18 Oct. 2021
We are extremely proud of our Hockey Canada Skills Academy coaching staff across the Board area. We believe we have selected the very best for the students in our academies. Check them out, we think you'll agree!
COACH BRETT LOBREAU - NEW PROSPECT, OPEN ROADS AND LILLIAN BERG -GRADES 1-6
Biography - Coach Brett Lobreau
My name is Brett Lobreau, born and raised in Dryden, where I attended both elementary and high school. Hockey is one of my all time passions that has given me a sense of drive throughout my life. I started out in Dryden Minor Hockey, making the AA atom team, played in Girls’ House League, Eagles Varsity, then on to play top-level University. I graduated high school as an Ontario Scholar with my French immersion certificate, and the ‘Female Athlete of the Year’ title. In 2009, I attended Lindenwood University in St. Charles Missouri on scholarship. It was an ACHA Division 1 hockey program at the time, and I worked towards my Physical Education degree. Our team won a national championship and I was named 2nd team all American for the league. After two years of playing hockey at that level, my school took our team to NCAA division 1. At the NCAA division 1 level, I served as captain of the Lindenwood Lions for my final two years of university. I graduated Lindenwood with a bachelor of arts in Physical Education in 2014.
Through all these experiences, my passion for the sport has grown, and hockey has become an integral part of my life. After university, while working as a supply teacher, I served as assistant coach for both the Girls high school hockey and soccer teams.
I have had my eye on the hockey academy since I discovered its existence. I am excited about the idea that a student’s love for the game could be incorporated into their daily curriculum. Students not only have the opportunity to develop their skill as a player, but this program also cultivates character-building skills such as respect, teamwork, discipline and responsibility. I have built life-long friendships and experienced unbelievable opportunities because of the sport. I am happy to be coming in at this stage of the Academy and am eager to give back a little of what hockey has given me.
COACH BILL REID - NEW PROSPECT - GRADE 7 AND 8
Biography - Coach Bill Reid
Education and hockey have been the epitome my entire life. I attended school regularly within the KPDSB and enjoyed every day of it. I can echo the same sentiment regarding hockey in terms of being passionate about being there regularly for practices and games. This has built a lifetime foundation for me in terms of time management, responsibility, respect, integrity, dedication and commitment. These life skills were driven deep and after graduation I wanted to give back to the community and the volunteers who provided me with such a rewarding opportunity as a child. Therefore I decided it was time to be involved with Dryden Minor Hockey Association. Here are some of my accomplishments over my playing a coaching lifetime.
- Played in Dryden Minor Hockey Association from about age 5-16. This included several “AA” teams.
- Played for Dryden Eagles from grade 9-11.
- Went on to play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for Kenora Thistles in grade 12 and attended Beaver Brae.
- Offered and accepted a scholarship to University of Michigan in the NCAA Division 1 at age 18.
- Began coaching career after graduation from University of Michigan.
- Coached in DMHA for 20 years. This included “A” and “AA” teams. Coached “AAA” in Thunder Bay with summer hockey.
- Coached for about 10 years in Dryden Girls Hockey.
- Won gold medal in Ontario Provincial Bantam “BB” girls hockey with a team selected from Northwestern Ontario.
- Currently I have my D1 coaching certification and the Hockey Canada Skills Academy training qualifications from a clinic in Calgary in 2015.
- Currently teacher/coach of New Prospect Hockey Canada Skills Academy for grade 7/8 students.
I feel my experience in attending our local KPDSB schools and both playing and coaching hockey provide me with a strong background in teaching the Hockey Academy. The students all understand the curriculum is the main focus of our day. As a child I grasped the importance of education and the doors it opens so I pass this onto the students. The hockey or athletic component is the “driver” that keeps the students engaged in every area of the curriculum.
Goals for my Students in the Academy
- Always finish any curriculum assignment which they are responsible for.
- Be respectful of all students, staff, and administration in the school setting.
- Set realistic academic goals and athletic goals and persevere to achieve them.
COACH GEOFF ZILKANS - DRYDEN HIGH SCHOOL - GRADES 9-12
Biography - Coach Geoff Zilkans
I am very proud to be a member of an excellent staff at DHS, a staff who regularly seek to put the needs of kids first. Like many of my colleagues I see the value of educating the whole child through mechanisms such as extracurriculars and non-traditional courses. If a student gets exercise and challenges through an activity they enjoy other areas of education will also benefit.
I have taught at DHS for 22 years and been involved as Athletic Director and a football coach for most of those years. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, I have experience teaching Physical Education, History, Math, Geography and more. My career has reinforced my perception of the value each department and subject have in a complete education.
