Summer 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Editor’s Note: Whenever the summer months begin to make themselves known, you can be certain Eagle Rock School’s Professional Development Center (PDC) staff is fully immersed in working with schools and learning organizations throughout the United States with the mandate of helping engage students in their own education.

Our knowledgeable Professional Development staff is on a tight schedule that continues through the summer months, visiting teachers and administrators at high schools in cities across the nation. For a quarter of a century, our PDC staff has been tasked with facilitating high-functioning oases of education — one school at a time.

Below is the ambitious schedule for Summer 2018 that includes areas where we’ve already met with educators and what’s on the agenda for the remainder of the summer season. The schedule was painstakingly prepared by Sebastian Franco, our 2017/2018 Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development.

MAY 2018

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May 10

Toronto High School, Toronto, Ohio: Toronto High School, part of the Toronto City Schools, provides various enrichment opportunities for students, including Destination Imagination, science fairs, and the debate team. The district offers more than 30 semester hours of college credit as it prepares students for post-secondary education. Eagle Rock Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway Reed and Professional Development Center Public Allies Fellow Sebastian Franco conducted an asset observation throughout various classrooms, based on the Universal Design for Learning model.

May 10

Estes Park School District (EPSD), Estes Park, Colo.: The EPSD is in charge of all education programs in the Estes Valley area and its focus is to prepare students to shine as citizens in a world that is increasingly diverse and technological. Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci  worked on essential learning outcomes with the school district’s superintendent and teacher leaders on the district’s Global Outcomes team.

May 11

I Have a Dream Foundation (IHAD), Boulder, Colo.: iHAD of Boulder provides support and resources to high school students by helping them graduate and achieve their dreams of attending college. Most students in the program have the opportunity to Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Residential Life Program Coordinator, Courthney Russell Jr.

Courthney Russell Jr. is the residential life program coordinator here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, tasked with the responsibility of fostering a safe and secure environment within our on-campus community.

Born in Fort Knox, Ky., Courthney lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a time, and eventually moved to East Atlanta, Ga., an underserved community devoid of many of the services found in more well-funded communities. He attended Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., and received his medical degree in 2011 from Windsor University School of Medicine on Saint Kitts Island in the Caribbean.

Courthney Russell Jr

It was while taking classes at medical school that Courthney made the decision to dedicate his life to humanity — to help neighborhoods like the one he grew up in. He says by leveraging his medical knowledge in a non-traditional way to become what he calls “an authentic, determined, humble leader by example,” he is doing his part (while helping others) to make the world, one neighborhood at a time, a better place to live.

Courthney joined the Eagle Rock community in 2014 as our community advocate and student support consultant and was promoted to his current role in Residential Life four years later. We recently sat down with him to learn more about his past, his thoughts on Eagle Rock and his interests.

Here’s what Courthney had to say: Continue reading…

Rock Climbing Embodies the Spirit of Eagle Rock Commitment No. 2

If you’ve spent any time at all on our campus, you’re probably somewhat familiar with our values and in particular, our 8+5=10, values.

Broken down, these values include eight themes that ensure we stay true to Eagle Rock School’s essence and mission. The five expectations create the framework that makes up our classes. And the 10 commitments are the values our students strive to internalize and live by.

From among all of these fundamentals, my favorite is Commitment Two, which asks us to develop our minds through intellectual discipline, our bodies through physical fitness, and our spirits through thoughtful contemplation.

To me, rock climbing is the total embodiment of that commitment. Because climbing a vertical wall of outcroppings requires mind, body and spirit to reach the top — and that holds true for even the most worn gym climb.

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One of my duties as Eagle Rock School’s Public Allies Fellow in Outdoor Education is taking several of our students to the indoor climbing gym at the nearby Estes Park Mountain Shop. Our most dedicated climbers are Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Student Services Program Manager, Nia Dawson

Nia-Dawson-Eagle-Rock-SchoolAs our Student Services Program Manager, Nia Dawson develops and supports non-academic activities within the Eagle Rock community. As a member of the student support team, she works closely with students and staff to develop sustainable opportunities for partnership.

Nia grew up in Los Angeles and began her career working in youth services with the YMCA. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Syracuse University in New York with a concentration on youth development.

And over the past two decades and prior to joining our team in January of this year, Nia developed and managed programs on both coasts for the Urban League, the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) — New York chapter, and most recently the Harlem Children’s Zone — a pioneering nonprofit organization committed to ending generational poverty in Central Harlem, New York.

We posed a few professional and personal questions to Nia and here’s what she had to say: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Seeks a Seasoned Professional Development Associate

We’ve been going through the process of filling several positions recently here at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center (PDC), and this time around we’re looking for an experienced facilitator of adult professional development with classroom experience and know-how in progressive education reform models.

The Professional Development Center Associate we seek will serve on our renowned Professional Development Center team, joining fellow associates in crisscrossing the nation to visit high schools, school districts and other organizations seeking to institute progressive approaches to engaging young people in their own education.

(Image ©2017 by Michael Soguero)

(Image ©2017 by Michael Soguero)

Our objective in the area of professional development is to accelerate change in public education through an asset-based approach with partners in education nationwide who continually ask us to return in order to facilitate the design and change processes at their schools and organizations.

Qualifications for this position include Continue reading…