Private Schools

How Hudson College encourages students to boost their academic and personal goals

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Before Alice Irwin enrolled at Hudson College, she was lacking the confidence and motivation to be herself and thrive academically. Now, the Dalhousie University student chalks up her success to her experience at Hudson.

By Hudson College
How Hudson College encourages students to boost their academic and personal goals
Alice Irwin, Hudson alumna

High school is a crucial phase in a student’s development, and a school that genuinely supports academic and social needs during this impressionable time can make all the difference. For Alice Irwin, she found the right fit when she landed at Hudson College.

Alice, who now attends Dalhousie University, switched schools halfway through Grade 10 and says her self-confidence and academics bloomed after she enrolled at Hudson College.

“The teachers at Hudson always expected the most from me,” says Alice. “I think their expectations allowed me to start viewing myself that way and sort of embody that person they saw.” The co-edl, non-denominational private school in Toronto encourages students to be intellectually curious and express who they are, placing an equal importance on academic and social growth.

“It’s important for all teens to feel like they have agency in their lives to make decisions, make mistakes and figure out who they are in the process,” says Hudson’s head of guidance, Lisa Streff. “It’s a great joy to be able to witness and support their individual journey.”

Personalized opportunities

Small classrooms are a hallmark of the high school, providing abundant opportunities to speak one-on-one with teachers, guidance and even administrators. For Alice, the enthusiasm each teacher brought to the classroom sparked her passion for learning.

“The teachers were really talented at making classes interesting and helping me grasp the concepts, which is something that I hadn’t experienced at the high school before,” says Alice. “All the teachers at Hudson are super invested in students and what they teach.”

Students are given ample opportunities to personalize their school experience according to their skills, interests and goals. “Hudson has a lot of clubs,” says Alice, “which was awesome because it gives everyone a chance to shine in their own way.” Students are welcome to explore as many—or as few—interests they wish, from robotics club to CrossFit, radio club to lab assistant program and so much more. Fostering an environment that celebrates diversity helps ensure Hudson students feel secure and supported in expressing themselves.

“Our Toronto students and their families come to Hudson from diverse neighbourhoods all across the city and there are over 16 different nationalities represented in our student body,” says Streff. “We consider it our responsibility to intentionally model and support diversity.” Emblazoned across the walls throughout the school are messages to “be yourself”—words backed by the actual school experience.

A place to be yourself

“It’s honestly amazing how so many kids are truly themselves,” says Alice. “It definitely gave me the courage to be able to open back up and be myself again, which then kind of played itself into every other aspect of my life.” Today, Alice studies comparative global history and plans to apply to law school—both pathways inspired by her favourite teacher at Hudson. “He made every subject he taught fascinating,” she says, crediting him with blossoming her passion for the subjects.


Parents seeking a high school in which their teen can thrive may want to consider Hudson. “We refer Hudson College to everybody,” says Alice’s father, Arthur. “It was such a positive experience for us.”

Hudson College provides an inspired, connected learning model that makes academics exciting. The result? Graduates have a formidable tool set for post-secondary success, including academic preparedness, passion for learning and the confidence to be themselves.

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