In the role of Executive Director of Professional Learning and Research, Dr. Sandra Boyes leads professional learning pathways for faculty and is responsible for sharing our expertise and developing our reflective practice within a culture of research.
Dr. Boyes has been an educator for 30 years, more than 20 of those with Crescent including 12 years as Head of Lower School. She sits on the International Boys’ Schools Research Committee and leads a special interest group in relational teaching practices. She holds an Ed.D. and M.A. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and a B.Ed. from the University of Manitoba.
Mrs. Trish Cislak
Subject Head, Libraries and Research (Grades 7-12)
Trish Cislak has been Head of Libraries and Research since 2010. She is excited to be the Director of Research for the CCBE. Along with supporting Crescent teachers with their in-house action research programs, she is the school coordinator for the School Participatory Action Research Collaborative (SPARC), a research group for students associated with the University of Pennsylvania. For the last 10 years, Trish has been a team advisor for the International Boys’ School Coalition’s Action Research Program. She also sits on the Canadian Accredited Independent School’s Research and Innovation Committee. Trish has her BA from Waterloo and Business Diploma from WLU. She received her B Ed from York and is in her thirty-second year of teaching, the last 22 in boys’ schools.
Steve Verzyden is a Learning Support Specialist for the Upper School and a member of the Crescent Student Services team. He has been a faculty member since 2013 and during this time he has supported the re-development and implementation of both the Middle School Mentor Group and Reach Ahead Math Programs, mentored new Crescent staff, and coached a number of Crescent’s sports teams.
More recently, Steve has been nominated to undertake an action research project facilitated by the IBSC and supported by the CCBE. His work is being completed in tandem with the Crescent SPARC Research Team where he is also supporting the students as a mentor.
Steve has his BMath from Carleton University and BEd from the University of Western Ontario. He holds a specialist qualification in Special Education and is currently entering his 14th year as an educator.
Lisa Weldon is an English teacher in the Middle School. She has been a faculty member at Crescent since 2011. During this time, she has built an English program guided by research and best practices that focuses on developing communication and thinking skills and student voice and choice.
Lisa mentors a Crescent SPARC Research Team as they endeavour to use their own research to address an area of growth within the school community.
Lisa holds a MPA from the University of Victoria, a BEd from Western University, and a BA from Queen’s University.
Glenda L. Black, Associate Professor, Nipissing University
Dr. Glenda Black’s enthusiasm as an instructor in the Bachelor of Education and Graduate programs in the Schulich School of Education grows out of her experience and expertise as a teacher, school administrator, and researcher. As a university instructor, she is committed to ensuring her teaching is innovative and creative to meet the diverse interests and abilities of adult learners. In 2015 she was the recipient of Nipissing University’s Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Awarded funding from federal (SSHRC), provincial (Ontario Ministry of Education), external and internal grants, Dr. Black has researched and written extensively on topics related to education. Her areas of interest are Indigenous education, international teaching, curriculum development, and action research.
Dr Philip SA Cummins, BA, LLB, PhD, FIML, MACE, MACEL, RAA
Learning, living, leading and working as a purpose-driven educator.
Phil is an educator by trade and conviction. For over three decades, he's been teaching, thinking, writing, speaking, and leading in schools and tertiary institutions all over the world. As an Associate Professor in Education and Enterprise, Managing Director of CIRCLE Education and MD Global Advice for dISC, he is now most significantly the Managing Partner of a School for tomorrow. – a global network that supports students, teachers, leaders and school teams to thrive in the new world environment. Currently writing his 27th book, Phil's areas of expertise concentrate on strategy, leadership, governance, curriculum and pedagogical design, and educational performance. He is an optimist whose catch cry "Let's go!", used in the Game Changers Podcast (of which he is a host) and beyond, captures his energy and passion for educational leadership that moves forward and up with courage and kindness to provide an excellent future-focused education for character, competency and wellness to learners everywhere.
Jon's chief mission is helping organizations and individuals challenge the status quo. In his role as a Senior School Program Director with Challenge Success, Jon's work with dozens of schools over the past several years in reimaging how school might better support the needs and growth of its students. Previously, Jon Kleiman worked at Google to help prioritize human-centered design, and led the "Designing Your Life" class for Stanford undergraduate students to engage in "vocational wayfinding." Jon lives in Portland, Maine with his fiancee and two kids. Jon also hates writing bios.
Roberta Longpré is the retired Executive Director of Student Services for Crescent School. Her portfolio spanned all of the school’s three divisions and supported boys in their academic, physical and social-emotional wellness. As an educator of over 30 years, Roberta has taught in a variety of schools in Western Canada, Toronto and New York. She has been a high school English teacher, a Psycho-educational Consultant, a Special Education Department Head, a Director of Learning Strategies, Head/Executive Director of Student Services and now, an independent Education Consultant. Her experience as an educator has taken her from co-educational public schools to independent boys’ and girls’ schools.
