The Geneva School has defined three boards that provide leadership and support to the school in complementary ways: a Board of Governors (see below), a Board of Reference, and an Advisory Board.
The BOARD OF GOVERNORS has ultimate accountability for ensuring that the mission, vision, and values on which the school was founded are progressively fulfilled and realized in all areas of school life. The members of this board are responsible for hiring a suitably qualified headmaster and empowering him (or her) to direct the operation of the school in accordance with these founding principles. Working primarily through its constituent committees, it also oversees corporate governance and finances, and provides leadership for major projects that support the school vision.
John Riley has served on The Geneva School board of governors since 2003 and currently serves as board chair. He also serves on the boards of several other private, public, and non-profit organizations.
In 1987 Mr. Riley co-founded Transworld Services Group. Prior to his selling it in 1996, it had grown to be one of the largest independently owned staffing companies in the Southeast. In 1997 he co-founded CoAdvantage, a $300 million HR outsourcing enterprise, where he served as president of ZeroChaos, a subsidiary company. Since 1998 he has also bought and developed commercial real estate throughout Central Florida and now enjoys working full-time in that arena through his company, Legacy Fund.
Mr. Riley earned a BA in Liberal Arts from Rollins College in 1982 and in 1984 a BS in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He and his wife Laura met at Rollins College and have two children who attended Geneva beginning in kindergarten: Shannon (TGS Class of 2013, Furman University) and Brooke (TGS Class of 2015, Davidson College). The Riley family lives in Winter Park and they are members of Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Winter Springs.
Jim Bruce joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2014. Mr. Bruce brings to the board over twenty years of financial and leadership experience. He has held positions as president, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer in various industries and companies. Mr. Bruce has also managed and overseen several high-net-worth family offices whose investments have included airline, automotive, marine, restaurant, manufacturing, environmental, and real estate development. In these positions, he has planned and worked through many complex operational, financial, and tax strategies. Mr. Bruce looks forward to lending his expertise to The Geneva School.
Mr. Bruce is a graduate of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is chairman of the board of Young Life Heart of Orlando. He and his wife Amy have two children who have attended The Geneva School since 2003: Katlynn (TGS Class of 2015; University of Florida) and James (TGS Class of 2020). The Bruce family lives in Sanford, Florida, and attends Northland Church.
Dale Burket joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2017. He is a lawyer and partner at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, PA in Orlando and currently serves as a governing elder of Northland, A Church Distributed. He has also served as a guitarist on Northland’s worship team for more than fifteen years.
Dale graduated from Florida State University with degrees in music education and law, and is board certified in real estate by The Florida Bar. He has more than thirty years of experience in real estate and corporate matters. Dale is married to his wife Pat who has an undergraduate degree in music education and is a substitute teacher at Park Maitland School. Dale is also a conductor of the Maitland Symphony Orchestra, a local community orchestra, and serves on the boards of the Performing Arts of Maitland and the Winter Park Chamber Music Academy. Dale and Pat have been married for 40 years and have three grown sons.
John Classe has served on Geneva’s building committee since 2017 and on the board since 2019. He has been the CEO/district administrator of the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) since January 2016. RCID is a special taxing district which provides all governmental services for the landowners within the district, which includes Walt Disney World. John’s thirty-plus-year career consists of significant experience in real estate development both as an owner/developer and as a consultant. His notable experience includes projects at Disney and Universal Studios as well as Baldwin Park and Celebration.
Originally from the Philadelphia area, his family moved to Florida and he grew up in Orlando. John earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Auburn University and returned to Orlando to begin his professional career. He is both a licensed professional engineer and licensed real estate broker.
The Classe family includes Anne, a member of the school’s advancement team, Anna (TGS Class of 2017; Palm Beach Atlantic), Charlotte (“Charlie,” TGS Class of 2018; Anderson University) and Katherine (“Katie,” TGS Class of 2024). The family lives in Winter Springs, and they are members of Summit Church in Orlando.
Gordon Cloke joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2006, having previously served as president of the Geneva Parents Association since 1997. Mr. Cloke lives in Winter Park and also serves as a ruling elder at Saint Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Orlando.
Mr. Cloke graduated from University College (University of London) in 1986 with double first class honours in Philosophy and Linguistics and has retained an enduring passion for language, philosophy, literature, and the classics. While at college, Mr. Cloke also met his wife Sarah and dedicated his life to Christ while under the teaching of Reverend John Stott at All Soul’s Church, London. Thus were established the three-fold overlapping passions that define his life: Sarah, classicism, and the cause of the gospel.
