Building a positive School culture starts in the earliest days of a student’s Shawnigan experience, as we set out from Day One to inspire the best in each to create the best for all. The Shawnigan Journey is an intentional and progressive educational, social and emotional experience, and students that participate from the impressionable Grade 8 stage are positioned to gain the most from the experience.
It is for this reason that we have developed a nurturing program for our 12-14 year old Grade 8 students, providing a supportive springboard into the wider Shawnigan community. Rather than being immersed in senior boarding houses right away, our Grade 8s begin their Shawnigan Journey in specially-designed Houses with their peers: Stanton for the girls and Levien for the boys. Each House is run by a caring team of dedicated staff, and these houses work in tandem to foster a safe co-ed grade culture characterized by close friendships that shape and support students’ onward journey at Shawnigan.
The next phase in the evolution of the Grade 8 program is the construction of a new and pioneering co-educational boarding house, with one wing for girls and one for boys, with regular opportunities for co-educational social connections through shared programming and common rooms.
Planned to accept its first cohort of students in September 2023, the new boarding house will be the first of its kind for this grade level in Canada.
Fundraising will continue for Samuel House throughout its construction. We will invite all members of our community to participate and recognize the Samuel legacy. Donors will be recognized on a donor wall in the foyer.
space to develop our
existing Grade 8 cohort
6 live-in staff families
room for Grade 11 mentors
mascot: dragon colours: pink & brown hymn: Calon Lan
In honour of the Samuels
The School has chosen the name “Samuel House” in honour of Rhodri and Gaynor Samuel and their unstinting and exemplary service to our School. Rhod and Gaynor have dedicated their lives to Shawnigan for nearly 30 years and have come to embody the true soul of the School.
Universally admired within and beyond the School, Gaynor and Rhod have provided leadership and trusted mentorship in a variety of roles throughout their time at Shawnigan. From Gaynor’s roles as Renfrew House Director, self-proclaimed “House Mother” of Ripley’s House, and her current role of Executive Director of Admissions, to Rhod’s roles as biology teacher, longtime Ripley’s House Director, 1st XV boys’ rugby coach, and his current roles as Senior Master and Director of Alumni Engagement, they have been an inspiration to us all.
Gaynor and Rhod are tremendous supporters of co-education at Shawnigan and have worked tirelessly to support and contribute to the design of the new Grade 8 House and the development of the Grade 8 experience. And never fear: they are not retiring anytime soon! They are looking forward to the next chapter of their story at Shawnigan, welcoming new families and reconnecting with the School’s network of alumni, parents, staff and supporters both on and off campus.
For more information on this exciting project, please contact
Greg Stevenson, Executive Director, Advancement & Community Engagement
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent co-educational boarding school for ages 13 –18 on Canada’s beautiful West Coast. Our diverse, interdisciplinary and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.