The NSA prides itself on a flexible, comprehensive academic program and “education that travels”. Our academic year is divided into four Quad semesters. In a normal year, 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. Sadly, this year, due to COVID-19 we were forced to cancel the Saas-Fee camp and instead began Quad 1 classes on line before the student athletes were able to physically move back to the Academy after Labour Day. Quad 2 classes are being held place in person with most students 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 was 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 members of Alpine Ski Club’s race crew.
This is Carol’s fourth 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 the Collingwood area with her husband and their boxer, Shyanne.
Heath lives in the Collingwood area with her husband, playwright Dan which is where they raised their four children and a menagerie of animals. For the past 26 years, Heath has been baking for a living and she brings her zest for life as one of our house supervisors caring for our boarding students and as she says, “Love my family and my home and my critters!! Enjoy travel and sharing good food, with great friends. I like to read and I like to laugh and I enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass.” And we know she likes snow as much as the rest of the NSA family.
Matthew returns to the NSA this year as one of our House Supervisors, sharing the responsibility with his mother, Heath. Matthew grew up in the Collingwood area and recently moved back after retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces. We are happy to have Matthew’s quiet and steady nature overseeing our boarding students and perhaps introducing a little military discipline into their ranks!
Administration & Communications
Cindy has been a part of the NSA family for eight 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 and loves introducing our students and staff as well as lucky NSA guests to new cuisine, be it Thai, Italian or French. He has a love for patisseries so there are lots of delicious things on the dessert menu as well. Zak travels on many of the training camps with the student athletes to ensure everyone is well fed and does meal prep and planning with the coaches for away race series throughout the year. Zak lives in Collingwood with his wife and daughter.
This is Robert’s third 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. This year, Robert has been instrumental in making sure everyone stays healthy and safe by implementing our COVID-19 procedures and protocols. Robert recently retired from the Canadian military and lives in Collingwood with his family.
English & Social Sciences
This is Elicia’s fourth year at the NSA teaching English & Social Sciences and has joined the students in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Elicia grew up west of Blue Mountain on her family 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 at schools in remote Cree reservations, taught aboard a sailing tall ship, and at an all-boys independent school in Vancouver. And whether it is working with our student council on community volunteer initiatives, taking her classes on field trips to Miller’s Dairy or to watch a Supreme court trial, Elicia brings her classroom to life.
Visual Arts & Photography
Mr. Vancise has worked with the student athletes at the Academy for six years. 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.
Janet returns to the NSA for her fifth year of teaching English to our senior students. 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. Janet’s play, “The Legacy” was recently performed by the Gaslight Community Theatre at the Simcoe Street Theatre in Collingwood.
Nancy returns for a second year of teaching French. She and her husband and fellow teacher, Geoff are avid skiers and race crew volunteers, supporting their daughter, Marisol, a grade 11/FIS student athlete at the NSA. When she is not teaching at the NSA or at the bottom cheering on our athletes Nancy is a French and ESL Teacher at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School in Oshawa, Ontario.
This is Alex’s fourth year at the NSA. She is working with our Grade 9, 10 and 12 students exploring science with inquiry based experiments ranging from meteorite 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 and now lives in Stayner with her fiance. And whether it is fetal pig dissection, coding for robotics or taking her classes outside to explore the spectacular Georgian Bay Biosphere right outside our door, Miss P. brings the exciting world of science into the classroom.
Science is simply the word we use to describe a method of organizing our curiosity. – Tim Minchin
Norm returns to work with our senior students teaching International Business and Business Leadership and supervises study hall for the boarders. He 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.