Before joining Class Afloat as President in 2011, David served 15 years as Director General of the World Youth, Student & Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation and ISTC, based in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. 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
Head of School
Megan MacLeod, Head of School, oversees the delivery of our academic curriculum, port programming, community development and sail training aspects of the Class Afloat program.
Appointed in 2016, Megan brought her many years of prior Class Afloat experience and a deep understanding of the program potential from a faculty and ship life perspective to the position of Head of School. 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 for two years she 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 into the future.
When not pursuing her pedagogic passions, Megan has trained, coached and competed as a sprint kayak racing athlete. She has brought the same level of energy, focus and success to her role as Head of School.
Samantha is a Yinzer at heart who calls the coast of Maine home. For the past 8 years, she has supported universities in their pursuit of intentional community engagement and faculty in designing courses which link academic content and purposeful action. Her teaching in both mathematics and Honours focuses on empowering students to examine structures of institutions and their own learning. “Community Service: Destructive or Empowering?” and an interdisciplinary collaboration entitled “History and Memory: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration” are among her favourite courses. She is an Engaged Scholar, holds a B.S. in Mathematics and International Service, and an M.S.Ed. with a focus on Culturally Responsive Practices in Education and Human Development, but undoubtedly continues to learn most from students, community partners, activists, sailors, and educators who have been so generous with their knowledge.
Admissions & Administrative Lead
Jackie joined the Class Afloat team as Administrative Lead, and has now added Admissions to her role. She came to us with a background in independent school admissions, tall ship crewing, real estate, holistic nutrition and many years of helping people in customer service. Her desire to help is evident in all that she tackles, including the role of Mom to her three wonderful kids.
Jackie has a great love of travel, the sea, photography and being active in nature. Her experiences while travelling through Europe made her a firm believer in experiential learning and she wishes, very much, she knew of Class Afloat back in her high school days in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is forever learning and trying new things. She lives wholly with gratitude and the attitude that we must make the most of this life.
Jackie is here to help with any questions you might have about the Class Afloat experience. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org