Jill van Nortwick joined the Governing Council in October 2017. She is currently the principal consultant for Curate Impact. Jill brings a unique perspective to the GC having worked in business, government, and the nonprofit world here and abroad. After completing her Masters in International Business, she has dedicated herself to helping boards and management teams identify and implement key cultural levers for ethical decision making.
Jill moved to New Mexico in 2004 after spending many years living in Australia and New Zealand. It was in New Zealand that she experienced a charter school with her two daughters as students. Jill has been involved in and with many different boards and is excited to support the mission of the school and ensure its ongoing success.
Nick Williams was selected as a Governing Council member for Cottonwood Classical in the summer of 2015. He is the Finance Director at the Albuquerque Community Foundation. Previous to his role at the Foundation, Nick was an audit manager with KPMG LLP focusing on state and local government clients and higher education. Nick received his B.A. in the Social Sciences from Portland State University in 2006 and a certificate in accounting from Portland State University in 2010. In addition, Nick received his CPA license in 2012. Nick grew up in Raton and moved to Albuquerque in 2010 to begin his accounting career. Before his current career, Nick was involved in organic farming and remains passionate about sustainable agriculture and environmental issues. Nick and his wife, Kate, have two young children and are passionate about supporting education in Albuquerque. Nick is excited for the opportunity to serve on the Governing Council.
Louis is one of the parent members of Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School’s Governing Council. He and his wife Brenda have three sons and have been part of the Cottonwood family since 2011. Louis works at Sandia National Laboratories in the areas of Business and Organizational Development and has more than a decade of experience in higher education. Louis currently holds an adjunct faculty position with Lewis University where he teaches undergraduate, graduate, and online courses in Human Resources, Business and Organizational Leadership and Development. Louis has also served as board president and been an active member of several private school organizations.
Clifford is a pricing analyst and contract administrator for a private government contracting company. Prior to this, he worked as an estimator for a commercial construction company gaining an extensive background in the construction industry. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2010 in Psychology from the University of New Mexico. Living in Albuquerque nearly his entire life, Clifford not only enjoys being a resident but is also enthusiastic about giving back to his community and being a part of something bigger than himself. Clifford brings his contracting, accounting, budgeting, and business administration knowledge to the board and is excited to be a part of the CCPS Governing Council.
Alexandria Tavarez, Member
Alexandria Tavarez is the newest member to the Governing Council. She was born and raised in Albuquerque and attended New Mexico State University to get her degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Since graduating college in 2014, she has been working at the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation, where they help adult cancer patients with their non-medical expenses. As of last May, she was promoted to Assistant Director and enjoys her career in the non-profit sector. She loves giving back to the adult community through the work she does at the cancer center and is excited for the opportunity to now give back to the future generation by serving on the Governing Council.
Danielle Silva, Member
Danielle Silva was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with her Bachelor of Business Administration, concentration in marketing and minor in economics. Danielle is the Community Engagement Specialist at U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union. U.S. Eagle is a local, financial cooperative that serves its member-owners through outstanding member experience. Her role as community engagement specialist is to invest in the community through events, communication, contributions, financial literacy, and partnerships. In her spare time, you can find her volunteering, purchasing a latte at a local coffee shop, or running the trails of Albuquerque. Danielle brings experience in marketing, strategic community partnerships, and continuous improvement to the Board. She is passionate about seeing our youth succeed and is excited to serve Cottonwood Classical.
Lisa Wallhagen received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of New Mexico. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan teaching English as a second language, she returned to Albuquerque and began pursuing her teaching license at Central New Mexico Community College. She has been a teacher at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School since January 2010. She taught sixth and seventh grade English for seven years and has been teaching IB Psychology since 2015. In 2018, she will have her M.S. in Forensic Psychology. She has served as the English department chair and is currently the coordinator for the Extended Essay. Having taught students at the beginning and end of their CCPS journey gives Lisa a full picture of the Cottonwood experience and culture. She is excited to continue being an active member of the CCPS community through her role on the Governing Council.