Eagle Rock’s Fall Trimester Grads Take to the Stage This Afternoon

For those of us who consider Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center as our extended family, we pride ourselves on our independence, our desire to take control of our own lives, and our insistence on marching to the beat of a progressive drummer.

Take, for example, our well-attended high school graduation ceremonies. Yes, we’re using the plural of ceremony because here at Eagle Rock, we have three of them each year. We honor this rite of passage for graduates of our fall, spring and summer trimesters and in this, our fall trimester, we have three incredible individuals who will be walking on stage this afternoon (Friday, Dec. 15) to receive their well-earned high school diplomas.


This latest trimester graduation event — the 73rd since our founding back in the early 1990s — is being broadcasted live, beginning at 4 p.m. Mountain Time, this Friday via our Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/eaglerockschool.

Below is a short biography from each of our three newest graduates where we explain their involvement at Eagle Rock, short and long-term goals, and some sage advice for current and incoming students. Continue reading…

What it’s Like to Intern at Rocky Mountain National Park — 3 Eagle Rock School Students Tell All

A trio of Eagle Rock School students who are currently enrolled in this trimester’s Rocky Mountain National Park internship class were asked by their instructor to write down some thoughts on their unique experiences within the park’s 415 square miles of unmatched natural beauty.

Human Performance & Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist Jon Anderson asked the students to describe their service learning projects and what they’ve acquired from the experience thus far. And suffice to say, the park system, which offers internships in a number of divisions including trail maintenance, recycling, fire fuels reduction, and visitor education, just to name a few, has been very supportive of our educational objectives and goals.

Below is brief info of each student, along with each student’s thoughts on their internship:

Hometown: Springfield, Mass.
Eagle Rock School start date: May 8, 2015 (ER 66)
Projected graduation date: Dec. 15, 2017 (ER 73)

I am involved in the Forestry Division within the park. We go out and treat or cut trees that are affected by the pine beetles in the park. Rocky Mountain National Park’s mission is to protect and preserve the land for the wildlife and public use. The idea is to have a high-quality experience with a low-environmental impact from humans.

Eagle Rock School student Soren Arvidson and co-workers at Rocky Mountain National Park

Eagle Rock School student Soren Arvidson (far left) and co-workers at Rocky Mountain National Park

I really love protecting the wildlife because I feel the National Parks are strong at protecting wildlife and ecosystems — especially because there are Continue reading…

CES Gathering Provides Educational Participants with the Essentials

Earlier this month, the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) – a national organization that works to create and sustain equitable, intellectually vibrant, personalized schools and to make such schools the norm of American public education — held an extraordinary national gathering in Providence, R.I., where its work first began back in 1984.

Called Fall Forum 2016, this most recent event featured a gathering of educators and progressive education advocates skilled at — and committed to — student-focused, teacher-led, equitable, and challenging learning.


During the Dec. 1-3 event, participants reflected on the work of the Coalition of Essential Schools, the contributions of CES Founder Ted Sizer and generations of CES educators, the inheritors and sustainers of CES’s work, and the future of schools led by the passions of students and teachers.

Eagle Rockers in attendance included Jeff Liddle, Head of School; Dan Condon, Associate Director of Professional Development; Sarah Bertucci, Professional Development Center Associate; and Eagle Rock students Nigel Taylor and Soren Arvidson.

On Thursday evening of the event, Dan and the students attended a viewing of the film Most Likely to Succeed, followed by discussion with local and national education change leaders. (As an aside, if you haven’t watched Most Likely to Succeed, add it to your list. Many people are saying it’s the best film ever made on the topic of Continue reading…

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Eagle Rock’s Take on ‘The Wiz’

Eagle Rock School students and faculty members are busy rehearsing for a series of performances of the Tony Award-winning 1975 musical, “The Wiz,” which are scheduled in Estes Park at month’s end.

The Wiz Eagle Rock SchoolOur production of “The Wiz” (March 31-April 2, 2016) is an urban retelling of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” using Motown, Funk and Soul music to rework the story into the context of modern African-American culture. A film adaption of the show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

Eleven talented Eagle Rock students and four staff members will perform in our staged version, backed by a live four-piece professional pit band. Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon, Eagle Rock School’s Music Instructional Specialist, directs the show, with co-direction by World Languages Instructional Specialist Brighid Scanlon and musical direction by 2015/2016 Public Allies Teaching Fellow Michael Grant.

Performances will be staged beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 as well as Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2 at the Hempel Auditorium within the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. Admission at the door is “pay what you like” and all proceeds benefit the Eagle Rock Graduate Higher Education Fund.

But we digress. The story of Dorothy and her road trip to Oz has become known worldwide for its themes of home, belonging, belief in oneself and freedom. “The Wiz,” with its original premiere in 1975 with an all-black cast and African-American styles, boldly showed that this classic story belongs to everyone, with audiences of all races flocking to watch productions of “The Wiz” over the past four decades. In addition to be culturally empowering, it is a “joy machine,” gorgeously designed, with quick humor and irresistible melodies.

Preparations for our production began last fall with a Continue reading…