The Diverse BSS Community:
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.
Community in action
Our Fearless Leaders
Head of School
Angela Terpstra was principal of the Senior School for eleven years before becoming Head of School, and her goals for the girls of BSS reach beyond academic success. She places immense priority on cultivating compassionate, ethical citizens who exhibit kindness and generosity and value differences in religion, race, opinions, and ideas. She strives to engage girls with the outside world, and feels strongly that topical issues in the news have a very important place in the classrooms of BSS. Angela is inspired and activated by the idea of “private schools with public purpose,” and she strives to use the resources available in an independent school setting to lead the way in forward-thinking education for girls that teachers the world over can observe and learn from.
Senior Leadership Team
Angela Terpstra, Head of School
Brendan Lea, Principal, Senior School
Ian Rutherford, Principal, Middle School
Catherine Hant, Principal, Junior School
Tom Hudson, Assistant Head, Finance & Facilities
Barb McLean, Assistant Head, Human Resources & Professional Growth
Lindsay Thierry, Assistant Head, Enrolment Management
Mary Anne Van Acker, Assistant Head, Innovation Development & Technology
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, while our Board of Trustees manages our growing Endowment and Foundation initiatives. Both Boards work closely with each other and the Senior Leadership Team, led by Head of School Angela Terpstra, 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 contribute to our community’s strength and vibrancy. When they’re ready, parents can get involved to support their daughter’s growth: volunteering in the classroom, on our Board, at events; attending info sessions and parent-teacher-student conferences; supporting the girls 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
Valerie Sorbie, Chair, is Partner and Managing Director at Gibraltar & Company, Venture Capital and Board Director. Her current and former board experience includes: Steam Whistle Brewing, Tilley Endurables, TKEES, Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board, Kahuso, and Black Business and Professionals Association. Previously she was Chief Administrative Officer, BMO Capital Markets and SVP Office of Strategic Management, BMO Financial Group. Val has been COO of several software companies in Canada, U.S, U.K., and Israel. She began her career as a strategy consultant after a brief stint teaching business principles in Russia. 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. Val is a current BSS parent.
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.
Richard Bradlow is a Partner at Penfund, a leading provider of junior capital to middle market companies throughout North America. 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, Chair of the Finance Committee and Co-chair of the Development committee.
Jordan Dermer is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of CD Capital Developments, an industry leading Canadian real estate development company with international roots. He is a Director of the Peter Munk Cardiac Center Innovation Committee , Co-Chair of the 2019 Real Estate Hold’Em for Life Event, and is also a Co-Founder of the Kids for Kids Foundation. Jordan is a current BSS parent.
Andrea ODETTE Federer ’79 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.
Royal Hong has a background in both law and business. She is the founder and Director of K-Steel International Trading Inc., since 2006. She also is a co-founder and Director of Kidsnook Foundation (not-for-profit) and L&R Investment Inc. She holds a Bachelor Degree of Law in China and is passionate about running import and export business, real estate development, mortgage business. Royal is a current BSS parent.
Jonathan Hunter, Chair, Board of Trustees, is Global Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities, RBC Capital Markets and leads a team of more than 700 professionals globally. He recently served an eight-year term as a member of the Board of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). Jonathan was recognized by the Women in Capital Markets organization as a 2018 Champion of Change in acknowledgement of his ongoing efforts to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace. He is also a key participant and contributor in RBC’s many community and charitable initiatives, including the RBC Race for the Kids and the United Way. Jonathan earned his Honours 2 Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Finance) from Queen’s University in 1991, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He is a current BSS parent.
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 Honourary 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 served as a BSS Trustee for several years. He is a current BSS parent.
Alex Leman, Vice Chair is founder of Leman Group, a strategy execution firm working in sectors including banking, capital markets, wealth management, telecommunications, energy, information service, technology, software, automotive and manufacturing. Alex has been active in supporting and serving on a number of non-profit Boards building the community through healthcare, the arts, and children and youth. He is a current BSS parent. He also Chairs the Board’s Strategy Committee.
