Staff & Crew

Assisting our students to pursue their goals and
discover their passions.

Leadership Team

  • David Jones

    David Jones

    President

    David Jones

    David Jones

    President

    Before joining Class Afloat in July 2011, David served 15 years as Director General of the World Youth, Student & Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation and ISTC, based in Amsterdam. Representing 550 student and youth travel companies in 120 countries, the membership provided international experiences to more than 10 million young independent travellers each year: study abroad, backpackers, volunteers, adventure travel, language education, cultural exchange, au pair, work abroad, student flights and the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), as well as hosted WYSTC, an annual conference for up to 1,000 specialist youth travel professionals.

    He started his life-long career in student services when elected President of the student union at the University of Toronto. After graduation and a year spent travelling around the world, he became Executive Director of The Canadian Federation of Student - Services, operating student service programs including: Travel CUTS, a specialist student travel bureau that grew into a $100 million operation with 70 offices serving 500,000 young Canadian travellers each year; Canadian Programming Service - a national speakers bureau; The Student Work Abroad Programme; The National Student Health Plan.

    David has held many positions on travel industry bodies, including:

    • Vice President, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Members Board
    • Board member, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
    • Chairperson, European Travel Action Group (ETAG)
    • Member, the UNWTO Committee on Sustainable Development of Tourism
  • Megan MacLeod

    Megan MacLeod

    Head of School

    Megan MacLeod

    Megan MacLeod

    Head of School

    Class Afloat is pleased to announce the appointment of Megan MacLeod as our new Head of School.  Megan will oversee the delivery of our academic curriculum, port programming, community and sail training aspects of the Class Afloat program.   

    Megan comes to the Head of School position with many years of Class Afloat experience and a deep understanding of the program potential from a faculty and ship life perspective.  She taught sciences as a Class Afloat faculty member from 2010 – 2014 and was appointed Shipboard Director in her last year aboard.  While teaching on land over the last two years she has furthered her professional interests in leadership studies and curriculum development while continuing to serve as an Academic Advisor to Class Afloat.  She brings a global perspective to the program from her teaching experiences in China and Australia.  

    Driven by a passion to engage young people in activities that allow them to develop their leadership skills and full potential as global citizens, Megan believes that sailing the world on a traditional tall ship will allow our students to gain the life skills required for success in 2016 and into the future.   

    When not pursuing her pedagogic passions, Megan has trained, coached and competed as a sprint kayak racing athlete.   We know that she will bring the same energy, focus and success to her new role as Head of School that she has brought to the hundreds of students she has sailed with at Class Afloat over the last 5 years. 

  • Stacey Benoit

    Stacey Benoit

    Administrative Assistant

    Stacey Benoit

    Stacey Benoit

    Administrative Assistant

    Stacey has been a part of the Class Afloat team since 2008 in the role of Administrative Assistant. After graduating from Mount Allison University with a French major and a German minor, Stacey spent a year living and working in France.   

  • Arden Jobling-Hey

    Arden Jobling-Hey

    Director of Admissions

    Arden Jobling-Hey

    Arden Jobling-Hey

    Director of Admissions

    Based out of Toronto, Arden joined Class Afloat in 2017 as Director of Admissions and is thrilled to be in a role where she can encourage youth to step outside their comfort zone and into the world of experiential learning.

    True to Class Afloat's mission to help youth discover the world while they discover themselves, Arden has spent time studying and working abroad in Tanzania, France, Germany and the UK. She holds a BSocSc in International Globalization and Development from the University of Ottawa and an MA in International Communications and Development from City University, London. 

    Questions about Class Afloat? You can reach Arden at ajoblinghey@classafloat.com 

Faculty & Shipboard Administration

  • Steve Heywood

    Steve Heywood

    Shipboard Director

    Steve Heywood

    Steve Heywood

    Shipboard Director

    Overseeing and guiding all onboard programming as this year’s Shipboard Director is Steven Heywood. Steve is both a student and staff alumni of the program and holds a true vision for the transformative power that Class Afloat has on students.  Steve comes to the program with a diverse background of experience. He has worked as a scuba diving instructor in South East Asia, completed maritime training including his STCW, and eventually went on to pursue a BN from the University of Victoria. Most recently he served as Class Afloat’s Medical Officer. Beyond being responsible for the health and safety of our crew, Steve has a particularly strong ability to connect with people of all ages, from all backgrounds, and with all sorts of interests. His genuine care and concern for all those around him as well as his enthusiasm for the Class Afloat program is evident from the moment you meet him. 

