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St. Clement's School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Gr. 1 TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


Interview with St. Clement's School Alum, Julie Midroni

  • Name
    Julie Midroni
  • University (major)
    University of Toronto (Biological Physics)

Through her years at St. Clement’s, Julie Midroni has had a wide range of passions and academic pursuits. She credits the school with giving her the flexibility to pursue them all. By the time she graduated, the ‘total package’ that she had built became a full-ride scholarship. She says St. Clement’s provided academic rigor, as well as a community where she could thrive.

Video Contents

Highlights from the interview

  • I’m on a four-year full ride scholarship, and St. Clement’s is basically the entire reason that I got that. It’s a combination of the opportunities that St. Clement’s gives you and the flexibility they create to allow you to pursue them.  They let me really build that repertoire of debating, public speaking, research.  So then the award came in and I was like, ’Well, this is a no-brainer. I should go to U of T because this is great’, and I don’t think that would have happened if it hadn’t been for all of the support that St. Clement’s gave me.

  • Co-curricular-wise: I was Student Council president; I did debating and public speaking, so I traveled a lot for that;  I was on the badminton team for two years; I was on the softball team for a year, I think—just a lot of activities. Oh, I was in Jazz Band—that was fun. There’s just a lot going on. They are really flexible in the sense that, if you’re like, ’I have these things that I want to do,’ they will 100% support you. Like, they won’t let you sacrifice your academic career to play jazz—unless you’re really good at it—but they definitely give you room and accommodations to explore your hobbies and what you’re interested in, because they recognize that it’s not all about grades.

  • They will bend over backwards to make sure that you have the opportunity to express your voice, because one of the things that they really value at St. Clement’s is the ability for students to be outspoken and talk about the things that are important to them. You will never encounter a moment at St Clement’s when a teacher is like, ’No, you can’t fight for the things that are important to you.’

  • Honestly, I appreciate pretty much everything about St. Clement’s. At the end of the day, pretty much everything they did was so preparatory and supportive. It really boosted every positive thing that you would want to have boosted when you send your child to a school.

  • It’s actually kind of beneficial to not be around boys in the sense that, having the opportunity to develop into an outspoken young woman, and not feel beat down about your opinions, and not have to worry about being talked over by boys. Because to be completely honest—and this is as someone who did go to a co-ed school before coming to St. Clement’s —it’s very easy for girls to get talked over, and for that to become the norm. And the great thing about the all-girls school environment is that it basically prevents that from happening, so girls become more confident and more outspoken, and then when they leave St. Clement’s and they go into the real world, what happens is they’re no longer willing to let people talk over them.

  • If I think about the other all-girls schools, they’re significantly larger, and I think that a lot of what makes St. Clement’s great—with how accommodating they are, and how willing they are to let students speak out, and how great the teachers are—it comes in part from how small the school is. I think that it being small allows for a lot more flexibility. That comes not only from the logistical aspect, but from the fact that it’s a lot easier for the admin staff and the teachers to fully support you, because they know you, and that’s so much easier at a small school. I can’t overstate how important it was for my St. Clement’s experience to get to know the teachers, the admin people. It allows you to take advantage of everything the school has to offer, and that’s not nearly as possible in larger schools.

  • St. Clement’s is very good at preparing you to be independent. I need to emphasize that. At university I went into this huge lecture hall where I was literally not allowed to email the professor to ask for help, for some reason but it wasn’t a problem for me because I already had all of these independent study skills, and I was assertive enough to ask for help from the TAs, which a lot of people were intimidated by. My St. Clement’s classmates and I already knew how to take good notes and I already knew how to write good papers. I already knew how to study. St. Clement’s hammers those skills in really hard from a pretty young age.

  • Hardworkingness is a characteristic I see in the school. Everyone I knew at St. Clement’s was—regardless of what they would say about themselves—a hard worker and someone who was committed to doing the best that they could. I would also say multi-talented: there were very few people at St. Clement’s that basically only did one or two things. Everyone was given the room to do pretty much everything and excel at pretty much everything that they wanted to.

  • Respectful is a St. Clement’s characteristic, because I do feel that when you compare it in particular to other private schools, the atmosphere was a little bit more comfortable, and I think a little bit less entitled—that’s a strong word, but the attitude towards staff and teachers, I think, was generally a little bit healthier and more decent than you would find in other private schools.

  • St. Clement’s gives students so much room to explore and excel at what they’re interested in.  As soon as the student comes to school, the staff are nurturing that mindset of ‘if you want to excel at something and you’re willing to put in the work, you will.’ No one can tell you to ’not do that’, no one can talk over you, no one can try to dominate you in an academic sense or in a professional sense unless you let them.  St. Clement’s really makes sure the girls are confident and that they feel, like, truly—from the bottom of their heart—as though they can accomplish anything within reason.

