The Board of Trustees is comprised of dedicated and talented volunteers who represent a wide range of professions and interests. They are charged with overseeing the financial health of the school, creating policy, hiring and evaluating the Head of School, and planning for the future. The Board meets monthly in full session, and there are several committees that meet on a monthly basis as well. Trustees are elected at the Annual Meeting for a three-year term.
Nat Jacob (President) moved to PT in 2013 from the great state of Montana, where he attended law school at the University of Montana in Missoula. He’s a local Public Defender as well as an avid disc golfer, crossword puzzler and karaoke enthusiast. Nat’s connections to Port Townsend run deep. His parents live in Jefferson County along with several other members of his extended family. Nat can’t speak highly enough about his new home and its people.
As a child, Nat attended a Montessori school in Kalispell, Montana where he developed an enduring passion for hand’s on education. Nat looks forward to working with other JCS board members and parents with special emphasis on promoting access to alternative education for low-income families.
Stan Cummings (Vice-President) holds a BA from Brown University, a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Wesleyan University (Connecticut) and completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University in Science Curriculum & Teacher Education. He is a former classroom science teacher (biology) and conducted field studies in Yosemite National Park as part of the Yosemite Institute. He was president of The Ocean Institute (California), which he built into a nationally respected laboratory for ocean education and research now serving tens of thousands of school children and teachers annually.
He is the author of Behind the Hedge, a fictional novel about a tumultuous year in the life of the head of a private school.
Stan served three years as executive director of Citizens for a Healthy Bay, which oversaw the cleanup of toxic contamination of a Superfund site in Puget Sound and most recently retired from a project that saw the completion of the $17 million Northwest Maritime Center, home of the Wooden Boat Foundation in Port Townsend.
Gerald Braude (Secretary) holds a BA in journalism from Michigan State University (1981) and is a graduate of Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood (1986). For over a quarter of a century, he’s been performing about thirty times a month as a classical/jazz guitarist. For the past decade, he’s been writing manuscript reviews for iUniverse Publishing House, a division of Author Solutions and Penguin Books. For the past year, he has also been a fiction editor for Booktrope Publishing. As part of his passion for the Olympic Peninsula, Gerald serves on the Jefferson Trails Coalition and the Transportation Lab, one of Port Townsend’s 2020 action groups for sustainable living. His son, Adam, is in his sixth year at Jefferson Community School. Adam is not as old as his father, but he is taller and smarter.
Charley Kanieski (Treasurer) has a passion for experiential learning, starting from an early age. He learned bookkeeping from his mother as she did the books for the Kanieski family hardware business in Cleveland, Ohio. He became a CPA in 1977. In 1979 he purchased his family business. Charley immersed himself in self-directed learning again when he sold the hardware business and went sailing for 5 years. Charley sailed from Tahiti solo to Port Townsend, arriving during a kinetic sculpture contest, and fell in love with the town instantly, so swallowed the anchor and stayed.
Charley has been operating his cozy CPA practice focusing only on small businesses and business owners in Port Townsend since 1990. In addition to working on his own practice, Kanieski is also the CFO of Skookum, a non-profit organization that employs over 1,000 people with severe disabilities.
Charley is devoted to health, fitness, and wellness. He competes as an open water rower in his single racing shell. When not helping business owners, you can usually find Charley exploring local waterways and trails with his wife, step-son and their perky Welsh Terrier.
Charley’s step-son is a high school student at JCS, and he looks forward to being an active part of the school community – learning along with everyone.
Steve Sullivan (Past President) is the parent of Rio Golden (JCS alumna), and a longtime resident of Port Townsend. He has spent the last 15 years working in the high tech industry with a recent focus on the intersection of advertising technology and cyber security. He has worked at Pacific Northwest area companies such as Real Networks, Expedia, T-Mobile aQuantive, Microsoft and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) New York. Today he is the SVP of Ad Security Initiatives at a New York based startup called White Ops.
Doug VanLeuven’s (Building Manager) work experience includes ownership of a small business in yacht coatings as well as managing sales and application of commercial marine and industrial coatings for an international company. After retiring he worked locally in real estate.
