The Diverse BSS Community: Better Together
As we hear regularly from visitors, we are warmer and more diverse than expected. We are a community filled with passion for teaching, learning and helping each other grow. Our parents (current and past), students, teachers, staff, alumnae and volunteers believe strongly in our mission and values. Get to know us online or on campus.
Our Fearless Leaders
Head of School
Meet Deryn Lavell, Head of School. She works closely with our Boards of Trustees and Governors, the Head’s Advisory Council and our Senior Leadership Team to set and achieve our strategic objectives. She has also been known to disturb the peace with gales of laughter and exuberant greetings throughout the halls. Fiercely committed to BSS girls for the past eight years, she steps down July 2017.
Senior Leadership Team
Ian Rutherford, Principal, Middle School
Bridget Child, Assistant Head, Finance & Facilities
Barb McLean, Assistant Head, Human Resources & Professional Growth
Deryn Lavell, Head of School
Mary Anne Van Acker, Assistant Head, Innovation & Technology
Patti MacDonald, Principal, Junior School
Dr. Angela Terpstra, Principal, Senior School
Lindsay Thierry, Assistant Head, Enrolment Management
BSS enjoys strategic oversight from a team of exceptional leaders with diverse skills and backgrounds. Our Board of Governors provides direction for our core strategic plan, designed to support and enhance our Culture of Powerful Learning, while our Board of Trustees puts its expertise behind the management of our growing Endowment and Foundation initiatives. Both Boards work closely with each other and with the Senior Leadership Team, led by Head of School Deryn Lavell, to champion innovation while strengthening our financial sustainability.
Any staff member at BSS who is not a teacher is considered ‘Admin’. This group is as dedicated to student success as our faculty and supports students in a host of ways. From planning the curriculum to overseeing construction to writing these words to raising funds to taking attendance to enrolling students to feeding them, our admin staff are a passionate, talented lot. Admin staff support the teachers and vice versa, so we can all stand firmly behind our girls.
Our alumnae (affectionately called Old Girls) represent a staggering breadth and depth of accomplishments. In their hearts, they never really leave BSS and that’s where today’s girls benefit most. BSS graduates often come back as speakers, mentors, advisors and role models for our current students. Get to know some of our amazing alum.
Our teachers are demonstrated experts in their fields and in girls’ learning. They regularly upgrade their qualifications through rigorous professional development that is grounded in classroom practice and aligned with our Culture of Powerful Learning, including Ontario College of Teachers’ Recognized Additional Qualifications, Harvard University’s Making Thinking Visible and High Tech High. We recently said farewell to a few long-term staff in 2015 and 2016.
Our families believe deeply in the power of education and, once they enrol their daughter in BSS, our community grows in strength and vibrancy. When they’re ready, parents can get involved to support their daughter’s growth and development: volunteering in the classroom, on our Board, at events; attending information sessions, seminars and parent-teacher-student conferences; celebrating their daughter’s achievements at plays, learning exhibitions, debates or sports events. And at graduation, we love seeing parents proudly applauding their daughter’s transformation from child to young woman, shedding a tear for all that came before and all that is about to be.
BSS believes in a strong community and so does The Bishop Strachan School Parent Association (BSS PA). Operating since 1983, the PA is an active and vibrant group of parents dedicated to building community through volunteerism, friend and fundraising initiatives, social events, community service initiatives, and by serving as ambassadors to our community. Every BSS parent is a valued member of the PA and is invited to participate as much or as little as their schedules allow.
From JK to Grade 12, our students make the campus come alive. About 75 boarders in Grade 7 through 12 live at BSS, coming to us from Canada, the Caribbean, China, Ethiopia, Europe, Mexico and USA. Our day girls come from public and independent schools around the GTA and beyond, including Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, Oakville, Richmond Hill and Thornhill. Our students are highly individual yet share an important objective: to explore every possibility for themselves at BSS. Check out The Latest and greatest big things our students are up to. Read Spectrum, the student newspaper.
Board of Governors
Cindy TRIPP ’82, Chair is a financial services executive and one of the founding partners of GMP Securities L.P., where she was previously Co-Head and Managing Director, Institutional Trading. In this and previous roles, Cindy has overseen institutional trading, retail trading, securities lending, foreign exchange and risk management. While at GMP Cindy also initiated, implemented and managed enterprise software and IT systems, drawing on both her business acumen and technical understanding. Cindy is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. She is a BSS Old Girl, a former Boarder, and a past parent, and has served as a member of BSS Governors since 2010.
Kenny Albert is President of Kilmer Enterprises Inc., a division of the Kilmer Group, a private investment holding company. His primary role is to extend and diversify interests in the sports, entertainment and media sectors. Prior to joining Kilmer, Kenny developed and marketed toys and games as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Canada Games Company Limited. He is actively involved in the community and has served on several not-for-profit and corporate boards. He joined the BSS Board of Governors in 2011 and is a BSS parent. Kenny is Chair of the House & Property Committee.
