So many different things happening on campus this week…

All the Grade 11s arrived back on campus on Sunday full of stories from their out trips and fully ready for a good sleep. The week however did not allow for much rest for the Symons girls.

First up was our Symons House chapel. The girls were amazing! Speeches, performances and even an all house dance. They really set the standards high for the rest of the houses.

Some of the girls participated in track and field on a beautifully sunny Fall day.

The Senior campus was one of the stops on the Tour de Rock. In short, Tour de Rock is a foundation that raises money for childhood cancer. Emergency professionals such as police officers, paramedics and firefighters ride the length of the island raising money at each stop. For more information please visit

Saturday activities were very exciting this week with a hike up Mt Doug, baking, crabbing, swimming, volunteering and the board game cafe. Due to the high levels of fun, not many pictures were taken.

We are sure next week will be full of just as much adventure…

A Quiet Saturday on Campus

It has been a quiet week with the grade eleven’s gone on their out trips. Everyone has been adjusting to the daily rhythms of SMUS and are looking forward to our shared Thanksgiving dinner on October 9.

Some girls were up bright and early playing squash, some went to Spin Class to start their day off with some intense exercise, some signed off-campus for a nice lunch with friends and others just enjoyed the relaxing pace a Saturday brings. We had a few grade 9’s and 10’s attend a service day activity pulling invasive plants out on Mt. Tolmie and a hip hop class.

We are looking forward to the grade eleven’s returning and I am sure everyone is eagerly anticipating the October long weekend.

Saturday activities, sports, out-trips, and Terry Fox

Last weekend, our boarders got to experience the first weekend of Saturday activity offerings. Each Saturday, there are six different options to choose from and they vary from cultural, outdoor, service, arts and crafts, fitness, sporting events, musical events, cooking, just to name a few! Last weekend, many of our Symons girls participated and had the opportunity to further explore the sights of Victoria…and get some ice cream along the way!


Some of our other Symons girls were busy last weekend participating in their first Field Hockey tournament. The Developmental team showed excellent effort and team play, while the Senior Girls’ team won the Tier II side of the competitive division. Vivat!


We missed our Gr. 10s this week while they were away on their respective outtrips. They participated in a variety of trips: kayaking, rock climbing, sailing, farming, hiking, and surfing. The girls experienced some amazing things and have great stories to tell, however, we only have one picture to show! Here’s Marifer climbing the rigging of the sailboat. Wow!


Last Sunday, our full boarding community participated in the Terry Fox run, which is an annual tradition. It is a 5km run in support of Cancer awareness and research. Here’s many our girls just before the run!


Just a reminder that our October Long Weekend is coming up soon so we need all the girls to input their weekend/travel plans into our Reach system. Parents – please approve these with the correct information when you receive the email. Thank you!

First House Games

Our first House Games was a huge success! The Symons girls represented our house with sportsmanship and determination. It was so much fun to watch them compete in a variety of outdoor activities including banana races, water balloon obstacle courses, recycling relay and many more! All the Symons girls wore their Symons blue with pride and each one also sported a huge smile throughout.

After House Games we all quickly changed and headed to our first dinner as a SMUS Boarding Community to enjoy each others company and the delicious food served to us by Sodexo. Our day ended with our first chapel and some wise words from Rev. Fletcher.

First Week of the New School Year!

September 7, 2019

Welcome back! We were very excited to meet our new Symons girls and welcome back our returning students this week.


The Grade 12’s planned some introduction games to help everyone get to know each other.


On Thursday night, we walked up Mt. Tolmie with Harvey House to watch the sunset.


On Friday night Harvey and Symons did a scavenger hunt that took them all around downtown.



Today, both houses went on a picnic to Gyro Beach. The girls enjoyed playing soccer, volleyball, and just hanging out in the sand.


It was a very busy week, with more excitement tomorrow with our first House Games. Wish us luck!

Meet the Symons Houseparent Team 2019-2020!

Nikki Kaufmann – Senior Houseparent

Hi everyone! My name is Ms. Kaufmann and I am the Senior Houseparent in Symons House. This will be my 6th year as the Senior Houseparent and 13th year overall as a houseparent in Symons House. I live on the first floor of Symons House with my 1-year old French Bulldog, Jooniper. During the school day at SMUS, I teach Physical Education and I also coach the Senior Girls’ Soccer Team. In my free time I enjoy running, beach walks with Jooniper and going to cafes for coffee (I love coffee!). The SMUS boarding community is a fantastic place to live and I look forward to welcoming all of you to the Symons family and welcoming back our returning Symons girls. Our Symons House motto is “We are Symons and we are family!” See you all soon!

