Staff & Crew

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

Leadership Team

  • David Jones

    David Jones

    President

    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

    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. 

  • Bruce Middleton

    Bruce Middleton

    Operations Director

    Bruce Middleton

    Operations Director

    Bruce has been a valuable member of the Class Afloat crew since 2007. He served 3 terms as Shipboard Director onboard the Concordia, Chopin and Sørlandet, and now serves as the Operations Director in the Lunenburg office. For the past 16 years, Bruce has managed or directed residential outdoor and experiential education schools and programs in Ontario, New York, and Nova Scotia. Bruce has a Bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation from Lakehead University.

  • Stacey Benoit

    Stacey Benoit

    Administrative Assistant

    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, Recruitment and Communications

    Arden Jobling-Hey

    Director, Recruitment and Communications

    Arden joined Class Afloat in 2017 as Director of Recruitment and Communications, equipped with years of experience working in the fields of digital marketing and outreach.

    Arden enjoyed her first study abroad experience in Toulouse, France while completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa. Arden spent nearly a year in Munich teaching Business English before completing her MA in International Communications and Development in London, UK.

    Now based out of Toronto, Arden is thrilled to be part of a team that encourages students to step outside their comfort zones and into the world of experiential education.

Faculty & Shipboard Administration

  • Andrew Murgatroyd

    Andrew Murgatroyd

    Shipboard Director

    Andrew Murgatroyd

    Shipboard Director

    Andrew Murgatroyd of Victoria, B.C. will be the Class Afloat 2016-2017 Shipboard Director. Having sailed his entire life, Andrew (Drew) first earned a Biology and then an Education degree from the University of Victoria before turning his passion into a career. Alongside his fiancee (and soon to be wife) Asta, he worked as a sailor and science teacher in British Columbia, Shanghai China, and the Caribbean before joining the Class Afloat faculty in 2015-2016. Drew’s educational goals focus on leadership, experiential education, and environmental stewardship. He is excited to share the lessons he has learned about life, community, the ocean, and living on a ship.

    Outside of teaching Drew has been involved in Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest for 17 years as a musician, visual artist, organizer, and band manager. He plays both the guitar and the ever so challenging didgeridoo! Drew is also an enthusiastic card player, so make sure that you bring a few games of your own to challenge him this year.

  • Kyle O'Donnell

    Kyle O'Donnell

    Faculty

    Kyle O'Donnell

    Faculty

    Kyle O'Donnell will be taking on his third year of teaching Mathematics with Class Afloat this year.  

    Kyle was born and raised in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University Schreyer Honors College where he studied Secondary Mathematics Education and minored in Special Education. After a student teaching practicum in Jönköping, Sweden he fell more in love with traveling, foreign cultures, and being an educator.

    This summer Kyle is working as the Assistant Director and Calculus teacher at a summer enrichment program at Penn State.  In his third year with Class Afloat he will continue to teach and guide students in the exciting world of Mathematics!

    When he’s not skiing mountains, hiking trails, or sailing the oceans, Kyle can be found cheering on his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.    

  • Elisabeth Laan

    Elisabeth Laan

    Faculty

    Elisabeth Laan

    Faculty

    Elisabeth will join the 2016-17 Class Afloat Crew aboard the Gulden Leeuw for a second year as our Humanities teacher. After an adventurous year on board with the 2014-2015 crew, she returned to teach in Ottawa where she was born and raised. Jacques Cousteau said “the sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever” and we are thrilled that it cast its spell on Elisabeth and she will return to Class Afloat this year.

    Having worked as a deckhand on tall ships in the Great Lakes and North American coasts for several years, Elisabeth is no stranger to sailing and the open water. An avid outdoorswoman, she is most often found hiking, canoeing and camping. Whether she is in the wild outdoors or just spending time with friends and family, you’ll find her jamming away to some oldies, R&B, or hip hop beats.

    Not one to stay idle, Elisabeth is spending her summer in New York City teaching Summer Study, a pre-college program for international students run through Fordham University. 

  • Asta Mail

    Asta Mail

    Faculty

    Asta Mail

    Faculty

    Asta Mail (soon to be Asta Murgatroyd!) is a Canadian teacher/ marine scientist based out of Victoria, B.C. She joined the Class Afloat faculty team in August 2015 with a Master's degree in Marine Science from the University of Miami, and an Undergraduate Sciences degree from UBC. Her studies focused on marine literacy and citizen science initiatives, a passion she carries into her teaching and facilitation onboard. For the 2016-2017 school year Asta will be facilitating several of our Acadia University courses, including Marine Biology, as well as teaching the high school Oceans course. 

    A yoga and workout enthusiast, Asta finds humour in the challenge of holding those tricky balance postures on the high sea.

  • Johnathan Forsythe

    Johnathan Forsythe

    Faculty

    Johnathan Forsythe

    Faculty

    Johnathan Forsythe hails from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia and attended Dalhousie University where he majored in Physics and Atmospheric Sciences and obtained a Diploma in Meteorology.  From there Johnathan headed to Mount Saint Vincent University, where he received his degree in Secondary Education.

