Oral History Project June 11th, 2018
Major Levon Bond is a member of the current Canadian Forces, one who specializes in air force intelligence operations. He has been deployed overseas on a number of occasions, including in Haiti, where Canada provided disaster relief after the devastating earthquake. More recently, he was sent to Afghanistan and Qatar, where he worked to provide intelligence and support to coalition forces in their battles in the ongoing war on terror.
Last week, Crestwood’s Grade 10 students spent 3 days and 2 nights visiting our nation’s capital. After departing Crestwood early Wednesday morning, our first stop in Ottawa was the Canadian War Museum. Students had the opportunity to learn about the role of military conflict in Canadian history. Exhibits stretched as far back as pre-contact conflicts between the indigenous peoples of Canada, and covered Canada’s military contributions all the way up to the Afghanistan mission. Grade 10 Canadian history students were able to see, firsthand, objects that they had learned about during in-class lectures. While at the War Museum, students were also able to visit the newly dedicated Canadian Holocaust Memorial. Students travelled downtown to check-in to their accommodations at the University of Ottawa. After quickly changing for dinner, students travelled to Victoria Island, in the Ottawa River, to visit Aboriginal Experiences. Crestwood students spent the evening learning about the culture and traditions of the Algonquin people. After a hearty dinner- which included the option of bison for intrepid eaters- students had the opportunity to learn about, and participate in, traditional Algonquin customs and dances. The evening concluded with our indigenous guides leading all of the students in a traditional round dance.
Students awoke to rain on Thursday morning; however it was not enough to dampen their spirits. After a plentiful breakfast at the University of Ottawa dining hall, students were off to the Supreme Court of Canada to learn about Canada’s judicial system. Students were able to apply their learning from Civics class as they participated in a mock trial. Judge Matthew Nelsons presided over the court, and – despite less than solid evidence- the jury found Jason Wise guilty. Thankfully, the visit also taught the students about the appeals process! After the Supreme Court, students headed to Parliament Hill for a guided tour of the most important building in Canadian politics. Students had the opportunity to visit the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, and the Memorial Room of the Peace Tower. Afterwards, we were graced by a quick visit from York-Centre MP (and Crestwood parent) Michael Levitt, who explained to students his role as a Member of Parliament. After a quick lunch in Byward Market, students headed across the river to Gatineau to visit the newly remodeled Museum of Canadian History (previous the Museum of Civilization). After browsing the museum’s extensive collection, and seeing items such as one of the shirts worn by Terry Fox on his Marathon of Hope, the students settled in for a film about the social, cultural and environmental impact of disappearing ocean ice in Canada’s Arctic. After a fajita dinner at Lone Star Café, students were then guided on a spooky ghost tour of Ottawa- some students left with goosebumps, but everyone learned something about the early history of Ottawa.
Friday morning saw one final stop for the students before heading home to Toronto. On our way out of Ottawa Crestwood students had the opportunity to visit CFB Carp, or as it is more commonly known, “The Diefenbunker”. Constructed at the height of the Cold War, the bunker was designed to house Canada’s government in the event of a nuclear attack. Today, the bunker has been decommissioned and reconfigured to a museum dedicated to the Cold War. After returning to surface level, students boarded their motor coaches for the ride back to Toronto.
Major Reginald McMichael joined the Canadian Forces in 2001, having made the decision to attend Royal Military College. After initial training, he was deployed in Alberta as a member of the PPCLI, and he rose through the ranks as an officer. From there, Major McMichael was sent on several overseas deployments, serving in Afghanistan at the height of Canada’s involvement in the Kandahar region. He commanded an infantry company and dealt with the difficult situations that came his way. Once back in Canada, he was assigned a political detail, serving in Ottawa as part of the Minister of Defence staff.
In May of 2017, Major McMichael visited Crestwood as part of a delegation from the Canadian Forces College, where he was studying at the time. He spoke with Careers 10 students about the reality of life in the Canadian military.
Oral History Project June 19th, 2017
Major Andrea Keeping grew up in the small farming community Russell, Manitoba and entered the University of Manitoba with the intention of studying to be an architect. Instead, she would end up finishing her education at Kingston’s Royal Military College and embark on a career that has seen her deployed in support roles to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Cyprus, and stationed at bases across Canada. In May of 2017, she visited Mr. Hawkins’ Career Studies class to discuss her career as an officer in the Canadian Forces. She shared her experiences and thoughts on a variety topics, including her journey into and through the military, the advantages and disadvantages of a military career, the duties of a Logistics Officer, and life at Kandahar Airfield during the Afghanistan mission.
