Meet the Board
The GCSNet’s directors have been focused on environmental issues and education for many years. They recognize that it is now critical to work collaboratively with others throughout the United States to help our nation to rethink the ways public education serves its crucial role in the development of a sustainable society.
Jim is the President/Executive Director for Green Charter Schools Network/Green Schools National Network and Executive Producer for www.greenschoolsnationalconference.org.
Jim was the founding principal of Oakwood Environmental Education Charter School and EAA STEM Aerospace Charter School. As the Dissemination Coordinator for both charter schools he has worked with Green Environment Focused Schools and STEM Schools across America and developed “How To Become A Green School” online graduate course.
He was awarded the Wisconsin Environmental Education Administrator in 2004. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Education; M. S. in Health & Physical Education; M.S. Educational Administration; Specialist Certification in Education Leadership.
CHUCK WEBER, Utah, Vice-President
Principal of Soldier Hollow Charter School in Midway, Utah, Chuck earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the State University at Oswego, NY, and a master’s degree in education from the University of Utah. He has served as an educator and administrator in elementary and secondary schools and as a higher-education professor. He was nominated by the Utah Education Association and appointed to the Governor’s Committee on Strategic Planning on Site-Based Management of Schools.
JENNY SEYDEL, Wisconsin, Secretary/Treasurer
Jennifer Seydel, Ph.D. is a School Designer with Expeditionary Learning, www.elschools.org. Expeditionary Learning is a national EL school reform model contributing to positive results at scale across urban, rural, and suburban schools, both district and public charter. She has a B.A. in Education, an M.S. in Environmental Education, and holds her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from Antioch Graduate School of New England. Prior to her role with EL, Jennifer was on the faculty at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts and was the director the S.A.G.E. Project, an education reform collaboration among local, state and national organizations.
ALISON SUFFET DIAZ, California, Board Member
Alison Suffet Diaz, Founder and Executive Director of Environmental Charter Schools www.echsonline.org She is responsible for driving strategic development, as well as fundraising, fiscal/capital budget management and oversight of administrative operations. ECS has also developed the Green Ambassador Training Institute to support educators and organizations to replicate the best practices demonstrated at its school. ECHS in Lawndale, California has become an award-winning high school, recognized nationally for its innovative programs. Alison earned her teaching credential from Cal State Dominguez Hills, B.S. in Business from State University of New York, Albany and Juris Doctorate from Temple University Law School.
MARK SORENSEN, Arizona, Board Member
Mark W. Sorensen has been an educational leader of schools serving Navajo students for thirty-six years. His work as Principal, Superintendent, Advisor and Mentor of indigenous schools has focused on improving the quality of Native American and Native Hawaiian education, and on supporting Native American tribes and communities in developing full service, culturally relevant and ecologically sensitive schools. He has a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, and is currently the co-founder, Governing Board President, and Executive Director of The STAR School, the first off-grid solar and wind powered charter school in the U.S.
Susan Gottfried, North Carolina, Board Member
Susan Gottfried, Executive Director, Evergreen Community Charter School in North Carolina, www.evergreenccs.org Evergreen has received the designation of honor school of excellence. She has a B.S. degree in Special Education; M.Ed. in Special Education, Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of NC-Greensboro. Susan has worked as a School Improvement Consultant with the Southern Regional Education Board providing consultation, coaching and professional development to schools across the country implementing the school reform model, High Schools That Work/Making Middle Grades Work. Susan strives to create structures and processes within which her highly skilled and passionate faculty and staff can create magical learning opportunities for children.
SUSAN TOTH, Florida, Board Member
Susan is the Director of Education at the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center/College of Education/Florida Atlantic University, she has been a regional coordinator for educational and professional development programs; and adjunct faculty developing and/or teaching college-level environmental education courses.
Susan has served as a Board member for North American Association for Environmental Education, and has served as a consultant for the Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP), developing and teaching EE courses for a national audience.
She is also the coordinator of the Palm Beach County Green Schools Recognition Program and its annual conference, Learn Green.
GCSNet Co-Founders and Former Directors: Senn Brown, former executive director GCSNet and Wisconsin Charter Schools Association; Doug Thomas, former vice-president GCSNet and executive director EdVisions Schools, Minnesota; Mike Bakalis, president American Quality Schools, Illinois; Jim Tangen Foster, former UW River Falls Instructor, Wisconsin; Sara Laimon, former vice-president GCSNet, founder of Green Ambassadors, California; Oliver Barton, former principal Common Ground (Charter) High School, Connecticut; Julie Spalding, former teacher and co-founder Fox River (Charter) Academy, Wisconsin.