For information about online certification applications, please contact your EcoSchools school board representative.
Elanor Waslander, Program Director
ewaslander @ ontarioecoschools.org,
Contact Elanor regarding board level presentations and partnership opportunities.
Elanor Waslander has been working in Environmental and Sustainability Education for the past 10 years. She has a keen interest in student engagement, ecological literacy, and outdoor experiential education. While working with Ontario EcoSchools, Elanor has fostered partnerships with numerous school boards, all levels of government, and environmental not-for-profit organizations to enhance equal access to environmental learning and action in schools across Ontario.
Elanor’s education has supported her passion as an environmental educator with a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies including a diploma in Environmental and Sustainability Education, and a Bachelor’s of Education in Outdoor Ecological and Experiential Education. She has worked with Ontario EcoSchools since the Fall of 2008.
Elanor’s favorite EcoSchools best practice is enhancing Earth Hour by creating a fake campfire in your classroom or gymnasium with a fan, crèche paper and flashlights and telling campfire stories in the dark.
Melissa Benner, Communications and Outreach Coordinator
mbenner @ ontarioecoschools.org, 416-642-5774 x2
Contact Melissa regarding social media and newsletter inquiries.
Melissa coordinates Ontario EcoSchools’ communications and outreach activities - from the website, to twitter, and e-news. She also supports program staff with certification and workshop facilitation.
Melissa’s interest in sustainability emerged from her farming roots and continues strong here in the city. Through a Master’s Degree in Communications and freelance writing, she has honed her passion for storytelling and online engagement. As an educator, she has facilitated workshops with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Melissa’s favourite EcoSchools’ best practice is school food gardens. Especially when all grade levels are involved in growing, maintaining – and then eating! – the delicious fresh produce.
Carly Bardikoff, Program Coordinator
cbardikoff @ ontarioecoschools.org,
Contact Carly regarding curriculum support tools, invoicing, and site visit scheduling.
Carly supports board representatives and teachers throughout the certification process. In addition, she organizes and facilitates workshops, works with EcoSchool assessors, and focuses on curriculum development.
Carly completed an Honours BA in History at McGill University and an MA in Child Study and Education at OISE/UT. She has experience as a classroom teacher, an inquiry-based learning teacher facilitator, and as a Teaching Methodology Advisor in Rwanda. She currently sits on the board of Reena, a non-profit dedicated to people with development disabilities. Carly loves to travel and never goes anywhere without a headlamp.
Carly’s favourite EcoSchools best practice is using outdoor classrooms to facilitate hands-on learning while exploring the natural environment.
Stephanie van den Berg, French-language Program Coordinator
svandenberg @ ontarioecoschools.org,
Contact Stephanie regarding the French language program, ÉcoÉcoles de l'Ontario.
Stephanie acts as an advocate and support for Ontario French-language schools and boards participating in the program. Prior to joining the Ontario EcoSchools team, Stephanie completed an undergraduate degree in Biology and a Bachelor of Education (I/S Biology & History). Additionally, Stephanie worked for several years as a laboratory analyst in environmental laboratories.
Stephanie’s favourite EcoSchools best practice is Sweater Day, where schools lower the thermostat by several degrees and encourage students and staff to wear their most colourful sweaters. Not only does Sweater Day open the door for important conversations about energy conservation, but it also allows for students and staff to experience and explore how small actions can lead to big changes.
Tania Cheng, Program Coordinator (Development Focus)
tcheng @ ontarioecoschools.org, 416-642-5774 x5
Contact Tania regarding certification questions, workshops/events registration, funding, and general inquiries.
Tania Cheng supports board representatives and teachers who are actively pursuing certification, as well as organizes workshops, creates program support tools, and works with EcoSchools Assessors.
Tania is passionate about youth leadership, environmental sustainability, social innovation, and design. In addition to her role at Ontario EcoSchools, she also sits on the Board of Directors of The Otesha Project and is finishing up her Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University. She joins Ontario EcoSchools after travelling across Canada and the U.S. delivering speeches and workshops and leading overseas volunteer trips with Me to We. She has also spent two months biking across the Maritimes promoting environmental sustainability through theatre performances.
Tania's favourite EcoSchools best practice is the use of creative awards (e.g., Golden Lightbulb or Golden Lunchbox) to motivate environmental action.