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Hawthorn School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Nursery/Toddler TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)

Hawthorn School:

Interview with Hawthorn School PARENT, Amy & Peter McCrea

  • Name
    Amy & Peter McCrea
  • Child 1
    Gr. 5 (Female, Current Day Student)

Amy and Peter have a daughter in the 5th Grade that currently attends Hawthorn School. What they appreciate most is the partnership they have with the school in educating their child and the clear communication they provide. They feel that the small size of Hawthorn School is a huge benefit, and allows each student to feel heard and important. Amy and Peter believe that the school has a strong focus on a well-rounded education that focuses on academics, as well as character development. Their daughter loves that her individuality is valued, and feels confident to speak her opinion as part of the family there. They credit Hawthorn School with their daughter's transformation into a happy, bright, confident young girl who loves to learn. They believe that everybody would benefit from Hawthorn School, no matter what their background or faith is. They have found that there is such a diversity of backgrounds and cultures at Hawthorn School.

Video Contents

Highlights from the interview

  • Our daughter has responded beautifully to being at Hawthorn School. She has made quite the transformation in the last two years, more, I think, than we ever realized was possible. It's difficult as a mom or dad to see the light in your child begin to diminish. As she had been in a public Catholic school, which was a wonderful place, we saw her struggling a little bit more every year. Without revealing too much personal information, as loving parents, you want to wrap them in your arms and sort out as many issues for them as you can. Is it social? Is it a learning problem? Do we have a processing issue? We explored many different avenues to help her and guide her towards her full potential, but every year it became increasingly obvious that she needed something else. When we brought our daughter to Hawthorn School and I would say within the first few weeks, she changed dramatically. She started to lighten, she started to brighten, and that magical daughter we had when she was younger began to return.

  • Hawthorn School has been amazing for our daughter. What she loves most about Hawthorn School is that her individuality and voice are always heard and valued. She feels confident to speak her opinion and that she is part of a family there, where she is learning and growing together with girls who are just like her.

  • There's been a real change in our daughter in terms of confidence and critical thinking. The support and mentorship of teachers and other girls at Hawthorn School have played into that.

  • I appreciate that the education at Hawthorn School is of the entire person. I think the school does an excellent job on academics. Still, the education of the entire person, their character, and their values in hand with the academic education is what we value most. We think it prepares our daughter fully to make great decisions and to be a contributor to society.

  • What we like best about Hawthorn School are the values of the school and the well-rounded education of the entire person. It's difficult to communicate the specialness and strengths of a school like this.

  • We love Hawthorn School. One of the benefits is its size and the exposure that gives the girls to their teachers and mentors.

  • I’m surprised that Hawthorn School isn’t bursting at the seams. It seems in this day and age, with all the things that young ladies are facing such as social media pressures, etc I can't believe that more people are not in search of the values that you can receive at Hawthorn School.

  • What Hawthorn School offers couldn't be in greater demand or of greater value. What Hawthorn School offers is so valuable to any person, but especially to the women of today specifically. Honestly, the only thing that would be surprising is that the place wasn't five times the size, but, the size is also a great strength Hawthorn School is Catholic-inspired. So there's a faith aspect to the school. Some people may come from a Catholic background or are not not faith-based, but I think what would be surprising to those people would be that the benefits of Hawthorn School aren't exclusive to being a Catholic, or any particular faith. They are very much generally applicable.

  • Hawthorn School does not exclude anybody in terms of values, thought processes, creative thinking, and mentorship. All these great things about the school, I think you would be surprised to understand that they are for everybody, and everybody would benefit from Hawthorn School, no matter what your background or faith is.

  • Hawthorn School has so many incredible values in practice, but as a new parent, what was so important to us was the partnership with parents and teachers and administrators at the school. Hawthorn School reminds you often that you are your child's first educator, and the school was founded by parents looking for this type of education. The partnership with the teachers and the collaboration at the school is really incredible.

  • Hawthorn School’s goal is to produce fully rounded women of integrity and character The whole purpose of the value system is that it's put into action At Hawthorn School, there's an emphasis on service, critical thinking, expressing your values, and defending your values. It's something that's not just put on the wall; it's something that is taught, practiced, and applied. Those values go back to common thoughts and values of any particular faith or religion. Still, they are also generally applicable to being a good person and making good decisions using their integrity and conscience.

