Mahima Brown, Board Member
Mahima Is a CPA, CA with over 15 years of accounting policy and leadership experience with Canadian financial institutions. Mahima has two children progressing through the early childhood and lower school classes, and has enjoyed the benefits of both the child-centric approach and parenting guidance that the school offers. Mahima has volunteered at the school in various capacities, including serving on the Finance Committee for several years. She wishes to contribute and give back to the faculty, community and next generation of Waldorf students that give the school life and meaning. Mahima is a superlative organizer and researcher who is adept at explaining complex concepts to the uninitiated. In her down time, Mahima loves to share her cooking with family and friends.
Alex Christopoulos, Treasurer
Alex has over 18 years of working experience in Finance and Accounting, with 12 years’ experience in an executive position. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Accounting from the Schulich School of Business at York University and is a Certified Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). As Chief Financial Officer of the Icon Group of Companies, his approachable demeanor, enthusiastic and genuine philosophy on life, and “get things done” attitude have played a significant role within his position as a board member.
Elisabeth Chomko, Board Member
Elisabeth was a Class Teacher at Toronto Waldorf School from 1976 to 1984 and again from 1993 to 2001 and 2003 to 2005, and is currently a supply teacher with the Toronto and York Region School Boards and occasionally at TWS, as well as a music teacher of the Teacher Education program at Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto. Elisabeth brings a depth of experience in the TWS community. She is known to current families for her continued work in our community with a children’s choir, and her many other musical contributions. Elisabeth’s three children had the full TWS experience and are now past university and successfully making their way in the world.
Warren Cohen, Board Member
Warren has been the Codirector and Director of Waldorf Teacher Education of the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto. Warren has a background in both Physics and in Sculpture. His dedication to scientific inquiry and his love of creating art come together harmoniously in service of the development of others. Warren founded the Summer Festival of Arts and Education, which for the past seven summers has welcomed people from around the world to Toronto to be inspired by Waldorf pedagogy and the arts. His publications include Raising the Soul; practical exercises for personal development, Baking Bread with Children and Dragon Baked Bread.
Natalie Little, Board Member
Natalie has over 35 years of experience as an educational leader and brings a wealth of knowledge in this sector. She is currently working as an educational Consultant for the public and private school sectors. Most recently she has been coaching Boards, Principals and schools in transition. This work has involved the renewal of strategic goals, human resources polices and procedures, legal and financial procedures, and governance policies and procedures.
Professionally she has worked locally and internationally as a School Principal for Bishop Strachan School, Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls, Earl Haig Secondary School and Nelson A Boylen Collegiate Institute, to name a few. More recently, she has focused her work on Consulting for private schools locally and internationally.
In recent years she was introduced to Waldorf education when she consulted for the Waldorf Academy in Toronto. She looks forward to joining the board and sharing her extensive educational knowledge.
Matthew Farr, Vice-Chair
Matthew is interested in people leadership, problem solving, change management, strategy, finance and ideation. He currently holds the position of Chief Finance Officer for Mars Wrigley Confectionery in Canada, where he leads the Finance team and serves as a board member. Earlier this year he moved with his family from the UK where he was a member of his children’s school board. He currently has three children at the school and feels a strong connection to the atmosphere and holistic approach of the school. Matthew looks forward to bringing his time and energy to the finance committee and board in order to continue building a strong school and supporting the best education possible.
Helene Gross, ex-officio – Pedagogical Chair seat
Helene has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of South Africa, and has completed Waldorf teacher-training at TWS. She has also completed courses in Waldorf Education and Social Development and Leadership at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto, Chicago Waldorf School, Sunbridge College (New York), and Rudolf Steiner College (California). Helene’s three children attended Waldorf schools from Kindergarten through graduation in Johannesburg, Chicago and Toronto. After serving on the TWS Board for eight years, Helene has recently rejoined and currently holds the position of Pedagogical Administrator.
Edwin Menendez-Molina, Board Member
Edwin has 10 years of experience as a project systems analyst and software development manager, with further responsibilities as a WSIB-certified Head of Occupational Health and Safety. This has been broadened by 8 years of Real Estate sales and management experience. He most recently embarked on pursuing a career as a provincial/private constable with the Ontario Provincial Police. Over the years Edwin has developed skills in communication, customer relations, technical documentation, architectural design experience, and management. Other professional experiences include three years as the Interim Executive Director of the Ontario Fitness Council and Leadership Program, six years as President of a condo board, as well as a Site Surveyor for Shoppers Drug Mart Corporate.
