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Summer Adventures from Our Faculty

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Erin Dallin, Coordinator of Academic Programing, Chemistry Teacher and Anne-Marie Simard, Math and Science Teacher: “We did a four day hike to Della Falls! The trip involved a boat ride to the end of Great Central Lake (near Port Alberni) and then a 16km (each way) to Della Falls (440m total height and the 16th tallest waterfall in Canada).” 

Rafe Haines, Junior School Music Teacher: “Before moving over to the island from Vancouver (which was an event in itself), our band Appalossa had a great time returning to play at the Rockin’ River in Merritt for the August Long Weekend. We ended the summer at the Armstrong IPA playing the Rodeo “after party” Labour Day Weekend.” 

Christine Morris, Math Teacher: “I just moved here from Montreal, so my big summer adventure included a road trip across Canada with my dog and cat in the backseat! The trip was done over nine days stopping to appreciate the different provinces along the way.”

Elaine Kao, Art Teacher: “Ms. Kao welcomed baby Milo (pronounced mee-lo) on August 20, 2022.” 

Karen Meyer, JK Assistant, First Steps Program: “This summer I rode the 100k in the Tour de Cure (for cancer) on behalf of my brother, Peter—he was very passionate about this cause. I raised an extra $2,000 towards the final $3,655 so that felt great!” 

John Smith, Language & Literature Teacher: “We did quite a few trips this summer including camping around the island, driving to the Rockies, and catching the Coho to travel around Washington state and visit Seattle. We camped quite a few times, and encountered a bear right at the end. There were other close encounters with wildlife including a cougar, that I definitely didn’t anticipate!” 

Smaranda Popescu, Teacher, Sciences & Design: “This summer, I moved from Toronto to Victoria, but not through flying out, rather through doing the road trip and camping all along the way. It took me just under a week to get all the way out here from Toronto but I had the opportunity to see so many cool new things along the way. My first stop was in Lake Superior provincial park which is one of my favorite spots in Ontario to camp. I then pushed through Saskatchewan and Manitoba rather quickly (the landscape truly is as flat as they say), but decided to spice up my trip by stopping to see some “World’s Biggest” attractions which include the Wawa Goose, Husky the Muskie, MooseJaw Moose and more! Finally after all of that driving, I reached the mountains in Banff where I stayed for a night observing the bright blue water and camping on the edge of a cliff! I chose to visit some friends in Jasper as well the day after. Once leaving Alberta, I finally made my entrance into BC and decided to stop in Pemberton. Here, I went for a short hike and found some interesting animal bones and so many owl pellets (as a science teacher, this was the best find ever). By the time I reached the island, I was desperately in need of some fresh west coast fish so I decided to take my trip a bit further and visit Ucluelet for some surfing and tacos.


Overall I would say it was an amazing summer packed with so much discovery and excitement but I’m not too sad that it’s coming to an end as I’m sure the rest of the year will bring so much more as well. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone and hearing about all the thrilling stuff students and families got up to over the break!”

Amanda Chaval, Choral Director: “I had a busy, fun-filled summer! I went to Italy for my honeymoon—my husband and I got married during COVID (in 2020) so we delayed our honeymoon until now. We visited Venice, Florence and Rome—it was beautiful. I miss the pasta! We heard some amazing music (including Vivladi’s Four Seasons at Vivaldi’s Music School in Venice!), beautiful art (The David in Florence) and some powerful sights (The Pantheon in Rome). 


Later in July, I went to Austin, Texas for MYP training. I enjoyed meeting and talking to American teachers, and exploring a new city—it is so vibrant! Then I visited family in New York and got to see Aladdin on Broadway! Returning to Victoria for August, the month was full of swimming, camping, hiking and kayaking—some of my favourite things. I had a great summer; it is bittersweet that it’s come to an end, but it’s exciting to be back on campus and I’m looking forward to a wonderful year ahead at GNS!”