NSA STAFF

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

Tobin Walsh

Tobin Walsh

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.

 

Carol Tolles

Carol Tolles

Finance Manager

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.

Christy Allen

Christy Allen

House Supervisor

Christy grew up training with Olympians on and off the ice at the Mariposa National Training Centre in Barrie, ON
For the past 26 years she has helped athletes pursue their goals as a multi-sport coach and trainer and built a reputation for pushing boundaries and knocking down barriers in business and in sport. As the parent of a highly competitive athlete, Christy appreciates the family investment required to pursue a dream and reach the top of the podium. Christy is looking forward to working together with the team at the NSA to promote an atmosphere of excellence.

Hannah Needles

Hannah Needles

House Supervisor

Hannah is joining the NSA this year as one of our House Supervisors. Hannah has worked closely with young children for the past three years in a multilingual setting. She is currently pursuing higher learning in Early Childhood Education studies, and continues to manage early education centres around the area. When she’s not chasing after the youth of Collingwood, she enjoys baking, singing and gardening.

Cindy Hayhurst

Cindy Hayhurst

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.

Zak Bensdira

Zak Bensdira

Chef

Chef Zak is Cordon Bleu-trained and 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.”  Zaktravels to Saas-Fee with the group in September to ensure everyone is well fed during the five weeks of the training camp and does meal prep and planning with the coaches for race and training camps throughout the rest of the year.

Robert Pierce

Robert Pierce

House Maintenance

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.

Teaching Staff

Elicia Cann

Elicia Cann

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.

William Vancise

William Vancise

Visual Arts & Photography

Mr. Vancise returns to work with the student athletes at the Academy for his four year. He holds his Honours Specialist in Visual Arts and History.  He is currently the Arts Department Chair at Collingwood Collegiate.  He devotes his time to instructional practice, community, charity, agriculture and Mother Nature.  Words of wisdom: “Creativity takes commitment and a lot of found material.” Motto: Art for Art’s Sake.

Neal Jankowski

Neal Jankowski

Chemistry

Neal has a passion for teaching no matter what the subject or activity. He loves science and the outdoors. He has a BSc from Waterloo with a minor in Psychology. He completed his Teaching Degree in Thunder Bay specializing in Environmental Science through outdoor experiential education. He has experience working with Specialist High Skills Major classes and their canoe trips as well as local outdoor adventure companies. Neal is currently the Program Director for Highlands Nordic, where he oversees thousands of students annually come for outdoor ed, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and hands-on science programs.

Alex Prochenko

Alex Prochenko

Science Teacher

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

Brian Raaflaub

Brian Raaflaub

Grades 9 & 10 Math

After 35+ years of mathematics leadership in independent schools across Canada and abroad, Brian comes out of retirement…again! He has taught Ontario, Alberta, AP and IB curricula over the course of his career and is looking forward to working with the student athletes at the National Ski Academy in the spring.
 
 
 
Norm Johnston

Norm Johnston

Business Leadership

Norm Graduated with a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University, followed by studies at the Faculty of Education and Graduate School in Physical Anthropology at the University of Toronto.  He has a specialist in physical education and has taught at a variety of secondary schools in Toronto.  Norm has decades of teaching and coaching experience, most notably coaching OFSAA championship teams in hockey and alpine skiing.  He was instrumental in the development of the elite athlete program at Silverthorn CI, which is still operating today.  Outside of education, Norm is an avid skier and was a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol System for twelve years, including the Patrol Leader at Mt. St. Louis and Craigleith, as well as the Assistant Patrol Leader at Alpine Ski Club.  He is very excited to work with our student athletes this spring!