Staff Summers

Every year, our faculty and staff spend July/August away from SMUS, but that doesn’t mean they are idle. International travel, outdoor sports, professional development and hobbies of all kinds fill their summer vacations. Here’s how some of our many staff spent their time.

This summer, I spent a week studying at Harvard, working on a project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  We were a group of 400 teachers from 30 countries, studying ways to deepen students’ understanding of learning concepts in meaningful ways.  Needless to say, it was an incredibly enriching week that had me thinking of teaching my little students in new and wonderful ways. “

– Margaret Lincoln

“I had a fabulous summer! Of course, the sunny weather was conducive to getting out into the outdoors. I cycled the Galloping Goose trail several times and played lots of tennis. On the Grade 9 out-trip last year I discovered a passion for sea kayaking and so I bought a boat this summer and spent 10 days paddling around parts of the Sunshine Coast – stunningly beautiful scenery and wildlife! Summertime is time for getting together with friends I don’t have time to connect with through the rest of the year, and so I had dinner parties and impromptu gatherings. Even though I thought I’d take a break, I continued my other passion for ballroom dancing by taking more lessons. It was an action packed summer that went by very quickly.”

– Rea Casey

“I spent two weeks in New York in July. Then, I went to Amsterdam, Bruges, and England for most of August. A wonderful summer of travel. Lots to see and lots to learn.”

– Linda Rajotte

“I travelled to Cambridge Ontario for my son David Tweedie’s wedding and family reunion in July and then spent the last two weeks of August with my eldest daughter Katherine Tweedie ‘94, who works for the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Then I spent a few days in London with my other daughter Clare Tweedie ’03, who starts work there on Tuesday in commodity trading with Cargill.”

– Joan Tweedie

“In July, I went to an AP Summer Institute in Chicago called Teacher as Artist . Staying in the dorms of Columbia College was entertaining and I suddenly knew how the SMUS students feel as they are anxiously awaiting their new roommates!  Luckily I was with an excellent group of people who have now become e-mail buddies. In the mornings, we worked on new strategies for teaching AP art and in the afternoons, we had visual projects to do, one of which was to create an illustrated accordion book detailing our experiences during the week in Chicago.  You can imagine that in a roomful of art teachers the competitive spirit to achieve a worthy result was alive and well! In the evenings, we were free to explore the city, which is famous for its stunning architecture, and a boat trip run by the Architecture Foundation on the river proved highly informative. We also had a tour of the Chicago Art Institute and saw the school there where alumnus Elton Chan ’07 is currently studying architecture (what else?) A highlight of the week was the culminating exhibition of the teachers’ work where everyone’s efforts were appreciated and lauded by their peers.  I have come back immensely enriched by the experience.”

– Anna Forbes

“I spent my summer running, working out, boating and reading! I also did some personal fitness training.”

-Ritch Primrose

Senior School Counsellor Virginia Ronning spent her summer mainly at home, though she did venture to Ontario to visit family and friends and visit universities with her daughter Emma, who enters Grade 11 at SMUS this year. Mrs. Ronning also attended an American Psychological Association conference and took a week-long acrylic abstract painting art course with local artist Michelle Miller, while her husband Bob Newman, a teacher at the Middle School, worked on his wooden boat in Oak Bay Marina. Mrs. Ronning also enjoyed seeing her daughter Emma perform in the Victoria Fringe Festival, though the SMUS Summer Musical Theatre programme in August.

“My family went on a cruise to Alaska. Great food and scenery. We also traveled to Washington as our young son (Grade 9 at SMUS) was on the Under 14 BC basketball team, so we watched him compete against American and Canadian teams.”

– Pam Yorath

“In addition to attending five weddings, it has been a busy summer of polo.  My husband, Brent Hoeppner, and my father, Steve Mann, play on the Victoria Polo Club on Wallace Road. SMUS alumnus Dani Ward ’07, also plays with them.  The kids and I love to watch them all on horseback!”

Elise Hoeppner

“I was island hopping – Hornby, Quadra and Thetis Islands – and camping at Cowichan Lake.”

– Mimi Brown

This August, staff member and ultra-distance runner Jeff Hunt ran the 40k Nootka Trail. Coupled with his previous adventure runs on the West Coast Trail, the North Coast Trail and the Juan de Fuca Trail, Jeff became the first person to have run all the Coastal Trails of Vancouver Island. He continues to train year-round with a high-performance running group and is looking ahead to 2010 where he will be competing in a few international events in ultra-distance endurance races. His ultimate goal is to make the national team in a couple of years.  Jeff was featured this summer in both the Times Colonist and on and is quickly establishing himself as one of the top distance runners from Victoria.

“My family and I emigrated to Victoria from Edinburgh, Scotland this summer. Although I am originally from BC, my husband and two little boys have never lived in Victoria before. We moved into our new house and have had a great summer settling in. “

– Sophia Malczewska

“The Kerr family (not to be confused with the science Kerr family) went up on a wonderful eight-week camping trip to the Yukon, Alaska, northern BC, the Rockies and the southern interior of BC. 31 campgrounds visited, 8,500km driven (the equivalent of from Victoria to St John’s and half-way back), two flat tires, lots of wildlife, wildfires, glaciers, lakes, mountains and RVs, and 1500 photos!  Highlights? The Dawson City Music Festival under the midnight sun, clambering over Kennecott glacier on the best (only?) summer day in the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska, building inukshuks and looking at the subalpine flowers at Mt Edith Cavell in the Rockies, swimming in the numerous lakes on the Yukon, visiting Chicken, Alaska, and definitely experiencing fantastic weather up the fjords and forests of the Inside Passage from Port Hardy to Skagway. It was a real treat for us and our kids to be able to explore what is really a very big country.  The memories will last a long, long time!”

– David Kerr

Benson Young, last year’s Hinton chair, spent his summer taking care of his son Jaxson, who was born in April.

“I went back to Japan to see my mother and sisters. I was in Okinawa checking out for the coming Japan trip during my stay. I also swam in the swimming pool, ocean, the lakes near Vancouver.  It was a very busy summer but I certainly enjoyed it!”

-Toshie Thumm

“I spent the summer rock climbing and living in my van!”

– Reagan Daly

Jake Humphries waved au revoir to his daughter Kathryn Humphries ‘03 as she moved to Montreal to begin a master’s degree in opera; attended the Canada Summer Games on PEI to watch son John Humphries ‘09 play rugby for BC; spent a heavenly week with Craig Farish, Bonnie Davison, and baby Abby at their PEI cottage and barely escaped Hurricane Bill, as he and John made their way to Ontario, where John is now attending the University of Western Ontario. He also celebrated with wife Joan, who completed her master’s degree in nursing this August.

“I divided my time this summer between working with Dawn Wilson in the ISPY programme, golfing at Bear Mountain, relaxing at Shawnigan Lake, and spending time with a little bundle of smiles and energy, my grandaughter, Molly.”

– Don Pollock

“It was all about visiting friends and family. I climbed Stromboli, a volcanic mountain on an island in Sicilly. I went hiking in the Alps, and I got a really bad sunburn in Spain. Oh yeah, and I got my first lesson flying a helicopter which terrified my friends in the backseat.”

– Claire de Rosenroll


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