View Profiles: Administration | Faculty | Staff | Board

Dr. Leanne Foster

Department/Position:  Head of School

At Trafalgar since:  2015

Credentials:  B.A. (University of Toronto), B.Ed., M.Ed. (OISE), Ph.D. (University of Toronto)

Hometown:  Toronto, Ontario

foster.leanne@trafalgarcastle.ca


Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

I set up my first classroom at the age of six with teddy bears, dolls and my younger (and somewhat reluctant) sister as my attentive pupils.  I guess you could say that my love of teaching was truly a part of me from day one.  Fortunately for my eventual real-life students, I had many years of education and training to prepare me for my work in classrooms. 
 
I am motivated by memories of the many excellent teachers I had over the years who encouraged me to shoot for the stars.  Interestingly, the teachers who challenged me are the ones I remember most vividly.  Mrs. McDougall in grade 10 math petrified me with her thick Scottish accent, piercing blue eyes and a wooden yard stick that was dramatically waved about like a Samurai sword.  Yet she was passionate about math and fiercely committed to her students’ success.  Whether you liked it or not, Mrs. McDougall cared about your achievement in her classroom, and failure was simply not an option.  She would stay after school to provide extra help, and reteach material over and over again until she found a way to help you understand the concepts.  When you got a compliment from Mrs. McDougall, you knew it was sincere.  The pride she instilled in us as learners was remarkable.  I believe my ability to persevere arises, in part, from teachers like Mrs. McDougall who taught me that success is not always easy but giving up is simply not an option.

 

Tim Southwell

Department/Position: Vice-Principal, Academics

At Trafalgar since: 1989

Credentials: B. Mus., B.Ed., (Queen's University) & M.D.E. (Athabasca University), OCT

Hometown: Tyrone, Ontario

southwell.tim@trafalgarcastle.ca


Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

Many factors directed me toward teaching as time progressed; however, two English teachers from Grades 7 and 9 were especially instrumental in my development by taking an interest in who I was beyond just the homework.  Both would bring inspiring artifacts and articles related to our latest topic into the classroom, and they would remember how we felt about them for long afterward in discussions.  They were meticulous and required the best we could do, regardless of the many levels encountered in class.  It was through them that I experienced educators who could influence and help a young mind on many levels.  They encouraged broadening our interests, and they reached out to each child in the classroom as a unique person.  I may not have decided upon teaching by Grade 9, but I knew I wanted a career where I could work more interactively with the people involved, just as those teachers had demonstrated.

LINDA PARNSALU

Department/Position:  Vice Principal, School Life

At Trafalgar since:  2013

Credentials:  B.A. (Wilfrid Laurier University) Dip.Ed. (University of Western Sydney), M.Ed.(Charles Sturt), OCT

Hometown:  Whitby, Ontario

parnsalu.linda@trafalgarcastle.ca

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Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

There's a great quote about teaching that I love by William Arthur Ward:

“The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

I was inspired to become a teacher by two of my own teachers--one who taught Kindergarten and the other who taught Grade 8, both very pivotal years in any student's educational journey.  Believe it or not, I can recall so much from my time in Kindergarten with Mrs. Grace Delaney. She had a very gentle, but firm nature, was encouraging and always gave me the opportunity to be a leader in class.  She had such an influence on my early years as a learner, so much so that I always knew if I ever had a daughter I would name her Delaney. I do in fact, have a 7 year old daughter named Delaney. 

My grade 8 teacher was a coach, mentor, tutor, history buff and a teacher who used humour to reach out to his students.  I always felt supported and inspired by Mr. Bruce Blight.  I knew that I wanted to model his same attributes and character as a strong educator when I embarked on my own career path in teaching.  We are good friends today and our families often spend time together.  This year marks my 36th straight "first day" of school and I wouldn't change my career path if I had the chance. Education is possibly innate for me and truly a personal investment.

MARGUERITA DYKSTRA

Department/Position: Chief Financial Officer

At Trafalgar since: 2000

Credentials: CPA, C.A., Honours B.B.A, (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Hometown: Oshawa, Ontario

dykstra.marguerita@trafalgarcastle.ca

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What do you wish other people knew about Trafalgar?

The School’s commitment to encouraging women to achieve their full potential and the opportunities for the girls to develop strong leadership skills and friendships that will support them throughout their lives.

RHONDA DALEY

Department/Position:  Director of Enrolment Management

At Trafalgar since:  2004

Credentials:  B.A. (University of Guelph)

Hometown:  Oshawa, Ontario

daley.rhonda@trafalgarcastle.ca

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What have our Trafalgar students taught you?

A deep sense of community. It permeates through the walls of the Castle and is built on the shared experiences and stories of generations of Trafalgar girls.

Andrew Price

Department/Position: Director of Information Technology

At Trafalgar since:  1999

Hometown:  Hamilton, Ontario

price.andrew@trafalgarcastle.ca


Who is your favourite musician?

 I'm a big Led Zeppelin fan, I don't know if you can call a band as a whole a musician. I really enjoy Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, professionally known as Vangelis, as well. I could listen to the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos' Canto Gregoroano all day too... 

What is the best gift you have ever received?

My kids, the gift that keeps on giving. 

Christina Schindler

Department/Position: Director of Research

At Trafalgar since: 2005

Credentials: B.A., M.A., (McMaster University) B. Ed. (University of Toronto), OCT

Hometown:  Whitby, Ontario

schindler.christina@trafalgarcastle.ca


Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

I was inspired to become a teacher as I grew up watching my Father teach Grade 5. His passion for learning and his dedication to the success of each and every one of his students remains an inspiration to me. As a young girl, every August I would go in to his school to help him set up his classroom. I loved the atmosphere of excitement and possibility that developed as teachers prepared for the first day of school. I realized I was going to be a teacher when I had the opportunity to teach at the post-secondary level as I was completing my Masters' Degree in History. I found inspiration in working with students as they made connections between ideas and concepts, and knew then that I would follow in my father's footsteps towards a career in education.

Helen Walsh

Department/Position:  Associate Director Advancement

At Trafalgar Since:  2016

Credentials:  B.A. Honours (Queen's University), Resource and Development Certificate (Georgian College), CFRE - Certified Fund Raising Executive 

Hometown: Port Hope, Ontario

walsh.helen@trafalgarcastle.ca


What do you wish other people knew about Trafalgar?

I wish people knew the feeling you get each day when you come up the driveway and see the Castle in front of you.  It is such a unique place and those who work and are educated here get to feel that sense of awe every single day.  My youngest daughter still can't believe her mother works in a real castle!