The Clokes have four children, all educated at The Geneva School—Alex (TGS Class of 2006, Samford University), Fran (TGS Class of 2008, Furman University), Lily (TGS Class of 2013, Grove City College) and Moira (TGS Class of 2015, Jacksonville University)—and three grandchildren. When their youngest child graduated in 2015, the Cloke children had completed forty-seven Geneva school years! In 2016, their granddaughter Abella (TGS class of 2030) began her Geneva career.
Mr. Cloke has worked as a professional software developer and executive on both sides of the Atlantic, having moved with his family from England to Orlando in 1992 while working for Xerox Corporation. He currently serves as Chief Product Officer at Sighthound, a technology startup with offices in downtown Winter Park.
Tam Costar joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2014. Mrs. Costar and her husband Chuck have been Geneva parents since their oldest child started kindergarten in 2007. They reside in Winter Park with their four children: Emily (TGS Class of 2020), Kate (TGS Class of 2022), Caroline (TGS Class of 2026), and Baker (TGS Class of 2027).
Mrs. Costar earned her undergraduate degree from Tulane University in 1989 and completed the executive MBA program at the Crummer School at Rollins College graduating in 1999. She has worked in the healthcare industry for over twenty-two years in a variety of roles with both Merck and Boston Scientific, and most recently Amgen.
Mrs. Costar is an active member of First United Methodist Church of Winter Park where she currently serves on the finance committee and regularly teaches in her children’s Sunday school classes.
Cheree Foreman joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2016 and serves on the audit committee.
Mrs. Foreman is a lifelong resident of Central Florida. She earned her BSBA in Accounting from University of Central Florida in 1990. She is a CPA and a member of the AICPA and FICPA. She has been practicing as a CPA in the Central Florida area since 1993. Through the years she has had the opportunity to provide accounting and audit services for banking, governmental, and non-profit industries. Additionally, she is the financial officer for BMZ Partnership which develops land and leases commercial realty flex space in the Central Florida area.
Mrs. Foreman and her husband Doug were married in 1992 and live in Winter Park. They have three children: Drew (class of 2017), Cole (class of 2019), and Anna (class of 2021) and have been Geneva parents since 2003. Over the years they have attended church at First Presbyterian Church of Maitland, First United Methodist Church of Winter Park, and currently attend Summit Church.
James Hendrix joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2014. He also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations.
Mr. Hendrix has a diverse background in institutional real estate funds, capital markets, private equity, real estate development, project management, and business integration functions. Mr. Hendrix received an MBA from Rollins College with concentrations in finance and international business and holds a BA from Wake Forest University. Mr. Hendrix currently serves as chief investment officer of Triloma Senior Housing.
He and his wife Allison live in east Orlando and attend Summit Church in Orlando. Their three children Lily (TGS Class of 2020), Campbell (TGS Class of 2024), and Palmer (TGS Class of 2025) have all attended The Geneva School since K4.
Christine Johnson joined the Geneva board in 2019. Along with her husband Joe, they have been Geneva parents since their oldest son Taber ‘24 entered K4 in 2010. His brother and sister, Trenton ‘26 and Tate ’29, followed over the next few years.
Christine was born and raised in Central Florida and currently lives in Oviedo. She met Joe at a Northland Church college group and they married in 2003. Northland is still her family’s church home to this day. She earned her undergraduate degree in business administration finance from the University of Central Florida and worked in the personal and commercial insurance industry for over ten years before becoming a full-time homemaker.
Christine loves people and especially the community at Geneva. She values the great relationships she has with parents, faculty, and administration, and cherishes the open lines of communication that Geneva fosters. All in all, Geneva feels like home, and it is an integral part of their life as a family.
In her free time, Christine loves spending time with her family, entertaining, traveling, playing tennis, and volunteering in a variety of capacities, including passionately supporting The Geneva School, its faculty, and student body.
Dan Justin joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2018. He also serves on the boards of a several privately held companies.
Dan has over thirty years of experience in medical implant development and commercialization. He has lead teams that have brought new orthopedic, trauma, and spinal implant products to world-wide markets. As an entrepreneur, he has co-founded and lead medical device companies from start-up through acquisition. The current portfolio of companies he leads includes Nanovation Partners, Optimotion Implants, and Engage Surgical. He is an inventor on over 130 issued US patents. Dan holds a BSE and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida.
Dan and his wife Sandy have been married since 1989 and live in the Winter Park area. They have two children, Kate (Trinity Class of 2018), and Sam (TGS class of 2020). Their family is actively involved on Saturday mornings with Orlando Children’s Church where Sandy is on staff as the volunteer coordinator and Dan mentors young teenage men. They worship with East Coast Believers Church in Oviedo.
Becky Martinez joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2008. A life-long Florida resident, she has lived in the Orlando area for over thirty-five years. She studied English and then law at the University of Florida, graduating with a JD in 1982.