The hockey background I bring to the position includes years working as coach within Dryden Minor and Dryden Girl’s Hockey Associations along with a 2 year stint as an assistant coach of the McGill women’s team. I have been a certified referee in the past and officiated the last time Dryden hosted the OFSAA championships. As a parent, educator, player and coach I feel I have a healthy and broad view of the role the game can play in someone’s life. I look forward to the challenge of the new program.
Coach Dustin Murray - Grades 3-12
Biography - Coach Dustin Murray
I graduated as an Ontario Scholar from Dryden High School in 1998. Since then, I earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master’s degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I then attended the University of Toronto (OISE) for teacher’s college. I joined the KPDSB in 2009 and now teach grades 7 and 8, as well as our elementary and high school hockey academies.
My love for hockey, and sports in general, was born on the outdoor rink in Eagle River where I spent countless hours of my childhood playing shinny hockey. At the age of 12, I decided to join minor hockey and played for the Vermilion Bay Cougars for several seasons. In high school, I played house league, AA, and high school hockey in Dryden. In university, my focus moved from hockey to track and field, as I represented Queen’s in CIS (varsity) track and field.
I have formal training as a Hockey Canada Skills Academy coach, as well as NCCP Can Skate training. I have also gained experience from coaching volleyball, basketball, baseball and soccer for Ignace School and the Township of Ignace.
I am honored to be a part of the Hockey Canada Skills Academy program. As an educator, I feel it is an excellent opportunity for me to pass on my knowledge, experience, and love of hockey to others. Students will have an opportunity to build confidence, resiliency, and determination while engaging in a fun activity. The development of these skills will not only help them on the ice, but also in the classroom and in the real world.
COACH BROOKS MEJIA - All schools - Grades 1-12
Biography - Coach Brooks Mejia
Completed a Bachelor of Science Degree with a concentration in Exercise Science before heading to Lakehead University where I completed my Bachelor of Education specialization in Physical Education. Currently the Head Coach of the Beaver Brae Bronco Boy’s Hockey team. NCCP Coaching Development 1 Trained. I grew up playing in the Kenora Thistle programs, went on to play 3 years of Junior ‘A’ hockey, played for the University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets and the Kenora Senior AAA Thistles. I have gained experience in Strength and Conditioning through training High School sports teams within the Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin area.
Being a part of this program has given me the opportunity to give back to the community. Being a student athlete takes dedication and motivation to perform both in the classroom and on the playing field. This program allows students to be a part of a team where they will learn and develop life skills becoming a ‘whole athlete’ (mind, body and soul). With a physical education background and hockey experience I am able to teach the skills and dedication students need to succeed both on and off the ice. With a background in strength and conditioning I am able to help students maintain a healthy active lifestyle.
The most important aspect of the hockey academy is that students participate in an engaging atmosphere where they are learning hockey skills but also have fun learning. This program allows students to hone in on their hockey skills and develop relationships with their peers outside the classroom. The goal for the Academy is to develop the ‘whole student athlete’; one that demonstrates strength in the mind, body, and soul. Focusing on both the on and off ice aspects of the sport of hockey teaches students that hockey or any sport take more than just skill. The Academy focuses not only on-ice skill but education, off-ice conditioning, mental training, and personal and team development. The Hockey Academy is about developing self-confidence to perform in the classroom and on the ice.
Red Lake Area
COACH JOSH MYLES - ALL SCHOOLS - GRADES 1-12
Biography - Coach Josh Myles
After graduating from Beaver Brae Secondary School, I attended the University of Winnipeg and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. The following year, I obtained my Education degree from Lakehead University. This spring I will be working towards qualifications in Health and Physical Education. Apart from my academic qualifications, I have lived and breathed hockey for over twenty years, playing the game ever since I could skate, and, just recently, coaching the Beaver Brae boys’ team alongside fellow Hockey Canada Skills Academy instructor Brooks Mejia.
Hockey is the life blood of Northwestern Ontario, so it is no surprise that the Hockey Academy program has seen the success it has in Kenora, Sioux Lookout, and Dryden. An education program that allows students to learn and experience the game we love is incredible. Having helped out Brooks in Kenora, I saw first-hand the excitement on these young players’ faces as they took to the ice to sharpen their skills. I knew I wanted to be a part of it, and Red Lake allowed me that opportunity. Along with my background in hockey and coaching, I bring a fresh outlook on education and a philosophy that centres on building the person, not just the player and student. I am an avid athlete myself, playing multiple sports throughout my life. Through these experiences I have learned how conditioning –whether mental or physical- and a healthy lifestyle can benefit an individual. Off the ice, I am a very passionate and caring person, who prides himself in making others laugh. I am motivated to ensure these students realize their own potentials and strive for their very best.
