Faculty & Staff
A common question asked by a visitor to Havergal College is: “What sets Havergal apart from other schools?” The community will tell you, it is the exceptional faculty and staff. Our faculty and staff exemplify the qualities we seek to develop in our students-they are intellectually engaging, gutsy, curious, innovative, and dedicated with strong personal values and a commitment to healthy living and lifelong learning. They keenly participate in the life of the school, as coaches, advisors and mentors. Their commitment toward professional development is unwavering and is evident in the calibre of dialogue and learning that takes place at the school, in Learning Teams, workshops, conferences, professional writing, meetings and at the lunch table. Above all, the support, inspiration, encouragement and joy in spending their days with students are reflected in all that they do. They care about students.
Havergal welcomes its 12th Principal, Mrs. Catherine Misson. With more than two decades of experience at prominent schools in Australia, Mrs. Misson is an accomplished, progressive and respected educator. At Melbourne Girls Grammar she led the contemporary evolution of learning across the Junior, Middle and Senior Years programs. She established the Centre for Educational Enterprise in 2015, taking its agenda international in 2016 with the launch of the Enterprising Schools Network for like-minded educators, and was the visionary behind the Artemis Centre, the school’s facility for the well-being of girls, which opened in September 2017. She was also the Deputy Headmistress and Teaching and Learning Director at St Catherine’s School in Sydney.
Mrs. Misson earned her Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education and Master of Education from UNSW Sydney (the University of New South Wales). Some of her distinguishing honours include being nominated for 100 Women of Influence: Australian Financial Review Women of Influence 2018 and being named a finalist for School Principal of the Year, the Australian Education Awards 2018. In 2017, the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) bestowed upon her the Victorian Fellow for her services to education and Principals Australia Institute (PAI) presented her with the John Laing Award for Professional Development for outstanding leadership in providing professional learning in schools. In 2016, her significant contribution to the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education sector was noted in The Educator Magazine’s Hot List, which documents the top 40 most influential people in education.
Head of Art
Dr. Davidson is the Head of Art, joining the school community in September 2012. She comes to Havergal College with more than 20 years of experience teaching art in university, school and community settings in the United States and Canada. She earned a Master of Education degree from McGill University (1995), and a Ph.D. in Art Education from Concordia University (2000). Her academic research and writing focus on the role of the arts in enhancing student engagement in learning, the connection between the production of visual imagery and students’ literacy practices, and artistic practices found in non-formal and community based settings.
Dr. Davidson’s teaching experience is broad. She began her career at the Art Gallery of Ontario, developing and delivering school programs at the elementary level. She went on to teach secondary level visual art for the Toronto Board of Education, moving on to pursue graduate studies in Montreal. Upon completing her Ph.D., she began her academic career at Indiana University, going on to teach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Returning to Canada in 2005, she redesigned the Art Education program in the School of Education at Trent University, where she was Associate Professor/Coordinator of Integrated Arts.
Dr. Davidson is an active documentary photographer with work in several archives and museum collections in Ontario. Her photographic work has concentrated on documenting the Agricultural Fairs of Ontario, a passionate interest and the focus of some of her graduate research.
Dr. Davidson brings her love of art making and art history to her work with the girls at Havergal and has added several new artistic practices to the Art Department. For example, she began a sculpture program inspired by the carvings of African artists from Zimbabwe with whom she works each summer. Dr. Davidson is both a teacher and a practicing artist, creating and exhibiting individual and collaborative works in traditional gallery and museum settings, as well as community-based venues.
Director of Risk Management
Mrs. Suongas begins her eighth year at Havergal College as Director of Risk Management. In this position, she is responsible for responsible risk identification, assessment and treatment for all school and excursion activities. Prior to this year, she was Havergal’s Athletic Director, working with athletes, coaches, parents, faculty, staff and the Conference of Independent Schools Athletics Association (CISAA). She has a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University and a Master of Business Administration from the Université du Québec. Before coming to Havergal, Mrs. Suongas has held leadership positions in Athletics, Marketing, Communications, Advancement and Operations.
Grade 6 Teacher
Ms. Murphy has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Education degree from OISE. After teaching at several independent schools within Toronto and the United States, Ms. Murphy joined the Havergal community in September 2013. Ms. Murphy is currently teaching Grade 6.
Throughout her career, Ms. Murphy’s professional development has included a variety of seminars, workshops and additional qualification courses in both Mathematics and Special Education. She most values her summer experience attending Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “My time at Project Zero truly helped shape my understanding about students and their learning. I am always asking myself: ‘Who are our students becoming as learners and thinkers as a result of their time with us?’ Whether it be a social studies discussion about medieval times or a kindergartener’s wonderings about polar bears, my aim is to help students make their thinking valued and visible,” explains Ms. Murphy.
