About Us

Governance

Learn more about our board

Do you want to learn more about the Halifax Grammar School's Board of Governors? Are you interested in becoming a board member? Please visit our Becoming a Board Member page, or contact Meagan Shaw to learn more.

Meet our Current Board Members

The Halifax Grammar School's Board of Governors consists of volunteers from our school communitybe they parents, faculty, or alumni. Care is taken to nominate individuals with diverse skill sets, experiences, and backgrounds to assist the board in fulfilling its important stewardship responsibilities. We are fortunate to have dedicated and capable individuals serving on the board. Grammar benefits from these collaborative efforts to advance the best interests of the school.

Board Chair: Rhiannon Davies

A graduate of McGill University, Rhiannon has extensive leadership, international business, and board governance experience. She has a passion for innovation, human rights, and sustainability. In particular, she is focused on encouraging and supporting young females in STEM careers.

Her child, Macsen '26, attends Grammar School. 

Executive Committee

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Vice-Chair - Jillian Adler

    Jillian is the associate director of plasma operations at Canadian Blood Services. As part of the national leadership team, she is currently acting as the project manager for a program focused on optimizing plasma collections within the existing infrastructure, as well as opening test-and-learn donation centres in three provinces. Over the 13 years she has been with the organization, she has held several senior positions in the organ donation and stem cell programs. In this capacity, Jillian served as the critical link between Canadian Blood Services and provincial donation and transplant programs and successfully developed the first national public awareness and education working group dedicated to increasing the number of registered organ and tissue donors. Jillian has also built critical partnerships with underrepresented communities to help drive recruitment, resulting in agreements from a number of organizations including the Assembly of First Nations. Jillian is a former journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation where she was a reporter, researcher, producer, and director for numerous radio and television programs including Information Morning, CBC Newsworld, and the Emmy Award-winning youth program, Street Cents. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in international development and political science from the University of King's College as well as a post-baccalaureate Bachelor of Arts in journalism, also from the University of King’s College.

    Jillian’s previous volunteer positions include working for a non-governmental organization focused on literacy in Malawi, Central Africa, as well as serving as a board member for the Coastal Communities Economic Development Corporation in her community of Lower Prospect. Most recently she was part of the organizing committee and communications lead for the Canadian Optimist National Championship, held at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

    Jillian and her husband, David, have two children at Grammar: Noah ’23 and Levi ’27.
     
  • Treasurer - James Wilson, CPA, CMA, ICD.D

    James Wilson returned to Nova Scotia in 2004 to become the Treasurer of Wilson Fuel Co. Limited.  He was promoted to CFO in 2016.  James’ continuing role is focused on planning and financing the Company’s strong growth.  Previously, he was a Senior Associate with the world’s pre-eminent advisory investment bank, Lazard Ltd., in London, England.  James worked primarily in Project Finance with the Debt Advisory Team.  His clients included among others BP plc and Falconbridge.

    James has expertise in cost accounting, finance, and information technology.  He has a BBA from Acadia University and became a Certified Management Accountant in 2001.

    James has had active community involvement as former Co-Chair of the Citadel High Legacy Campaign, and former founding Chair of the Citadel Theatre Society. As well as his role at Wilsons, James is the Vice-Chair of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.

    James and his wife, Lindsay, have three sons who attend Grammar: Luke '22, Charlie '24, and Rex '27.
  • Secretary and Advancement Committee Rep - Jon Stanfield

    Jon is the chairman, president, and CEO of Stanfield’s Limited based in Truro, NS. Stanfield’s is a multi-generational family business tracing its roots back to 1856. He has extensive board, fundraising, stakeholder relations, communications, and marketing strategy experience. He holds several leadership and executive roles with for-profit as well as not-for-profit institutions such as SRM Hockey Inc.
     
    Jon and his wife, Sue, have two children who attend Grammar: Gabrielle ’28 and Jaxon ’30.

Current Members

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Sathyasai Murty-Chelamkuri

    Sathyasai Murty-Chelamkuri is a Principal Partner and full-time practicing dentist at Scotia Dental and a Clinical Instructor for the Division of DCS in the Department of Periodontology in the Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie University for the past twenty years.

    Sathyasai holds her Doctorate in Dentistry from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor’s of Science degree (Honours) in Biology and certification in Molecular Genetics from Saint Mary’s University. She also holds a Fellowship from ICOI.

    Sathyasai is committed to excellence and has taken leadership roles on various committees bringing key experience in conflict management, fundraising and new growth initiatives specifically in areas of recruitment and advancement.