Doug and his wife have been married for 19 years and have two boy ages 14 and 16. He is also a grandfather of two lovely children and has a son 36 and a daughter who is 40. Activities mostly involve outdoors sports including cruising on their trawler and horseback riding.
Originally from the Seattle area, Juli and her family recently moved to Port Townsend to enable her older daughter, who is an artist, to attend Jefferson Community School. Juli has a degree from WSU. Her husband is an English teacher at a local High School and an adjunct Professor at Peninsula College. He is also active in local theater productions. Juli took a year off from life in her 20’s to backpack around the world. It was this experience that opened her eyes to many different cultures around the world. It was natural then, when the time came to add to her family, they decided to adopt. In 2008 the whole family went to Ethiopia to bring home their younger daughter who was only 7 years old at the time. She is now 13 and the light of our lives. When not raising two teenage girls Juli loves to read. With a personal library of 4,000 books there is always something interesting to pick up! She also does Yoga and works at the Port Townsend Food Co-op.
Michael Klupfell and his wife Molly discovered Port Townsend while on vacation in 2000 and fell in love with the town and the Victorian architecture when they first saw it. They purchased an 1887 Victorian home uptown. Michael immediately began renovating and restoring the home to the splendor of the golden age when it was built. He spent the first few years wallpapering walls, renovating and tiling the kitchen and bathrooms, restoring interior woodwork and windows, and painting the exterior. Renovating a 125-year old home has numerous challenges. However, Michael’s ability to make parts that don’t exist is one of his trademark skills.
Michael had a long career as a talented craftsman, remodeling exclusive homes for clients in Silicon Valley. His vast knowledge in woodworking, tile setting, machinery, masonry and general construction has been put to use in both residential homes and commercial buildings. When he and Molly moved to Port Townsend, they owned and operated The Village Baker and Cafes for five years. Now retired, Michael enjoys working in the backyard garden and restoring vintage automobiles. And, of course, he continues to meet the challenges of restoring their Victorian home, which they named Grace House.
As a board member, Michael offers his knowledge of renovation and repair concerning the vintage building that houses the school.
Gillian Stewart Originally from Ketchikan, Alaska, Gillian grew up in Port Townsend. Gillian attended public schools in Port Townsend until high school and then she attended several different private or alternative schools: L.O.F.T. with Julie Marston, Love Learning Center with Aaron Carver, Mar Vista alternative public high school and finally Running Start at Peninsula College where she finished her AA Degree. Through Peninsula College’s exchange student program Gillian went to college China for a year at Guilin University of Electronic Technology where she studied Mandarin Chinese, Chinese history and culture. After attending college in China she worked as a foreign teacher in Guilin for two years teaching oral English at three public high schools and several other private language or business schools. Gillian returned to Port Townsend in 2004 to raise her daughter near her mother. Since returning to Port Townsend Gillian has completed a BA Degree in Women’s Studies with a focus on patterns of global inequality through Washington State University.
Gillian has diverse work experience here in Port Townsend and abroad. Above we discussed her teaching experience in China. Here she has worked in construction and Victorian house remodeling, landscaping, she managed the Boiler Room, a non-profit youth-run coffee shop for two years while she was a high school student, she worked at the Food Co-op and in retail shops downtown. You’ve seen her at the Rose Theatre for years or perhaps as a waitress at Alchemy or Waterfront Pizza Upstairs? Currently she manages the Starlight Room movie theater bar, which is fabulous. Volunteer affiliations include the Boiler Room, the Food Co-op, Habitat for Humanity, Swan School and JCS, mostly during the Winterim Camp to help with the wonderful Chinese guest students.
Passions for Gillian are environmentalism, travelling, education and the Arts, in particular dance, music and film. She has danced all her life, a former member of the Moving Arts Dance Company, and still dances regularly with the Dance Studio doing contemporary, jazz and hip hop dance classes. She performs with other groups as well, when the opportunities arise. She also enjoys backpacking, hiking, biking and swimming in the summer. Her daughter is now an eighth grader at JCS.