    Steve has a serious love for the ocean and likes to do pretty much anything he can that includes being on the water. Surfing, sailing, scuba diving, swimming and fishing are pretty great in his books.

    What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?
    I am most excited to travel the world again on a beautiful ship and be a part of student growth and learning. It is a pretty amazing experience seeing how the crew forms into a large family.  

    What is one of the most valuable lessons you've learned to date?
    Set no path, never lose your way.

    What book impacted you the most?
    Shantaram. It's quite the roller coaster of a story and there are many life lessons that can be learned from Gregory David Roberts' tale. For example, stepping outside of one’s comforts to help many others in need.  

    What is your spirit animal?
    Sea turtle. They are so majestic and beautiful in the water. If I see any while on Class Afloat I'm sure everyone will hear me screaming with excitement!

  • Samuel Baldwin

    Samuel Baldwin

    Faculty

    Samuel Baldwin

    Samuel Baldwin

    Faculty

    Sam is currently completing his PhD in Physics from Dalhousie University where he has spent the past several years as an Instructor and Laboratory Assistant for first and second year university physics labs, as well as teaching an advanced calculus course.  He is looking forward to bringing this experience afloat.  Originally from a Boston sleeper community, Sam has been living in Halifax, Nova Scotia since 2006. Most of his time outside of classes has been involved with exploring every inch of coastline he could get to either surfing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and in a few instances sailing.  He is the son of an ocean engineer and a marine biologist so his love of the ocean runs deep! 

    Sam’s other interests are varied - he is an avid hiker and camper, enjoys making pottery, wood carving, knitting, and building his own furniture. Oh, and he’s more than willing to play any sport you have in mind. Game on!


    What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?
    Five years ago, I met my friend Finn, a crew member of the tall ship Europa.  Since then I have wanted to join a tall ship for a sail and experience the open ocean. The opportunity to have this experience while teaching with Class Afloat is the most exciting aspect of my participation in this program 

    What port are you most looking forward to?
    I most look forward to the Crossings of the Atlantic. I am sure that every port will be exciting and worthy experiences in their own right, but the uniqueness to sail across the open ocean and see the stars at night with no light pollution is to me the most profound aspect of the trip. 

    Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?
    Among my friends I am known to provide “fun” facts about science and how it relates to everyday life or anything else. This tendency has earned me the nick name “Science Sam”. It is the result of being raised by two parents in academia, my personal academic pursuits, and my general desire to understand how things work. I look forward to bring this aspect of myself to the classroom in order to engage students in Math and Physics.

  • Susan Hunt

    Susan Hunt

    Faculty

    Susan Hunt

    Susan Hunt

    Faculty

    Sue is an experienced educator and leadership mentor. She has spent the past 8 years teaching English, Socials and Leadership at a school for students with a language-based learning disability in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Susan is no stranger to the challenges and rewards that come with living with your students and colleagues around the clock; prior to teaching in Vancouver, Susan worked at a boarding school in Ontario. 

    While some might say that teaching is a crazy job - Sue has held a few that top it - before beginning her teaching career she spent three years travelling and working odd jobs including being a banana farmer and ghost tour guide! 

    These days Susan has left the ghost stories behind for roller derby and scuba diving - two of her favourite hobbies. 

    What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it? 
    In Vancouver I always see people bounce by the seawall wearing Kangoo Jump shoes, I always thought it looked like a laugh.

    What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?
    Being able to teach history in the classroom and then have students experience it first hand, on location.

     What port are you most looking forward to?
    Toss-up between Agadir, Morocco and Fernando de Noronha. Brazil

    What is your best advice for having a great adventure?
    Don’t go into it with too many expectations, just relax and enjoy it for what it is.  Whatever isn’t a good experience, will make a good story.

  • Doris LaChance

    Doris LaChance

    Faculty

    Doris LaChance

    Doris LaChance

    Faculty

    Doris LaChance is a prairie girl, born and raised on a grain farm in Northern Alberta. She’s hoping that she'll be able to adapt easily to the boat life, comparing the waves in the ocean to the waves in a wheat field. 

