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Rainbow Cloud Forest School Foundation • FALL 2009

Founded in 1991 by local parents committed to quality education for their children, the Cloud Forest School is an independent school located on 106 acres of cloud forest land in Monteverde, Costa Rica. 226 students matriculate in Preschool–Grade 11 with 35 full and/or part-time staff. Most classes are taught in English, so that students are fluent in both their native Spanish and in English. The curriculum is webbed around the environment, with all grades involved in land stewardship. The local Board of Trustees determines policy and maintains close communication with the Cloud Forest School Foundation, the 501(c)(3) support organization in the United States which does much of the fundraising for the school’s operating, capital, and endowment needs.

The Cloud Forest School: A Unique Experience B y : S C O T T S H A N N O N , P R e s i d e nt o f th e c l o u d f or e st schoo l f o u n d at i on

Like many of us who work with the Cloud Forest School Foundation (CFSF), I discovered the school by surprise. In the summer of 2002, I first visited Monteverde as a visiting landscape architecture professor at the Monteverde Institute, where I helped teach a course in sustainable design and community planning. As it happened, one of our projects centered on assisting the Cloud Forest School/Centro de Educación (CFS/CEC) to develop a master plan for the build out of their central campus. Immediately, the school captured both our students’ and my imagination – this was a place that didn’t just foster a unique learning ­environment, it aspired to model a brighter and greener future for the community and all the families touched by it. I suppose it was inevitable that over the next five summers of teaching at the Monteverde Institute(MVI), I would repeatedly be drawn back to the Cloud Forest School (CFS/CEC), sometimes to help with a design suggestion, or a construction issue, or just to see how the school was doing and to say “hi” to some of the people I’d met there. When there was an opening on the Foundation board in 2004, I gladly volunteered to help, particularly with a mind to seeing some of the long term ideas in the campus master plan through to construction. 2006 brought an entirely different exposure to the CFS/CEC, however, one that continues to shape my commitment to both the school and the people who are a part of it. I took a [Continued on PAGE 2]

Cloud Forest School Foundation Mission: Cloud Forest School Foundation (CFSF) is a not-for-profit educational organization providing support to the Cloud Forest School known locally as the Centro de Educación Creativa (CEC), a bilingual, environmentally focused school in Monteverde, Costa Rica. CFSF strives to provide CFS with an international network of friends, financial support, professional development opportunities, and teacher and volunteer recruitment. The CFS admits students of any race, color and national and ethnic origin.

Scott Shannon and son, Niall

Niall Shannon Continued from page 1 sabbatical leave from my position with the State University of New York, and moved my family to the cloud forest for a year while I worked on projects with MVI. My son Niall, then 8, attended third grade at the CFS/CEC, and it remains the year he uses as a benchmark for his “ideal” school experience. The combination of a superb young teacher in Jesse Greist, and the comparative freedom afforded a “kid in the cloud forest” was ideal for my son. He still chafes at the teachers here in upstate New York who, while well meaning, cannot tolerate his love for climbing trees, cultivated by practically living in them during recess at the CFS/CEC! In addition to gaining an appreciation for all things arboreal, Niall picked up a practical knowledge of Spanish,

In an effort to save paper we would like to provide you with the ­option to receive a PDF copy of The Rainbow by e-mail. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please e-mail or call Mary Bruce Alford at, 601-665-4672 2

a deep appreciation for nature and ecology, and a love of reading that will each serve him a lifetime. He ­arrived reading little more than Dr. Suess, and he left reading Harry Potter and National Geographic. Academically, it was a great year for Niall, but culturally, it was every bit as formative. He struggled at first with making friends, in that we lived in a predominantly Tico neighborhood in Santa Elena, and his developing Spanish skills left him uncomfortable with the kids near our home. But by the time we left a year later, he spent almost every afternoon out exploring with two CFS/CEC classmates, Rider and Roxane. Seeing the CFS/CEC working up close, participating in school events, helping out with the Carrera – all these things have reinforced my initial impressions of the school. Over the years, I keep seeing how valuable

the CFS/CEC is to everyone it touches – the teachers, their families, the people who work in the office and on the grounds, and particularly, the kids who get an education that isn’t just unusual, it is really quite unique. It certainly isn’t perfect – the CFS/ CEC ­suffers all the little crises and dramas that any school does, and sometimes even more, in that finances are always seemingly hanging on a shoestring and a prayer. But in the end, it remains a remarkable part of a remarkable place, and an unbelievably important ­c ommunity asset. That’s why I’ve been a member of the CFSF these past several years, and why I became president this past summer – The Cloud Forest School may always be a bit of a work in progress, but it is one worth continuing to support and champion as an investment in the future of a truly special place and its people.

