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Who’s New? A guide to Collingwood’s new faculty

Every school year brings something new – new classes, new locker, new textbooks. But there’s one thing that always goes overlooked: new teachers. To help you figure out who’s who, we’ve compiled a list and some fun facts about each of them. Here’s a comprehensive guide to all of Collingwood’s 2017-2018 faculty rookies!

Ms. Gleicher – STEM Teacher


Ms. Gleicher is a wonderful addition to our STEM department! When she’s not in the classroom, you can find her rock climbing. When she’s not bouldering with the Collingwood Bouldering Club, she’s climbing on the rocks in Squamish, Skaha, or adventuring elsewhere. Her favourite place that she’s traveled to is Mongolia: “I loved the genuine kindness, openness, and untouched nature of Mongolia and its nomadic people.” Her most memorable experience was toilet training a 17-year-old student with Down Syndrome. She “pushed beyond likelihood, and others’ doubts, and problem-solved until it worked.” According to Ms. Gleicher, if she weren’t a teacher, she would want Anthony Bourdain’s job! “Who wouldn’t want to get paid to travel and eat!” Who indeed?

Ms. Haston – Teacher Intern and Coach


You may recognize Ms. Haston by her unmistakable accent both in the classroom and on the court. During her free time, she “like to get outside adventuring. At the moment I love getting out on my bike on the trails, but I also really enjoying white water kayaking and skiing. When inside I like to cook, do yoga, hang out with friends and play board games.” One of her favourite trips was a 3 week trip kayaking down the Grand Canyon. According to Ms. Haston, the Grand Canyon is a beautiful and remote place to spend time with no phone reception. Not to mention the rapids, of course! One of her favourite books is ‘Travels with Charley’ by John Steinbeck. “It is a non-fiction travelogue about his travels in the USA in the 1960s in a caravan with his dog Charley, and he is trying to find out what Americans are like. It’s a really interesting snapshot of what America was like at this time from the beautiful redwood forests to growing racial tensions.” When asked about her dream job, she replied, “teaching is my dream job for sure. But if I had to choose something else, I always loved the idea of running a ski chalet somewhere. Or y’know… astronaut.” Ms. Haston’s biggest influence(s) are her parents. “They have always told me to follow my heart and do what I enjoy, and it has led me to many weird and wonderful people, places and experiences. And now to Collingwood.” We’re so grateful for your parents, Ms. Haston!

Mr. Lewis – Teacher Intern and Coach


You may have seen Mr. Lewis in the classroom from time to time subbing for all sorts of different subjects as well as coaching for our school’s sports teams. When he’s not lending a hand around the school, his favourite pastime is skiing. He also enjoys a good run, or sitting down and watching science fiction. When asked about his favourite place to visit, he said “I love visiting Maui. One of my good friends lives there. There is such a peaceful feeling of separation from the rest of the world. Also the warm weather doesn’t hurt either.” With winter just around the corner, who wouldn’t appreciate the warm weather? His favourite book is Foundation by Isaac Asimov and his most memorable experience was going on a 5 week trip to Europe with his two best friends: “We brought nothing but a large backpack each, and we stayed in hostels and used the trains to get around everywhere. We met so many interesting people from around the world, and had many fun experiences in various European cities.” If Mr. Lewis weren’t a teacher, he’d want to be a ski patroller.

Ms. Peña – Admissions Coordinator


For those of you who haven’t yet met Ms. Peña, she is an integral part of Collingwood’s Admissions Team. When she’s not gracing perspective families with the Collingwood treatment, she loves doing yoga, hanging out with friends, hiking, reading, cooking and trying different types of food. The most memorable vacation she’s been on was a camping road trip all the way to Alaska and the Yukon: “it was my first real camping experience”, she explained. She has many favourite books, some of which include ‘The Humans’ by Matt Haig, ‘Blindness’ by José Saramago, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee and, last but not least, all of the Harry Potter books. For Ms. Peña, the biggest influence in her life has been her parents: “they have encouraged me and supported my life changing decisions such as studying abroad and moving to a different country.”

Ms. Vande Kraats – English Teacher and Librarian

Ms. Vande Kraats is one of our two teacher librarians here at Morven. She immigrated to Canada 15 years ago from Portland, Oregon. Her favourite travel destination is Antigua; to her, “it feels like a quaint European city, but nestled among the beautiful tropical rainforest and ancient Mayan culture of Guatemala.” Ms. Vande Kraats’ favourite TV series are Better Call Saul and Arrested Development. A fun fact about her is that she met her spouse when she was a contestant on a reality TV show, and he was the director! When asked about her dream job, she responded, “if I wasn’t a teacher and had no family and had no concern for my health and safety…my absolute dream career would be international journalism, like an embedded reporter in armed conflicts. Or if I had art skills, my dream job would be graphic novelist!”

By: Riley Tam

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