Philopateer Christian College: Building a Bright Future

10 Best Educational Institutes to Watch out in 2022

Distance is no bar when it comes to learning today. Digital advancements along with the aggressive restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, has brought a wave of new opportunities for students to learn and study from some of the best schools and colleges from around the world from the comforts and safety of their homes.

And building a storm in the field of education is one of Canada’s favourite institutions, the Philopateer Christian College. The first Coptic Egyptian owned school in Ontario, it has been recently recognized as the Best Private School in Mississauga in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The accolade is a further testament of the firm place it holds in the country presently. Founded in 1999, the school has over the years established itself as a reliable name in the field of education, a recognition that has gone beyond the borders of Canada. This recognition as a renowned name in the private school world has been made tangible through the many awards, media coverage, and global participation.

As well as the recognition it has received for its impressive academics, Philopateer also holds the unique reputation of being the first school in North America that was founded by the Coptic Egyptian Community.

Philopateer Christian College offers classes from Pre-K to grade 12 school. In its inaugural year, around 40 students (K-8 at that time) were schooled in the basement of the Canadian Coptic Centre. Over the years, the student body grew stronger and the programs expanded to include high school. In 2009, in order to accommodate the growth and increasing number of students, the school moved to a larger that has since been their home building.  The school prides over the fact that a cent percent of their students have graduated and moved on to top universities nationally and internationally and have now become leaders in different professions all over the world. Steering the school into its well-deserved and established limelight is principal Phoebe Wasfy, a force as strong as the institute’s foundation, to reckon with.

An integral part of the school, she not only leads the administration aspect but her leadership has been prowess has been a book to the school culture. She leads the school’s day to day operation as well as all initiatives in school helping students become global citizens and ensures that their experience is not one that is limited to the classroom walls but also one that helps them understand education from different angles.

An Egypt-born Canadian, Phoebe was selected in 2021 as one among the 100 most Inspiring Women in Canada. She began her career as a teacher at Philopateer Christian College in 2005 and her work has led her to be recognized as a leader in her field Internationally, nationally and locally. Her active involvement in the field of education has also earned her the Arab Women of Excellence Awards in Academia from Life Transformation Academy (Calgary, Alberta – Canada). Additionally she has been active with the Ontario College of Teachers and the Ontario Principal Association. Phoebe holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and a Bachelor of Education from D’Youville College. She has also received a Higher Education Certificate from Harvard University, and a Master of Education in educational leadership and administration from the University of Western Ontario.

“In upholding high standards in our academics and help teach our students both accountability and integrity, we were able to maintain the high achieving culture and empower our students to be well rounded young people ready to face the future endavours with courage and integrity.  Being a private school, the concept of earning the grades deserved is one that is integral as part of our solid reputation,” explains Phoebe, with pride.

A School of Opportunities

Philopateer Christian College has many great programing available to help ensure the success of its students. Children as young as three are encouraged to enter the world of school education in their Pre-JK class. French Immersion has also been a big part of the school from JK to grade 8 while students who continue in the program through high school graduate as bilingual students. In January 2021, the school was chosen among six schools in all of Canada to launch the Pre-Advanced Placement program.

International inclusion has also been a committed drive for the school management, and has students from China, Brazil, Korea, Egypt and many other countries from around the world. The pandemic also provided a huge opportunity for success at the Philopateer Christian College. Since the COVID-19 outbreak and the many travel restrictions, the school introduced the Virtual High School platform that is now expanding worldwide and bringing the school to students in the comfort of their homeland.

Although, the online learning has become a norm in the world, many of the educational accountability pieces were tweaked to help people cope with the situation. At Philopateer the coping came through the implementation of the norms into their virtual platform. While a few public boards opted out of exams, the school invested into a proctoring system that allowed students to continue to do their exams and be well prepared for their future studies.

“As a private school, challenges that we faced and sometimes continue to face are the building of a strong and integral reputation while recruiting families to make a big investment in the education of their children while they have the option of publicly funded schools,” explains Phoebe. Moreover, as a private school, laying the solid foundation for students as well as gaining the support and belief of parents in the vision of building well-rounded leaders for the future is another challenge that the administration faced, and continue to face she says. Involving parents while maintaining a high level of professionalism can also be a place of challenge.

Yet, these have not slowed down the school’s intent to progress and develop, managing to continue keeping pace with its offerings and support to its community. “At Philopateer Christian College, it is our vision to prepare our students to become well-rounded leaders of tomorrow, following in their Master’s footsteps. We do this by helping them believe in and develop their God-given talents in the right environment, guided by highly qualified teachers.

“Taking our vision to heart, our school ensures that our students not only learn in a very highly motivational environment encouraging them to excel but also reach the highest levels they can.  We do so through setting up opportunities for them through academic programs as well as extracurricular activities that not only emphasize local involvement but also global exposure.  We educate our students to have a balance and be actively involved,” says Phoebe.

Philopateer has always been innovative in all aspects of education. The school is constantly working towards improvising and adding new programs to further elevate and encourage every child’s talent and skillset from their early years, helping them develop and accept their full potential. One such program is an annual musical that the school organizes on the largest stage in the city. This musical involves all the student body through every aspects and has become a tradition. Furthermore, the school takes students overseas over spring break on humanitarian trips, as a move to introduce students to international NGOs and hospitals that eventually create a relationship for them to continue the work when they come back. Locally, and internationally, students are given opportunities to create initiatives that give them the chance to raise funds and awareness to help various charities and social causes. Even through the pandemic and with travel restriction, the school created opportunities for students to raise awareness and funds for one of UN’s sustainability projects “Decent Life” and virtually participating in the World Youth Forum held last January in Egypt.

A step into the future

Since the pandemic hit the whole world of education reformed into a new realm. For years, leading up to the pandemic, universities and high schools in Ontario created many online programs and courses.  Yet when pandemic hit, the education world seemed to be perplexed with the changes that were imposed, and inevitable, and the move to the virtual education realm. “It is now a reality and as a school we took it on with finesse. Virtual education in now the new world of education and with proper direction will bring the concept of globalization of education into a reality that will forever impact the world,” says Phoebe.

Philopateer Christian College is striving to expand worldwide first through its virtual platform and has ambitions to widen its reach to physical campuses worldwide in the near future. Phoebe expresses, “We are striving to continue to be a beacon of education shining through the world through our initiatives and our graduates. PCC is changing the world one student at a time! We believe in our students and believe that they are ambassadors for our school.  When they graduate, we believe that this is really the beginning of our story.  We wait to hear where they go and what they do and we celebrate what they become.  Hearing back from our alumnus and their post-secondary institutions as they thrive in their fields of studies keep all the staff at PCC motivated and believing in their mission and vision. Through God’s help, we succeeded in changing lives.”