Shawnigan Lake School's mission and values are inseparable from the fact that we are first and foremost a co-educational boarding school; a welcoming community whose aim it is to prepare our young men and women equally for independent and inspiring futures through the means of a well-balanced, holistic education.
Five hundred students, representing over thirty nations, come together each year to live and study in this unparalleled setting on the edge of Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island. We encourage all students to develop an understanding of and commitment to the people, the place and the heritage of Canada, British Columbia and Shawnigan. At the same time, we challenge ourselves each year to be relevant, purposeful and of service in a changing and increasingly global world.
The conversations, connections, sense of community, and friendships forged through these shared experiences are, I believe, part of the magic of our School.
On this website, we will try to give you a sense of who we are and what we do – and we hope that your exploration of these pages will lead you to visit us in real time and to meet the people who together create this unique and remarkable community at Shawnigan.
Larry studied at Winchester College, one of England's oldest boarding schools, and holds qualifications from the universities of London, Cambridge and Oxford and is a teacher of English Literature. He was Head of the English Department and then Head of Upper School and a member of the Senior Management Team at Marlborough College (one of the foremost co-educational boarding schools in England). During this time and as part of a teacher exchange, he worked for a term (2009) in the English Department at UWC Waterford Kamhlaba (Swaziland), which gave him his first insight into the educational model and philosophy of the United World Colleges.
From 2012 to 2018, Larry was Rektor (Head) of UWC Red Cross Nordic (Norway), a co-educational boarding school in the fjords with students from over 85 countries.
Larry has a background in experiential and expeditionary learning, and has co-led school expeditions to many parts of the world—from cultural tours of Cuba to wilderness trails in the iMfolozi and Drakensberg reserves in South Africa. He is a keen team sportsman, skier and fly fisherman and an experienced cricket and field hockey coach.
Larry was appointed to the position of Headmaster of Shawnigan Lake School in August 2017 and moved with his family—Kathini, Poppy, Phoebe and two whippets—in July 2018.
When not on campus, he can be found exploring and fishing rivers on Vancouver Island.
Cheryl was born and raised in Victoria, and enjoyed an active youth as an athlete and competitive swimmer at the Junior National and National levels. Before university, she took a gap year to work at a boarding school in Warwick, England, where she discovered her love of teaching. After returning to the Island to complete a Bachelor of Education at the University of Victoria, Cheryl then enjoyed a 20-year career as a teacher of math and physical education in the Sooke and Cowichan School Districts. In her teaching role she was able to combine her love of education with her love of sports and coached many school athletic teams over the years, including basketball, volleyball, soccer and rugby, to name a few. Cheryl’s three children, recent graduate Nyah ’18, Sophie ’20 and Kyan ’23, all enjoy the numerous leadership, sporting, educational and fine arts opportunities provided at Shawnigan. When not busy in her role as Executive Assistant to the Headmaster, Cheryl can be found hiking the local mountains of the Cowichan Valley and travelling with her children to their high performance sporting events around the country.
As we return from our reimagined November break, I am delighted to see the renewed energy in our community as we head into the home stretch of term. On my morning walkabouts this week I have had the pleasure of witnessing engaging lessons on hydrology, measuring egg velocity, math Kahoots and other exciting in-person teaching and learning moments. Our teachers have become masters of change management during these challenging times and are regularly providing stimulating and motivating educational experiences for our students. I am extremely proud of each of them.
Shawnigan Lake School is a co-educational boarding school on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The school is home to nationally-ranked academics, arts and athletics, with 100 per cent of graduates accepted to university.