Board of Directors

The Nova Scotia Sea School is governed by a dynamic group of community and business leaders. They include past-participants, parents, donors, sailors. They all have in common a commitment to providing youth in Nova Scotia with life-changing learning experiences.

Sea School Board Members

Melanie Goodday 2013
Melanie Goodday
Co-Chair of the Board of Directors

Melanie Goodday grew up sailing in N.S, and found her passion for teaching in the same place. Mel has worked with youth who have mental illness and behavioral disorders in a number of alternative therapeutic educational settings across Canada. These include experiential education and wilderness expedition based programs for at-risk and adjudicated youth. Mel currently teaches in a therapeutic classroom in Halifax. She can often be found in a rowing shell, sailboat or canoe. Last year, Mel had the good fortune to join the Sea School as an instructor on the March Break Wilderness Program and was heartened to be experiencing the woods with students again for the first time.

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Maggy Burns
Board Member

Maggy is the Managing Director of the Ecology Action Centre. Before becoming a professional environmentalist she worked for many years in the field of community economic development as a business counselor, manager, facilitator and entrepreneur. Maggy has a BA (Philosophy) and BSc (Biology) and has spent time chasing strawberry poison-dart frogs in the Costa Rican rain-forest, and teaching English on rooftops in China. Her passion for the NS Sea School emerged while on a Sea School professional enrichment trip and has only deepened as she has gotten to know the organization.

Ann Power
Board Member
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Dale Robertson
Board Member

Educated at RMC and Dalhousie University and having been awarded the designation Certified Management Consultant, Mr. Robertson is a Professional Engineer with qualifications in other fields, including Management Consulting.

Mr. Robertson's career includes a variety of business management positions and consulting in addition to having started, owned and operated many businesses of his own in the fields of plumbing and heating, real estate development, manufacturing of hardware for electric utilities and energy management consulting. His energy management consulting has been international in scope and includes work on 5 continents since 1981 and led to hundreds of millions of dollars in reduced energy consumption. His utility pole line hardware business (Enerscan Engineering Inc) has grown consistently and rapidly since 1998, with sales throughout North America and a presence in South America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. Dale is or was a member of several boards and committees, including the Halifax Regional Development Agency, the Greater Halifax Partnership, the Mayor's Economic Strategy Committee and Kings View Academy. He has served as President of Engineers Nova Scotia and as Vice Commodore of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

Dale sailed briefly in university but then purchased a J24 sailboat in about 2002 and has never looked back, participating in hundreds of races in Canada, USA and Bermuda. His love of sailing, plus the impact the Sea School has on the development and enrichment of teenagers in their pursuit of keeping out of trouble and finding themselves are what has inspired him to participate on the Sea School Board.

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Peter Edwards
Board Member

Peter Edwards enjoyed the privilege of growing up sailing in St. Margaret’s Bay and strongly believes in the benefits of lifelong friendships that can develop through sailing experiences. He enjoys the sense of community and environmental awareness that comes from time spent on the water. Peter has been on the Sea School board since 2012. Peter is a chartered accountant and has worked in public practice since 2005 with a focus on small to medium sized owner managed businesses. His education includes a Bachelor of Commerce (2002), the Chartered Accountant designation (2008), and is currently enrolled in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators program. He has volunteered services for various non-profit organizations with interests in mental health and youth causes.

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Crane Stookey
Founder and Captain

Crane grew up by the water in New York and Massachusetts, sailing and rowing small wooden boats. Being near water always makes him happy. He discovered as an adult that being around teenagers makes him happy too. So in 1994 he combined these joys with the aspiration to do something useful and founded the Nova Scotia Sea School.

Crane has a Masters of Architecture degree from Harvard University and practiced architecture in Boston for 8 years. In 1990 he took time off to pursue his interest in the study and practice of meditation.

However after this Crane returned, not to his architectural practice, but to his childhood love of wooden boats and sailing. He served as deck officer and seamanship instructor on tall ships in the US and Canada, including HMS ROSE, PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, CORWITH CRAMER and others, and earned his US Master¹s license as captain of sailing vessels up to 200 gross tons.

In 1994 he settled in Halifax, the best move of his life. He says that Nova Scotia is a sane and decent place, and that his life has really blossomed since moving here, and that the Sea School is the fruit of it.

In 2003 Crane was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal for the Sea School's contribution to the Canadian community.

Crane is now taking what he has learned at the Sea School into the business world, with his recent book, “Keep Your People in the Boat – Workforce Engagement Lessons from the Sea,” which is filled with Sea School stories.

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Wilson Fitt
Board Member

Wilson Fitt has been a member of the Board of the Nova Scotia Sea School since 2004 and the Treasurer since 2006. In his professional life, Wilson provides project management for large construction projects to public and private sector clients as well consulting services relating to project feasibility and development. During the past several years Wilson has managed new construction and redevelopment projects that total in excess of $100 million. His qualifications include a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University, 1984; Bachelor of Law from Dalhousie University, 1979; and Bachelor of Science from University of Kings College, 1975. He is a member (non-practicing) of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

In addition to the Nova Scotia Sea School, Wilson has volunteered services for non-profit organizations with interests in mental health and housing. He has a lifetime of sailing experience including coastal passages and offshore voyaging, some of it single-handed. Wilson has built several traditional wooden boats including his current one, a thirty eight foot cutter.

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Ella McQuinn
Board Member

Ella McQuinn is a business coach and management consultant with a special interest in working with organizations focused on sustainable and people- focused strategies. She has extensive experience in tourism planning and marketing across Canada and Eastern US and more recently has been working in a variety of sectors with business leaders committed to change. She is Chair of the St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association focused on building a strong quality of life, sustainable community development and coastal management, including protecting islands in the bay. She has been on the Sea School board since 2004 having previously consulted with the organization. She has also seen the remarkable impact the Sea School has first hand as the parent of a participant. Ella can attest to the profound and positive impact life at sea aboard the Dorothea with trusted instructors and crew can have on the life of a young person. Her own passion extends to the sea having grown up in a sailing family in Nova Scotia.

Mary Sweatman
Board Member

Mary Sweatman joined the Sea School family as a board member in 2013. Mary currently teaches in the Department of Community Development at Acadia University. She is particularly interested in transformative learning experiences, volunteerism and empathy. She has taught in a range of places and spaces, from formal education settings to the woods, from pre-school to university, from environmental education to research methods, from Katmandu to her backyard. As for sailing, she enjoys sailing on her father-in-law's boat in St-Margaret's Bay and hearing about all the Sea School adventures. She resides in the Gasepereau Valley with her partner and two boys.

Laura Barkhouse
Board Member

Laura Barkhouse lives in Lunenburg County and is an avid boater with her family in Mahone Bay. For the past 15 years, she has worked as the Trails and Open Space Coordinator for the District of Lunenburg, and enjoys working closely with volunteer groups.

Judy Robertson
Board Member
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Dayle O'Neil
Operations & Policy Manager, Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University

Dayle is an Operations and Policy Manager in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University and holds a Bachelor of Communications from Boise State University (2002) and a Masters of Public Administration from Dalhousie University (2011). Her professional background includes fund development and project management work in the not-for-profit sector. Her passion for supporting youth led her to join the Sea School Board in 2014.

Board Member
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