Richard Bradlow is a Partner at Penfund, a leading Canadian private equity firm. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the University of Western Ontario. Richard served as a Trustee from 2008 to 2014 and joined the Board of Governors in 2014. He is a current BSS parent and is a Co- Chair of the Development Committee.
Jordan Dermer has a 20-year career in real estate development and investment. He is currently founder and Managing Partner of CD Capital Developments, focused on residential development, land assemblies and shopping centres. Jordan is a member of the Foundation Board and Innovation Committee of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and is also a founder and board member of the Kids for Kids Foundation. Jordan is a current BSS parent.
Andrea Federer is an Old Girl and parent of a recent graduate. Upon graduation from Western University she joined CIBC in Commercial Banking and remained in the industry for many years. Andrea is involved in charitable work and is the Co-President of the E. & G. Odette Foundation. She has been involved with BSS since 2000, and has had many varied roles as a BSS volunteer. These have included Co-Chairing the Parent Association Executive from 2011 to 2012 and she is currently on the BSSAA committee.
Tony Gaffney, Vice Chair, is a business executive and corporate director. Most recently Tony served as CEO, Aon Hewitt, Canada and as a key member of Aon Hewitt’s Global Executive Committee. Aon is a global leader in Talent, Retirement, Investment and Health services. Prior executive roles include; Managing Partner, Accenture Toronto; CEO, Bell Nexxia and CEO, BCE Emergis. Tony serves on the Boards of Loblaw’s, Presidents Choice (Financial) Bank and the Altus Group (AIF.TO). He has extensive international experience. Tony is an active community participant and has served on the Toronto Regional Board of Trade, Canada’s Walk of Fame and Crescent School boards, in addition to the United Way Cabinet. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (BAI) degree and MA from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and is a graduate of the Rotman Corporate Directors program (ICD.D). Tony is a parent of a BSS graduate.
Robert Grundleger, Ex-Officio (Chair, Board of Trustees), co-founded Groundlayer Capital, a leading focused investment firm, in 2002. Previously, he served as a Vice President of Wood Gundy, and as Director of Institutional Equities at First Marathon Securities and at National Bank Financial. Robert is a Past President of the Harvard Business School Club of Toronto and serves on the Investment Committee of The Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in economics, from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and an MBA from Harvard University. He served as a Governor since 2003, and is a parent of a BSS graduate. He is Co-Chair of the Development Committee.
Marianne Guizzetti holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and is the former owner of a physiotherapy clinic offering multidisciplinary services. She has been involved with BSS since 2007, and has had many varied roles as a BSS volunteer, including co-chairing the Parent Association Executive from 2012 to 2014. She is a parent of two BSS graduates.
Royal Hong has a background in both law and business and is a co-founder and Director of K-Steel International Trading Inc. She holds a Bachelor Degree of Law in China and is passionate about running an import and export business. Royal is a current BSS parent with two girls in the Junior School.
Jennifer Keesmaat is the Chief Planner for the City of Toronto. Over the past decade the Canadian Institute and OPPI have recognized her for her innovative work with Canadian municipalities. Her practice has an emphasis on collaboration and engagement with staff, councils, developers and residential associations. Jennifer is the founder of Project Walk. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario (combined honours English and Philosophy) and has a Master in Environmental Studies (Politics and Planning) from York University. Jennifer is a current BSS parent with a daughter in the Senior School.
Alex Leman is President and CEO of Leman Group, serving clients in sectors including banking, capital markets, wealth management, telecommunications, energy, information service, technology, software, automotive and manufacturing. Alex is a member of the Circle of Leaders for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a member of the Board of Directors of Providence Healthcare Foundation, and an active past supporter of Canadian Stage Company and the Canadian Opera Company. He is a current parent.
Katrina Ling founded Grace Consulting with a vision to help companies and executives bring their cuttingedge ideas and revolutionary initiatives to fruition. Wielding an undergraduate degree in Chemistry, an MBA in Strategy and Finance, rigorous training from such world-class institutions as MIT, McKinsey, and Accenture, and decades of hands-on experience in healthcare, consumer products, government, advanced technology and Web commerce, she embraces complex challenges and first-of-a-kind projects. Her consulting career spans 29 years and across three continents in the US, Asia and Europe.
Kate Lyons is a senior partner at Goodmans LLP, where she dedicates her practice to representing both private and public sector clients in municipal and environmental law. Her practice includes obtaining permits and approvals required for the development of land, often in situations where there are disparate public, private and institutional stakeholders. Kate holds an LLB from the University of Toronto. An active volunteer in the community, she has served on several not-for-profit boards. She served as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2011-2014. She is the mother of two BSS graduates.
