Faculty Profile

Northward Bound with Doug Stamper 
Posted April 13, 2016 

For as long as Doug Stamper, director, Outdoor Education, can remember, he’s always loved the great outdoors. In fact, he was motivated to pursue Outdoor Education having been inspired by two of his own teachers and his high school canoe trip experiences.

So he considers himself quite fortunate that for the past 22 years he’s had the opportunity to support Appleby College’s Outdoor Education programme at the S. Bruce McLaughlin Northern Campus on Rabbitnose Island in Temagami.

While alumni are sure to remember their own northern experiences at Appleby’s ‘second’ campus, today students participate in a variety of activities such as high-ropes, rock-climbing, canoe tripping, wilderness living and navigation, leadership training, environmental awareness, and winter camping.

As director of Appleby’s Outdoor Education programme, Doug is responsible for developing the comprehensive outdoor experiential learning programme; overseeing building and property maintenance; ensuring emergency response protocols are effectively in place; supporting the Canadian Experience Camp offered through Appleby’s Summer Camps and Academies programme, as well as the annual Temagami retreat for alumni and former faculty.

All combined, Doug spends an average of 20 weeks a year in Temagami. And if he could, he’d stay even longer!

“It’s wonderful as a teacher to be able to get to know students outside of the traditional classroom setting, and help them achieve something they didn’t think was possible,” said Doug. “We are incredibly fortunate to have the northern campus – it’s vital to the Appleby experience and an incredibly unique learning opportunity where life skills such as self-confidence, leadership, understanding relationships, personal growth and so much more are learned.”

Last year, Doug had the opportunity to re-introduce Appleby alumni to the S. Bruce McLaughlin Northern Campus during the first annual Temagami Retreat. Participants had the opportunity to relive some of their fondest northward bound memories while participating in activities that included hiking, canoeing, fishing and stand-up paddle boarding.

“It was great to be part of that experience and to hear alumni share their Temagami memories with one another,” said Doug. “I’m certainly looking forward to welcoming alumni again this July.”


From Appleby to McGill and back!
Posted October 18, 2015 

This September Appleby College welcomed back alumnus Dylan Marshall ’11 as the new Residential Don for Powell’s House.

Dylan, who is originally from Barbados, attended Appleby for Senior One and Senior Two. And while returning to Appleby felt like coming back home, as a former Colley House boarder he does admit that donning the Powell’s House ‘yellow’ took some getting used to at first!

Following Appleby, Dylan attended McGill University to study geology and physical geography. He graduated in June with a Bachelor of Arts and Science and over the summer had the amazing opportunity to participate in a McGill University research project on the distribution of wastewater plants on a global scale.

“The project was a great opportunity for me as I plan to pursue my Master’s degree next and eventually environmental consulting within the physical science field of exploration of renewable green energy,” shared Dylan.

 Helping support this week’s orientation activities for boarders brought back many memories for Dylan, who wanted to make the experience for new students as phenomenal as it was for him when joining Appleby as a new international boarder.

 “It’s been really rewarding to witness the personal development of students over the past few weeks,” said Dylan. “I can only imagine what the year will be like and I certainly hope to inspire my students just as my Appleby teachers inspired me.”

 In addition to fulfilling the role of Powell’s House Don, Dylan also looks forward to supporting the Language and Culture department, having studied Spanish while living in Lima, Peru during the summer of 2013. 


Lesley Buckmaster Knows Appleby!
Posted February 17, 2015

Since joining Appleby College in 2000, Lesley Buckmaster has filled a variety of roles, from Baillie House Don to Assistant House Director for Walker House, from Commercial Activities Coordinator to her position today as Global Education Coordinator.

Throughout the past 15 years Lesley has contributed to school-life in a variety of ways, as an Advisor, Peer Counselor, coordinating international service projects, supporting various aspects of the service learning program such as the annual Walkathon, and leading Round Square service trips. In fact, Lesley recently returned from a Round Square International Project in Nicaragua, where her group worked in the jungle community of El Castillo on the San Juan River in southeast Nicaragua. This village is only accessible by boat and has no vehicles inside the small community. Many of the people in the outlying areas have problems getting their children to school, so less than half are able to attend during the wet season. The team worked alongside a local environmental organization, Fundacion del Rio, as well as local youth to build a 20 metre bridge to enable community members to get around town. They also worked to double the size of the sport court at the local high school.