    Doris completed a combined Bachelor of Education and Science degree from the University of Alberta, and after having spent several years in the classroom went on to pursue a Masters of Mathematical Science.  For the past several years Doris has worked at the Grande Prairie Regional College for the Academic Upgrading Department.  Prior to this Doris worked in a number of French language schools in Alberta, teaching middle and senior high school science and math. Always looking for new adventures - she’s also taken on shorter teaching assignments in remote areas of Kazachstan -  she couldn't resist the Class Afloat experience any longer. 

    Doris is no slouch and recently spent a portion of her summer working at a wilderness summer camp and canoe tripping.  She reads, knits, bakes, plays the piano and flute, hunts, snowshoes and skis in the winter, bikes and swims in the summer.  Any free time that might be left over is spent on her family’s farm. We best prepare to keep up to this busy teacher!

    What is one of the most valuable lessons you've learned to date?
    Life is too short... It's not worth stressing over the small stuff when time is better spent on the big stuff. 

    What is the best single day on the calendar?
    Today. 

    Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?
    Love of math. 

    What would be your spirit animal?
    No idea, so I did an online quiz and got the Turtle!

  • Amanda Grace

    Amanda Grace

    Faculty

    Amanda Grace

    Amanda Grace

    Faculty

    Amanda is a teacher-writer-jokester from Australia. She entered the world of education in South East Asia where she began teaching ESL. As it turned out, she loved teaching and decided to make a career of it. After leaving Thailand, Amanda was based in Melbourne where she taught English literature, literacy development and humanities. Having mostly worked in a small community school for at-risk teenagers, which she loved, she then moved on to teach at Strathmore Secondary College, a large public high school in Melbourne, Australia. When hearing about a school on a ship, she wasted no time in applying.

    Amanda will be bringing her guitar and the few chords she knows, along with her terrible singing voice, on board the Gulden Leeuw. She laughs at most things, including her own jokes, loves sports, movies and pop culture – she even used to work in a Blockbuster, remember those?!

    What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?I’ve been wanting to learn how to ride a unicycle since I was a teenager. 

    What port are you most looking forward to?
    Trick question: I’m looking forward to the in-between, to be surrounded by ocean in every direction, with no view of land as far as the eye can see. 

    What is your best advice for having a great adventure?
    Say “yes” to everything and be prepared for anything. 

    Among your friends or family, what are you famous for?
    Jokes that no one else finds funny.

  • Katlyn Wicks

    Katlyn Wicks

    Faculty

    Katlyn Wicks

    Katlyn Wicks

    Faculty

    After completing a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Masters of Science Education both from the University of Central Florida, Katlyn taught science at a public high school for six years. Katlyn decided she wanted a change after spending two weeks on a tallship in the Pacific and thus began search for alternative educational opportunities. Katlyn has since worked aboard a tallship out of Wisconsin as the Education Officer, as well as onboard a "Deadliest Catch" type boat as a Scientific Observer in the Bering Sea. Katlyn loves boats, travel, and science, making Class Afloat a natural fit. She cannot wait to see the night sky, beautiful sunsets, and the ship under full sail. She is excited to try delicious food, learn about new cultures, and meet all of her new students and crewmates!

    What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?
    I have been meaning to sit down with a sewing machine to learn the ins and outs (or ups and downs), so that I can make my own clothes. It's difficult to bring a sewing machine on a boat though.

    What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?
    I am very excited about all the traveling. I have done my share of traveling, but I have not been to any of the ports we will be visiting. I am stoked!

    What port are you most looking forward to?
    The port I am most looking forward to would have to be Cuba since it's a difficult place for an American to travel to.

    What is your best advice for having a great adventure?
    For me, personally, to have a great adventure, I simply need a great partner (or partners) to travel with. It not about the destination, it's the journey with your companion(s)!