Rebecca (Becca) MINTZ ’05 (ex-officio representing BSSAA) is a Director of Credit and Customer Strategy at Capital One. She received her Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in 2009, and joined Capital One shortly thereafter. In 2017, she was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). Her past volunteer experience includes working on the 2007 Provincial campaign and the 2014 Toronto Mayoral campaign for John Tory. She currently volunteers as a Big Sister with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto. She has been a member of the BSS Alumnae Association since 2011, kick-starting the successful Young Alum program in 2012 and more recently, in 2016, taking on the position of BSSAA Co-Chair. In 2017- 2018, she acted as an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.
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.
Dr. Rulan Parekh is Associate Chief, Clinical Research, Senior Scientist, at The Hospital for Sick Children and University Health Network, and is Professor of Paediatrics and Medicine in the Departments of Paediatrics, Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Policy ad Management Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is an international leader in clinical epidemiology and translational research in kidney disease and has published more than 110 manuscripts. She has received several awards, and was recently named Canada Research Chair in Chronic Kidney Disease by the Canadian Institute of Health Research. She is the parent of a recent graduate at BSS.
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 3 achievements of noteworthy Canadians. In 2012, he was inducted into the 2012 Social Venture Network Hall of fame. Bruce is a current BSS parent.
Dr. 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.
Rev. Canon Peter Walker, Ex-Officio, Representing Archbishop Johnson, was appointed Incumbent of Grace Church on-the-Hill in 2009. He 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.
Jodie Wallis is the Managing Director for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Canada at Accenture. In her role, Jodie works with clients to develop AI strategies, discover sources of value and implement AI solutions. She also leads Accenture’s collaboration with business partners, government and academia, and oversees Accenture’s investments in the Canadian AI ecosystem. She is the host of the podcast series, the AI Effect. Jodie is a current BSS parent.
Craig Webster is the National Tax Practice Group Leader and a partner of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. His tax practice covers all aspects of tax relevant to business clients with an emphasis on the investment management industry and structuring investment products. He has been a member of the BSS Board of Governors since 2015,and served as a Director of the Georgian Peaks Club for 8 years, where he was President from 2011-2013. Craig is a current BSS parent.
Board of Trustees
Jonathan Hunter, Chair is Global Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities, RBC Capital Markets and leads a team of more than 700 professionals globally. He recently served an eight-year term as a member of the Board of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). Jonathan was recognized by the Women in Capital Markets organization as a 2018 Champion of Change in acknowledgement of his ongoing efforts to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Jonathan is also a key participant and contributor in RBC’s many community and charitable initiatives, including the RBC Race for the Kids and the United Way. Jonathan earned his Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree (Finance) from Queen’s University in 1991, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Lorne Burnett is Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Burnac Produce Limited among Canada’s largest and most advanced importers and distributors of fresh produce. Lorne graduated with an MBA from Schulich School of Business at York University in 1994. 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.
Andrea COOK ’95 is the President of FCB/SIX, a specialist digital advertising agency. With more than two decades of communications experience, Andrea is considered an industry leader in the art of
connecting brands to consumers in the digital and data age. Known as a change-agent with a passion for the work, Andrea’s current agency is the top 2018 Canadian creative winner, is hailed as one of North America’s most progressive agencies of its time and is a global top 50 digital agency based on efficacy scores. Andrea has spent her career promoting the development of women in the industry, including leading the launch of the Times-Up movement for Advertising in Canada. Andrea is a BSS Old Girl, parent and Parent’s Association volunteer.
