Board of Directors

About

As a not-for-profit corporation and registered charity, Waldorf Academy has a Board of Directors that is responsible for the short and long-term strategic advancement of the mission and values of our school.

Waldorf Academy has established five committees to support the strategic plan of the school. The Board of Directors also extends an invitation to our community to participate in these strategic discussions.

Please view our board committee mandates here.

 

Board Members:

 

Emily Thiagaraj, Board Chair

ethiagaraj@waldorfacademy.org

Emily Thiagaraj is a Californian who moved to Toronto in 2021 in order to open her law firm’s first international office. Emily is an attorney who has devoted her career to representing employees in matters of discrimination, harassment, and wage theft. Emily received her JD from the University of San Francisco and her BA in Political Science from UC San Diego. Emily has an energetic seven year old daughter, Remi, who is currently enjoying Grade 3 at Waldorf Academy. In addition to Remi, Emily also lives with her partner, Felipe, who is an intensivist, and Sweetie, her family’s rescued rabbit. In her free time, you can find Emily portaging in Algonquin Park, learning French, growing vegetables, and traveling.

 

Andrea Van Leeuwen, Board Vice-Chair

avanleeuwen@waldorfacademy.org

Andrea is a Waldorf Academy parent to two children in Grades 5 and 7. Professionally, Andrea serves as the Head of North America Strategy & Operations and Head of Marketing at Meta, leading the strategic plans for US and Canada, optimized for efficiency, growth and people.

 

 

 

Ana Aur, Board Secretary

aaur@waldorfacademy.org

Ana is a lawyer by profession and has worked for over a decade as a corporate attorney at Shearman & Sterling LLP and White & Case LLP, two leading global law firms based in New York where she practiced in their capital markets and banking finance departments, respectively.  Ana is admitted to practice law in both New York and Ontario. She graduated from University of Toronto, Faculty of Law in 2009 as well as University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts & Science, with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology (cum laude) in 2006. Ana’s daughter has been in the childcare program at Waldorf Academy for close to 2 years and, throughout this time, Ana has grown connected to the school and committed to assist it achieve its full potential in the community.

 

Yew-Thong Leong

yleong@waldorfacademy.org

Yew-Thong is a professor at Toronto Metropolitan (Ryerson) University and an architect in private practice as the Managing Director of SSG Architecture Inc.  With close to 4 decades as an educator, he is interested in curricula design and learning environments (specifically for experiential learning).  In addition to a general-buildings practice, he has designed teaching and learning facilities from child care to high schools, universities, and research facilities. He is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, a member of the Ontario Association of Architects, and a past-Chair of the Toronto Society of Architects.

 

Emerson Rajaram 

erajaram@waldorfacademy.org

Emerson Rajaram is a performance-driven technology leader who is valued for the trust, confidence and respect he has earned from his nine-member team at Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. He thrives in environments where he can effect change, create value, help to work through complex organizational problems and favorably impact organizational strategy and culture. Emerson holds an MBA from Laurier University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of West Indies.

 

Diana Spacca

dspacca@waldorfacademy.org

Diana is an experienced board member and business professional with over three decades of leadership contributions driving the success of both public and private organizations. Diana runs an independent insurance brokerage providing insurance solutions for both personal and commercial insurance needs.

 

 

David Sutherland

dsutherland@waldorfacademy.org

David is an alumni parent of Waldorf Academy. He was involved with founding the Community Council and is a previous WA Board member. David has a background in IT and is currently a working artist. David is a member of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble.

 

 

 

Amoolya Rao 

arao@waldorfacademy.org

Amoolya is a Vice-President of Corporate Finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She consistently volunteers in the field of education—it is her heart’s cause. She enjoys fundraising and is fact based in her thinking/decision making approach. By joining the Board, she hopes to make a positive impact and “to offer high-level strategic guidance”.

 

 

Paolo Burzese

pburzese@waldorfacademy.org

Paolo is a Waldorf Academy parent. Paolo is an educator with a Master’s degree from OISE. Paolo has served as a teacher, a vice-principal, and a principal at various educational institutions over his career and has experience leading DEIJ initiatives.

 

 

 

Dilan Purohit

dpurohit@waldorfacademy.org

Dilan comes to the board with a strong financial background, experience with strategic planning and loads of energy. Self-described as a “banker by day”, he currently serves as the Director of Global Payments Solutions at HSBC. Dilan is committed to service and founded a non-profit focused on educating communities about reducing food excess. Dilan hopes to expand his knowledge of Board governance and is ready to commit time and skills towards the school’s success.

 

Amit Khanna

akhanna@waldorfacademy.org

Amit Khanna, CPA, CA, is a dedicated finance leader renowned for his practical solutions and user-centered approach to business challenges. With a robust career that includes key roles at Deloitte Canada and as the Director of Finance and IT at Peel Children’s Aid Society, Amit has proven his expertise in financial management, strategic planning, and process innovation. He is a Certified Public Accountant who values collaboration and is committed to the professional and personal growth of his colleagues. Amit has been appointed to be the Chair of the Board Finance Committee.

 

Shereen Hassanein 

shassanein@waldorfacademy.org

Shereen Hassanein, PhD, is an alumni family of Waldorf Academy, her children currently attend the London Waldorf School in London, ON, where she served as a Board Trustee until December 2023. Shereen is a professor and program coordinator in the School of Arts and Science at Seneca Polytechnic in Toronto. She has a PhD from York University in Philosophy, focusing on how atypical language development provides insight into the nature of language and thought. At Seneca, she serves the community through committee work, including Academic College Council, The Seneca Art Committee; The Human Skills Project; Academic Integrity; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (initial working group), and more.

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