Roberta was one of the founding members of the Toronto Action Research Group for Excellence in Teaching (TARGET) serving terms on the steering committee and as co-chair. Some of her research included boys and peer tutoring as a route to developing leadership skills (published in Education Canada) and girls’ sleep and academic performance (published in the peer reviewed IB Journal of Teaching Practice). She is currently a member of the standing committee for Research, Teaching and Learning at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
Roberta is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (B.A. Hon, B.Ed.) and Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A., Ed.M.).
Joseph Derrick Nelson, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College, and affiliated faculty with the Black Studies Program, and the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. He is also a Senior Research Fellow with the School Participatory Action Research Collaborative—a race and gender equity institute at the University of Pennsylvania. As a sociologist of education, his research employs interdisciplinary frameworks to examine two interrelated fields of inquiry: (1) race, boyhood, and education, and (2) identity, culture, and school reform. For the last eight years, his research has been situated within learning environments that largely serve Black students from neighborhoods with concentrated poverty.
His multi-year projects to date have led to publications with Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, the Psychology of Men and Masculinity, and co-editing a special issue on boys’ education with the Journal of Boyhood Studies. His forthcoming book is entitled, Unjust Resilience: Black Boyhood, Academic Success, and the Middle School Years (Harvard Education Press). He recently co-edited the Routledge Handbook on Boyhood in the United States, with over thirty contributors. In public media, his research has been featured in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and National Public Radio. In the United States and abroad, he has presented his research at The White House Summit for Children’s Media and Toys, the Ideas Festival of the Aspen Institute, and the International Boys’ School Coalition. In 2019, he was named Co-Editor of the historic journal, Men and Masculinities.
He is the Co-Founder and a Co-Principal Investigator of The Listening Project: Fostering Curiosity and Connection in Middle Schools with Dr. Niobe Way and other faculty at New York University. Funded by the Lyle-Spencer Foundation, this three-year project involves partnerships with eight middle schools throughout New York City, where students and teachers are trained on a method of “Transformative Interviewing” (Way & Nelson, 2018). The goal is to re-ignite curiosity, listening, and connection among students, teachers, and parents, and in order to counteract dehumanizing stereotypes that often permeate middle school cultures.
Prior to Swarthmore, he held postdoctoral fellowships with the Ford Foundation, and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation. In the high-poverty neighborhood where he grew-up in Milwaukee, he taught first-grade in a single-sex class of Black boys.
Gina Valle takes a multidimensional approach to diversity. As Founder of Diversity Matters, she came to understand that each person experiences diversity in a different way. That is why she tries to reach people in different ways through her books, films, exhibits and research. Dr. Valle completed her doctoral work at OISE. She speaks several languages. Gina addresses issues of diversity as an educator, producer, curator and editor. She is the publisher of At One Press and recently launched a dynamic digital series Strong & Free: We Are Canadian. Gina is the recipient of several awards recognizing her work in advancing diversity in Canada, She sits on the boards of the University of Toronto College of Electors, OISE Association, Villa Charities and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.
For Dr. Greg Wells, health and performance, particularly under extreme conditions, are personal and professional obsessions. As a scientist and physiologist, he has dedicated his career to making the science of human limits understandable and actionable.
For over 25 years, Dr. Wells has worked with some of the highest-performing individuals on the planet, including Olympic and World champions, and with organizations ranging from General Electric to BMO, Deloitte, KPMG, BMW, Audi, Sysco Foods, YPO and Air Canada. He is also committed to inspiring children and young adults through his close working relationship with several school boards and independent schools.
A veteran endurance athlete, Dr. Wells has participated in the grueling Nanisivik Marathon 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Ironman Canada and the Tour D’Afrique, an 11,000 km cycling race that is the longest in the world. He is also a travel and expedition adventurer who has journeyed through every imaginable terrain and conditions in over 50 countries around the world.
Dr. Wells is author of four best-selling books – Superbodies, The Ripple Effect, The Focus Effect and Rest, Refocus, Recharge. Dr. Wells also hosted the Gemini award-winning Superbodies series, which aired on Olympic broadcasts worldwide in 2010 and 2012.
Dr. Wells has a Ph.D. in Physiology, and continues to serve as a Senior Scientist in Translational Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
He is the CEO and founder of Wells Performance, a global consulting firm committed to achieving the moonshot of helping teams, schools and businesses become places where people get healthy, perform optimally and reach their potential.