Cloud Forest School Foundation
The Cloud Forest School Foundation (CFSF) is a not-for-profit educational organization providing support to the Cloud Forest School. It was founded in 1993 to provide the School with an international network of friends, financial support (annual, capital and endowment funds), professional development opportunities, and teacher and volunteer recruitment. The CFSF raised the funds to purchase the current school campus from The Nature Conservancy in 2000 and since then has conducted capital fundraising for the construction of six new classroom buildings, in addition to providing ongoing annual operating support. Additionally, the CFSF publishes The Rainbow, a bi-annual newsletter about the school and its activities. The volunteer Trustees bring hands-on expertise in a variety of fields and travel to Monteverde each March for a joint meeting with the Cloud Forest School Trustees.
The CFSF is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization and accepts tax-deductible gifts at the following address:
Cloud Forest School Foundation
PO Box 3223, Sewanee, TN 37375
Board of TrusteesDr. Mark W. Lauria, Co-President has been the Executive Director for the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) since 2009. NYSAIS is a state association with 194 member schools and organizations throughout the State of New York. Prior to his work with NYSAIS, he served for 13 years as Head of School at a Southern California independent school. In addition to his work as a California Head of School, he was the President of the Board of Directors for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) as well as the Chair of the CAIS Elementary Board of Standards. Currently he is on the Board of Trustees for the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees for the Parents League of New York. Before beginning his independent school service, Dr. Lauria worked in the Ontario-Montclair School District where he was a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of certificated personnel and assistant superintendent. He earned his B.A. in literature and psychology from Claremont McKenna College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in educational administration from Claremont Graduate University. He and his wife, Chris, recently completed a 500-mile pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spain and enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and traveling. Elizabeth M. Lowell, Co-President from Harvard, Massachusetts, is a Partner in Raybin Associates, Inc. (Counsel to Non-Profits). Formerly she was Director of Development at Fay School, Assistant Director of Development at the Lahey Clinic Foundation, and a consultant in planned giving. Her current and recent trusteeships include Friends Academy, Locust Valley, New York and the College of Preachers, Washington, DC.Elizabeth made her first trip to Costa Rica in 1997, when she traveled to Monteverde and learned of the school and its deadline for purchasing the property from The Nature Conservancy. She immediately offered to help raise the funds – and hasn’t stopped since. (B.A. Smith). Mary Bruce Alford, Vice President is a Southeast Field Representative for the Conservation Finance Program at the Trust for Public Land. Mary Bruce is responsible for co-directing the Conservation Almanac, a definitive resource on public spending for land conservation and also helps manage the National Conservation Easement Database. Mary Bruce conducts feasibility research that evaluates the potential of local and state governments to fund programs for land conservation. When a community is ready to pursue conservation finance, Mary Bruce works with state and local governments to help pass ballot measures that create funding for land conservation. Mary Bruce holds a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Sewanee: The University of the South and a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University. Douglas A. Caves, Treasurer is founder, owner, and Vice-Chairman of Laurits R. Christensen Associates, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, an economic consulting company, which employs 60 professional economists. He has published over 40 academic papers in economic journals. A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa, his other charitable boards and activities include Madison Campus Ministry, Boy Scouts of America, and First United Methodist Church. He did volunteer teaching (8th grade) and other projects at the CFS (Centro de Educacion Creativa) during the semester he and his family lived in Monteverde. He is a major supporter of The Nature Conservancy on both the local and national level. (B.A., M.A., Oklahoma State University; Ph.D, University of Wisconsin). Doug Cameron is a retired teacher (7th grade science and 10th grade biology) at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School and outdoor program leader at the University of the South. He has led numerous wilderness trips around the United States for both schools and still conducts courses for Wilderness Medical Associates. More recently, he has led outreach trips for the University of the South to Honduras and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is currently Assistant Fire Chief in Sewanee (33 years), and just retired as a volunteer EMT in Sewanee. He is on the board of the local public education foundation, Leadership Franklin County, Housing Sewanee (a habitat group – in which he is a founding member), The Land Trust for Tennessee, and the Tennessee Environmental Council. (B.A., Harvard).
Mark J. Hatch is currently the Vice President for Enrollment at Colorado College. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Bates College and later served as Assistant Dean of Admission at his alma mater. He left Bates to pursue a graduate degree at Harvard University and concurrently worked in the Harvard Admission Office. He then moved west and served as a college counselor and teacher at Harvard-Westlake School and Marlborough School in Los Angeles. In 1997, Mark retuned to higher education as the Director of Admission at Occidental College. In addition to serving on panels at regional and national conferences, Mark is the former President of the Common Application, Inc, a member organization serving more than 350 colleges and universities. He currently serves on the Board of the High Mountain Institute, a semester program for high school juniors in Leadville, Colorado. Mark is married and has two daughters. In his spare time, he plays competitive ice hockey and is an avid trail/mountain runner and has completed two Pikes Peak Ascents – a 13.3 mile race which gains nearly 8,000 vertical feet and ends at the summit of Pike Peak at 14,110 feet.
Scott Shannon is the Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY, and a registered landscape architect and certified planner. Scott has taught in the Landscape Architecture program at SUNY for over 25 years, and spent a year working with the Sustainable Futures program at the Monteverde Institute, Monteverde, Costa Rica. Scott is a former Fulbright Scholar in urban design in the Czech Republic, and serves on the boards of a number of not-for-profit groups advocating land conservation, historic preservation, and community planning. (BS, BLA, MLA SUNY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry).
Christopher R. Tompkins was appointed Headmaster of The Tatnall School, a PK3-12 independent day school of 600 students, in 2017. Prior to Tatnall, he served as Head of Episcopal Collegiate School and The Perkiomen School. Prior to becoming a Head of School, Tompkins served as Assistant Head of School for Enrollment at Mercersburg Academy. In his 28-year career in independent schools, Tompkins has served as a middle and upper school teacher, director of admissions and financial aid, college counselor, and Assistant Headmaser. Tompkins authored The Croton Dams and Aqueduct, the forward to Behind the Walls, and a chapter on diversity in Second Home. He has also written numerous articles on independent schools, including a feature article on merit aid and net tuition revenue in the Spring 2016 edition of the NAIS Independent School Magazine. Tompkins served on the NAIS SSS Task Force from 2005-2011, was on the board of ADVIS from 2010 to 2015, and president from 2013-2015. In 2013, Tompkins received the Everett E. Gourley Award from the Enrollment Management Association (formerly SSATB). He is a regular speaker on the independent school circuit and was a founding trustee of the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals. He currently is serving his second term on the Board of the Montgomery School in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. Tompkins holds a BA from Colby College, his MSSc from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and certificates from Cornell, Harvard, Richmond, and the Klingenstein Center of Columbia University.
Stephen Watters is Headmaster of The Green Vale School, Glen Head, New York. He served as Director, Middle School, William Penn Charter School, Philadelphia, and taught five years at Kingswood-Oxford School, North Hartford. He is on the boards of the Pennsylvania Association of Private Academic Schools, Friends Council of Education, and Philadelphia Council of Women in Independent Schools. He directed the Quebec-Labrador Mission Friends Camp in Mic-Mac-Malisett for Native American children, ran the SPHERE Program, and coordinated a program for adolescent girls in the public and private schools of Hartford, Connecticut. (B.A. Denison University, MAT University of Massachusetts, Amherst).