Learn About Us

Green Schools Nova Scotia is an exciting initiative brought to you by Efficiency Nova Scotia to enhance environmental sustainability at schools. This free program helps support students, teachers, and the larger school community as they learn to waste less and become more energy efficient. 

Reducing energy consumption is the best way to mitigate climate change, and we are focused on energy! While we start from that foundation, we cover a spectrum of environmental concerns including energy, waste, water, transportation, and food. There are five pillars to the Green Schools NS program: Getting Started With Energy, Minimizing Waste, Using Water Responsibly, Living and Moving Green, and Supporting Local. 

Engagement Officers work with students, teachers, and school communities across the province to strengthen sustainable behaviour that helps the Earth. The program supports community efforts to reduce energy waste and to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Through curriculum linked education, resources, presentations, and initiatives, Green Schools community members can discover more about the impact of consumption habits, and how to waste less. 

Using resources efficiently and considering our environmental footprint are necessary skills as the global community unites to address climate change. The foundational experience students gain from Green Schools NS cultivates sustainable choices and behaviours that stick around for good.
 

Meet Our Team

Shandel Brown
Program Coordinator

Shandel joined the Green Schools team in January 2016 as the Engagement Officer for Cape Breton and is now the Program Coordinator. Originally from Alberta, Shandel has been slowly making her way around the country, recently making Cape Breton her home. She explored the west coast of British Columbia while taking a Liberal Arts and Science degree at Quest University Canada. Quest broadened her world view and prompted her to question our relationship with the Earth’s complex ecosystems. After a year of learning French and teaching English in Sherbrooke, Québec, Shandel made her first visit to the Maritimes for a summer job in Chéticamp, Cape Breton. Her master’s degree in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo allowed her to return to Nova Scotia to study how a sense of place affects fishermens' ability to deal with climate change and other social and economic changes. Shandel recently came back to her farming roots when she moved to a fifth generation farm in the picturesque Margaree Valley where she now lives with her partner, Ben. When she’s not encouraging kids to play outside, grow vegetables and reduce energy consumption, you can find her cross-country skiing or feeding her pet calf named Coo.

Kelsey Brasil
Program Manager

Kelsey is an enthusiastic and passionate changemaker. She has over 10 years experience working closely with youth and is a sustainability graduate of Dalhousie University. Her background in environmental sustainability, youth programming, and day-to-day classroom work allows her to connect complex environmental problems to simple actionable, yet meaningful, solutions. As Program Manager, Kelsey oversees operations of the Green Schools Nova Scotia program. She leads Shift’s team of classroom Engagement Officers and provides support in updating and developing bilingual classroom resources that are aligned with the school curriculum. She is a born story harvester, a team player, and loves all things caffeinated!

Scott Ellis
HALIFAX ENGAGEMENT OFFICER

Scott Ellis recently graduated from Nova Scotia Community College with a diploma in Natural Resources Environmental Technology. During his time at NSCC, Scott was the Vice President of Services, which enabled him to make important changes that would impact others in the community.

Scott has a strong passion for making changes that will benefit others, especially when it comes to tackling environmental issues. Scott is ready to take on the challenges we face when it comes to energy and over-consumption, as well as educate others on how they can help the planet. On his spare time, you can find Scott outside in Nature hiking, kayaking, and exploring wild areas.

Genaya Fraser
CAPE BRETON ENGAGEMENT OFFICER

Genaya Fraser is a jack of all trades with a great love for her community. She likes to spread out and work in many different fields and loves learning new things and meeting new people. She is currently working for a local convention in Cape Breton and volunteers for another small business to help create safe and welcoming environments for all age groups to express themselves and be openly unique! She loves being a part of a team and making new connections.

On off-nights, Genaya hosts paint parties for all different ages, karaoke, and medieval tavern nights. She loves nature and collects tropical house plants. For fun she loves being outside by a fire, playing board games, relaxing with her dog Loki, being around her friends, and working towards new events and projects that she can help bring into her community. Having completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, she is currently working towards a Masters of Education in counselling.   

Gabrielle Doucet
Bilingual Engagement Officer

Gabrielle Doucet is excited to be joining Green Schools NS as their newest Engagement Officer with HRCE and CSAP! Creative, passionate, and curious, Gabrielle is a recent Urban Planning graduate with a passion for connecting people and ideas to expand the conversation around how we can all contribute to creating more sustainable communities. She is excited to connect with students and inspire them to become leaders and take action to help protect our environment.

Holly Paish
Valley Engagement Officer

Holly is no newbie to the Thinkwell Shift family! She has worked for the EPIS project helping Nova Scotians become more energy efficient and protect our planet! Holly is very passionate about the environment and studied Aquatic Resources and Political Science at St. FX and before joining Thinkwell she taught English as a second language online to children in China. Holly has also volunteered and worked with Ducks Unlimited Canada, and lead the Project Webfoot program to schools across The Valley. Holly is super excited to join the Green Schools team and continue to help Nova Scotians make positive changes!

Angie VanKessel
Northern NS Engagement Officer

Angie is new to the team this year! With over 15 years of experience developing and delivering fun presentations on environmentally sustainable practices through both professional and volunteer activities for a wide range of ages,  the Green Schools initiative aligns perfectly with her personal goals

As a horticulturist, she has always had a passion for the environment and sharing her nature friendly growing with students and members of her community. Her favourite topic is soil, which may sound boring to most but she likes to say, “soil is the immune system and the digestive system of a plant” so it’s really important to keep it healthy.

