“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 Violet Class
Lisa grew up in the Durham community and has been a part of the Edge Hill Community for 14 years.  Lisa has taught Kindergarten at Edge Hill School for the past 8 years and completed her Early Childhood Educator Certification at the Rudolph Steiner Centre in Toronto.
Lisa is a passionate doll maker and enjoys sewing, needle felting, wood carving, crafting and puppetry.  When not at school Lisa enjoys spending time in nature mountain biking, foraging for wild food, hiking, swimming, cross-country skiing and gardening. 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.

Rita Lefebvre
Kindergarten Assistant 

Rita and her husband Paul homesteaded on a Puslinch farm, growing organic gardens, raising goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, beef cattle, and rabbits.  Their first 2 children were born in this environment. Rita worked at the Cambridge Hospital as a Registered Practical Nurse. Her family moved to the Arthur area in order to expand and farm full-time, and were blessed with their third child. Rita worked at Groves Memorial Hospital.

Large scale farming proved unprofitable, so they went began-part time farming in Kenilworth. Rita started a home daycare and worked weekends as a nurse.  They had a fourth child. Rita enjoyed working with young children so much in her day care that she went to school to get a teacher assistant diploma.

Rita helped start up the Ontario Early Centre in Harriston, then worked as a teaching assistant for special needs children in Mount Forest. Moving to the Durham area, they purchased 55 acres of bush along the Saugeen River and constructed an energy efficient home. Rita is honoured to be invited into the Edge Hill community and is excited to assist the teachers in the Kindergarten class.

Renata Freibergova
Grade 1 | The Lavender Class

Renata earned her teacher’s college degree in psychology, social pedagogy, and studies in child development in the Czech Republic. She has always been inspired by the spirituality and morality in Waldorf education. She successfully completed the Waldorf teacher education program at the Rudolf Steiner Centre, Toronto.

Renata has more than 15 years of experience working with children in therapeutic and educational settings. She has worked in the school system in Halton Region teaching the Czech language and in hospitals as a certified fitness consultant. She also has a diploma as a physiotherapy assistant. She is a passionate, empathetic, and compassionate human who enjoys living life to the fullest and adores being a full-time parent to two active and lovely sons. Renata is delighted to start teaching the Grade 1-2 combined class in the beautiful growing community at Edge Hill Country School.

Paul Bilewicz
Grade 2 | The Borage Class

For over 15 years, Paul has been involved working at his family-owned Eco Inn. Here, a broad range of projects were undertaken in gardening, therapeutic horsemanship and hosting group getaways. He earned a Bachelor of General Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University and afterwards began a spiritual quest for purpose and direction. Numerous volunteer experiences abroad at various eco-villages and intentional communities led him to study the underlying dynamics of healthy community building.

An invaluable in-house study of Foundations Studies in Anthroposophy was completed in 2014 and Waldorf Teacher Education training at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto in 2015. Since then he has continued to attend Waldorf teacher conferences when possible. A teacher-assistant position in the Nelson Waldorf School in B.C. for grades 4 and 5 followed. These experiences deepened an understanding and practice of Waldorf education and inspired the study of forest school education. In his spare time he enjoys mountain biking, horsemanship and cross-country skiing. He appreciates the opportunity to be a part of Edge Hill School in its rural setting and intimate class sizes.

P.J. Dean-Thornton
Grade 3 | The Nettle Class

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.

Jennifer Hicks
Grade 4 | The Angelica Class

Jennifer Hicks graduated from the University of Guelph in art and sociology and from Nipissing University with a Bachelor of Education and Art Specialist degree. Jennifer studied traditional Korean pottery methods and Korean hand acupuncture while teaching Grade 2 in Korea’s first English Immersion School. Jennifer is a graduate of Rudolph Steiner Centre’s anthroposophy course. Before moving to the Grey-Bruce area with her son, Jennifer worked at Westdale Children’s School, Halton Waldorf School, Hamilton Hebrew Academy, and Columbia International College in Hamilton. She also owned and operated Ecoworks, a successful environmentally friendly cleaning company, ran a homeschooling centre, and was a Homestay Mom to six international students for several years.

After working various positions at Edge Hill School Jennifer took a break, recently working short contract positions in remote Inuit communities and at Trinus Waldorf School in Guatemala. Jennifer studied “Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education” through the University of British Columbia and feels fortunate to have learned first-hand from Inuit in northern communities and from her Indigenous cousins. Jennifer is also an artist, curator, and art event coordinator. Jennifer resides in Owen Sound with her 19-year-old son and her cockapoo, Lily.

Christina Schwarz
The Yarrow Class

Christina has been involved with Edge Hill Country School for over 20 years now. She grew up locally, in Hanover, and graduated from the University of Guelph earning a Fine Arts degree. Her four children, who are all now young adults, attended Edge Hill. As a parent, she was very involved in school life by volunteering at the many festivals, chaperoning field trips, serving on the board and various committees and helping out the Edge Hill Community whenever she could. Christina taught as a supply teacher for several years before holding her own class. She has now been a full-time teacher at Edge Hill for 10 years. She enjoys her students and appreciates the work that allows her to be creatively challenged. She finds great satisfaction in nurturing and developing the curiosity and skill set of the young students at Edge Hill.

Lise Gunby
The Sage Class

Lise holds her Waldorf teaching certification as well as an Ontario Teaching Certificate and is qualified in primary, junior, intermediate, and senior divisions. She holds a diploma in Journalism, a Master’s in Literature, and a B.Ed. She has a particular interest in curriculum development and comparative studies in education. She has taught for 26 years, both elementary and high school, and Waldorf classes for 16 years. Professional development activities include AQs in special education, language learning, writing, and mathematics, a series of ETFO Summer Academies, the Goetheanum English conference, and trips to various Waldorf schools and conferences at home and abroad. Her two children attended Edge Hill School and still carry the magic with them into their university studies and beyond.

Administration

 

Marie-Eve Perreault
Financial & Executive Administrator

I have been at Edge Hill School since 2006. I have been the bookkeeper, taught Kindergarten, Parent and Child and French over the years. I have a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and G.I.S. from the University of Toronto at Mississauga where I also enjoyed being on the rowing team. Bookkeeping and administrative duties were learned over the years of being self-employed and secretarial work in the French public school system. Personal and professional development opportunities, through the RSCT, Landmark Education and Leading with Spirit have been enriching. Sustainable building and travel have been foundational experiences that provide a holistic perspective and gratitude for our local area and community.

HOW LONG I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS: I have been in this evolving role since 2006 when I started as bookkeeper. The role has grown substantially over the past few years as our school population as well as the support for board and faculty has increased.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILL: I love that Edge Hill brings people together, where teachers care deeply about instilling a love of learning to the children and adults are encouraged to grow alongside.

CONTACT ME FOR:  Tuition invoices, childcare tax receipts, donation tax receipts, tuition assistance requests, payroll questions, expense forms, water system questions, communication to various ministries and regulating bodies.

meperreault@edgehillschool.org

Karen U.
Communication & Enrolment Administrator

I have been a parent at Edge Hill Country School for many years, with my oldest son having graduated from Edge Hill already and his 3 younger siblings still attending. I have been on the Board of Directors for several years in the past, have held both the water contract and the cleaning contract in the past, and have enjoyed being a part of this community immensely.

HOW LONG I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS: Since 2019

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT EDGE HILL: I love that my children are very well cared for and the community is so wonderful and so incredibly supportive.

CONTACT ME FOR: Any general inquiries you may have, I am happy to help you if I can, or re-direct you to the person who can help!

info@edgehillschool.org

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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