Outside the classroom, Ms. Murphy enjoys spending time with the girls as they pursue various sports and interests. She has supported students in a wide variety of co-curricular activities including the digital photography, science, and gymnastics clubs, as well as coaching athletes on the Cross Country team. Each year, Ms. Murphy looks forward to collaborating with the exceptional students, families and colleagues at Havergal College.
Director of Performing Arts
Ms. Goodridge, Director of Performing Arts, joined Havergal College in 2011. She has taught instrumental (band) and vocal music for 23 years in both single-sex and co-ed independent schools in Toronto, Oakville and Australia. Ms. Goodridge holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts Mus. Ed from Western University and a Masters in Education from the University of Victoria. She has worked with students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 and finds joy in helping students find their musical voices. She has a passion for the middle years, and strives to create lessons and programs that inspire and ignite a love of music.
Ms. Goodridge has presented her work on Singing Spirituals at Festival 500 in Newfoundland and at the British Columbia Music Educators’ Association (BCMEA) conference in Vancouver. In October 2016, she will be presenting her work “Igniting the Sleuth – A Research Project that Ignites Student Inquiry, Voice and Creativity” at the international Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) conference in Austin, Texas.
Ms. Goodridge’s experience in the classroom and as a professional singer is extensive. As a professional singer, she sang with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, where she was nominated for a Gemini Award for her work in the TV special An Indigo Christmas. Additionally, she is also a JUNO and Much Music Video Award nominee for her work with her brother, Kenny Moran, in the group Oval Emotion. As a teacher, she has a passion for giving back to the community and working with her students to create outreach programs that inspire youth to engage in music. In her role as Director of Arts at Appleby College, she worked with performing arts students to create arts programming for the United Way and Big Brother/Big Sister in the Oakville community. Most recently, she piloted a new summer music camp called Band at Camp Havergal (BACH) with 15 Havergal students, where the students designed, implemented and led a program that taught children aged 8 to 12 from Havergal’s partner schools how to play a band instrument.
Technological Education, Social Sciences Teacher
The month of June is notable for the number of special events that take place in the life of a school. If you ask a student what she looks forward to the most, she might say it is the day that the Ludemus is placed into her hands. Havergal’s yearbook looks like no other yearbook with each edition being a well-designed and highly creative publication. After a general consensus that “it’s so cool,” the school falls silent as students pass around their books for the addition of personal notes and memories from their friends and teachers. Andrew McHaffie is the teacher who-with hands off-guides his students through the entire process from concept to delivery of the Ludemus publication. The “Lude Crew,” as they are known, take part in the Interdisciplinary Grade 11 Course, Applied Journalism (Yearbook).
Mr. McHaffie has been a teacher in the Social Sciences and Technological Education departments at Havergal since 1996. In addition to bringing to life a dynamic Technological Education program, he has been instrumental in finding new ways to integrate the use of technology in the classroom beyond the computer lab. The lesson plans he designs never look the same from year to year as he weaves the big ideas of other courses, current issues and student ideas into the learning process. From podcasts and graphic design projects to 3D-printed models, he keeps the program on the cutting-edge of what technology can do to shape and inform our lives. His students’ recent success at the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival is one of many accolades that reflect the quality of work originating in the program of study he teaches.
A passionate traveller, Mr. McHaffie believes in going beyond his Geography classroom; he takes students on excursions to experience first-hand geographic wonders. In recent years, through working with students to plan excursions, he has expanded the Havergal boundaries from Toronto to Iceland, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Generous with his time, it is not uncommon to find heartfelt “thanks” offered to Mr. McHaffie either in writing, or in person, for the time and talent that he shares so graciously with students, faculty and staff alike.
Mr. Shuebrook joined Havergal during the 2003-04 school year and has held a number of IT positions since that time. Initially hired as the school’s Network Administrator, his people-oriented approach to solving technology-related issues resulted in a move to the IT Client Services Manager position. His other roles at the school included three years as a Systems Analyst and Technology Trainer, for which he developed new tools and training sessions for Havergal’s administrative staff.
In his current role as Technology Integrator, Mr. Shuebrook works closely with teachers in the Upper School, including the Learning Support Specialist. He helps teachers in every discipline access, develop and integrate different kinds of software and hardware into their practice, with the goal of enhancing the learning experience for students.
