The CIVA Board of Directors
The purpose of the Governing Board is to support CIVA as a charter public school dedicated to developing students' character first by:
- Preparing administrators, teachers, parents, mentors, and students to develop character within the school curriculum and larger learning environment;
- Providing and maintaining a school facility and infrastructure in which to carry out the school's mission;
- Managing research to assess the effectiveness of the school's educational progress.
Download the CIVA By Laws PDF by clicking here.
Download the CIVA Articles of Incorporation by clicking here.
Board Meeting Schedule
Due to OLE trip (Outdoor Learning Experience), our next Board Meeting will be October 11, 2023.
Meetings will be held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month unless otherwise noted. All board meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. at CIVA. Please check the events calendar for any changes.
You can download past meeting minutes in PDF format from the Board Meeting Minutes Archive page.
Governing Board Members
Dawn Eiber-Thurmond President
Dawn Eiber-Thurmond is a native of Colorado Springs and attended Colorado Springs School District 11 from kindergarten through her senior year, graduating from Mitchell High School. She has a BA in Psychology, a Master’s in Social Work, as well as a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) that were gained in the years following her Masters. She retired from School District 11 as a Behavior Consultant in 2016 and began a career in Real Estate the following year. Dawn was a Vocal Performance major in college and continues to support the arts in Colorado Springs through membership in the Pikes Peak Opera League. Her love of music, performance and students makes CIVA the perfect connection to her previous career in the school system and her love of the arts.
Dr. Richard Van Scotter Director Emeritus
Richard Van Scotter was a founder of CIVA and liaison with The Hyde School in Bath, Maine. His ideas are embedded in the foundation and mission of CIVA, and he served as board president for over a decade. Richard had been a high school teacher, college professor and lecturer on educational history and culture. He also is the author of several related books including Public Schooling in America and Social Foundations of Education. His latest is a novel titled: Thin Ice: Race, Sports, and Awakening in the 1950s. He is a former board member of Citizens Project in Colorado Springs and holds degrees from Beloit College (B.A), University of Wisconsin—Madison (M.A.), and the University of Colorado—Boulder (Ph.D.)
Tom Sanny, PhD Vice President
Tom Sanny grew up in Colorado Springs and attended public schools in District 11. He is a graduate of Palmer High School and has a BA in English, an MA in Education, and a PhD in Communication. He taught in a middle school for a year before moving to a career in higher education teaching filmmaking at UCCS and Colorado College. He retired from teaching in 2008 but continues to serve as Treasurer of the University Film and Video Association, a national association of film professors, and is a trustee of the University Film and Video Foundation.
Viola Lee Treasurer
Viola grew up in Germany as a military brat. Since college, she has called Colorado Springs home. She graduated from UCCS with a B.A. in Mathematics. Over the years she worked in finance, software and as a stay-at-home mom before discovering her passion in elementary education. She currently supports students K-8 as a math interventionist. She believes every student can succeed at math. Viola has been married to her wonderful husband for over twenty years and has three beautiful daughters. Her oldest daughter graduated from CIVA and loved every moment of her time there, endearing CIVA and its staff in this momma’s heart forever. In her free time, Viola enjoys traveling, camping, reading, cooking and spending time with her family.
Paula Salazar Secretary
Children have always been my passion and it is important to educate them as the leaders of our future. I am the proud mother of four kids, a foreign exchange mom to three kiddos and I am in the process of also becoming a Foster mom. I have had the honor of volunteering in Colorado Springs school District 11 and District 20 for the last 23 years. I have also worked as an ESL Assistant at Bates Elementary and a Special Needs Teacher Assistant at Jenkins Middle school. I have coached Soccer for ages 4-6 and volunteered time as a football parent helper and score keeper for wrestling. I am currently a contract Investigator for Peraton and take pride in helping keep our country secure. Before my new found career I worked in the Insurance Industry for over 27 years. I was a Sales Producer, customer service representative, Claims Report Taker and an automobile bodily injury adjuster. It is truly an honor and privilege to serve on the Board of Directors at CIVA Charter High School with some of the greatest people I know. The teachers and students are top notch.
Keith Benson Teacher Rep
Keith has been teaching at CIVA for the last fourteen years and on the board as the staff representative for nine of those years. Prior to CIVA, Keith worked at FedEx for 17 years and enjoys bringing his business experience into the classroom. He has been married to his amazing wife Mary Ellen for 30 years and together they raised two wonderful daughters, Kathryn and Brigitte. He enjoys helping guide the direction of the school and feels strongly about the positive direction CIVA is headed under the guidance of Mr. Zimmerman, Ms. Robinson and the board.
Joey Finkbeiner Board Member
Josef (Joey) Finkbeiner has lived in Colorado Springs for over 35 years and has worked in Finance and Customer Service for most of that time. Joey earned a BS in Business and MBA in International Business from Regis University. He also holds Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation and is a Director at First Affirmative Financial Network. Joey has hosted 10 Exchange Students, 4 of which attended CIVA. He volunteers with Junior Achievement and teaches JA classes on a regular basis. Joey was previously a member of the Governing Board of CIVA and is a past Board President. When not working or volunteering, Joey enjoys travel and photography and of course spending quality time with his two dogs.
Jean Rice Board Member
Jean Rice has lived in Colorado Springs for over 40 years. Jean has taught school and held leadership roles in her 25 years in education. She taught in Trinidad, CO, Manitou Springs District 14, and School District 11. Jean became a Director of Special Education in St. Vrain Valley Schol District in Longmont, CO and District 49 in Colorado Springs. Jean was co-owner of Rice Music in Colorado Springs from 1985-2001. Jean has always appreciated all forms of the arts. Jean holds degrees from Colorado State University-Pueblo (BS), Regis University (M.A.) and Northcentral University (PhD). Jean is the proud mother of two daughters, and one granddaughter. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and exploring all of the various trails around Colorado Springs.
Jason Reever Board Member
Jason Reever is a native of Gettysburg, PA and has lived in Colorado Springs since 1998. He has a BS in Finance from the University of Pittsburgh, and has been a Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator in the State of Colorado since 2016. Prior to that he worked in the Healthcare Profession as a Nursing Home Administrator for 15+ years. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Stephanie, hiking, and photography.