Oral History Project June 19th, 2017
Major Olivier Lefrancois joined the Canadian Forces in 1997, having made the decision to attend Royal Military College. After initial training, he was deployed in Quebec, where he helped in the recovery efforts after the ice storm. From there, Major Lefrancois was stationed in different parts of Canada, including North Bay, Resolute Bay and Cold Lake, and the United States, where he served in a NATO command in Oklahoma City. He has as well been part of several overseas deployments, serving in Qatar, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Oral History Project June 12th, 2017
On Thursday, March 30, the Grade 5 and 6 classes were visited by internationally acclaimed Canadian author Deborah Ellis. Deborah wrote the international bestseller The Breadwinner, which was inspired by the true story of a young girl who cut off her hair and pretended to be a boy so she could earn money to support her family in war-torn Taliban-era Afghanistan, as well as many other challenging and beautiful works of fiction and non-fiction about children all over the world.
We learned about her travels to Afghanistan that inspired her to write The Breadwinnerseries, and to Bolivia where she learned about how poor children are used in illegal drug production, which inspired her to write I am a Taxi.
Deborah Ellis has received several awards for her books, including the Governor General’s Award and the Order of Ontario. She donates most of her royalty income to worthy causes such as Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Street Kids International and UNICEF. She has donated more than one million dollars in royalties from her Breadwinner books alone.
Please ask your children about this author visit as they have thoroughly enjoyed her books and are eager to read more!
-Teacher/Librarian Lara Bafaro
Oral History Project March 1st, 2017
Oral History Project February 28th, 2017
This Remembrance Day, the Crestwood community gathered together to commemorate those who sacrificed their tomorrow for our today. The assembly included moving musical contributions from the senior music classes and the Crestwood Voices Chamber Choir. The Oral History Project shared two documentaries from Canadian veterans who shared their war-time experience. Crestwood students were fortunate enough to receive an address from Major Andrea Keeping, a veteran of peace-keeping missions in Afghanistan, Cyprus and Kuwait. Major Keeping described why she joined the Armed Forces, the difficulties brought on by times of conflict and the importance of remembering as a cultural practice. The ceremony included a recording of the late Leonard Cohen’s moving reading of the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” and was punctuated by a moment of silence.
At a young age Major Dennis was interested in aviation. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and obtained his glider pilot license and private pilot license while in high school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After attending university at Mount Saint Vincent University, he obtained his commercial pilot license and flew as a flight instructor and bush pilot in a number of locations in Ontario. In 2000 he joined the Royal Canadian Air force, and after military flight training was selected to fly the CC130 Hercules.He deployed twice to the Middle East for six months to Afghanistan and Qatar. He now he attends Joint Command Staff College here in Ontario working toward his Masters in Defence Studies.
Major Barker joined the Canadian Forces in 2000, and graduated from the Royal Military College in 2005. In 2008, he was deployed to Afghanistan, where he worked to help rebuild the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police force. During his time in Afghanistan, he received an official mention in dispatches for his exemplary work. In February of 2016, Major Barker visited Crestwood as part of a delegation from the Canadian Forces College, where he was studying at the time. He spoke with students about the reality of life in the Canadian military.
Major Dias joined the Canadian Forces as a reserve Radio Teletype Operator with 745 (Edmonton) Communication Squadron in 1993. While he was attending the University of Alberta, he was accepted into the Reserve Entry Scheme for Officers and was commissioned in 1996. While at 745 Comm Sqn he served in a variety of positions: Troop Commander, Recruiting Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, Course Officer and finally Deputy Commanding Officer. During his time in the Reserves, Maj Dias had the opportunity to deploy on domestic operations including Northern Canadian deployments in support of Sovereignty Operations and OP ABACUS (Y2K). He was also fortunate to serve overseas twice as a Reservist in Bosnia on OP PALLADIUM as part of a Multinational Headquarters.