Rainbow Published by: The Cloud Forest School Foundation P.O. Box 3223 Sewanee, TN 37375 601.665.4672 E-mail: Web:

Editors: Katie Filardo, Mary Priestley, Mary Bruce Alford and Elizabeth Lowell. Designers: Dan Reiff and Susan Blettel Printed on recycled paper. Please recycle.

Cloud Forest School Foundation

Alternative Energy at The Cloud Forest School By

S t u art

G l e ason


very day the earth provides ­bountiful educational opportunities at The Cloud Forest School (CFS). ­Students learn that only eight minutes ago, 193 million miles away a fusion reaction provided the Kiosk at the CFS with the energy to turn on the lights. Or that vegetable oil used to lightly simmer last night’s platanos will be processed and used today to fuel the school buses. A lesson in pressure systems explains how the blades of the CFS’s newest wind turbine spins, providing most of the electrical requirements of the Colegio during times of high winds. Finally, the school will use noninvasive wetland plants to set the stage for the future greywater treatment system. The sun, as if it has not contributed enough, will continue to give by warming the water to be contained in the upcoming solar hot water unit to be installed at the Colegio. Although these alternative energy projects have provided unique hands-on educational opportunities for students, they have also needed some care. Through private donations, a Coordinator of Sustainable Technologies has been introduced to the school. This year, Stuart Gleason, a Mechanical Engineer, is focusing on the existing renewable energy installations, developing a future project that will complement this incredible location, and most importantly he will research how to fund this position for years to come. Momentum is picking up quickly with the construction of the wind turbine and from two grants that have been awarded to the school to aid in alternative energy projects. The first grant was awarded from Bosqueterno S.A. (BESA), a local organization involved in the preservation of the watershed. This grant will be used to treat the greywater produced on campus. Passive gravel filters and artificial wetlands will be the chosen mechanism to clean this wastewater. The second grant was awarded from the Cottonwood Foundation to develop a solar hot water system and shelter for the school’s recycling center. The hot water unit will work in coordination with the wind turbine to take advantage of dissipated heat formed from excess electricity. How’s that for efficient?

Wind Turbine Generator The existing alternative energy projects are being considered as well. The biodiesel facility needs attention in order to increase efficiency and produce a higher quality fuel. Incorporating improved processing techniques and upgrades in equipment can get this program up to speed and put fuel back in the school’s bus fleet before the year’s end. The solar panel system is working well. The Kiosk is 100 percent off the grid. This is a great start. The school should continue to strive for energy independence, one building at a time. While these technologies have obvious benefits to the campus, the methods that are used to implement them have greater meaning. The installations on campus are demonstration units. They will show how sustainable and renewable efforts can be tailored to this specific location and built with materials and construction techniques on hand. With these demonstrations we hope that students and the community learn to implement the same techniques in their homes and businesses. In this way Monteverde can become more energy efficient and independent.

Become a Member of 1% For the Planet! The Cloud Forest School is an approved non-profit parti­ci­pant of the organization 1% for the Planet. 1% for the Planet was founded in 2002 with the mission to “build and support an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet.” The organization is a global network with over 1,100 members to date representing 37 countries. By becoming a member of 1% for the Planet, not only are you making a commitment to the planet, but also with that membership you are effectively adding your voice to the movement, believing that all businesses should give back. Members establish relationships directly with the approved non-profits of their choice, providing the opportunity to donate throughout the year. Please consider a membership with 1% for the Planet and a chance to support the Cloud Forest School.



