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Melanie van de Water

Board Chair

Melanie van de Water holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Education, Honours Specialist and Master of Education, both from OISE at the University of Toronto, as well as the Principal's Qualification Program (PQP) from York University.  Her teaching career began as an educational intern at Greenwood College School, and took her to Grenoble France, where she taught English.  She has been pleased to have served on the Board of Directors for the Giles School since 2022.

Melanie is an Assistant Head at Branksome Hall in Toronto.  Prior to this she served as the Dean of Students at Holy Trinity School. Melanie oversees the school's Student Life program, managing multiple programs across K-12 including athletics, experiential education, leadership and character development.  The school benefits greatly from her expertise in education and people management. Melanie is a mother of three and in her spare time is a dedicated athlete. Melanie is a competitive swimmer and triathlete, alpine skier and snowboarder and has a passion for travel and culture.  

Lauren Dade

School Culture Portfolio


Lauren Dade joined the Board in February 2019. She received her Doctorate in Psychology from McGill University and has specialized training in Clinical Neuropsychology, and Paediatric Health, Clinical, and School Psychology. She has carried out research at the Rotman Research Institute, worked in the Chronic Pain Clinic at the Hospital for Sick Children, as well on the Developmental and Brain Injury Rehabilitation teams at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She now applies all her skills in her current work as a Psychologist for the Toronto District School Board. She also enjoys teaching and mentoring others, and over the past few years has been involved in the teaching and supervision of Doctoral Psychology Candidates at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.

Finally, she is also on the Board of Directors for Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre, an agency focused on supporting children, youth, and families coping with mental health challenges and developmental issues. Lauren has close ties with the Giles School, having been connected with the school since her eldest child started in Kindergarten and graduated from Giles in 2019. Watching how her two children have grown and developed socially, personally, and intellectually within the academically strong and developmentally nurturing Giles environment has made her a dedicated and long-time supporter of the School.

Vanessa Yanagawa

Vanessa Yanagawa joined the Board in 2023. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN), Juris Doctor (JD), and an LLM specializing in health law. She has extensive experience practicing before various administrative tribunals and courts in Ontario. Currently, she combines her legal and nursing experience by representing regulated health professionals involved in regulatory matters. Her daughter and son both attend The Giles School.

Missy Chau

Nitya Singh

Rajesh Dave


Shirin Gholeizadeh