Maj Dias transferred to the Regular Force in 2005, where he was immediately posted as the Operations Officer for 1 CMBG HQ and Signal Squadron. He deployed with the Squadron as part of Op ARCHER to Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2006. This mission was in support of the Multinational Brigade (Regional Command – South) Headquarters and Signal Squadron, part of the US led Op ENDURING FREEDOM. He was awarded the CEFCOM Commander’s Commendation for his work with the Afghan Mission Network, which connected coalition partners on a shared network, providing mission critical information to those who needed the most. He was then deployed on Op PROTEUS, Jerusalem as a projects staff officer and Deputy J6 in the US Security Coordinator in support of the Middle East Peace Process.
Major Dias visited Crestwood in February 2016, when a number of Grade 10 history students interviewed him for this project.
Oral History Project June 9th, 2016
The Social Studies Department had some exciting visitors this week, creating great opportunities for students interested in Canada’s military history. On Monday, January 25th, five officers from the Canadian Forces College visited Crestwood, sharing their experiences in Canada’s recent overseas missions, notably Afghanistan. Majors Dennis, Lajeunesse, Harvey, Dias and Barker represented all facets of the military and all spoke eloquently about serving Canada overseas.
Then on Tuesday, January 26th, many of the Canadian History 10 students were lucky enough to have Lorne Winer visit their class. Mr. Winer is a Jewish Canadian veteran of World War Two who recently turned 98. Mr. Winer spoke of his time in Europe, from being stationed in England to being involved in the liberation of France and the Netherlands. Other Crestwood students will soon be doing their own interviews, when we visit Sunnybrook and Baycrest – stay tuned!
Major T.J. (Tom) Goldie was born in Halifax, NS. After completion of high school he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and enjoyed several years serving as an Airframe Technician maintaining aircraft before being selected in 1999 for a military sponsored university training plan through which he completed his studies toward a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Saint Mary’s University. Following graduation he commenced pilot training earning his wings as a military aviator in 2004. He began his operational flying career with 415 (MP) Squadron in Greenwood, NS piloting the CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol aircraft.
He gained extensive experience on the Aurora flying more than 3000 flight hours supporting numerous domestic and international operations with 405(LRP) Squadron including a ten month duty on Op Athena (Afghanistan) amassing 145 combat missions as a Mission Commander on Canada’s first Tier 2 UAV deployment. As a Long Range Patrol Crew Commander (LRPCC), he had the privilege to lead a crew during Op Mobile marking several firsts for the Long Range Patrol (LRP) community over Libya and he has further participated in Operations Podium, Cadence, Nanook, Sealion, Leviathan, Qimmiq, Driftnet, and Caribbe. He has been employed as a Flight Instructor at 404 (LRP&T) Squadron and as Operations Flight Commander at 407(LRP) Squadron, Comox, BC. He has earned and exercised qualifications as a Flight Safety Investigator, an Instrument Check Pilot, and Standards and Training Pilot. He is currently enrolled in the Canadian Forces Joint Command and Staff Programme where he is pursuing a Master of Defence Studies degree from Royal Military College.
Major Goldie visited us at Crestwood in March 2015, along with four other officers from the CFC.
Oral History Project May 19th, 2015
Major Daniel Matheson is a current member of the Canadian Forces, who hails from Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia, a small fishing community just outside Halifax. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1997 right out of High School under the Regular Officer Training Plan and attended Royal Military College in St Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC and Kingston, ON. Upon graduation in May 2002, he was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. After completing his Artillery Officer training in August 2002, he was posted to 2 Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA) in Petawawa, ON as a Troop Commander in E Battery. He deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan on Operation ATHENA in 2003-2004 with Kabul Multi-National Brigade (F Battery) as Radar Troop Commander. His second tour was in Kandahar, 2006-2007 with Task Force 3-06 1 Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group (E Battery) as a Forward Observation Officer / Forward Air Controller. In June 2007, he was posted to the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School (RCAS) in Gagetown, New Brunswick and completed the year-long Instructor-in-Gunnery Course (Field). In 2011 he was provided the opportunity to join 1 RCHA in Shilo, MB as principle staff in the capacity of Regimental Command Post Officer (RCPO). He was promoted Major that same year and took Command of A Battery, 1 RCHA in June 2012.