A Day in the Life of a CFS Intern By

C hr i st i n e



start my day at 4:45 am. My alarm goes off, I wobble out of bed, and put on my sneakers, stretch pants, and t-shirt to begin my day with a power walk with my host mom from Bajo Cementerio, through Los Llanos, and up to Santa Elena. We talk about various things and get to know each other a little better everyday. I practice my Spanish as well. Upon return, I wait in line to use the bathroom. With two other sisters in the house, getting ready for school can be tricky. At around 6:50 am, breakfast is served.  Yummy smells of gallo pinto, eggs, garlic bread, pancakes, agua dulce, hot chocolate, coffee, and various other things usually fill the air; this is my favorite meal of the day. After eating, I scramble up the hill to the stop of the Cementerio bus with

my host sister and am greeted by our usual bus driver. About 10 minutes later, I arrive at the Cloud Forest School. I walk through the campus to the picnic tables outside the office and greet the other interns and teachers gathered there. Soon after we make our way to our respective classrooms. I work with the 3rd grade class. Liz Irvine and I start the day off with a morning brainteaser followed by our daily exercise sequence at the meadow. We return to form a circle, have class meetings, and complete

the calendar exercise, which involves different activities every week. Throughout the day the students have writers’ workshop, readers’ workshop, Spanish, math, theme (such as geography and landforms or maps), and either art, physical education, or environmental education. Liz and I also read aloud books and play community-building games; free time is granted as well when the class works together as a community. Community is important here. On Monday mornings, the school holds a peace circle and on Friday mornings a community sing so that everyone can come together twice every week. There is hardly a moment where I am not busy doing something. I lead guided reading groups, take individual students out of the classroom for one-on-one help, help Liz prepare for future projects, and have even substitute taught the 3rd grade. At CFS, I am able to take Spanish class as well. And to satisfy my athletic nature, on Friday afternoons, another intern and I promote girl empowerment by teaching Colegio girls how to play volleyball and soccer through an all girls sports club.

There is hardly a moment where I am not busy doing something. After school, I usually walk home, alongside the other interns. We stop in Chunches to use the Internet, get ice cream together, or take yoga classes. We have planned trips to Playa Samara and to hot springs via horseback rides. During the September break we were able to visit Nicaragua and are going to Panama during the October break. Every night I come home to my host family, some of the nicest people I have ever met. The family is huge, something I really enjoy, coming from a small family. We chat for hours over coffee and banana bread, which helps me with my Spanish skills. We watch movies together, go for walks, play games Christine Cruz working with the CFS third grade class


[Continued on back cover]

Cloud Forest School Foundation

Donors to the Cloud Forest School and the Cloud Forest School Foundation July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009


he Cloud Forest School community is the fortunate beneficiary of support from friends around the globe. Donors this year supported the annual operating budget, providing funds for classroom supplies and ­environmental education, and augmented the growing faculty endowment. Other donors gave their time, energy and talent to assist teachers and students, build and repair trails, organize after-school activities, raise scholarship funds, weed the organic flower beds and vegetable garden, donate travel miles … the list is endless. All of these gifts are essential to the life and health of the school. Your contributions are interwoven into the school community. All that you offer is invaluable as we seek to sustain and enhance the work that we do with the environmental stewards of tomorrow. We are grateful beyond measure.

Patrocinio Patrocinos contribute all or partial tuition fees for specific students directly to the Cloud Forest School.

Ms. Carolyn Ames Anonymous (9) Nicole Belanger Marlys Bowman Jessica Tiegs & Proctor Chambless Jr. Jennifer Cordeau Os Cresson Jay Delaney Jim Dougherty Jan Drake-Lowther Jennette Affleck and Strom Eddy Arin Schwartz & Thomas Floyd Janice Fritzmeier David & Kay Green & David Green Jr. Rita Hartman Charlotte Hessey Mark & Bonnie Horbal Lauren Brown Hornor Jarrell Family Anmari Kicza Rebekah & Dan Kinsella


Sidney McClure Kathleen Misak Dr. Rebecca Nelson Emily A Nolte Andrea Paltzer Marianne Paltzer Suzanne Helen Robson Michael Sgoutas Rada Doytcheva & Jina Son Sarah Strozinski Peter Studer Victoria Sutcliffe Meg Troha Barbara Walsh Libby Willig Wetherill Winder Plant-A-Donation Hazel Alvarez Bellport Methodist Preschool Mr. & Mrs. Allan Birnbaum Laurie Kutner & Devin de Burlo Dan Sullivan & Karen Dillman Susan L. Berry & Debbie Flagg Quaker Hill Foundation Leslie W. Gordon

