Teaching Fellows Take a Day Away to Focus on Team Building

The New Year was barely nine days old and we’d just returned to Eagle Rock from our trimester break. And now, here we were, heading off to the YMCA of the Rockies for our mid-year Fellows’ Day Away.

As director of Public Allies here at Eagle Rock, I was responsible for facilitating our 12 Public Allies fellows through a day that focused on reconnecting, framing the trimester ahead, reflecting and goal-setting, and intentional time to work on Team Service Projects (TSPs).

Our day began with a quick energizer outside, highlighted by a backdrop that included snow-covered views of the Rockies.

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Michael Soguero, our Professional Development Center (PDC) director, presented us with an introduction and overview of the Leadership Challenge — a global campaign to liberate the leader in everyone. Fellows will be learning and utilizing skills outlined in the Leadership Challenge framework to frame their TSP work for the trimester.

Michael highlighted the importance of Continue reading…

Winter 2016 Update from the Professional Development Center

Maintaining its vision that this country’s high school youth should be fully engaged in their education, our professional development center (PDC) team started off the New Year the same way they start every week — busy and engaged.

The PDC staff kicked off the new year with Dan Condon, associate director of professional development, and Mia Stroutsos, our 2015/2016 PDC Public Allies fellow, making their way to New Mexico for four separate leadership events. Our PDC associate, Anastacia Galloway spent that same week providing follow-up support for Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School (FLHFHS) in the Bronx, New York, where we are engaged in a multi-year project to institute peer observations.

On Jan. 5, Dan Condon found himself in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for leadership support of Tech Leadership High School’s senior management team where he spoke on the importance of intersecting technology with pedagogy for the next generation of students. And on the next day, he visited ACE Leadership High School for project tuning, and then attended an event for a soon-to-open charter school focused on entrepreneurship.

Siembra Leadership is the latest school we support through our work with the New Mexico Center for School Leadership. Mia Stroutsos and Dan Condon wrapped up their stay in Albuquerque by focusing on supporting formative assessment in the classroom for the Health Leadership staff.

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Anastacia Galloway’s four-day visit to New York included a follow-up visit with the staff at FLHFHS where, through a series of class visits and teacher interviews, she surfaced the most successful practices for integrating peer-coaching into their professional learning plans.

It was a busy week, but the PDC team is just getting warmed up. Here’s a quick look at what’s to come in the next few months: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center Staff Crisscrosses the Nation

If what Newton says is true, a body at motion will remain in motion unless it is halted, and so far this year, nothing has slowed down our Professional Development Center (PDC). Our PDC staff has been working nonstop since late summer, and there are still plenty of engagements to facilitate, guide and complete before year’s ends.

Since late summer, we’ve been working side by side with educators from throughout the country who borrow our expertise and experience in a continuing effort to retain, reinvigorate and re-engage young people in school districts spreading from Washington, D.C. to Washington State.

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In late August and the first week of September, PDC staffer Anastacia Galloway and world languages instructional specialist Brighid Scanlon visited Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in Bronx, N.Y., to launch peer observation cycles focused on Fred Newmann’s Authentic Intellectual Work framework. Teachers were asked to focus specifically on substantive conversation in the classroom.

Also in early September, PDC associate director Dan Condon visited Tech Leadership High School in Albuquerque, N.M., a project-based school that develops leaders in the technology field. These young students explore the technology, startup and business professions by engaging in collaborative work within in a small, supportive, school environment.

At the same time, Sarah spent three days at Innovations High School in Reno, Nev., focusing on learning that is relevant, interesting and vigorous. Sarah performed an assets observation of this “engaged learning” concept that she will use as examples at a work fair this winter.

Mid-September found our director of professional development, Michael Soguero, in Santa Fe, N.M., for youth summit meetings sponsored by the city of Santa Fe. Eagle Rock is a cosponsor of the 2015 Youth Summit, training local young people beforehand in the planning of this youth-oriented event. The summit is run on behalf of Santa Fe’s Children and Youth Commission and the youth recommendations gathered by Michael will be a source of a position paper drafted by the Santa Fe mayor’s office.

While in New Mexico, Michael attended a Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s 2015/16 Public Allies Fellows Arrive on Campus

For Christi Kelston, this month brings a fresh crop of Public Allies Fellows — the first to start under her direction since she became Eagle Rock’s new director of Public Allies this past spring.

Christi joins everyone else here at Eagle Rock in welcoming our 12 new Public Allies Fellows. Funded by AmeriCorps, Public Allies believes that everyone leads, and that everyone can work to inspire others to believe in themselves, step up to the plate, and take action.

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Here at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, we’ve been active participants in Public Allies, hosting a dozen Fellows for a year of service at our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo. In fact, we’ve sponsored more than 150 Public Allies to date, with the number successfully completing the program in the upper 90th percentile. As a result, Eagle Rock’s program is the most successful in the nation when in comes to retention of our Fellows.

Take a look at the profiles below, and if you happen to spot one of these Public Allies at a conference or training, be sure to say hello and ask them about their Eagle Rock experience.

Here are a few fun facts about each of our new Fellows:

  • Monserrat Alvarez, Outdoor Education Teaching Fellow: While studying religious and nonprofit studies at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., “Monse” also worked with the outdoor programs through the university. Most recently, she worked the summer season with North Carolina Outward Bound School at its Table Rock base camp. Raised in Raleigh, Monse loves backcountry adventure, cooking up her grandmother’s recipes and spending her free time with her mom and little brother.
  • Ally Bolger, Science Teaching Fellow: This New Jersey native studied geology and Russian at Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. This summer, Ally led backpacking trips across Europe with Apogee Adventures. In her free time she takes part in long-distance bicycle tours, skiing in all its forms, hiking, exploring new places, spending time with people, cooking and eating ice cream.
  • Maya Edery, Society & Cultures Teaching Fellow: Raised just outside of Detroit, Maya studied women, gender & sexuality, as well as anthropology/sociology at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. This past summer, she traveled to Brazil with Continue reading…