Major Matheson has taken part in two domestic operations as well. He was involved in the Ice Storm clean-up in 1997/1998 as an Officer Cadet attending RMC Prep Year in St Jean; it was his first real exposure to the Canadian Army. Major Matheson said: “My experience during this time impressed upon me the importance of the diverse role the Armed Forces can and should play in times of domestic as well as international strife.” He was also involved Operation PALACI in Roger’s Pass, B.C. first as a Troop Commander in 2003 and as the lead Technical Authority for 1 RCHA in my capacity as RCPO in 2011/12.
Major Matheson visited us at Crestwood in March 2015, along with four other officers from the CFC.
Oral History Project May 19th, 2015
Major Richard was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1976. As a rural kid, he played the mandatory minor hockey until age 14 when he joined the Air Cadets and became hooked. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces as an Artillery Officer in 1994 under the Regular Officer Training Plan. He completed a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta, while training at various military bases during the summer months.
His first posting (1998) was to 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Shilo, Manitoba. Over the course of nearly four years, he advanced from Troop Leader through to Battery Captain, working in both light and medium artillery batteries. One particular highlight was a peacekeeping tour in Bosnia-Herzegovina (OPERATION PALLADIUM) in 2000.
In 2001, Major Richard transferred into the Air Force as an Aerospace Engineering Officer. He subsequently worked in Edmonton and Ottawa, managing and participating in a number of projects related to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or ‘drones’) and helicopters. In 2006, he deployed to Afghanistan as part of OPERATION APOLLO.
In 2011, Major Richard became the Officer Commanding Maintenance Flight / Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Officer at 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Edmonton. In 2014, he was selected to undertake the Joint Command and Staff and Masters of Defence Studies Programmes in Toronto, where he currently works.
Major Richard visited us here at Crestwood in March 2015, along with 3 other officers from the CFC.
Oral History Project May 14th, 2015
Sofia Yousafzai was born in 1967 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her family is made up of her 3 brothers, 2 sisters and parents. She lived a normal, but risky life. It was ormal as in she did everything anyone else would do, like going to school and going to interesting places and hanging out with friends.
It was a risky life though, as the war in Afghanistan endangered the lives of millions. This caused many citizens to emigrate or escape the country. Sofia moved out of the country with her family to a neighbouring country. She married and moved out to Dubai in the 1990s, and then she moved to Canada in 2012.
Sofia Yousafzai was interviewed for the Oral history project, in March 2015, by her son Bilal Ahmed.
Oral History Project April 9th, 2015
Grant Burningham served in Canada’s mission to Afghanistan in 2013, helping to train the Afghan national police force and working alongside fellow police officers from an array of nations. Deployed for thirteen months, he was able to experience the many facets of this country in crisis, reminding us that military and overseas service remains a core component of Canada’s national character. He was interviewed for this project in April 2014, by student Anthony Audette.
Oral History Project June 3rd, 2014
Lt.-Col. Clint Mowbray is an active member of the Canadian Forces, serving with the RCAF in the Air Sea Rescue division. He has served all over Canada and has been involved in numerous rescue missions across the country; he has also served overseas in Afghanistan as part of the ISAF force.
Lt.-Col. Mowbray was stationed in Toronto at the Canadian Forces College, and he took time to visit us in March 2014, where he shared his experiences with students Justin Liang, Lucky Liu, and Andrew Gdanski.
Oral History Project April 24th, 2014
Major Mark Popov is an active member of Canada’s armed forces. He has served in Yugoslavia and has just completed his second tour in Afghanistan. He knows the region very well and has built a strong connection with his troops and the local community. As a Major he has to maintain a positive attitude to help the safety of his troops and in order to complete the mission at hand. We met Major Popov at a Remembrance Day event in November 2010, and he agreed to come to Crestwood to speak to Mr. Masters and Mr. Hawkins Grade 12 classes. The event was such a success that we invited him back to speak to the Grade 10 history classes in May 2011. In both cases he gave the students valuable insights into the reality facing current Canadian soldiers.
admin July 9th, 2012
Daryll Davies is in the present day RCMP. He has served in many UN peacekeeping missions, reminding that not only soldiers take part in these missions. Daryll has visited many troubled regions in this capacity, among them Bosnia, East Timor, Jordan, and Afghanistan. His roles included police training and dealing with cold cases and war crimes in Bosnia. In Afghanistan he accompanied the Americans on many patrols. Daryll spoke to the Politics 12 class in March 2012, where he provided insights into the complicated world of international relations.
admin July 9th, 2012
The Crestwood community reaches far beyond the walls of the school and this publication is a special way of keeping in touch with those that have moved on to begin their lives beyond the walls of Crestwood Preparatory College.Alumni have shared their experiences with post secondary education, careers and exciting experiences, as well as announcements of engagements and weddings. This publication is a great way for alumni to catch up and for our current Crestwood families to see the wonderful things our present student’s have to look forward to.
