“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education. 

–  Rudolf Steiner

Faculty

 

Lisa Early
Kindergarten | Cedar Class

Lisa has successfully completed the Waldorf teacher certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre, Toronto specializing in Early Childhood Education. Also a Forest and Nature School Practitioner, she has been a lead teacher at Edge Hill School for the past 10 years and has been a member of the Edge Hill community for 15 years.

Lisa grew up in the Durham area and is a passionate doll maker and enjoys sewing, needle felting, wood carving, crafting and puppetry.

When not at school Lisa enjoys spending time with her two children who attended Edge Hill.   She finds solace in nature: mountain biking, foraging for wild food, winter fat biking, paddling, and cross-country skiing. She credits her time in nature as a way of nurturing a deep sense of gratitude for life. Lisa is thrilled to be part of the Edge Hill Faculty, and in an environment in which the wonder of childhood is nurtured and celebrated.

Catherine Allard
Grade 1

Catherine is an alumna of Edge Hill school, having attended the school from grade one through grade eight. She is very happy to have returned after many years to be part of the community once more. In some ways Edge Hill was the beginning of Catherine’s teaching career. It was while teaching kindergarten in 2007 that Catherine decided to pursue a career in education.

Catherine has a fine arts degree with honours in music from York University. She then went on to study at OISE at the University of Toronto. Since graduating she has been working in education in private and public schools in Ontario, Manitoba and England. Catherine’s love of learning has never diminished. Throughout having children, homeschooling and teaching part time, she has continued to take courses and has specific training in literacy development, special needs education and supporting multi language learners.

Catherine and her family returned to the area in the summer of 2022. There’s nothing they love more than a day at home together. Catherine also enjoys hiking, playing board games, cross country skiing and needle felting.

Morgan McCannell
Grade 2-3

Morgan attended the University of Waterloo where she earned her degree in Social Development Studies, with a focus on both education and history. She spent several years teaching children of all ages everything from animal husbandry to astrophysics to bread-making at a living history museum before moving back to Grey County in 2019. Morgan then spent some time supplying for the Bluewater District School Board. Prior to joining the Edge Hill community Morgan was teaching a kindergarten – grade 1 outdoor education / agricultural program at a Holistic Alternative Farm & Forest School.

Morgan is a naturally curious person, with a passion for the environment, story-telling, and a good cup of coffee. In her free time she enjoys hiking, gardening, and researching local history. Morgan is grateful to be both living and working back in the communities in which she grew up, and looks forward to the coming school year.

Mary-Beth Benner
Grade 4-5
mary-beth

Mary-Beth comes to us with a wealth of life experience and teaching experience. She received her BSc from the University of Waterloo and then went on to graduate from the Toronto Montessori Institute in Toronto with an international diploma in elementary education.

Mary-Beth has two grown daughters and five beautiful grandchildren within whom she has fostered the love of learning and exploring the natural world around them.

In her spare time Mary-Beth gardening and curling up with a good book on her front porch.

P.J. Dean-Thornton
Grade 6

Ms PJ grew up in New England, building treehouses in the woods and saving her school work in case she became a teacher some day.

She attended the University of New Hampshire, Sunbridge College for Waldorf teaching, and the Heartwood School of Building for timber-framing.  After teaching for one year in Vermont, PJ crossed the border to join her partner in Canada and hunted for Edge Hill School one summer day in 2001, and fell in love with the community!

She joined the faculty in 2005 and taught grades, music, and woodworking , and even Kindergarten. She taught on and off while timber-framing and raising four children who attended Edge Hill.  Some folks might recognize her from Chicory Common over the past few years.

Ms PJ herself has a deep, wide-as-the-world, and enthusiastic love of learning, and of sharing that love with children.  Waldorf’s deep developmental insights are a constant source of revelation and fascination as she gets a longer view of the developing human being.

Educational Assistants

 

Hester Koopman
Educational Assistant / Skills Teacher

Hester is the mother of two former students of Edge Hill and has been an active member of our community for the past six years.

Hester has a College diploma and University degree in Child and Youth Care. For the past 20 years she has worked with and supported children and youth in a variety of school and community environments.

An alumnus of the Toronto Waldorf School, which she attended from Grade 1 through to Grade 12, she is passionate about Waldorf Education.

She enjoys watercolor painting, printmaking, clay-work, felting, sewing, as well as teaching arts and crafts to children and youth. In the summer, she runs outdoor camps that offer art, craft, games and on the land learning and exploring.

At home, Hester enjoys the pleasure of living on a beautiful rural property, close to nature.

Administration

 

Marlea Gray
Executive & Financial Administrator

Marlea has been a part of the Edge Hill community for nearly a decade. She’s held many roles here, including administrator and board member. She’s excited to be stepping back into an administrative role after many years of being an Edge Hill school parent.

Marlea is a Civil and Environmental Engineer who graduated from the University of Western Ontario. Marlea is also a Birth and Postpartum Doula, a Reiki practitioner, a Prenatal Yoga instructor and a Sacred Pregnancy instructor.

Marlea spent a decade living in Australia, but missed the snow and all the fun activities that come with Canadian winters. Traveling and spending time with her family are her passions. A favourite family memory is traveling coast to coast across Canada and the USA while living in an RV. Marlea likes to live outside of the box and thrives on trying new things. Moving their family to the country and raising their children with a Waldorf education are two of the best decisions Marlea and her husband have ever made.

Janet Snider
Communications & Enrolment Administrator

Bio Coming Soon…

 

Edge Hill Country School

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

Email: info@edgehillschool.org

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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