Halifax Grammar School's Board of Governors

Meet our Current Board Members

The Board of Governors of the Halifax Grammar School is made up of volunteers from our school community, be they parents, faculty or alumni. Care is taken to nominate individuals with diverse skill sets, experience, 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 their collaborative efforts to advance the best interests of the School. 

Jeannine A. Lagassé, Board Chair

Jeannine has Bachelor of Arts from the University of Regina and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Saskatchewan. She joined the Nova Scotia Civil Service in 1998 after practicing law in the private sector in Ottawa and Halifax. From 1998 - 2004, Jeannine was a member of the Department of Justice Legal Services Division. During this time, she completed the Master of Public Administration (Management) program at Dalhousie University. Jeannine worked at the Executive Council Office from 2005 - 2017 most recently as the Secretary to the Executive Council. She is currently the Associate Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness.   

Jeannine and her husband, Gordan, have a son, Seamus'21, who attends Grammar.

Executive Committee

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Treasurer - Heath Moore, CPA, CA

    Heath is a tax partner in the Halifax office of Grant Thornton LLP.  He is the Tax Services Leader for Nova Scotia, a member of the Nova Scotia Management Committee and has served on the firm’s National Partnership Board since 2010. 

    Heath has over 19 years’ experience providing tax and business planning advice to various clients ranging from privately held owner-managed businesses to large publically listed companies.  Many of his clients are in the manufacturing, automotive and professional services sectors. 

    Heath is the course coordinator and a lecturer for CPA Canada's In-depth Tax - Advanced Owner-Manager course, which is, targeted towards seasoned tax specialists providing services to owner-manager clients. He is a former tutorial leader for Parts I and II of the In-depth Tax Course at CICA and has lectured at the Atlantic School of Chartered Accountants and at CPA Canada's National Conference on Income Tax.
  • Vice Chair - Greg Blunden, CPA, CA

    Greg is the Chief Financial Officer for Emera Inc. In addition to serving as Treasurer, he also chairs the Board's Finance and Audit Committee. 

    Greg is a proven leader with vast experience. Greg joined Emera in 2000 and has held financial leadership roles at Emera Inc., Emera Maine, and Nova Scotia Power. Greg has extensive experience and industry insight into all aspects of Emera’s business including corporate finance, business development, utility operations, customer service, renewable energy and regulatory policy. Most recently, he was Emera’s Vice-President, Corporate Strategy and Planning, and before that held the position of Executive Vice-President, Customer, Business and Financial Services at Nova Scotia Power.

    Greg is a native Nova Scotian who has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Mount Allison University. He achieved his Chartered Accountant designation while working with Price Waterhouse. 

    Greg is on the Board of Directors of the Brigadoon’s Children’s Camp, currently serving as Past Chair. He is also the Past President of the Atlantic Chapter of Financial Executives International and a current member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia. 

    Greg and his wife, Tania, have two children, William'17 and Katie'19, who both attend Grammar.
  • Secretary - Suzanne Rix 

    Suzanne Rix is a partner at Cox & Palmer, an Atlantic Canadian law firm. Suzanne has been practicing Canadian immigration law for 19 years. She acts for regional, national and international companies in a number of industries in the relocation and retention of foreign workers. She also assists clients in applying for Canadian permanent resident status, retaining their permanent resident status and applying for Canadian citizenship.
     
    Suzanne is the Honorary Consul for Germany for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

    Suzanne is an Executive Member of the National Citizenship & Immigration Law Executive of the Canadian Bar Association, as well as a member of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Skilled Worker Task Force. She was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada for Immigration Law from 2013-2017 and as a Lexpert Rising Star – Leading Lawyer in Canada Under 40 in 2010.
     
    Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in French and German from Dalhousie University.
     
    Suzanne and her husband have 4 children who all attend Grammar: one in the Senior School, one in the Middle School, and two in the Prep School.
  • Communications Counsel - Michael Dunn, BSc, BPR

    Individuals and organizations in Canada and beyond call on Michael to help them understand, connect, and collaborate with those who matter to their success.

    Applying formal decision science research and behavioural communications to strategic management, Michael helps his clients achieve success through behavioural outcomes.
     
    He brings a wealth of expertise and experience to his clients from 20 years’ national and international experience as principal of his own Halifax-based boutique firm – Dunn & Associates Communications and Public Affairs Inc. – and as a practitioner in the Toronto offices of two global public relations firms – Ketchum, and Edelman Public Relations Worldwide.
     
    Michael has counselled and supported a variety of public, private, and non-governmental organizations across Canada in the areas of decision research and behavioural communications, stakeholder relations, change management, risk communication, issue management, and crisis preparedness, and response.

    He has worked with some of Canada’s best-known independent schools in the areas of issue management and crisis response: Upper Canada College, Royal St. George’s College, Havergal College, and Rothesay Netherwood School. With a national outlook, Michael is connected to the Atlantic Region by family roots and a love of the ocean. He keeps tabs on the interaction between national and regional business and public affairs through membership in the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, a long-standing affiliation with Edelman Canada, and consuming regional, national, and social media.
     