The goal of the Hockey Academies in this area is to engage students and see them find success on the ice, in the classroom, and, further, in society. The Academy offers students an alternative form of education that can allow them to gain confidence and motivate themselves off the ice, as well. We want to see these students develop into the “whole athlete” and “whole student;” someone that demonstrates strength in mind, body, and soul. The Academy focuses on not only on-ice skills but education, off-ice conditioning, mental training, and personal and team development. These life skills will become integral in the lives of these students, and will allow them to grow into responsible individuals going forward in life.
Sioux Lookout Area
COACH STEVE DUMONSKI - SIOUX MOUNTAIN - GRADES 1-8
Biography - Coach Steve Dumonski
My name is Steven Dumonski. I am pleased to be an instructor with the Hockey Canada Skills Academy at Sioux Mountain Public School. I am bringing with me many years of experience, both as a hockey player and as a coach. I spent three years in the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers, Ottawa 67s and St. Michael’s Majors before moving on to a professional career in the ECHL and UHL. I have played under some of the best coaches in the game including Brian Kilrea, Rod Langway and Pete DeBoer. After I retired from hockey I started coaching Junior A, AAA Kings and Junior B for many years in Thunder Bay while attending Lakehead University. Since moving to Sioux Lookout I have been part of the coaching staff for the Queen Elizabeth District High School Warrior Boys hockey team. I have received instructor training specific to Hockey Canada Skills Academy as well as Coaching Development I through Hockey Canada.
Hockey has always been a big part of my life and has opened many doors for me. I am proud to be part of a program that provides an opportunity for hockey to do the same for our students. Through the Hockey Canada Skills Academy program I am teaching hockey skills to students every day and watching them improve in their individual abilities and skill development. At the same time I am watching them develop self-confidence, leadership skills, work in collaboration and build character. These are all important life skills that all students will need both on and off the ice. Through the Hockey program I hope to see the skills students are learning on the ice translate into the classroom with an improvement in student attendance and engagement in learning . It has been great to see more children getting involved in sports, especially those that cannot afford to play otherwise. Every child deserves a chance to play and we are proud to offer this opportunity to all students in grades 1-8 at Sioux Mountain.
COACH JASON MACMILLAN - QEDHS - GRADES 9-12
Biography - Coach Jason MacMillan
I recieved my Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology in 2009 and Bachelor of Education in 2010 from Lakehead University. Prior to University, I grew up playing minor hockey in Ottawa and was invited to the regional Under 17 Tryout camp for Ontario in 2003. I was drafted 12th overall in the CJHL junior A draft and received an invitation to attend training camp with Baie Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as a non-drafted invitee in 2003. I ended up playing two seasons with the Sittsville Royals of EOJBHL while affiliating with the Kanata Stallions of the CJHL. Upon acceptance to Lakehead University, I played two seasons in the Superior International Junior A Hockey League and was named the league’s top defensive forward in 2007.
Since University I have continued my education in coaching through theory and skills courses with the National Coaching Certification Program and received my Development 1 Coaching Certification with HNO in 2014. I have a Honours Specialist in Health and Physical Education from Queens University and share the role as co-athletic director at Queen Elizabeth District High school. I currently coach the Queen Elizabeth District High School Girls Hockey Team and the Track and Field team.
Being part of the Hockey Canada Skills Academy at Queen Elizabeth District High School is a rewarding experience. Developing relationships with students outside the regular confines of a classroom allows you to relate and interact with students in a more positive and engaging manner. This opportunity allowed me to grow as an educator and individual by providing students an option to experience school in a different environment. Our program uses the game of hockey to teach fundamental life skills such as responsibility, organization and self-regulation through the greatest sport in the world. This program brings together a variety of different peer groups from different grades in our secondary school and helps develop friendships between students that attribute to positive interactions inside and outside of school.
The goals of the Hockey Canada Skills Academy at QEDHS are to develop fundamental skills in both life and in the game of hockey that are transferable between the two environments. Specialized learning programs like Hockey Academies are innovative, unique and optional programs that focus on a specific area of study. These programs, developed with input from our community, coaches and educators are intended to engage students with varied educational interests and aptitudes. The outcome of the QEDHS Hockey Academy is to enhance a student’s confidence, self-esteem and opportunities in athletics and academics through the sport of hockey. This will help develop the core learning skills of students in our program so they are willing to try new things and be successful inside and outside of school. Our current students feel they are part of something at our school and say with pride they are Hockey Academy students at QEDHS.