  • Dr. Beth Warsof

    Dr. Beth Warsof

    Faculty

    Dr. Beth Warsof

    Dr. Beth Warsof

    Faculty

    Beth comes to Class Afloat from Norfolk Virginia with a depth of experience teaching with other travel education programs, namely Thinking Beyond Borders and Winterline Global Education. In addition to a Bachelor degree in Education (American University, Washington D.C.), Ms. Warsof also holds a Masters degree in Education Psychology (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA) and a PhD. in Applied Developmental Psychology (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA). Beth is passionate about and has extensive experience working and teaching in rural and indigenous communities abroad, is a facilitator of Non Violent Communication and Restorative Justice practices, an avid traveler and yogi. She will be teaching Anthropology 12, Global Geography 12, and facilitating the Acadia University Communications 1213.  

Professional Maritime Crew 2017-2018

  • Arjen Töller

    Arjen Töller

    Captain

    Arjen Töller

    Arjen Töller

    Captain

    Arjen began sailing at the age of 10, and worked as a sailing instructor before sailing on the 3-masted bark Stedemaeght. He attended the Enghuizen Maritime School receiving certification as a Master of Ocean-Going Sailing Vessels with Merchant Naval Endorsement and all STCW 95 courses. Arjen was involved in building the Brazilian Naval ship Cisne Branco and sailed the ship for a trial run to Porti Mao. He has extensive experience sailing in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, English Channel, Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay, North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In 2007, Robert and fellow Captain Robert Postuma purchased the Danish research ship DANA and converted it into the majestic three-masted topsail schooner Gulden Leeuw.  

  • Robert Postuma

    Robert Postuma

    Captain

    Robert Postuma

    Robert Postuma

    Captain

    Robert comes from a seafarer’s family and has been sailing since the age of 5. He attended the Enghuizen Maritime School receiving certification as a Master of Ocean-Going Sailing Vessels with Merchant Naval Endorsement and all STCW 95 courses. Robert began his professional career on the 3-masted bark Stedemaeght followed by the topsail schooner SODADE. He has extensive experience sailing in the North Sea, Baltic Sea, Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay, North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In 2007, Robert and fellow Captain Arjen Töller purchased the Danish research ship DANA and converted it into the majestic three-masted topsail schooner Gulden Leeuw.  

  • Dominique Geysen

    Dominique Geysen

    Captain

    Dominique Geysen

    Dominique Geysen

    Captain

    Dominique has been sailing since a young age, enjoying a life on the ocean ever since. His professional life took shape with various roles in the maritime industry. After managing his own charter agency for seven years, Dominique focused the development of his work, study and expertise on oceanic sailing, regattas and diving.

  • Jeroen Peters

    Jeroen Peters

    Captain

    Jeroen Peters

    Jeroen Peters

    Captain

    Jeroen Peters, living in Groningen Netherlands, went to seafarer school in Enkhuizen, and has been sailing professionally since his 18th birthday.  He possesses a Master all ships unlimited trading area and is fully STCW qualified.  Jeroen has extensive experience in sailing tall-ships, yachts and cargo ships. He enjoys sailing with trainees a lot, and likes to be involved in all educational and social activities on board.  His hobbies include hiking, reading, riding his motorcycle and computers/networks.
    What makes you most excited about teaching/ working with Class Afloat? 
    My excitement for going on Class Afloat again is because I’m really happy to be on board the Gulden Leeuw working with the students again and being able to make new friends.  I'm also very excited about the itinerary, and seeing new places.
    What is your best advice for having a great adventure?
    My advice for a great adventure is not to plan too much, but carefully look around you and see what adventures are lingering around you, the best are usually quite close!
    What is one of the most valuable lessons you've learned to date?
    The most valuable lesson so far: It’s hard to imagine for an experienced person that a lot of stuff you do and decide about is easy for you because you have done it before, most of the times it is not easy and straight forward for someone with less experience.  Being able to empathize with less experienced people and teach them the small and big tricks is a hard but a very well respected skill that I’m still trying to improve big time!
    If you could have anyone as a dinner guest - living or deceased - who would you choose?
    I’d love to have dinner with my grandma, she would have loved my sailing adventures and she passed away too early.
  • Philip

    Philip

    First Officer

    Philip

    Philip

    First Officer

    ... coming soon!