In university Mr. Shuebrook studied philosophy and music, obtaining a Master of Music at McGill University. He received a Graduate Research Grant from the Québec government as well as a national Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) composition prize. His time at McGill led him to computer programming, digital synthesis and renaissance chamber performance. After school, he spent many years teaching technology programs to children and adults, and working in retail and IT management.
Mr. Shuebrook is regularly engaged in various student activities and enjoys the many rewards of being part of Havergal’s vibrant and nurturing community. He is a member of the Staff Choir and the Havergal Men’s Chorus, which performed at Carol Service.
Health & Physical Education Teacher
Ms. Whitfield’s desire to become a Health and Physical Education teacher began in Grade 8, continuing throughout her BPHE and Bachelor of Education degrees at University of Toronto. While she loves all games and played six different high school sports, she ultimately chose to specialize in field hockey, playing for the University of Toronto, Ontario and Canada.
Ms. Whitfield has taught Health and Physical Education for 26 years, joining Havergal in 2002. She has coached nine different sports over that time, sharing skills and strategies for each, while maintaining her commitment to coaching field hockey every year. Havergal students on the Division 2 team benefit from her coaching expertise, and those in her classes know her passion for all sports.
Ms. Whitfield thinks Health and Physical Education teachers are so lucky because they have the opportunity to guide students to love being active. They teach them how to play well and how to enjoy good health as they move through their lives. She is excited to help find and develop a passion in students for fitness and physical activities that they will wish to continue, along with the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and decisions. She is a model for her students staying fit and strong through a number of athletic pursuits.
A course that parallels her interests and pastimes is Grade 11 Outdoor Education, which provides students varied experiences through four excursions and a First Aid certification. It teaches competencies that provide students with lifelong lifestyle activities and skills for healthy outdoor living. This experiential course gives students opportunities to foster personal growth in self-confidence, resilience and to develop their leadership skills.
In addition to teaching and coaching, Ms. Whitfield is the House Advisor for Catherine Steele House, has accompanied students on numerous Global Experience Excursions and enjoys leading the Middle School Climbing Club.
Grade 6 Teacher
Mr. Lucacescu joined Havergal College in 2012. Fortunate to have been able to transform numerous and diverse passions into a series of careers prior to embarking upon his journey into teaching, Mr. Lucacescu has worked in marketing and youth outreach for organizations such as the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Police Service. He was thrilled to join Havergal’s staff as a Grade 6 teacher, where he has since been able to deepen his understanding of two areas in which he is greatly interested: mathematics education and the way girls learn. Mr. Lucacescu holds qualifications as a Primary/Junior Math Specialist and in Intermediate Mathematics, both from York University, and has conducted workshops for teachers from across Ontario on different elements of mathematics education. Recently accepted as Havergal’s Chair of Teaching and Learning, his research will look at how mathematical thinking emerges and its implications for classroom instruction. When not teaching or coaching, Mr. Lucacescu can often be found strumming a guitar or sharing his love of The Hobbit with students!
Assistant to the Head, Junior School
Ms. Nielsen has been a part of Havergal College’s Administrative team since 2004. She crossed the bridge to the Junior School in the spring of 2007, taking on the role as Assistant to the Head, Junior School. During this time she has forged so many wonderful relationships with Havergal familes, teachers and staff. Ms. Nielsen describes her position in the Junior School office as a perfect fit.
When she is not here at Havergal College, she is spending time with her husband Michael and their two young children, Walter (5) and Hollie (2).
Social Sciences Teacher
Mr. Menzella joined Havergal in September 2014 as a teacher with over 15 years of experience in the independent school system, including a year of teaching abroad at the Canadian College Italy. His academic background includes a Bachelor of Science from Carleton University, a Master of Arts in Regional Planning and Resource Development from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor of Education from Brock University. Mr. Menzella believes the social sciences are particularly positioned to help students develop a greater understanding of, and an informed concern for the world around them, and to inspire positive action both locally and globally. He strives to achieve this in his geography courses by working to develop innovative and meaningful ways of bringing the world into the classroom, coupled with a genuine and supportive approach to teaching and learning rooted in strong pedagogical foundations and aligned with Havergal’s values of integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage. Role playing for an international summit on Arctic sovereignty, assessing the walkability of urban communities and developing disaster management plans are just a few examples of the authentic learning students engage in.
Stepping out of the classroom to explore, serve, and learn about the ‘real’ world is also important. During his career, Mr. Menzella has organized and led a number of experiential learning opportunities for students such as field studies, service projects, and adventure treks centred around specific environmental and social issues in destinations of global relevance, including the United States, France, Italy, Greece, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Nepal and Australia. He always marvels at the inevitable transformation of students into stronger, more independent, confident and culturally sensitive people, further aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the world and abilities to make a difference.
