I’ve reported before about Will Smith’s donations to Scientology organizations in the past. But in none of the filings for the Will Smith Foundation was there ever listed a donation to the school he started with wife Jada Pinkett Smith in Calabasas, California. That school, New Village Leadership Academy, has been criticized in the past for teaching Scientology courses to its grade school students. For three years, NVLA never filed a Form 990 as a school, so it was hard to track their finances. But now a Form 990 Federal Tax filing has suddenly emerged on Guidestar.org just for the year 2010. It shows a few things of interest. For one, Smith donated $1,235,00 to the school in 2010 from his WSJ Trust, not from his publicly scrutinized foundation. That’s why it never showed up before.
Basically, Smith’s donation almost covered the $1.4 million non specific salaries listed for the school. Under salaries, NVLA lists just two educators, both with Scientology backgrounds. The head of school is named Franca Campopiano, but the school confirmed that she is also known as Piano Foster. She was paid $200.000 in 2010. As Piano Foster, Campopiano has been listed as a past student of Scientology. She’s married to a Darryl Foster, also a past student of Scientology.Foster/Campopiano succeeded the school’s original head, Jacqueline Oliver, who left in a dispute with the Smiths over the Scientology teaching at the school.
The other educator listed is Carol McGuire, listed not as a teacher but “Technology Specialist.” She was paid $120,000 in 2010. McGuire also goes by Carol Ann McGuire. On the NVLA website she’s listed as a “employee/teacher” but on the form 990 it’s quite specific. And that’s important because Scientology’s basic curriculum is something called Study Tech. On its website, NVLA stresses “technology” as one of the most important parts of its lessons.
Meantime, the Will Smith Foundation gave away $758,997 to other charities, schools, and foundations in 2010 including $20,000 to the ILM Foundation, a Muslim education organization that has since ceased functioning.