Ms. Arjuna Greist John Hudson Ms. Eileen Charles Hyatt Tanny Jones Mr. Andrew Kidde Ms. Jean Kuntz Kathleen Leach Matthew W. H. Lohrentz Erica Lonesome Ms. Tracey Reisert & The Lynbrook Kindergarden Center Mr. & Mrs. Richard Mathewson Mr. & Mrs. Robert McCoy Mr. & Mrs. Gary H. Noren Riley T. Pratt Jim & Phebe Richards Maria Rudzinski Robin Kropp & Russell Scott Elizabeth Titone Mr. & Mrs. Steve Troester Mr. Peter Uglesich David Haskell & Sarah Vance Claudia J. Gallison & David K. Winchester Wetherill Cresson Winder Dr. & Mrs. Reinhard Zachau


Donors to the Cloud Forest School and the Cloud Forest School Foundation

Scholarship Walk - Monteverde Mr. & Mrs. Steve Ahl Hazel Alvarez Amy Elizabeth Andersen Anonymous (10) Mrs. Marion G. Beasley Ms. Christine Gove Berg Ms. Sally Bl&-Boice Mrs. Susan Bluhm Becky J. Brown & Kenneth Bro Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Caudill Ms. Julia Chamberlain Ms. Helen B. Dauer Dr. & Mrs. James Davidheiser Dan Sullivan & Karen Dillman Quaker Hill Foundation Mrs. Ann L. Gottert Ellen Greist Mr. & Mrs. Martin R. Haase Ms. Lee Mason & Mr. Peter Hamlin Robert Gips & Karen Harris Homewood of the Religious Society of Friends Select Equity Group, INC. Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Irvine Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Nash Ms. Myrtis Keppler Janet Kilton Rebekah E. Kinsella Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Kollman Mr. Eugene Kroch Mr. Ronald Lee Ms. Joanne Lehner Michelle Liebetreu Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Little Ms. Elizabeth M. Lowell Rebecca Goertzel & Anthony A. Mann Susan V. Marcquenski Mr. & Mrs. Richard Mathewson Anne Megargel Carolyn B. Metcalf Dr. Stephen Miller & Ms. Katie Lehman Miller Ms. Ernestine Olson Charlotte R. Opie Ms. May Pendergrass Marcia J. Penner Christopher S. Fowler & Leticia Perlaza Caroline D. Ready Jim & Phebe Richards


Ms. Anne H. Richards Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Rymph St. Andrew's - Sewanee School The Catlin Gabel School Robin Kropp & Russell Scott Andrea & Marino Serra Ms. Janet K. Smith Mr. & Mrs. Edward B. Stevens Elizabeth Titone Thurston & Bertha Roberts' Charitable Trust Mr. Peter Uglesich Ms. Linda Versage Mr. Don Wallis Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Watters Jeana Kimball & John Weeks Louise M. Miner & Rob Wilcox Wetherill Cresson Winder Dr. & Mrs. Harry Yeatman Textbooks Dr. Leslie Burlingame Ms. Elizabeth M. Lowell General Support Amy Elizabeth Andersen Sue Ann Andrews Anonymous (11) Mr. & Mrs. Edward D. Ariail Mr. & Mrs. Garnett Ashby Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Aten Mr. & Mrs. Robert A. Ayres Mr. Daniel Backlund Mr. & Mrs. Clay Bailey Joan S. Beane Mr. James W. Behnke Mr. & Mrs. Ennals Berl II Ms. Harriett S. Beury Ms. Sally Bl&-Boice Mrs. Susan Bluhm Mr. & Mrs. Robert E. Bonaparte Lisa Brunette Dr. Leslie Burlingame Mr. & Mrs. C. Russell de Burlo Jr. Dr. Ruth Buskirk Mr. & Mrs. Doug Cameron Mr. & Mrs. David G. Carpentier Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Caudill Mr. & Mrs. Doug Caves Jim Christensen Dr. & Mrs. James Clayton