“In fulfilling a number of different roles at Appleby, it’s been fantastic to learn about the various sides of Appleby – from the business side to the academic side,” said Lesley. “What’s more, I’ve been able to work with students in various capacities which is always incredibly rewarding.”

Lesley notes that working with individuals from all areas of the school has also been a great benefit. “You can’t help but be inspired when you work with colleagues who are incredibly talented and passionate about what they do,” said Lesley.

An inspiration herself, Lesley recently made the decision to pursue a degree in Sociology with a minor in Peace Studies at McMaster University.


Appleby's Peter Thompson Looks Back

Posted October 21, 2014

It’s been 25 years since faculty member Peter Thompson first set foot on Appleby’s campus.

“I remember when I initially arrived,” shared Peter. “This was before we had such things as the Internet, so Googling ‘Appleby’ was not an option. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I felt as though I had entered Cottage country. It was absolutely beautiful.”

Regarded by his students and peers as a passionate mathematics teacher, Appleby holds a number of special memories for Peter – both professional and personal.

During his time as Assistant House Director for Powell’s House and (later) House Director for Colley House, Peter and his wife Jo-Anne, son Andrew ’06 and daughter Allison ’05 resided on campus for a number of years. To this day, they fondly reminisce about the boarders they shared a home with.

“The memories you create while engaging in activities that take place outside of the classroom are often the ones that remain closest to your heart, whether that be through residential life, an international service project or on a trip to the McLaughlin Northern Campus in Temagami. You get to create a special bond that lasts,” said Peter.

On a personal note, the fact that Andrew and Allison attended Appleby is something that Peter will forever be grateful for. Having recently completed this year’s annual Walkathon (with a finish time of 1:38:57), Peter warmly recalls participating in the event with Allison. Getting to teach an AP Statistics class in which Andrew was enrolled was also a special experience.

Over the past 25 years Peter has enjoyed the opportunity to take on various roles – from Upper School Director, helping to launch Appleby’s experiential ASCENT program, to Department Head, Mathematics.

More recently Peter enjoyed a new challenge as he took a year’s sabbatical in 2012. Joined by his wife Jo-Anne, together they travelled to Asia where they spent an amazing eight months immersing themselves in its culture. As part of their travels they dedicated three months volunteering at the Shree Mangal Dvip School in Nepal, where Jo-Anne taught English, and Peter taught mathematics (as well as science, social science and computer science as a result of some unexpected faculty changes).

“It’s an amazing experience to apply the meaningful work you’ve committed your life to doing in a new environment,” shared Peter. “As I was teaching QuickBasic, a computer programming language that I last taught 23 years ago, I was reminded of the great opportunities, resources and tools we have at Appleby – and it’s made me appreciate them even more.”

Catching Up with Appleby’s Marg Hagey

Posted May 23, 2014

A lot has changed at Appleby College since Marg Hagey first joined the school 16 years ago – including her role. Many alumni may remember Marg as their Visual Arts teacher or coach of the first girls’ hockey team.  Others may know Marg better as assistant head of school, co-curricular programs and director, student leadership – her current role today.

While Marg has had the opportunity to support and help lead various aspects of school life, her enthusiasm and passion for her students and Appleby have remained a constant throughout all roles. One of the many benefits of being part of the Appleby community is the opportunity to witness how the school has grown – in various areas.

“When the girls’ hockey program was first introduced, it was open to all girls in grades 7 to 12,” said Marg. “It was amazing to see how many of the students were interested in the game. In that first year, it was more about learning how to play and bond as a team. But that didn’t keep us from winning a tournament in our very first season. It’s fantastic to see how the program has grown and is now attracting elite hockey players who have gone on to play for Team Canada.”

Appleby’s co-curricular program is another area that has also greatly advanced.  Today Appleby has more than 100 clubs and co-curriculars that cover service, arts, athletics, and leadership.

“There’s a great richness to the scope of our offering when it comes to co-curriculars,” said Marg. “We really want students to feel connected to what they’re learning, to be challenged by it, and provide opportunities for character and leadership development.”

Always ready to take on a new challenge, in 2009 Marg accepted the role of Director of Student Leadership which, she shares, was one of the greatest gifts she could ever receive as an educator. Overseeing all aspects of student leadership at Appleby, Marg works directly with the school Prefects, helping facilitate and coaching students in their roles as school leaders. “It’s so rewarding to see students grow in their leadership roles and to later as alumni drop by to say hi, to share what they’ve been up to and to hear that they’ve continued to pursue leadership opportunities that challenge them. It’s incredibly impactful, knowing that you played a role in helping them achieve success."