    As an educator Johnathan is known for his ability to connect with his students on both an academic and personal level.  He spent many summers working at overnight summer camps in Nova Scotia and New York State.  It was here that Johnathan grew to develop and appreciate the sense of community that can be fostered in tight-knit settings such as Class Afloat.  A big believer in the value of service and giving back, Johnathan regularly volunteers at a Sunday supper program that provides meals for the homeless.

    Johnathan’s other personal interests include anything and everything to do with sports.  He enjoys both playing and spectating alike and plays on both a men's soccer and a co-ed softball team. 

  • Jennifer Freele

    Jennifer Freele

    Faculty

    Jennifer Freele

    Faculty

    Jennifer "Jen" Freele will be imparting her enthusiasm and love of literature as the English teacher on board this year. It will be her first year with Class Afloat, and she is beyond thrilled to share her passion for teaching with this group of remarkable students and staff.

    Raised on acres of forested-land and a half-acre pond Jen most enjoyed spending her time floating and reading on a raft she constructed herself as a young girl.

    Jen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trent, and Bachelor of Education degree from Queen's University, and is currently working towards a Master of Education in Sustainability, Creativity and Innovation through Cape Breton University. Since graduating from teacher's college, Jen has taught abroad. She spent a year teaching in Izmit, Turkey, where she fell in love with the country and its people. In addition to teaching English Language Arts, Jen has worked extensively in outdoor education, living in a tiny cabin shared with tree frogs and squirrels while working on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia and as a guide on one of Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains leading educational snowshoe tours.

    This summer she can be found working on the leadership team for Appleby College Camps, based in Oakville, ON. If she ever takes a “break” from her teaching work it is to venture out on a camping trip, compete in a soccer match, get out on her bike, and throw in a geocache when possible.

  • Jennifer Quinn

    Jennifer Quinn

    Faculty

    Jennifer Quinn

    Faculty

    Jennifer Quinn (also Jen) is beaming with excitement for a new adventure with Class Afloat. She is Canadian born and bred, but currently teaching at a secondary school on the Isle of Wight in the UK.

    In addition to holding a Bachelor of Education degree from Brock University, Jen is a molecular biologist by training, and has worked with some incredible scientists including Andrea Bodnar at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. Naturally, she is looking forward to returning to Bermuda on our coming voyage where she also worked as a lecturer and lab instructor at Bermuda College.

    Despite struggling with seasickness, Jen enjoys sailing, both for pleasure and competitively. She has covered over 10,000 nautical miles in both the Atlantic and Pacific ocean on a 34 foot yacht and recently took part in the “Round the Island race in Cowes as part of a fleet of 1500 boats! Given the choice, Jen would rather be underwater than on top and can be found diving or snorkeling as often as possible. Other than sailing, diving, and teaching, some of her favorite things include trying new food, reading and hiking.

Professional Maritime Crew 2016-2017

  • Arjen Töller

    Arjen Töller

    Captain

    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

    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

    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

    Captain

    Jeroen Peters comes from the Netherlands, and has been sailing tallships and yachts for over 15 years, including years as Captain of the sailing vessels Wylde Swan, Chronos, and Loth Lorien throughout the Baltic, North Sea, Mediterranean, Atlantic and Caribbean.  Jeroen has a Master of all Sailing vessels, no limitations license from the Enkhuizer Zeevaartschool in the Netherlands.  

  • Angelo Iandoli

    Angelo Iandoli

    Chief Engineer

    Angelo Iandoli

    Chief Engineer

    Angelo, from Cape Town, South Africa was originally a Horticulturalist when living in SA, but found the call of sailing too strong so changed course and pursued an Engineering career at sea.  This is Angelo's second year as Chief Engineer onboard with Class Afloat and the Gulden Leeuw.  Angelo holds a Yachtmaster - Ocean (sail) license, and MCA Engineering Officer qualification.

  • Philip

    Philip

    First Officer

    Philip

    First Officer

    ... coming soon!

  • Tom Johnson

    Tom Johnson

    2nd Officer

    Tom Johnson

    2nd Officer

    Thomas hails from Plymouth, England with an Honours degree in BSC Marine Studies and Shipping from Plymouth University. He is a merchant seafarer with extensive experience on a range of vessels and a passion for tall ships.  He has over 7 years experience as a Deck Cadet, Bosun, Chief Mate and Chief Officer aboard Sail Training Ship Pelican of London, Seacat Defender and Seacat Resolute. His certifications include Competency Deck II/2, Efficient Deck Hand, Sea Survival / PST, MCA II/2 Chief Mate Yachts less than 3000 tonnes MCA and MCA OOW unlimited.

  • Grant Bredeson

    Grant Bredeson

    Bosun

    Grant Bredeson

    Bosun

    Grant, from Palm Harbour, Florida, USA holds a USCG certified AB limited, STCW-95, and 100 ton Masters License with auxiliary sail. Grant's passion is teaching traditional tall ship sailing skills (splicing, knotting, rigging) to youth. For the past 4 years, Grant has been sailing as Bosun on the tall ships Bounty, Liberty Clipper, and US Brig Niagara.