Deanna Catto – Senior Assistant Houseparent

This is my 8th year as a houseparent in Symons House and my 6th living in the building as the Senior Assistant Houseparent. I live on the third floor in the building along with my family. My husband is a Victoria Police Sergeant and we have four sons; Mackenzie who graduated from SMUS seven years ago, Liam and Angus who are twins who graduated from SMUS five years ago, and Allistair who is going into Grade 11 at SMUS. During the day, I work full time at the SMUS Senior School as a math teacher. I have been teaching for 29 years and have been at SMUS for 9 years. I enjoy morning walks and spending my spare time with my family, reading, and travelling. I am looking forward to the year ahead in Symons House!

Lisa Mulvihill – Assistant Houseparent

Hi my name is Lisa Mulvihill and I am heading into my 7th year as a Symons houseparent. Throughout my time at SMUS I have had the pleasure of being a part of an amazing community and boarding house! I truly enjoy my time spent with students whether it’s chatting about life or spending my long weekends exploring new places with them especially when it involves skiing in Whistler. When I am not on campus, I am teaching Kindergarten in the public school system here in Victoria and I have recently begun my Masters of Special Education. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, swimming, exploring Vancouver Island and spending time with friends and family.

Lisa Mulvihill

Kate de Goede (Carlson) – Assistant Houseparent

This is my 6th year in boarding as a houseparent in Symons House. I am a teacher at the SMUS Senior School, and my husband Jake is a Junior houseparent in Barnacle House. In my spare time I coach basketball and soccer at SMUS, and enjoy playing a variety of recreational sports. I love dogs, and have an English Setter named Bentley that I am obsessed with. I enjoy travelling, food, and anything outdoors. One of my lifelong dreams is to compete on the Amazing Race someday! I look forward to meeting all of the new girls in Symons House!

Melanie Bendfeld – Boarding Activities Coordinator and Houseparent

Hi, I am the Boarding Activities Co-ordinator and I am also a member of the Symons Houseparent team. My husband Ian is an Assistant Houseparent in Harvey House (our brother house) and we live on campus with our two kids, Camryn and Callum. Along with my boarding life, I also teach Physical Education at the Senior School and coach the Sr. Girls’ Volleyball team. In my spare time, I absolutely love exploring the west coast, hiking, biking, camping, and golfing. I love everything that beautiful Victoria and this island has to offer. I am looking forward to welcoming everyone home to Symons and I’m excited for what the new school year will bring.

Bendfelds 2019

Stef Sloboda – Junior Houseparent

My name is Stef Sloboda and I’m heading into my 3rd year at SMUS. Throughout my time at SMUS I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in many roles and activities within the community. I have been a part of all three boarding houses, I have coached a variety of sports on campus, chaperoned outdoor education trips, as well as spent some time teaching at the Middle and Senior Schools. When I am not working for SMUS, I am teaching in the Greater Victoria School District, working on my Masters in Coaching and Administration, and travelling with the Canadian Women’s National Field Hockey team as the Performance Analyst. In my spare time you’ll find me enjoying the outdoors on camping or biking adventures, being active in the gym, and spending time with family and friends. I have truly have enjoyed being involved in the diversity of the SMUS community and look forward to my new boarding role as a Symons houseparent.

Stef Sloboda

Megan Blackey – Faculty Houseparent

Hi! My name is Megan Blackey and this will be my third year teaching at SMUS, and my first year as a houseparent in Symons House. I teach Physical Education at the Middle School and also enjoy coaching cross-country, volleyball, basketball and track and field. I grew up on this island and love spending time with friends and family at the beaches, in the trails, and discovering new favourite coffee shops. I enjoy staying active, playing softball, tennis, hockey, and golf as often as I can. I’m looking forward to the year and excited about joining the Symons family!

Megan Blackey


It has been a very busy week at SMUS. Classes are wrapping up and the girls are getting ready for final exams. The grade 12’s organized a house picnic for both Symons and Harvey. The students enjoyed an afternoon of sun, activities and some great snacks.

We also had a couple Symons girls be recognized at the Athletic Banquet.