Arlene Thorn

Board Chair 

Arlene and her husband Joe moved in 2012 to Thunder Bay from the Toronto area. Their daughter Logan went to Outdoor Recreation at LU in 2001, stayed and married.  She began to work on her parents to move here.  Of course they came and were impressed with the culture, community and nature in NW Ontario.  

In 2017 she started the Northern Lights School.  In September 2020 she and Joe purchased the Tapiola property to build the school there as well as maintain it as a recreation and ski site.  They were excited for it to become a school but it was not meant to be.
No door closes but another opens and in November 2021 created the Tapiola Association, a not-for-profit corporation to re-imagine the site as a Nature and Ski Centre offering recreation and skiing and children’s and adult programs. The Tapiola website is now creating an online store to offer products to the Tapiola community and to help support us as a not-for-profit.
We hope Tapiola - The Forest God in Finnish - will be happy with what we are doing.  We are honoured to maintain Tapiola’s Finlandia and native roots, to serve it’s present community and to welcome future visitors to enjoy the gems Thunder Bay has to offer.

  Liisa Hymander

Pre-school Co-op, Parent & Infant, Parent &Toddler, Homeschool Nature Program

Growing with the Northern Lights School since the beginnings, Liisa adventurously carried the blended kindergarten to Grade 2 class in the early years. Now after a maternity leave in 2022/2023 she will be joining us as the pedagogical lead and program co-ordinator.   Completing Waldorf Foundation Studies, Liisa started her first year of Waldorf teacher studies at the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto in the summer of 2019 and completed her teacher training by 2021.  An Honours Child and Youth Worker graduate, she has a spirit for creating space for others to learn, grow and connect. Liisa is a mother of four children who values curiosity and child centred learning.  Her second daughter has been a student at Northern Lights since 2017.  A passion for whole foods, circus arts, sewing and the outdoors keeps her smiling. Liisa looks forward to future adventures with students, families, and community.

   Erin Scott

Board Chair Intern

Erin is an Early Childhood Educator with a degree in Natural Science. She believes in the magic and wonder of nature and enjoys fostering a sense of connection to the environment with the children she works with. She understands the importance of open-ended and uninterupted play with children, through this type of play the best learning and experiences take place. 

Erin is a metis woman and classifies herself as a naturalist and a steward of nature. She values the importance the natural world provides and believes it should be treasured and protected. She enjoys different aspects of all the seasons but says that late summer is her favorite time of year.  She enjoys swimming, hiking, gardening and foraging. During the cooler months she spends most her time cross stitching, tending to her indoor plants and crafting. 

  Tamara Eyre (Tamarack)

Mentor, Creator, Nature Lover, Summer Camp

Tamara is a certified teacher who believes in getting children outside. Tamara has a joyful passion for the outdoors and all the wonders nature has to explore. She came from Southern Ontario to join the Outdoor Recreation program at Lakehead University and fell in love with the storied landscape, making the edge of Lake Superior her home. Tamara is excited to build community and foster a love of learning in herself and all who join her.

 Stephen Mitchell

Board Member

Stephen has lived in Northern Ontario for more than half his life   He moved to Thunder Bay to attend Lakehead university where he completed a masters degree in sociology. He is married and has a son and with his family they love outdoor activities including both Nordic and alpine skiing. At Tapiola he and his son Campbell have been grooming the trails for skiing and assisting with trail maintenance throughout the year. Stephen and his wife Dawn also love to walk their dog Duke at the trails in the summer. In his day job Stephen works for the province in Corrections. 

  Elyse Pomeranz

Board Member

Elyse works with schools and teachers worldwide as faculty with the Rudolf Steiner College Canada.. She is a mentor, teacher trainer and workshop leader. She is pioneering a work of communication with trees in order to support new relationships between human beings and nature. She has supported the development of relationship with Tapiola since 2013, coming to Thunder Bay to work with parents, teachers and children in the community.