Ed Kidd is the headmaster at Ridley College and spoke to us this month about the College which is celebrating 127 years in Niagara. Kidd came to Ridley five years ago, after a stint teaching at an international school in Shanghai for a number of years. Using a power point and video presentation to illustrate many aspects of student life on the Ridley campus, Kidd talked about Ridley’s place in the Niagara community.
He pointed out that Ridley has been in existence for 127 years. It started as an Anglican school in 1889 in the former Springbank Hotel on Yates Street on the east side of Twelve Mile Creek. However, after a fire in that building, school officials decided to rebuild on land already owned by Ridley on the west side of the creek. The building started in 1904 and the campus continues to evolve with plans already in the works to meet future needs.
Kidd said that tough economic times pushed the all boys school to go co-ed 42 years ago. That first year there were just seven Grade 12 girls on campus but the school now has a total enrolment of 665 students from junior kindergarten to Grade 12 with 52% male and 48% female. The school em-ploys about 200 people including 102 teaching staff.
Kidd said that although Ridley is tied to the Anglican Church by tradition it has become ecumenical in its chapel services. The student body includes 45 nationalities as Ridley’s reputation has spread world-wide. Ridley’s motto translates as “May I be consumed in Service” and its graduates can be found in all walks of life.
Seventy-five per cent of Upper School students board on campus while many of the Lower School students are day students from the Niagara area. That education doesn’t come cheaply. Kidd said that tuition for international students is $60,900 while domestic boarding students pay $54,900.
Kidd said that Ridley is one of the 70 schools that make up the Canadian Association of Independent Schools. He pointed out that they are non-profit schools as opposed to private schools.
He said that although Ridley is perhaps best known for its rowing program, athletics are an important part of the program for all levels of students and pointed out that all students take part in the annual cross country race.