  • St. Clement’s is very much not a cookie-cutter school, in the sense that it doesn’t mould every student into the exact same final product. The flexibility allows a student who is more curious about this subject to grow that curiosity, instead of the standard institutionalized education of, like, ‘Learn these things, get these grades and abandon all of your childhood dreams.’ I think I’m a pretty solid example of not abandoning childhood dreams: I’ve had the same goal since I was 6 years old.

  • Pretty much every single student at St. Clement’s works hard, in the sense that I can probably count on one hand the number of students I remember that didn’t try really, really hard and push really hard to obtain whatever it was that they wanted to obtain. I think that, with the environment, and the types of students that tend to get accepted into St. Clement’s, they are the types of students that do have that grit when it comes to pushing for the things that they want.

  • The amount of the whole-school activities that happen would surprise people about St. Clement’s. St. Clement’s has a lot of ‘complete school’ days: not all the same activities, but full-school celebrations, full-school assemblies twice a week. I didn’t expect it when I came to St. Clement’s how often the entire school would get together. I think that contributes to the community aspect. It’s certainly not, I think, ’regular’ for a school to come together that often.

  • I think St. Clement’s really helped maintain my faith in myself  and helped me leave St. Clement’s as someone who has a solid understanding of what she is capable of, and who is confident in her ability to accomplish things based on what she knows she is capable of.  And I think that’s something that St. Clement’s definitely built from the moment that I got there. They just keep telling the girls, ‘You can accomplish this, we’re going to support you to accomplish this, always pursue those things that you think you can accomplish,’ and then that confidence becomes real as time goes on.

  • I think that when you’re at the school, it’s very easy to get stuck in the echo chamber of again, ‘Oh, I’m so oppressed, all of the teachers here give me so much work, and it’s all so dumb and silly.’ And then you go to university and you realize how much more prepared you are than everyone else, and you realize how great your teachers were compared to everyone else, based on the stories that you heard from your friends. It’s only after you leave—and you compare your experience to the experiences of other people who didn’t go to St. Clement’s—that you realize how lucky you were to actually have gone to St. Clement’s.

  • I would say enroll at the school if you have a lot of things that you are interested in, if you are a proactive person and you have the ability to take advantage of the things that St. Clement’s offers. You could theoretically go to St. Clement’s and just attend class and go home every day, and that would be it—that’s a waste. If you, however, are incredibly proactive and you want to go to a school that gives you the opportunity to, I don’t know, maybe start something or participate in a bunch of different things, or there’s something that you really excel at and you want the flexibility to excel at that—go with St. Clement’s. There’s so many resources and they’re so supportive. If you can take advantage of St. Clement’s, the institution, you should go there.

  • I think St. Clement’s is academically rigorous, but it’s rigorous in a flexible way—in the sense that it’s academically rigorous in STEM, it’s also academically rigorous in Lit. Because of the way the St. Clement’s core structure works, you start everything early, which means that you have a ton of flexibility by the time you reach Grades 10, 11 and 12. You have the ability to tailor a challenging course load to yourself, regardless of what you want that course load to be.

  • Send your child to St. Clement’s if you want to see them develop into someone who is confident and hardworking, but not, I think, excessively entitled. I know that a concern at least my parents had when they sent me to St. Clement’s, was that I was going to come out of it again with, you know, stereotypical private school attributes. That doesn’t really happen at St. Clement’s. If you want the benefits and the academic rigor of a private school, and you also want a private school that will keep your kid humble, I think that this is a pretty good place to send your kid.

  • I would start a tour of St. Clement’s at the library. I think our library is really cool. It just got renovated about a year before I left. There’s a whole bunch of tech in there, which I think is really useful. St. Clement’s has a laptop program, so you can basically check out a laptop there. They have study rooms—like, individual seminar rooms for studying with whiteboards. The actual librarians are great and they’re lovely and it’s a great place to start to see how supportive the entire institution is. I think it’s a microcosm of the St. Clement’s environment as a whole in that library.

  • It’s very preparatory. Everything at St. Clement’s is designed, in one way or another, to make sure that the young woman who graduates at the end of Grade 12 is someone who is prepared to face the larger world with a really, really useful set of skills. I think everything really is designed with that in mind, and I think that sets St. Clement’s apart from a lot of other schools, where the goal is to provide an education—not to provide an education and to actively prepare a group of young women to succeed in the larger environment.

  • I will say that teachers are phenomenal. I feel like that’s something that needs to be said. St. Clement’s teachers are so good. They’re just so good.


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