Posts Tagged ‘LSI Toronto’

David Hughes, ex-director of LSI New York, reminisces about his 20 years at LSI

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

After 20 years working at various LSI schools, David Hughes is now reaching the end of his last week as the school director for LSI New York. Whilst it will be hard for LSI to see him go, we wish him all the best for his exciting new plans for the future. Here David tells us a little more about the wonderful years he has spent at LSI.

LSI New York School Director David Hughes“How long do you think you will stay at your next job? A year, three years? More? Well, when I started teaching at LSI Vancouver twenty years ago, I thought I would stay for a little while and then move on. After all, I had never lived in the same house for more than three years, and I’d just come back to Canada after five years of teaching English in Tokyo, Tunis and Barcelona. Vancouver was nice, but I didn’t expect to be there for very long. And I was right. Less than two years later, I agreed to move out to Toronto to open LSI’s second Canadian school. The plan was to supervise that project, hire teachers and staff, then hire a permanent Director and come back to Vancouver after about six months… HA!!”

“A year went by. I assembled every kind of school furniture you can imagine, hired a group of teachers and staff that are still among my good friends, typed invoices, responded to faxes and sent confirmations by Canada post. We leased more space in the building. Three years went by. I assembled more desks. I bought a Compaq computer for $1200 and Microsoft Office (for $200 or something). I still typed invoices every Friday, but there were rumors of a computer system that would make my Smith-Corona redundant. Once, I rented walls to make additional classrooms in the empty suite next door. We had picnics on Toronto Island in the summer and rented a church refectory for Christmas dinner. We took dozens of students to Niagara Falls, up the CN Tower, and to Canada’s Wonderland. We even went skiing in winter until a Brazilian student stepped into his bindings, went backwards through the shop, zipped across the parking lot, over a snow bank and into a tree. Not bad, considering he was registered blind!”

“And so it went on for five or six years. Toronto was growing, the school was doing well. And when the chance came to buy a small building in Rosedale, LSI took it. Busy summer! Two locations, lots of students. More picnics on the island, but fewer nights playing pool at the Pilot. Every day I jumped on the streetcar, rolled past Kensington Market and the University of Toronto. Our teachers were great, the folks in the office really knew what they were doing, and the students were determined to keep things interesting. They studied hard, sure, but they also started a fire in the student lounge, bought old cars and drove to Vancouver, played guitars downstairs, walked to Downsview Park to see the Pope and almost won the first ever Toronto ESL idol contest!”

“And then I heard that Rosemary, the Director in LSI New York, was retiring and that old rambling feeling was awakened. I talked about it with my girlfriend. We decided it was worth a try. She’s a visual artist, and a wanderer, too. I asked , and LSI said yes. In December of 2008, I said goodbye to the best group of friends I’d ever had and headed off to the Big Apple, to a house in Queens with a crazy roommate. A year later, Sherri and I got married – in Las Vegas, by Elvis – and she and the cats bundled down from Toronto. No more interrogations at the border for her! Finally, we moved to Bed-Stuy, in Brooklyn – Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Norah Jones and Mike Tyson all lived there when they were kids. Then it was a no-go neighborhood but things have changed here so much. And all for the better.”

“LSI New York is a great school. It’s got that LSI family feel and the students are extremely cool (of course). We have some good things going with the Metropolitan College of New York, including taking a group of their MBA students to LSI Zurich and London as part of a case study. Every year some of our students enroll there and there’s an international student association coming soon. New Yorkers are a nice bunch of people as long as you don’t waste their time. And everywhere you go, you feel like you’re in a movie.”

“But that spell of staying has been broken and I decide that changing cities isn’t enough. I have been studying for a Masters in Non-Profit Management offered by the New School University and I’m just about to finish my first semester but come the Fall I want to go full-time. Hence my decision to say a sad farewell to LSI.”

“So that’s where I’m at. This is my last week at LSI. After twenty years. Who knew? All the best to everyone I have worked with both students and staff.”

And all the best to you David from all of LSI. Thanks for everything!

