Canada’s Forest Trust Appoints the First Board Members to its Education Advisory Board

Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

OTTAWA, Nov. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada’s Forest Trust (CFT) announced the appointment of the first members to join its Education Advisory Board (EAB), chaired by Tam Matthews, former Head of School at the West Point Grey Academy and past Chair of the Board of Directors at the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). Joining Tam are Michèle Andrews, Co-Founder & Executive Director of, and Patsy Agard, Principal with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and current President of the Ontario Principals Council.

The research is clear. Youth climate anxiety is on the rise – a CAMH study of 2,225 grades 7 to 12 Ontario students revealed that 50% were worried about climate change, and this made them feel depressed about their future. CFT’s School Smart Forest program provides students with the opportunities to take climate action into their own hands to help reduce climate anxiety and make a lasting impact on the planet.

The EAB supports the School Smart Forest program in developing world-class opportunities for schools, students, teachers, and administrators to combat climate change and develop unique leadership skills. A combined passion for the environment and student engagement along with their wealth of education sector knowledge, make Tam, Michèle, and Patsy valuable additions to the CFT advisory team.

"I am honoured to welcome the expertise of Michèle and Patsy to the Education Advisory Board. The addition of their passion and expertise is essential for the long-term growth of the School Smart Forest program,” said Tam Matthews. “I look forward to leading the board and working with members to supercharge the program’s impact on students, schools, and communities across Canada.”

“The EAB will influence all aspects of CFT’s programming. With the addition of some of Canada’s most highly respected education professionals, CFT is building a powerful advisory board to advance climate leadership opportunities for youth across Canada," said Gary Zed, Founder and CEO of CFT.

As CFT continues to grow its forests, programs, and impact on the planet, they invite elementary and secondary educators who are interested in joining the board to send their CVs to

Meet the Advisors:

Tam Matthews has a long history with independent schools, as a student, teacher, school administrator, and Head. Following five years in international banking, Tam began his educational career at Upper Canada College, as a history teacher and then Associate Director of Guidance. In 1989, he became Director of Admissions at Lakefield College School.

Between 1996 and 2019, Tam held the position of Head of School at Albert College, Ashbury College, and West Point Grey Academy. Tam retired in 2019 to start an education consulting business, with a focus on independent school leadership, management, and governance.

Tam served on numerous educational and community boards and is a past Chair of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS), and the Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC), and sat on the board of the ​​Canadian Olympic Committee. He is also a three time Olympian.

Michèle Andrews is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of - a not-for-profit working to provide practical inspiration for the transition to a just, beautiful, and regenerated world. Michèle is leading the Climate Action Accelerator Program for K-12 schools in Canada. Now entering its second year, the program engages senior administrators, faculty, facilities, student leaders, and others to learn together and engage their communities, transforming their schools into hubs of inspiration for climate action and sharing their learning as leaders in climate action in the K-12 sector.

Michèle has a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen's University, and a Masters in Education from OISE/University of Toronto. She has worked in strategy, leadership, and organizational development in the private and not-for-profit sectors. She was the lead administrator at the Toronto Waldorf School, a pre-K through Grade 12 independent school. She is a volunteer ambassador for the International Living Future Institute, a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps, and a community organizer.

Patsy Agard has spent over 30 years in public education. She first started teaching with the Peel District School Board and then moved to the Toronto Board where she spent 17 years as a teacher, vice-principal and principal. Patsy subsequently moved to Ottawa as a Principal and opened Longfields-Davidson Heights, the board’s first 7–12 school. Prior to her secondment as President of the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), she was the Principal at Lisgar Collegiate, the oldest school in eastern Ontario.

Patsy started with the OPC as a Provincial Counsellor and then co-chaired Bytown association in Ottawa. She was a Provincial Councillor, a member of the Provincial Executive, and then started her term as Provincial President.

About Canada’s Forest Trust
Canada’s Forest Trust (CFT) is a social enterprise that offers a nature-based solution to capture carbon by building Smart Forests™. CFT’s mission is to grow, preserve and protect millions of acres of forests worldwide in collaboration with our program participants, who include: businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, charities, communities, Indigenous communities and individuals. Our Forever Forest Guarantee™ ensures that every Smart Forest is measured, monitored and maintained following industry-leading silviculture practices. Smart Forests sequester CO2, rehabilitate ecosystems, engage Indigenous communities, and boost the green economy. Smart Forests are smart investments for you and the planet.

Media Contact:
Taylor Piotrowski, Manager, Marketing and Communications