    In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dalhousie University, Michael holds a Bachelor of Public Relations (Distinction) degree from Mount Saint Vincent University, and is a certified and licensed practitioner of Mental Modeling Technology™.

    Michael and his wife Holly (née McCurdy, HGS ’88) live in Halifax with their daughters Livia'21 and Beatrice'24. Both children attend Grammar.

Current Board Members

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Laura Godsoe, PhD

    A native of Halifax, Laura is a search consultant at Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette (KBRS) where she serves as a strategic partner to public and private sector clients as they recruit, assess, and select new leaders. She also provides counsel and advice on equity issues as the firms’ Diversity and Inclusion Lead.

    Laura’s search work is concentrated mostly in the public sector and she has helped several independent schools in the region with their recruitment needs. 

    After 12 years in Toronto, Laura moved back to Halifax in 2015 to join KBRS as the leader of the executive search team responsible for ensuring national best practices in candidate research and search delivery. Prior to joining KBRS, Laura held both research and teaching positions at post-secondary institutions across Ontario and served in senior acquisitions and editorial positions at an academic publisher, including as Managing Editor of Canada’s oldest English-language feminist press.

    Laura attended Halifax Grammar from 1989 to 1995. After graduating high school Laura went on to Mount Allison University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours. She then received her Master’s and PhD from York University where she was the recipient of a Social Science and Humanities Research Fellowship for her research into historical issues of equity, gender, and race. 
  • 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 in 1999, with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Commerce from Dalhousie University in Halifax. In qualifying for his Chartered Accountant designation in 2001, Jeff placed on the David Hope Honour Role for his performance on the Uniform Final Exam and also received the H.R. Doane Bronze Medal.

    Jeff resides in Bedford with his wife, Charlene, and their two children, Xander and Gates.

    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.
  • Erica Green

    Erica Green is currently Co-Chair the HGS Parents Activities Committee (PAC) and has been an active member of the HGS community.  She grew up in Hammonds Plains and earned her BSc. at Saint Mary's University as well as a Certificate in Criminology. She then completed law school at Dalhousie and worked in private practice in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia for nearly 15 years.  After a short period in Arizona, she returned to Halifax and is currently employed with the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society as an Officer, Education & Credentials.
     
    Erica and her husband, Laine, have a son, Henry'26 who attends Grammar.
  • Dr. Anila Najaf, MBBS

    Anila completed her Medical Degree in 1995 from Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan. She then did her Internship and Residency in Psychiatry from The Aga Khan University, Pakistan. She served as the Chief Resident of the Psychiatry program from 1998-2000.
     
    Anila moved to Canada with her family in 2007 initially staying in Toronto. The family then moved to Halifax in 2008. Since then, she has been very actively engaged in community events helping out immigrant families in Nova Scotia. She organized the first ever Pakistan Festival in 2015, which attracted a large local gathering and was well appreciated. Since then the group has hosted annual festivities helping immigrant families to integrate into the local community.
     
    Anila is married to Dr. Najaf Nadeem, who works as an Interventional Cardiologist at QEII Health Sciences Center. They have two children, Talha’19 and Ayman ‘21, who both attend Grammar.
  • 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.
  • Åsa Kachan

    Åsa Kachan is the CEO & Chief Librarian for Halifax Public Libraries. In her role, she oversees 500 staff working across the 14 branch library system. Halifax Public Libraries recently received international acclaim with the opening of Halifax’s new Central Library, and continues to capture the attention of the community as they work to reach diverse populations and serve as a model of equality and respect. Prior to taking on the CEO role in November 2014, Åsa spent 16 years in senior administrative roles within universities, most recently serving 10 years as the Assistant Vice-President Enrolment Management & Registrar for Dalhousie University. During Åsa’s time at Dalhousie, she undertook critical transformations to improve the student experience, including revamping undergraduate scholarships and bursaries and improving front-line service.
     
    Åsa volunteers her time with a number of community organizations, including serving as a Board Member and Chair of the Governance Committee of the United Way of Halifax and on the Board of Halifax Dance. She was recently named a Circle of Justice Champion by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.
  • Jonathan Meretsky

    Jonathan Meretsky is a regional banker, international lawyer and policy analyst.  He serves as Managing Director at Merit House in Halifax heading its lending, advisory, and investment activities.

    Mr. Meretsky has worked on complex finance transactions since beginning his professional career at the Wall Street law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in 1997.  He graduated Harvard Law School in international tax, Boston University School of Law with LL.M. in banking and securities law, and Colgate University in political science.  He studied at Trinity College at Cambridge University in European Legal Studies, Doshisha University in Japanese Legal Studies, and University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law in Asian Securities Transactions.  He served as senior editor of Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and as Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law teaching Commercial Lending and Structured Finance.  Spanning over 20 years, Mr. Meretsky has provided counsel on various marquee and innovative finance transactions.  Presently, he focuses on corporate restructuring advisory and provides supportive financing for Nova Scotians.

