provided by Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation
Mason Goss, Ed.D., who grew up on Sanibel Island, is filling the new role of Senior Director of Education at SCCF, bringing 26 years of educational leadership to shepherd environmental conservation across SCCF’s educational platforms.
The purpose of this new position is to serve as the central education thought leader for SCCF. Goss will be creating syntheses across Sanibel Sea School, Native Landscapes and Garden Center, Ocean Tribe Paddlers, Coastal Watch, and No Child Left on Shore programs. As the Senior Director of Education, he is responsible for connecting the public to SCCF’s nature ethic on Sanibel and Captiva islands.
“We are thrilled to have Mason join our leadership team in this new role that will strengthen the combined educational strength of SCCF and Sanibel Sea School,” said CEO Ryan Orgera. “His depth of community knowledge and passion for educating make him a great fit at this pivotal time.”
Goss returned to his hometown in 2020 following 11 years in North Carolina, where he served as Associate Headmaster and Assistant Head of School at Trinity School of Durham & Chapel Hill, and Head of School at Triangle Day School in Durham. Prior to North Carolina, Goss held leadership positions at Bishop Verot High School and Canterbury School, and he has been an adjunct professor at Edison Community College (now Florida SouthWestern State College) and Nova Southeastern University. Goss earned two master’s degrees, including one in Christian Studies from the Duke Divinity School at Duke University; he is an ordained Presbyterian deacon. He earned his Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University in 2002 focusing on Educational Leadership.
“I look forward to joining in this important work,” Goss says. “The role of the Senior Director of Education is to lead people to lasting connections to our natural world by informing and nurturing empathy for nature, and helping others draw meaningful conclusions about how we connect to, and affect, our shared resources.”
Goss’ family moved to Sanibel in the 1960s. His father, Porter Goss, became a leading force behind Sanibel’s environmental conservation ethic and was its first mayor following the 1974 incorporation as a self-governing city that could oversee growth and development. As a result, Mason Goss, 53, grew up on the island, and in addition to his professional capacity in education, he has deep, institutional knowledge of local environmental successes and challenges.
“I am excited to be able to put my professional experience and personal interest in environmental conservation to use by working with SCCF,” he says. “As local and global human populations expand, it is essential to create awareness of human impacts on our oceans and ecosystems. SCCF is in a wonderful position to continue to improve the future of the ocean and local ecosystems one person at a time through education, care, and protection.”
Goss joins SCCF to lead the team of marine science educators at Sanibel Sea School following last week’s departure of Director Nicole Finnicum, who has taken a position in Experiential Education at Ohio University. Shannon Stainken, formerly the Education Programs Manager at Sanibel Sea School, will now serve as SCCF Youth Education Director, marking a move to more fully integrate the two non-profits that joined forces in January 2020. Conservation Initiative Coordinator Kealy MacNeal, who leads Ocean Tribe Paddlers and Coastal Watch, will also be part of the education team.
In his new role, Goss will also oversee Adult Education Director Jenny Evans on overall SCCF programming and the team at the Native Landscapes & Garden Center on outreach and community education. Rounding out his staff of educators is part-time Environmental Educator Richard Finkel, who leads SCCF’s partnership with Captiva Cruises on the No Child Left on Shore program and The Sanibel School’s field trips to SCCF’s Pick Preserve.