LSI Toronto says farewell to their Saudi Arabian Fire Fighter Students

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Since March, 31 Saudi Arabian firefighters have been studying English at LSI Toronto before going on to a year of fire training with the Toronto Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute, starting in September. Earlier this year, their teachers accompanied them on a site visit for a preview of their upcoming fire training. This was certainly a unique experience for the teachers. The firefighters graduated from LSI on August 26, and we wish them the very best in the year ahead!

LSI Toronto contributes to Japan earthquake and tsunami relief

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Home made cakes for the LSI Toronto fund raiser for the Japanese tsnaumiDuring the week of June 13, 2011, staff and students at LSI Toronto worked together to raise money for earthquake and tsunami relief.

Our staff and teachers cooked a pancake breakfast for the students before class. Staff and students organised a bake sale and we got to enjoy many delicious treats. A ‘silent’ auction was held and was great fun for all the students. Some of the items bought at the auction included original artwork by some of our staff.

Students enjoying the pancakes made by LSI Toronto teachersBy the end of the week, LSI Toronto had collected CD$572, which was donated to a charity that sends 100% of donations to Japan. We’d like to thank everyone at LSI Toronto for fully supporting our fund raising efforts and for making it such a fun week for all!

A great course! The verdict of our Young Learner Courses from one student’s family

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

LSI has been successfully running Young Learner courses at our schools in London Hampstead, Toronto, Brighton and San Diego for two years and for 2010 we have also introduced a campus programme at Chichester. These courses are proving to be increasingly popular with record numbers booking the courses this summer. Below you can read some recent feedback that we have received from the family of one of our students on our London Hampstead Young Learners Course.

Laura Navadijos Peral wrote the following to school director Greg Wickline, ” I would like to thank you and congratulate you for the quality of the study programme your school has offered my nephew Jorge Calvo Navadijos. Jorge finished a two weeks young learners course on Saturday 24th of July and he has repeatedly told us how happy he has been with the classes. Jorge has greatly appreciated having more than one teacher every day with different styles and accents and he has found that the rhythm and the exercises were very fresh and different from the methodology he has always followed in his home country Spain.”

Laura continues, ” From my side, his uncle and his family in Spain we would like to thank you for making us feel he was in safe hands. We felt he was given the protection that was needed at his age and level of English and we sense he has not felt overprotected. Greg, from my first interaction with you a few months back I had the feeling we were choosing the right school and I am glad we were right. We will recommend your school wholeheartedly to our friends in England and Spain with children in similar ages and situations.”

We thank Laura for taking the time to give us feedback on our Young Learners Course and for the helpful suggestions she has made to improve the course even further. It’s great to know when we have happy students!

Former LSI Student competes at the 2010 Winter Olympics

Friday, February 26th, 2010

New Picture (7)LSI Canada would like to congratulate Simon Struebin at his inclusion on the Swiss Winter Olympics team. Simon studied for his CAE certicate ( the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English Cambridge) at our LSI Toronto school back in 2002 . Simon is now back again in Canada, this time in Vancouver, as a member of the Swiss curling team.

Simon has recently been in touch with our school. Whilst at home in Basel he enjoys skiing, running, American football, hip-hop and basketball. Unsurprisingly though his main interest is curling and he is a member of the Basel-Regio Curling club in his home town of Basel. Simon has a successful career as a real estate agent.

Here at LSI Toronto we will be watching closely on February 16th when the curling events begin. All of us here will be cheering Simon on.

The Olympic Flame at LSI Toronto

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

2010 is truly an exciting time to come and study at one of LSI’s schools in Canada. This year the 2010 Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver, presenting all our students based at LSI Vancouver with an excellent opportunity to see some of the sporting events at first hand. Not to miss out on the fun, the Olympic torch will be passing through many Canadian towns prior to the opening ceremony on the 12 February.

It seems Olympic fever has already hit Toronto. It was a cold evening in Toronto on the 17 December, but hundreds of people lined Yonge Street to cheer on the runner carrying the Olympic flame as he passed by LSI Toronto. Our students wasted no time recording this unique event.