“Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom. 

–  Rudolf Steiner

Board of Directors


David Baines
Co-Chairperson, Finance Committee

BIOI have been a parent at the school since 2018. I have a degree in Kinesiology and a diploma in Holistic Nutrition. Presently I am a publisher of a community magazine in The Blue Mountains area and work part time at Community Living in Hanover. My past has consisted of being a co-owner of a landscape business. I have done volunteer work with Big Brothers and Big sisters in Mount Forest and King-Aurora hospice. Travel has been a great teacher for me in instilling the qualities of gratitude, compassion and love.

TERM: September 2020-2022 – (Previous: September 2018-2020)

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRING: Active listening, compassionate heart, looking for the common ground in conversation with others. Valuing and respecting peoples opinions.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILL: I love the community of parents that have made the intentional decision to bring their kids to this school. I love the fact that the kids get to learn in a nurturing environment and have teachers that give their heart to them, who are flexible, caring and nurturing. That this school is run by parents and teachers who strive to create the best experience for the children. I am excited for the potential in the school, with the caliber of people we have to facilitate growing the school in a positive way.

CONTACT ME: If you have any suggestions to improve the school or concerns and not sure who to contact, please get in touch with me.


William Ciccocioppo
Co-Chairperson, Health & Safety Committee

BIO: A respected, results-oriented team player and motivating leader, I have 25 years of entrepreneurial expertise in software development, specialty publishing and professional photography. A BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Victoria, together with extensive travel and work experiences in Asia, have fuelled my skills in cultural fluency, adaptability and creativity. I have a passion for life-long learning and personal growth which led me to the Gestalt Institute of Toronto where I trained in psychotherapy over four years. I plan to complete my certification in the near future. We have been a proud part of Edge Hill Country school since 2018 and have two boys who attend and flourish here. In my spare time, (Ha!) I enjoy cooking for my family, staying physically active on our farm and life as a hockey dad.

TERM: September 2020-2022

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRING: I bring strong problem-solving, mediation, creative and people skills, and can leverage my Canadian and international work experiences to clarify, crystallize and manage issues. I excel at conceptualizing innovative solutions, and overseeing project management through to successful completion.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILLEdge Hill School is a special place, a school that allows children to foster their sense of wonder and run with their passions, a place where children are allowed to just be, without all the modern stressors. My children love it here and so do we!

CONTACT ME: As Co-Chair I welcome feedback and input from all members of the school community, even just to say hello! You may also contact me directly with any of your Health & Safety questions or concerns.


Erik Koopman
Secretary, Human Resources Committee

BIO: I was born in Canada shortly after my parents immigrated from the Netherlands. I attended the Toronto Waldorf School from Kindergarten to Grade 12. I am a certified teacher and have taught in a variety of educational settings, including: numerous outdoor education centres and programs in Ontario, classroom teacher in the Northwest Territories for a variety of Grade levels, lead teacher at Elephant Thoughts Educational Outreach – running an outdoor education centre in the Beaver Valley and teaching in numerous Indigenous Communities across Canada. Currently I am working on my own outdoor and experiential education initiative.

TERM: September 2019-2021

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRINGTeacher, collaborator, outdoor educator, naturalist, outdoor adventurer, musician

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILLAs a Waldorf Alumni, I really appreciate the opportunity to have my children attend a Waldorf Inspired School that is also open to other approaches and perspectives. Having completed a degree in Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo before attaining my teaching degree, I developed a strong ethic for caring about wild spaces and looking for ways to improve how society can collectively heal our relationship with the environment (for the betterment of the planet and the future generations that will walk upon it). As a result, I am glad to reconnect with my roots in Waldorf education as I feel it offers a deeply empathetic path for children to learn about their relationship with the earth and carry this into how they grow into the world.

CONTACT ME: For any questions regarding the records, minutes  and documentation of the board, as well as for any human resources concerns.


Mark Stovel
Treasurer, Finance Committee

BIO: I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and relocated to Ontario in the fall of 2017 to be closer to my partner’s family. We have three daughters that keep us hopping and busy. My education includes a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Calgary and a Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. For the last four years I’ve owned and operated an entirely online CPA firm, serving clients from BC to Ontario.      

TERM: September 2017-2021

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRING: Leadership, financial modelling and forecasting, big picture plans, and prior board experience with Crohn’s and Colitis of Canada, and Outlink in Calgary.    

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILLEdge Hill School was the reason we landed here in Durham. We love the close knit community, the overarching goal to serve our children, and the desire to be intentional in our education and lives. 

CONTACT ME: With any questions that you may have about the approved budget or the on going finances of the school. Please direct questions about tuition assistance and paying tuition to our wonderful admin team.  


Lise Gunby
Faculty Co-Chairperson

BIO: I have been a teacher for 30 years, and have taught in high schools, elementary schools, and (mostly!) Waldorf schools. I have taught at Edge Hill for around 20 years. I have also been a journalist, publisher, and editor. I live on a Grey County acreage with not a few animals. I hold my B.A., M.A. and B.Ed. as well as a Waldorf Teacher certificate and a diploma in journalism.

TERM: September 2020-2022 (Previous – Many years!)

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRING: Pedagogy, human resources, problem-solving

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILL: Edge Hill School is unique on the planet as a Waldorf school that thrives because of its openness, commitment to community, beautiful natural setting, and devotion from its board, faculty, and parents to overcoming obstacles and thinking both big and small. It is a place where not only children, but adults, can learn to be their better and best selves. So many children have experienced so many joys here, and the adults have the pleasure of witnessing and participating in the wonder of childhood. As a teacher, seeing joyful and thoughtful children is what I love best about Edge Hill School.

CONTACT ME: With any pedagogical and classroom life questions, human resources concerns and ideas, festivals and special events for the children.