When she’s not teaching about caring for the environment and the soil, Angie can be found either exploring the woods with her kids, Nick and Caroline or driving them to their many activities (Mom’s Taxi). She is also a proud mom of two retired racehorses, Pasta Vera and Fedora - recycling isn’t just for plastics and these two have proven they have so much more to offer after the track.

Angie is an enthusiastic supporter! She and her son sell lemonade to help Type 1’s cover costs to go to D-Camps each summer and they actively help out other T1D families to find the support they need to deal with this diagnosis. She also loves motivating and helping local entrepreneurs find the network to support them or sort through their ideas.

Shandel Brown
Program Coordinator

Shandel joined the Green Schools team in January 2016 as the Engagement Officer for Cape Breton and is now the Program Coordinator. Originally from Alberta, Shandel has been slowly making her way around the country, recently making Cape Breton her home. She explored the west coast of British Columbia while taking a Liberal Arts and Science degree at Quest University Canada. Quest broadened her world view and prompted her to question our relationship with the Earth’s complex ecosystems. After a year of learning French and teaching English in Sherbrooke, Québec, Shandel made her first visit to the Maritimes for a summer job in Chéticamp, Cape Breton. Her master’s degree in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo allowed her to return to Nova Scotia to study how a sense of place affects fishermens' ability to deal with climate change and other social and economic changes. Shandel recently came back to her farming roots when she moved to a fifth generation farm in the picturesque Margaree Valley where she now lives with her partner, Ben. When she’s not encouraging kids to play outside, grow vegetables and reduce energy consumption, you can find her cross-country skiing or feeding her pet calf named Coo.

Kelsey Brasil
Program Manager

Kelsey is an enthusiastic and passionate changemaker. She has over 10 years experience working closely with youth and is a sustainability graduate of Dalhousie University. Her background in environmental sustainability, youth programming, and day-to-day classroom work allows her to connect complex environmental problems to simple actionable, yet meaningful, solutions. As Program Manager, Kelsey oversees operations of the Green Schools Nova Scotia program. She leads Shift’s team of classroom Engagement Officers and provides support in updating and developing bilingual classroom resources that are aligned with the school curriculum. She is a born story harvester, a team player, and loves all things caffeinated!

Scott Ellis
HALIFAX ENGAGEMENT OFFICER

Scott Ellis recently graduated from Nova Scotia Community College with a diploma in Natural Resources Environmental Technology. During his time at NSCC, Scott was the Vice President of Services, which enabled him to make important changes that would impact others in the community.

Scott has a strong passion for making changes that will benefit others, especially when it comes to tackling environmental issues. Scott is ready to take on the challenges we face when it comes to energy and over-consumption, as well as educate others on how they can help the planet. On his spare time, you can find Scott outside in Nature hiking, kayaking, and exploring wild areas.

Genaya Fraser
CAPE BRETON ENGAGEMENT OFFICER

Genaya Fraser is a jack of all trades with a great love for her community. She likes to spread out and work in many different fields and loves learning new things and meeting new people. She is currently working for a local convention in Cape Breton and volunteers for another small business to help create safe and welcoming environments for all age groups to express themselves and be openly unique! She loves being a part of a team and making new connections.

On off-nights, Genaya hosts paint parties for all different ages, karaoke, and medieval tavern nights. She loves nature and collects tropical house plants. For fun she loves being outside by a fire, playing board games, relaxing with her dog Loki, being around her friends, and working towards new events and projects that she can help bring into her community. Having completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, she is currently working towards a Masters of Education in counselling.   

Gabrielle Doucet
Bilingual Engagement Officer

Gabrielle Doucet is excited to be joining Green Schools NS as their newest Engagement Officer with HRCE and CSAP! Creative, passionate, and curious, Gabrielle is a recent Urban Planning graduate with a passion for connecting people and ideas to expand the conversation around how we can all contribute to creating more sustainable communities. She is excited to connect with students and inspire them to become leaders and take action to help protect our environment.

Holly Paish
Valley Engagement Officer

Holly is no newbie to the Thinkwell Shift family! She has worked for the EPIS project helping Nova Scotians become more energy efficient and protect our planet! Holly is very passionate about the environment and studied Aquatic Resources and Political Science at St. FX and before joining Thinkwell she taught English as a second language online to children in China. Holly has also volunteered and worked with Ducks Unlimited Canada, and lead the Project Webfoot program to schools across The Valley. Holly is super excited to join the Green Schools team and continue to help Nova Scotians make positive changes!

Angie VanKessel
Northern NS Engagement Officer

Angie is new to the team this year! With over 15 years of experience developing and delivering fun presentations on environmentally sustainable practices through both professional and volunteer activities for a wide range of ages,  the Green Schools initiative aligns perfectly with her personal goals

As a horticulturist, she has always had a passion for the environment and sharing her nature friendly growing with students and members of her community. Her favourite topic is soil, which may sound boring to most but she likes to say, “soil is the immune system and the digestive system of a plant” so it’s really important to keep it healthy.

When she’s not teaching about caring for the environment and the soil, Angie can be found either exploring the woods with her kids, Nick and Caroline or driving them to their many activities (Mom’s Taxi). She is also a proud mom of two retired racehorses, Pasta Vera and Fedora - recycling isn’t just for plastics and these two have proven they have so much more to offer after the track.

Angie is an enthusiastic supporter! She and her son sell lemonade to help Type 1’s cover costs to go to D-Camps each summer and they actively help out other T1D families to find the support they need to deal with this diagnosis. She also loves motivating and helping local entrepreneurs find the network to support them or sort through their ideas.