  • Mark Wright

    Mark Wright

    AB

    Mark Wright

    AB

    Mark comes from Perth, Australia and has for many years sailed on tallships as AB/deckhand including Bark Europa, STS Leewin, and Taire Taporo in the South Pacific.   Mark holds a RYA yacht master 24m offshore license and STCW-95.

  • Lukas Riesthuis

    Lukas Riesthuis

    AB

    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, and 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.

  • Steven Heywood

    Steven Heywood

    Medical Officer

    Steven Heywood

    Medical Officer

    Steven Heywood will be the ship’s Medical Officer. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba he moved to Vancouver with his family prior to being a Class Afloat student aboard the S/V Concordia in 2005-2006. He has been patiently waiting for the right time to get back onto a Tall Ship ever since that amazing year!

    Currently an RN in Victoria B.C. Steve has worked as a nurse in both Vancouver and on Vancouver island for several years. He is huge ocean enthusiast, a former scuba diving Instructor in Thailand and Malaysia, and an avid surfer. Sailing, snowboarding, and dabbling in yoga keep Steve occupied in his free time.

     

  • Lily Donovan

    Lily Donovan

    Cook

    Lily Donovan

    Cook

    Lily is from Wagga Wagga, Australia, and has worked in the galley on several ships/ yachts including the Picton Castle, Amara Zee, Alvei, Windeward Bound.  Lily has an STCW-95 and professional cook training in Australia.  When Lily is not at sea, she works as a backstage manager in charge of props/ sets for international touring theatre companies.

  • Alysha Bacus

    Alysha Bacus

    Cook's Mate - Second Semester

    Alysha Bacus

    Cook's Mate - Second Semester

    Alysha is from Surrey, British Columbia and is a Class Afloat Alumni (2013-2014). She has completed her Marine Based First Aid and Food Safe certifications. Alysha has several years of community-based volunteer and mentorship experience and is the recipient of the 2012 Ghandi Youth Peace Award.

  • Sarah Newman

    Sarah Newman

    AB - Semester Two

    Sarah Newman

    AB - Semester Two

    Sarah hails from Arlington, Texas, is Able Seaman (Sail), and STCW-95 certified with the USCG, and has a BSC in Marine Biology.  For the past 4 years Sarah has worked as AB on the tallships Pride of Baltimore II, Oliver Hazard Perry, Mystic, Exy Johnson, and the 1877 Barque Elissa.

  • Conor McGowan

    Conor McGowan

    AB - Semester Two

    Conor McGowan

    AB - Semester Two

    Conor lives in Sacramento, California, is STCW-95 certified with the USCG and also has a BA in Environmental Studies.   For the past 3 years Conor has worked as an AB for the tallships Harvey Gamage and the Lady Washington. 

  • Chris Bruce

    Chris Bruce

    Medical Officer - Semester Two

    Chris Bruce

    Medical Officer - Semester Two

    Chris comes to us from Glasgow, Scotland, and has a BSc in Nursing with several additional courses in accident and emergency to further his specialty.  Chris has worked for the past 4 years in hospitals around Glasgow in several departments and is an avid sailor.  Chris is also very active in a campaign group in Scotland dedicated to the preservation and restoration of a 130 year old Scottish built tall ship called the Falls of Clyde (the only surviving iron-hulled tallship in the world), currently alongside in Hawaii.

  • Corey Hamilton

    Corey Hamilton

    Bosun - Semester Two

    Corey Hamilton

    Bosun - Semester Two

    Corey hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and has a BSc from Acadia University in Environmental Science, is STCW-95 certified and has a 100 ton unlimited Captain license.   Corey is also a proud Class Afloat alumni from 2010-11!   Corey worked for 5 summers on the Canadian tallships Fair Jeanne, Pathfinder, Playfair, and Blackjack as AB and Chief Mate.  Corey was AB onboard the Gulden Leeuw last year, and is returning for his second year this year in the role of Bosun for Class Afloat.

  • Josefine Wallace

    Josefine Wallace

    Bosun - Semester Two

    Josefine Wallace

    Bosun - Semester Two

    Josefine is from Bainbridge, Washington, and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Since 2010, Josefine has worked as Bosun, Mate, and Chief Mate on several schooners and traditionally rigged ships including the Lady Washington, Hawaiian Chieftain, Virginia, Spike Africa, and Adventuress. Josefine has a US Coast Guard 100 ton Inland Master and 100 ton Near Coastal Mate licenses, and STCW-95

  • Sophie Baviere

    Sophie Baviere

    First Officer

    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.

  • Sue Fellingham

    Sue Fellingham

    Cook - Semester Two

    Sue Fellingham

    Cook - Semester Two

    Sue comes to us from Anchorage, Alaska where she lives in an off the grid cabin when not sailing.  Sue has graduated from culinary schools in both the UK and United States and is STCW-95 certified.  She has been a private chef for over 10 years in the mega yacht industry all over the world, including 3 years as Head Chef on the cruising tallships - Liberty Star and Liberty Clipper.