Today, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center.
We established Eagle Rock in 1993 after two years of research and study of existing educational options throughout America. The goal? To find new ways to reach and educate high school students who, for whatever reason, needed a new approach in their education. We started from scratch – constructing this tuition free, residential high school at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado.
From the beginning, our interest has not been simply in making successful students, but fostering engaged citizens who are willing and able to make a difference in the world. We determined to take a holistic approach, believing that intellectual growth is advanced through physical, mental, spiritual and social growth. This includes leveraging the natural rocky terrain around Eagle Rock to provide our students with the transformative experience of wilderness education.
With a focus on students who have not fit into traditional school settings, the establishment of a strong sense of community within the school also was considered critical, both to learning and growth and to fostering an environment that is conducive to learning for all. This includes teaching them to embrace people of different races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, genders and sexual identities.
Such a shared school culture serves as the foundation for personal growth, academic success and personal choices that will support the development of individual character and values.
The Professional Development Center also was part of the original plan. Drawing upon our experiences and values, the Professional Development Center facilitates asset-based school change in under-resourced public schools across the U.S.
The 25th anniversary of Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center is an affirmation of our original mission – not only to inspire the dreams of students at Eagle Rock and help them take control of their lives and learning, but to support more efforts like it in schools across America that are seeking to realize each student’s unique potential.
You can find the key lessons we have learned from 25 years of working with students and through supporting public schools around the country here.
On behalf of everyone at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, thanks to everyone who has supported us along the way.