Meet the Trustees
The Whistler Waldorf School Board of Trustees is responsible for the school’s fiscal, legal, and structural health. Comprised of elected professionals and community parents along with up to three College of Teacher’s appointed faculty members, the Board of Trustees is a group of leaders who have an affinity to Waldorf education, the Whistler Waldorf School, and are able to make critical business decisions pertaining to the governance of the school that enable it to continue to grow and support its students, faculty, and administrative staff. The Director of Education and Director of Administration serve on the board as ex-officio members.
Joining the Board
Being a board member of Whistler Waldorf School is an honour, and the job comes with great responsibility. The Board looks for individuals with interpersonal and professional skills to assist in the governance of the School and who feel passionate about the school’s academic and extracurricular strengths, its strategic plan, and supporting its leadership.
Interested in learning more about the responsibilities and time requirements of a Board member and nomination? Please contact Rubeena Sandhu, Head of School.
(Last updated: Oct. 2021)
Tony Horn moved to Whistler for a season in 1992 after graduating with a finance degree from McGill University and is still here almost 30 years later! In 1995 he started Slope Side Supply, a local distribution company that services businesses throughout the Sea To Sky. Tony is a dedicated volunteer who has worked for many years with WORCA, the Howe Sound Women’s Centre and The Whistler Father Daughter Dance, as well as sitting on many RMOW Task Forces and Planning Groups. In 2017 he was awarded the Sovereign Medal, the Governor General of Canada’s Medal for Volunteerism. Tony loves riding his bike, skiing and playing music around Whistler with his family and friends. He currently has a daughter at Whistler Waldorf School.
Des and his family moved to Whistler in 2018 from London England and has three kids in the school. He got to know Whistler in his younger years as a former ski racer from Alberta, and enjoys skiing, biking and most of all, the tightly knit, fun loving community that is Whistler. Des runs Highwood Value Partners, a boutique investment management firm out of Whistler. He has a CFA and is a graduate of Cambridge University (MA in Philosophy) and McGill University (B.Comm).
Secretary & Trustee, Communications Committee Chair
Sonya Hwang is a communications specialist and principal of Ki Communications, a boutique PR and marketing agency working with values-driven businesses and organizations. Bringing with her over 20 years of experience in communication strategy and planning, media relations, event planning and management, issues management, and marketing.
Sonya studied at the University of Western Ontario and was the Director of Public Relations at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler prior to starting Ki Communications. She is a passionate supporter of Whistler Waldorf School and the Waldorf pedagogy. Sonya has two children in Whistler Waldorf who both started at the school in the Early Years program.
Head of School
Rubeena Sandhu joined Whistler Waldorf School in 2015 as the Grade 6 class teacher. She led this class through to their high school years continuing as Guardian, facilitating healthy relationships in both student and parent work. Prior to joining Whistler Waldorf, she was a founding parent and teacher at the Cedar Bridge School in Lumby, BC, a Waldorf-inspired farm and forest-based early childhood and grade school. Rubeena taught at the school, taking a class from Grade 1 to 7, and then served as the upper grades teacher.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Thompson Rivers University where she married her passion for creativity with practice. She holds a Waldorf Teachers Certificate from the West Coast Institute and continues to promote, and support, Waldorf education in BC serving as the BC Sub-Regional Representative for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. Currently, Rubeena has a child in the lower school.
Faculty-Appointed Trustee, Director of Education
Ms. Blancher’s education includes Bachelor degrees in Geography and Environmental Sciences from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Education from UBC. She is currently completing her Waldorf high school teacher training in math, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences at the Centre for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire.
Ali moved to Whistler in 2005, and worked as a teaching assistant in Whistler and Pemberton for two years. She first joined Whistler Waldorf in 2009 as a teaching assistant in the Early Years program and fell in love with the school. She was therefore thrilled to return as a science, math and resource teacher in 2011 after completing her Bachelor of Education. Ali gained extensive experience with adolescents over past ten years directing leadership programs, coaching field hockey and softball, and working at the Pemberton Secondary School. She loves the Whistler life with all of its outdoor activities and athletic opportunities.
Stephen Neal is the founder and president of SportsMarketingInc.ca that provides sales and marketing support to events and organizations. SportsMarketingInc.ca works with organisations including the Canadian Hockey League, Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and MusicAlliance.ca. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Stephen is also an Investor Director at Main Street Brewing Company and former Advisory Board Member for Power To Be, a charity that empowers people to explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature. Stephen’s strengths include raising funds, creating partnerships, supporting brands and driving revenue. Stephen’s son attends Whistler Waldorf School.
Originally from Toronto but bred on a cricket oval in Australia, PJ graduated from Deakin University in Australia with a Bachelors of Commerce degree in International Marketing. After moving to Whistler, PJ O’Heany took a turn from the business world and through his love of teaching skiing, created YES Tours in Whistler. YES has since certified over 3,000 students through the instructor training program as well as having more than 5,000 skiers & boarders enjoy weekly improvement programs. PJ and his wife have two children – Savannah, currently in High School and Aiden, a WWS 2018 graduate now attending McGill. Both Savannah and Aiden attended WWS since preschool.
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Karen has resided in Whistler since 1998, and currently works with businesses in the Sea to Sky corridor as a Human Resources Consultant.
Prior to this, Karen held several HR management roles, including at Whistler Blackcomb, VANOC, Tourism Whistler, and hotels including Black Rock Oceanfront Resort and L’Hermitage.
Karen specializes in recruitment, training, performance management, strategic planning, and systems implementation. Karen has served on the Board for Whistler Community Services Society, as well as represented Whistler Blackcomb through the Canada West Ski Areas Association.
Karen and her husband have two children who both currently attend Whistler Waldorf in the Lower School.
Merideth Schutter has been enjoying Whistler her entire life. As a Vancouverite, weekends and holidays in Whistler were the norm. The Schutter family of five made the move to full time Whistler living in 2018, partially because of the education the kids would receive at Whistler Waldorf. Merideth graduated from Crofton House, attended UBC Sauder School of Business, then sold real estate in the city for over a decade. Together with her husband, Merideth co-owns Qi Integrated Health, Canada’s most diverse integrated health centre.
Merideth is also the founder of PROtect Smart Personal Safety, a safety platform to keep employees safe at work and at play. As a passionate volunteer, Meredith has chaired the Canuck Place Gift of Time Gala and sat on their committee for many years. Joining the Parent Association has always been on the top of Merideth’s list, until she joined the WWS Board in 2019 and brings with her knowledge of fund-raising, philanthropy and building community through giving back. Merideth loves travel, cooking, entertaining, riding her bike and spending time on the water with family and friends.