“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 | The Snail Class
Lisa has successfully completed the Waldorf teacher certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre, Toronto specializing in Early Childhood Education.  She has been a lead teacher at Edge Hill School for the past 9 years and has been a member of the Edge Hill community for 14 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.

Danielle Stephen
Kindergarten Assistant 

Danielle is a mother of two young children who are her inspiration to work in a childhood education setting.  She attended Georgian College where she acquired her PSW diploma.  Danielle worked in Long Term care and did home care for 6 years before she began working in the Blue Water District School board as Supply EA and ECE instructor. 

She grew up in Bruce County and spends her time on the water, hiking, and camping. She enjoys wood burning, painting, and spending time with her family.  

Since having children Danielle and her partner realize how important it is to teach their children homesteading and being able to show them how to be self sufficient. 

Danielle is very excited to have the opportunity to work alongside the Kindergarten teacher at Edge Hill Country School. 

Erin Schmidt
Grade 1 Class

Erin is a Laurentian University graduate where she successfully completed her undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education. Shortly after graduating, she was became an Ontario Certified Teacher.  She has dedicated most of her working career gaining knowledge about teaching and understanding the complexities of special circumstance children. To do so she has worked at a Camp Trillium which is dedicated to families who have been afflicted by cancer, and worked in an educational day care set up to support children with higher needs.

Erin has a keen interest in exploration and growth not just for her students but also for herself. This desire has taken her across the world twice now. The first time she participated in an exchange during her undergrad to Finland, the second to England to teach from the English curriculum. She would like to continue this evolution with a new chapter here at Waldorf.

If you would like to find Erin after school hours she will most likely either be in the woods hiking to find a good spot to hang her hammock or out enjoying the day most likely participating in sport.

Morgan McCannell
Grade 2 Class

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.

 Brian Searson
Grade 3/4 Class

Brian is a Rudolf Steiner Centre graduate and has served as a Waldorf class teacher for the past 30 years.  He has also specialized in Music, Art and Drama. As Chair of The Toronto Waldorf School Festival Committee, Brian steered a complete renewal of the school’s festivals.

Prior to joining Edge Hill, Brian taught taught chalkboard drawing and has led elementary grade workshops for the Rudolf Steiner Centre’s summer program for six years. Brian holds a Mentoring Certificate from AWSNA and a  Business Management Certificate from George Brown College. Prior to teaching he worked for ten years as a musician and songwriter, often in children’s theatre. Brian taught at Edge Hill from 2018 to 2020 and is excited to be back again.  

 

P.J. Dean-Thornton
Grade 5

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.

Jenny Parsons
Grade 6/7 Class

Jenny is certified with the Ontario College of Teachers and with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. She has been active on the Bluewater Secondary supply teaching list since moving here in 2008. She got her Bachelor of Education from OISE at University of Toronto where she was installed in a specialized arts cohort along with other second career artists. Jenny was the performer in a class made up of painters, authors, and even an opera singer. It was in this program that she and her peers were introduced to the idea of using the arts to teach all subjects matters.

Since moving to West Grey, Jenny has led workshops for children to create original productions for the Words Aloud Poetry Festival Family Shows; offered improvisation classes for the South Grey Bruce Youth Literacy Council; and is the performance coach for Lookup Theatre’s circus workshops. Perhaps her greatest claim to fame as a teacher is that she played one on TV.

Administration

 

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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