Higher Ed Fund Offers Eagle Rock Grads a Leg Up on Their Future

Editor’s Note: Giving Tuesday is a global day of charity that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Below, Eagle Rock Head of School Jeff Liddle presents a case for friends of Eagle Rock School to participate in today’s charitable event by focusing their end-of-year giving to our graduates — young people who many thought would never graduate from high school. Donations of any size are gratefully welcomed and 100 percent of these gifts go to support the higher education of our graduates. Gifts are tax-deductible and donors receive a letter that can be used for tax purposes.

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Jeff LiddleFew things bring me more joy than handing an Eagle Rock School diploma to a graduate. Sharing our Human Performance Center with mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins and grandparents, aunts, uncles and sponsors is a great honor. We celebrate and hold space for renewed hope. Hope of a future once seemingly unattainable.

Three times a year at graduation we pause. We cry. We laugh. We celebrate. Three times a year Eagle Rock grads get to say, “Yes, I did it!”  This, despite all the odds. Despite the doubters. Despite tremendous obstacles. All Who Dare is more than a cliché. Our graduates are living, breathing examples of it. They dare.

Graduates walk across the Human Performance Center stage with hope, plans, and a solid high school experience that launches them into the future. Unfortunately, the daunting reality is this: That next step — the pursuit of higher education — is often financially out of reach.


That’s why I’m reaching out today, on Giving Tuesday. As the cost of higher education continues to rise, these graduates’ financial needs have never been greater. At Eagle Rock, we send forth students who have the desire and are prepared to Continue reading…

Strategic Plan Update: Mission-driven Operations

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the sixth in a series of updates in which we concentrate on segments of Eagle Rock School’s strategic plan, known as Vision 2020. Entitled “Mission-driven Operations,” this sixth of the plan’s seven domains that we’re reporting on today explores efforts to attend to our physical location — the Eagle Rock Campus — in Estes Park, Colo. This post, authored by head of school Jeff Liddle, describes the original conception and construction of our campus in the early 1990s, what has been improved to date, and future projects that are foreseen under our master plan. For an overview of the entire strategic plan, please see News From The Rock: Vision 2020.

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Strategic Plan Update: Mission-driven Operations

By Jeff Liddle, head of School

Environmental psychologists describe sense of place as the specific experience of a specific person in a specific environment. Feelings of joy while walking through a mountain community, or feelings of gratitude while watching students learn and play are two examples that come to mind. Along the same lines, a spirit of space is what gives some locales a particular feel or personality, like a childhood home or a favorite backcountry campsite.

With the Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, the American Honda Co. had a vision of an expansive campus situated in a mountainside setting, centered around a lodge, where meals are shared, classes are taught, and a highly specific mission is pursued in a thriving atmosphere where up to 100 students and 30 staff members reside.


Once our 640-acre campus was acquired, the master plan called for an accessible, site-integrated, walkable, environmentally friendly community. This was accomplished by developing a minimum of physical structures, thus maximizing the pristine setting. It meant installing passive solar systems, photovoltaics and high insulation. Material selection was based on Continue reading…

Strategic Plan Update: Diversity and Inclusion

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the sixth in our series about the Eagle Rock strategic plan — Vision 2020. Below, Jeff Liddle, head of school, shares his insights and updates on our commitment to improving diversity and inclusion at Eagle Rock. If you’re interested in learning about the overall aim of the plan, please read Jeff’s first post in this series: News From The Rock: Vision 2020.

It’s no secret that inequity is a major issue in the United States. Clearly schools must think differently about how they recruit, select, develop and support staff and how they create inclusive environments that serve all young people. We count ourselves among those schools and are therefore also deepening our journey to become a more inclusive and equitable community. While cross-cultural understanding and living in respectful harmony with others have always been Eagle Rock values, our community has recognized that we have room to grow here.


In our Strategic Plan, Vision 2020, we committed to building a more inclusive culture and increasing the diversity of our staff. It is our intention to be a model organization in this regard, through long term, focused, intentional planning.

Recognizing the benefits of diversity and inclusion

Eagle Rock, which strives to be a model inclusive organization, serves a diverse student body with a diverse staff. It is our intention that staff and students, policies, practices, and programs all align toward the objective of contributing to a more just and equitable society. We are committed to diversity and inclusion for many reasons, including: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Earns Continuing NCA CASI Accreditation

If you were in the market for a used vehicle, chances are you’d feel confident buying from a dealership that offered a “Certified Pre-Owned” program. Similarly, if you were looking to lease office space, buy a water heater, or take your loved one out to dinner to celebrate a special occasion, you’d be buoyed by a LEED-certified building, the Energy Star label, or a certain number of Michelin Stars.

Basic CMYK

Nearly every sector of society has a commonly accepted standard by which excellence is measured and attained. And in education, that standard is often tied to accreditation — the process in which certification of competency, standards, authority and/or credibility is presented.

Here at Eagle Rock, we’re accredited by a number of organizations, including AdvancED’s North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI). If you’re unfamiliar with AdvancED, it’s the largest non-profit, non-partisan community of education professionals in the world.

The organization’s NCA CASI branch provides nationally recognized accreditation to schools like ours with a focus on increasing student performance. To earn accreditation, schools must Continue reading…

We’re Hiring: Eagle Rock Director of Students

Eagle Rock School Community

As most of our readers know, Philbert Smith, our beloved and longtime director of students, is retiring at the end of this summer after serving our student population deeply — and with great commitment — these past 22 years.

Words cannot do justice to the gratitude Eagle Rock owes Philbert for his service. And while no one will ever replace him, we do need to move ahead and start the process of finding a new director of students.

We understand that the best candidates often come from the personal relationships we have with professionals around the country, which should help us generate a great pool of applicants. So it’s critically important that the Eagle Rock community kick into high gear and help us get the word out.

If you know someone who might be a good fit, please direct them to the Eagle Rock Employment page for more information on the position and the application process. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights associated with the job: Continue reading…