    Sathyasai and her husband, Sridhar, have two children who attend Grammar: Saidharma ’27 and Srinath ’29.
  • Jamie O’Neil

    Jamie O’Neil has been a partner and Chartered Accountant at KPMG for more than 20 years with experience in audit and financial accounting.

    He holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting from Saint Mary’s University. He currently sits on the board of the QEII Hospital and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

    Jamie and his wife, Catherine have one child who attends Grammar: Colin’25.




  • Alfred Burgesson’15

    Alfred Burgesson is an alumnus of Junior Achievement Nova Scotia and a graduate of the Halifax Grammar School in 2015. He is the Founder & CEO of Tribe Network - a social enterprise building Canada's BIPOC Entrepreneurship & Innovation Hub.

    Alfred is a former member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council — he is also the co-chair of Canada’s first-ever ‘State of the Youth’ Report. Alfred has been an advisor to various community organizations and initiatives across Canada as well as to the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs.

    Before launching Tribe Network, Alfred supported the African Canadian Senate Group and the office of Senator Colin Deacon as project lead; gathering data and insights on the current state of Black Entrepreneurs and Business Owners in Canada.

    Alfred is also currently a board member of the Halifax Regional Library Board.
  • Jeff Christian, CPA, CA 

    Jeff is a wealth advisor with Scotia Wealth. He advises high net worth individuals and corporations on the management of their portfolios and provides innovative financial, insurance, tax, and estate planning strategies. Prior to joining Scotia Wealth, Jeff was a senior manager of tax at Grant Thornton LLP where he provided personal and corporate tax services to a wide variety of clients with an emphasis on owner-managed businesses.

    Jeff graduated with first-class honours and the University Medal in Commerce from Dalhousie University in 1999. In qualifying for his chartered accountant designation in 2001, Jeff placed on the David Hope Honour Role for his performance on the final exam and also received the H.R. Doane Bronze Medal.

    Jeff is passionate about work and a variety of other activities including coaching hockey, tax education, and fly-fishing.  Jeff currently serves on the board of the Bedford District Minor Hockey Association, Halifax Grammar School Investment Committee, and the St. Ignatius Finance Committee.

    Jeff resides in Bedford with his wife, Charlene, and their two children, Xander '26 and Gates '28.
  • Eduardo Mesquita

    Eduardo is an experienced technical leader and information technology architect. His career spans over 18 years of information technology, consulting services, and technical architecture evolving progressively through senior roles at IT Professional Services global companies. He has operated in a number of industries leading projects and teams by providing a successful delivery of complex end-to-end solutions for clients worldwide.
     
    Eduardo has worked within the public sector for most of his career but also has experience within the energy, financial services, and retail industries. He has led several successful initiatives involving Oracle E-Business Suite implementations and upgrades. Eduardo’s leadership and IT architecture skills combined with his broad technical knowledge and deep Oracle technology expertise are his greatest assets.
     
    Eduardo has a Master of Science in computer science from the University of São Paulo in Brazil and his ITIL Foundation Certification.
     
    Eduardo and his wife, Maida, have a son, Lucas ’30, who attends Grammar.
  • Jarret Stuart

    Jarret is the president of Caldera Distilling. Caldera has quickly become a representation of Canada in which its products are supplied to Canadian Embassies around the world to showcase the best of what Canada has to offer.  He has a background in project management, governance, and finance.
     
    Jarret and his wife, Tracy, have two children who attend Grammar: Olivia ’31 and Brooklyn ’32.
  • Ian Thompson '67

    Ian is currently an executive-in-residence at Cox & Palmer. He has extensive communication, stakeholder relations, advancement, and board governance experience. Ian is an independent nominee to the board and has accreditation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

    Ian was among the first students at Halifax Grammar in 1958 and is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Halifax Grammar School.
  • Samantha Watson-Crooks

    Samantha is an accomplished executive manager with almost 20 years of solid, cross-functional experience in fund administration and operational accounting. She is a passionate and goal-oriented professional who is also a loyal and committed person with strong leadership abilities.

    Her experience in the financial industry includes client relations and development as vice president of a financial institution; financial, fund, and forensic accounting as the chief financial officer; and compliance in her role as money laundering report officer.
     
    Samantha holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialty in finance and accounting from the University of Liverpool, a Master in Finance from Saint Mary’s University, an Advanced Certificate and a Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering Certificate from the University of Manchester, as well as a Bachelor of Science from Saint Mary’s University.
     
    Samantha and her husband, Dermott, have three children at Grammar: Kasi ’22, Kennedy ’23, and Kamdyn '26.