Mr. Menzella is equally passionate about sport, health and fitness, and coaching soccer and ice hockey. You can often find him on the pitch, at the court, or behind the bench supporting our Havergal athletes. His most memorable experience as a coach was being a part of the hockey team when it successfully defended the prestigious Hewitt Cup.
Ms. Read joined Havergal College in 2012 after teaching in the Limestone District School Board, Kingston, Ontario; Cairo, Egypt; and Vancouver, BC. She is the only teacher at Havergal who “crosses the bridge”, teaching at both the Upper and the Junior Schools. Ms. Read shares her love of music in everything from general music, to vocal, band and strings. In the Junior School, Ms. Read draws on her deep experience of, and training in, world musics to educate students in the authentic styles and sounds of Zimbabwean xylophone, Brazilian Samba, Celtic music from the East coast and Caribbean steel pan.
Ms. Read completed her A.R.C.T. in Vocal Performance with First Class Honours and her Grade 10 Piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Continuing her musical studies on scholarship, she completed her Bachelor of Music with Distinction in the Concurrent Education program at Queen’s University in the spring of 2007. Ms. Read went on to gain her Bachelor of Education in the Artist in Community Program Track at the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University in the spring of 2008. This innovative program focuses on advanced arts training and interdisciplinary approaches in the classroom. In the fall of 2009, Ms. Read was awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and a full scholarship by the University of Toronto to complete her Master’s of Arts in Music Education with a focus on world musics and elementary music education. This program allowed Ms. Read to explore her passion for musical cultures and traditions from around the world, using authentic instruments in her teaching practice.
In addition to expanding her students’ experience of music, Ms. Read forges deep ties between disciplines, working with her colleagues to integrate music into the experience and learning of her students. Integrated learning at a young age gives students multi-faceted ways to transfer their understanding of concepts across disciplines, allowing them to express highly developed ideas in creative ways. In collaboration with Rosa Mastri, students in Grade 4 built instruments to study the science of sound. Students in Grade 5 and 6 explored elements of music through art creation in the Art/Music project, an integral component of the ongoing Junior Arts Carousel initiated in 2014. Ms. Read’s work has been presented at both national and international conferences, most recently at the Arts in Society Conference in London, England in 2015.
Mr. Javasky has been teaching science courses at Havergal since 2007. During that time, he has had the privilege of sharing with many students and colleagues the excitement that comes from trying to make sense of the scientific wonders of our world, both big and small.
Together with his colleagues, Mr. Javasky strives to create an authentic scientific learning experience for his students; one that recognizes that science is a collaborative endeavor built on creativity, knowledge, technical skill and effective inter-personal communication. As a member of the Dialogue Learning Team at Havergal, he has been able to explore classroom strategies that enable students to create a community in which they can discuss scientific concepts with their peers in an effort to build a more complete understanding for everyone.
In addition to his teaching role as a member of the Science department, Mr. Javasky is also House Advisor for Frances Ridley House (“Go Frannies!”), coaches Ultimate Frisbee and can be found playing guitar in various staff and student bands.
Mr. Javasky earned a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry) and Bachelor of Education (Math, Science and Technology) from York University. He recently completed his Master of Business Administration at McMaster University.
Junior School Librarian
Ms. Rodd joined the Havergal Community in September 2014 as the Junior School Librarian. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Information from the University of Toronto. A love of reading and learning guides each of Ms. Rodd’s interactions with all students in the Junior School, from Kindergarten to Grade 6.
Ms. Rodd is most passionate about the role the school library plays in shaping the reading identity of each student. Ms. Rodd understands, and knows firsthand, the powerful relationship between young readers and the texts they engage with. The stories we share in childhood help shape our identities and frame our point of reference when interacting with the world. It is vitally important that children have access to texts in which they can see themselves, and through which they can learn about the world. This is the spirit Ms. Rodd looks to capture when she designs opportunities for engagement with books and reading. She does this through a careful and considered approach in building the collection, the organization of the library, and offering a variety of opportunities for engagement, from author visits, book fairs, storytimes, collaborating with teachers to bring stories into the classroom and fun reading programs like Forest of Reading.
Ms. Rodd also works closely with teachers to ensure that the Learning Hub reflects and supports the K-6 curriculum. She is particularly passionate about developing research skills in the age of the internet, and is currently working on the Research, Inquiry and Communication Committee to ensure that there is a continuum of research skills in the upper elementary and Middle School grades.
When Ms. Rodd isn’t in the library, you can find her coaching the Cross Country team and leading the Journalism Club.