Woolman Staff and Board

Staff Members

Amy Cooke, Executive Director
Amy came to the Woolman campus with her husband Chamba and daughter Nora in 2000 as Head of School of John Woolman School. Fifteen months later, the four-year boarding program was suspended and the vision for The Woolman Semester was born. Amy continued in her role as Head of School until 2005, and she stayed on staff until 2006, when she and Chamba built a home next to the school. After a brief stint in the film industry, Amy and Chamba bought Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli in nearby Grass Valley. Serving food in the community and connecting with local farms became a second passion.  In 2016 she returned to Woolman as Interim Director.   

   Chris Benfield, Maintenance Supervisor
Chris Benfield grew up in the north of England. His interest in art led him to move to New York in the 90s after completing a B.A. in Fine Art (Painting) at Wimbledon Art School. After moving to San Francisco during the Dot Com Boom he became involved in activism via Art & Revolution's street theater and prop making for demonstrations.  Burning Man was a main focus for him for many years with its large art building through collectivism and wild, edgy possibilities, until a spiritual hunger that couldn't be satisfied in the desert, demanded a grounding in earth-based traditions which he has been devoted to for the last 10 years.
 
     

Board of Directors

Sandra Schwartz, Clerk
Sandra is an activist, social worker, member of a Quaker Meeting for 34 years, mother, friend, passionate about social justice and progressive education. She joined the CPFEA Board because she wanted to support the effort to offer a progressive educational model based on justice, peace and sustainability with a healthy dose of Quaker values to high school students. She was particularly intrigued by the partnership with MetWest and other Big Picture schools. She loved the idea of including urban youth in an experience that is often only available to the privileged, meaning people who know how to find and access these kinds of programs.
   Dan Shoemaker, Board Member
Dan Shoemaker brings with him to the board more than twenty years of experience in higher education, and a passion for values-driven institutions. Dan holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico, a Master’s degree in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University, and a BA in Communications and Media Arts from Antioch College. Dan is also a 1990 alumnus of the Scholar Intern Program at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, in Atlanta, where he studied the history of the Civil Rights movement and Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence.
 
Sarah Tyrrell, Treasurer
Sarah graduated from John Woolman School in 1978.  She has been active on the CPFEA board for many years, and is a dedicated and ardent supporter of all things Woolman! Sarah is a Release Engineer, currently working with Cisco Corporation.  
   Pat Phillips, Member at Large
Bio pending.