  • I do not believe there is a typical Hawthorn School family. We have found that there is such a large variety of faith and a diversity of backgrounds and cultures at Hawthorn School. It is incredible. We have incredible friends who are all individually amazing. We have wonderful friends, new friends, who are perhaps more modern in their thinking and Catholic values. They are entrepreneurial, they are travellers and restaurateurs And these families come together at Hawthorn School Each family has a common value system that they're looking for so their daughters can create a solid foundation within them that they can bring into the world.

  • There's a real diversity at Hawthorn School I think the strength of any institution is in its diversity, and Hawthorn School certainly has that in their community

  • We carpool with other families at Hawthorn School. One of the things we were challenged with was logistics. Hawthorn School is not in the perfect place for every family, so families help each other in that regard because they see the value in getting girls there. They know the challenges, so they often share the weight of those challenges. That's very nice to see because we're not just doing this for our daughter to get the best scores and get ahead. That's great, but it's also that they value the people these girls are going to be. Women will be in society, and I think we're all trying to get them there together.

  • There are many things our daughter has done that we are very proud of at Hawthorn School. One thing that rises to the top was the surprise news that she would decide to run for Student Council, which is not something we would have ever imagined before, based on her confidence level. Elections rolled around, and it was time to give speeches, and she stood up and gave a speech, and it was great. We were thrilled because she was elected to be part of the Student Council. I did not anticipate having three separate teachers and administrators stop me, call me, come to me in the parking lot, and say, ‘your daughter was amazing. She blew us away. She was so confident in what she said, and she built up so much excitement in the girls.’ Our daughter had so many incredible ideas, and low and behold, she was elected.

  • Our relationship with the teachers at Hawthorn School has been incredibly close and personal. From the beginning, there's a lot of communication, and there are lots of opportunities to work collaboratively. There's a huge feedback loop at Hawthorn School, which is incredible. Our daughter has an amazing mentor who was her teacher the first year at the school, and has stayed with her throughout her time at Hawthorn School. She was gone last year on maternity leave, and she still called our family to discuss how she was doing, what we needed to work on, areas of success, and just to check on her. It's wonderful, and the students feel so well cared for.

  • My daughter had very frank ‘female’ conversations during health class at Hawthorn School and feels so close to her gym teacher now. She made things that felt so inaccessible and difficult to talk about silly, fun, and a little bit entertaining. The teacher really knew how to connect with the girls.

  • The teachers, the administration, and the parents support the idea of Hawthorn School There's a consistency in terms of moving the school forward. It's not an individual idea, and it's for the betterment of all the girls that get to go there, which is pretty remarkable. All these people are involved in your daughter's progress, which is amazing; the administration shares in that as well Everybody is very much committed to Hawthorn School and what it's doing. It's not just a job, I think it's more even vocational, and the girls benefit from that. Our interactions are a testament to that commitment.

  • The biggest reasons to send your daughter to Hawthorn School are the complete and inclusive education, the character education, and the mentorship idea that Hawthorn School puts into practice. These are values that girls are called upon to engage with and apply.

  • I remember this summer that we decided to send our daughter to Hawthorn School, and when I look back, if I could speak to myself at that point, I would say ‘don't worry about how far away it is, don't worry about taking her from her local school community, do not worry about the price, because finances for sure are a concern for people, do not think about the logistics. It will all fall into place, and it will all be worth it.’


More about Hawthorn School

Back to Hawthorn School overview

More video reviews

Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our Hawthorn School Q&A discussion with Gwen (Alum), Marnee (Parent), Steve (Parent), Liz (Parent) to gain fresh insight into the school’s culture, values, and strengths.

Alum, Jane Zuchelkowski (2020)

Watch our alum interview with Jane Zuchelkowski to learn about the unique experience of attending Hawthorn School.

More written reviews


Parent, Yineska Saavedra (2023)

Gr. 7 to Gr. 9 (current) — Hawthorn School has provided an environment for my daughter to blossom and for us to be part of a community of amazing families who look to fully develop their kids academically while fostering humani...


Student, Adriana Alfaro (2023)

Gr. 10 — Hawthorn is a good school. The students are inclusive and the teachers are great at teaching. The only thing I wish I could maybe change is the school gym. It would be nicer if the ceiling was just a ...


Student, Ximena Saishio (2022)

Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 10 — Hawthorn School is wonderful. My two favorite things about Hawthorn are the teachers and the environment. You can tell the teachers are so passionate about their subject, so much so that their classes...

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Hawthorn School

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