    Mr. Meretsky serves on the Board of Directors of Atlantic Institute of Market Studies and as National Co-Chair fundraising to the Federal Liberal Agency of Canada representing Nova Scotia.  He has been an active participant at the Halifax International Security Forum.  He independently and privately champions financial literacy and human rights themes on committees, investments, and media shaping public policy and regulation.

    Mr. Meretsky attended Halifax Grammar School from 1976 to 1986.  He is proud to have served as an Editor-in-Chief of The Grammarian and to have had the privilege of his first study abroad program with the school in Grade 6 to France.  

    He and his wife, Natalie, have two daughters now attending the school.
     
  • Diana Cassie, PhD, R.Psych

    Diana Cassie is a Registered Psychologist practicing primarily in the area of Educational Psychology. In private practice, Diana provides Psychoeducational Assessments of learning challenges such as Learning Disabilities (LD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Giftedness Assessments to identify multiple intelligences and wide-range competency parameters, and Vocational/Psycho-vocational Assessments. She also provides LD/ADHD screening assessments, personal counseling, and academic coaching services at Dalhousie University Counselling Centre.
     
    Diana has a strong interest in decision-making in personal, social, educational, career- and life-related contexts. A primary focus has been on identification of educational interventions that promote literacy and student learning. Through assessments, educational consultations, and counseling, Diana seeks to enable each learner to enjoy the learning process and experience success.
     
    Diana is a volunteer Board Member of the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre for Children. She is also an active member of the APA/APNS Psychologically Healthy Workplace Committee.
     
    Her undergraduate studies were completed at Wellesley College (Boston, MA) where she majored in Psychology and minored in Educational Studies. She completed her graduate degrees (MA and Ph.D.) at the University of Toronto in Counselling Psychology.
     
    Diana and her husband, Marcelo, live in Halifax with their son, Massimo'30 who attends Grammar.
  • Leanna Christie

    Leanna Christie is a co-chair of HGS Parents Activities Committee (PAC) and an active member of the HGS community. Prior to moving to Halifax in 2011, Leanna lived in the United States and Russia. She worked for Sempra Energy in Texas and Connecticut, advancing within the company’s business units from Information Technology to Commodities Trading and Asset management.  Leanna served as a Treasurer and Community Outreach leader for the Russian School Austin and was involved in the Sempra Energy Trading Campus recruiting program.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Spanish from the University of Houston and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.  

    Leanna and her husband Mark have a son, Sasha'29, who attends Grammar. 
  • J. Michael Lee, PhD

    Michael grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and earned a first class honours degree in Mathematics from the University of New Brunswick, while active in local bands, baseball, student radio, and university arts programming. After summers as an aerial navigator and at the National Research Council’s Biosciences labs in Ottawa, Michael went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario in 1982, winning the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s Annual Research Prize.
     
    After two years of post-doctoral training in materials engineering at the University of Toronto, Michael was named an Ontario Ministry of Health Career Scientist and stayed on at the University of Toronto until 1995, co-founding the Centre for Biomaterials and organizing the fifth World Biomaterials Congress. There, Michael won the Annual Teaching Prize from the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and was named one of the final 20 candidates for the first Canadian astronaut search with Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau, et al. (He withdrew over concerns with the Reagan-era “Star Wars” militarization of the space shuttle program.) In Toronto, Michael played and coached fastball and softball, and continued music work in art rock, bar bands, the 65-piece Mississauga Concert Band, the Brampton Symphony, and many musical theatre shows.
     
    In 1995, Michael came to Dalhousie University during the amalgamation process with TUNS. He won a $1.25M grant from the Whitaker Foundation (2nd in Canada), and built Dalhousie’s School of Biomedical Engineering, serving as its first Director until 2006. As Director, Michael enabled the launch of the Dalhousie chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Later, he served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, won his second teaching prize, and was elated to be awarded SBME’s Community Builder’s prize.
     
    Michael is an international fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE, youngest so-named in Canada) and has served four years as President of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. In his private work, Michael is a consultant to several medical device companies and holds patents on a vascular stent that has seen wide clinical use in Canada and Europe. In Halifax, Michael has remained very active in music, playing with or directing as many as five bands at a given time.
     
    With the arrival of his daughter, Kara'26, Michael served two years on the Board of Directors for the University Children’s Centre and has since gradually grown his involvement in music and science activities at HGS. Kara currently attends Grammar.
  • Maureen Reid

    Maureen Reid is the President and Founder of BoardWorks Consulting Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in applied governance, strategic planning, and facilitation. 

    Prior to BoardWorks, Maureen was a partner in the Labour and Employment Law Group of a major Halifax law firm.  She has also held senior leadership positions in a learning technology start-up and more recently with The Shaw Group Limited, a land development, and manufacturing company.  She is a certified professional director with both corporate boards and extensive volunteer board experience.  Maureen also currently serves as a director on the Halifax Partnership board.

    Maureen and her husband Doug have a beautiful daughter, Lily, in Middle School at HGS.

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.