Appleby's Denis Desrosiers looks back

It's been almost 30 years since faculty member Denis Desrosiers first stepped onto Appleby's campus- and it was love at first sight. "The athletics fields, the lake, the beautiful campus - for someone who loves outdoors as I do, I immediately felt at home," said Denis. Since joining the faculty in 1984, Denis has held a variety of positions - French and geography teacher, French department head, volleyball coach, and assistant house director, Colley House. However, today Denis is better known by students as a Phys-ed teacher who is always encouraging his students and the assistant director of Appleby's Outdoor Education program.

“I join the Temagami trips twice a year,” said Denis. “And every time it’s a great experience. Appleby has certainly undergone a number of changes over the last three decades, the McLaughlin Northern Campus included. However, as this year’s Upper Two students will experience over the coming weeks, vital life skills such as self-confidence, understanding relationships, and personal growth continue to be a focal-point – just as it was for alumni.”

For Denis, as it is for many alumni who return to Appleby, the campus holds many wonderful memories -   from getting married in the John Bell Chapel to his wife Susan, to the East Field residence in which his family lived and where his children, Christopher, Eric and Stephanie grew up. Of course, it goes without saying that Denis’s fond memories also extend to the time he spent teaching former students and looks forward to creating new memories. Today, Denis has taken on the role of teammate vs. coach as he plays recreational ice hockey with a number of alumni each week.

 “To be part of a student’s life while they’re growing up, then to get to know them again later in life and in some cases, teach their own children – is a wonderful opportunity,” said Denis.

Appleby’s Martine Campbell pilots online French course

It was a busy summer for Appleby French teacher Martine Campbell as she piloted an innovative online Upper Two French course for six international students. The comprehensive course included two hours of online work from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m., supported by three hours of independent study Monday through Friday.

Working with Appleby’s Education Technology Advisor Calvin Armstrong, Martine introduced the online course to offer those international students planning to join a regular Senior One French course in September the opportunity to develop and expand their skills and knowledge from the convenience of their home, which for some students is as far away as China and Pakistan.

Using Microsoft Lync, an online conversation and collaboration system, students worked in groups or as a whole class interacting with Martine and their peers using text, audio, video and screen sharing. Activities such as listening, reading and speaking were part of their daily meetings. 

Students continued with their independent work using the shared OneNote Binders, providing Martine with the ability to provide feedback as they worked in real time. The Microsoft OneNote Binders allowed them to work in French using text, ink, audio and video.

“I really enjoyed this summer’s online course,” shared Senior One student Anni Fan. “While we did have a lot of homework, we also had more opportunity to speak with Madam Campbell in French because of the small class size and my French improved a lot.”

“It was a great experience professionally as it was my first time teaching an online course,” said Martine. “But most importantly, it was wonderful to see the students’ progress and be so dedicated to taking on what was a very demanding course load.”

An Appleby Original: Deb Sewell

This coming September, Deb Sewell, teacher, drama and English, is going to do something that she hasn’t done in 33 years…stay home on the first day of school. That’s right – Deb Sewell will be enjoying her well-deserved retirement.

Deb joined Appleby during the school’s first year of co-education and over the years was involved in developing a variety of programs – from drama to residential life. She held the position of Director of Arts and even joined the Admissions team for a number of years before returning to teach English.

“When I joined Appleby, I was given five years to develop a drama program. However, the students were so engaged we were able to accomplish it within three years. I’m incredibly proud of the productions that we first produced – from Anything Goes to Westside Story – they were fantastic and great fun.”

Shortly after joining Appleby, Deb moved her family into Baillie House and was House Director. Her daughters, who were only 3 and 5 years old at the time, went on to become Appleby graduates themselves.

“The varnish on the floors was still wet when we moved in,” remembers Deb. “As a family, we have some wonderful memories of living on campus. And for the boarders, it was an exciting time as we were developing a residential life program that focused on leadership and introduced a number of new activities for them to be involved with.”

Passionate about taking on new opportunities and challenges, Deb recently travelled to Toliara, Madagascar, to assist with setting up a sustainable English-based technology lab to help children who have little to no access to education as part of the I Want to Learn English program. The purpose of the program is to bring English-based software and technology to the children living in Madagascar who do not have adequate access to either one. Deb worked with children between the ages of 8 to 12, some of whom had never spent a single day at school, and taught them how to use computers and speak English. She plans to return to Madagascar this summer to help set up labs in two additional schools.

