School Board

The purpose of Willowstone Academy’s School Board is to support and uphold our Chief Learning Officer and all school staff in their daily endeavours to carry out the vision and mission of our organization. In practical terms, this implies the delicate balancing of many (and at times competing) priorities and objectives within our stakeholder community.  Please feel welcome to contact the school board at schoolboard@willowstoneacademy.com if you have any questions or comments.

Meet the Board

 

Rachel H. Renaud
School Board Chair

Rachel H. Renaud is the founder of RRimagine, a consulting and coaching firm geared towards the not for profit and small business sectors. She is also President of the Roasters Foundation. Montreal born and raised, fully bilingual, studied Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University…

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Rachel H. Renaud
School Board Chair

Rachel H. Renaud is the founder of RRimagine, a consulting and coaching firm geared towards the not for profit and small business sectors. She is also President of the Roasters Foundation. Montreal born and raised, fully bilingual, studied Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University, she is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals, businesses and government agencies on the importance of charitable giving. Her personal mission of UNITING people to share, exchange and grow is evident in every project in which she is involved.

Through RRimagine and the Roasters Foundation, Rachel strives to empower the community by taking an innovative approach to education and health care, stressing partnerships, and leading by example. She is an active member of several associations, including Philanthropic Foundations of Canada (PFC), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD).  Rachel is past chair of the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation. In addition, she sits on the Board of Directors of Philanthropic Foundation Canada, Depot Community Food Centre, Toujours ensemble Foundation, St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, St. Mary’s Board of Governors, chair of Willowstone Academy, and of the Board at Université de Montréal’s Centre for Innovation in Nursing Education (CIFI). Over the last nineteen years she has served on several for profit and not for profit boards dedicated to health, education and social services – all engaged in improving people’s lives or influencing public policy.

She advises in the not for profit sector at both the organizational and board levels.  Her strengths include her leadership style, strategic thinking, her creativity, as well as her vision.   Social entrepreneur  “Here to help you RE-imagine your wheel”.

She lives in Kelowna, British Columbia with her husband and son.

Joe Balfour
School Board Member

Joe has been an active member of First Lutheran Church for the last 13 years and has served on Church council for many years as well as elder for 4 years. Joe has been married to Lois for 49 years and has 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

He has been on staff with Power…

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Joe Balfour
School Board Member

Joe has been an active member of First Lutheran Church for the last 13 years and has served on Church council for many years as well as elder for 4 years. Joe has been married to Lois for 49 years and has 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

He has been on staff with Power to Change Ministries (formally Campus Crusade for Christ) for the past 23 years. He has served in the Family Life ministry of Power to as the National Conference Coordinator being responsible for our conference ministry nationally. Joe has a passion for family and marriage and strives to bring help and hope to couples across the country. Prior to Power to Change Ministries he was in the building supply and construction industry for 25 years.

He is semi-retired and enjoys travel to spend time with family and friends. Camping and outdoor activities are enjoyed as much as possible. His church and school involvement are important to his as a way to pay forward all the benefits he has experienced from them.

Henri Cullinan
School Board Member

Henri is a dynamic, energetic and enthusiastic family man. Husband to Liezl and three amazing children, one beautiful daughter and two energetic twin boys, all born in South Africa. They moved to Canada in 2014 embarking on an international adventure. These roads led to Kelowna where he continues to work…

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Henri Cullinan
School Board Member

Henri is a dynamic, energetic and enthusiastic family man. Husband to Liezl and three amazing children, one beautiful daughter and two energetic twin boys, all born in South Africa. They moved to Canada in 2014 embarking on an international adventure. These roads led to Kelowna where he continues to work as an independent consultant, continuing and expanding his extremely successful career that spanned 25 years as CEO of a highly acclaimed and esteemed community planning company.

He holds a master’s degree in urban planning, and today he is an expert in strategic urban management with a core focus on housing affordability.  Through his strong leadership, Henri has led several initiatives and continues to advocate for the development of sustainable communities both locally and internationally.

His interests include new urbanism, understanding housing finance markets and developing social impact strategies through structured partnership models. He is passionate about his family, spending quality time, exploring new frontiers, collecting noteworthy art, hunting, photography, and further education.

Emma Donley
School Board Member

Over the last 20 years, Emma has been teaching ballet, choreographing, and preparing students for Royal Academy of Dance ballet exams.  Currently teaching at The Canadian School of Ballet, she has been instrumental in launching a Pre-Professional training program coordinating with School District 23 and the new curriculum…

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Emma Donley
School Board Member

Over the last 20 years, Emma has been teaching ballet, choreographing, and preparing students for Royal Academy of Dance ballet exams.  Currently teaching at The Canadian School of Ballet, she has been instrumental in launching a Pre-Professional training program coordinating with School District 23 and the new curriculum set by the BC Ministry of Education.

Being passionate about brining arts into our community, Emma is currently part of the artistic staff for CSB’s Nutcracker and organizes a Summer Dance Intensive for students across the province.

Emma and her family have been a part of FLC and WA for the past 6 years and she is looking forward to serving on the board as the church and school continue to grow.

Kath Occleshaw
School Board Member [Past Chair]

Kath retired in 2007 from her career in the computer software industry where she worked in various positions from programmer, system design, customer service and senior management. Retirement has kept her even busier as she chairs the Global Missions Board at First Lutheran Church where she met school…

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Kath Occleshaw
School Board Member [Past Chair]

Kath retired in 2007 from her career in the computer software industry where she worked in various positions from programmer, system design, customer service and senior management. Retirement has kept her even busier as she chairs the Global Missions Board at First Lutheran Church where she met school CLO Karine Veldhoen. She then became involved with Willowstone Academy as Strategic Financial Manager and as the Chairperson of the School Board.  Kath lives in Lake Country where she is the treasurer of Lake Country Artwalk, a very successful annual art show. In between all of this Kath finds time for her two sons and two grandsons as well as travelling, curling and golfing with her husband.

Jeff Thomlinson
School Board Member

Accredited Professional Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist

Co-Founder of Take a Breath for Schools

Director of Teaching and Program Development, Mindful Restoration

Founder of The FreeBack Program

Jeff began teaching yoga in 1991. For 10 years, he lived…

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Jeff Thomlinson
School Board Member

Accredited Professional Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist

Co-Founder of Take a Breath for Schools

Director of Teaching and Program Development, Mindful Restoration

Founder of The FreeBack Program

Jeff began teaching yoga in 1991. For 10 years, he lived, studied and worked at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, MA, USA, the largest yoga teaching center in North America.  This enabled him to study with international leaders in yoga and to assimilate leading teaching and practicing techniques.   Jeff is a senior massage therapist and is a graduate from the Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics for massage.  Jeff is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, a vanguard in the field of holistic nutrition and health.

Jeff’s training and work experience began a passionate inquiry into mentoring and coaching as an additional tool to support yoga student development. He began creating innovative yoga programs and yoga teacher trainings and currently develops and co-directs the 200, 300, and 500 Hour training programs through Mindful Restoration, Inc., and has trained over 650 teachers in these programs.

Currently, Jeff is Executive Director for Take a Breath for Schools, a U.S. based non-profit which serves school children from Kindergarten to Grade 12.  The program focuses on performance enhancement and wellness using mindfulness-based meditation practices.  Jeff is also a former air traffic controller and small business start-up GM.

He brings humor to his practice and teaching, as well as a depth of philosophy inspired by authentic contemporary teachers.  He resides in Kelowna, BC with his wife, business partner, and co-creator Sonya.  They have 2 wonderful children, Ananda and Leela, and a spirit filled cat-Ella.

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