Rebecca Cole Dr. Virginia O. Craighill Mr. & Mrs. Charles N. Cranmer Osborn Cresson Mrs. Virginia David Dr. & Mrs. Robert Degen Patricia S. O'Carroll & William T. Degnan Dan Sullivan & Karen Dillman Ms. Phyllis Dolhinow Mrs. Melanie Dragan Mr. & Mrs. Mel Duncan Mr. & Mrs. Woodson Duncan Dr. & Mrs. John Flynn Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Forrest Fischer-Bauer-Knirps Foundation Karuna Foundation Quaker Hill Foundation The Cottonwood Foundation The Lumpkin Family Foundation The Mobil Foundation, Inc. The Nichols Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Gordon Frankie William & Razelle Frankl Fund Dr. Sybil Terres Gilmar Ms. Karen Hadley Reed Handley Karen Harris & Robert Gips Mr. Frederick Wall & Ms. Joan Hessidence The Rev. & Mrs. William H. Hethcock Tom & Sue Hillhouse Ms. Susan Hughes Dr. Ruth Sanchez Imizcoz Mrs. Marjean Ingalls Jessica J. Johnsrud J. Tim Parsons & Anne Judson Mr. & Mrs. Michael Kahn Dr. & Mrs. Robert Keele Ann Kellogg Jeffrey J. Hanten & Catherine A. Kimball Mr. & Mrs. F. J. King Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Krone Ms. Jean D. LaManna Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Little Mr. Karl P. Long Ms. Gail Lovejoy Ms. Elizabeth M. Lowell Ms. Pamela L. Lytle Mr. James M. Malkowski Mr. & Mrs. Carl E. Malouf

Cloud Forest School Foundation

Donors to the Cloud Forest School and the Cloud Forest School Foundation

Rebecca Goertzel & Anthony A. Mann Ms. Christine D. Manwaring Gary E. Stout & Paulette J. Marasco Mr. & Mrs. Carl Mathews Joshua L. Miner IV & Mary Braaten Miner Mrs. Phebe S. Miner Ms. C. Nelle Alexander & Mr. John S. Miner Dr. Eric Naylor Deborah Schimberg & Kevin M. Neel Charles & Rachael Neill Mr. & Mrs. Henry Nennstiel Mr. & Mrs. John Ogden Jr. Ms. Ann Oliver Ms. Mary O'Neill Mrs. Nancy Orshefsky Mrs. Mary Helen Paul Eric Piotrowski Mr. & Mrs. Harold Porcher Dr. & Mrs. Bran Potter Dr. & Mrs. William Priestley

Mr. & Mrs. David J. Prockop Mrs. Upshur Puckette Mr. Michael Jawetz & Ms. Margreta Purcell Caroline D. Ready Martha Miller & Steve Ricci Jim & Phebe Richards Ms. Joanne Richards The Rev. Ramona Rose-Crossley Mr. Roger J. Rosen Ms. Ilse Ross Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Rymph Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Schaaf Bill Schuler Mr. Richard G. Schulze Ms. Irma Scudder David Sobel Mr. & Mrs. Donald Stearns Emily Christine Teasley Mr. & Mrs. Eric Telfer Mr. & Mrs. Guerry R. Thornton Jr.

Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Tompkins Dr. Charles D. Brockett & Dr. Heather Tosteson University of Vermont Jeana Kimball & John Weeks Loren Weybright Mr. W. Janney Wilson Mr. Wallace Wilson Mrs. Marie Woods David Caponera & Mamie L. Wytrwal Dr. & Mrs. Harry Yeatman Sarah Zapolsky Wetherill Cresson Winder

We have endeavored to ensure the accuracy of our donor list and apologize for any errors we may have made inadvertently. Please send corrections to Tracie Sherrill at

volunteers, interns and GROUPS at the Cloud Forest School 2008–2009 Volunteers Hazel Alvarez Adrienne Attorp Andrew Arnold Jesse Christensen Leslie Corrales Melanie Crawford Rachel Croitoru Megan Dingwall Danielle Dutot Erik Enbody Michal Fagrelius Lou Germunden Stu Gleason William Grayson Vannessa Hamblet Eileen Hanlon Yusha Hu Evan Harvey Hugh Honsberger Gerardo Solano Jara Katie Johnson Nick Joslin

Hannah Lapalombara Rebecca Losik Artie Karp Erin Kelley S. Eben Kirksey Isa Mora Barbara Naess Lauritz Naess Marco Naess Michael Oddy Linda Pannozzo Jasmin Pannozzo-Oddy Carol Pellesier David Samson Lea Scholtysik Conor Shea Hannah Smith Deb & Barb Thompson Lorenzo Vargas Susan Allen-Warren Pete Young Willow Zuchowski