Personal interests include theatre and arts, travel and music, along with an active lifestyle which includes soccer, high intensity training, indoor climbing and outdoor activities such as hiking and jogging. Edwin has two children at TWS, one in kindergarten and the other in grade one. He is eager to join the board and bring his knowledge and expertise and assist TWS in establishing its vision for the many years to come.
Peter Hiddema, Board Member
Since 1996, Peter has worked as a consultant, trainer, facilitator, and speaker in fields of conflict resolution, difficult conversations, negotiation, collaboration, public speaking. He is also affiliated with The Harvard Negotiation Project; a think-tank at Harvard University. Peter has worked globally in the private and public sectors and he has also served as a Visiting Professor at INSEAD Business School (France, Singapore). He has three children attending the school and looks forward to being of service and contributing to the development of the school. Peter is grateful for Waldorf Education which has played a positive role in his family’s life. He truly believes the Waldorf approach to education and life holds deep meaning and caring and reminds us of timeless, and very important principles of living, which are much needed in our world today.
Daniel Lerner, Board Chair
Daniel Lerner joined the Toronto Waldorf School in Grade 8 in 1993 and graduated from Grade 12 in 1998. After graduation he remained at TWS for an additional year to complete his OAC credits. Daniel received his B.Sc. (Hons.) in Astrophysics from Queen’s University and received his law degree from the University of British Columbia. Daniel was called to the bar in Ontario in 2008 and has been practicing exclusively in criminal law – both as a prosecutor and as a defence lawyer – for the past ten years. Daniel also gives regular talks to lawyers and the public about criminal law issues, and is a regularly interviewed in TV, radio and newspapers to help explain criminal law-related issues. Daniel recently returned to the Toronto Waldorf School community when he joined the Board of Directors in 2016, and currently serves as Chair of the Board.
You can reach Daniel by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mira Perry, Secretary
Mira has over 20 years of professional experience in organizations including IBM and Microsoft, directing the full range of marketing disciplines from marketing communications/advertising to market research. For the last 10 years, she has run research and consulting business units, with full P&L responsibility, offering management consulting and market intelligence to the largest global technology companies. Mira has led teams, managed agencies, and guided contract staff and finds professional mentoring particularly fulfilling. She is a frequent keynote speaker and appears periodically in the media discussing business trends.
Mira joined the Waldorf community in 2016, enrolling her son in Joyful Beginnings followed by Parent & Tot. Her son joined the new Mulberry class in the fall of 2017 and Mira volunteered as the class parent. She continues in this capacity today while also providing research and community development support to the TWS staff. She completed her Foundation studies at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in the spring of 2018.
Despite a career focusing on business strategy in the IT sector, Mira has a strong humanities background and recognizes the tremendous value of a curriculum that balances and integrates a variety of disciplines. She also appreciates the Waldorf approach to teaching and nurturing the whole child at her/his individual stage of development.
Patricia Steger, Vice-Chair
Patricia is a faculty member at Centennial Colleges School of Business, teaching in project management and logistics. She holds a M.Ed. with a focus on educational technology. Currently serving as OPSEU chief steward, she serves faculty labour relations needs at four campuses. Prior to this she was in the private sector working in supply chain management. Her interest in TWS is to see the school re-invigorated for its next 50 years. Patricia’s niece attends our Lower school and has been a part of the TWS community since 2010.
Brad Wilson, Board Member
Brad is currently a private investor in start-up companies and invests in public markets. His skills include financial literacy, strategy, brand messaging, communication, recruitment and managing staff.
Professionally, after graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University, he worked in several financial analytics roles before founding a beverage company in 2005 and growing it to a staff of 100, with in-house manufacturing and distribution.
In early 2016 the family moved to Canada from Sydney, Australia where Brad’s four children attended the Glenaeon Ruldolf Steiner School. The family is now settled on a small hobby farm with goats, sheep and chickens north of Bolton in King Township.
Angelo Zaccheo, CPA, CA, ex-officio, Director of Finance and Administration
Angelo served in the role of Business Operations Manager at the Waldorf Academy for the 5 years. He was previously the Director of Finance and Administration at Bishop Strachan School in downtown Toronto. As a result of serving in these two roles, he brings with him a wealth of school administrative experience in both the Independent and Waldorf school settings. Angelo is a Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) with over forty years of senior financial and corporate experience. He is in his fourth year here at TWS.