Geneviève McKILLOP ’92, ex-officio as Co-Chair of BSSAA, is the National Precedents/Research Compliance Administrator at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. She graduated from BSS in 1992, received her B.A. (Hons) from The University of Western Ontario in 1996, her LLB from Queen’s University Law School in 1999, her LL.M from the London School of Economics in 2001 and was called to the Ontario bar in 2002. Geneviève is the President of The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada and sits on the Board of Directors and Development Committee of The National Ballet of Canada. She has held the positions of Vice-President and Membership Chair with The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada and was previously involved with Pathways to Education and other organizations aimed at helping young women and disadvantaged youths. Geneviève and her husband are current BSS parents of a daughter in the Junior School.
Mark Nashman is a successful entrepreneur in the information technology space. Mark co-founded Clarity Systems in 1995 with a vision to improve the processes surrounding the Office of the CFO. He is now an active member of the venture capital community. Mark is also an advisor at MaRS, an innovation centre located in Toronto. He holds an MBA and an HBSc, both from the University of Western Ontario, and is actively involved in the community, serving on several not-for-profit boards. He joined the BSS Board of Governors in 2013 and is a BSS parent.
Bruce Poon Tip is the Founder and Owner of G Adventures (Formerly Gap Adventures). He is also the Founder of Planterra Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their environment, and provide supportive solutions to local problems. Bruce studied business at Mount Royal University in Calgary and transferred to study Tourism. In 2013, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, recognizing achievements of noteworthy Canadians. In 2012, he was inducted into the 2012 Social Venture Network Hall of fame. Bruce is a current BSS parent.
Lisa Robinson is the Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine. She is a professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Head of the Division of Nephrology at The Hospital for Sick Children and a Senior Scientist in the Cell Biology program at the SickKids Research Institute. She is also a Faculty Mentor in the Diversity Mentorship Program and a member of the Black Canadians Admissions Subcommittee. Lisa is a current parent.
Valerie Sorbie is Managing Director at Gibraltar & Company, Venture Capital. She is also Founder of Vertical Strength, which offers strategic, leadership and board advisory to small to mid-sized high-growth ventures and not-for-profits. Until 2014 she was the Chief Administrative Officer, BMO Capital Markets, and SVP, Office of Strategic Management, BMO Financial Group. She has also been COO of several public and private software companies. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from The University of Western Ontario, a Premier Diploma from the University of Grenoble and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario. She is on the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board, on the Kahuso Inc. Board, and on the Board of Advisors for the Black Business and Professional Association. Valerie is Chair of the Strategy Committee, and a member of the Human Resources Committee, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and the Nominating & Governance Committee. Her daughter, Natasha, is in Grade 9.
Rev. Canon Peter Walker was appointed Incumbent of Grace Church on-the-Hill in 2009. Canon Walker was educated at Lakefield College School, Trinity College, and Oxford. In addition to theological studies, he is a trained musician and founder of the Tallis Choir. He has served several parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Representing Archbishop Johnson Ex-Officio, he joined the Board of Governors in 2011.
Craig Webster is a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He practises tax law, with an emphasis on investment funds and structuring investment products. Craig is a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation, the Canadian Bar Association and The Joint Committee on Taxation of The Canadian Bar Association and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. He has served as a Director of the Georgian Peaks Club for 8 years and was president from 2011 to 2013. Craig is a current BSS parent, with a daughter in the Junior School.
Board of Trustees
Robert Grundleger, Chair, co-founded Groundlayer Capital, a leading focused investment firm, in 2002. Previously, he served as a Vice President of Wood Gundy, and as Director of Institutional Equities at First Marathon Securities and at National Bank Financial. Robert is a Past President of the Harvard Business School Club of Toronto and serves on the Investment Committee of The Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in economics, from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and an MBA from Harvard University. He served as a Governor since 2003, and is a current parent.
Lorne Burnett is Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Burnac Produce Limited. Lorne graduated with an MBA from Schulich School of Business at York University in 1994 and went on to receive his CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) in 1998. Formerly with Gordon Capital, Merrill Lynch, and National Bank Financial, Lorne brings to this role over 20 years of diverse business experience from the investment community.
Brendan Caldwell, is the President/CEO of Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. He has been a Trustee since September 2007 and serves on the Investment Committee. He and his wife, Sandra, are current BSS parents. His mother, Dorothy BOYLEN Caldwell ’62, is a BSS Old Girl.
Kosty Gilis joined the BSS Board of Trustees in September 2011. He is a Managing Director at Onex Corporation, where he focuses on investments in the diversified industrial and business services sectors. Kosty holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He became a BSS Trustee in 2011 and is a current BSS parent.