Interns Allison Bachofner Tanya Carey Debra Felix David Gilbert Lindsey Enns Ruth Fenwick Charlotte Haselden Amy Hollander Lindsay Jones Stacey Katz Ashley Klassen Macy Kozar Annie Laser Jane Manby Ryan Patterson Caitlin Elizabeth Payne Rachel Simon Kathryn Stewart-Smith Britt Stromberg Matt Reimer Elizabeth Hollyn Romeyn Curtis Walker Robert Winston

Groups Abington Friends School, Jenkintown, PA Bank Street Teachers, New York, NY The Blackman Family Catlin Gabel School, Portland, OR CIEE, Portland, ME Madison Kiwanis, Madison, MN Education Without Borders, Vancouver, BC Geographic Expeditions, San Francisco, CA Green Magic Tours Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, PA National Geographic Student Photography Program Sandy Springs Friends School, Sandy Springs, MD Science Leadership Academy of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA University of San Diego Masters in Counseling Program, San Diego, CA

The Cloud Forest School Foundation would like to thank Dan Reiff (Graphic Designer) and Tracie Sherrill (CFSF Administrator) for their work on behalf of the Cloud Forest School. They graciously donate their time and skills to make the publication of The Rainbow possible.



Reforestation Assessment By

K at i e

F i l ar d o

an d

A nna



ine years into our reforestation program the CFS is still in the early stages of restoring the cloud forest ecosystem.  To make a more accurate assessment and to teach high school students more about the science of restoration ecology, we established a class in 2009 for the students to monitor the CFS’s reforestation program.  We wanted the students to learn about field ecology, project design, and critical thinking. To do the assessment, we used the criteria of the Society for Ecological Restoration (2004) for evaluating restoration sites as a guideline. The students read and evaluated a research proposal for the project. The high school science teacher (Anna Mello), land manager (Milton Brenes), and a Washington University doctoral student (Patricia Townsend), worked with high school students to develop simple techniques to evaluate their reforestation efforts. Students went into reforestation areas twice a week for 3 months using different parameters to measure canopy development, plant diversity, and the transition from pasture to forest.  Part of the plan was for students to experience the difficulties of vigorous fieldwork, which includes figuring things out in the field. How do you measure the height of a tree that was blown over by the wind? How do you distinguish between similar species of herbaceous plants? How do you measure the height of a tree that is taller than your head? The students worked with their math teacher to use trigonometry to measure the height of many of the trees with a ­clinometer.

A selection of poems written by high school students at the Cloud Forest School: Where Brown Jays Call The sun shines hard on my round form, a breeze gently brushes my orange skin, my companions are calm, like myself, I couldn’t imagine a better day to be alive, human hands find me, and I get torn apart from my stem, separated from those similar to me, what a terrifying pain! I moan goodbye to my home, the hands carry me away, I am locked in a cage of fingers, hands toss me in the air, I am dropped to the ground, and hear, “Leave it to the birds,” so I lie and wait for my time to come, appreciating the many wonders, this cloud forest presents, brown jays call and I know that soon, my seeds will be dispersed around this natural place. – Eduardo Belmar

My life as a flower

How do you measure the height of tree that is taller than your head?

I am a gorgeous flower My skin is like a delicate silk I get lots of visits butterflies and humming birds sit on my body And admire my bright colors and wonderful smell and taste They each take a little sugar out of me Humans cut me And put me in a vase. – Catalina Arevalo

Overall, the students enjoyed the experience and they gained insight into the scientific process, the value of learning from failures, and the joys of documenting success. The CFS is continuing with its reforestation ­assessment class to teach the students about the science of restoration ecology and to start a long-term data set that can inform the CFS’s reforestation practices for years to come.


Cloud Forest School Foundation

HOPE I am here, In the middle of nowhere, Alone, Watching the children across the forest, Playing, Screaming, My blooming seeds flying with the wind, Leaving me alone, My shining green falls apart I am underground, Everything is so different here, Dark, Cold, Lonely, I wait for rain to come Conserving all my faith and hope All my impatience I feel my surroundings moisten, Rain has come. Little by little I come out from the soil. I feel the soft wind on my leaves again, I start to become a new flower Full of life. Ready to give the world all my beautiful things.

