Colin Guthrie

Vice Chair

For 18+ years Colin has worked in the general area of health and human performance, specifically in the areas of leadership development and executive coaching, human factors and assistive technology, professional sport, sport psychology and experiential education. His focus is to coach elite performers in business or sport and lead them to deliver high performance under pressure and on demand.  Colin earned a Ph.D. in Behavioural Studies/Kinesiology and a Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies from Temple Univ. in PA, and completed a Bachelor & Master’s of Science in Kinesiology  from Dalhousie Univ.  Colin holds an adjunct faculty position at Dalhousie.  Colin’s recent clients in leadership development include Nova Scotia Power, Bangor Hydro and Electric, Nautel Ltd, Highliner Foods, First On Site Restoration, and the Canadian Sailing Team.

Colin volunteers his time with disability advocacy groups and remains active in the local sailing community. He promotes sailing at the grass roots level through club programs as well as not-for-profit organizations such as the Nova Scotia Sea School.


Maggy Burns

Board Chair

Maggy is an experienced coach, facilitator and strategic thinker who is passionate about organizational excellence. She has worked in the non-profit sector in NS for the past two decades spanning sub-sectors including environment, entrepreneurship, international development, youth and experiential education. For the past ten years she was the Managing Director at the Ecology Action Centre. She currently leads a project at the YWCA Halifax focused on careers for women in the trades Her passion for the NS Sea School emerged while on a Sea School professional enrichment trip in 2005 and has only deepened as she has gotten to know the organization.


Peter Edwards

Board Treasurer

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 professional 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 the Chartered Business Valuation designation (2018).  He has volunteered services for various non-profit organizations with interests in mental health and youth causes.


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Phoebe Owen


Phoebe has been involved with the Sea School since 2003, when she went on her first 10-day sailing expedition on Dorothea. She returned for numerous trips following that one, sailing as Leading Crew, working in the office as the Enrollment Coordinator from 2007-2011, and as Bosun in 2014. Her Sea School experiences led to time spent working as a deckhand on a tall ship in Australia and to completing an NSCC diploma in wood products manufacturing technology. She has held coordination and project management roles with the Halifax Sexual Health Centre, the Ecology Action Centre, and Simple Square Web Design and is currently completing a BSc in Health Promotion at Dalhousie University. She joined the Sea School board in 2018 and is excited to be involved with the organization in a new capacity.


Ella McQuinn

Director at Large

Ella McQuinn is a business coach and management consultant working with organizations focused on purpose driven strategies. She works with a variety of owners and senior leaders in a variety of sectors committed to change and making a difference in their roles. She sits on a variety of non profit boards focused on leadership, sustainable community development and coastal conservation. She has been on the board of the Sea School since 2004 and is also the parent of a Sea School participant, which has allowed her to see the remarkable impact the program has on young people. Her own passion extends to the sea having grown up in a sailing family in Nova Scotia.


Rachel Zellars

Director at Large

Originally a farm girl from upstate New York, Rachel B. Zellars is a lawyer and assistant professor in the Department of Social Justice and Community Studies at Saint Mary’s University.  Dr. Zellars’ research focuses, broadly, on the histories of anti-black schooling segregation in Canada; migration and slavery in the Maritimes and throughout the Atlantic world from the 18th century; and the historical impact of gender violence in the lives of Black women.

Dr. Zellars’ community work focuses on supporting survivors of gender violence; researching and supporting community accountability structures within Black communities; and working to transform small-scale social conditions that nurture and sustain violence within communities. She co-founded the transformative justice hub, Third Eye Collective, in 2013. She formerly served as the Executive Director of a national organization for girls and young women and also served as director of The Green School, an alternative, earth-focused French Montessori school from 2007-2014.

Dr. Zellars is also a nationally recognized expert in implicit bias who researches the relationship between bias and anti-blackness. She is a sought-after facilitator for organizations, not for profits, schools, and universities. Dr. Zellars has regularly facilitated critical implicit bias trainings throughout Canada since 2012, and also works as an implicit bias consultant for the Canadian Human Rights Commission.


Michael Mason

Director at Large

Mike Mason is a high school administrator in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.  He became involved with the Nova Scotia Sea School while he was principal of Highbury Education Centre, an alternative, experiential high school that meets the needs of high risk youth through outdoor and adventure based education.  Through this partnership, he has witnessed first-hand how the programs offered through the Sea School can have a positive and life changing impact on its participants with benefits extending well beyond the boat.  Mike is passionate about providing meaningful learning experiences to marginalized students who may struggle to succeed in the traditional education system as well as reducing the barriers for youth to access adventure and wilderness based educational opportunities.  Mike joined the Sea School board of directors in 2019 and is excited to contribute to this great organization!

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Anna Naylor

Director at Large



Jamie MacDonald

Director at Large

Jamie was born and raised in the coastal community of Inverness, Nova Scotia. He is passionate about outdoor activities particularly hiking, canoeing and biking. He strongly believes in the personal growth and confidence-building that sailing provides to young adults through teamwork, relationships and the unique experience that Sea School provides. He has for many years been involved in a community service organization focused on those in need of food and shelter. Jamie is a professional engineer and graduated from St F X University and Dalhousie University (formerly TUNS) with a degree in engineering. He has worked in heavy industry in Manitoba, Michigan and Nova Scotia and now is currently in a senior leadership role with Nova Scotia Power.