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.
David is a creative educator, writer, musician, and lover of all things outdoors and adventurous. His varied career has seen him teach in Bhutan, Kenya, England, Scotland and the DRC where he was a founding Principal of the British International School of Lubumbashi. A passionate advocate for progressive education, he believes that a radical evolution is necessary to better prepare the youth of today for the uncertain challenges of tomorrow. He’s released a few albums, written a few books and encourages everybody to dig deep into their creative side, get out into nature and become agents for positive change. David will also be working as Class Afloat Director of Curriculum Development, helping to design and deliver the experiential, place based curriculum. Along the way he hopes to learn with (and from) the Floaties about how education can best be used to inspire effective and impactful social change.
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 email@example.com