Jennifer McCumber is the new executive director for the LAPS Foundation. Courtesy/LAPS
Los Alamos Public Schools has announced that Jennifer McCumber is the new executive director for the LAPS Foundation.
McCumber officially began this position Monday, Jan. 6.
While this is a new role for McCumber, she is by no means new to the schools or the Foundation. Most recently, she served as a school board member for District 5 (Mountain Elementary) 2015-2019.
She also served on the board of the LAPS Foundation for several years as the school board representative, a committee assignment she said that she thoroughly appreciated.
“I have enjoyed working on many different LAPSF projects through the years, including strategic planning, writing grants and surprising school staff with our staff lounge refresh project last summer,” McCumber said.
The opportunity arose in December when the Foundation’s previous executive director, Laura Loy, left to take a new position. McCumber had been planning on beginning a job search after finishing her school board term, not expecting this particular opportunity to be available.
“However, I was delighted to accept the position of executive director in January, being invested in the organization and having worked closely with both previous executive directors,” McCumber said.
McCumber shares some things about herself and her plans for the LAPS Foundation:
What do you hope to accomplish in this new role?
“I am so proud of all the LAPS Foundation has accomplished since its inception in 2005. I hope to continue the tradition of support for the educational programs in our schools and professional development for staff as well as continue to grow the support our community has so generously given to allow us to help the schools in Los Alamos. I have big shoes to fill; our two previous executive directors, Joanna Gillespie and Laura Loy, worked tirelessly to bring the Foundation to where it is, and I hope to build on their excellent examples.”
Do you have any specific projects or initiatives in mind?
“At the Foundation, we’re always trying to make sure our funding is as effective as possible to assist LAPS in furthering its goals. Having recently served on the school board, I’m quite familiar with the school district’s goals and very interested in aligning our funding in such a way that makes the biggest impact in propelling LAPS forward. One thing LAPS strives for is to make sure all students and staff thrive, particularly in the area of well-being. The Foundation recently developed wellness grants for staff. I’m looking forward to continuing to develop the impact of wellness grants and also expanding our student grants process as well. Our students have some amazing ideas for projects to benefit the schools so I’m excited about working to help them improve the schools.”
What are you most looking forward to with this position?
“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with LAPS Foundation board members and school district staff to benefit Los Alamos schools. Although it will be in a different capacity, I’m excited to learn the ropes and work hard to help the Foundation be the champion for Los Alamos Public Schools.”
McCumber grew up in Texas and attended Baylor University where she received a B.A. in History and English. She also attended Baylor Law School and received a juris doctorate.
McCumber is licensed to practice law in Texas and New Mexico and worked for a few years at the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department as a staff attorney. She did some contract work for a time but then focused on parenting and volunteering.
McCumber, her husband David and their three sons have lived in Los Alamos since 2003.
“We have greatly enjoyed being part of this community and raising our family here,” she said.
David is an attorney and works at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the business law group for the Office of Legal Counsel. Their two oldest sons are graduates of Los Alamos High School and now attend Arizona State University, and their youngest son is a junior at LAHS.