The NSA prides itself on its comprehensive academic programs and “education that travels. Our academic year is divided into four Quad semesters. Quad 1 begins at the Academy two weeks before the students and their teachers leave for Switzerland at the end of August and continues in the evening in Saas-Fee with each grade completing one credit. When the students return to Collingwood in October they begin Quad 2 classes with most taking two courses. Throughout all four Quads the teachers conduct labs, take the classes on field trips, bring in speakers and hold extra-help sessions for the students. They also have access to homework help during regular study hall in the evenings. During the winter term or Quad 3 students usually take one course with the teachers coordinating the classroom time and homework assignments around their race and training schedules. Quad 4 begins in the spring when the students return to a regular classroom routine taking up to three classes as required. Each student can take at least one Health and Physical Education credit such as Healthy Living and Outdoor Activities or Personal and Fitness Activities throughout the year. Our Academic Department works with each student and their parents to ensure that all curriculum requirements are met and the learning environment allows each individual student to excel.
Our Academic Programs for Grades 9 – 12 include:
- A comprehensive academic program delivered by the National Ski Academy private school (inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Education)
- Up to eight academic courses included in the tuition
- Program and courses aligned to individual student aspirations
- Course delivery integrated with NSA’s fitness and injury prevention program, training and racing program
- Professional, Ontario College of Teachers, accredited teachers delivering Ontario Academic curriculum
- Typically 8:1 student/teacher ratio
Quad 1: One course delivered in Collingwood and Saas-Fee (August – September)
Quad 2: Two courses delivered in Collingwood with teacher support at pre-season training camps (October – December)
Quad 3: One course delivered during competition season in Collingwood with teacher support while students are travelling (Jan – March)
Quad 4: Up to three courses delivered in Collingwood (April – June)
One or two Heath and Physical Education courses are delivered at home and while away throughout the academic year with teacher and coach support
- Provincial Literacy testing completed through the NSA
- Supervised study periods at the Academy Monday through Thursday
Administration & Facilities Staff
Head of School
Tobin Walsh comes to the NSA with 15 years of teaching and educational program coordination with the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). She is most recently a coordinator for the Specialist High Skills Major Programs in the Pathways Department at the TCDSB Catholic Education Centre. She has extensive teaching and leadership experience in the areas of Guidance, Co-operative Education, Geography, Career Studies and Science. Over her career, Tobin has focused on and excelled at building relationships among stakeholders, developing partnerships, building community and the creation of engaging student learning opportunities to enhance student success. Tobin has been involved in the ski industry for over 20 years, and she, her husband Paul and their son Jasper are currently members of Alpine Ski Club’s race crew.
This is Carol’s second year at the NSA. She brings over 20 years of bookkeeping experience with charitable organizations and most recently worked with the United Way in Guelph. Carol is also a ski instructor and lives in Collingwood with her husband.
Heather has taught senior Math & Sciences at the NSA for two years. She has a B.Sc from Memorial University and an H. Dip in Education from the National University in Ireland, Galway and is currently working towards an Outdoor Education Diploma and Masters at UBC. Heather has been sharing her passion for science with the NSA students as a senior science teacher, teaching mostly Biology and Chemistry. This year she’s wearing another hat as one of our house supervisors and providing the students with learning resources during study hall. Heather enjoys getting to know the students who are unable to travel home on weekends, sharing breakfasts together, baking cookies, watching movies and getting out to enjoy events around the area.
Administration & Communications
Cindy has been a part of the NSA family for six years, first as a parent then joining the office team in 2015. She is in charge of administration, communications and organizing fundraising and social events for the NSA community. Cindy skis at Osler Bluff with her husband and three sons, Ben (’16), Cam (’19) and Griffen. During ski season, when not answering the phone at the NSA, she can be found volunteering and cheering on the athletes at races across the Escarpment.
Chef Zak is Cordon Bleu-trained, has worked around the world, most recently at Cafe Chartreuse, here in Collingwood. Chef Zak says he “looks forward to introducing everyone to new cuisine on the menu, be it Thai, Italian or French. I have a love for patisseries so there will be lots of exciting things to come on the dessert menu as well.” He will be travelling to Saas-Fee with the group in September to ensure everyone is well fed during the five weeks of the training camp.
This is Robert’s first year taking care of the NSA’s heritage home, Tornaveen which was built in 1893. He is responsible for day to day maintenance at the school as well as planning and carrying out the special heritage grant projects to keep our building looking great for its 125 years. Robert recently retired from the Canadian military and lives in Collingwood with his family.
English & Social Science Teacher
This is Elicia’s second year at the NSA teaching English & Social Sciences and joining the students in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Elicia grew up west of Blue Mountain, just above Heathcote, on a family-run dairy farm. When she isn’t spending time outside with her dogs, horses, or cows, she is travelling the world and gathering an extensive and eclectic collection of passport stamps. She completed her BA in English and History, with a minor in World Lit and Cultural Studies, at the University of New Brunswick. Shortly after, she moved to Australia to complete her Masters of Teaching. Since then she has worked in schools in remote Cree reservations, taught aboard a sailing tall ship, and taught in an all-boys independent school in Vancouver.
Rachel has been teaching French at all levels at the Academy since 2014. Rachel combines a love of the language with practical study habits to inspire all her students.
Grade 9 & 10 French
Senior Math Teacher
Amanda has returned to the NSA to teach Grade 12 Advanced Functions this year.
Math & Sciences
This is Megan’s first year teaching Data Management and Biology at the NSA.
Senior Math Teacher
This is Joy’s first year teaching our grade 11 students Functions.
This is Alex’s second year at the NSA. She is working with our Grade 9, 10 and 12 students exploring science with inquiry based experiments ranging from meterorite impacts to lung capacity to impacts on ecosystems. She has a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Genetics and a minor in Psychology from UWO and completed UWO’s Bachelor of Education program as part of the first ever STEM cohort. She grew up in Wasaga Beach, ON and is excited to have begun her teaching career here at home. Alex hopes to visit Europe every year and never goes anywhere without her book!
Science is simply the word we use to describe a method of organizing our curiosity. – Tim Minchin
English & ESL Teacher & OSSLT Prep Support
Janet returns to the NSA for her third year of teaching English to our Grade 12 students in Collingwood and Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Before retiring in 2016 from her career as a secondary school teacher, she designed and delivered essential English literacy courses; taught an extensive array of programs, ranging from Grade 9 LDCC English to Grade 12 University preparation; and wrote English curriculum at the local and provincial levels. Since retirement, she has been busy tutoring student athletes, skiing, hiking the Bruce Trail, and volunteering with community theatre groups.