  • Sophie Baviere

    Sophie Baviere

    First Officer

    Sophie Baviere

    Sophie Baviere

    First Officer

    Sophie is one of Class Afloat's longest standing maritime crew! Hailing from Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Sophie is the First Officer on board the Gulden Leeuw.  Sophie originally studied architecture in Paris, but as she started sailing tall ships at the end of her studies, she took a gap year in the French Navy and realized that she liked sailing very much.  After a few other sailing experiences, Sophie decided to combine both her architecture diploma with her sailing passion by becoming a naval architect for small vessels and sailing boats.  Sophie also decided that she wanted to go higher in ranks onboard ships and simultaneously studied at a seafaring school that specializes in traditional sailing vessels in the Netherlands.  From trainee to deckhand and then to officer, Sophie has sailed on several other vessels: in the French Navy; topsail schooners Etoile and Belle Poule, and yawl Mutin; and in the Dutch fleet the ketch Tecla, top sail schooner Wylde Swan, the Bark Europa, and now the three-masted topsail schooner Gulden Leeuw.  From a very young age Sophie has been very well-travelled - now it is in her blood and she can't imagine not doing it!  Sophie enjoys meeting new people and getting to know them during their time on board.

  • Angelo Iandoli

    Angelo Iandoli

    Chief Engineer

    Angelo Iandoli

    Angelo Iandoli

    Chief Engineer

    Anglelo grew up in South Africa living 100m from the ocean. If he was not fishing, surfing or free diving then you could find him reading the ocean patterns in an attempt to foresee her behaviour before planning his next little adventure. “I believe that some of us are of the ocean”. 

    Angelo also carries qualifications and experience in electrical, civil and mechanical engineering and a commercially endorsed yachtmaster ocean license.  With this background he decided to move from his work in horticulture to combine work and passion - and felt there was no better way to do so than working with Class Afloat. Besides keeping just about every part of our vessel running smoothly, Angleo has a true passion for working with youth and the opportunity to invest something in their future as they do in ours. 

    The Gulden Leeuw, her crew and Class Afloat have become a big love of Angleo’s, and he is incredibly excited to return for his third year as Chief Engineer.

  • Kristine Bannatyne

    Kristine Bannatyne

    Medical Officer

    Kristine Bannatyne

    Kristine Bannatyne

    Medical Officer

    Kristine spent the summers of her youth in beautiful Lake of the Woods, Ontario, gaining an immense appreciation for outdoor adventure and a curiosity to explore the world. After high school she set off to Australia where she studied nursing while working part-time as a swimming instructor/lifeguard. Living in beautiful beachside towns her eyes were opened to the amazing lifestyle that existed beyond the deep freeze winters she had grown up with in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She became smitten with the ocean and found a love for surfing in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. After graduating she found her way to Victoria, British Columbia where she worked at Victoria General Hospital on a busy surgical unit. Kristine is eager to take a break from the  hospital scene and use broader medical and caregiving skills on the open ocean as the medical officer. 

     

    What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?

    I've always wanted to hike the West Coast Trail, as I've never been on an overnight hike and this would be a beautiful setting to try it out. 

     

    What makes you most excited about teaching/working with Class Afloat?

    The opportunity to visit so many amazing ports while calling the sea home for a number of months.  

     

    What port are you most looking forward to?

    Fernando de Noronha- can't wait to dive into this marine wonderland I've heard so much about! 

     

    What is your best advice for having a great adventure?

    Pack light and don't let your nerves hold you back! 

  • Lukas Riesthuis

    Lukas Riesthuis

    AB

    Lukas Riesthuis

    Lukas Riesthuis

    AB

    Lukas hails from Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Lukas has for 10 years sailed on several Dutch traditionally rigged tallships and private schooners as 2nd Mate, Engineer, AB/deckhand. When not at sea, Lukas is a self-employed carpenter/builder in Rotterdam. Lukas is a graduate of Enkhuizen Nautical College with STCW-95 and an OOW rating.

  •  Francois Boyer

    Francois Boyer

    Cook's Mate

     Francois Boyer

    Francois Boyer

    Cook's Mate

  • Jessica Bucklin

    Jessica Bucklin

    AB

    Jessica Bucklin

    Jessica Bucklin

    AB

  • Evelein Prins

    Evelein Prins

    AB

    Evelein Prins

    Evelein Prins

    AB

  • Ximena DiVanni

    Ximena DiVanni

    Cook

    Ximena DiVanni

    Ximena DiVanni

    Cook