Waiting For Life Leaning alone, All the time, alone Waiting and waiting for someone, someone to pick me up Someone who wants me, who needs me, even if it’s just for a minute, just for a second That’s my life, based on the wish that at least for an instant, I’m not a piece of wood That for an instant I’m significant, I’m a tool, So please pick me up and throw me in the air Please give me that freedom – Benjamin Anz. Lohss

– Nohelia Vargas

The perfect beauty I love the irresistible smoothness I can feel When I look at the snow white petals Of the glorious flower The sun made his way through the foliage To illuminate her Like it was the only one on earth A unique flower, a perfect flower In the middle of a busy green forest This moment I will never forget, My green shiny eyes concentrate on her, The smallest piece of beauty I have ever seen.

My Stone As I wander through the woods, Something catches my eye. White as snow, feel of chalk. My stone. Does not belong in these woods, It should be on a sandy beach, a reminder of the home I left, the beach I left. My stone. This tiny little reminder, Left for only me to find, To remind me that I’m not so far away. A perfect surprise for a homesick girl. My stone. Imagine, If I hadn’t found this rock in these woods, I might’ve been a different girl, Hiding away from all new chances. My stone. Has helped me find new friends, And a new way to think. – Hayley Stancil, 8th grade

– Jocy Mena Mora



New Staff at The Cloud Forest School By

K at i e

f i l ar d o ,

D e v e l opm e nt

Gabriel Barrantes joined the CFS as the sub-director of the high school at the end of last year. He has worked in education for 13 years. He taught Physical Education and Music to high school students, but has primarily taught high school math. He has been the sub director and then director of a local private school for the past 9 years, all the while teaching math to adults in the evenings. Gabriel has a B.A. in Administration from the ­U ni­ versidad Adventista de Centro America. Sadie Misizin-Cullumber is CFS’s new high school English teacher. Sadie has taught high school English grades 9-12 for the past 7 years in San Diego, Cali­ fornia. She also has counsel­ing credentials. In addition to teach­ ing English, Sadie has taught test


C oor d i nator

prep tools and college prep courses that focus on study skills and college entrance. Sadie went to school at University of Cali­ fornia, San Diego and studied writing and education. Katie Filardo is the new Development Coordinator at the CFS. She worked from 2004-2008 with ACCION International in Washington, DC and prior to coming to Monteverde she was providing project management services to her family’s real estate business. Katie graduated from DePaul University with a BA in International Relations and Latin American Studies. Claudia Arcila Giraldo is teaching in the prepa classroom. She joins our team from Los Angeles, California, accompanied by her two children, Andrea and

Adrian. Before coming to the CFS, Claudia worked at Para Los Niños, a public charter elementary in downtown Los Angeles. She taught second grade in a bilingual class for two years. However, she has taught elementary school for four years.  Claudia holds a bachelor of arts in International Development Studies and a master’s degree in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Stuart Gleason came to the CFS in January of ’09 to join his fiancée who is currently teaching third grade. His involvement at the school began with volunteer work and through fundraising has now developed into a paid ­p osition, the Coordinator of Sustain­a ble Technologies. His back­­ground is in Mechanical Engineering from the University

of Utah with experience in composite materials and manu­ facturing. Beverly Rawson is the new Kinder teacher and Reading Specialist at the CFS. She comes to the school with 8 years of teaching experience, primarily with grades 3, 4, and 5. Beverly is from Virginia, but has also lived in NY, California, and China. She got her BS in Education and English Literature from Skidmore College and an M.A. in Curriculum & Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. Tricia Wagner started this year as the CFS drama teacher. She has many years of teaching experience, which include move­ ment and drama at The Little School in Bellevue, Washington, and at TAPCo – a magnet school

