The oldest daughter of our Founder, Starling is finding wonderful ways to use the creativity nurtured at the little school her mother opened. Starling graduated from Touchstone in 2007.
After attending Rothesay Netherwood for middle school, I attended Groton, a boarding school in Massachusetts. While at Groton, I coxed the mens crew team, stage managed theatre productions, started an underwater photography program, and worked at the Toronto International Film Festival for a summer. I then went on to attend Bowdoin College in Maine where I studied Sociology. While there, I chose to pursue a project focused on the heroin epidemic and spent time interviewing prisoners in both a juvenile detention center and a maximum security prison and writing their stories.
I am currently living in Brooklyn, New York, working at Man Repeller as their social media associate, and The Paris Review as a poetry reader. I also recently finished an internship at JV8INC casting agency and still hold onto the dream of one day running a casting agency of my own.
Seth was one of Ms Angela’s very first students when Touchstone first opened in the year 2000. He still keeps in touch with her, even though his incredible talent and hard work have led him into an international dancing career. Seth graduated from Touchstone in 2008.
I’m happy to share my experiences since graduating from Touchstone. I’m smiling just thinking about my memories of that truly unique school! At Touchstone, I remember feeling safe, happy, and celebrated as a young human being with all the potential in the world. I often think about how wonderful it would have been if there had been an option to continue on past grade 5! I still hold a lot of love for the teachers I had while I was there.
I remember when Ms Val was my teacher in Grade 5. At the time, I know I complained to my parents that she was so strict! Then, the summer after I graduated, I went to Toronto for a month to audition for The National Ballet School. It was one of the hardest times of my life and I think I cried everyday because I was so homesick. My amazing parents arranged for me to receive a letter in the mail every single day that month. One of those letters was from Ms Val and it was one of the most heartwarming and encouraging messages I have ever received.
When I was 14, I went to study at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the University of Winnipeg Collegiate. In high school, I was treated like an adult, seen as an individual and taught with respect. I was pushed to think creatively. I reconnected to the Touchstone values and learning methods that I had experienced in elementary school.
I moved to Madrid, Spain in 2018 and am loving it so far. I now manage my own company called EYAS Dance Project.
There really is something special about the people in the Touchstone community, past and present. It makes me so happy to know that the school continues to grow and thrive.
I remember my days at Touchstone very well, especially the great teachers, the Christmas tree hunts and other field trips, International Nights, and the many plays, talent shows and other performances I took part in. I think that my interest in learning and the drive I have to challenge myself probably started at Touchstone.
At Rothesay High School, I enrolled in the French immersion program and enjoyed all subjects: from sciences, maths, & political science, to literature & philosophy. I was involved in sports, playing varsity football and minor hockey; I was given the male leading role in our 2017 school musical “Leader of the Pack”, and played the villain (Jafar) in 2018’s “Aladdin,” receiving “Outstanding Actor” awards for both roles at the NB Drama Festival. I was also part of a student volunteer group that fundraised for different organizations, and helped run a peer tutoring group during lunch hours. I attended various leadership conferences and enrichment programs such as a week at Encounters with Canada in Ottawa, and “We Day”. I also had a part-time job at Pomodori pizza throughout most of high school.
Upon graduation from RHS in 2018, I received the RHS Physics Prize, and was awarded the Brent Fillmore Family Scholarship from UNB, the UNB Engineering Alumni Award for 2018, and first prize in Medtronic Canada’s scholarship competition. I have decided to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at UNB Fredericton and I’m really enjoying it so far! For the future, I’m considering a career in either Biomedical Engineering or Medicine.
Chip Smith graduated from Touchstone in the spring of 2010. During his time in elementary school, Chip developed an interest in Canadian government and politics in general. At Harry Miller Middle School and Rothesay High School, Chip was involved in various leadership positions within Student Government, Model United Nations, Debate Club and other various associations within both schools. He is now in his second year studying Political Science and History at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.
Chip first pursued his interest in politics by volunteering in the 2014 provincial election campaign, with his local liberal candidate, developing many unique skills while getting to meet fellow members of our community. He subsequently helped with the by-election campaign in Saint John East and in municipal elections. This past summer, Chip interned as a Summer Student in Saint John, for the New Brunswick Liberal Party, in preparation for this fall’s provincial election. Presently, Chip has been volunteering for a nomination campaign in the federal riding of Outremont, in preparation for the upcoming by-election.
In November 2015, Chip was elected Vice President (Organization) of the New Brunswick Young Liberals and in April 2018, Chip was elected the associations’ Vice President as well as being elected to the inaugural Young Liberals of Canada (New Brunswick) executive committee. He is also involved with Liberal McGill; the official arm of the Young Liberals of Canada at McGill University where he serves as Vice-President (Membership). He was also recently named one of the 2018/19 Fellows with the Canadian Jewish Political Action Committee (CJPAC).
Through Chip’s work within the political community, he has had the incredible opportunity to attend multiple political conventions at both, the federal and provincial level, as well as network with individuals such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal opposition leader Andrew Scheer, former leader of the New Democratic Party Thomas Mulcair, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini and, the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez.
Outside of politics and school, Chip is an active tennis player and skier, a travel enthusiast, a decent chef and an avid coffee consumer. We are 100% certain that whatever career he pursues, Chip will go on to become a strong leader in his community.
I have such fond memories of my time at Touchstone! It provided the foundation for my love of learning, and I credit my Touchstone teachers with helping to foster my senses of curiosity and creativity. I am extremely thankful that Touchstone provided my classmates and me with so many public-speaking opportunities. It was this early exposure to speaking in front of my class and an audience that gave me the confidence to thrive in high school and to speak in front of large groups of people today.
After graduating from Touchstone in 2011, I attended Rothesay Park School where I took French Immersion. For high school, I attended Rothesay Netherwood School and graduated with an IB diploma. At RNS, I was fortunate to be engaged in a wide range of activities, specifically within service and athletics. I played field hockey and was a team captain during Grades 11 and 12. I also rowed crew and coxed. Through my work with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Go Girls! program, I mentored a number of local middle-school girls. I then helped start the first mentoring program for RNS middle-school girls where we focused on teaching the importance of positive self-image and living a healthy lifestyle. I was involved with Youth for Youth for three years. As chair for two of those years, I led the committee in planning and hosting fundraising concerts. These concerts showcased the talents of local high school and university students and raised funds and awareness for the Teen Resource Centre and at-risk youth in the Saint John area. Throughout middle and high school, I volunteered with Alzheimer’s patients, and I founded a program for high school students to work with Alzheimer’s patients at a local nursing home.
I am currently studying Health Sciences at Western University in London, ON. My main areas of interest in Health Sci lie in the determinants of health and health promotion. Since arriving at Western, I have volunteered on the Heart and Mind Study, an intervention for participants suffering from hypertension and cognitive decline. I am also the VP Events and Programming on the Dream Team, which supports the Southwestern Ontario Make-A-Wish foundation. For the past two summers, I have worked as a summer student in the Primary Health Care Unit of the New Brunswick Department of Health.
I feel honoured to have received the Canadian Red Cross Young Humanitarian Award for New Brunswick, the Teen Resource Centre Teens Who Care Award, the RNS Community Service Award, an RNS Head’s Award, the W.D. Burley Award for Outstanding Service to the RNS Student Community, the Western Continuing Admissions Scholarship, and a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze medal.
In my free time, I love travelling, reading, cooking, yoga, skiing, and spending time with my family and friends and my Welsh Springer Spaniel, Pippa!