Christina Schwarz
Faculty Co-Chairperson

BIO: I was born and raised in Hanover Ontario and am a graduate of the University of Guelph (fine arts). My four children all attended Edge Hill. I have been a member of the Edge Hill community for 23 years as a parent, parent volunteer, fund raiser, board member in a variety of roles, HR member , hiring committee member, past faculty chair and member of various committees that created a number of school policies, supply teacher and now for 11 years a lead teacher.

TERM: September 2019-2021 (Previous – 2010-2018)

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRINGMy experience as a teacher and long term history with, commitment to and extensive diverse range of involvement with the school is an asset as a board member. I am a community leader. My strength lies in my artistic and creative abilities.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILL: What I love about the school is what it offers in terms of an alternative choice for the education of children and that this is made available in this rural setting away from a larger city. I am grateful that it offered my family a community in which we felt comfortable and supported and that it continues to provide this for many families now and hopefully for many years yet. I love my job and that Edge hill offered me the opportunity to learn and grow professionally and personally. I am grateful for all the people I’ve connected with so deeply because of the school and who are so special to me and look forward to all those I will meet in the future. I like all my beautiful students. I cherish the multitude of creative outlets available through work and like very much the gorgeous location and that I am able to connect with nature every work day.

CONTACT ME: With any pedagogical and classroom questions, human resources concerns and ideas.


Jess Johnstone
Operational Fundraising Liaison, Social Media Developer

BIO: I was born and raised in Owen Sound and have a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Nutrition, from the University of Guelph. I also studied Holistic Nutrition and have ran a health and wellness business for the past 4 years. My passion for building community, serving and empowering others drives me to teach natural wellness far and wide. My husband and I have 3, full of life, spirited daughters who bring us much joy. Our two oldest are currently students at our beloved school and our third will be in the years to come. We enjoy life in our small cabin in the woods and immersing ourselves in the Edge Hill community. I enjoy getting to know each member of the Edge Hill family and thrive on building lasting relationships. As we have many years to come at Edge Hill I look forward to the future growth, development and community experiences.

TERM: September 2019-2021

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRING: Communication, harmony, compassion, creativity, inclusivity, leadership, passion and problem solving

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILL: I love experiencing the joy spread across our daughters faces when they share some of the moments of their day. Having moved to the Markdale area for our daughters education, I am very grateful that not only do they attend an incredible school but as a family we get to build friendships with amazing like minded families. I love the dedication of our faculty, families, community members and students working together to create a exceptional education experience for every child at Edge Hill. Our experience at this school is like no other, I treasure the day to day, the festivals, the conversations, the joy in the children and so much than can be expressed on paper.

CONTACT ME: For anything to do with the schools operational budget or our social media accounts, a walk in the woods or a conversation over tea!


Elisa Vander Hout
By-law & Policy Review, Community Development

BIO: I have a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph. Growing up in Agriculture I found my way to Biodynamics 19 years ago. Together with my husband Michael, I manage Glencolton Farms. I am well versed in social dynamics, co-operative structuring and am practising adult education and personal development through my studies in anthroposophy. As a social visionary I have planned and shaped many aspects of Glencolton Farm in which the community gathers around. I love to tend the garden, raise chickens and bake.

TERMSeptember 2019-2021, (previously 2011-2018)

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRING Critical thinking, institutional memory, organizational structuring, leadership, anthroposophy and waldorf pedagogy, past chair, past treasurer.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILL: That it provides a Waldorf education important for the upbringing of the future generations.

CONTACT ME: With any question you may have regarding the school’s policies as well as things you feel are important to you and would like to see action taken on.


Ken Batten
Maintenance, Long Term Infrastructure (LTI) Fundraising

BIOI’m a therapist for children with addictions. I have had two children go through Edge Hill that currently attend high school. One child that currently attends in grade four. I have previous experience on the school board. I also run an outdoor program for grades 5-8 at Edge Hill.

TERMSeptember 2020-2022 (Previous 2012-2014)

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRING Previous board experience, building and grounds maintenance experience as well as fundraising efforts.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILLThe community, the well rounded education and how well it prepares my kids for their future. And most importantly how much my kids love the school.

CONTACT ME: If you see something that may require maintenance, I would like to hear from you! We are always looking for members that have good skillsets and can volunteer to help keep the school in good standing. If you have questions about LTI fundraising please send them my way.


Jon van Oostveen
Long Term Infrastructure (LTI)

BIOI have 24 years experience in architecture, urban design and planning as well as project and team management. I have collaborated with a broad range of organizations in both domestic and international settings and worked with several First Nations in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario and British Columbia. I was the Chair of the Powell River Public Library Board of Trustees from 2011 -2017. I received my Bachelors of Technology – Architecture from Ryerson Polytechnical University in 1994. I have experience in traditional modes of governance as well as sociocracy. I have a deep interest in cohousing, natural building and methods of developing community.

TERMSeptember 2020-2022

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLSET I BRING Previous board experience, working on projects in a group setting, building design process, building systems and construction.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILLWhen I walked onto the Edge Hill school yard for the first time this past August, I immediately felt a sense of excitement for my daughters. Something about the place made me feel like this was a perfect school for Charlie and Ella which was then reaffirmed on the first day of school when 3 girls from their class greeted them with warm smiles and welcoming words. I am really impressed with the level of commitment shown by the teachers, staff and parent volunteers to creating a vibrant place to learn as well as an engaging thoughtful community.

CONTACT ME: With any questions related to the new building project.


Edge Hill Country School

Address: 423281 Conc. 6, Durham ON, N0G 1R0

Phone: (519) 369-3195

Founded in 1986, Edge Hill Country School is part of a world-wide educational movement with a highly developed curriculum to teach the whole child in an artistically and academically rich environment.

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