Meet the Class Afloat Crew

Land Based Crew

David Jones

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 Organisation (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

Bruce Middleton
Chief Operating Officer

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, served as the Director of Operations and now holds the Chief Operating Officer position 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.

Chantalle Bourque
Academic Director

Chantalle has over 10 years of experience in Education. In addition to teaching in New Brunswick and Alberta, she was part of Class Afloat's faculty in 2010-2011. Fully bilingual in English and in French, she is a fervent believer in experiential education and in providing students with a differentiated learning experience. Chantalle is looking forward to utilizing her range of experiences in Education, on board and on land, as our school's Academic Advisor.

Passionate about travel, politics, History, and the arts, Chantalle originally hails from Moncton, New Brunswick, where she earned her Bachelors of Arts and Education. She now calls Calgary, Alberta home.

Sophie Grossman
Director of Admissions

Sophie Grossman joins Class Afloat with 10 years of Admissions experience in the independent and private school sector. She has worked with multiple high schools throughout Quebec and Ontario, including Lakefield College School and St Clements School, focusing on international and domestic boarding recruitment and admissions. Based out of Toronto, she is very excited to be fully involved in all aspects of the Class Afloat community.

Stacey Benoit
Administrative Assistant 

Stacey has been a part of the Class Afloat team since 2008, filling 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.  Stacey has been a part of the Class Afloat team since 2008.

Faculty & Shipboard Administration 

Jaret Slipp, Shipboard Director
Whitehorse, Yukon

Jaret has worked in outdoor guiding and experiential education programs for close to 20 years.  A wilderness guide for multiple businesses and an Instructor for 14 years with the National Outdoor Leadership School, Jaret most recently stood for 6 years as the Director of NOLS in Canada based out of Whitehorse, Yukon, where he calls home with his wife and daughter.  Jaret holds a Degree in Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism as well as Natural Science from Lakehead University.  Jaret has a passion for experiential education and helping students find their inner passions, strengths, and leadership potential.  Jaret has also been sailing for 8 years, from 40ft yachts in Canadian and Caribbean waters to 24ft Drascombe open-boats in Baja to sailing his Enterprise Class dinghy on the marge of Lake Lebarge (in the summer, of course!).

Crystal MacCallum, Field Studies Coordinator
Toronto, Ontario

Holding an Honours B.Sc. with a specialization in Kinesiology and minor in Biology from the University of Western Ontario, Crystal went on to get her Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University and specialized in Outdoor and Experiential Education at Lakehead University. After working as a program coordinator at the Toronto Zoo, teaching abroad in both South Korea and Australia, and spending two years working as an Outdoor Education Instructor for the Toronto District School Board, Crystal has been teaching in a remote First Nations community in Northwestern Vancouver Island for the past two years. Having just completed the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training program in British Columbia, she is extremely excited to share her love of travel and passion for experiential education with the Class Afloat students.  Crystal's interests include rock climbing, horseback riding, kayaking, yoga, reading and travel.

Kim Wallace, Faculty
Jasper, Alberta

Kim Wallace has worked as a bilingual (French and English) experiential and outdoor educator in the Canadian Rockies since 1997, and has been a certified teacher in Alberta, Canada since 2006. The 2014-15 school year will be her second year with Class Afloat, and her seventh full-time year of teaching English Language Arts. Kim believes that students and environment play an integral role in the co-creation of learning experiences. Having recently been a student herself as she completed her Masters in Environmental Education and Communication, Kim strives to ignite a passion for life-long learning within the hearts of those with whom she works and plays.

Elisabeth Sarazin Laan, Faculty
Ottawa, Ontario

With a specialization in history and English from the University of Ottawa, Elisabeth has been teaching in a French-language school in Ottawa for the past three years. She has previous sailing experience, having worked as a deckhand and educator onboard several tall ships in the Great Lakes, New England and California. Elisabeth is delighted to have the opportunity to bring her passions for sailing, outdoor activities, the humanities and teaching to the students who will sail aboard the Gulden Leeuw.

Aleya McKellar, Faculty
Calgary, Alberta

Aleya McKellar holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Science from the University of Calgary, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta. Aleya was a Gap year student on the 2006-2007 voyage of Class Afloat and is very excited to be back on the ocean! Although she grew up in Calgary, Alberta, she has spent the last year teaching in rural England. Aleya loves all disciplines of Science, and enjoys getting students excited and curious about their natural surroundings. Aleya can often be found staring at rock formations and pondering how they were formed.

Chad Hall, Faculty
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Professional Maritime Crew

Arjen Töller, Captain

Arjen started sailing when he was 10. After attending many sailing camps, he decided to become a sailing instructor himself and got his CWO certificates. His professional career started in 1996 on 3-mast Bark Stedemaeght. Within 2 years he climbed up to captain of this vessel he started on. He started the education on the maritime school in Enkhuizen and completed all stages up to master Ocean going Sailing Vessels and the Merchant Naval Endorsement with all complementary STCW 95 courses. Arjen was involved in building the Cisne Branco, the flagship built in The Netherlands for the Brazilian Navy. He sailed the ship for a trial run to Porti Mao. In 2001 a dream came true, purchasing an own ship. With this beautiful ship he sailed mostly in the Baltic, North Sea and English Channel. Building the Gulden Leeuw took his entrepreneurship to a whole new level and also to new sailing areas: Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay, North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

Robert Postuma, Captain

Robert comes from a seafarer’s family. His father put him on a small sailing boat when he was 5 and he has been sailing ever since. His professional career started in 1995 on 3 mast bark Stedemaeght. He started the education on the maritime school in Enkhuizen and completed all stages up to master Ocean going Sailing Vessels and the Merchant Naval Endorsement with all complementary STCW 95 courses. After sailing in The Netherlands he broadened his horizon and sailed on topsail schooner SODADE in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The next step for him was buying a vessel, seeking the full responsibility from a to z. He found a beautiful 3-Mast Topsail schooner and gathered extensive experience in the North sea, Baltic, Mediterranean and Northern Atlantic, Irish Sea, Bay of Biscay, North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. There was one more challenge that he wanted to face, and that was building a ship. This resulted in the enormous project Gulden Leeuw.

Dominique Geysen, Chief Officer
Latem, Belgium

Christine McCormick, Bosun
Kirksville, Missouri, USA

Alex Marts, Chief Engineer
Seattle, Washington, USA

Carmen Pohlmann, 2nd Officer 
Duisenburg, Germany

Agata Luczynksa, AB
Warsaw, Poland

Jesse Ludtke, AB
Eugene, Oregon, USA

Hannah Altimas, Medical Officer
Edmonton, Alberta

Caz Ludtke, Cook
Eugene, Oregon, USA

Emma Dobson, Cook's Mate
Cobden, Ontario