Kelsey Gunderson is Co-Head of Global Equity Products where he is responsible for Cash Equities, Equity Derivatives, Convertible Bonds, Prime Finance, Delta One, Equity Research and Economics. Previously he was head of the Investor Origination Group within DPFP, where he was responsible for global distribution of Equity and Interest Rate derivative products to institutional customers as well as oversight of the Fixed Income Origination and Government Finance teams. Prior to joining BMO Capital Markets in 2007, Kelsey was at Credit Suisse Group in New York and CIBC in Toronto. Kelsey is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and McMaster University.
Jonathan Hunter is Global Head of Fixed Income and Currencies, RBC Capital Markets. In this capacity, Mr. Hunter has grown the business across North America and Europe to be a significant contributor to RBC Capital Markets’ earnings. He is an active member of RBC’s U.S. Diversity Leadership Council and is also involved in the firm’s mentorship initiatives. He is also a member of the Board of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. Jonathan earned an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Finance) from Queen’s University, Canada, in 1991 and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Pierre Lassonde is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost experts in the area of mining and precious metals. He co-founded Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation in 1982 with Seymour Schulich and has been the chairman there since 2007. Among his many accomplishments are seven Honorary Doctorates in Engineering, Law and Business. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2001 and was appointed last August to Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. Pierre has served as a BSS Trustee since 2010 and his daughter, Laurelle, is in Grade 6 this year.
Kate Lyons is a senior partner at Goodmans LLP, where she dedicates her practice to representing both private and public sector clients in municipal and environmental law. Her practice includes obtaining permits and approvals required for the development of land, often in situations where there are disparate public, private and institutional stakeholders. Ms. Lyons holds an LLB from the University of Toronto. An active volunteer in the community, she has served on several not for profit boards. Kate served as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2011-2014. She is the mother of a two BSS graduates.
Robert Mah is Executive Vice President, Private Investments for Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). Rob has responsibility for the Private Equity, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Timberland, Relationship Investing, and Venture Capital portfolios totaling over $ 24.0 Bn globally based out of Toronto. Prior to joining AIMCo, Rob was an investment banker for almost 20 years advising FTSE 100, Fortune 500, TSX 60, and government clients across four continents, and managing teams based out of London and New York. Rob moved back to Canada 13 years ago. Rob graduated from McGill University and the University of Toronto (Rotman School).
Rebecca Mintz ’05 is Analytics Manager at Capital One leading a subprime product strategy team. She received a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and spent her summer internships working as a speechwriter and media liaison for then provincial Leader of the Official Opposition, John Tory. Her past volunteer experience includes MADD, Out of the Cold, and John Tory’s mayoral campaign. Becca currently volunteers as a Big Sister. She has been with the BSSAA since 2011, kick-starting the successful Young Alumnae program in 2012.
Daniel Sonshine is a Partner at TorQuest Partners, a Canadian-focused, mid-market private equity fund. Daniel joined Torquest in 2004 and currently leads TorQuest’s investments in Associated Brands and Herbal Magic. He also serves as a Director of the Speech and Stuttering Institute, is the Co-Chairman of the Bay Street Division of the United Jewish Appeal and serves on the Baycrest Foundation’s Investment Committee. Daniel is a BSS parent.
Cindy TRIPP ’82, Chair, is a financial services executive and one of the founding partners of GMP Securities L.P., where she was previously Co-Head and Managing Director, Institutional Trading. In this and previous roles, Cindy has overseen institutional trading, retail trading, securities lending, foreign exchange and risk management. While at GMP Cindy also initiated, implemented and managed enterprise software and IT systems, drawing on both her business acumen and technical understanding. Cindy is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. She is a BSS Old Girl and a past parent, and has served as a member of BSS Governors since 2010.
David Stonehouse is Vice President, Fixed Income and Portfolio Manager at AGF Management Ltd. He received a Bachelor of Science (Geophysics) from Queen’s University, a Masters degree in Finance and Accounting from McMaster University, and received his CFA designation in 1997. He is a BSS parent.
Beth CURRIE Watt ’88 is thrilled to be back in the BSS community after spending the past 20 years in the Washington, DC area where she worked as a Sr. Director for the Food Marketing Institute. In addition to serving on the BSS Campaign Cabinet, Beth is on the Leadership Gifts Committee, the Father Daughter Dinner Committee and is a Parent Ambassador.
Martha WILDER’ 74 is a fundraising and development professional. She is currently Membership Secretary for the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts, and is very active in the community, having held a variety of volunteer roles including serving on several not-for-profit boards. She is currently a Director of the E.W. Bickle Foundation, and is a BSS Old Girl.
BSS is People
What is BSS? A beautiful campus, yes. A world-class curriculum. A proud heritage. But mostly, BSS is the people who make up our community. They are enthusiastic about BSS and propel our mission forward in inspiring ways. We especially love that our community stays a part of the school even beyond graduation.