Board of Governors
Back Row: Kevin Kimsa, Don Durno (Chair), Alison Holt, Rod Davidge, Brenda Christen, Paul de la Roche
Front Row: Molly Pocklington, Kathryn Finn, Don Kawasoe, Brad McLellan, Cynthia Eldridge, Tom Heintzman
Don has one daughter who graduated from Montcrest and has been a member of the board since 2015. This is his third year as Chair of the Board. Don has been in global management consulting for over 23 years in Europe, Asia and North America. He is currently a director in Banking and Capital Markets at a global management consulting firm and is based in Toronto. Don has a passion for volunteerism, philanthropy and athletics.
Click here to read a note from Don
Letter from the Chair of the Board
As Chair of Montcrest’s Board of Governors, I am extremely excited to be involved during these dynamic times of innovation and advancement at the school.
I believe the board of an independent school has three primary mandates: First and foremost, we protect the mission and values of the school – the core things that make Montcrest what it is, a truly unique learning environment for our children to grow and help prosper in the future. Second, we ensure that there is good financial governance in place. This oversight helps create a platform for the Head of School and the team to run the day to day operations of the school, with laser focus on our children. And finally, we appoint and oversee the head of school. We are very fortunate to have someone of Erin Corbett’s calibre running our school.
The Board fully appreciates our past and the importance of protecting what has made Montcrest so special. This includes recognizing that the physical assets we take for granted today – Danson House, the houses on Broadview, the playgrounds – were thoughtfully purchased, built, and cared for by past generations of parents and staff. Now, it is our turn to contribute to the improvement of Montcrest’s campus so we can better serve our students.
The Building Together Project has truly transformed our learning and teaching spaces, with exponential benefits to our children, staff and faculty. This thoughtful plan was in the making for over 5 years and the final result is a transformative project.
We are also admitting a record number of students. The school has become exceptional at helping children discover and acknowledge their unique voices, in part because of our small class sizes, which we remain unwaveringly committed to. We know, through the successes of our graduates, how well Montcrest’s student-centred learning approach is working. Montcrest students are well-prepared for high school and beyond.
I want to end with a brief thought on the uniqueness of Montcrest. When we ask parents, teachers, even our graduates what they think makes our school unique, the word that always comes up is “Community”. This is not the case at other schools – our Community is without question truly unique. Whether it is an academic or athletic competition (or even a class party for parents!), this sense of community is clearly apparent. People just care. I think we are all fortunate to be involved at Montcrest.
I hope you and your children have a terrific year. I am very excited for what the future will bring to Montcrest.
Chair of Montcrest School’s Board of Governors
Board Thank You Letter to Faculty & Staff
June 1, 2020
Dear Montcrest Faculty and Staff,
On behalf of the Board of Governors, thank you all for your many
contributions to Montcrest School. We close this 2019-2020 unlike any other years past.
Each of you has put in volumes of effort all year to help our students grow and thrive – both in the classroom and in the many cocurricular areas you have provided. While teaching and working conditions since March Break
have not been ideal, you have all stepped up in your areas to provide care, support, guidance, and of course, teaching to our students. Our families have made it clear that they are happy and appreciate what you have provided for them.
From our youngest Kindergarten children, to our graduating class,
students have been given opportunities to finish the year on a high note and are ready to move on to their next stage.
Please enjoy what the summer brings you and we look forward to
gathering as a group in the next school year.
Wishing you and your families all the best,
Chair of Montcrest School’s Board of Governors
Cynthia Eldridge | Vice Chair
Cynthia is a consultant in international healthcare and development. She was previously Associate Director of Marie Stopes International’s Health Markets team based in Nairobi, Kenya. Cynthia has two sons at Montcrest, in Grade 1 and Grade 4. She is a past Montcrest student herself, and her mother, Betsy, has served on Montcrest’s Board as well.
Rod Davidge | Secretary
Rod is a lawyer and partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP where his practice involves a variety of commercial real estate matters. Rod has two children who attended Montcrest. He previously served on the Real Property Section Executive of the Ontario Bar Association, including a term as Chair.
Kathryn Finn | Treasurer
Kathryn is an investment advisor at RBC Dominion Securities. All three of her children graduated from Montcrest. Kathryn was a very active parent volunteer, having chaired Montcrest’s 50th anniversary gala and helping to organize several Fall Fairs.
Brenda is a founding partner of Wilson Christen LLP, specializing in family law. Brenda has a daughter who is in Grade 8 at Montcrest and a daughter who graduated from Montcrest. This is Brenda’s second year as a member of Montcrest’s Board of Governors.
Paul de la Roche
Paul has two kids at Montcrest, in Grade 1 and Grade 5. Paul is a VP with Fiera Capital, providing investment counselling to families, endowments & foundations. This is Paul’s first year as a member of Montcrest’s Board of Governors and second year as a member of the Advancement Committee.
Tom is the Chief Operating Officer of JCM Power. Tom has over 25 years of operational, legal, and consulting experience. Prior to joining JCM in 2013, Tom founded Bullfrog Power and led it from 2004-2013. Before Bullfrog, Tom established and led the Mergers & Acquisitions function at Zenon Environmental, worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co, and began his career as a lawyer with Goodmans and Ecojustice. Tom has a son who graduated from Montcrest.
Alison Holt is the Managing Director of Offord Group and Senior Consultant and Principal at Marts & Lundy. Before joining Offord, Alison was the Vice-Principal of External Relations at Greenwood College School for eight years. Alison was responsible for the school’s fundraising, brand development, communications and marketing, admissions and recruitment. Alison began her career more than 20 years ago at her alma mater, Queen’s University. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees, the University Council Executive, and the External Relations and Development Committee of Queen’s University. She is also a member of the Child Development Institute Foundation and is the former Vice-President, Communications of Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education.
Don is currently the Project Manager – Leadership Development and Student Programs and one of the On-site Co-ordinators for school accreditation at the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools organization. He retired from his role as Head of the Prep and Upper Schools at Upper Canada College in 2015, where he had previously served as Head of the Prep School and Director of the Norval Outdoor School.
Kevin is married (Mandi) with 6 children, three of which are at the school in Grades 1, 5 and 8. Kevin is the Executive Chairman of AudienceView Ticketing, a company that he co-founded in 2002. Kevin has co-founded and operated 3 technology companies, dating back to 1993. He serves on the Boards of Askuity, a retail analytics platform, and of the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology at the University of Waterloo. Previous board seats include the Toronto East General Hospital, Canadian Stage Company and Variety Village.
Brad is a lawyer and a partner at WeirFoulds LLP. His practice encompasses commercial real estate and infrastructure projects. His son attended Montcrest for five years. Brad was previously a member of Montcrest’s Board as Secretary and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee for five years, and we are pleased he has rejoined our Board.
Molly is a clinical social worker (MSW, RSW Psychotherapist) in private practice. Her area of expertise is eating disorders. Much of Molly’s work revolves around family support. Molly has two children who both attended Montcrest.