Kindergarten, Grade One/Two
Growing with the school since our beginnings, Liisa has adventurously been carrying the blended kindergarten to Grade 2 class. Completing Waldorf Foundation Studies, Liisa continued with her first year of Waldorf teacher studies at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto in the summer of 2019. Liisa is looking forward to completing her teacher training over the next two years. An Honours Child and Youth Worker graduate, she has a spirit for creating space for others to learn, grow and connect.
Liisa is a mother of two girls who values curiosity and child centred learning. Her youngest daughter has been a student at Northern Lights since 2017. A passion for whole foods, circus arts, sewing and the outdoors keeps her smiling. Liisa looks forward to future adventures with Northern Lights School students, families and community.
Board Chair, Administrator and Parent & Child Program
Arlene has been part of the Waldorf School and Anthroposophical movement for 40 years. Following years as a parent, Board member and Community Development Coordinator at the Toronto Waldorf School, she joined the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto as the Adult Education Coordinator. In 2012, she and her husband moved to Thunder Bay.
Upon arrival she joined the Northern Lights Initiative group to start an alternative school. In 2017 the Northern Lights School started a kindergarten and it has been a daily task to keep the school ‘on the road’. She is grateful that we are being entrusted with the children in our care and are able to create the school with the teachers and parents.
Arlene offers the Friday Parent & Child Program.
Christy Tashjian has been a homebirth midwife and holistic nurse practitioner in Austin, Texas. She is the mother of three children, ages 22, 18, and 5 who spent and spend much of their lives outside, learning about the natural world around them and the role they play in it. All of her children have attended Waldorf schools in their early childhood years and Christy’s engagement in their school experiences, most importantly volunteering and participating in classroom activities and adult education opportunities at the Austin Waldorf School, has influenced her parenting and understanding of child development and learning. As a life-long learner, Christy is excited for the opportunity to share the early grades with the children at Northern Lights School.
Friday Adventure Program
Julia received her Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Tourism with concurrent Bachelor of Education I/S minoring in Geography and Spanish from Lakehead University. She specialized in Indigenous Practices and Perspectives in education as well as Outdoor Environmental Ecological Education. She is an Ontario College of Teachers member in good standing.
Julia worked as a teacher in Northwestern Ontario in remote communities as an elementary and high school teacher; where she took a special interest in helping student with learning difficulties and dyslexia master skills in literacy. Pursuing this, she became a literacy and handwriting specialist through specific training in an Orton-Gillingham derived program and Learning Without Tears. As a way to provide specialize reading remediation Julia opened a private literacy clinic in Thunder Bay and Toronto, providing remedial literacy retraining for students with dyslexia and other literacy based learning difficulties which is still in operation today.
She moved to southern Ontario to work at the Toronto Waldorf School (TWS) as a lower school teacher, literacy teacher, coach, as well as spearheading Environmental curriculum development gr.1-12 and starting the EcoClub. Julia established TWS as an EcoSchool, with the help of her EcoClub, achieving a silver standard in their first year.
Recently returned to Thunder Bay Julia is joining our staff as the Friday Nature Program Teacher. As an enthusiastic teacher passionate about sharing her love of the natural world and environmental sustainable stewardship through land based practices, she is excited to share adventures and encourage a sense of wonder the forest with her students. During her off time you can find Julia with her dog Lily and two cats, Lil’ man and Lady or climbing up rock and ice, turning around and snowboarding back down.
Afternoon Kindergarten and After School Care
Melissa is our Afternoon Kindergarten and After School Care provider. She has been immersed in Waldorf education since 2017 and been living off-the-grid since 2013. She is excited to explore the natural world with the children and guide them to their highest potential.