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.

Angie VanKessel
Interim Program Coordinator

Angie did so great in the previous school year that we are excited to have her support the team as the interim program coordinator! 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 favorite 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.

Ruvi Mugara
Program Manager

Ruvi is originally from the small country of Zimbabwe, in Africa and she joined the Green Schools team back in 2018, as an Engagement Officer. Growing up in Africa meant she learnt all about resource conservation at a very young age, and has always been aware of how fortunate we are to have the earth provide us with everything we would need.

She is a real DIY queen and believes we can repurpose anything old into something new and beautiful with a little love and patience. She is a mom of 2 kids, and so when not working, you can catch her enjoying walks or working on a craft with her kiddies. 

Maggie Ivimey
CSAP Engagement Officer

From a young age, I have been passionate about the environment and educating those around me. Whether it was joining my elementary school's "Green Team" or bugging my family to turn off the lights, I always had environmental awareness as a part of my life. This past spring I graduated from Mount Allison University with a degree in Environmental Studies. At university I participated in many different clubs and societies, including the dance team, healthcare outreach group and Eco-Action, our environmental club. 

During my free time I enjoy playing cards, taking care of my plants or trying out a new craft. I love spending time with friends, family and my very clingy cat Diana. I also love to travel and discover new places! During my third year of university I was able to spend a semester in France where I learned the language and culture and explored many of the neighboring countries. I always enjoy time spent outdoors, whether it's skiing, hiking, camping, walking my family's dogs or just laying in the sun

Luisa Suarez
Northern Engagement Officer

Luisa was born in Colombia and moved to Canada over 12 years ago. She grew up in Calgary and then moved to Antigonish to attend STFX University. She graduated from STFX last May with a double major in Biology and interdisciplinary studies in Aquatic Resources. 

Living now in Antigonish, she has had the opportunity of living near the ocean and being part of marine research throughout her studies. She has always had a passion for animals, especially marine life. When she is not working, she is either going on hikes if weather permits or visiting the beach and observing different critters under rocks. 

Luisa has great skills when it comes to creating an environment where kids feel safe and welcomed. Luisa’s mom has owned a daycare for over 7 years, where she has helped as an assistant during the holidays and summer breaks. Luisa also has a cute little shih-tzu named Sandy who is 10 years old and is currently living in Calgary with her mom, however, she gets constant update pictures and is happy to share those with anyone who loves dogs as much as she does. She is very excited to be raising awareness and teaching about energy efficiency and the changes we are currently experiencing with climate change as well as coming up with interactive ways to engage with students

Meaghan Tobin
Cape Breton Engagement Officer

My name is Meaghan Tobin, and I am the engagement officer for the Cape Breton region. I have been passionate about protecting our environment since I was in middle school. My middle school teacher showed us a movie about climate change, and from there, my lifelong passion for protecting our earth began!  

When I was in high school, I volunteered in environmental clubs and often encouraged my friends to take small steps to help reduce their environmental footprint. After high school, I got a diploma in Natural Resources Environmental Technology and a degree in Environmental Technology. While I was a student, I got to do lots of exciting environmental work. Such as doing stream restorations, bat monitoring,  wildlife rehabilitation, and forest technician work. 

After graduating from university, I went to South Korea to teach English for six years. During these six years, I got lots of valuable teaching experience, I had the opportunity to travel to other Asian countries, and I learned a lot about Korean culture. Now I am in Cape Breton working as a Green Schools Engagement officer. And I am very excited to be sharing my environmental conservation passions with others. 

When I am not busy engaging students regarding energy efficiency,  I like to spend time with my family and friends during my free time. I love almost anything outdoor-related, such as hiking, swimming, and kayaking. I often curl up to a movie or tv show in the evenings to wind down. And of course, I love to travel and experience new things and learn about the world!

 

Rebecca Teddiman
HRCE Engagement Officer

I have always had a deep connection with our natural environment.  It is a personal source of inspiration, affirmation, and motivation.  With a background in education and environmental engineering technology, I aspire to engage others to develop a relationship with and care for the natural world.  

I am also passionate about science and technology.  I aim to encourage youth to develop an understanding of and desire to engage in STEM activities.

When not working for Green Schools I moonlight as a Mad Scientist, and volunteer with the McIntosh Run Watershed Association.  

I am married with one child and have a little cat named Talisker.  As a family, we enjoy going on hikes, camping,  and watching movies together.  My personal hobbies include horseback riding, sewing, gardening, and painting.  

 

Kelsey Chiasson
South Shore & Valley Engagement Officer

Hi everyone. My name is Kelsey and here is a little about me. I was born in Michigan, a state surrounded by the great lakes where I spent all my summers. Then I married a Cape Bretoner and traded in the lakes for the Ocean! I love living in what I think is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. Getting married and having my own home got me thinking a lot about the products I use and whether or not they're actually good for me and the environment, from there I've become super interested in everyday sustainable practices that we all can adopt, and that led me to the Greenschools program.

In my free time, I love traveling, reading, finding the most beautiful views, and making DIY products for my house! I also love to go on walks, watch a favorite tv show or just have good long chats with my husband. 