Deb looks forward to her retirement – but certainly has no plans to sit back and relax. In fact, Deb’s looking for new opportunities to apply her expertise in teaching and coaching and is planning to take a European biking tour with her husband in the near future.

Love of soccer brings Tosh MacFarlane and Alumni together

Since joining Appleby’s faculty more than 28 years ago, Tosh MacFarlane has inspired students through his knowledge of science and his passion for soccer. In fact, his expertise and commitment to student learning extends beyond the classroom and onto the soccer field.

“I’ve had the good fortune to keep in contact with a number of our alumni on both an academic and athletic level,” said Tosh. “On many occasions I receive updates from former students on their science/chemistry success which I greatly enjoy. And on the weekends, I get to reconnect with alumni during our weekly alumni indoor soccer games.”

The weekly alumni indoor soccer games (which in January and February took place on Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. at Appleby), were first introduced by Tosh in the early 1990s after noticing a group of alumni from the class of 1987 and 1988 occasionally engaging in touch football on the athletic fields.

I thought to myself, why not organize a soccer night whereby alumni who share a passion for soccer can get together for a game,” shared Tosh.

Weekly turnout for games ranged from 6 to 8 players, but has been as high as 15, depending on the time of year.

“Since we didn’t know from week to week how many alumni would decide to join, we played a game of street soccer which is much more flexible in terms of numbers of players. It’s a great way to get active, meet up with fellow alumni and have fun while doing it.”

The weekly soccer afternoons or evenings run from November to March indoors but the hope is to extend them throughout the year outdoors if there is sufficient interest. Any alumni interested in participating in the weekly soccer games or have any questions are invited to contact Tosh directly at There’s no need to sign up for a game, just show up and be ready to ‘show off your soccer skills’.

For additional information on alumni sport activities offered at Appleby please visit

For Appleby’s Ellen Palmer – Books and Basketball are a Slam Dunk

There have been a number of changes on Appleby’s campus since Ellen Palmer first joined the school's faculty. Recalling the days of reserved seating in the John Bell Chapel for Senior School students, watching sports' practices on the front field where the parking lot now sits, and all of the challenges that came with being a new teacher in such a dynamic environment, Ellen can't help but smile when thinking back on the many students she’s taught over the past 13 years and the various roles she's had the opportunity to play.

Currently a member of Appleby's English faculty, Ellen is also the school's director, parent relations, working closely with the Appleby College Parents' Association (ACPA). In this role, she oversees new parent orientation, runs various parent programs, and liaises with the ACPA to facilitate events such as fundraisers and friendraisers. She also supports the War Child Club. In previous years she worked with the Upper School Council and Cooking Club, was Director of the Upper School and the Department Head, English.

However, one thing that hasn't changed for Ellen during her time at Appleby is her coaching position on the Boys' and Girls' Basketball teams. Having played basketball for Bishop's University while working on her undergraduate degree (before attending McMaster University to pursue her MA and PhD in English Literature), she jumped at the opportunity to combine two of her passions, basketball and books.

"I've learned so much from my students, both in the classroom and on the court. As I've done my best to teach and guide them, they in turn have inspired me to grow, to learn and to constantly challenge myself."

In keeping with her commitment to constantly challenge herself, Ellen recently completed the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Leadership Institute which consisted of 10 modules focused on school leadership, and is the current Chair for the Conference of Independent Teachers of English (CITE).

Despite her busy schedule, Ellen always makes time to reconnect with alumni.

"I'm constantly amazed by how much alumni and alumni parents give back to the school – not only in terms of funds, but also in their generous donation of time and expertise."

As part of Appleby's Middle School LEAF program, Ellen recently accompanied students to Baffin, Inc., whose President, Paul Hubner '79, and Product Manager, Mark Hubner '06, graciously agreed to host a group as part of the Alumni 101 session. While there Ellen enjoyed the opportunity to connect with Mark who had been in Ellen's Middle Two Home Form.

"One of the many privileges of being a teacher at Appleby is the opportunity to see how your students have gone on to continued success," said Ellen. "Then, to have them share their experiences with your current students, it's a tremendous experience."

Ellen looks forward to welcoming alumni to this year's Parent Ed 101 which she coordinates with the support of Appleby's multi-talented faculty.

"I hope alumni take this opportunity to return to campus. As teachers, we love having a chance to reconnect with our former students, and they can continue to benefit from all Appleby has to offer."