Sage FRANCH ’11 is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and BSS alumna. She is the co-founder and CTO of Crescendo, an artificial intelligence company for personalized diversity and inclusion training in Slack. Prior to founding Crescendo, Sage was a developer and educator at Microsoft, where she held a number of roles centered on cloud and emerging technologies including AI, mixed reality, and blockchain. Sage graduated from BSS in 2011 and went on to complete her Bachelor of Computer Science at Dalhousie University in 2016. She now splits her time between Toronto and Montreal, and speaks frequently on AI ethics, the future of work, and equality in STEM.
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. He previously worked in private equity in Chicago and in management consulting in Toronto and Johannesburg. 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. He also has two sons at UCC.
Kelsey Gunderson is the Global Head of Trading Products at BMO Financial Group where he is responsible for all trading-related business. Previously he was Co-Head of Global Equity Products at BMO Capital Markets where he is responsible for Cash Equities, Equity Derivatives, Convertible Bonds, Prime Finance, Delta One, Equity Research and Economics. Prior to joining BMO Capital Markets in 2007, Kelsey was at Credit Suisse Group in New York and CIBC in Toronto. Kelsey is a representative on various leadership committees and boards within BMO Capital Markets. He is a member of United Way of Toronto and York Region Major Individual Giving Cabinet. He holds an MBA from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia.
Robert Grundleger Ex-Officio (Immediate Past Chair, Foundation) 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.
Dennis Kavelman is a General Partner at iNovia Capital, where he focuses on growth stage technology investments. As the former CFO/COO of RIM/Blackberry, he raised $1.5 billion in financing and grew the company from 20 to 14,000 employees. Dennis graduated with a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1993, where he was President of his graduating class. He obtained his CA/CPA designation at KPMG, where he won the Governor General’s Award for finishing first in Canada on the Chartered Accountants Uniform National Examination (UFE). Dennis is currently on the board of the Golf Canada Foundation and he and his wife Karen oversee The Kavelman Fonn Foundation.
Jennifer LEE ’01 is the Vice President of Business Operations at Solidwear Enterprises, a domestic apparel manufacturing business. For over 30 years, Solidwear has helped Canada’s most influential brands scale to global prominence. Jen began her career as a management consultant at Accenture, focused on building the firm’s Sustainability and Strategy practice. Jen also sits on the Advisory Board for the Creative Destruction Lab, a tech accelerator program for science-based start-ups. She holds an Honours B.A. in Economic Development from McGill University and a MBA from the University of Toronto.
Rob Mah is a Senior Advisor with the Boston Consulting Group. He advises BCG’s global institutional investors such as sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and private funds with investment strategy, execution and asset management. Prior to BCG, Rob was Executive Vice President, Private Investments for Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest global institutional investment funds. Rob had responsibility for the Private Equity, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Timberland, Relationship Investing, and Venture Capital portfolios on a global basis. Before joining AIMCo, Rob was an investment banker for almost 20 years advising Fortune 500, FTSE 100, TSX 60, and government clients across 4 continents while managing teams based out of London, New York and Toronto over his career. Rob graduated from McGill University and the University of Toronto (Rotman School).
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 Can Art Aluminum and Rubicon Pharmacies. Daniel graduated as the Gold Medalist from the combined J.D./M.B.A. program at the University of Toronto and received an A.B. (cum laude) in Economics from Harvard University. Daniel is a BSS parent.
David Stonehouse is Senior Vice President and Head of Fixed Income, North American and Specialty Equities at AGF Management Ltd. He was previously a partner and Director of Fixed Income at Acuity Investment Management Inc., and prior to that worked at OMERS. He earned a Bachelor of Applied Science (Geophysics) from Queen’s University, an MBA (Finance and Accounting) from McMaster University, and the CFA designation in 1997. He is a BSS parent.
Lara Zink has worked at RBC for 22 years. She is currently Managing Director Global Equity Sales in RBC Capital Markets. Lara sits on the UCC Foundation Board and is an active volunteer for several not for profit organizations including Special Olympics Canada and the United Way. Lara has 2 children Christina Turner, Class of 2022, and Robbie Turner, who attends UCC.
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.