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.

Angie VanKessel
Interim Program Coordinator

Angie did so great in the previous school year that we are excited to have her support the team as the interim program coordinator! 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 favorite 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.

Ruvi Mugara
Program Manager

Ruvi is originally from the small country of Zimbabwe, in Africa and she joined the Green Schools team back in 2018, as an Engagement Officer. Growing up in Africa meant she learnt all about resource conservation at a very young age, and has always been aware of how fortunate we are to have the earth provide us with everything we would need.

She is a real DIY queen and believes we can repurpose anything old into something new and beautiful with a little love and patience. She is a mom of 2 kids, and so when not working, you can catch her enjoying walks or working on a craft with her kiddies. 

Maggie Ivimey
CSAP Engagement Officer

From a young age, I have been passionate about the environment and educating those around me. Whether it was joining my elementary school's "Green Team" or bugging my family to turn off the lights, I always had environmental awareness as a part of my life. This past spring I graduated from Mount Allison University with a degree in Environmental Studies. At university I participated in many different clubs and societies, including the dance team, healthcare outreach group and Eco-Action, our environmental club. 

During my free time I enjoy playing cards, taking care of my plants or trying out a new craft. I love spending time with friends, family and my very clingy cat Diana. I also love to travel and discover new places! During my third year of university I was able to spend a semester in France where I learned the language and culture and explored many of the neighboring countries. I always enjoy time spent outdoors, whether it's skiing, hiking, camping, walking my family's dogs or just laying in the sun

Luisa Suarez
Northern Engagement Officer

Luisa was born in Colombia and moved to Canada over 12 years ago. She grew up in Calgary and then moved to Antigonish to attend STFX University. She graduated from STFX last May with a double major in Biology and interdisciplinary studies in Aquatic Resources. 

Living now in Antigonish, she has had the opportunity of living near the ocean and being part of marine research throughout her studies. She has always had a passion for animals, especially marine life. When she is not working, she is either going on hikes if weather permits or visiting the beach and observing different critters under rocks. 

Luisa has great skills when it comes to creating an environment where kids feel safe and welcomed. Luisa’s mom has owned a daycare for over 7 years, where she has helped as an assistant during the holidays and summer breaks. Luisa also has a cute little shih-tzu named Sandy who is 10 years old and is currently living in Calgary with her mom, however, she gets constant update pictures and is happy to share those with anyone who loves dogs as much as she does. She is very excited to be raising awareness and teaching about energy efficiency and the changes we are currently experiencing with climate change as well as coming up with interactive ways to engage with students

Meaghan Tobin
Cape Breton Engagement Officer

My name is Meaghan Tobin, and I am the engagement officer for the Cape Breton region. I have been passionate about protecting our environment since I was in middle school. My middle school teacher showed us a movie about climate change, and from there, my lifelong passion for protecting our earth began!  

When I was in high school, I volunteered in environmental clubs and often encouraged my friends to take small steps to help reduce their environmental footprint. After high school, I got a diploma in Natural Resources Environmental Technology and a degree in Environmental Technology. While I was a student, I got to do lots of exciting environmental work. Such as doing stream restorations, bat monitoring,  wildlife rehabilitation, and forest technician work. 

After graduating from university, I went to South Korea to teach English for six years. During these six years, I got lots of valuable teaching experience, I had the opportunity to travel to other Asian countries, and I learned a lot about Korean culture. Now I am in Cape Breton working as a Green Schools Engagement officer. And I am very excited to be sharing my environmental conservation passions with others. 

When I am not busy engaging students regarding energy efficiency,  I like to spend time with my family and friends during my free time. I love almost anything outdoor-related, such as hiking, swimming, and kayaking. I often curl up to a movie or tv show in the evenings to wind down. And of course, I love to travel and experience new things and learn about the world!

 

Rebecca Teddiman
HRCE Engagement Officer

I have always had a deep connection with our natural environment.  It is a personal source of inspiration, affirmation, and motivation.  With a background in education and environmental engineering technology, I aspire to engage others to develop a relationship with and care for the natural world.  

I am also passionate about science and technology.  I aim to encourage youth to develop an understanding of and desire to engage in STEM activities.

When not working for Green Schools I moonlight as a Mad Scientist, and volunteer with the McIntosh Run Watershed Association.  

I am married with one child and have a little cat named Talisker.  As a family, we enjoy going on hikes, camping,  and watching movies together.  My personal hobbies include horseback riding, sewing, gardening, and painting.  

 

Kelsey Chiasson
South Shore & Valley Engagement Officer

Hi everyone. My name is Kelsey and here is a little about me. I was born in Michigan, a state surrounded by the great lakes where I spent all my summers. Then I married a Cape Bretoner and traded in the lakes for the Ocean! I love living in what I think is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. Getting married and having my own home got me thinking a lot about the products I use and whether or not they're actually good for me and the environment, from there I've become super interested in everyday sustainable practices that we all can adopt, and that led me to the Greenschools program.

In my free time, I love traveling, reading, finding the most beautiful views, and making DIY products for my house! I also love to go on walks, watch a favorite tv show or just have good long chats with my husband.