classroom at CDS, she coached U13 Boys’ Soccer and U14 Boys’ Basketball, Coed Tennis, the Varsity Ski and Snowboard team, Senior Girls Basketball and Track & Field. Ms. Ferguson is also the Director of CDS Summer Camp so keeps herself busy in the summer months as well. She completed her Special Education Specialist in 2011. Ms. Ferguson has felt the instinct to teach children since she was 12-years-old, and so it was easy for her to conclude that she wanted to work with children in some way when she grew up. Throughout her life, Ms. Ferguson has always had a natural way of incorporating fun with learning, and she thoroughly enjoys translating this into her teaching career. Ms. Ferguson snowboarded competitively, provincially and nationally during her four years of high school and held the snowboarding Gold medal title for OFSAA each year. Her best result was fourth in the Canadian Nationals in Stoneham, Quebec. Outside of school, Ms. Ferguson has coached skiing and snowboarding for five years and is certified in both disciplines.
Courtney Kroen joined The Country Day School in 2011 as a supply teacher and now works full-time in Student Services for Grades 7 and 10. She earned her B.A.H. from Queen’s University in Health Sciences and did her graduate degree in International Development: Disaster Relief at Humber College. Ms. Kroen received her B.Ed. from Trent University (Physical Education and Biology with specialists in Special Education & Guidance) and claims her passion for teaching stems from a desire to share opportunity, experience and empowerment with others. A firm believer in the benefits of exercise, she runs a women’s Boot Camp every night of the week when she is not teaching at CDS.
Owen Smith joined CDS in 2013 as an Associate Faculty member in the Learning Resource Centre. In this capacity he oversees testing and works individually with Middle and Senior School students. Mr. Smith earned both his Honours Specialty BA degree in Kinesiology and Health Science and his B.Ed. from York University. Mr. Smith worked as a Residence Don at Upper Canada College for the previous six years in their Centre for Learning and coached football, hockey and baseball.