Susan Hazel, B.A., B.Ed., C.F.R.E
Educational Leadership Consultant
Susan has over 40 years of experience in independent school education. She has worked in boarding and day schools, single sex and coed schools in urban, suburban and rural locations in Ontario and British Columbia. Her professional work has spanned a wide spectrum of roles in education from teacher, coach, housemaster, admissions, advancement and senior administration, working with boards, foundations and school associations. Her experience includes residential life development and curriculum, student life, annual giving programs, major campaigns, and alumni and parent relations. She has consulted both within Canada and the United States to deans of students, advancement professionals and residential life teams.
Susan is first generation Canadian, her parents having emigrated to Canada from the UK in the early 1950s. Her journey has taken her to homes in Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, St. Catharines, Sackville, NB and Vancouver BC. Significant milestones along her journey include the introduction to Outdoor Education in high school in the early 1970s where she developed a life-long passion for outdoor adventure, be it cross-country skiing, cycling trips to the UK, alpine skiing in Whistler, kayaking and hiking in rural Ontario, British Columbia, Nepal, and New Zealand. Her under-graduate experience at Mount Allison University opened new opportunities to her through swimming on the varsity swim team, acting in French theatre productions, serving as House President of the oldest girls’ residence (Palmer Hall) and being elected as Vice President for the Class of 1977.
Her journey has included travel across Europe, the UK, the USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, Kenya, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, China and visits to every province in Canada. An keen volunteer, Susan has served on various boards from the YWCA, TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools), and Grey Gables School and was a member of the NAIS Taskforce on Globalization. She ran an aquatics program for seniors at the YWCA in Kingston, ON, and was a seven year volunteer for Whistler/Blackcomb’s Mountain Safety Team.
Her professional journey began with teaching core French and Spanish, and French Immersion, ranging from Grades 5 – OAC. She took her experience as a competitive swimmer to coach swimming at Ridley College. Always keen to learn new skills and move forward, Susan worked in Admissions, where her language skills were a particular assent, and then turned her energies to the work of residential school life – first as a Housemaster at Ridley where she was the first female Head of a boys’ residence. She then moved to become the Dean of Residence at the Bishop Strachan School in Toronto, where she completely revamped the boarding experience for female students through new staffing models, routines, programming, physical and food service enhancements. She became the first female Assistant Head of School Life at Lakefield College School, a position she held for ten years. During her tenure, she introduced the residential don program, implemented key training for residential staff, and introduced new programming with a focus on student wellness and leadership. She transitioned from LCS to become the Executive Director of CAIS and established a number of new initiatives including expanding the CAIS Leadership Institute and growing the membership from 70 to 90 schools.
A new opportunity presented itself at Collingwood School in West Vancouver, BC. As Executive Director of Advancement, Susan built the Advancement Department, creating an Annual Fund program, an alumni executive, new alumni events, a communications/marketing plan, and a major capital campaign. Following the successful completion of the capital campaign that enabled the school to build a brand new high school, Susan returned to her roots at Ridley College to lead the Development Department, renew a robust Annual Fund Campaign, prepare for and launch a major comprehensive campaign of $40M – the largest campaign in the school’s history.
Susan has consulted to numerous schools and organizations, including CIS Ontario, TABS, and ISM on a variety of subjects ranging from residential life curriculum, the nuts and bolts of being a Dean of Students, Female Leadership, and a variety of advancement topics from major campaigns, working with volunteers, alumni engagement and database management. She has presented at NAIS, CIS and TABS Conferences and has developed policies for substance use and abuse, crisis management and emergency protocol plans, harassment, as well as residential faculty and student handbooks.
She cherishes time with her family, cooking, and keeping active, be it on the water rowing, on the trails hiking or cycling. She is looking forward to more active adventure travel once COVID is behind us!