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Appleby College:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Gr. 7 TO Gr. 12 — Oakville, ON (Map)


Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Appleby College (2021)

Appleby College alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Kevin Ding, Danny Persaud, Gabby Ponikvar had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Kevin Ding — alum

Kevin Ding graduated from Appleby College in 2019. He now studies at Dartmouth College in the U.S. During his time at Appleby, Kevin was an International Prefect and a Student Ambassador. He spent six years at Appleby, after enrolling as a middle school student. Kevin says he appreciates Appleby’s global perspective. He had several chances to travel with the school’s Global Education department. He says it’s the school’s international bent that sets it apart.

  • What I appreciated most as a student is the space and the resources that Appleby provided to allow me to grow over those six years. That is something that benefits me even to this day, and something I’m beyond grateful for. Appleby gave me the space to grow not only intellectually, but also in terms of leadership, and in how to be a good person in general.

  • It is Appleby’s global perspective that sets the school apart. Various other independent schools might be a part of Round Square, or various other organizations. Appleby can say all that, too, while having the software and hardware and history to back that statement up. We hosted the Round Square International Conference back when I was in my senior year. We have an extensive Global Education department that gives students opportunities to go all over the world. I went on three different trips with them. Then you have the Duke of Edinburgh program. All this support for students to explore internationally makes Appleby very unique.

  • ‘Progressive’, ‘dedicated’ and ‘adventurous’ are three words I would use to describe Appleby’s personality. Appleby is always looking for that new forefront, whether it be in academic skills, social justice, or developing the campus. All the students, staff and professors are dedicated to making the community what it is. And being adventurous, literally, by going to Temagami and on all those outdoor trips.

  • I think what would surprise families is the sheer breadth of classes, activities, and resources that Appleby has compared to all other schools. Say you are a new student coming in: not only do you have the regular Ontario curriculum that Appleby offers, but you also have all these different streams of classes that you can take. You also have tons of extracurriculars, as well as sports teams. And then on top of that, you have service, you have new skills, you have leadership, you have your friends, and then you have outdoor education, like Temagami. It’s a lot of stuff that’s coming right at you. Better to have more choices than less.

  • When I look at myself in comparison to all the other students I’ve encountered at Dartmouth, Harvard, and Princeton, I’d say Appleby has made me probably one of the much, much better prepared individuals on campus.

  • Your boarding experience at Appleby really helps, because boarding gives you that chance to really be yourself as a student. You are in charge of your sleeping, eating and working schedules, and social schedules as well, and that’s a skill that a lot of students have to pretty much develop from scratch once they go to university. The fact that Appleby already gives students a year of guided experience to make good habits, that puts you at a massive advantage in so many ways when you go into university.

Danny Persaud — current parent

Danny Persaud is a parent to two daughters at Appleby College. His daughter in Grade 12 is about to begin her ‘boarding year’ at Appleby. His younger daughter is in Grade 10. They both started at Appleby in Grade 9. Danny is the incoming president of the Appleby College Parents’ Association. He says Appleby stands out because of the breadth of education that it offers, and its excellence therein.

  • The breadth of education that is offered at Appleby really makes the school stand out. And it’s an education that goes way beyond academic excellence. The school’s ability to actually tackle frontiers, to break down boundaries. I think that’s what makes Appleby stand out amongst many of the better institutions.

  • I’ve seen a growth in my daughter that I probably would not have witnessed had she remained in the public school stream that she was in. I’ve seen her tackle things and be exposed to things that she would not probably have been exposed to.

Gabby Ponikvar — current parent

Gabby Ponikvar has three sons who have all gone to Appleby. Her youngest is about to enter Grade 12, his ‘boarding year’ at Appleby. Her older sons graduated in 2017 and 2021. They all started at the school in Grade 7. Her boys are three very different students. Gabby loved that they could all find their niche at the school. She appreciates the opportunities they received for international travel. Overall, their experiences at Appleby taught her boys organization, critical thinking, and self-reliance.

  • I have three boys who have gone to Appleby. They are all such different characters, and yet all three of them found what they needed. They found something that supported their character, and exposed them to other things. Whether it be Athletics, or musicals, or Arts, they were always exposed to new things, well supported, and able to find their niche and then developed it even more.

  • The international travel that Appleby provided makes the children have to think a little bit more and be self-reliant. Our dinner conversations after these trips were lovely and unforgettable. A lot of the travel that our children did exposed them to cultures and environments that are radically different to ours. They have learned an appreciation for what they have.

  • Appleby taught my son how to handle himself. It exposed him to responsibilities. His days were very long. I remember him messaging me when he was in the boarding program, saying ‘It’s 10 p.m. and my day isn’t done, but I really love what I’m doing’. He enjoyed and was very self-fulfilled by the responsibility that he had. It taught him organization. It taught him planning. It taught him leadership and how to be a mentor. These are beautiful things that he learned.

  • Appleby helped make my kids curious. They don’t just take an answer at face value: they ask ‘Why is this the case?’ It makes it very interesting to travel with them. They have a desire to understand the ‘why’.


More about Appleby College

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Key insights on Appleby College

Each school is different. Appleby College's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

See key insights about Appleby College

Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Appleby College is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

  • A long history of academic innovation and program development.
  • A dedication to global learning and global citizenship animates the academic and social experience.
  • Leadership is bold and progressive.
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Our Kids Feature Review video

Learn about Appleby College's unique and defining characteristics through this informative video.

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THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Appleby College

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