Faculty 2022/23

Liisa Hymander

Children’s Summer Camp

Growing with the school since our beginnings, Liisa has adventurously been carrying the blended kindergarten to Grade 2 class. Completing Waldorf Foundation Studies, Liisa started her first year of Waldorf teacher studies at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto in the summer of 2019 and completed her teacher training by 2021.  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 three children 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.

Marcia Greer

Marcela Greer

Kindergarten and Friday Nature Program -Kindergarten Ages

Marcela came to Thunder Bay from Slovakia many years ago… Thunder Bay has become her home with her son Raymond and husband Kelly.

Working with children has been a source of joy for her.  Since 2004 she has worked in public schools as a Student Support Professional.  She got involved with the Northern Lights School Friday Adventure Program which deepened her connection with nature and the education.    She is excited to facilitate children’s imagination in a kindergarten through play, art and stories.

Kindergarten Assistant 


Bio coming.



Bio coming.

Solange Cote

Grade 1 and 2

Solange has been an educator for the past 28 years with the Catholic School Board teaching French Immersion in the primary grades.

This year brings an end of this chapter of her life as she is retiring.  She has enjoyed sharing teaching skills, mindfulness practices, enthusiasm for sports, and her love of the arts, primarily in her passion for music with the students.  However, her greatest desire has always been to inspire each student, to awaken in each one the “spark” of curiosity, the love of learning and the desire to delve and discover new things.

She is looking forward to this new chapter of her life and taking up teaching children in a new way.

Bio coming.

Caitlin Malone

Grades 3,4,5  and Friday Nature Program

Caitlin is excited to be joining Northern Lights School as the Grade 3/4/5 teacher.  She was first introduced to Waldorf education in British Columbia and the moment she entered the school, she fell in love with the rich educational philosophy and practices.  

She received her Waldorf teacher education at the West Coast Institute and taught grades 3-7 within a Waldorf school.  She is passionate about holistic education which she believes children need more than ever. 

She has recently moved to Thunder Bay and is looking forward to this new journey.  She hopes  to inspire and foster a love of learning that will continue to grow in the children for years to come.




Matt Dirks

Youth Art and Nature Week

Matthew Dirks is a youth worker, artist, carpenter and father of two daughters. He graduated with honours from the Child and Youth Care program and has been working with youth in multiple capacities over the decade that followed.  Mathew spent 3 years in university engaged in painting and drawing, sculpting, print media and photography and is a 3rd year apprentice carpenter. 

Matthew enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors, the arts and music with youth to support their self-exploration and connection to humanity and the planet.

Matthew has recently completed his Foundation Studies program and is preparing for Waldorf High School teacher training.  He is looking forward to using his strengths to support the growth of Thunder Bay’s youth community through the arts and working with their hands.

Keri Pidgen‬-Welyki‬

Keri Pidgen-Welyki

Youth Life Science Week

Keri has over 20 years of experience as a biologist in the biology, ecology and natural resources field.  She has worked with various organizations including Lakehead and Trent University, Parks Canada, Ontario Parks, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.  Keri is excited to be offering programs at Tapiola and to become part of the Northern Light School community.  

Arlene Thorn

Board Chair and Administrator

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 for an alternative school in Thunder Bay . 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.  We are blessed to be creating the school within a community of children, teachers, parents and friends.

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