Mrs. Martinez is a full-time homemaker. She and Ralph have three children and four grandchildren. In her spare time she loves spending time with her grandkids, reading, cooking, travel, golf, and various ministries. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando.
Mrs. Martinez believes that as Christian classical education uniquely educates students’ minds as well as their hearts, it necessarily spills truth, beauty, and light into the world, with the promise of effecting real cultural and spiritual change.
Elise Maynard joined The Geneva School Board of Governors in 2019. A native Texan, Elise attended the University of Texas and earned a degree in elementary education. Along with her husband John and four children, she moved to Central Florida in 1997 in no small part because of Geneva. Beginning with the enrollment of her four children that fall, she has been involved with the school in countless ways ever since: as a mom, teacher, administrator, volunteer, wife of a former board member, and now as a grandparent. With a passion for teaching, Elise has taught in the grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric school at Geneva and has an informed appreciation of the school’s philosophy of education. She has watched Geneva grow from its fledgling beginnings to the established institution it is today. She brings to the board the heart of an educator, and she desires to use her gifts to help guide the future direction of the school.
Elise and John currently live in Maitland. Their four children are all married with children of their own, and the oldest of her nine grandchildren is currently enrolled at Geneva (class of ’32). Being a Geneva grandparent is a new and exciting role that she is blessed to enjoy. Elise and John have attended St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Orlando since 1997 where she is actively involved in leading women’s Bible studies.
Dayle Seneff joined The Geneva School board of governors in 1998 and has served on various committees during those years.
Her own commitment to Christian education stems from her belief that cultural change comes from transforming the habits and dispositions of ordinary people, particularly children. “When we nurture habits of goodness,” she says, “we nurture hope for the future.”
A resident of Winter Park, Mrs. Seneff has five children, the youngest of whom (Jonathan) graduated from Geneva in 2009 and went on to study at Wheaton College.
Jeff Shafer joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2016. After twenty years in the financial services industry, Jeff Shafer is currently leveraging his relationships, experience, and knowledge by consulting with broker dealers, registered investment advisors, and family offices to meet their financial goals. Prior to his consulting work, Mr. Shafer served as president of CNL Securities for eight years where he was responsible for setting the strategic direction for the capital raising efforts. Before joining CNL in 1997, Mr. Shafer worked for Van Kampen American Capital, a division of Morgan Stanley Group.
Mr. Shafer graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in Psychology and Biblical Studies, and received an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. He is also a certified financial planner and a chartered financial consultant and holds FINRA Series 7 and 24 licenses.
Mr. Shafer is on the Crummer Graduate School of Business board of overseers, the board of directors of Doug Holliday Ministries, and the NCF Orlando advisory board. He has a passion for prison ministry and has been involved in various prison ministries since 1991.
Mr. Shafer is excited to join the board of governors and bring his skills to bear as Geneva transitions to the new campus and expands its vision into the future. Mr. Shafer and his wife Shelly have been involved with Geneva since 2007. Ellie (’20) and Nick (’21) have been students at Geneva since kindergarten. They worship at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando.
Noah Talesnick joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2016 and serves on the development committee and the tech committee.
Mr. Talesnick is CEO of Web Solutions of America, an online marketing firm founded in 2005. A graduate of University of Central Florida with a degree in finance, he was a consultant for community banks and then for higher education institutions. Mr. Talesnick then transitioned to the digital realm, taking over a small web company. He rebuilt and repositioned this business to build not only websites, but to provide comprehensive creative online marketing strategies for clients throughout the United States.
Mr. Talesnick is a board member at Life Church in Orlando, a board member at ACYS, and an active volunteer with Jobs Partnership of Central Florida. He and his wife Tracy live in Maitland and their two children Nathan (class of 2018) and Taylor (class of 2020) have attended Geneva since kindergarten.
Larry Zirbel joined The Geneva School board of governors in 2018. He also serves on the board of a number of private companies.
In 1986 Mr. Zirbel founded Software Techniques which he sold after growing it to one of the leading software companies in the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal marketplace. He is a co-founder and board member of Koolbridge Solar and is the founder and CEO of GSA which is a software firm in the municipal software industry.
Mr. Zirbel graduated with honors from the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana with a BS in Computer Science. From college he worked at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research center and then consulted for a Chicago-based firm with projects at AT&T, Amdahl, Fujitsu, Philips Netherlands, and P&OCL London.
Mr. Zirbel met his wife Laura in 1993 while attending a Bible study led by Laura’s father who was a district superintendent for the Evangelical Free Church. They have been Geneva parents since 2005 with Evan (class of 2018), Kelly (class of 2020) and Jason (class of 2024) all starting in kindergarten. The Zirbel family attend Aloma Church.