Future additions will only be distributed to alumni, although options will be made available to others. It is an excellent publication,and represents an important part of the school mandate. A big thank you to Ms. Lisa Newton and all the contributors to this wonderful, and historic, publication.
Best wishes to all:
Sarah Bresler graduated from Crestwood Preparatory College in 2006. She went on to get her undergraduate degree at New York University with a double major in Journalism and Art History.
During her time in New York, Sarah realized her passion for the fashion and luxury sector. She held a variety of internships during her schooling, including a sales internship at Esquire Magazine, and retail internship at Diane von Furstenberg.
Immediately after graduating from NYU in the spring of 2010, Sarah moved to London, England and began her career in public relations, working for luxury travel PR agency, PRCo. Sarah worked on a variety of accounts including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Porto Montenegro and Sandy Lane, Barbados.
After two years in London, Sarah moved back to her hometown of Toronto to continue her PR career working for Siren Communications as an Account Manager. At this agency, Sarah managed luxury travel accounts including Silversea Cruises, Exclusive Resorts, Barbados tourism board, Auberge Saint-Antoine, and more.
In March 2015, Sarah began as Public Relations Manager at Toronto-based start-up Far & Wide Collective (FWC). Dealing in fair trade goods from artisans in developing countries, FWC is a socially conscious company with the goal of helping with development around the world. FWC works with artisans in countries including Afghanistan, Kenya and Pakistan, to name a few, and sells beautifully crafted fashion and home décor goods to the international marketplace.
After graduating from Crestwood, Stacey went to the University of Guelph. After a year and a half she decided to make a change.She came home to Toronto and enrolled in an Advertising and Media Sales program at Humber College. While at Humber, Stacey worked part time as a nanny.
As soon as she finished at Humber she was hired at Zenith Optimedia as an Account Assistant. She worked on a broadcast team that was responsible for negotiating rates for TV and Radio advertising across all markets in Canada.
Stacey has worked on several different clients, from automotive to retail to packaged goods and has applied so much of what she learned into practical experiences. After a year Stacey was promoted to an Account Executive and was recently moved on to a digital media team where she is looking forward to a new adventure!
Jillian Katz graduated from Crestwood Preparatory College in 2010. Creative from a young age and always passionate about the arts, she continued on to study at OCAD University in Toronto. Initially an illustration major, Jillian quickly shifted her focus to graphic design. This enabled her to more deeply explore the possibilities within design: learning about both traditional and innovative design processes, theory and thinking. In June 2014, Jillian acquired her bachelor of design with a specialization in graphic design.
Throughout her post secondary education, Jillian held internships in advertising, branding, editorial, systems and interface design. Her involvement in such a range of spaces led her to realize a fascination with user experience, design research and strategy. Jillian is currently a member of the design team at Idea Couture, a global strategic innovation agency based out of Toronto. Here, she works with a broad spectrum of media and fortune 500 clients to conceptualize and produce meaningful, beautiful, forward-thinking experiences.
Matthew was born and raised in Toronto, where he grew up with his parents and two sisters. Matthew attended Crestwood from grades 7-12 and graduated in 2008, after which he moved to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University where he graduated in 2012 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Law and Society. From there, Matthew attended Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, graduating in 2013 with an Honors Certificate in Psychology. After taking a year off to prepare for graduate school, he moved to Bristol, Rhode Island where he is currently completing a Masters in Forensic Psychology. Matthew hopes to pursue doctoral work in clinical psychology, with a forensic specialization. His goal is to teach at the university level, consult, and conduct research along with some counselling.
Matthew described how attending Crestwood was one of the best educational decisions he made, “My time spent there helped me to become a well-rounded student, shaped by the dedicated teachers, administrators, and friends I met along the way. Eight years later, I am still close friends with some of my classmates and keep in touch with teachers.” He believed that junior high and high school can be a place of learning, excitement, and uncertainty. “It is a time to grow, learn who you are, and foster your strengths while acknowledging areas that need improvement.”
admin June 27th, 2012