Cloud Forest School Foundation

 New faculty and staff Top row: Sadie Misizin-Cullumber, Beverly Rawson, Becky Hiller (former teacher), Claudia Arcila Giraldo, Stuart Gleason, Gabriel Barrantes Bottom row: Tricia Wagner, Katie Filardo, Amy Workman for performance arts in the Bronx. She has also taught English and Social Studies at the Friends School in Monte­verde. Last year she began teaching Theater and Music at the Friends School and this year she is also teaching an English class in La Cruz. She has a B.A. in Anthro­p ology from Kalamazoo College (Michigan) and a M.A. in Theater in Education from NYU (New York). Amy Workman joins the CFS team as the Environmental Education Coordinator with over ten years’ experience developing and teaching environmental education programming to youth and adults. She comes to the CFS from Madison, Wisconsin, where

she was the Director of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center from 2005-09 and the Assistant Director of the Upham Woods 4H Environ­ mental Education Center from 2001-04. Amy has worked as an educator in parks and forests at the county, state and national levels, and was the EE Coordinator for Stowe Elementary School. She received her B.A. in Environmental Science from Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL, and her M.A. in Environmental Education from the University of MinnesotaDuluth. She has presented at state and national conferences and served on the Wisconsin Associ­a­ tion for Environmental Education Board of Directors from 20052008.

The Cloud Forest School Foundation is proud to partner with Costa Rica Travel Exchange. The following promotion is open to anyone and will help to support the operation of the Cloud Forest School. We encourage you to visit their website and consider their services when traveling to Costa Rica!


Cloud Forest School Interim Director By

K at i e

F i l ar d o


ynthia Stancil is the Interim Director of The Cloud Forest School (CFS). The former CFS director spent four years with the school, but in August 2009 Scott Timm decided it was time for him and his family to return to the States.  When it came time to search for a Director, the CFS was lucky to have Cynthia already in the community as a new parent at CFS. Cynthia is a certified second­ ary school teacher with over 15 years experience in education in private, public and home school settings. A love of education and a gift for following adventures have shaped her life. Her first Cynthia Stancil formative adventure came when she graduated high school and spent the summer before college in Barcelona, Spain.  That summer, she decided on a career in education. She graduated from the College of Charleston, SC in 1994 with a degree in Spanish. At her first job teaching high school Spanish at Burke High School in Charleston, SC she had to work hard to inspire her students to see the value in learning Spanish. She taught at Burke High for three years, took time off to become a full-time mom and then substituted part-time and volunteered actively in her local schools. In 2004, the family set sail from Charleston and spent four months at sea exploring the Gulf of Mexico. Cynthia home schooled the children and her husband, Jason manned the boat. Then in 2006 they decided to take a double adventure. They spent the first half of the year on a sail boat and the second half of the year driving cross country in their camper following the Lewis and Clark Trail. They returned home in 2007 and Cynthia taught high school Spanish at the First Baptist Church School in Charleston. In 2008 the adventure itch struck again and the family was off to Peru, Costa Rica, and Jamaica. They traveled for a year. All the while Cynthia was facilitating her children’s “Virtual School k-12” curriculum. The family moved to Monteverde in August of this year.  Cynthia and Jason want their children to experience life abroad and want them to learn Spanish. The CFS meets many of Jason and Cynthia’s criteria for a school, including: small community, international, abundance of nature, and child centered education.  Their hope is that their current adventure will give their children and themselves a better sense of the world and their role in it.


Cloud Forest School FOUNDATION P.O. Box 3223 Sewanee, TN 37375

Nonprofit us postage paid sewanee tn permit no 63

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“Day in the Life” continued from page 4 such as monopoly, visit family members nearby, or go swimming in a river in Sardinal. Occasionally, my older host sisters take me out dancing or to watch their brother’s band, Chancho y Monte, perform. I really feel like part of the family and could not ask for a better host family. Living in Monteverde is pleasant. I feel safe and accepted while here. My perception of

While smelling the fresh air in the mountains of Costa Rica, I feel that there is a whole world waiting for me... – Christine Cruz, CFS Intern

the intern program is that it is very different from many other, more structured, abroad programs. The experience is very much up to you; it can be humble and monumental all at the same time. For me, it is liberating. For the first time, I feel truly independent. The sound of the rain falling on a tin roof in Costa Rica is something and someplace I never thought I’d hear or see while 19 years old. While smelling the fresh air in the mountains of Costa Rica, I feel that there is a whole world waiting for me. From a little dirt road in the center of a valley of mountains, I have life at my doorsteps, in my grasp. It’s the little things that make up this trip. Before I go to sleep I piece together my day and remember all the moments that have made me smile and all of the first-time opportunities that I had that day. My eyes are so much wider now and I realize what an invigorating experience this is.

Cloud Forest School  

Cool school in Costa Rica!

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